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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:
- Meat is the first ingredient
- Very minimal filler ingredients
- Includes extra vitamins and quality, chelated minerals
- Most recipes have good protein, fat, and carb numbers, but the lower rated flavors have less protein and more carbs
- Many recipes rely on fish as a main protein source, and we do not believe that fish is an appropriate main protein for your cat’s diet
The Pristine product line includes 8 wet 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.
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Chicken Morsels in Gravy (G, M) 4.5 stars
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Turkey Morsels in Gravy (G, M) 4.5 stars
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Chicken Pate (A)
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Salmon Morsels in Gravy (G, M)
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Salmon Pate (A) 3 stars
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Whitefish Morsels in Gravy (G, M) 4.5 stars
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Whitefish Pate (A) 3.5 stars
- Castor & Pollux Pristine Tuna Pate (A) 3.5 stars
Castor & Pollux Pristine Chicken Pate was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Castor & Pollux Pristine Chicken Pate
Wet Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||23%||16%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||36%||49%||15%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Chicken, Water Sufficient for Processing, Organic Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Organic Dried Peas, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Organic Cranberries, Organic Dried Alfalfa Meal, Sodium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Potassium Iodate, Cobalt Glucoheptonate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate), Salt, Guar Gum, Salmon Oil, Taurine, Organic Rosemary, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Organic Sage.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food is chicken. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, chicken is a very 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 water, the second ingredient is organic chicken liver. Good.
Liver is an important organ meat that your cat would eat in the wild to get extra protein, vitamins, and minerals.
This is usually a sign of a high quality food.
The third 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 fourth ingredient is organic dried 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.
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.
Guar gum comes from guar beans, and is a thickening agent.
In small quantities, like those in cat food, it should be a harmless ingredient.
However, some research has shown that including guar gum in a commercial cat food “had a significant negative effect on apparent protein digestibility in many of the cats and tended to depress apparent fat and energy digestibilities.”
While not heavily substantiated beyond this study, it might mean your cat needs to eat more protein to make up for the lower digestibility.
Some flavors have chelated minerals, which may be easier to digest and more bioavailable for your cat. This is usually a sign of a high quality cat 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 Castor & Pollux Pristine Wet Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an above average wet product.
Meat is the first ingredient, it includes quality organ meat, and there are minimal fillers.
It does include peas, which are unnecessary, and potentially boost the protein (meaning less meat is present), but there shouldn’t be enough to make it a bad food.
This is a good example of a wet food you should be feeding to your cat.
Based on the ingredients and the macronutrient profiles, meat is likely the main ingredient, and we can therefore say that it is a meat-based cat food, which is appropriate for your carnivorous feline.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 41% protein, 23% fat, and 16% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 46%, and average fat content of 16%, and an average carb content of 18%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Average protein.
- Average fat.
- Average carbs.
Because meat comes first, there are limited fillers, but it’s not a perfect macronutrient profile, our average rating for this brand is 4 stars.
Castor & Pollux 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 Castor & Pollux brand in the past:
- We could find no evidence of recalls for the Castor & Pollux brand, although they are now a Merrick brand. Merrick has had recalls, but not since acquiring this brand in 2012.
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 Castor & Pollux 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.