Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Health Extension Wet Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Highly Recommended

Health Extension canned cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor’s highest rating, 5 stars

This wet cat food has a meat protein listed as the first ingredient in almost all of the recipes. It also includes supplemental ingredients such as cider vinegar and coconut oil.  

Overall, Health Extension offers a well balanced food, with a good choice of flavors.

Pros
  • High quality meat source
  • Good level of moisture
  • High levels of protein
Cons
  • Plant-based proteins are used

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

The Health Extension wet product line includes nine cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Grain-Free Chicken Paté Recipe 5 M
Grain-Free Tuna & Prawns Recipe 5 M
Grain-Free Chicken & Duck Recipe 5 M
Grain-Free Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe 5 M
Grain-Free Tilapia & Tuna Recipe 4 M
Grain-Free Chicken in Gravy Recipe 5 M
Grain-Free Chicken & Salmon Recipe 5 M
Grain-Free Beef and Salmon Recipe 5 M
Grain-Free Chicken & Tuna Recipe 5 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Health Extension Grain-Free Tuna & Prawns Recipe 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.

Grain-Free Tuna & Prawns Recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

62.5%

Protein

12.5%

Fat

17%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Tuna, tuna broth, prawns, sunflower oil, tapioca starch, tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, choline chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium sulfate, taurine, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, manganese proteinate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, copper proteinate, calcium iodate, calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity)


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is tuna, 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 second ingredient is tuna broth. Broths are nutritionally empty.  But because they add both flavor and moisture to a cat food they are a common addition component in many canned products.

The third ingredient is prawnsPrawns are small crustaceans and a rich source of many nutrients, including Selenium, Iodine and Omega-3 fatty acids.  

The fourth ingredient is sunflower oil.  Sunflower oil is nutritionally similar to safflower oil. Since these oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids and contain no omega-3s, they’re considered less nutritious than canola or flaxseed oils. 

Sunflower oil is notable for its resistance to heat damage during cooking.

There are several different types of sunflower oil, some better than others. Without knowing more, it’s impossible to judge the quality of this ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is tapioca starch,  a gluten-free, starchy carbohydrate extract made from the root of the cassava plant.

The sixth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorous.  In addition, this additive is used in wet foods as an emulsifier — an agent designed to disperse a food’s fats more evenly in water.

The seventh ingredient is guar gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in many wet pet foods. Refined from dehusked guar beans, guar gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to any product.

The eighth ingredient is coconut oil, a natural oil rich in medium-chain fatty acids.

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.

Recipe star rating 5 star.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Health Extension Grain Free Tuna & Prawns Recipe looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 62.5%, a fat level of 12.5% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 17%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 58.7% and an above-average fat level of 17.1%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 16.2% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 32%.

This means this Health Extension 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 food has high levels of protein, low levels of fat and carbohydrates.  The formulation offers a well balanced diet, full of good quality ingredients.  

The Cat Food Advisor recommends this cat food.

Has Health Extension cat food been recalled in the past?

No.  Health Extension cat food has never been subject to a recall.

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

Vets Choice is the company behind Health Extension. It started making pet food in 1963 but was rebranded in 2015 to become Health Extension.

The ingredients are sourced from around the world, including the United States, France, Canada, and New Zealand, although most of Health Extension’s cat foods are made in the company’s United States facility.  It is worth noting that some of their canned formulas are manufactured in Thailand.

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

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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.

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