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- Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
- Above average protein content – 0 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 1 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 0 Star
Here’s a few important points:
- Meat is the first ingredient
- Very limited ingredient recipes – just 4 ingredients before the vitamins and minerals
- Extra vitamins and high quality, proteinate versions of some minerals have been added
- It’s an OK line up, but we’d like to see higher protein and lower carbohydrates
FirstMate’s 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.
- FirstMate Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Chicken with Blueberries (A)
- FirstMate Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Ocean Fish with Blueberries (A) 2.5 stars
- FirstMate Super Classic (A)
FirstMate Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Chicken with Blueberries was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
FirstMate Grain-Free Limited Ingredient Chicken with Blueberries
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||40%||18%||29%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||36%||39%||26%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Chicken Meal, Potato, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Blueberries, Dl-Methionine, Minerals: (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins: (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Potassium Chloride, Calcium Propionate (a Preservative), Taurine, Yeast Extract (a Source of Prebiotics), Kale, Glucosamine Hydrochloride.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food 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 second ingredient is potato. Bad.
These are typically used as filler in grain-free recipes.
They are not biologically appropriate and may cause digestive upset.
The third 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 fourth ingredient is whole blueberries. Good.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C and fiber.
Their addition is a bit gimmicky and unnecessary, but they won’t do any harm.
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.
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 FirstMate Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is an average dry product.
It is very limited ingredient, which means there’s not a lot of filler ingredients.
That’s good, but judging by the high carbohydrate content, that filler ingredient (potato, mostly), is used far too much.
Protein is on the lower end, and carbohydrates are on the higher end, which is not what you want to see for a quality cat food.
This is a decent, but not great example of a dry food you should be feeding your cat.
While it’s obvious from the ingredient list that this is basically just chicken meal and potatoes with a bit of chicken fat and blueberries, it seems that both chicken meal and potatoes are used heavily. Therefore we can safely assume that this is a mixed meat- and plant-based cat food, which is not quite ideal for your carnivorous feline’s dietary needs.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 40% protein, 18% fat, and 29% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 41%, and average fat content of 20%, and an average carb content of 28%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Average protein.
- Average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because the first ingredient is meat, the ingredients are limited, but the filler ingredient causes a high carbohydrate level, our rating for this brand is 3 stars.
FirstMate’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 FirstMate brand in the past:
- We could find no instances of recalls from FirstMate
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 FirstMate 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.