Canidae Life Stages Cat Food (Dry) Review And Nutritional Analysis

Rating

2 Star

  • Meat is the first ingredient - 1 Star
  • Does not use unnamed meats - 1 Star
  • Below average protein content - 0 Star
  • More than 4 controversial ingredients - 0 Star
  • Catological Discretionary Rating - 0 Star

Here’s a few important points to consider for this particular line:

  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • Multiple meat products are used, but each recipe is packed with fillers
  • Includes extra vitamins, and high quality, proteinate minerals, and some include probiotics
  • Protein is much too low and carbohydrates are much too high to be appropriate for your cat

The Life Stages product line includes 3 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.

canidae life stages dry cat food bag

CANIDAE Life Stages All Life Stages was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

CANIDAE Life Stages All Life Stages

Dry Cat Food

Estimated Nutrient Content

Method

Protein

Fat

Carbs

Guaranteed Analysis

32%

20%

NA

Dry Matter Basis

35%

22%

30%

Calorie Weighted Basis

30%

45%

25%

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

35%
Protein
22%
Fat
30%
Carbs

Fiber (guaranteed analysis):

2.5%

Calories/100g:

459

Is real, named meat the first ingredient?

Yes

INGREDIENTS: Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Cracked Pearled Barley, Peas, Millet, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Turkey Meal, Potato Protein, Lamb Meal, Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Ocean Fish Meal, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Sun-cured Alfalfa Meal, Inulin (from Chicory Root), Lecithin, Sage Extract, Cranberries, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Sunflower Oil, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Papaya, Pineapple.

Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.

Ingredient Breakdown

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 brown rice. Bad.

It may be slightly better than corn in some areas, but rice is simply not biologically appropriate for cats.

It is a filler ingredient.

Studies hypothesize that rice may decrease taurine absorption in cats, leading to taurine deficiency, a dangerous ailment.

The third ingredient is cracked pearl barley. Bad.

While it is a useful grain in most senses, and better than many alternatives, it is still a grain.

And cats do not require grain. Therefore it is not biologically appropriate.

Barley is high in fiber, and has an average amount of protein for a grain.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is millet. Bad.

One of the more nutrient-dense cereal grains, millet is still a grain and is not appropriate for your cat’s diet.

The sixth 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 seventh 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 eighth ingredient is potato protein. Bad.

Potatoes are usually used as filler carbohydrates, but potato protein is the concentrated form of potato that gives it a high protein count.

Potatoes are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.

Plant-based proteins are added to pet food in order to boost the crude protein amount on the label.

This usually means there is less meat than you expect, since the protein that you expect to come from meat, is actually coming from a vegetable source, which is not great for your cat.

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.

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 Canidae Life Stages Dry Cat Food

From top to bottom, this is a below average dry product.

Meat is the first ingredient, multiple fillers are used, the protein content is too low, and the carb content is too high for your cat.

This is a not a good example of a dry food you should be feeding to your cat.

Based on the ingredients and the macronutrient profiles, meat likely plays a small part in the recipe, and we can therefore say that it is likely a plant-based cat food, which is not appropriate for your carnivorous feline.

To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 40% protein, 22% fat, and 22% carbs.

As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 35%, and average fat content of 22%, and an average carb content of 30%.

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 it is full of filler ingredients, our average rating for this brand is 2 stars.

Not recommended.

Canidae 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 Canidae brand in the past:

  • May 2012 – Potential salmonella – Dog food recipes affected

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 Canidae 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. 

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Curt Storring
 

Curt is the founder and editor of Catological. He believes natural solutions are better than the alternative, and believes cats should eat a biologically-appropriate, protein-rich, low-carb diet. He's determined to bring you the best, most accurate information and product recommendations so you can help your cat live it's best life by providing it with the things it needs to be happy, healthy, and environmentally friendly.

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