Julia Ogden

Written by Julia Ogden

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: April 15, 2024

Meow Mix Tenders in Sauce Wet Cat Food Review

Updated: April 15, 2024

Our Verdict


Strongly Not Recommended

Meow Mix Tenders in Sauce wet cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating of 1.5 stars.

Meow Mix Tenders is a popular cheaper wet cat food formulated with tender pieces of meat or fish in a flavorful sauce.

  • Affordable
  • Contains Carrageenan
  • Contains soybean oil
  • Artificial colors and flavors

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

The product line includes five wet cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Real Tuna & Whole Shrimp 1.5 U
Real Turkey & Giblets 1.5 U
Real Salmon & Crab 1.5 U
Real Chicken & Liver 1.5 U
Real Chicken & Beef 1.5 U

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Meow Mix Tenders in Sauce with Real Tuna & Whole Shrimp 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.

Meow Mix Tenders in Sauce with Real Tuna & Whole Shrimp

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content







Tuna, fish broth, sardines, mackerel, shrimp, soybean oil, natural and artificial flavors, tricalcium phosphate, guar gum, carrageenan, salt, vitamins (vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, niacin, vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), folic acid, biotin), minerals (ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, manganese sulfate, copper amino acid complex, potassium iodide, sodium selenite), calcium sulfate, sodium nitrite (to promote color retention), canthaxanthin (color preserved with ethoxyquin)

Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first 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 second 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 third ingredient is sardines. Sardine is a small, oily marine fish which is nutrient rich, high in protein and is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every cat to sustain life.

The fourth ingredient is mackerel. Mackerel is an oily salt-water fish naturally high in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, an essential fat needed by every dog to sustain life.

The fifth ingredient is shrimp. Shrimp are small crustaceans closely related to krill. Shrimp is a rich source of many nutrients, including Iodine and Omega 3 fatty acids.

The sixth ingredient is soybean oil is red flagged here only due to its rumored (yet unlikely) link to feline food allergies. However, since soybean oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids and contains no omega-3’s, it’s considered less nutritious than flaxseed oil or a named animal fat.

The seventh ingredient is natural and artificial flavors, here are so many great quality palatants, gravies and flavors to use in cat food which are meat based, that it is disappointing to find artificial flavorings. We understand that flavorings are used to make the foods more appealing and tasty for our cats, but natural or meat based flavors are always our preference. The artificial and natural flavors description here doesn’t give us much information about the ingredients in this food.

The eighth ingredient is tricalcium phosphate, a beneficial source of calcium and phosphorus. 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.

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 artificial colors and preservatives. 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 1.5-star rating.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Meow Mix Tenders in Sauce Tuna & Whole Shrimp looks like a below-average wet cat food.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 66.7%, a fat level of 11.1% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 14.2%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 61.1% and a mean fat level of 11.1%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 19.8% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 18%.

This means this Meow Mix Tenders in Sauce product line contains near-average protein levels and above-average carbs and near-average fat, when compared to typical wet cat food.

Final Word

Meow Mix Tenders in Sauce is a cheaper wet cat food designed to provide a balanced and nutritious diet for cats by including essential vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

Has Meow Mix cat food been recalled in the past?

Meow Mix has had one recall in its 47-plus year history.

In April 2021 two specific lots of dry cat food were recalled due to potential salmonella contamination: 

  • Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food, 30 lb. bag, Lot #1081804, UPC #2927452099, best by Sept. 14, 2022

  • Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food, 30 lb. bag, Lot #1082804, UPC #2927452099, best by Sept. 15, 2022

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.


Meow Mix was created as a Ralston Purina product in 1974 but has changed hands many times since then. It was most recently owned by Big Heart Pet Brands, which was acquired by J.M. Smucker Company in 2015. Its headquarters is in San Francisco.


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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