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Wellness Cat Food Review 2022: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Wellness Cat Food a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Started in 1997 by a team of animal wellness experts, including nutritionists, veterinarians, and food scientists, Wellness Pet Food is the largest holistic pet food sold in independent retailers today.

Whenever possible, the company strives to use natural ingredients designed to prolong your cat’s life and ensure that they enjoy the best possible overall health. They’ve identified five key areas that they believe any good cat food should target: energy, digestive health, skin and coat health, immune function, and eyes, teeth, and gums.

None of their recipes include corn, wheat, or soy. These are cheap fillers that many lower-quality foods use to keep costs down, but they can wreak havoc on your cat’s digestive system. As a result, you should expect to pay more for Wellness-brand foods, but the impact that it has on your cat’s health should be well worth it.

Instead of fillers, you’ll find real meat as the first ingredient. The rest of the ingredients are usually things like peas, potatoes, and flaxseed. The overall protein levels in this brand’s food are almost always high, but the fat and fiber can be lacking.
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At a Glance: The Best Wellness Cat Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Our favorite Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula
  • Feature iconFilled with omega fatty acids
  • Feature iconTaurine for heart health
  • Feature iconProbiotics boost digestive performance
  • Wellness Complete Health Pâté Chicken Entree Wellness Complete Health Pâté Chicken Entree
  • Feature iconComes in a jumbo-sized can
  • Feature iconHas a tantalizing aroma
  • Feature iconReal meat makes up the first four ingredients
  • Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp Entree Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp Entree
  • Feature iconHigh in moisture
  • Feature iconMost cats love seafood flavors
  • Feature iconPacked with important vitamins and minerals
  • Wellness Natural Gravies Salmon Entree Wellness Natural Gravies Salmon Entree
  • Feature iconGrain-free recipe
  • Feature iconAll-natural ingredients
  • Feature iconContains no artificial colors or flavors
  • Wellness Complete Health Natural Salmon & Herring Indoor Formula Wellness Complete Health Natural Salmon & Herring Indoor Formula
  • Feature iconPremium ingredients
  • Feature iconProtein-rich real salmon
  • Feature iconDesigned for indoor cats
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    Wellness Cat Food Reviewed

    Who makes Wellness and where is it produced?

    Wellness Cat Foods are made by WellPet LLC, which is actually a subsidiary of the Berwind Corporation. The Berwind Corporation is a private investment management company situated in Philadelphia. The food is made at the company’s manufacturing plant in Indiana. All of its dry food is made in the United States, and they never use artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, or other chemicals.

    Which types of cats are Wellness best suited for?

    Wellness is a premium brand, so it’s a good choice for anyone willing to pay whatever’s necessary to ensure that their cat stays healthy and happy. If you’re an owner who takes the food your cat eats seriously—and wants them to eat only natural, chemical-free ingredients—Wellness is likely to be a good fit.

    It’s also a good choice for cats that have issues eating lower-quality food. If your cat has digestive issues due to ingredients like corn or soy, switching to Wellness could help clear them up in a hurry.

    Regardless of whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you need a bowl that is sure to keep the mess contained—you can do just that with the Hepper Nom Nom Bowl.

    This is designed with your cat’s comfort in mind. The whisker-friendly bowls are low and wide to prevent whisker fatigue, and the wide catch tray ensures that all food stays exactly where it should—inside the bowl.

    At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

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    A Quick Look at Wellness Cat Food

    Pros
    • Uses natural ingredients as much as possible
    • Real meat is first ingredient
    • No artificial flavors, colors, fillers, or by-products
    Cons
    • Fairly expensive
    • Won’t divulge where wet food is manufactured
    • Nutrient levels can be lacking in some foods

    Want to see more cat food reviews? Check out our review page here!

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    Recall History

    Wellness has experienced several recalls since its inception in 1997. However, not all of them have been major; some have only affected dog food, and others were made out of an abundance of caution rather than real danger.

    The biggest recall occurred in 2011 when it withdrew 21.6 million cans of cat food from the shelves due to inadequate levels of thiamine. That’s no small thing, as thiamine deficiency can cause heart problems in cats, but it’s not known how low the thiamine levels in the food were.

    It also recalled several varieties of canned cat food in 2017 because trace amounts of metal were found in one of the products made at the manufacturing plant. No metal was found in any Wellness products, but it recalled them, anyway, just to be safe.

    It’s worth noting that while this last entry makes the company look responsible (and we credit it for being proactive), it failed to disclose where the manufacturing plant in question was located. Furthermore, the fact that many pet food companies use the plant indicates that its standards are out of Wellness’s control.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Wellness Cat Food Recipes

    1. Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula

    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula

    Wellness CORE is a grain-free dry food that’s geared toward indoor cats. It has quite a bit of fish in it, including salmon, herring, and fish meal, so it’s likely to be scarfed down without question. All that fish boosts the level of omega fatty acids inside as well. This is good for a variety of things, from coat health to immune function, so the more, the better.

