Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Cat Food (Freeze-Dried) Review And Nutritional Analysis
*** Unfortunately. Dr. Harvey’s Cat Food line has been discontinued. We had it as one of our top-rated cat foods. Our review below is left for reference. ***
- 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 – 0.5 Star
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Chicken is one of our top 2 choices for best high fiber cat food for digestion.
Here’s a few important points:
- Freeze-dried meat allows for high levels of nutrient retention and high protein
- Added vitamins and minerals
- Added carbohydrates are mostly for vitamins and minerals, not filler, though there are too many
- Proteinate forms of minerals for easier absorption
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle product line includes 2 freeze-dried 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. Harvey’s Oracle Beef (A)
- Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Chicken (A)
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Chicken was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Dr. Harvey’s Oracle Chicken
Freeze-Dried Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||52%||15%||18%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||49%||34%||17%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Freeze-Dried Chicken, Whole Egg, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Flax Seed Meal, Calcium Citrate, Green Beans, Zucchini, Broccoli, Peas, Beets, Parsley, Dried Yeast, Lecithin, Alfalfa, Dried Kelp, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Ground Fenugreek, Dried Ground Fennel, Dried Ground Ginger, Dried Ground Peppermint, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Acetate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food is freeze-dried 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 usually 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.
However, this freeze-dried option means the water has already been removed, and all that’s left is a very protein-rich ingredient. It will absorb water when you prepare the food, though, and be easy to eat and digest.
The second ingredient is whole egg. 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 sweet potato. OK, but with reservations.
Normally sweet potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and fiber, with less sugar than beets.
However, cats do not require carbohydrates like this, and while it won’t necessarily hurt the cat, it is not biologically appropriate.
It may be hard to digest, and is unnecessary.
The fourth ingredient is carrot. OK, but with reservations.
Carrots are fine, but not strictly necessary.
They are a source of beta-carotene, but cats can only convert a little beta-carotene into vitamin A at a time.
They end up storing the vitamin for growth and cell reproduction. Therefore, carrots may be useful for younger cats and kittens while they’re still growing, but are otherwise a somewhat gimmicky and unnecessary ingredient.
The fifth ingredient is flaxseed meal. Good.
Flaxseed provides a quality omega-3 fatty acid source, and nutritive fiber to the recipe.
It can only be digested when the outer shell is removed or destroyed, so meal ensures that it is digestible and bioavailable.
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 still a few things you should know about.
This recipe uses dried yeast, which may be dried brewer’s yeast, which is a by-product of brewing beer. It is used for flavoring and for protein and B-vitamins.
However, some reports suggest that it can become very toxic to the liver, causing allergies and arthritis, in large doses.
It also contains lecithin, which improves vitamin absorption and contains essential omega 3 fatty acids. However, since the source is not identified, it could come from soybeans, which some people don’t like, due to GMO concerns.
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 Dr. Harvey’s Oracle
From top to bottom, this is an above average product.
From the high-protein dehydrated meat, to the fairly small amounts of each carbohydrate addition, to the addition of important minerals and vitamins, this just ticks many of the boxes.
This is a good example of the type of food you should be feeding your cat, although it does contain a lot of gimmicky fruit and vegetable ingredients in small quantities.
Since meat shows up on top and egg is the only other main protein source, we can assume that this is a meat-based cat food.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 52% protein, 15% fat, and 18% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 53%, and average fat content of 14%, and an average carb content of 18%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Above average protein.
- Average fat.
- Average carbs.
Because it contains quality meat products and a variety of helpful nutrients, our rating for this brand is 4.5 stars.
Dr. Harvey’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. Harvey’s brand in the past:
- We could not find any recalls in Dr. Harvey’s history
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. Harvey’s Oracle 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.