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Iams Cat Food Review (12 Products)

Though IAMS pet food is now available in a range of grocery and big-box retailers, it was previously exclusive to vets and specialty pet stores.

However, IAMS is one of the oldest pet food manufacturers. In fact, they invented the first dry dog food containing animal protein.

Paul Iams, a self-taught animal nutritionist, founded IAMS in 1946. During the Great Depression, Paul was able to subsist by selling dog food.

This encounter taught him that even the most dire financial circumstances would not prohibit people from feeding their dogs.

So, in 1950, he produced the IAMS 999 dog food, which was the first IAMS product. But Paul and IAMS weren't finished yet. Paul launched Eukanuba two decades later, in 1969.

A few years later, the IAMS paw print logo arrived, which is still the brand's symbol today.

IAMS set the standard for the whole pet food market in the 1980s by developing dog food recipes for various life phases.

Around the same time, they began producing cat food. They still create high-quality food for dogs and cats today.

Let's discover more about this brand in this IAMS cat food review from BestForPets (bestforpets.org)!

IAMS Cat Food Evaluation

A Little History

Paul Iams founded the IAMS pet food brand, but subsequently sold it to Clay Mathile, a former employee. Mathile sold IAMS to Proctor & Gamble for more than $2 billion in 1999.

That sale led in some significant changes at IAMS, such as reduced serving sizes and the substitution of lower-cost ingredients to keep prices low.

Unfortunately, these adjustments were not favorable to IAMS or their customers, and a class-action lawsuit was filed shortly after numerous dogs began losing weight on the new feeds.

IAMS consented to the FDA’s demands to resolve the claim. The company was then sold again in 2014, this time to Mars Inc.

Mars Inc. is the world’s largest pet food company, with approximately $18 billion in yearly revenue as of 2020. IAMS is just one of several brands owned by Mars, which also owns Eukanuba and Royal Canin.

Surprisingly, Mars does not control the entire IAMS company. When they bought IAMS from Proctor & Gamble, Spectrum Brands bought the company’s European business.

However, Spectrum sold the European IAMS and EUKANUBA brands to United Petfood in 2020, and the company believes it will continue to produce the feeds in the future.

Where is IAMS Cat Food manufactured?

Despite being a part of Mars Inc., the IAMS company produces its own food.

Their factories are largely in the United States, with plants in Ohio, Nebraska, and North Carolina, and their headquarters in Virginia.

In Ohio, an IAMS research center is also located, where veterinarians, nutritionists, and scientists study pet nutrition and create new products.

IAMS Europe operates a manufacturing unit in Coevorden, the Netherlands, to serve the international market.

Which Cats Are IAMS Best Suited For?

There is an IAMS food for every kitty, with dozens of various recipes in a variety of flavors. Whether you feed your cat dry or wet food, you’ll discover a meal that’s a good fit.

They even offer unique blends for cats at various phases of life, so from kittens to seniors, they’ve got you covered.

Some cat owners choose grain-free foods for their cats, and IAMS caters to these pet parents as well.

There are solutions to help your cat’s digestion, improve his coat, avoid hairballs, maintain a healthy weight, and more.

Which cats and owners would benefit from a different brand?

With so many food options, IAMS appears to be a good fit for most cats. However, some felines may dislike this food.

We’ve had issues in the past with fussy eaters, and some of them didn’t like IAMS food. Granted, there are always a plethora of tastes to sample, so you may strike gold, but you may not.

While IAMS produces cat food that is intended to keep cats healthy and happy, not every cat owner will be as pleased with the ingredients list.

There is nothing on it that is dangerous to cats, however there are some elements in IAMS food that some cat owners may not want to feed to their cats, such as maize.

However, various recipes frequently utilize different ingredients, so if you wish to eliminate maize, for example, you may choose a grain-free dish instead.

IAMS’s Primary Ingredients

The ingredients list is the first place we check when we want to learn more about a pet food. You can get a decent sense of a food’s overall quality after you know what ingredients were employed in it.

The ingredients are listed in descending order based on the amount of each in the blend. As a result, the first item listed is the most common, while the last ingredient is utilized in the least amount.

The first five ingredients of any cat food are the most important, and in the case of the IAMS ProActive Health Healthy Adult Dry Cat Food, those ingredients are chicken, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain corn, corn grits, and corn gluten meal.

It all starts with high-quality protein

When any whole-food animal-based protein is included as the first component in a cat food, it’s usually a positive sign. 

We can see that chicken is the most commonly utilized ingredient in this IAMS food.

That’s a good start, as it demonstrates that they prioritized quality ingredients and protein content with this combination.

Chicken by-product meal is the second ingredient on this list. While it may not sound as appetizing as chicken alone, by-product meal is actually highly beneficial for cats.

