Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Fancy Feast Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Not Recommended

Fancy Feast dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 2 stars.

Although the products in the range contain chicken or fish, the bulk of the recipes are made up of chicken by-product meal and a variety of plant-based foods, such as corn gluten meal, and soy flour which offer little nutritional value to cats.

Pros
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Contains by-products
  • Artificial colors
  • Contains plant-based proteins

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

The Fancy Feast Dry product line includes three dry cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Savory Chicken & Turkey Gourmet 2 A
Ocean Fish & Salmon and Accents of Garden Greens Gourmet 2 A
Fish Mignon Flavor with Real Seafood & Shrimp Gourmet 2 A

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Fancy Feast Savory Chicken & Turkey Gourmet 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 Savory Chicken & Turkey Gourmet

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

37.8%

Protein

18.9%

Fat

35.3%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat preserved with mixed- tocopherols, whole grain corn, soybean meal, natural flavor, chicken, turkey, dried yeast, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chloride, glycine, minerals [zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite], fish oil, taurine, vitamins [vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), folic acid (vitamin B-9), vitamin D-3 supplement, biotin (vitamin B-7), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K)], DL-methionine, red 40, yellow 5, blue 2


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is rice, but is this whole grain rice, brown rice or white rice? Since the word “rice” doesn’t tell us much, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this item.

The second ingredient is poultry by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of slaughtered poultry after all the prime cuts have been removed.

In addition to organs, this item can also include feet, beaks, undeveloped eggs and almost anything other than prime skeletal muscle.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh poultry.

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

We consider poultry by-products slightly lower in quality than a single-species ingredient (like chicken by-products).

The third ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrates washed out of it.

Although corn gluten meal contains 60% 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 actual meat content of this cat food.

The fourth ingredient is beef fat. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid. Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is whole-grain corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. And aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The sixth ingredient is soybean meal, a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds. Although soybean meal contains 48% 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 actual meat content of this cat food.

The seventh ingredient is natural flavors. 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.

The eighth 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.

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.

There are also a number of artificial colors which we’re always disappointed to find 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-star rating.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Fancy Feast Savory Chicken & Turkey Gourmet looks like a below-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 37.8%, a fat level of 18.9% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 35.3%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 37.8% and a mean fat level of 18.9%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 35.3% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 50%.

This means the Fancy Feast Dry product line contains near-average protein, near-average carbs and above-average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

Fancy Feast dry cat food is a cheaper product made from low-quality ingredients. It redeems itself a little, with the presence of fish and chicken, but Fancy Feast is predominantly made from poultry by-product meal.

Has Purina 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.

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: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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