Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: October 2, 2023

The Honest Kitchen Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: October 2, 2023

Our Verdict

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Recommended

The Honest Kitchen dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor second highest rating, 4.5 stars.

The Honest Kitchen only uses wholesome foods and its suppliers must provide proof of food origins, screening, handling and cleaning.  Created by a vet nutritionist, The Honest Kitchen’s Grain-Free Whole Food Clusters are prepared using human-grade muscle meat and liver, low-glycemic carbs, beneficial fats and live probiotics.

Pros
  • Human grade ingredients
  • High in protein
  • No artificial preservatives, feed grade by-products, fillers, GMO ingredients, corn, wheat or soy
  • Vet recommended
  • Money back guarantee
Cons
  • Price is above market average

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

The Honest Kitchen dry product line includes three cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Grain free Turkey & Chicken Clusters 4.5 A
Grain free Chicken & Whitefish Clusters 4.5 A
Grain free Chicken Clusters 4.5 A

EXCLUSIVE: New customer offer

30% off orders $30+ with code CFA30

Recipe and Label Analysis

The Honest Kitchen dry Grain free Chicken & Whitefish Clusters 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.

The Honest Kitchen dry Grain free Chicken & Whitefish Clusters Recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

38%

Protein

17.4%

Fat

36.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, peas, lentils, eggs, white fish, chicken liver, potatoes, tricalcium phosphate, natural chicken flavor, sodium chloride, flaxseed, salmon oil, vitamins [niacin supplement, vitamin E supplement, vitamin a supplement, folic acid, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), biotin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin D3 supplement, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12 supplement], fenugreek seed, taurine, choline chloride, dried organic kelp, minerals [zinc amino acid chelate, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite], pumpkin, blueberries, cranberries, carrots, organic barley grass, yucca schidigera extract, mixed tocopherols (a natural preservative), rosemary extract, turmeric, l-carnitine, dried bacillus coagulans fermentation product*

*contains a source of live, naturally occurring microorganisms.


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first 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 second ingredient is peas. Peas are a quality source of carbohydrates. And like all legumes, they’re rich in natural fiber.  However, peas contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The third ingredient is lentils, Lentils are a quality source of carbohydrates. Plus (like all legumes) they’re rich in natural fiber.  However, lentils contain about 25% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this cat food.

The fourth ingredient is eggs. Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

The fifth ingredient is white fish. A marine or freshwater species native to Canada and the California coast.

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

The seventh ingredient is potatoes. Potatoes can be considered a gluten-free source of digestible carbohydrates. Yet with the exception of perhaps their caloric content, potatoes are of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

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 does contain 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. 

It also contains dried bacillus coagulans fermentation product (a source of live, naturally occurring microorganisms). Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

EXCLUSIVE: New customer offer

30% off orders $30+ with code CFA30

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken & Whitefish Clusters looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 38%, a fat level of 17.4% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 36.6%.

As a group, the brand features a near average protein content of 37.3% and an above average fat level of 17.4%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 38% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 45%.

This means that The Honest Kitchen dry product line contains near-average protein and above-average fat and carbohydrates when compared to typical dry cat food. 

Final Word

The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken & Whitefish Clusters recipe is a premium product offering high quality ingredients.

Has The Honest Kitchen cat food been recalled in the past?

No. The Honest Kitchen has no known history of product recalls.

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

The Honest Kitchen was founded in 2002 by Lucy Postins in San Diego and is still based there today.

The Honest Kitchen is a premium brand of pet food that focuses on high-quality nutrition as the ultimate recipe for health and wellness.

This brand believes that food is the best medicine, so it focuses its recipes on high-quality, natural ingredients to promote better digestion, higher energy levels, healthier skin and coat, increased appetite, and healthy weight control.

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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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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