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- 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 – 1 Star
Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken is one of our top 5 choices for best dry cat food overall.
Here’s a few important points:
- Uses chicken and high-protein meat concentrates
- Uses gelatin, an animal based setting agent, with extra protein, rather than a plant or synthetic ingredient
- No added carbs
- Near-perfect macronutrient profile
Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein product line includes 2 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.
Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Chicken
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content
|Dry Matter Basis
|Calorie Weighted Basis
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil, Potassium Citrate, Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharide, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Calcium Carbonate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Ethylenediamine Dihydroiodide), Potassium Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Taurine, Salt, Rosemary Extract.
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 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 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 third ingredient is pork protein isolate. Good.
Pork protein isolate is very much like a meal, but even more concentrated, and high in protein.
It is a high quality ingredient that allows the recipe to reach a very high protein level.
The fourth ingredient is gelatin. Good.
Gelatin binds high meat protein kibbles.
It is preferable to other plant and synthetic binders, and actually adds a bit more protein.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat (preserved with natural tocopherols). Good.
Mixed tocopherols are a natural preservative, and better than synthetic options.
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 sixth ingredient is flaxseeds. Good.
Flaxseed provides a quality omega-3 fatty acid source, and nutritive fiber to the recipe.
Ignoring natural flavors, which are fine, the seventh 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.
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.
The minerals are presented in their chelated form, which means they will be easier to digest and absorb, which is an indicator of quality.
Fructooligosaccharide is present, which is a prebiotic. It helps gut health by providing a healthy population of Bifidobacteria in the large intestine.
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 Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an above average dry product.
From the meats, including high-protein concentrates, to the lack of carbohydrates, to the addition of important minerals, vitamins, and prebiotics, this just ticks all of the boxes.
This is a perfect example of the type of food you should be feeding your cat if you choose to feed a dry diet.
Since meat shows up frequently, and right at the top of the ingredient list, we can assume that this is a meat-based cat food, with enough meat to make it biologically appropriate for a cat’s dietary needs.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 67% protein, 20% fat, and 0% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 65%, and average fat content of 20%, and an average carb content of 0%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Above average protein.
- Average fat.
- Below average carbs.
Because it is full of quality meat products and biologically appropriate, our rating for this brand is 5 stars.
Dr. Elsey’s 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 Dr. Elsey’s brand in the past:
- We could find no recall information for Dr. Elsey’s cat food.
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 Dr. Elsey’s Dry 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.