Dogswell Nutrisca Grain Free Cat Food (Wet) Review And Nutritional Analysis

Rating

  • Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
  • Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
  • Above average protein content – 1 Star
  • Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 1 Star
  • Catological Discretionary Rating – 0 Star

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

  • Meat is the first ingredient
  • Almost entirely filler free, the only non-meat, vitamin, and mineral ingredients are tapioca, xanthan gum, and sunflower oil
  • Includes extra vitamins and high quality, proteinate versions of some minerals
  • Very good high protein, low carbohydrate recipes
  • The problem we have is that most recipes are wholly reliant on fish, which we do not think should make up the majority of your cat’s diet (fish is a common allergen, fish can be full of toxins from the waterways, and cats don’t typically eat fish in the wild)

The Nutrisca Grain Free product line includes 9 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.

nutrisca grain free wet can food can

Dogswell Nutrisca Grain-Free Tuna & Salmon was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Nutrisca Grain-Free Tuna & Salmon

Wet Cat Food

Estimated Nutrient Content
ProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis10%2.5%NA
Dry Matter Basis59%15%6%
Calorie Weighted Basis59%36%6%

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein

59%

Fat

15%

Carbs

6%

Fiber (guaranteed analysis)

1%

Calories/100g

78

Is real, named meat the first ingredient?

Yes

Ingredients

Tuna Broth, Tuna, Salmon, Sunflower Oil, Tapioca, Tricalcium Phosphate, Xanthan Gum, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Fructooligosaccharide, Salt, Ascorbic Acid, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Niacin, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Calcium Iodate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.

Ingredient Breakdown

The first ingredient in this cat food is tuna broth. OK, but with reservations.

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

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

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

However, we don’t believe cats should eat much fish.

Fish can be allergens to cats, fish may contains toxins from polluted water, and few cats in the wild eat fish.

The second ingredient is tuna. OK, but with reservations.

Cats may love tuna, but tuna is not the best choice for your kitty.

While it is a good, lean protein that contains healthy fatty acids, it is higher in mercury than most other fish.

The mercury in tuna may be more likely to affect your cat than it would a human, since cats are likely to ingest more on a bodyweight to food ratio.

While a little treat now and then likely won’t hurt, there’s no reason to feed your cat tuna as it’s main protein source, when chicken or rabbit options are plentiful.

Cats may also have allergies to fish.

The third ingredient is salmon. OK, but with reservations.

A good source of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.

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

However, do we not believe cats should be fed a diet high in fish.

Cats may be allergic to fish, fish may contain toxins from contaminated waters, and in the wild, it is not common to find cats who eat fish, even if they live close to water.

The fourth ingredient is tapioca. OK, but with reservations.

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 fifth 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 sixth ingredient is xanthan gum. OK, but with reservations.

Xanthan gum is a binding agent.

While this is usually a harmless ingredient and is used in plenty of cat and human foods, some research suggests that cats with inflammatory bowel disease should not consume xanthan gum.

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 utilizes proteinate 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 Nutrisca Wet Cat Food

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

Meat is the first ingredient, the protein is through the roof (which is a good thing), and there are basically no fillers.

We’d like to see a higher fat content, but it’s not bad by any means.

Unfortunately most recipes are heavily fish-based, which we don’t think should make up your cat’s main protein source.

They do offer two chicken recipes, though, which we would highly recommend.

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 one of the only ingredients. We can therefore say that it is a meat-based cat food, which is highly appropriate for your carnivorous feline.

To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 59% protein, 15% fat, and 6% carbs.

As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 58%, and average fat content of 17%, and an average carb content of 5%.

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

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

Because meat is the first ingredient, and almost no fillers are used, our average rating for this brand is 4 stars.

Recommended.

Dogswood Nutrisca 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 Dogswood Nutrisca brand in the past:

  • February 2015 – Potential for salmonella – 1 recipe affected
  • July 2013 – Antibiotic residue – Treat 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 Dogswell Nutrisca 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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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?!

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