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The 9 Best Cat Foods From 9 Lives

After been created in 1957, 9 Lives is one of the market's oldest cat food companies.

They swiftly became one of the industry's most famous brands thanks to a well-planned advertising campaign starring "Morris the Cat." This cat appeared in more than 50 ads.

Big Heart Pet Brands, which also owns Meow Mix, Natural Balance, and Nature's Recipe, owns 9 Lives.

The recipes are very similar to those found in some of their other brands. If you're familiar with any of them, you won't be surprised by 9 lives.

9 Lives also encourages cat adoption from animal shelters. They help fund the first tour of Morris' Million Cat Recipe, a countrywide bus tour to promote cat adoption.

They've lately added a new cat named Li'l Mo to their advertising. This orange cat was acquired from an animal shelter in Los Angeles.

Let's learn more about the best cat foods from 9 Lives with BestForPets (bestforpets.org)!

9 Lives Cat Food Evaluation

Who creates 9 Lives, and where is it made?

Big Heart Pet Brands owns 9 Lives and manufactures it alongside their other brands. Their operations are based in Kansas and Pennsylvania.

These facilities, as well as a few overseas firms, create their formulae. Not all of their recipes are created in the United States, though they do not specify which ones are.

Variety Provides

9 Lives has a wide choice of dishes to pick from. They offer both wet and dry cat food in a variety of varieties.

Tender Morsels, Protein Plus, Hearty Cuts, and Meaty Pate are some of their wet food products.

These lines have varied textures, which distinguishes them from one another. Aside from that, they are quite identical in terms of materials and manufacture.

They also have a wide selection of dry foods. Indoor Complete, Protein Plus, Plus Care, and Daily Essentials are some of their most popular lines.

Their dry food recipes are all made using the same ingredients. Their primary distinctions are based on advertising and extra nutrition.


When compared to other low-cost pet diets, the components in 9 Lives are comparable. The majority of their meats are of poor quality.

Meat by-products, for example, are a typical inclusion, and in some cases the first ingredient in cat food. While by-products aren’t always harmful, unidentified by-products are.

“Meat by-products” can refer to anything. This is especially problematic if your cat suffers from allergies, because there is no way to tell if the food is allergen-free. No one, however, wants to feed their cat strange meat.

By-products aren’t always bad in and of themselves, as long as they’re labeled. By-products are just animal components that are not meat.

This includes nutritional organs such as the brain, lungs, spleen, and kidneys. This is similar to what your cat would eat in the wild, as most cats consume the entire prey.

Named by-products are an acceptable alternative. These are also present in this brand, and we consider them to be acceptable ingredients, especially at this price point.

Whole meats and meat dinners are the best types of meat. Meat meals are just dried, cooked-down meats that are actually more nutritious for our pets than whole meat.

They are essentially concentrated meats that are suited for use in dry meals due to their low water content.

This food also has a lot of protein additions. These are components that boost the overall protein level of a diet but are not derived from meat.

Pea protein and soy protein concentrate are two examples. These components may not include all of the amino acids that your cat need.

These recipes frequently include filler items such as wheat flour and other similar ingredients. These have little nutritional value, but they are employed to bulk up the food and increase the calorie count. As a result, fillers are often not advised.

Average Price

In comparison to other firms, 9 Lives is unquestionably a low-cost option. It is far less expensive than comparable market alternatives.

This is what pulls most customers to the meal – it is just one of the most affordable options available.

If this is all you can afford to feed your cat, it is preferable to nothing. However, its low cost should cause you to question its quality.

This meal is inexpensive for a reason. If you can afford it, we propose that you seek an alternative option for your pet.

An Overview of 9 Lives Cat Food


  • Expensive
  • There are numerous tastes available.


  • Ingredients of poor quality
  • Many recipes contain fillers.
  • Recalls are quite common.

History of Recalls

9 Lives has been revived multiple times in recent years. For starters, certain versions of their Meaty Pate were recalled in 2017 due to a possible thiamine deficiency.

The recall was later broadened. Other brands owned by Big Heart Pet Brands were also recalled.

