Purina Fancy Feast Cat Food Review

Cats Reviews Nov 18, 2020
Written by Kate Barrington | Updated May 14, 2021
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Purina Fancy Feast Cat Food Review

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The Purina brand is one of the biggest names in the pet food industry and has a 90-year history behind it. According to the brand’s website, Purina is a company of pet lovers guided by the belief that pets and people are better together.

Purina invests in the quality of their food because they love their pets as much as you love theirs and they have a passion for pushing pet nutrition forward.

As one of the biggest pet food companies in the country, Purina offers several different product lines including Fancy Feast.

Fancy Feast is marketed as gourmet cat food that comes in savory flavors, delicate textures, and inspired recipes made with real ingredients. Read on to see what we think of the brand and its products.

Purina Fancy Feast Cat Food
Overall Score
  • Very affordable
  • Wide variety of products
  • Products can be found just about anywhere
  • Heavy use of plant proteins and low-quality ingredients
  • Products are loaded with by-products, fillers, and artificial additives
  • Very affordable
  • Wide variety of products
  • Products can be found just about anywhere
  • Heavy use of plant proteins and low-quality ingredients
  • Products are loaded with by-products, fillers, and artificial additives
Variety of Recipes
Ingredient Quality
Price Per Pound
Recall History
Customer Reviews

How We Review Cat Food Brands

We love our cats as much as you love yours, so we want to make sure any product we recommend is one we would feed our own cats.

Every cat food brand we review is held to high standards for quality and we take a look not only at the brand’s history but at the ingredients and the recipes themselves.

We base our decisions on the nutritional needs of cats and how well the brand meets them.

Cats are obligate carnivores, so they have a biological need for a high-protein diet and most of that protein should come from animal-based sources.

The more natural, whole-food ingredients, the better, and the food should be complete and balanced with the help of vitamin and mineral supplements.

We also try to avoid recipes that contain low-quality fillers and by-products.

Here are some of the other things we look for in a good cat food brand:

  • High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
  • Rich in healthy animal fats (ex: chicken fat or salmon oil)
  • Few to no carbohydrate ingredients (especially within the top 5)
  • Limited number of main ingredients plus supplements
  • No low-quality fillers, grains, or by-products

In addition to these requirements, we also look for cat food brands that offer a variety of different recipes for customers to choose from.

Cats can be picky eaters, so we think it is important for a cat food brand to offer a variety of products – having variety gives you more to choose from.

The brand’s recall history is a good way to gauge quality and safety as a whole while customer reviews provide insight into the brand’s quality and popularity.

Overview of the Purina Fancy Feast Brand

The Purina brand’s history began with William H. Danforth who partnered with William Andrews and George Robinson to found the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company.

The company name changed to Ralston Purina in 1902 and the first pet nutrition and care center was opened at Purina Farms in 1926.

In 1956, Purina Dog Chow became the first pet food made with extrusion and Cat Chow was released 7 years later. In 1986, Ralston sold the animal feed portion of the business to focus on cat and dog food, releasing their groundbreaking 14-year study on dog nutrition the next year.

In 2001, Ralston Purina combined with Nestle’s Friskies Petcare Company to create Nestle Purina Petcare. Friskies Petcare Company was originally the result of a merger between Friskies and Nestle in 1985, following the 1982 release of Fancy Feast originally by the Carnation Company.

Though Fancy Feast has changed hands a few times, it now belongs to the second-largest global pet food company and the largest pet food company in the United States.

Today, the Fancy Feast brand offers a wide variety of canned food products including pates, savory meats in gravy, grain-free options, and all-natural recipes.

Choose from over 100 different products, many of which are sold in variety packs for your convenience.

Fancy Feast cat foods feature numerous different proteins including staples like chicken and beef as well as seafood options like salmon, tuna, and whitefish.

Choose from a variety of different textures, most of which are packaged in small cans for perfect portion sizes. Read on to learn more about specific products.

What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?

Purina Fancy Feast is primarily a canned cat food brand. Though offer only a limited selection of dry cat food products, Fancy Feast does offer a wide variety of wet foods in four different product lines.

The Savory Centers wet food line includes delicate pates with delicious gravy centers, bringing two textures together in a single elegant meal.

The Gourmet Naturals line is carefully crafted for exceptional taste and the Medleys line features expertly prepared, inspired flavor combinations. The Broth Complements line features lickable broths made with tender bites of real seafood with no fillers or by-products.

