*** The Holistic Select Cat Food Line is being discontinued. This review is left here for reference. ***
- 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
Here’s a few important points:
- Meat is the first ingredient
- The fillers are all grain-free, but they’re still fillers and they’re still used in large quantities
- For having such a good wet food, it’s disappointing to see their dry offering is not great
- Protein is low, carbs are high (not a good combination)
- Includes added vitamins, high-quality, proteinate versions of some minerals, and probiotics
The Holistic Select product line includes 5 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.
- Holistic Select Adult & Kitten Chicken (A)
- Holistic Select Indoor Turkey (M)
- Holistic Select Adult Anchovy (M)
- Holistic Select Adult Duck (M)
- Holistic Select Adult Rabbit (M)
Holistic Select Indoor Turkey was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Holistic Select Indoor Turkey
Dry Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||37%||13%||34%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||36%||31%||33%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Deboned Turkey, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Fiber, Dried Molasses Beet Pulp, Pumpkin, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Cranberries, Apples, Brewers Dried Yeast, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Calcium Chloride, Papayas, Blueberries, Pomegranates, Vitamin E Supplement, Inulin, L-Carnitine, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Zinc Sulfate, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glucosamine Hydrochloride, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Ground Cinnamon, Ground Fennel, Ground Peppermint, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Dried Lactobacillus bulgaricus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus thermophilus Fermentation Product, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dried Bacillus licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma reesei Fermentation Product, Dried Rhizopus oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
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.
The second 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 third 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 fourth ingredient is deboned turkey. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, turkey is a very good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that turkey 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 fifth 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.
The sixth 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 seventh ingredient is pea fiber. Bad.
Pea fiber is high in insoluble fiber.
It is not a biologically appropriate ingredient for cats, and is a filler ingredient to boost fiber content.
The eighth ingredient is dried molasses beet pulp. OK, but with reservations.
This is a by-product of extracting sugar from beets.
There is almost no sugar remaining, just a natural fiber source.
In ultra high doses, it may cause stomach distress, but overall it seems to be a useful, low-cost fiber additive.
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 also 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.
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 Holistic Select Dry Cat Food
From top to bottom, this is a below average wet food.
Meat is the first ingredient.
However, it’s clear from the ingredient list and the macronutrient profile that fillers are used extensively.
Fillers may be grain free in this case, but that doesn’t make them good or biologically appropriate for your cat.
Protein levels are very low and carbohydrate levels are quite high, neither of which you want to see in a quality cat food.
This is NOT a good example of a dry food you should be feeding your cat.
Since it’s clear that plant products make up too much of this food, we can assume that this is a mostly plant-based food, which is not ideal for your carnivorous feline’s dietary needs.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 37% protein, 13% fat, and 34% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 36%, and average fat content of 19%, and an average carb content of 30%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Below average protein.
- Average fat.
- Above average carbs.
Because meat is the first ingredient, but the high amount of fillers cause protein to be too low and carbohydrates to be too high, our rating for this brand is 2.5 stars.
Holistic Select 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 Holistic Select brand in the past:
- We could not find any evidence of a recall in Holistic Select’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 Holistic Select 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.