In 2018, they announced another recall for two versions of their wet food. This recall was also for thiamine insufficiency.

According to some reports, these are the only two recalls in the company’s 60-year existence.

Cat food requirements, on the other hand, were not tight (or even existed) until a few decades ago. It’s not surprising that the corporation had no recalls in the 1960s.


9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food with Chicken, Beef, and Salmon

9 Lives Daily Essentials with Chicken, Beef, and Salmon Dry Cat Food is of inferior quality than other foods on the market because it contains whole ground maize as the first component.

Whole meat or meat meal should be the primary ingredient in any cat diet, not a grain. As the second element, there is chicken by-product. This is meat, although it is of lower quality than some of the other choices.

Corn gluten meal and soybean meal, the third and fourth ingredients, are both protein additions that increase the protein composition of the product.

However, because this protein is not derived from meat, it is unsuitable for most felines. The protein content of this dish is 30%, which is around average.

This product is said to contain beef and salmon. It does not, however, contain much of either of these animals. Beef fat is used.

There is also “meat and bone meal,” however this is one of the lowest grade meat options available. It literally means “mystery meat,” and it might be anything. Salmon meal appears farther down the list, and no meat can be found.

Omega fatty acids are added, most likely as a result of the fish meal.


  • Inexpensive
  • High protein content
  • Omega fatty acids have been introduced.


  • Several low-quality substances were used.
  • The first ingredient is grain.
  • Poor meat selection


Dry Cat Food 9 Lives Protein Plus with Chicken & Tuna Flavors

9 Lives Protein Plus Flavors: Chicken & Tuna Dry Cat Food is a more popular type of dry food. It is intended to be higher in protein than their regular food, as the name implies.

It is by roughly 3% more, yet this still places it firmly in the average range among most pet foods. Furthermore, it appears that the majority of the protein is derived from soybean meal, the third component on the list.

The second ingredient is chicken by-product meal. While any meat in cat food is generally beneficial, this is a lower-quality option.

The first component is entire ground maize, not beef. Because it is whole grain, it contains some nutritious benefit. It should not, however, be the first element on the list. High-quality meat should be prioritized.

Tuna meal is included, although it is far further down the ingredient list, making little difference. There is some “animal fat” in there.

While some animal fat in cat food is normal and anticipated, labeled animal fats are preferred. Because we have no idea what animal this fat came from, we consider it a lower quality source.


  • Protein supplementation
  • Antioxidants have been added.
  • Dual kibble shapes to keep things interesting


  • Materials of poor quality
  • The first ingredient is whole grain corn.
  • Protein supplements are included.


Canned Cat Food 9 Lives Meaty Pate with Real Beef

The 9 Lives Meaty Pate with Real Beef is the best recipe we’ve tried so far. One of the finest options on the market is canned cat food.

The first ingredient is meat, however it is meat by-products. This is potentially one of the worst meat ingredients for cat food. It may be nutritionally inferior than meat meal and whole meat as a byproduct.

Furthermore, because it is exclusively referred to as “flesh.” There’s no telling what kind of animal this meat came from. Anything from roadkill to euthanized shelter animals could be included.

Both beef and poultry byproducts are included immediately after water, which is required for processing. Both of them are high-quality alternatives, however they do target low-quality beef by-products.

This dish is also reasonably high in protein and fat. This is most likely due to the larger meat consumption, which increases both fat and protein content.


  • Completely nutritious
  • Contains a lot of pork products
  • Protein and fat content is high.


  • Meat of poor quality


Canned Cat Food 9Lives Hearty Cuts with Real Beef & Chicken in Gravy

The term “with” in “Hearty Cuts with Actual Beef and Chicken” emphasizes that hearty cuts are the main course, with real chicken and beef on the side. But what exactly are “hearty cuts”?

According to the ingredient list and information provided by a 9Lives representative, they are a mixture of meat and other components that are extruded and molded into pieces, rather than bits of meat.

The list of ingredients begins with enough water for processing.

Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooking weight, it seems to reason that water would be the first component, even though some of that water is cooked off during processing.

