Written by John Seeberg

Julia Ogden

Reviewed by Julia Ogden

Updated: January 25, 2024

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free (Dry) Review

Updated: January 25, 2024

Our Verdict

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Recommended

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor above average rating, 4 stars.

Each recipe in the range is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of cats at different stages of life.

Pros
  • Contains omega fatty acids
  • Healthy protein blend
  • Contains taurine
  • Contains probiotics
Cons
  • Low in moisture
  • Fairly expensive

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

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free dry product line includes six cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Adult Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal 4 M
Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Kitten Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal 4 M
Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Indoor Salmon & Herring 4 M
Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Indoor Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal 4 M
Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Indoor Healthy Weight Chicken 4 M
Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Senior Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal 4 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Adult Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal 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.

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Adult Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

44.4%

Protein

20%

Fat

27.62%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Deboned chicken, chicken meal, peas, chickpeas, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), tomato pomace, ground flaxseed, dried ground potatoes, natural chicken flavor, salmon oil, cranberries, choline chloride, chicory root extract, potassium chloride, taurine, vitamin E supplement, zinc proteinate, mixed tocopherols added to preserve freshness, zinc sulfate, calcium carbonate, niacin, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin A supplement, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganese sulfate, D-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, dried kelp, yucca schidigera extract, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, calcium iodate, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, dried lactobacillus plantarum fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, rosemary extract, green tea extract, spearmint extract.


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 4%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

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

The third 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 fourth ingredient is chickpeas. Chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) are a good source of carbohydrates. Plus they’re naturally rich in dietary fiber. However, dried chickpeas contain about 27% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the meat content of this cat food.

The fifth ingredient is 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 sixth ingredient is tomato pomace. Tomato pomace is a controversial ingredient, a by-product remaining after processing tomatoes into juice, soup and ketchup. Many praise tomato pomace for its high fiber and nutrient content, while others scorn it as an inexpensive pet food filler.

Just the same, there’s probably not enough tomato pomace here to make much of a difference.

The seventh ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also 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 eighth ingredient is dried potato, a dehydrated item usually made from the by-products of potato processing. In most cases, dried potato can contain about 10% dry matter protein which can have a slight affect on our estimate of the total meat content of this recipe.

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.

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

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free Adult Deboned Chicken & Chicken Meal looks like an above average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44.4%, a fat level of 20% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 27.6%.

As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 40.7% and a mean fat level of 14.8%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 36.6%, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 36%.

This means this Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free product line contains above-average protein and above-average carbohydrate content and near-average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

Wellness Complete Health Grain-Free is a dry cat food made from natural ingredients and contains essential fatty acids along with meat and fish-derived ingredients.

Recommended.

Has Wellness Complete Health cat food been recalled in the past?

Wellness has had a few cat food recalls. The most recent was in February 2017, when a number of canned cat foods were recalled due to the potential for foreign material.

In February 2011, the following Wellness canned cat foods were recalled due to inadequate levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1) 

  • Wellness (all flavors and sizes, including CORE) with “best by” dates of April 14–Sept. 30, 2013
  • Wellness Chicken & Herring (all sizes) with “best by” dates of either Nov. 10, 2013 OR Nov. 17, 2013

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

Wellness Pet Company’s headquarters is just outside Boston, in Tewksbury, Massachusetts. It maintains the Farm Fresh Kitchen manufacturing facility in Minnesota and a manufacturing plant in Indiana.

The company consists of Wellness Natural Pet Food, Old Mother Hubbard by Wellness, WHIMZEES by Wellness, Sojos, Eagle Pack and Holistic Select.

Sources

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

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