- Meat is the first ingredient – 0 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 0 Star
- Above average protein content – 0 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 0 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 0 Star
Here’s a few important points:
- Meat is NOT the first ingredient
- This food is mostly made up of corn and other fillers
- Low protein, very high carbohydrate
- One of the worst recipes we have seen
- We do not recommend feeding this to your cat
Friskies product line includes 6 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.
- Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ (A)
- Friskies Indoor Delights (M)
- Friskies Tender & Crunchy (M)
- Friskies Seafood Sensations (A)
- Friskies Chicken, Beef, Turkey, Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp, Cheese (A)
- Friskies Gravy, Chicken, Salmon (A)
Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||34%||13%||38%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||33%||30%||37%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow Preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols (Form of Vitamin E), Meat and Bone Meal, Ocean Fish Meal, Animal Liver Flavor, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Added Color, Choline Chloride, Salmon Meal, Crab Meal, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Red 40, Ferrous Sulfate, Dl-Methionine, Yellow 5, Manganese Sulfate, Blue 2, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Sodium Selenite.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
The first ingredient in this cat food is ground yellow corn. Bad.
Corn is not a biologically appropriate food for cats.
The ingredient used is usually an inexpensive feed-grade corn. There are reports of it including moldy grains and fungus.
It’s not as digestible as meat, it’s not meat protein, which means it isn’t a complete protein that your cat needs, and it’s typically only included as a cheap filler.
Low quality ingredient.
The second ingredient is corn gluten meal. Bad.
Again, corn is not biologically appropriate, and most if not all corn ingredients are cheap fillers.
Corn gluten meal is used as a protein additive, but it is not as digestible as meat protein, and not what your cat needs to be healthy.
AAFCO says that it is “the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.”
Low quality ingredient.
The third ingredient is chicken by-product meal. Bad.
Some people believe by-products are reasonable ingredients, since cats would eat the other parts of an animal in the wild.
This one is even named. “Chicken” is better than “animal by-product”.
However, the fact remains that these are the secondary parts produced in addition to the principal product, which is usually human-grade cuts like the breast, etc.
According to AAFCO, this is the “ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, viscera, and whole carcasses, exclusive of feathers, except unavoidably so.”
A meal is a concentrated form of the product, where moisture is removed and what’s left is a high-protein ingredient.
Cats might eat stuff like this in the wild, but it’s not the most nutritious, high-quality meat product manufacturers can put in their food.
The fourth ingredient is soybean meal. Bad.
Soy is a bad ingredient for cats, particularly soy manufactured in factories in the US, where soy bean protein is used to create other products, compared to Asia, where soy is typically fermented, which makes it much better for the body.
This ingredient has been condensed and had the water removed to create a high-protein meal. We have to remember that this may mean there is even less meat in here than we thought, because this is a plant ingredient that will still increase the protein content on the bag’s label.
Soy contains many anti-nutrients that inhibits your cat’s body from digesting nutrients from the other foods she eats.
The fifth ingredient is beef tallow. Good.
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 Wet 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.
Unfortunately, they use a lot of the single filler ingredient.
With a limited ingredient list like this, you’d want to see a number of different cuts of meat and hopefully no fillers. This would result in a high protein, very low carb recipe.
This particular lineup somehow manages to get a much too high carb level (above average compared to the 2000+ other foods in our database).
Protein is on the average side of things, but 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 wet food you should be feeding your cat.
While it’s obvious from the ingredient list that this is basically just chicken and potatoes, it seems that both chicken 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 50% protein, 18% fat, and 23% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 49%, and average fat content of 21%, and an average carb content of 20%.
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 3.5 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 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.