The second ingredient is meat byproducts. This word refers to a range of muscle meat, organs, and other tissues derived from cows, pigs, sheep, or goats, according to AAFCO criteria.

Following the meat by-products, the list includes the actual beef and chicken referenced in the food’s name. Following that is soy protein concentrate, wheat flour, modified corn starch, and steaming bone meal.

This 9Lives food contains many additives in addition to the core ingredients. Natural flavor, which is often created from hydrolyzed animal tissues, is added to improve the palatability of the dish.

The caramel tint gives it a meaty-brown appearance. This dye is not only unneeded, but also potentially hazardous. 4-MEI, a carcinogenic compound, may be present in caramel color.

The list closes with a selection of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Overall, this 9Lives canned cat food is rich in protein, low in fat, and high in carbohydrates.

Each can of 9Lives Hearty Cuts with Real Beef and Chicken contains 112 calories, or roughly 20 calories per ounce.


  • Real beef and chicken are used.
  • Carrageenan and other gums are not present.


  • Colored with caramel
  • It makes use of a plant protein concentration.
  • When compared to other canned goods, this one has a high carbohydrate content.

What Other Users Have to Say

Many consumers reported that the wet food was no longer edible once it had been opened. At every meal, a new can is required.

Saving the can in the fridge causes the food to harden, which will likely turn off your cat. When food is left out, it hardens quickly. It must be consumed immediately, which may or may not be feasible in your situation.

Some cats dislike the moist formula, but every cat food certainly has a cat who dislikes it.

Cats are notoriously fussy eaters, making it difficult to locate food that they will consume. This does not necessarily imply anything about the cuisine.

Many users said that their cat enjoyed the taste of both the dry and wet food. It appears to be determined by the cat and their tastes. However, more people said that their cat enjoyed it than claimed that their cat did not.

There appears to be a lot of powder at the bottom of the dry food bags. Because much of the kibble isn’t usable, some customers feel cheated. This also speaks to the overall quality of the kibble.

Many folks thought the kibble was also little. If you have a little cat, this may not be a big deal. Larger cats, on the other hand, may dislike the smaller kibble.

Others reported that their cats gained weight and had poor fur health while eating this diet. This is to be anticipated given the low quality of the cuisine.

However, some folks did not notice any issues. Again, this is most likely due to your specific cat. Some people require higher-quality food than others.

Some cats can eat almost anything and still flourish, while others require a specific diet to thrive.


While 9 Lives is not cheap, it is less expensive than most cat foods for a reason. The majority of the ingredients utilized are of poor quality.

By-products, including unidentified by-products, are frequently used. There is a lot of grain as well. Grain is frequently used as the initial ingredient, although entire meat is far preferable.

Following our investigation and testing of all of the best cat foods from 9 Lives stated above, we recommend 9 Lives Daily Essentials Dry Cat Food with Chicken, Beef, and Salmon and Canned Cat Food 9 Lives Meaty Pate with Real Beef as the two most prominent and dependable products for your consideration.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) doesn’t necessarily recommend this food unless it’s your only alternative. It’s decent meal for the price.

However, when compared to most other options in the cat food market, it is of inferior quality.


What is the price of 9lives Cat Food?

9Lives is one of the most affordable cat food brands on the market.

If you follow 9Lives feeding requirements for a 10-pound cat, the brand’s wet food will cost you approximately $0.77 per day. Their dry varieties are significantly less expensive, costing roughly $0.10 per day.

Is 9lives a Good Option Overall?

Even if money is limited, 9Lives is easy to discover and purchase, but it is not the most healthy option. Every 9Lives recipe contains plant ingredients as well as potentially dangerous chemicals.

Other budget brands, like as Friskies, Fancy Feast, and Sheba, may be nutritionally superior options if you’re searching for nourishing food at a low price.

Where Can I Buy 9lives Cat Food?

9Lives cat chow is available in supermarket stores, big box stores, and pet supply stores. 9Lives can be purchased online via Amazon, and a variety of other cat food stores.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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