Our review process is unbiased and based on extensive research. If you buy through the links on our site, we may earn a commission.
- 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 – 1 Star
Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein dry food is one of our top 5 choices for best dry cat food overall.
We were pleased to see that their wet cat food is equally good, and is easily one of the best wet foods available as well.
Here’s a few important points:
- Meat is the first, and pretty much only ingredient
- There are no fillers. The closest they come is an all-natural thickening/gelling agent and a bit of healthy grass
- No added carbs, and the protein and fat content is very close to what your cat would eat in the wild
- Almost nothing to dislike about it, highly recommended
Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein product line includes 5 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.
- Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Turkey (A)
- Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Chicken (A)
- Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Whitefish (A)
- Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Beef (A)
- Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Salmon (A)
Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Turkey was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dr. Elsey’s Cleanprotein Turkey
Wet Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||50%||41%||0%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||35%||70%||0%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Agar-Agar, Barley Grass, Choline Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Salmon Oil, Turmeric, Dried New Zealand Green Mussels, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Magnesium 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.
The first ingredient in this cat food is turkey. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, turkey is a very good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that turkey 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 turkey broth. Good.
Instead of using water for processing, turkey broth is added for moisture.
Broth may contain vitamins and nutrients from the original animal (turkey, in this case), that water would lack.
This is usually a sign of a high quality food.
The third ingredient is turkey 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 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
After natural flavors, which are fine, the fifth ingredient is potassium chloride. Good.
This is simply a standard source of potassium, which helps to balance acidity levels in your cat, among other things.
The sixth 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.
The seventh ingredient is barley grass. Good.
While this is mostly a gimmicky ingredient, which is likely not present in enough quantities to do much, it is a quality ingredient, full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to help your cat digest things better.
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 proteinate form, which means they will be easier to digest and absorb, which is an indicator of quality.
Dried New Zealand Green Mussels come from the New Zealand coast, and are added to a number of high quality New Zealand-made recipes. They contain properties that help reduce inflammation, and support the repair of cartilage. Therefore, they are beneficial to your kitty’s joint health.
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 Wet Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an above average wet product.
It is almost entirely made up of meat, there are no carbohydrate fillers, and it’s packed with extra vitamins, minerals, and digestive enzymes. It ticks pretty much all the boxes you’re looking for in a quality canned food.
This is a perfect example of the type of food you should be feeding your cat if you choose to feed a wet 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 50% protein, 41% fat, and 0% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 52%, and average fat content of 37%, 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 4.5 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 Wet 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.