Julia Ogden

Written by Julia Ogden

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Tender & True Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Highly Recommended

Tender & True dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 5 stars.

Tender & True food pioneered the first ever certified USDA organic humanely raised and antibiotic-free pet food. 

Pros
  • USDA certified organic ingredients in 2 of the recipes
  • Grain-free
  • No artificial preservatives, colors or flavors
  • Contains vitamins & minerals
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Contain plant-based proteins

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

The Tender & True product line has six dry cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Organic Chicken & Liver Recipe 5 A
Organic Turkey & Liver 5 A
Chicken & Brown Rice Recipe 5 A
Turkey & Brown Rice 5 A
Salmon & Sweet Potato 5 A
Ocean Whitefish & Potato 5 A

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Tender & True Organic Chicken & Liver 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.

Tender & True Organic Chicken & Liver Recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

33.3%

Protein

20%

Fat

38.7%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Organic chicken, organic chicken meal, organic tapioca starch, organic pea flour, organic dried pea, organic flaxseed meal, organic chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), organic chicken liver, natural flavors, menhaden fish oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), choline chloride, salt, mixed tocopherols (preservative), taurine, ascorbic acid, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganous oxide, manganese proteinate, inositol, ferrous sulfate, niacin, vitamin B12 supplement, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, riboflavin supplement, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, sodium selenite, copper sulfate, vitamin A supplement, copper proteinate, citric acid (preservative), vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, potassium iodide


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 6.5%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is organic 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 second ingredient is organic chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.

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

The fourth ingredient is organic pea flour, a powder made from roasted yellow peas. Pea flour contains as much as 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The fifth ingredient is organic dried peas. Dried peas are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber.

However, dried peas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The sixth ingredient is organic flaxseed meal, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber. However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this cat food.

The seventh ingredient is organic chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid. 

Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.

The eighth ingredient is organic chicken liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

Since this recipe contains a number of organic ingredients, we feel compelled to grant this line a more favorable status as we consider its final rating. That’s because organic ingredients must comply with notably more stringent government standards — standards which significantly restrict the use of any synthetic pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, hormones or antibiotics.

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.

This recipe receives a 5star rating.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Tender & True Organic Chicken & Liver Recipe looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33.3%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 38.7%, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 60%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 33.3% and a mean fat level of 20%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 60%.

This means the Tender & True Dry product line contains below-average protein, above-average carbs and above-average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

Tender & True is an independently owned certified organic product using humanely raised animal protein.

Has Tender & True cat food been recalled in the past?

No, there have been no recorded recalls for Tender & True.

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

Founded in 2014, Tender & True was the first company to produce certified humanely raised pet food that meets USDA organic standards. 

The company’s mission is to “make Tender & True better from the beginning, with no compromises and with the certifications to prove it.”

It believes in sourcing and supplying its own ingredients. The company has formed relationships with fisheries and growers, which means they have always pushed the possibilities of better ingredients and price.

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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