Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Crave Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Recommended

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

The product line contains high-quality protein as the first ingredient and is made without soy or grains such as corn or wheat. The recipes focus on protein-rich diets free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Pros
  • High in protein
  • Good quality meat listed as first ingredient
  • No grains or wheat included
  • No artificial ingredients
Cons
  • Contains plant protein
  • Low moisture content

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

The Crave product line includes three dry cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Grain-Free Adult with Protein from Chicken 4 M
Grain-Free Indoor Adult with Protein from Chicken & Salmon 4 M
Grain-Free Adult with Protein from Salmon & Ocean Fish 3 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Crave Grain-Free Adult with Protein from 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.

Grain-Free Adult with Protein from Chicken recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

44.4%

Protein

20%

Fat

27.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, chicken meal (source of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate), pea protein, split peas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tapioca starch, fish meal, dried plain beet pulp, potato protein, natural flavor, dehydrated alfalfa meal, choline chloride, potassium chloride, taurine, mixed tocopherols and citric acid (preservatives), salt, dl-methionine, vitamin E supplement, zinc oxide, calcium carbonate, manganese sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), copper sulfate, D-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), folic acid, potassium iodide, rosemary extract


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

The third ingredient is pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable.  Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.  

And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

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

The seventh ingredient is fish meal. 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

Unfortunately, this particular item is anonymous. Because various fish contain different types of fats, we would have preferred to have known the source species.

The eighth ingredient is dried plain beet pulp.  Beet pulp is a controversial ingredient, a high fiber by-product of sugar beet processing.  

Some denounce beet pulp as an inexpensive filler while others cite its outstanding intestinal health and blood sugar benefits.  We only call your attention here to the controversy and believe the inclusion of beet pulp in reasonable amounts in most cat foods is entirely acceptable.

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 does contain 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.

This recipe receives a 4-star rating.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Crave Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food with Protein from Chicken recipe looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44.4%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 27.6%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 44.4% and an above-average fat level of 19.3%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 28.3% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 43%.

This means this Crave dry cat food contains higher than average protein, near average carbohydrate and higher than average fat, when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

Crave dry cat food is protein-rich and is free from artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.  Good quality meat is listed as the first ingredient and this is why the Cat Food Advisor recommends Crave dry cat food.

Each recipe in the range is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of adult cats, which is the AAFCO ‘Maintenance’ nutrient profile.

Has Crave cat food been recalled in the past?

No. Crave cat food has never had to recall any of its products.

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

Crave was launched in 2017 by Mars Petcare, a division of Mars, Incorporated, one of the largest food manufacturing companies in the world. 

Mars Petcare specializes in producing pet food, treats, and other pet care products. It has a wide range of brands under its umbrella, including well-known names such as Pedigree, Whiskas, Royal Canin, Iams, Nutro, Greenies, and Sheba.

Most of Mars’ brands are not considered premium or high-cost and are generally sold in large commercial pet food stores or grocery stores such as Walmart or Petsmart.

Sources

1, 2: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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