Dave’s Restricted Diet Cat Food (Wet) Review And Nutritional Analysis

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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 – 1 Star
  • Catological Discretionary Rating – 0.5 Star

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

  • IMPORTANT: These are Supplemental cat foods, and are NOT meant to be a complete diet for your cat. They do not meet the AAFCO guidelines for a complete, well rounded diet.
  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • Very limited filler ingredients
  • Includes extra vitamins, and high quality, proteinate versions of some minerals
  • The recipes are fairly high in fiber

The Restricted Diet product line includes 2 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.

daves restricted diet wet canned cat food

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Magnesium & Phosphorus Pork Recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Dave’s Pet Food Restricted Diet Magnesium & Phosphorus

Wet Cat Food

Estimated Nutrient Content
Guaranteed Analysis9.5%6.75%NA
Dry Matter Basis45%32%8%
Calorie Weighted Basis34%59%6%

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content







Fiber (guaranteed analysis)




Is real, named meat the first ingredient?



Pork, Pork Broth, Pork Liver, PotatoesPea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Agar-Agar, Parsley, Carrots, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Citrate, Dl-Methionine, Alfalfa Meal, Calcium Carbonate, Beta-Carotene, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide, Folic Acid.

Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.

Ingredient Breakdown

The first ingredient in this cat food is pork. Good.

While pork is not a popular cat food ingredient, it likely doesn’t deserve the bad rap it’s got.

It seems that most of the worry revolves around raw meat.

And even then, the likelihood of your cat picking up a disease such as Trichinella, is very small.

As an somewhat novel protein source, it’s perfectly fine in this food.

The second ingredient is pork broth. Good.

Instead of using water for processing, pork broth is added for moisture.

Broth may contain vitamins and nutrients from the original animal (pork, in this case), that water would lack.

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

The third ingredient is pork 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 fourth ingredient is potatoes. Bad.

These are typically used as filler in grain-free recipes.

They are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.

The fifth ingredient is pea fiber. Bad.

Pea fiber is high in insoluble fiber.

It is not a biologically appropriate ingredient for cats, and is a filler ingredient to boost fiber content.

After natural flavors, which are fine, the sixth ingredient is salmon oil. Good.

A good source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

Fish oils, like this salmon oil, support the health of the skin, coat, joint, kidneys, heart, and immune system, and may even help with serious illnesses such as cancer.

The seventh ingredient is tricalcium phosphate. Good.

Tricalcium phosphate is both a useful phosphorous supplement to help regulate acidity in the body, and an emulsifier.

It helps the food stay together a bit more in general, but without “caking” or “clumping”.

The eighth ingredient is agar-agar. Good.

Agar-agar is derived from a red seaweed, but is different from carrageenan.

It is used as a “gelling” substance, which helps keep food together.

Although they are both red seaweeds, it seems agar-agar does not suffer from the same potentially carcinogenic qualities as carrageenan.

Until we find research to prove that they are the same just because they both come from red seaweeds, we believe agar is a better gelling agent than most others used.

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 Dave’s Restricted Diet Wet Cat Food

From top to bottom, this is an above average wet product.

Meat is the first ingredient, and it includes quality organ meats.

It includes minimal filler ingredients, which is great.

As noted, these are both supplemental diets, and NOT meant to be well rounded or healthy enough to make up the entirety of your cat’s diet.

Talk to your vet if you are looking to feed these foods, as they are made for very specific reasons.

This is a good example of a wet food you should be feeding to your cat as a supplemental meal if your cat requires it for a health issue.

Based on the ingredients and the macronutrient profiles, meat likely plays a major role in the recipe. We can therefore say that it is likely a meat-based cat food, which is appropriate for your carnivorous feline.

To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 45% protein, 32% fat, and 8% carbs.

As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 36%, and average fat content of 29%, and an average carb content of 15%.

Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:

  • Below average protein.
  • Above average fat.
  • Average carbs.

Because meat comes first, minimal fillers are used, and the macronutrient profile is fairly good, our average rating for this SUPPLEMENTAL brand is 3.5 stars.

Recommended for specific health issues requiring a restricted diet.

Dave’s Pet Food 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 Dave’s Pet Food brand in the past:

  • June 2018 – Potentially elevated levels of thyroid hormone – 1 recipe affected
  • December 2015 – “Off odor”, potential rancidity – 1 recipe 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 Dave’s Naturally Healthy 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. 

Emily Parker

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!