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Under the Sun Cat Food Review 2021: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Under the Sun cat food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. 

Under the Sun cat food is produced by parent company Canidae. As one of the largest natural cat food brands, it’s focused on producing grain-free recipes containing no corn, wheat, and soy. Its balanced recipes contain a blend of premium ingredients designed to provide complete nutrition for your cat.

This cat food is a great choice if you’re looking for high-quality cat food that is also grain-free, high in protein, and packed full of flavor that cats seem to love.

While Under the Sun doesn’t offer the largest range of cat foods, the two dry kibble options and seven canned wet foods still give your cat variety.

Under the Sun cat food might be made with premium ingredients, but it’s still an affordable option. We want the best for our cats, and this food is made in the U.S.A. in a factory with extremely high-quality control.

All this adds up to make Under the Sun one of our favorite grain-free cat food brands. Read on to learn more about this brand to see if it’s the right choice for your cat.

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At a Glance: The Best Under the Sun Cat Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Under the Sun Witty Kitty: The Big Catch: Flaked Tuna Under the Sun Witty Kitty: The Big Catch: Flaked Tuna
  • Grain-free
  • Palatable texture
  • Contains cranberries for urinary health
  • Second place
    Under the Sun Grain Free Adult Dry Cat Food Fresh Caught Salmon Under the Sun Grain Free Adult Dry Cat Food Fresh Caught Salmon
  • Grain-free
  • Available in 2.5-pound and 5-pound bags
  • Includes real fruits and vegetables
  • Third place
    Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Ruffle My Feathers: Flaked Turkey Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Ruffle My Feathers: Flaked Turkey
  • Contains real meat
  • Made in the U.S.A.
  • Grain-free
  • Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Wingin’ It : Chicken + Turkey Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Wingin’ It : Chicken + Turkey
  • Grain-free
  • For cats of all ages
  • Potato-free
  • Under The Sun Cat Food Reviewed

    If you’re ready to find out more about the Under the Sun brand, we’ve rounded up the most important details to help you figure out if this brand is going to suit your feline friend.

    Who Makes Under the Sun and Where Is It Produced?

    Under the Sun is made by the brand Canidae, which also produces the PURE Ancestral, PURE Limited Ingredient Diet, Life Stages, and the ADORE ranges of cat food. Their factory is in Brownwood, Texas, known as the Ethos Pet Nutrition Facility. Canidae has been producing pet food since 1996.

    The state-of-the-art factory includes an on-site laboratory where all the ingredients are tested daily. Every batch of cat food is tested here to make sure it meets Canidae’s high quality-control standards before it’s shipped to suppliers.

    cat after eating food from a plate
    Image Credit: mik ulyannikov, Shutterstock

    Which Types of Cats Is Under the Sun Best Suited For?

    If your cat is on a grain-free diet, then Under the Sun is a great choice. Its recipes include a high percentage of animal protein, which is supplemented with vegetables, fruits, and grain-free carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and butternut squash. Under the Sun wet canned food is designed and formulated for adult cats, while the kibble is suitable for adults and seniors.

    Under the Sun is a great choice if you’re looking for a mid-range grain-free cat food that uses high-quality ingredients but is still affordable on a long-term basis. It’s preferable to some of the cheaper brands that use many by-products, but it is better value for money than many of the higher-end brands.

    Which Types of Cats Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    Under the Sun is formulated for adult or senior cats, not kittens, so we recommend choosing a kitten-specific recipe, like Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. Under the Sun does state that this food can be fed to kittens, but we can’t find out any information as to whether it’s recommended by the AAFCO for the growth and development stage of kittens.

    If your adult or senior cat has allergies to specific ingredients like egg or peas, you’d probably be better off sticking to a limited ingredient diet that allows you to control the types of ingredients that they’re eating to a greater degree.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Each Under the Sun recipe has real meat as the first ingredient. Many budget cat foods, especially kibble, use either grain or meat by-products as the primary ingredient for their cat foods.

