Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Purina Friskies Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

star
star
star
star
star

Strongly Not Recommended

Purina Friskies dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor lowest rating of 1 star.

The majority of the products in this range are made from plant-based ingredients, which have little to no nutritional value. Any meat comes from a by-product, although beef tallow or fat is in all recipes.

They also contain a high amount of preservatives and artificial colors.

Pros
  • Contains beef fat
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Many plant-based ingredients
  • Artificial colors and preservatives
  • No named meat products

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

The Purina Friskies product line includes eight dry cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Farm Favorites with Chicken and Flavors of Carrots and Spinach 1 A
Gravy Swirlers with Flavors of Chicken, Salmon & Gravy 1 A
Ocean Favorites with Salmon and Accents of Brown Rice & Peas 1 A
Cat Chow Indoor Hairball + Healthy Weight 1 A
Seafood Sensations with Flavors of Salmon, Tuna, Shrimp & Seaweed 1 A
Indoor Delights with Flavors of Chicken, Salmon, Cheese & Garden Greens 1 A
Tender & Crunchy Combo with Flavors of Chicken, Beef, Carrots & Green Beans 1 A
Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites with Flavors of Chicken, Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Filet Mignon 1 A

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Recipe and Label Analysis

Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites with Flavors of Chicken, Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Filet Mignon 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.

Friskies Surfin' & Turfin' Favorites with Flavors of Chicken, Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Filet Mignon

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

34%

Protein

12.5%

Fat

45.4%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Ground yellow corn, chicken by-product meal, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, meat and bone meal, liver flavor, ocean fish meal, calcium carbonate, phosphoric acid, salmon meal, salt, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium iodate, sodium selenite, potassium chloride, taurine, DL methionine, vitamin E supplement, niacin (vitamin B-3), vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate (vitamin B-5), thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B-1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B-2), vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B-6), folic acid (vitamin B-9), vitamin d-3 supplement, biotin (vitamin B-7), menadione sodium bisulfite complex (vitamin K), natural filet mignon flavor, red 40, yellow 5, blue 2


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is ground yellow corn. Corn is an inexpensive and controversial cereal grain. Aside from its energy content, this grain is of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal, a dry rendered product of slaughterhouse waste. It’s made from what’s left of a slaughtered chicken after all the choice cuts have been removed.

On the brighter side, by-product meals are meat concentrates and contain nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

The quality of this ingredient can vary, depending on the caliber of the raw materials obtained by the manufacturer.

The third and fourth ingredients are soybean meal and corn gluten meal.

Soybean meal is a by-product of soybean oil production more commonly found in farm animal feeds.

Corn gluten meal is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it.

Although soybean meal contains 48% protein and corn gluten meal 60% protein, these ingredients would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.

Both of these less costly plant-based products can notably 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 fifth ingredient is beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols. Beef fat (or tallow) is most likely obtained from rendering, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid.

Although it may not sound very appetizing, beef fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The sixth ingredient is meat and bone meal, a dry “rendered product from mammal tissues, including bone, exclusive of any added blood, hair, hoof, horn, hide trimmings, manure, stomach and rumen contents”. 1

Meat and bone meal can have a lower digestibility than most other meat meals.

Scientists believe this decreased absorption may be due to the ingredient’s higher ash and lower essential amino acid content. 2

What’s worse, this particular item is anonymous. So, the meat itself can come from any combination of cattle, pigs, sheep or goats — which can make identifying specific food allergens impossible.

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.

There are also a number of artificial colors which we’re always disappointed to find 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 star rating.

Save up to 35%

with Autoship
See discount in cart

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites with Flavors of Chicken, Ocean Whitefish, Salmon & Filet Mignon looks like a low quality dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 34%, a fat level of 12.5% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 45.4%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34% and a mean fat level of 12.2%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 45.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 36%.

This means the Purina Friskies dry cat food contains below average protein, above average carbs and average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

Purina Friskies dry cat food is a cheap product made from low quality ingredients. It redeems itself a little, with the presence of beef fat but is predominantly a dry cat food range made from by-product meal, bulked out by plant-based ingredients with lots of added preservatives and artificial colors.

Has Purina cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes, Purina has had a number of cat food recalls over the years.

The last one was in July 2021 when cans of Purina Pro Plan Complete Essentials Tuna Entree in Sauce Wet Cat Food were recalled as they may have contained plastic.

In March 2019, Purina issued a recall of one of its Muse cat foods.

In 2012, a single lot of Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Feline Formula was recalled due to low levels of thiamine. Production Code #11721159.

In June 2011, Friskies issued a small recall due to the potential risk of salmonella contamination. This recall only affected a small range of Friskies products, – the Friskies Grillers Blend dry cat food recipe in 3.15lb and 16lb bags with best-by dates of August 2012.

In the same year, some other Purina dry cat foods were recalled due to suspected salmonella contamination. The products affected were: Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ dry cat food, 3.5 lb. and 7 lb. bags, with a “Best by” date of May 2012 and Production Code #03341084 or #03351084 and Purina Cat Chow Naturals, 6.3 lb., Production Code #10331083 13, with “Best by” date of August 2012.

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

Nestlé Purina PetCare is an American subsidiary of the Swiss corporation Nestlé, based in St. Louis, Missouri. It produces and markets pet food, treats, cat and dog litter. 

The cat food brand owned by Purina are: Beyond, Breeze, DenaLife, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Kit & Kaboodle, Petivity, Purina Cat Chow, Purina ONE, Purina Pro Plan, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets, Tidy Cats and Whisker Lickin’s.

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials, 2008 Edition

2: Shirley RB and Parsons CM, Effect of Ash Content on Protein Quality of Meat and Bone Meal, Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, Poultry Science, 2001 80: 626-632

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