Earthborn Holistic Cat Food (Dry) Review And Nutritional Analysis

Rating

  • 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 – 0.5 Star
  • Catological Discretionary Rating – 0.5 Star

Here’s a few important points:

  • Meat is the first ingredient, and there are a variety of meats used
  • Some filler ingredients are used, but not as much as other brands
  • The macronutrient profile is fairly good (high protein moderate fat, low-ish carbs), but we have to remember that some of that protein is coming from plant-based protein boosters like pea protein
  • Extra vitamins, quality, proteinate versions of some minerals, and some probiotics are added

The Earthborn Holistic product line includes 3 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.

earthborn holistic dry cat food bag

Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Fancy Feast Purely Chicken & Tuna

Dry Cat Food

Estimated Nutrient Content
ProteinFatCarbs
Guaranteed Analysis44%20%NA
Dry Matter Basis49%22%16%
Calorie Weighted Basis41%46%13%

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

Protein

49%

Fat

22%

Carbs

16%

Fiber (guaranteed analysis)

3%

Calories/100g

393

Is real, named meat the first ingredient?

Yes

Ingredients

Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), PeasPotatoes, Dried Egg Product, Herring Meal, Salmon Meal, Ground Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Sweet Potatoes, Whitefish Meal, Blueberry Fiber, Cranberry Fiber, Choline Chloride, Apples, Blueberries, Carrots, Spinach, Cranberries, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a Source of Vitamin E), Taurine, Dl-Methionine, L-Lysine, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Folic Acid, Biotin, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Cobalt Carbonate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Yucca Schidgera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product.

Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.

Ingredient Breakdown

The first ingredient in this cat food is turkey meal. Good.

Turkey is a very good protein source for cats.

Turkey meal is a concentrated form of turkey, and is considered a high quality ingredient.

Ash is the part of dog food that, when burnt away, is left. This is typically mineral content, and is completely normal.

Low ash just means that they are focused on extracting the most protein content, rather than the mineral content of this ingredient.

The second ingredient is chicken meal. Good.

Chicken is a very good protein source for cats.

Chicken meal is a concentrated form of chicken, and is considered a high quality ingredient.

In short, much of the moisture of the chicken is taken away, and you are left with a very high-protein, low-moisture powder-like substance.

The inclusion of chicken meal helps to ensure a very high protein level.

The third ingredient is pea protein. Bad.

Peas are a quality carbohydrate, but cats don’t need much in the way of carbohydrates.

Peas are also rich in protein, and this ingredient is a concentrated form of that protein, which means the actual meat content of this food may be lower than the macronutrient profile suggests.

Peas are not the worst carbohydrate your cat can consume, but they’re simply not at all biologically appropriate.

The fourth ingredient is chicken fat. Good.

Named animal fats in cat food is usually a good thing. Cats do need a fair amount of fat.

Chicken fat is a great source of healthy fats and omega fatty acids.

It is preferred to canola oil or unnamed animal fats.

The fifth ingredient is peas. Bad.

Peas are a quality carbohydrate, but cats don’t need much in the way of carbohydrates.

They are full of fiber, but also contain a fair amount of protein, which we should keep in mind when judging the meat content of this food.

There probably aren’t many peas in here, but there really doesn’t need to be any.

The sixth 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 seventh 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 eighth ingredient is herring meal. OK, but with reservations.

Herring is a good low calorie, high protein fish.

Cats should not eat a lot of fish, but as a secondary ingredient in a food like this, it’s a good way to increase protein.

Just like other ocean fish, higher levels of PCB and dioxin are being found in some herring, thanks to water pollution, so as noted, it should not be a major protein source.

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 you should know about.

Pea fiber is high in insoluble fiber. It is not a biologically appropriate ingredient for cats, and is a filler ingredient used to boost fiber content.

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.

There are also many probiotic strains which help introduce enzymes into the gut to break down the food better and make it more digestible and bioavailable. These are generally considered high quality ingredients.

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 Earthborn Holistic Cat Food

From top to bottom, this is an average dry product.

Meat is the first ingredient, multiple cuts of meat are used, and while fillers are present, they are not in massive quantities.

The protein content is fairly high and the carbohydrate content is fairly low, although this may be because plant-based protein boosters are included.

The problem with this is that plant proteins are not biologically appropriate for your cat, and they can artificially boost the crude protein content on the label, making you believe there is more meat than there actually is.

This is a decent example of the type of food you should be feeding your cat if you choose to feed a dry diet.

Because it has decent protein, but includes pea protein to boost overall protein amount, we have to call this a split meat- and plant-based cat food, which is not entirely appropriate for your carnivorous cat.

To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 49% protein, 22% fat, and 16% carbs.

As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 46%, and average fat content of 20%, and an average carb content of 20%.

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

  • Average protein.
  • Average fat.
  • Average carbs.

Because meat is the first ingredient, but it uses some grain-free fillers and protein boosters, our rating for this brand is 3.5 stars.

Somewhat recommended.

Earthborn Holistic 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 Earthborn Holistic brand in the past:

  • We could find no instances of recalls in Earthborn Holistic’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 Earthborn Holistic 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. 

Not convinced?

Check out our ratings and reviews of the best cat foods in our comprehensive, data-backed guide right here.

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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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