Chicken Soup For The Soul Cat Food (Dry) Review And Nutritional Analysis
- 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 Star
Here’s a few important points to consider for this particular line:
- Meat is the first ingredient
- There’s definitely a variety of meats in most recipes, but not in high quantities
- Includes extra vitamins, high quality, proteinate versions of some minerals, and probiotics
- Protein is too low and carbohydrates are too high to be appropriate for your cat
- Uses many filler ingredients
The Chicken Soup 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.
- Chicken Soup Adult (M)
- Chicken Soup Indoor with Hairball Care (M)
- Chicken Soup Weight & Mature Care (M)
- Chicken Soup Kitten (G)
Chicken Soup Adult was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Chicken Soup Adult
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||38%||22%||27%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||46%||23%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Cracked Pearled Barley, Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Peas, White Rice, Oatmeal, Potato Protein, Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Ocean Fish Meal, Flaxseed, Turkey, Duck, Salmon, Sodium Bisulfate, Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Spinach, Cranberries, Rosemary Extract, Parsley Flake, Zinc Oxide, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Zinc Proteinate, L-Carnitine, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganous Oxide, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Copper Proteinate, Inositol, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Cobalt Carbonate
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.
The second 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 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 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 fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Good.
Named animal fats in cat food is usually a good thing. Cats do need a fair amount of fat.
Chicken fat is a great source of healthy fats and omega fatty acids.
It is preferred to canola oil or unnamed animal fats.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is white 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 eighth ingredient is oatmeal. Bad.
Oats are generally a good source of fiber and energy for humans and even other animals, but grains are not biologically appropriate for cats.
We believe that oats of any kind have no place in a recipe that looks to mirror natural feline diets.
There are better options for fiber, like pumpkin or coconut.
The ninth 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.
Potatoes are typically used as filler in grain-free recipes. They are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.
Sodium bisulfate sometimes gets a bad rap because people confuse it for the much different sodium bisulfite (i, instead of a). You’ll see people saying that it’s a disinfectant ingredient.
However, it is a flavor enhancer, probably closer to MSG than anything else. In small quantities it should be fine. Again, bisulfAte is an acid, chemically, whereas bisulfIte is an antioxidant, chemically. They’re different, even though they look similar.
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 Chicken Soup Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is a below average dry product.
Meat is the first ingredient, and it does include a wide variety of different meats, but it’s full filler ingredients.
Fillers are high in both numerical quantity (the number of different fillers used) and crude nutrient quantity (the carbohydrate level of this food is fairly high).
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, regardless of how many types of meat are included. 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 38% protein, 22% fat, and 27% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 38%, and average fat content of 18%, and an average carb content of 28%.
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.
Chicken Soup 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 Chicken Soup brand in the past:
- April 2007 – Possible melamine contamination – 2 recipes affected
- May 2012 – Possible salmonella contamination – All 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 Chicken Soup 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.