John Seeberg

Written by John Seeberg

Laura Ward

Reviewed by Laura Ward

Updated: May 7, 2024

FirstMate (Dry) Review

Updated: May 7, 2024

Our Verdict


Recommended with Reservations

FirstMate dry cat food is made up of five recipes which all receive the Cat Food Advisor rating, 3 stars

This range of food contains high levels of animal sourced protein. Potatoes are included in some of the recipes, however, which means the carbohydrate content is higher than ideal.

  • Single source protein
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Grain free
  • High in carbohydrate
  • Limited range

The table below lists all the recipes in the range, along with their AAFCO nutrient profile.

Product line Rating AAFCO
FirstMate Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula (Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free) 3 A
FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal with Blueberries Formula (Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free) 3 A
FirstMate Cage Free Duck Meal & Blueberries Formula for cats (Limited Ingredient Grain-Free) 3 A
FirstMate Indoor Cat Formula (Grain Friendly) 3 A
FirstMate Cat & Kitten Formula (Grain Friendly) 3 A

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Recipe and Label Analysis

FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal with Blueberries 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.

Firstmate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal with Blueberries Formula

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content







Pacific ocean fish meal, potato, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), whole blueberries, minerals: (zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, cobalt carbonate, sodium selenite), vitamins (niacin, thiamine mononitrate, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, calcium propionate (a preservative), dl-methionine, taurine, yeast extract (a source of prebiotics), kale, glucosamine hydrochloride.

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is Pacific Ocean 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. 1

The second ingredient is potato.  Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates.  Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The third 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 fourth ingredient is whole blueberries.  Blueberries are a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

The fifth and sixth ingredients are a list of named minerals and vitamins.

We are pleased to find a list of added vitamins and minerals detailed within the ingredients declaration within these groups. Generally, we see the addition of vitamins and minerals to cat food as a positive addition.

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.

The seventh ingredient is choline chloride, an essential B vitamin that naturally occurs in both plants and animals.  It is found in meat, eggs, fish, liver, soybeans and wheat germ.

Because a cat cannot store choline chloride in its body, the nutrient must be replenished to avoid a deficiency.  Cholinechloride is a supplement required by both AAFCO and the FDA.

The eighth ingredient is calcium propionate.  Calcium propionate is a preservative used in baked goods to prevent mold.  It’s considered safe by the US FDA.

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.

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, FirstMate Pacific Ocean Fish Meal with Blueberries Formula looks like an average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 46.7%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 25.3%.

As a group, the brand features an near-average protein content of 40.2% and an above-average fat level of 18%.  Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 33.8% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 45%.

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

Final Word

The FirstMate dry range of food contains average levels of protein.  These recipes include a mix of vegetables and fruit.  In addition, vitamins and minerals have been added.

Has FirstMate Dry cat food been recalled in the past?

No.  FirstMate cat food has never been 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.


FirstMate is a Canadian pet food company which was founded in 1989. It manufactures all its products in its British Columbia facility.

The company obtains all its ingredients from North America, with the exception of lamb which is sourced in Australia.

The meat ingredients come from animals that were humanely raised, transported, and slaughtered according to Canadian regulations. All of the fish ingredients are sustainably caught in their natural habitat.


1: [1. Association of American Feed Control Officials].

We uphold the highest editorial standards when creating the authoritative content pet parents rely on and trust.

Every piece of clinical content on the Cat Food Advisor is reviewed by our certified Veterinary Advisory Board, which consists of licensed veterinarians and medically certified specialists.

Our reviews are completely independent; we are not paid by any pet food company to promote their products favorably. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration. For more information see our Disclaimer & Disclosure page.

Vet with cat