Julia Ogden

Written by Julia Ogden

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

By Nature Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

star
star
star
star
star

Recommended with Reservations

By Nature dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 3 stars.

The food is made with natural ingredients and aims to provide a wholesome and nutritious diet for cats. The brand emphasizes using high-quality protein sources, such as real meat or fish, as the main ingredient in its formulas. The recipes also incorporate a mix of fruits, vegetables, and other beneficial ingredients to support overall feline health.

Pros
  • Both recipes list high-quality meat protein as first ingredients
  • High in protein
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Recipes use plant based ingredients
  • It contains at least one controversial ingredient

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

The product line includes two cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Chicken and Turkey Meal Recipe 3 A
Salmon and Menhaden Fish Meal Recipe 3 A

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Recipe and Label Analysis

The By Nature Chicken and Turkey Meal recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

By Nature Chicken and Turkey Meal recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

38.9%

Protein

18.9%

Fat

34.2%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, turkey meal, yellow peas, lentils, whitefish meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tapioca starch, fava beans, pea protein, natural flavor, menhaden fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried alfalfa, coconut oil, lecithin, apple cider vinegar, dl-methionine, choline chloride, chicory root extract, pumpkin meal, dried kelp, salt, taurine, dried ginger, dried turmeric, dried spinach, dried blueberry, dried cranberry, dried goji berry, natural mixed tocopherols, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, rice hulls, vitamin E supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, silicon dioxide, vegetable oil, rosemary extract, niacin supplement, dried kelp, mineral oil, d-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A acetate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, citric acid, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid, potassium chloride, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulphate, manganese proteinate,copper proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus reuteri fermentation product


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is chicken.  Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”. 1

Chicken is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

The second ingredient is turkey meal.  Turkey meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh turkey.

The third and fourth ingredients are yellow peas and lentils.  Both are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber. However, they contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The fifth ingredient is whitefish meal, a marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.  Because it is considered a meat concentrate, fish meal contains almost 300% more protein than fresh fish itself.

Fish meal is typically obtained from the “clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings” of commercial fish operations. 2

The sixth ingredient is chicken fat.  Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.  

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The seventh ingredient is tapioca starch, a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The eighth ingredient is fava beans, legumes naturally high in dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.

However, just like yellow peas and lentils, fava beans contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

From here the list goes on to include a number of other items. But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of the product.

This recipe also contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.

Recipe star rating: 3

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, By Nature Chicken and Turkey Meal recipe looks like an  average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 38.9%, a fat level of 18.9% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 34.2%.

As a group, the brand features a near average protein content of 38.9% and an above-average fat level of 18.9%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 34.2% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 49%.

This means the By Nature dry product line contains average protein, near average carbohydrate and higher than average fat, when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

By Nature offers different dry cat food recipes to cater to various life stages and dietary preferences. The product line contains at least one questionable ingredient, or filler, however, it lists a high-quality meat protein as the first ingredient.

Has By Nature cat food been recalled in the past?

No.

You can view a complete list of all cat food recalls since 2021 here.

To stay on top of any cat food product recalls, sign up for our free email alerts, here.

About

By Nature Cat Food is owned by the Golladay family.  It was founded by Jim Golladay, around 40 years ago, who started making pet food in a small feed mill in Rogers, Ohio. He moved operations to Lisbon, Ohio, after outgrowing the Rogers facility.

Jim found slow cooking pet foods created a higher starch conversion that led to increased stamina and energy. Nationally recognized pet nutrition researchers at Kansas State University confirmed this fact after months of testing.

Sources

1, 2: Association of American Feed Control Officials

We uphold the highest editorial standards when creating the authoritative content pet parents rely on and trust.

Every piece of clinical content on the Cat Food Advisor is reviewed by our certified Veterinary Advisory Board, which consists of licensed veterinarians and medically certified specialists.

Our reviews are completely independent; we are not paid by any pet food company to promote their products favorably. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration. For more information see our Disclaimer & Disclosure page.

Vet with cat