Evanger’s Cat Food (Dry) Review And Nutritional Analysis
- Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
- Above average protein content – 0 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 0.5 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 0 Star
Evanger’s Organics Chicken is one of our top 2 choices for best organic cat food.
Unfortunately, their dry food options do not live up to this high standard.
Here’s a few important points:
- Uses “novel” protein sources like pheasant and beef, which can be good for cats with allergies to other proteins
- Moderate amount of fillers
- Extra vitamins and minerals have been added to make this a complete meal
- Poor macronutrient profile with low protein and high carbohydrate content
Evanger’s 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.
- Evanger’s Super Premium Pheasant & Whitefish (A) 2 stars
- Evanger’s Holistic Grain-free Meat Lovers’ Medley (A) 3 stars
Evanger’s Super Premium Pheasant & Whitefish was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Evanger’s Super Premium Pheasant & Whitefish
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||37%||19%||33%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||32%||40%||29%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Pheasant, Whitefish, Sweet Potatoes, Canola Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Peas, Duck, Oatmeal, Millet, Potato Protein, Flaxseed Meal, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Celery, Beets, Parsley, Lettuce, Watercress, Spinach, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dried Tomato Pomace, Dl-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Lysine, Salt, Cranberries, Blueberries, Dried Apple Pomace, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vegetable Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin Supplement, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Citric Acid (Natural Preservative), Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food is pheasant. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, pheasant is a good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that birds like this contain upwards of 60-70% water, so when it is processed and cooked for use in cat food, it will become a smaller part of the total recipe.
Pheasant is a lean, high protein, low fat piece of meat, and provides a variety of vitamins and minerals to your cat.
The second ingredient is whitefish. OK, but with reservations.
“Whitefish” is a bit of a difficult term in the cat food industry, because it may mean any number of fish.
However, it seems that most whitefish labels mean tilefish, a small, commercially fished ingredient, that is high in protein and fat.
Fish are not often eaten in the wild by cats, and this particular fish may pose a high risk of mercury poisoning.
If this is, indeed, tilefish, the FDA has warned pregnant women not to consume it due to high mercury levels.
It is likely not present in high enough quantities to worry, but the risk remains.
The third ingredient is sweet potatoes. 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 your cat, it is not biologically appropriate.
It may be hard to digest, and is unnecessary.
The fourth ingredient is canola oil. Good.
This is actually a useful source of fats for energy and a healthy coat. It contains useful omega 3 fatty acids and less saturated fat than other vegetable oils.
Some people choose to only use fish oils for these benefits, but we could find no studies that showed canola oil to be harmful or less than ideal.
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 duck. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, duck is a good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that duck 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 seventh ingredient is oatmeal. Bad.
Oats are generally a good source of fiber and energy for humans and even other animals, but grains are not biologically appropriate for cats.
We believe that oats of any kind have no place in a recipe that looks to mirror natural feline diets.
There are better options for fiber, like pumpkin or coconut.
The eighth ingredient is millet. Bad.
One of the more nutrient-dense cereal grains, millet is still a grain and is not appropriate for your cat’s diet.
The ninth ingredient is potato protein. Bad.
Potatoes are usually used as filler carbohydrates, but potato protein is the concentrated form of potato that gives it a high protein count.
Potatoes are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.
Plant-based proteins are added to pet food in order to boost the crude protein amount on the label.
This usually means there is less meat than you expect, since the protein that you expect to come from meat, is actually coming from a vegetable source, which is not great for your cat.
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.
Tomato pomace is basically a by-product of tomatoes after they have been used for sauces, ketchup, and the likes.
Some say it’s a useful form of fiber, while some say it’s a pointless, cheap, filler ingredient.
Whatever the case, there’s probably not enough to make much of a difference here.
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 Evanger’s Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an average dry product.
It does include a variety of meats, but obviously not very much.
Even with the addition of a non-biologically appropriate plant-based protein booster, the protein content in this food is very low.
That leads us to believe there is not very much meat in here at all.
As such, we think it’s safe to say this is mostly a plant-based cat food, which is not biologically appropriate for your carnivorous cat.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 37% protein, 19% fat, and 33% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 36%, and average fat content of 17%, and an average carb content of 34%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Below average protein.
- Average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because it the first ingredient is meat, but it’s full of fillers and low in protein, our rating for this brand is 2.5 stars.
Evanger’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 Evanger brand in the past:
- 2017 – Serious concerns about pentobarbital, an animal euthanasia drug, being present in a variety of dog foods, among other FDA violations
- 2011 – FDA violations
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 Evanger’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.
Check out our ratings and reviews of the best cat foods in our comprehensive, data-backed guide right here.