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Canidae Cat Food Review (10 Products)

Canidae began as a labor of love. Scott Whipple and John Gordon, the company's two founders, met in Whipple's pet food business.

The two men became friends because they both loved animals and were fed up with the status of the pet food industry.

Rather than complaining, they resolved to make a difference. Canidae was formed in 1996 by the duo with the assistance of a few pet nutritionists and veterinarians.

The goal was to develop the kinds of healthful foods that pet owners wanted to feed their animals, even if it meant paying a little more for it.

Ethos Pet Nutrition, a business in Brownwood, Texas, opened in 2012.

While many corporations boast about possessing the world's largest facilities, Canidae takes a different approach: Ethos Pet Nutrition is the smallest pet food facility in the United States.

This allows it to manufacture tiny quantities of its dishes, each of which is meticulously prepared. However, not all of its foods are produced there.

Some are manufactured by third parties, although Canidae does not indicate which foods or where they are manufactured.

This deception is enough to call into doubt their commitment to improving the pet food industry.

The majority of its feeds are intended for cat owners who are concerned about their cat's health but do not want to go bankrupt feeding them.

As a result, many Canidae brands fill the void between mass-produced crap found in most pet food stores and exceptionally high-quality luxury foods found only in specialist boutiques.

All of this adds up to Canidae being a somewhat above-average meal in general.

In this Canidae cat food review from BestForPets (bestforpets.org), we will examine the variety and nutritional content that Canidae produces for cats.

Canidae Cat Food Evaluation

Canidae Cat Food is made by whom and where?

Canidae is a privately held pet food company that is still run by its original proprietors. It has been in business since 1996, giving it an advantage over many of its competitors when the healthy pet food trend began.

Some of its food is produced in the Ethos Pet Nutrition facility in Brownwood, Texas, using natural ingredients developed or grown by the company.

However, a significant amount of its foods are produced by outside manufacturing plants. We don’t know what percentage of its food manufacturing is outsourced, nor do we know where those foods are manufactured.

Canidae Cat Food Is Suitable for What Kinds of Pets?

Many Canidae diets are designed for cats who have dietary restrictions or sensitivities. Canidae offers a variety of grain-free and limited-ingredient alternatives, both of which are beneficial to cats with digestive issues.

Canidae is, in general, the next step up from mass-produced garbage. It employs healthier foods with nearly no fillers or other potentially harmful substances, but it falls short of the nourishment provided by truly high-end foods.

Which Pets Would Benefit from a Different Brand?

Many Canidae meals are highly heavy in carbs, which can be troublesome for overweight cats.

Overweight cats will benefit from a diet strong in protein and fat, since these nutrients will provide them with plenty of energy while not adding to their waistline.

Those with an overweight cat may wish to offer them Tuscan Natural Carne Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, which is particularly heavy in protein and fat.

If you watch your portion sizes and give your cat enough activity, they should be able to lose any excess weight.

Primary Ingredients Discussion

With a few exceptions, most Canidae diets begin with a protein as the first ingredient.

This can take the shape of lean cuts or animal meals; both has advantages and disadvantages, therefore ideally, both should be listed on the label. To Canidae’s credit, you frequently do.

Many of the formulas are grain-free, so you won’t have to worry about fillers like maize, wheat, or soy. Instead, potatoes or peas are frequently substituted.

These are unquestionably better ingredients, but they aren’t required, so it’s terrible that they frequently crowd out proteins.

This frequently reduces overall protein levels, which are typically in the 30% range. That’s not horrible, but it’s also not amazing.

Because cats are carnivores, a cat diet should contain at least 40% protein.

Canidae frequently includes a mix of protein sources in its diets, so your cat will obtain a broader range of critical amino acids than if they ate a food featuring a single animal.

This more closely resembles their native diet, which is generally a good thing. However, keep in mind that some Canidae limited-ingredient meals only offer one protein source.

If you have a cat with a sensitive stomach, this is a trade you should be willing to make, but generally, you should stick with a meal that contains a variety of protein sources.

All Canidae Dry Foods Include HealthPlus Solutions

Canidae employs HealthPlus Solutions in all of its dry cat meals. This is a combination of necessary vitamins and nutrients for a cat’s general wellness.

HealthPlus Solutions also contains probiotics and antioxidants, ensuring that your cat has a healthy digestive tract as well as a strong immune system.

