Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: August 1, 2023

Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar Wet Cat Food Review

Updated: August 1, 2023

Our Verdict

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Not Recommended

Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar wet cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 2.5-stars.

The food is a specific variant of the Fancy Feast Delights line that includes the addition of cheddar cheese. Not only does cheese offer a rich and creamy taste it also provides some additional nutritional benefits as it is a source of protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Good level of animal proteins
  • No artificial colors
Cons
  • The range contains by-products

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

The Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar product line includes four wet cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Grilled Tuna & Cheddar Cheese in Gravy 2.5 M
Grilled Chicken & Cheddar Cheese in Gravy 2.5 M
Grilled Whitefish & Cheddar Cheese in Gravy 2.5 M
Grilled Turkey & Cheddar Cheese in Gravy 2.5 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar Grilled Tuna & Cheddar Cheese Wet Cat Food in Gravy 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.

Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar Grilled Tuna & Cheddar Cheese Wet Cat Food in Gravy

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

50%

Protein

10%

Fat

32%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Fish broth, tuna, wheat gluten, liver, meat by-products, vegetable starch-modified, chicken, cheese (source of cheddar cheese), artificial and natural flavors, salt, sodium caseinate, tricalcium phosphate, vegetable oil, soy protein concentrate, added color, corn starch, minerals [potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, potassium iodide], dried whey, taurine, choline chloride, vitamins [thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin (vitamin B-7), folic acid (vitamin B-9), vitamin D-3 supplement], red 3, sorbic acid (a preservative)


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is fish broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a cat food, they are a common component in many wet products.

The second ingredient is tuna. Tuna is an oily marine fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every cat to sustain life. This item is typically sourced from clean, undecomposed whole fish and fish cuttings of commercial fish operations. 1

The third ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it. Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life. 

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this cat food.

The fourth ingredient is liver. Normally, liver can be considered a quality component. However, in this case, the source of the liver is not identified. For this reason, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The fifth ingredient is meat by-products, an item made from slaughterhouse waste. This is what’s left of slaughtered animals after all the prime striated muscle cuts have been removed. With the exception of hair, horns, teeth and hooves, this item can include almost any other part of the animal.2 

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergies impossible.

Although most meat by-products can be nutritious, we do not consider such vaguely described (generic) ingredients to be as high in quality as those derived from a named animal source.

The sixth ingredient is vegetable starch. Vegetable starch is used for the structure, texture and potential expansion of cat foods. Starches and texturizing ingredients are commonly seen in cat foods and their inclusion is not a detriment to the food.

The seventh ingredient is chicken. Chicken is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”. 3

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

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 red 3 coloring. We’re always disappointed to find artificial coloring in any pet food. That’s because coloring is used to make the product more appealing to humans — not your cat. After all, do you really think your cat cares what color their food is?

This recipe receives a 2.5-star rating.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar Grilled Tuna & Cheddar Cheese Wet Cat Food in Gravy looks like an average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 50%, a fat level of 10% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 32%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 50% and a mean fat level of 10%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 32% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 20%.

This means the Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar product line contains above-average protein, near-average carbs and below-average fat when compared to typical wet cat food.

Final Word

Fancy Feast Delights with Cheddar is an affordable wet cat food. Although it contains unnamed meat by-products, it redeems itself slightly as the first ingredient in all the recipes is always chicken or fish.

Has Fancy Feast cat food been recalled in the past?

No, Fancy Feast cat food has never been recalled, but other Purina brands have been recalled multiple times.

The last one was in July 2021 when cans of Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Tuna Entree in Sauce Wet Cat Food were recalled as they may have contained plastic. Full details here.

In March 2019, Purina issued a recall of one of its Muse cat foods.

In 2012, a single lot of Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Feline Formula was recalled due to low levels of thiamine. Production Code #11721159.

In June 2011, Friskies issued a small recall due to the potential risk of salmonella contamination. This recall only affected a small range of Friskies products, – the Friskies Grillers Blend dry cat food recipe in 3.15lb and 16lb bags with best-by dates of August 2012.

In the same year, some other Purina dry cat foods were recalled due to suspected salmonella contamination. The products affected were: Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ dry cat food, 3.5 lb. and 7 lb. bags, with a “Best by” date of May 2012 and Production Code #03341084 or #03351084 and Purina Cat Chow Naturals, 6.3 lb., Production Code #10331083 13, with “Best by” date of August 2012.

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

Fancy Feast was created in 1982 and was likely the first cat food brand to capitalize on the gourmet concept, though it is now one of the cheaper brands on the market.

The brand is owned by Nestlé Purina PetCare which is an American subsidiary of the Swiss corporation Nestlé, based in St. Louis, Missouri. It produces and markets pet food, treats, cat and dog litter. 

The cat food brands owned by Purina are: Beyond, Breeze, DenaLife, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Kit & Kaboodle, Petivity, Purina Cat Chow, Purina ONE, Purina Pro Plan, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Tidy Cats and Whisker Lickin’s.

Sources

1: Adapted by The Cat Food Advisor from the official definition of other fish ingredients as published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials

2, 3: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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