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- 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 – 0.5 Star
Here’s a few important points:
- Meat is the first ingredient
- Includes organ meat, which is a high quality ingredient for felines
- Fairly low filler quantity, although the fillers are still unnecessary
- Extra vitamins and minerals have been added to make this a complete meal
- Reasonably good protein, fat, and carbohydrate content
Evanger’s Heritage Classics product line includes 3 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.
- Evanger’s Heritage Classics Chicken Lickin’ (A)
- Evanger’s Heritage Classics Goin’ Fishin’ (A)
- Evanger’s Heritage Classics Beef-it-Up (A)
Evanger’s Heritage Classics Chicken Lickin’ was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Evanger’s Heritage Classics Chicken Lickin’
Wet Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||45%||27%||11%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||37%||54%||9%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Butternut Squash, Tomato Paste, Guar Gum, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate [Source of Vitamin C], Thiamine Mononitrate [Source of Vitamin B1], Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Source of Vitamin B6], Riboflavin Supplement [Source of Vitamin B2], Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Minerals (Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide).
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 very 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 chicken broth. Good.
Instead of using water for processing, chicken broth is added for moisture.
Broth may contain vitamins and nutrients from the original animal (chicken, in this case), that water would lack.
This is usually a sign of a high quality food.
The third ingredient is chicken 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 butternut squash. OK, but with reservations.
While cat’s do not require much in the way of carbohydrates, some companies choose whole-foods in order to provide a kick of vitamins and minerals.
Although squash provides unnecessary carbohydrates, it is lower calorie and lower in carbs than sweet potato (which is popular in many recipes), so it is one of the least offensive plant-based additives.
The fifth ingredient is tomato paste. OK, but with reservations.
Tomato is OK, but is usually just a gimmick or whole food additive that companies use to make their ingredients “seem” better to human shoppers.
There’s probably not enough nutritional value to make a difference, though too many tomatoes may be too acidic for your cat and cause digestive upset.
The sixth ingredient is guar gum. OK, but with reservations.
Guar gum comes from guar beans, and is a thickening agent.
In small quantities, like those in cat food, it should be a harmless ingredient.
However, some research has shown that including guar gum in a commercial cat food “had a significant negative effect on apparent protein digestibility in many of the cats and tended to depress apparent fat and energy digestibilities.”
While not heavily substantiated beyond this study, it might mean your cat needs to eat more protein to make up for the lower digestibility.
The seventh ingredient is flaxseed. 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, but there is no information given in this ingredient to determine if it is made bioavailable by grinding or flaking.
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.
It uses brewer’s dried 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.
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 Heritage Classics Wet Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an above average wet product.
It includes a decent amount of meat, including organ meat, which makes it very good for your kitty.
While we think adding vegetables as main ingredients is gimmicky and unnecessary, the vegetables they use are mostly inoffensive in terms of being damaging to your cat.
The protein in this is roughly average, and the carbs are fairly low, so we are confident in saying that this is a mostly meat-based cat food, which is appropriate for your carnivorous feline’s dietary needs.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 45% protein, 27% fat, and 11% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 45%, and average fat content of 27%, and an average carb content of 11%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Average protein.
- Above average fat.
- Average carbs.
Because it the first ingredient is meat, the filler ingredient’s aren’t too bad, and the macronutrient profile is fairly good, our rating for this brand is 4 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 Heritage Classics 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.
Check out our ratings and reviews of the best cat foods in our comprehensive, data-backed guide right here.