Although we have some concerns with Canidae’s foods in general, there isn’t anything to complain about with HealthPlus Solutions.

Canidae Provides Foods That Are Beneficial for Transitioning to Raw Diets

The raw diet craze has exploded in recent years, and many individuals swear by it. However, it can be costly and difficult to follow, therefore Canidae’s Pure Ancestral Diet range allows pet owners to test the waters before fully committing to the diet.

This line’s kibble is coated with freeze-dried raw beef. This gives your cat some of the benefits of eating raw without requiring you to cook for them, and it’s a lot less expensive for you.

It’s not the same as giving your cat an entirely raw diet, but it will allow you to assess how your cat reacts to eating raw meat so you can make an informed decision about transitioning later on.

Canidae Never Uses Low-Cost Fillers

One of the most dependable methods to differentiate a low-quality food from one that’s at least above average is the use of inexpensive fillers like maize, wheat, and soy.

Manufacturers employ these fillers to add inexpensive bulk to the food, but they have no nutritional benefit and many cats have problems processing them.

Canidae diets do not contain any of these components. That isn’t enough to make it a luxury product, but it elevates the dish above some of its less expensive competitors.

Many Canidae Kibbles are heavily reliant on animal meals

There’s nothing wrong with eating animal meals; in fact, they can be extremely nutritious because they contain amino acids not found in lean cuts of meat. However, those lean cuts of meat are still required.

Many Canidae cuisines are entirely composed of animal meals. This helps the corporation save money, but your cat will miss out on some essential nutrients as a result.

A Brief Examination of Canidae Cat Food


  • There are no cheap fillers.
  • The first ingredient is usually real meat.
  • HealthPlus Solutions is rich in essential nutrients.


  • Is mainly reliant on animal food
  • Protein content is relatively low.
  • Not recommended for overweight cats.

History of Canidae Cat Food Recalls

With one significant exception, Canidae has a mainly positive recall history. The company recalled some of their products in 2012 owing to salmonella contamination.

The affected foods were all manufactured by one of the companies to whom Canidae outsources production, however it is unclear whether Canidae will continue to utilize that particular company to create food.


Dry Cat Food Canidae Grain-Free PURE Elements with Chicken Limited Ingredient Diet

Canidae Grain-Free PURE Elements are designed for cats with delicate stomachs and contain only eight ingredients.

Those ingredients are high in protein, with chicken, turkey meal, and fish meal prominent.

The overall protein levels remain low at 35%, but it’s excellent that they incorporate a range of animal sources. Fat levels may also need an increase, as they are now at 18%.

However, the meal compensates by being abundant in omega fatty acids, which are essential for coat health, immunological function, and brain development.

Because the formula is grain- and gluten-free, it should be well tolerated by most cats. The probiotics contained within should aid digestion as well.


  • Excellent for animals with delicate stomachs.
  • Gluten-free and grain-free
  • Contains a variety of protein sources
  • Omega-3 fatty acid content is high.


  • Protein deficient
  • Could benefit from additional fat


Tuna, Chicken, and Mackerel in Broth Canned Cat Food

Canidae Adore is a wet meal rich in seafood like as tuna and mackerel. There’s also chicken within for extra protein.

The first ingredient, though, is water, which is both healthy and bad. It’s ideal for cats who don’t drink enough since it prevents dehydration by providing enough of moisture.

However, it reduces the protein levels, which in this case are 11%. That’s reasonable for a wet food, however it could be higher if there was more place within the container for meat.

Fish is already abundant in omega fatty acids, and the mixture includes sunflower oil to boost antioxidant levels even further. You’ll be hard pressed to discover a food with more nutrients.

However, the food is expensive, so you may be tempted to choose a less expensive choice or simply stay with dry kibble.

Still, that’s the cost of eating meals made with high-quality components, such as the fish in these cans.


  • High-quality fish is used.
  • soaked in moisture
  • A plethora of omega fatty acids


  • On the expensive side
  • Protein content is mediocre.


Grain-Free Pure Ancestral Diet, High Protein Freeze-Dried Raw Coated Dry Cat Food from CANIDAE

Canidae PURE Ancestral Diet is founded on the premise that cats thrive on a diet that is comparable to what they would find in the wild.

As a result, it is grain-free and has a coating of freeze-dried raw beef. Raw meat has a lot of vital amino acids that are lost during cooking, and many cats enjoy the taste, so it’s ideal for picky eaters.

