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- Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
- Above average protein content – 0 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 0 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 0.5 Star
Here’s a few important points to consider for this particular line:
- Most recipes have multiple meat products, including as the first ingredient
- Recipes include a variety of filler ingredients
- Packed with vitamins and quality, proteinate versions of minerals
- Very low protein content, likely not much meat present
The Blackwood product line includes 6 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.
- Blackwood Adult Chicken Meal & Rice (M)
- Blackwood Grain Free Chicken Meal & Field Pea (A)
- Blackwood Grain Free Duck Meal, Salmon Meal & Field Pea (A)
- Blackwood Indoor Formula Chicken Meal & Rice (M)
- Blackwood Lean Chicken Meal & Rice (M)
- Blackwood Original Chicken Meal & Corn (M)
Blackwood Grain Free Chicken Meal & Field Pea was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Blackwood Grain Free Chicken Meal & Field Pea
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||44%||20%||23%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||38%||42%||20%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Chicken Meal, Field Pea, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whitefish Meal, Buffalo Meal, Tapioca Starch, Lentils, Chickpeas, Egg Product, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Celery, Beets, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach, Menhaden Fish Oil, Lecithin, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, L-Lysine, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Blueberry, Cranberry, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Organic Dried Kelp, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, D- Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Citric Acid, Folic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Iron Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food 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 second ingredient is field pea. 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 third ingredient is chicken fat. Good.
Named animal fats in cat food is usually a good thing.
Chicken fat is a great source of healthy fats and omega fatty acids.
It is preferred to canola oil or unnamed animal fats.
The fourth ingredient is whitefish meal. OK, but with reservations.
“Whitefish” is a bit of a difficult term in the cat food industry, because it may mean any number of fish.
However, it seems that most whitefish labels mean tilefish, a small, commercially fished ingredient, that is high in protein and fat.
Fish are not often eaten in the wild by cats, and this particular fish may pose a high risk of mercury poisoning.
If this is, indeed, tilefish, the FDA has warned pregnant women not to consume it due to high mercury levels.
It is likely not present in high enough quantities to worry, but the risk remains.
The fifth ingredient is buffalo meal. Good.
A lean, high quality meat, bison is a novel protein, which can help with cats who have allergies or sensitive stomachs.
The sixth ingredient is tapioca starch. Bad.
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 seventh ingredient is lentils. Bad.
An obvious non-biologically appropriate carbohydrate filler, beans are at least potentially better than corn.
They are unlikely to do any damage to your cat.
However, some cats may have trouble digesting them.
They are also protein-rich, which means the actual meat content of this recipe may be lower than the macronutrient profile suggests.
They are usually used as a cheap protein source to cover up using only a little bit of meat in the recipe.
The eighth ingredient is chickpeas. Bad.
Chickpeas are much the same as lentils, which we cover above.
A cheaper protein form that is not biologically appropriate for cats, and usually used to increase crude protein content.
The ninth ingredient is 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
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 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.
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 Blackwood Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an average dry product.
Meat is the first ingredient, and a variety of meats are used, but fillers are heavily used, from peas to corn to rice.
It contains more carbohydrates than are necessary, and many protein-boosting plants, which are a way that pet food manufacturers can boost the crude protein amount on the label, without having to use meat.
This is not a good example of a dry food you should be feeding to your cat.
With so many plant-based protein boosters, and a low protein content to begin with, we believe this is mostly a plant-based cat food, which is not biologically appropriate for your cat.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 44% protein, 20% fat, and 23% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 37%, and average fat content of 16%, and an average carb content of 34%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Below average protein.
- Average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because meat comes first, but many unnecessary filler ingredients are used, our average rating for this brand is 2.5 stars.
Blackwood 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 Blackwood brand in the past:
- We could find no instances of a recall in Blackwoods 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 Blackwood 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.