Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: August 8, 2023

Diamond Naturals Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: August 8, 2023

Our Verdict

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Recommended

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

Every dry formula is made with superfood ingredients — a source of antioxidants and other essential nutrients — as well as  probiotics for digestive and immune support.

Pros
  • Includes antioxidants & probiotics
  • Made with fiber-rich flaxseed
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Low in moisture content
  • The brand has had multiple recalls

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

The Diamond Naturals product line includes three dry cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Active Cat, Chicken Meal & Rice formula 4 A
Indoor Cat, Chicken & Rice formula 3.5 M
Kitten, Chicken & Rice formula 4 G

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Diamond Naturals Kitten Chicken & Rice Formula 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.

Kitten Chicken & Rice Formula

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

37.8%

Protein

24.4%

Fat

29.8%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, chicken meal, grain sorghum, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), dried yeast, ground white rice, fish meal, salmon meal, egg product, natural flavor, flaxseed, salmon oil (source of dha), dl-methionine, potassium chloride, salt, choline chloride, taurine, dried chicory root, kale, chia seed, pumpkin, blueberries, oranges, quinoa, dried kelp, coconut, spinach, carrots, papaya, yucca schidigera extract, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid. contains a source of live (viable), naturally occurring microorganisms


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2%

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 grain sorghum.  Sorghum (milo) is a starchy cereal grain with a nutrient profile similar to corn.  Since it is gluten-free and boasts a smoother blood sugar behavior than other grains, sorghum may be considered an acceptable non-meat ingredient.

The fourth 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 fifth ingredient is dried yeast.  Dried yeast can be a controversial item. It contains about 45% protein and is rich in other healthy nutrients. 

Fans believe yeast repels fleas and supports the immune system.  Critics argue yeast ingredients can be linked to allergies. This may be true, but (like all allergies) only if your particular cat is allergic to the yeast itself.  In any case,  unless your cat is specifically allergic to it, we feel yeast should be considered an addition.

The sixth ingredient is ground white rice, a less nutritious form of rice in which the grain’s healthier outer layer has been removed.

The seventh and eighth ingredients are fish meal and salmon meal. Because they are considered a meat concentrate, fish and salmon meal contain 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

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, Diamond Naturals Kitten Chicken & Rice Formula looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 37.8%, a fat level of 24.4% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 29.8%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 39.3% and an above-average fat level of 20.7%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 53%.

This means the Diamond Naturals 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

Every Diamond Natural Dry formula is made with superfood ingredients — a source of antioxidants and other essential nutrients — and guaranteed probiotics for digestive and immune support.

Each recipe in the range is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of cats at different stages of life such as Adult.  The range also caters for all life stages.

Has Diamond cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes, Diamond Pet Foods has had recalls in the past.

The most recent was in March 2013, when they recalled Diamond Naturals cat food due to potentially low levels of thiamine. 

In April and May 2012, there was a large recall of Diamond and Diamond Naturals, plus several other brands.  Samples of Diamond’s own pet food tested positive for salmonella, which then prompted other brands produced at Diamond’s plant in Gaston, South Carolina, to be recalled including Taste of the Wild and Natural Balance.

In October 2009, Diamond Pet Food recalled two of its cat food brands after cats were reported to have shown neurological symptoms.  The foods affected were: Premium Edge Finicky Adult Cat and Premium Edge Hairball Cat with codes of RAF0501A22X (18-lb. bag), RAF0501A2X (6-lb. bag), RAH0501A22X (18-lb. bag) and RAH0501A2X (6-lb. bag).

In December 2005, Diamond Maintenance and Diamond Professional was recalled following a string of pet deaths and illnesses linked to dog and cat food produced in Diamond’s South Carolina plant. 

The food was thought to be contaminated with aflatoxin, a toxic byproduct of a mold that attacks corn under certain temperature and moisture conditions. 

For more details visit the Dog Food Advisor.

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

Diamond Pet Foods was founded by brothers-in-law Gary Schell and Richard Kampeter in Missouri in April 1970, under the name Meta Feed and Grain.

As of 2020, Diamond Pet Foods was the No. 5 pet food company in the world, with $1.5 billion in annual revenue, according to data provided by Pet Food Industry.

Sources

1, 2: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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