The protein content is 40%, but the fat content is 16%, which leaves something to be desired.

The protein is derived from a variety of animals, including turkey, salmon, duck, pheasant, turkey, and lamb, providing your cat with a diverse range of vitamins and nutrients.

It does, however, contain dried egg, which is an allergy for many cats. As a result, your cat may not process it as effectively as other foods.

Overall, Canidae PURE Ancestral Diet is a fantastic alternative for anyone wishing to provide raw food to their cat.


  • Mimics the natural diet of cats
  • Freeze-dried raw meat coating
  • High protein content
  • Ideal for picky eaters


  • Many cats are allergic to dried eggs.
  • Low fat content


All Life Stages Formula Dry Cat Food by CANIDAE

The principal protein source in this dry cat food appears to be chicken meal.

Canidae claims that their All Life Stages range is ideal for individuals who don’t want to search for new life stage-specific diets every few years, as well as those who have many cats of varying ages.

This dry cat food is designed for cats of all ages and sizes, from kittens to senior citizens. The first ingredient in the dish is chicken meal, which is a rich form of animal protein.

Following the chicken meal is brown rice, which is more nutrient-dense than white rice but may be species-inappropriate for cats.

Following brown rice, the dish includes cracked pearled barley, peas, and millet.

None of these elements are ideal for a carnivorous animal, but they do serve to form the kibble and provide some nutrition. They considerably increase the carbohydrate content of the food.

The principal source of fat in the dish is chicken fat. It is followed by a few other protein sources.

Turkey meal, potato protein, lamb meal, egg product, and a trace of ocean fish meal are among them. For better palatability, the food contains the ingredient “natural flavor.”

It contains flaxseed, presumably for fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, despite flaxseed omega-3s aren’t naturally available to carnivores.

It also contains salmon oil, which is a more species-specific source of the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA.

This kibble, like all Canidae dry foods, has HealthPLUS Solutions, a blend of probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants that are added after cooking.

Sun-cured alfalfa meal, sage extract, cranberries, beta-carotene, sunflower oil, prebiotics and probiotics, papaya, pineapple, and yucca schidigera extract are included in addition to the conventional vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

The food has a moderate protein content, a moderate fat content, and a high carbohydrate content. Each cup of Canidae All Life Stages dry food contains 521 calories.


  • Named meats are used rather than vaguely labeled by-products.
  • Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are not used.


  • A lot of plants


Canned Cat Food CANIDAE Pure Goodness Salmon & Whitefish in Broth

The principal protein source in this wet cat food appears to be salmon and whitefish.

This recipe, like all wet feeds in Canidae’s limited ingredient range, includes five or fewer primary ingredients.

This recipe’s title includes the words “salmon and whitefish,” which informs us something about the dish’s ingredients. FDA standards govern how cat food is labeled.

The “with” rule, for example, states that any ingredient or set of ingredients must account for 25% or more of the food’s dry matter.

We know that salmon and whitefish account for at least 25% of the diet on a dry matter basis, but what else is in the morsels? Let’s take a closer look at the list of ingredients.

Salmon and whitefish, a genus of demersal ocean fish, are the first ingredients in this fish-based meal. It is unclear whether species are used or if they are wild-caught or farm-raised.

The dish includes both fish broth and vegetable broth that has been thickened with pea flour. As a secondary source of protein, dried egg product is added.

To improve palatability, the food incorporates “natural flavor.” Typically, this additive is manufactured from hydrolyzed animal tissue.

It’s thickened with agar-agar, which is one of the safest thickening agents available. Overall, this wet cat food is rich in protein, moderate in fat, and high in carbohydrates.

Each can contains 71 calories, or roughly 24 calories per ounce.


  • Made with specific meats rather than amorphous by-products
  • Artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives are not used.
  • Carrageenan free


  • Cats do not benefit from fish as a protein source.
  • Carbohydrate content is high.


CANIDAE Indoor Adult Cat Dry Food Turkey, Lamb, and Fish Formula

  • Food Type: Dry
  • Chicken meal, brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, and peas are the first five ingredients.
  • 30.5% protein minimum, 14.5% fat minimum, 4% fiber maximum, 9% moisture maximum
  • Calories in one cup: 477 kcal
  • Price per pound or ounce: $2.47

This All Life Stages Indoor Adult Cat Dry Food, which is slightly less expensive than the other two dry diets mentioned here, has turkey, lamb, and fish as the main proteins.