    It’s heavy on plant-based ingredients, and peas are listed second on the label, with potatoes not far behind. Those ingredients are certainly better than corn, but we’d like to see them a few spots behind the various meat sources. That contributes to the protein levels being lower than we’d like at 34%. That’s not a dangerously low level or anything, but we’d expect better from food this pricey.

    There’s still much to like about this food, though. It has taurine, which is essential for heart health, and there are plenty of probiotics for digestive health inside as well. Wellness CORE isn’t a perfect dry food, but it has almost everything that your cat needs to stay healthy and happy, especially when paired with high-quality wet cat food.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Wellness Core Indoor

    Pros
    • Grain-free recipe
    • Cats seem to enjoy the flavor
    • Filled with omega fatty acids
    • Taurine for heart health
    • Probiotics boost digestive performance
    Cons
    • Less protein than we’d like
    • Heavy on the plant-based ingredients
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    2. Wellness Complete Health Pâté Chicken Entree

    Wellness Complete Health Pâté Chicken Entree

    Unlike many canned cat foods that come in tiny little 3.5-ounce containers, Wellness Complete Health Pâté is a giant, 12.5-ounce can—like a can of wet dog food. That’s both good and bad, as it allows you to feed your feline however much you want but could lead to overfeeding. Be careful not to let your cat get chubby on this food.

    Fortunately, that should be relatively difficult to do, as the ingredients label shows chicken, chicken liver, and turkey as the first three ingredients. That means your cat will get plenty of the protein they need to function at peak health. Of course, as with most canned foods, the overall protein, fat, and fiber levels are low (10.5%/7%/1%, respectively). You should pair this with suitable dry food, which will increase your pet food costs.

    However, you shouldn’t have to deal with a bunch of wasted food, as most cats will tear right through this stuff. Chicken broth is the fourth ingredient, and it gives the food a tantalizing aroma, as well as adding moisture. Part of the reason the food is so appealing is that it’s high in salt, however. You’ll need to watch your cat to ensure they’re drinking enough water.

    As far as wet foods go, Wellness Complete Health Pâté is about as good as you’re likely to find in this price range.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Wellness Complete Health

    Pros
    • Comes in a jumbo-sized can
    • Real meat makes up the first four ingredients
    • Chicken broth will be appealing to cat’s taste buds
    • Has a tantalizing aroma
    Cons
    • High in salt
    • Hard to divvy up suitable portion sizes
    • Should be paired with quality dry food
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    3. Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp Entree

    Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp Entree

    Wellness CORE Signature Selects is in a much more conventionally-sized can than the entry above. It’s also a grain-free recipe, although not all their Signature Selects lines can say the same thing. This recipe is seafood-heavy, with tuna, mackerel, and shrimp in the mix. It should make quite the treat for your cat while also giving them a heavy dose of omega fatty acids.

    It has the same issues as the wet food above, although its fat levels are even lower at 3%. It makes up for it a bit by being packed with moisture, making it a smart choice for cats that don’t drink enough water. We also like how many essential vitamins and minerals they include, like taurine, magnesium, folic acid, and biotin. While you’ll still want to pair this with dry kibble, it should give your kitty a well-rounded nutritional profile.

    It’s expensive food, and some owners might balk at paying so much for canned food that needs to be paired with kibble. If you’re willing to shell out the extra cash, your cat will certainly thank you for it.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Wellness Core Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp

    Pros
    • Plenty of omega fatty acids
    • High in moisture
    • Packed with important vitamins and minerals
    • Most cats love seafood flavors
    Cons
    • Needs to be paired with dry kibble
    • Fairly pricey
    • Low in protein, fat, and fiber

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    All About Cats — “Wellness Cat Food, particularly canned foods in the CORE line, are rich in species-appropriate animal protein and made from high-quality ingredients.”

    Cat Food Database — “Overall, Wellness Core Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Shrimp is a significantly above-average cat food.”

    Amazon — As pet owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. You can read these by clicking here.

        •You might also like: Can Cats Eat Flaxseeds? Is It Healthy for Them?

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    Conclusion

    Wellness Cat Food is a boutique pet food line that puts a heavy emphasis on using natural ingredients whenever possible. They start every recipe off with real meat and never include artificial flavors, cheap fillers, or animal by-products.

    As you might expect, that drives the cost of their food up a bit, so this is not food for bargain hunters. Most of their recipes have less fat and protein than we’d like to see as well (especially in this price range), but they’re still within acceptable levels.

    If you care deeply about what your cat is eating—and are willing to pay extra to ensure that they get the best—then the Wellness brand is a good option, but it’s not quite up to the same level as some of its premium competitors.

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    Featured Image: Chewy

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