Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Tender & True Wet Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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Highly Recommended

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

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

The wet cat food range has meat or fish as its first ingredient and is mixed with a blend of organic ingredients, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for optimal nutrition.

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

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

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

Product line Rating AAFCO
Organic Chicken & Liver Recipe 5 A
Organic Turkey & Liver 5 A
Chicken & Brown Rice 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

38.6%

Protein

25%

Fat

28.4%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Organic chicken, organic chicken broth, organic chicken liver, organic pea protein, organic pea flour, organic sunflower oil, tricalcium phosphate, salt, organic yeast extract, agar-agar, salmon oil, choline chloride, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, taurine, magnesium proteinate, zinc proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, iron proteinate, niacin supplement, vitamin E supplement, copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, sodium selenite, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, biotin, manganese proteinate, vitamin B12 supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, calcium iodate, folic acid


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2.3%

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

The fourth ingredient is organic pea protein, what remains of a pea after removing the starchy part of the vegetable. Even though it contains over 80% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat. And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The fifth 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 sixth ingredient is organic 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 seventh 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.

The eighth ingredient is salt, (also known as sodium chloride). Salt is a common additive in many cat foods. That’s because sodium is a necessary mineral for all animals — including humans. 

Salt can often be found in cat foods to promote cats to drink more water too. This is a means of increasing their hydration and diluting their urine which helps to reduce the likelihood of urinary stones forming.

However, since the actual amount of salt added to this recipe isn’t disclosed on the list of ingredients, it’s impossible to judge the nutritional value of this item.

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 wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 38.6%, a fat level of 25% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 28.4%, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 65%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 39.8% and a mean fat level of 26.1%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26.1% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 66%.

This means the Tender & True Wet product line contains near-average protein, below-average carbs and above-average fat when compared to typical wet 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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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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