John Seeberg

Written by John Seeberg

Laura Ward

Reviewed by Laura Ward

Updated: May 14, 2024

Optimeal Wet Review

Updated: May 14, 2024

Our Verdict

star
star
star
star
star

Recommended

Optimeal wet cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 4 stars

This range of food lists animal ingredients as the first ingredient and includes other meat-based ingredients too. The levels of protein are high and come from quality sources.  However, this food does contain plant-based protein.

Pros
  • Includes animal protein - meat and muscle
  • Low level of carbohydrate
  • High in moisture content
  • All recipes are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
Cons
  • Some recipes contain plant based proteins
  • Some fats provided from sunflower oil
  • Price is more expensive than some cat foods

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

The Optimeal wet product line includes four cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Optimeal Tender Morsels With Lamb & Veggies In Aspic Tender For Adult Cats 4 M
Optimeal Tender Morsels With Beef & Rabbit In Savory Sauce For Adult Cats 4 M
Optimeal Tender Morsels in Chicken & Turkey In Gravy For Adult Cats 4 M
Optimeal Tender Morsels With Real Shrimp & Salmon In Savory Sauce For Adult Cats 4 M

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Recipe and Label Analysis

Optimeal Tender Morsels With Lamb & Veggies In Aspic Tender For Adult 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.

Optimeal Tender Morsels With Lamb & Veggies In Aspic Tender For Adult Cats

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

56.3%

Protein

18.8%

Fat

17%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken broth, chicken, beef heart, pork liver, wheat gluten, lamb, pork lungs, dried plasma, carrots, green beans, water sufficient for processing, potassium chloride, natural flavor, carrageenan, salmon oil, choline chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, dl-methionine, taurine, calcium carbonate, cranberries, vitamin E supplement, fructooligosaccharide (fos), yeast extract, dried pot marigold, chamomile, thyme, l-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), zinc sulfate, sunflower oil, niacin supplement, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, potassium iodide, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, pyridoxine hydrochloride, biotin, vitamin d3 supplement.


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 0.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is chicken 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 second 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.

The third ingredient is beef heart. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing to us humans, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat. It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The fourth ingredient is pork liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is wheat gluten. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once wheat has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Compared to meat, glutens are inferior plant-based proteins low in some of the essential amino acids dogs need for life.

This inexpensive plant-based ingredient can significantly 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 sixth ingredient is lamb. Lamb is considered “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered” lamb and associated with skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus. 2

Lamb is naturally rich in all 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

The seventh ingredient is pork lungs. Lung is a protein-rich organ meat that’s also low in fat.

The eighth ingredient is dried plasma. Plasma is what remains of blood after the blood cells themselves have been removed. In most cases, plasma can be considered a nutritious addition.

However, since there’s no mention of a specific animal in the name of this particular ingredient, this item could be sourced from any species. And that fact can make it difficult to isolate the cause of a cat’s food-based allergy.

For this reason, we do not consider generic animal plasma a quality ingredient.

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.

This recipe also includes four notable exceptions:

Menadione, which is a controversial form of vitamin K linked to liver toxicity, allergies and the abnormal break-down of red blood cells.

The other ingredient is carrageenan which is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.

The article, The Carrageenan Controversy, published in Scientific American, does a good job of addressing this topic.

Finally, this product also includes yeast extract which is a controversial ingredient.  Yeast extract is the common name for a broad group of products made by removing the cell wall from the yeast organism.

A significant number of these ingredients are added as specialized nutritional supplements while others are used as flavor enhancers.

However, the glutamic acid (and its chemical cousin, monosodium glutamate, or MSG) found in a minority of yeast extracts can be controversial.

That’s because even though the Food and Drug Administration designated these food additives to be safe decades ago[1. L-Glutamic Acid, FDA Select Committee on GRAS Substances], the agency continues to receive reports of adverse effects.

So, detractors still object to the use of yeast extract and other glutamic acid derivatives and blame them for everything from Alzheimer’s (in humans) to obesity.

In any case, since the label reveals little about the actual type of yeast extract included in any recipe, it’s impossible for us to judge the quality of this ingredient.

And finally taurine, an essential amino acid for cats associated with the healthy function of heart muscle and eye sight, and is crucial for maintaining good health in cats.

We view the presence of taurine in this recipe as a positive addition.

Recipe star rating 5

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Optimeal Tender Morsels With Lamb & Veggies In Aspic Tender For Adult Cats looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 56.3%, a fat level of 18.8% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 17%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 55.6% and above-average fat level of 17.2%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 19.2% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 31%.

This means Optimeal 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 includes four recipes that offer high levels of protein derived from good quality animal meat and muscle.

Vitamins and minerals have been added and all recipes are free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

The Cat Food Advisor recommends this food.

Has Optimeal cat food been recalled in the past?

No. Optimeal has never had any cat foods 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.

About

Optimeal is owned by Kormotech LLC, a Ukrainian family-run company that produces high-quality dog and cat food for its own brands and private labels.

Optimeal is manufactured in the United States and Ukraine.

Sources

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

2: [1. Adapted by the Cat Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for beef published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition].

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