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- Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
- Above average protein content – 0.5 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 1 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 0.5 Star
Here’s a few important points to consider for this particular line:
- Packed with meat
- Includes some non-grain fillers like peas
- Packed with vitamins and minerals, plus probiotics
- Utilizes whole fruits and vegetables for some of the nutrients
- Good product overall, but goes overboard – fruits, vegetables, pea protein, etc. is not needed
The American Journey product line includes 4 dry recipes/flavors.
Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage or packaging: Growth (G), Maintenance (M), All Life Stages (A), Supplemental (S) or Unspecified (U).
The star rating is a rough average of all of the flavors in a single line of food. If an individual recipe scored lower or higher, we will mark that below, next to the flavor.
- American Journey Grain Free Turkey & Chicken (A)
- American Journey Grain Free Salmon (A)
- American Journey Grain Free Chicken (A)
- American Journey Grain Free Duck (A)
American Journey Grain Free Turkey & Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
American Journey Grain Free Turkey & Chicken
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||17%||26%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||40%||37%||23%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Deboned Turkey, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Tapioca Starch, Dried Egg Product, Pea Protein, Peas, Deboned Chicken, Natural Flavor, Menhaden Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Inulin, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Salt, Spinach, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, L-Carnitine, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food is deboned turkey. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, turkey is a good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that turkey contains about 70% water, so when it is processed and cooked for use in cat food, it will become a smaller part of the total recipe.
The second ingredient is turkey meal. Good.
Turkey is a very good protein source for cats.
Turkey meal is a concentrated form of turkey, and is considered a high quality ingredient.
The third ingredient is chicken meal. Good.
Chicken is a very good protein source for cats.
Chicken meal is a concentrated form of chicken, and is considered a high quality ingredient.
In short, much of the moisture of the chicken is taken away, and you are left with a very high-protein, low-moisture powder-like substance.
The inclusion of chicken meal helps to ensure a very high protein level.
The fourth ingredient is tapioca starch. OK, but with reservations.
Used in many grain-free recipes as a starch to bind the food together.
While it’s not very nutritional and doesn’t compare well to grains in some cases, there’s likely not enough of it to cause any digestive issues for your cat.
The fifth ingredient is dried egg product. Good.
Even though eggs are not meat, they are a highly digestible form of protein.
In fact, they are one of the most complete, bioavailable forms of protein for both humans and cats.
As long as it is not the main protein ingredient, the addition of egg is a quality ingredient
The sixth ingredient is pea protein. Bad.
Peas are a quality carbohydrate, but cats don’t need much in the way of carbohydrates.
Peas are also rich in protein, and this ingredient is a concentrated form of that protein, which means the actual meat content of this food may be lower than the macronutrient profile suggests.
Peas are not the worst carbohydrate your cat can consume, but they’re simply not at all biologically appropriate.
The seventh ingredient is peas. Bad.
Peas are a quality carbohydrate, but cats don’t need much in the way of carbohydrates.
They are full of fiber, but also contain a fair amount of protein, which we should keep in mind when judging the meat content of this food.
There probably aren’t many peas in here, but there really doesn’t need to be any.
The eighth ingredient is deboned chicken. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, chicken is a good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that chicken contains about 70% water, so when it is processed and cooked for use in cat food, it will become a smaller part of the total recipe.
After natural flavors, which are usually fine, the ninth ingredient is menhaden fish meal. OK, but with reservations.
Menhaden are a small, oily fish, with a very high protein content.
Because it is a concentrated meal, most of the good oils are gone.
There is some concern that these are not sustainably fished.
This recipe includes a number of other ingredients, but once you get down this far, none of them will be in large enough quantities to make a real difference, except for the added vitamins and minerals.
However, there are a few things you should know about.
This recipe contains pea fiber. It is high in insoluble fiber. It is not a biologically appropriate ingredient for cats, and is a filler ingredient to boost fiber content.
This recipe uses the proteinate form of minerals, which means that they should be easier to digest for your cat, and be more readily available for her body to use to maintain her health. This is usually a sign of a quality food.
There are also many probiotic strains which help introduce enzymes into the gut to break down the food better and make it more digestible and bioavailable. These are generally considered high quality ingredients.
To read a more in depth article about any of the ingredients listed here, check out our Cat Food Ingredient Wiki (currently under development).
The Catological Verdict on American Journey Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an above average dry product.
Meat is the first ingredient, and numerous different types of meat are used. It contains a lot of extra vitamins and minerals, and even probiotics.
It contains more pea products than are necessary, and separating the pea products into 3 different ingredients leads us to believe there is more pea in the recipe than they want us to know about.
This is a good example of a dry food you should be feeding to your cat.
Meat is the main ingredient in each of the flavors, but with so much pea added, and only an average protein content, there’s probably not enough of it to call it a meat-only food. We can assume that this is a meat and plant-based cat food, with just enough protein to make it biologically appropriate for your cat’s dietary needs.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 44% protein, 17% fat, and 26% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 44%, and average fat content of 17%, and an average carb content of 26%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Average protein.
- Average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because it contains numerous meat ingredients and has a decent amount of protein, our average rating for this brand is 4 stars.
American Journey Cat Food Recall History
We do not believe that a recall indicates a low quality food or company, and we respect the fact that sometimes things happen that cause a manufacturer to recall a food.
Usually these things are non-life-threatening, and we think it’s important to take a moment to be thankful about just how few recalls there really are in the industry, considering the enormous volume of food produced.
However, we do believe that a history of recalls may point to a larger issue with a company, and that discerning consumers want to know who they’re buying from, especially when it comes to something as important as the food you feed your beloved cat.
Here is a list of recalls that have affected the American Journey brand in the past:
- We could find no instances of a recall in American Journey’s history
If you want to stay up to date on the latest recall information affecting your cat’s food, sign up to our email list and receive an email every time a recall is announced. We’ll also let you know about any updated ratings, recipe changes, or new cat foods on the market. (Our alert system will be launched shortly, check back soon.)
Where To Buy American Journey Cat Food
We recommend purchasing your pet products from Chewy.com. They continually prove that they walk the walk while talking the talk, and I’ve never dealt with a more dedicated pet-parent base of people than those who work at Chewy.
Plus, they offer 20% off and free shipping on lots of orders.