    The real meat used in Under the Sun formulations is usually supplemented with other protein sources, including additional meat proteins, peas, and egg whites. These increase the protein level, though they don’t add that much palatability. For a brand that sits at the lower end of the budget, it’s a necessary compromise.

    Under the Sun recipes also use a blend of healthy fruits and vegetables to up your cat’s intake of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Other beneficial ingredients include flaxseeds, omega-fatty acids, parsley, and rosemary.

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    Grain-Free Is Good

    Carbohydrates in cat food are usually used as fillers to add bulk, making the food less expensive for manufacturers to produce. Corn is often used, which some cats can be allergic to. A food without grains and with carbohydrate sources like sweet potato and butternut squash means your cat’s digestive health is supported without the risk of allergy flare-ups.

    Palatability Is Questionable

    Unlike some cat foods that seem to be palatable to most cats, Under the Sun gets mixed reviews in this area. Some cats seem to love the taste, while others just aren’t bothered. If your cat doesn’t like the taste and isn’t food-oriented, then you may find that they would rather go hungry than eat this, and that’s not good!

    With the wet cat food, you can try sampling a few different flavors and see which ones your cat likes best. Unfortunately, the smallest quantity that we can find is a tray of 18 cans, each weighing 3 ounces. If your cat doesn’t like it, you’re going to be stuck with a great deal of food!

    The good news is that there are plenty of reviews saying that cats do love the taste of this food, so the only way to know which side of the fence your cat is on is for them to try it! If they do like it, then you’ve found great quality food at an even better price point.

    cat eating
    Image Credit: Elizabett, shutterstock

    The Wet Foods Use Gums as Thickeners

    The Under the Sun canned wet foods do use a range of different gums in the recipes, including guar gum, cassia gum, and xanthan gum. That’s not totally unusual, as many wet foods contain these. They help make wet cat food easier to eat by creating a stickier texture.

    The problem with gums in cat food is that they can cause your cat’s digestive system to end up absorbing less protein. Long term, this can have an ongoing effect on your cat’s health and wellbeing.

    Higher-end brands are now removing gums from their recipes and are moving toward healthier alternatives, like fenugreek seeds.

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    A Quick Look at Under the Sun Cat Food

    Pros
    • Real meat as the first ingredient
    • Grain-free
    Cons
    • Not all cats like the taste
    • Uses various gums as thickeners

    Recall History

    Pet food recalls come under three main types:

    • A voluntary recall undertaken by a manufacturer
    • A request to a manufacturer from the FDA
    • A statutory order from the FDA

    As a brand, Under the Sun has never been the subject of a safety recall.

    Canidae has had one voluntary recall in 2012, for dry dog food. This was due to potential salmonella contamination found in other dog foods manufactured at the same Diamond Pet Foods factory in South Carolina. None of the Canidae dog foods actually tested positive, but they were recalled to be on the safe side.

    Canidae now manufactures and tests all their pet food products at their own Ethos Pet Nutrition Facility in Brownwood, Texas.

    You can check the recall history for any brand and see details of the most recent recalls and their reasons on the FDA Recalls & Withdrawals page.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Under the Sun Cat Food Recipes

    Let’s take a closer look at three of the best Under the Sun cat food recipes in more detail.

    1. Under the Sun Witty Kitty: The Big Catch Grain Free With Flaked Tuna and Sardines

    Under the Sun Witty Kitty- The Big Catch Grain Free Wet Cat Food

    The Under the Sun Witty Kitty: The Big Catch features a blend of chicken and seafood designed to tempt even the fussiest cats. This contains salmon broth as the first ingredient, closely followed by chicken, chicken, liver, and tuna. It also contains sardines, peas, dried egg whites, and cranberries.

    This wet food comes in a 3-ounce can and contains 12.5% protein, 3% fat, and 1% fiber. It’s supplemented with plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your cat healthy and happy. The protein levels are a little low compared to some other brands. We usually recommend a minimum of 26%, as per AAFCO recommendations.

