John Seeberg

Written by John Seeberg

Laura Ward

Reviewed by Laura Ward

Updated: May 7, 2024

FirstMate Grain Free (Wet) Review

Updated: May 7, 2024

Our Verdict


Highly Recommended

FirstMate wet cat food is made up of five recipes which each receive the Cat Food Advisor highest rating, 5 stars

This range of food has very high protein content and lists the first ingredient as animal protein.  Each recipe is grain, gluten and pea free and caters mainly for all life stages.

  • High in protein
  • Contains animal protein
  • Low in carbohydrate
  • Rich in fat and moisture
  • Added vitamins and minerals
  • Relatively expensive

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

Product line Rating AAFCO
Firstmate Cage-free Turkey & Wild Tuna 50/50 Formula for Cats 5 A
Firstmate Limited Ingredient Wild Tuna Formula for Cats 5 A
Firstmate Limited Ingredient Chicken Formula for Cats 5 A
Firstmate Limited Ingredient Cage-Free Turkey Formula for Cats 5 M
Firstmate Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula for Cats 5 A

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Recipe and Label Analysis

FirstMate Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula for Cats 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 Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula for Cats

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content







Boneless/skinless salmon, water sufficient for processing, potato, calcium carbonate, sodium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, minerals: (iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, iodine), vitamins: (niacin, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, d-pantothenic acid, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement), potassium chloride, choline chloride, taurine, kale.

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 0.4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is boneless/skinless salmon.  Salmon is an oily marine and freshwater fish not only high in protein but also omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every cat to sustain life.

The second ingredient is water, which adds nothing but moisture to this food. Water is a routine finding in most wet cat foods.  

The third 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 fourth ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.

The fifth ingredient is sodium chloride.  Salt is a common additive in many cat foods.  That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals – including humans.  Salt can often be found in cat foods to promote cats to drink more water too.  This is a means of increasing their hydration and diluting their urine which helps to reduce the likelihood of urinary stones forming.

However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.

The sixth ingredient is dicalcium phosphate, likely used here as a dietary calcium supplement.

The seventh and eighth ingredients are 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, minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better cat foods. 

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.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, FirstMate Limited Ingredient Wild Salmon Formula for Cats looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 60%, a fat level of 15% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 17%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 47.7% and a mean fat level of 21.6%.  Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 22.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 46%.

This means this FirstMate Wet range contains higher than average protein, lower than average carbohydrate and higher than average fat, when compared to typical wet cat food.

Final Word

This range of food is very high in protein derived from animal protein.  In addition, it is low in carbohydrate and rich in fat and moisture.  With added vitamins and minerals, this food provides a very good food option.

The Cat Food Advisor recommends this food.

Has FirstMate Grain Free (Wet) 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 and manufactures all its products in its British Columbia facility.

FirstMate controls its own sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution. 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 have been humanely raised, transported, and slaughtered according to Canadian regulations.   All of the fish ingredients are sustainably caught in their natural habitat.


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