Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Canidae PURE Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Recommended

Canidae PURE dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 4 stars.

The Canidae PURE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food recipes are for cats with a sensitive stomach. Each recipe is made with seven or eight key ingredients that are easily recognizable. 

Canidae PURE dry cat food is made from a variety of formulas with real meat or fish first, paired with whole ingredients such as sweet potatoes, peas, or chickpeas and never corn, wheat or soy.

Pros
  • Limited grain-free ingredients for cats with a sensitive stomach
  • High protein for premium nutrition
  • Real meat listed as first ingredient across the recipe range
  • Made with whole foods
Cons
  • Expensive

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

The Canidae PURE product line includes four cat dry foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Grain-Free Tuna Recipe for Indoor Cats 3 A
Grain-Free Chicken Recipe 4 A
Grain-Free Salmon Recipe 4 A
3-in-1 Goodness Freeze Dried Raw Beef Liver Natural Cat Food Treat 5 A

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Canidae PURE Dry Cat Food: Grain-Free Chicken 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.

Canidae PURE Dry Cat Food: Grain-Free Chicken Recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

38.5%

Protein

19.8%

Fat

33.8%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, turkey meal, peas, potatoes, chicken meal, chicken fat, dried whole egg, natural flavor, choline chloride, dl-methionine, salmon oil, taurine, mixed tocopherols, vitamin e supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, manganese sulfate, sodium selenite, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), biotin, d-calcium pantothenate, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, zinc proteinate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite, complex, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum 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 ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.

However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The fourth ingredient is potatoes.  Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The fifth ingredient is chicken meal.  Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken. 

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 dried whole egg, a dehydrated powder made from shell-free eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The eighth ingredient is natural flavor.  Natural flavors doesn’t give us much information about the particular ingredients included in this cat food for flavoring purposes.  

We’re pleased that the flavorings used are natural, but more details are required to give any further information about these natural flavoring ingredients. Flavorings are used to make the foods more appealing and tasty for our cats.

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.

However, this recipe 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.

We also note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

Recipe star rating: 4

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Canidae PURE Dry Cat Food: Grain-Free Chicken Recipe looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 38.5%, a fat level of 19.8% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 33.8%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 44.1% and a near average fat level of 15.5%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32.4% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 39%.

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

Final Word

The Canidae PURE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food product line is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO cat food nutrient profiles for all life stages.  It lists high quality meat sources as the first ingredient across all recipes.

Has Canidae cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes.  In 2012, the company recalled several of its foods due to salmonella contamination. The affected foods were all made by one of the companies that Canidae outsources production to.

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

Canidae was founded in 1996 by Scott Whipple and John Gordon. It is an independently-owned pet food company that’s still under the control of its original owners.  

Some of its food is made at the Ethos Pet Nutrition facility in Brownwood, Texas, using natural ingredients that the company raised or grew itself. However, a good portion of its food is made by outside manufacturing plants.

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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