    The small can size of just 3 ounces means you’ll be going through multiple cans per day if you have more than one cat. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but it does mean that your waste cans can accumulate extremely quickly.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    under the sun witty kitty big catch

    Pros
    • Contains real chicken, chicken liver, tuna, and sardines
    • Grain-free
    • Contains cranberries for urinary health
    • Palatable texture
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    Cons
    • Contains guar gum
    • Peas and eggs can trigger allergies
    • Small can size

    2. Under the Sun Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food Made With Fresh Caught Salmon

    Under the Sun Grain Free Adult Dry Cat Food Fresh Caught Salmon

    As one of the two dry kibbles offered by Under the Sun, this is suitable for adult cats. The grain-free formula is made with pork meal as the first ingredient, supplemented with chicken fat, chicken meal, and real chicken. It also contains a blend of grain-free healthy carbohydrate sources, including chickpeas, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash.

    Fruits including cranberries, apples, and blueberries are added for their antioxidant properties, along with a range of vitamins and minerals. This kibble contains 29% protein, 14% fat, and 4% fiber.

    One thing worth noting is that some reviewers comment that their cats don’t find this kibble as palatable as some other brands. This may be because the real chicken meat used to add flavor is further down the ingredients list (number seven) compared to the pork and chicken meal used to provide high protein levels.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    under the sun grain free

    Pros
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Grain-free
    • Includes real fruits and vegetables
    • Available in 2.5-pound and 5-pound bags
    • Includes flaxseeds for skin and coat health
    Cons
    • Uses meat meal, not real meat, as the first ingredient
    • Some cats don’t like the taste

    3. Under the Sun Witty Kitty: Ruffle My Feathers Grain-Free Wet Cat Food With Flaked Turkey and Turkey Liver

    Under the Sun Witty Kitty- Ruffle My Feathers Grain Free Wet Cat Food

    The Under the Sun Ruffle My Feathers wet canned food contains turkey broth, turkey, chicken, and turkey liver as the first four ingredients. Despite this, the protein levels are lower than we’d like, sitting at just 11%. This food contains 4% fat and 1% fiber. The moisture content is good at 82%, making this a good choice for keeping cats well hydrated.

    The cans are only 3-ounces each, so if you’re using this as your cat’s primary food, you’ll likely end up using multiple cans per day, which soon creates a great deal of waste. If you’re using it as a topper on kibble, then this won’t be so much of a problem.

    The turkey liver within this canned wet food makes it extremely palatable for cats, and we like that it uses all real meats as opposed to meat meal.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    under the sun witty kitty : ruffly my feathers

    Pros
    • Contains real meat
    • Made in the U.S.A.
    • Grain-free
    • Palatable texture
    Cons
    • Small can size
    • Peas and eggs can trigger allergies
    • Contains guar gum, cassia gum, and xanthan gum

    What Other Users Are Saying

    • All About Cats: “Under the Sun is Canidae’s economy line, made with single animal proteins and a ‘bounty of fruits and vegetables.’ It includes both dry and wet foods.”
    • Cat Food DB: “Under the Sun products are grain free and potato free, made from a variety of single animal proteins, farm-fresh fruits and veggies — never corn, wheat, or soy.”
    • Amazon: As cat owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. You can read these by clicking here.

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    Conclusion

    Under the Sun offers the quality ingredients associated with a reputable brand like Canidae, combined with an economic price that makes it a great choice for cat owners on a budget. Unlike many economy brands that use cheap fillers, like corn and meat by-products, Under the Sun uses real meat combined with high-quality fruits and vegetables.

    Under the Sun has never been recalled, and its parent brand Canidae has only ever voluntarily recalled a batch of dry dog food for precautionary measures, not because of any contamination. While most cats seem to love the taste of both the wet and dry food, some cats don’t. We recommend buying a small amount to gauge your cat’s interest before taking the plunge and making the full switch.

    While this might not be one of the better-known cat food brands out there, it certainly has a solid reputation, quality ingredients, and an extremely wallet-friendly price. If your cat loves the taste, you’re onto a winner.