Written by John Seeberg

Julia Ogden

Reviewed by Julia Ogden

Updated: January 18, 2024

Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Recommended with Reservations

Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 3.5 stars

This range of food lists animal protein as the first ingredient, although plant based proteins are included.  These recipes also have added vitamins and minerals, so offer a reasonably well balanced diet.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Animal protein is listed as first ingredient
Cons
  • Relatively low protein levels
  • Above average fat levels versus other dry cat foods
  • More than one controversial ingredient

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

Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Dry Food product line includes four cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Classic Kitten Dry Food - Chicken, Brown Rice & Pea Recipe 4 G
Classic Adult Cat Dry Food - Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe 3.5 A
Classic Adult Dry Cat Food - Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe 3.5 A
Classic Indoor Cat Dry Food - Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe 3.5 A

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Adult Dry Cat Food – Salmon & Brown Rice 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.

Classic Adult Dry Cat Food - Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

37.8%

Protein

20%

Fat

34.2%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Salmon, chicken meal, turkey meal, brown rice, peas, faba beans, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed, pearled barley, potato protein, natural flavor, dried egg product, sodium bisulfate, calcium carbonate, choline chloride, salt, taurine, mixed tocopherols (preservative), citric acid (preservative), dried chicory root, dried kelp, carrots, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, cranberries, rosemary extract, parsley flakes, vitamin e supplement, zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, niacin supplement, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate, ferrous sulfate, yucca schidigera extract, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, D-calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, copper proteinate, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid, cobalt carbonate, inositol, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement.


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is salmon.  Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every cat to sustain life.

The second and third ingredients are chicken and turkey meal.  Both are considered a meat concentrate and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken or turkey.

The fourth ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest.  However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The fifth and sixth ingredients are  peas and faba beans, which 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 seventh ingredient is canola oilUnfortunately, canola can be a controversial item.  That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed.

Yet others cite the fact that canola oil can be a significant source of  omega-3 fatty acids.

In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a cat than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

The eighth ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.

Flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual 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.

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

Also, this food also contains chelated minerals that have been chemically attached to protein.  This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better cat foods.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Adult Dry Food – Salmon & Brown Rice Recipe looks like an average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 37.8%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 34.2%.

As a group, the brand features an near-average protein content of 37.8% and an above-average fat level of 19.2%.  Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 35.1% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 51%.

This means this Chicken Soup for the Soul Classic Dry Cat Food range contains near-average protein, near-average carbohydrate, higher than average fat, when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

This range of food lists animal protein as the first ingredient, although plant based proteins are used,  so this needs to be considered when evaluating protein levels.  Fat content is higher than average versus other dry cat foods.

Has Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes. Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food has been recalled twice – in 2007 and again in 2012. 

In 2007, several varieties of the brand’s kitten and puppy food were recalled due to potential melamine contamination. This recall was one of many issued that year after multiple manufacturers received melamine-contaminated vegetable proteins from a major supplier in China.

In 2012, a salmonella outbreak meant that Diamond Pet Foods – which owns Chicken Soup for the Soul – had to recall multiple brands manufactured in its Gaston, South Carolina plant.  All Chicken Soup for the Soul products were recalled.

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

Chicken Soup for the Soul brand was created in 1993 and is owned by Diamond Pet Food which was founded in 1970 by Gary Schell and Richard Kampeter.

Chicken Soup for the Soul cat food was manufactured by Diamond Pet Food through 2012, but is now manufactured by a co-packer headquartered in Utah.  All of the brand’s foods are made in the United States.  

The company sources ingredients from around the world, but not source ingredients — including vitamins, minerals, and amino acids — from China.

Sources

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