Julia Ogden

Written by Julia Ogden

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 18, 2024

Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts Wet Cat Food Review

Updated: January 18, 2024

Our Verdict

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star
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Recommended

Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 4 stars.

This is because Wellness Hearty Cuts is made with meaty cuts of chicken and turkey in a gravy, mixed with a variety of superfoods such a s spinach and carrots.  There are no meat by-products in this recipe range and the moisture and protein content is high.

Pros
  • The recipes contain high moisture content
  • Contains flaxseed — a good source of fiber
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products or artificial additives
Cons
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • The brand has had multiple recalls over recent years

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

The Wellness Hearty Cuts product line includes four wet cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
CORE Hearty Cuts Chicken & Turkey 4 M
CORE Hearty Cuts Chicken & Tuna 4 G&M
CORE Hearty Cuts Whitefish & Salmon 4 G&M
CORE Hearty Cuts Indoor Chicken & Turkey 4 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts Chicken & Turkey 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.

Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts Chicken & Turkey recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

50%

Protein

19.4%

Fat

22.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, chicken broth, turkey broth, chicken liver, turkey, dried egg whites, potato starch, carrots, guar gum, natural flavor, cranberries, spinach, sodium phosphate, salt, ground flaxseed, potassium chloride, salmon oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), canola oil, choline chloride, inulin, dried kelp, yucca schidigera extract, taurine, iron proteinate, zinc proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin E supplement, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, niacin supplement, D-calcium pantothenate, sodium selenite, biotin, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin A supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, potassium iodide, vitamin D3 supplement, rosemary extract


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1%

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 and third ingredients are chicken broth and turkey 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 fourth ingredient is chicken liverThis is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The fifth ingredient is turkeyTurkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”. 2

Like chicken, turkey is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

The sixth ingredient is dried egg whitesEggs are highly digestible and an excellent source of usable protein.

The seventh ingredient is potato starchPotato starch is a gluten-free carbohydrate of only modest nutritional value to a cat.

The eighth ingredient is carrotsCarrots are rich in beta-carotene, minerals and dietary fiber.

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.

It also contains canola oil. Unfortunately, canola can be a controversial item. That’s because it can sometimes (but not always) be derived from genetically modified rapeseed. Yet others cite the fact that canola oil can be a significant source of  omega-3 fatty acids. In any case, plant-based oils like canola are less biologically available to a cat than fish oil as a source of quality omega-3 fats.

Recipe star rating 4.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts Chicken & Turkey recipe looks like an above-average wet product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 50%, a fat level of 19.4% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 22.6%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 49.3% and a near average fat level of 16%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 32%.

This means the Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts product line contains higher than average protein, near average carbohydrate and near average fat, when compared to typical wet cat food.

Final Word

The Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts recipes typically feature high-quality animal protein sources such as chicken, turkey, or beef. These proteins are essential for supporting your cat’s muscle development and overall health. The recipes are also grain-free, making them suitable for cats with grain sensitivities or those following a grain-free diet.

In addition to the protein source, Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts recipes often contain nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits, which provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These ingredients contribute to a well-rounded and balanced diet for your cat.

Has Wellness 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: Association of American Feed Control Officials

2: Adapted by the Cat Food Advisor and based upon the official definition for chicken published by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, Official Publication, 2008 Edition

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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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