Products Included in This Review

NameTypeProtein %Fat %Top 5 Ingredients
Fancy Feast Gourmet Savory Chicken & Turkey Dry Cat FoodDry34%17%Ground rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef tallow, whole grain corn
Fancy Feast Medleys Wild Salmon Primavera Canned Cat FoodWet10%2%Fish broth, salmon, wheat gluten, liver, tomatoes, meat by-products
Fancy Feast Classic Broths with Tuna, Shrimp & Whitefish Supplemental Cat Food PouchesWet Food Topper7%0.05%Fish broth, tuna, shrimp, fish extract, whitefish

Fancy Feast Gourmet Savory Chicken & Turkey Dry Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Type of Food: Dry
  • First 5 Ingredients: Ground rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, beef tallow, whole grain corn
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 34% protein, 17% fat, 3% fiber, 10% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 469 calories/cup
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $1.82 per pound

Ingredient List:

Ground Rice, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Beef Tallow Naturally Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Whole Grain Corn, Soybean Meal, Liver Flavor, Chicken, Turkey, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil, Minerals [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K)], Dl-Methionine, Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2. E650018

One of Fancy Feast’s few dry food options, this Savory Chicken & Turkey recipe is complete and balanced for cats and comes in enchantingly shaped morsels loaded with meaty flavor. Unfortunately, those are just about the only good things we can say about it.

Not only is the first ingredient not an animal source of protein, but the only real animal proteins in the recipe don’t appear until 8th and 9th on the list. The first ingredient in this recipe is ground rice followed by poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, and beef tallow.

Ground rice is harmless enough, though not particularly rich in nutrients and certainly not what we’d hope to see as the first ingredient.

Poultry by-product meal is, obviously, a by-product but it doesn’t even come from a named source.

Corn gluten meal is a plant protein and beef tallow is a lower-grade source of animal fat. This recipe may be nutritionally balanced, but only with the help of vitamin and mineral supplements. It also contains artificial flavors and colors.

Fancy Feast Medleys Wild Salmon Primavera Canned Cat Food

Product Info:

  • Type of Food: Wet
  • First 5 Ingredients: Fish broth, salmon, wheat gluten, liver, tomatoes, meat by-products
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% protein, 2% fat, 1.5% fiber, 82% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 65 calories/3-ounce can
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $0.28/ounce

Ingredient List:

Fish Broth, Salmon, Wheat Gluten, Liver, Tomatoes, Meat By-Products, Carrots, Spinach, Corn Starch-Modified, chicken, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Salt, added Color, Tricalcium Phosphate, Soy Protein Concentrate, Potassium Chloride, Corn Oil, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Red 3, Magnesium Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Manganese Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide. B-6711.

This canned food recipe is described as a whisker-licking medley of bistro-inspired flavors. It features wild salmon and is packed with everything your cat needs like protein, antioxidants, and healthy omega oils. In reading the ingredients list, however, we see a few problems.

Fish broth is the first ingredient which isn’t a serious issue considering the high moisture content and the fact that many wet foods list a source of moisture as the first ingredient.

Fresh salmon is the second ingredient and fresh chicken appears later in the list. Unfortunately, so do some low-quality ingredients like wheat gluten, modified corn starch, soy protein concentrate, and corn oil as well as artificial coloring.

It is difficult to say how much protein comes from animal sources and the use of artificial additives is no benefit. Overall, we question the quality of this recipe.

Fancy Feast Classic Broths with Tuna, Shrimp & Whitefish Cat Food Pouches

Product Info:

  • Type of Food: Wet food topper
  • First 5 Ingredients: Fish broth, tuna, shrimp, fish extract, whitefish
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 7% protein, 0.05% fat, 1% fiber, 92% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 18 calories/1.4-ounce pouch
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $1.32/ounce

Ingredient List:

Fish Broth, Tuna, Shrimp, Fish Extract, Whitefish, Modified Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Wheat Starch, Sugar, Salt, Soy Protein, Vegetable Oil, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Vitamin E Supplement, Egg Whites, Spice and Coloring.

In addition to complete and balanced wet foods, Fancy Feast also offers a collection of wet food toppers.

These can be poured over or mixed with your cat’s current diet to increase the moisture and protein content while also making it more palatable for your cat. Keep in mind that this particular product is not complete and balanced, so it should not be used as a staple diet.

In looking at the ingredients list, we see several good things like fresh tuna, whitefish, and shrimp.

Unfortunately, there are also a number of low-quality ingredients including wheat starch, soy protein, and vegetable oil as well as ingredients that don’t provide any nutritional value like sugar and coloring agents.

What Do Customers Think of Purina Fancy Feast Cat Food?

With over 100 different products to choose from, customers love the variety Fancy Feast has to offer.

Many of their products carry a 4-star review or higher on Chewy, though some customers are concerned about the quality of the ingredients. Generally speaking, however, products are received very well which is surprising considering the low overall quality of the brand.