This is one of Canidae’s few grain-free recipes, and it is intended for multi-cat households.

The first ingredient in this dish is chicken meal, which is followed by brown rice, white rice, cracked pearled barley, peas, and millet.

Even with all of these grains, the recipe’s estimated carb value is considerably under 10%. Protein supplements include turkey meal, lamb meal, egg meal, and ocean fish meal.

These are all high-quality proteins, however cats with food allergies may struggle to tolerate a multi-protein diet.


Rocky Creek with Trout Canned Food CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Wild

  • Food Type: Wet
  • Trout, fish broth, vegetable broth, turkey liver, dried egg product are the first five ingredients.
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 10% protein minimum, 4.5% fat minimum, 1.5% fiber maximum, 82% moisture maximum
  • Calories per cup: 79 calories per can (3 oz.)
  • Price per pound/ounce: $0.53

Canidae’s PURE Wild canned food range is designed for high protein inclusions. The major ingredient in this Rocky Creek with Trout recipe is actual trout, which is complemented with turkey liver, dried egg product, and chicken.

This dish contains no additional carbohydrates, which is a plus. The remaining ingredients are vitamin and mineral supplements, with agar-agar serving as a natural thickener (some are chelated).

Overall, it appears that this is a protein-rich recipe, with the majority of the fat coming from natural sources such as fish and chicken.

We like that it has no added carbohydrates and has actual animal protein. The only potential problem is that the chicken may aggravate cats with food allergies.

What Other Users Have to Say

“On the plus side, they’re free of artificial substances and additives that could damage cats, and they avoid oddly called by-products,” according to All About Cats.

Canidae contains an average amount of protein, more carbohydrates than average, an average amount of fat, and more fiber than average when compared to the 3,122 different cat meals in our database.

Amazon – As pet owners, we constantly double-check Amazon buyer reviews before making a purchase. These can be found by clicking here.


How Much Is Canidae Cat Food?

The majority of Canidae cat food is at the bottom end of the premium price range.

Their foods aren’t as inexpensive as those from Friskies, 9Lives, and Fancy Feast, but they’re much less expensive than those from top organic, natural, and ultra-premium brands.

According to the company’s feeding standards, canned food from the Under the Sun range will cost roughly $2.52 per day for a 10-pound cat.

However, if you choose the PURE canned line, your daily feeding prices will skyrocket to more than $5.50 a day.

Canidae All Life Stages dry food costs around $0.30 per day, and their PURE dry food costs around $0.37 per day, making it far less expensive than most feeds with similar component lists.

Is Canidae a Good Family Name?

Canidae cat food is neither an excellent nor a poor choice. Their cuisine is slightly above-average.

On the plus side, they are free of artificial substances and additives that may be harmful to cats, and they avoid ambiguous-sounding by-products.

However, Canidae suffers from a high carbohydrate content and the inclusion of purportedly low-value ingredients.

Canidae is worth considering if you’re searching for terrific new cat food, but it’s not a brand that stands out from the crowd.

Where Can I Buy Canidae Cat Food?

Canidae is available at retailers throughout the United States and Canada. Distributors are also located in Australia and New Zealand, Central and South America, Asia, and the Middle East.

You may get it online from Amazon, Petco, Chewy, PetFlow, and other online sites that sell cat food.


Canidae is a good middle ground between trash and quality if you’re wanting to move your cat from cheap, mass-produced foods to something healthier.

The meal is of reasonable quality, with no cheap fillers or chemicals, albeit the nutritional values may be improved.

It’s also less expensive than most quality feeds, so BestForPets (bestforpets.org) is sure it’s a good method for owners on a tight budget to feed their cats a nutritious diet.

Having researched and tried out everything in the Canidae cat food review, we have come to the conclusion that the items Dry Cat Food Canidae Grain-Free PURE Elements with Chicken Limited Ingredient Diet and Tuna, Chicken, and Mackerel in Broth Canned Cat Food are the most crucial and trustworthy.

In the end, Canidae is an above-average food, but not much more. You can find much superior foods if you’re ready to pay more, or you can sacrifice quality to save a few dollars.

Your cat could perform better, but they could also perform far worse.

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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