Frequently Asked Questions

It is important to The Cat Food Advisor team that we are transparent and honest about how we review the cat foods and make our recommendations. 

Below we have answered a list of frequently asked questions to explain in more detail what we do and how we do it.

What method do you use to analyze each cat food?

Although there are many ways to rate cat food, we’ve settled on using the only information we feel we can reliably trust.

We read and interpret government-regulated and standardized pet food labels. Nothing more. And we do this in two simple steps.

  1. We study the ingredients list
  2. We estimate the meat content

How do you determine the star rating of a product?

We’re focused on ingredients, nutrient profiles, and recipes.

We tend to dislike cat foods made with low quality plant or generic animal by-products. And we downgrade recipes that use controversial chemical preservatives or plant-based protein boosters.

Yet because we respect that cats are obligate carnivores; we shamelessly favor cat foods rich in meat.

Can you help me choose a cat food?

We truly wish we could take the time to search the many cat foods on our website to help you find one that meets your cat’s personal needs. Unfortunately, time does not permit us to provide personalized product comparisons. 

Since each cat is an individual, it would be impossible for us to suggest foods for your cat on a custom basis, as each cat responds to a particular food in its own way.

What is AAFCO?

In order for a cat food to be marketed as “complete and balanced”, it must meet the nutritional standards established by AAFCO.

These nutritional adequacy standards are defined by two nutrient profiles based upon a cat’s stage of life…

  • Adult maintenance
  • Growth and reproduction

Where can I find the AAFCO nutrient profile for each recipe in a review?

The AAFCO nutrient profile symbol can be found in the list of recipes within every cat food review.

AAFCO Guideline Symbol
All Life Stages A
Adult Maintenance M
Growth & Reproduction** G
Supplemental Feeding Only S
Unspecified on Product’s Webpage U

** Kittens and pregnant or lactating female cats

Who is responsible for ordering a cat food recall?

Recalls are usually voluntary. Sometimes a pet food company discovers a problem and recalls a product on its own. Other times, a company recalls a product after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raises concerns. Only rarely will the FDA order a recall.

What are the most common reasons for a cat food recall?

A cat food can be recalled for almost any reason. A few of the most common causes include contamination with mold, bacteria (like Salmonella) or a toxic substance (such as aflatoxin).

Where can I find a list of cat food recalls?

The Cat Food Advisor has a page detailing the cat food recalls which have happened in America and Canada since 2021. 

To receive alerts of any future recalls, sign up here.

How can I report a cat food problem to the FDA?

The FDA maintains a system to help you report cat food products you suspect to be hazardous or defective.

You can report complaints about FDA-regulated pet food products by calling the consumer complaint coordinator in your area.