Positive Customer Reviews

“I was buying other brands of dry cat food that was going more to the mice in my old farmhouse than the cat eating. I bought Fancy Feast dry and the cat gobbled it up as fast as she laps up the gravy of the Fancy Feast canned food. She is such a picky eater.” – Unegadog, reviewing Fancy Feast Gourmet Savory Chicken & Turkey Dry Cat Food

“My 2 cats eat and sop up every variety of primavera that Fancy Feast makes. My tabby Mariah goes nuts when she sees me holding a blue can to feed her. My fat cat Juno just loves to eat in general. I love Fancy Feast for offering so many great varieties of food for my fur babies.” – Casey, reviewing Fancy Feast Medleys Wild Salmon Primavera Canned Cat Food

“As the owner of five rescue cats, Chewy has come to MY rescue in helping me garner enough supplies to keep them both happy and healthy. All my catties love the Fancy Feast broths, especially the fish flavors! Four of them are older and have renal issues, so the broths provide them with some good nutrition.” – Steph, reviewing Fancy Feast Classic Broths with Tuna, Shrimp & Whitefish Pouch

Negative Customer Reviews

“There are many other products which are healthier for your cat and have meat as the first ingredient. This one does not. I am trying to wean my cats off this and start them on something that is healthier.” – Bearbaby, reviewing Fancy Feast Gourmet Savory Chicken & Turkey Dry Cat Food

“Finally a canned cat food my cat will eat and I notice it has by-products in it. Seriously? Let’s care enough for our cats to put on label “garden veggies and greens” (which cats are carnivores, don’t see many in gardens”. I like to give all-natural foods to my fur baby but in order to get meds in her I have to do what is needed, by “by-products”, some things are non-negotiable, so I’ll be seeking healthy foods.” – Kelf68, reviewing Fancy Feast Medleys Wild Salmon Primavera Canned Cat Food

“My cat totally loves the broths which are a midday treat couple times a week. In recent months, my cat sometimes has taken one sniff but no taste of the broth and walked away. I suspect some sort of quality-control issue or slight ingredient change. Purina, naturally, assures me nothing has changed in the product’s ingredients or formulation. My cat knows that isn’t true.” – Zenobiacat, reviewing Fancy Feast Classic Broths with Tuna, Shrimp & Whitefish Pouch

Product Recall History

The Purina brand is one of the biggest names in the pet food industry and has been around since the 1980s. As a major pet food company, Purina produces cat food in mass quantities in many different facilities, so the risk for mistakes is fairly high. When it comes to product recalls, however, they can be for things as simple as labeling errors or as serious as contamination with food-borne pathogens. A recall or two is not necessarily an indication of an untrustworthy brand, but it is something to pay attention to.

Here is an overview of Purina pet food recalls:

  • March 2019 (May contain rubber pieces) – This recall affected a limited run of Muse wet cat food due to concerns that the product might contain pieces of rubber.
  • March 2016 (Inadequate levels of vitamins and minerals) – This recall was issued for certain runs of Purina Pro Plan Savory Meals in 10-ounce tubs as well as some Beneful products.
  • August 2013 (Possible salmonella) – In this recall, 3.5-pound bags of Purina ONE Beyond Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food were recalled for potential salmonella contamination.
  • May 2012 (Possible low thiamine) – Cans of Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management cat food were recalled due to possible low thiamine levels.
  • June 2011 (Possible salmonella risk) – In this recall, 3.5-pound and 7-pound bags of Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7+ Dry Cat Food were recalled.
  • July 2011 (Possible salmonella risk) – Bags of Purina Cat Chow Naturals were recalled due to possible risk of salmonella contamination.

As you can see, Purina has several recalls as a company but none affecting the Fancy Feast product line. The fact that Purina Fancy Feast, a brand with over 100 different products, has never been recalled is a good thing but you still need to do your own analysis of the products to determine their quality.

How Much Does Purina Fancy Feast Cat Food Cost?

Many of Purina’s product lines are very affordable for the average pet owner and Fancy Feast is no different.

They offer a wide variety of products spread over four product lines, so it is possible to find something affordable for just about everyone.

In terms of the recipes we’ve reviewed here, the most expensive product is the broth food topper.

That is to be expected, however, because it is sold in a smaller package. The canned food recipe we reviewed is affordably priced at $0.28 per ounce and the dry food costs under $2.00 per pound.

To give you a better idea how Purina Fancy Feast stacks up against other cat food brands, here is a quick chart to show you some average prices:

Where Can You Buy Purina Fancy Feast Cat Food?

Easily one of the most well-known brands of cat food, Purina Fancy Feast products can be found just about anywhere.

In addition to being sold in major pet store chains like Petco and PetSmart, Fancy Feast is also sold at big box stores like Target and Walmart.

If you prefer to shop online, look for Fancy Feast at the online stores for any of these retailers or at Amazon and Chewy.

You should also be able to find Fancy Feast products in local and regional pet stores as well as some grocery store chains.

Our Final Thoughts: Is Purina Fancy Feast a Good Brand?

We have reviewed several of Purina’s other pet food brands and, generally speaking, we are not impressed.

The company appears to value quantity over quality, developing dozens of recipes without perfecting any of them.

Purina uses a wide variety of plant proteins as well as low-quality ingredients and many Fancy Feast products are loaded with by-products, fillers, and artificial additives.

Though it may be possible to find a Fancy Feast product that offers decent quality nutrition, it would take some searching and, at this point, we don’t see enough good in the brand to make the effort.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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