Cats devour their prey whole in the wild, which means they consume organs, bones, and other body parts. These are conspicuously absent from the diets of household cats.

However, by-product diets contain organ meats and other tissue that can offer your cat with essential nutrients.

Since we’re talking about protein, let’s take a short glance at the nutritional label, which shows that this item contains at least 32% crude protein.

That’s a lot more than we’ve seen in many dry cat food combinations. And since protein is so vital for cats, that gets a thumbs up from us.

Corn in Significant Amounts

Following two excellent protein sources, you’ll notice three corn items listed next. Cats do not require carbohydrates because they are obligate carnivores.

That doesn’t imply maize is bad for them, but we don’t want to feed it to them in large quantities.

Having said that, we prefer whole-food ingredients, and all dry cat foods contain carbohydrates of some sort to bind the food together and serve as filler calories.

At the very least, whole grain corn is a healthful whole food that is preferable to the cheaper fillers utilized by other manufacturers.

Unfortunately, the corn gluten meal is one of the cheaper fillers further down the list. This is a low-cost substance used to increase the protein content of food.

While it does contribute protein to the mix, corn gluten meal is not a protein that cats can easily digest.

And because it is more difficult for your cat to digest, the calories are not used efficiently, which can lead to obesity and even diabetes.

An Overview of IAMS Cat Food


  • Affordably priced for the average cat owner
  • Protein content is high.
  • The major ingredient is a whole-food animal protein source.
  • Contains essential nutrients for a healthy cat


  • There is a lot of maize in this.
  • The quality isn’t what it used to be.

History of Recalls

It has been quite some time since IAMS pet food was recalled, but they had a spate of recalls between 2007 and 2013 owing to a variety of difficulties.

The most recent IAMS pet food recall occurred in August 2013 due to the possibility of salmonella infection.

In March of 2013, IAMS issued a voluntary recall on certain goods due to probable mold growth. It should be highlighted that because this was done voluntarily, it is not a legitimate recall.

A small batch of IAMS food was withdrawn in December 2011 due to high aflatoxin levels.

In 2010, IAMS issued three recalls in August, July, and June due to inadequate thiamine levels and the presence of salmonella.

IAMS was also the brand hardest hit by the huge melamine recall in March 2007, with 43 of its products pulled from store shelves.


Perfect Portions by IAMS Wet Cat Food with No Grain

IAMS Perfect Portions wet cat food comes in compact containers that are ideally designed for a single meal, making feeding time easier.

This not only speeds up and simplifies feeding, but it also helps to keep your cat’s weight stable, preventing overeating.

This recipe calls for pate, which is easy to digest and provides complete nourishment for cats. It contains no grains. With only 0.9% total carbohydrates, it’s nearly carbohydrate-free.

Multiply that by ten to get the protein content of this food: 9%. That may not seem like much, but since this is wet food, 78% of it is water.

When you look at the ingredients, you’ll notice that there are various nutritious protein sources, including chicken and poultry liver.

The only drawback is that certain finicky eaters will be turned off by this dish. Nobody can please everyone!


  • Affordably priced for the average cat owner
  • Protein content is high.
  • The major ingredient is a whole-food animal protein source.
  • Contains essential nutrients for a healthy cat


  • There is a lot of maize in this.
  • The quality isn’t what it used to be.


Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control IAMS Proactive Health

Weight control blends like this one are becoming increasingly popular as obesity becomes a big issue for pets around the country.

As long as you don’t overfeed them, they’ll help your cat maintain a healthy weight.

This food, on the other hand, takes a step further by providing hairball control, lowering the number of hairballs your cat may cough up.

Take a peek at the ingredients list, and you’ll discover that the first item is chicken. That’s how they packed at least 30% crude protein into this recipe.

However, a few items down on the list have multiple maize ingredients, which we didn’t like for. Still, for any pet owner, this is a fairly reasonable cat food with excellent overall quality.


  • Affordably priced for the average cat owner
  • Protein content is high.
  • The major ingredient is a whole-food animal protein source.
  • Contains essential nutrients for a healthy cat


  • There is a lot of maize in this.
  • The quality isn’t what it used to be.


Adult Cat Food IAMS Proactive Health High Protein

Cats, as obligate carnivores, require a lot of protein. Thankfully, IAMS Proactive Health High Protein Adult Cat Food has responded.

This combination contains at least 32% more protein than regular dry cat meals. While this is more than other brands, it is just slightly more protein than other IAMS blends.

Of course, protein isn’t the only thing in this food. On the nutritional label, you’ll also see omega fatty acids, which are great for keeping your cat’s coat silky and healthy.

However, like the other IAMS feeds we’ve examined, this one contains a lot of maize components, which might create issues in certain cats, such as allergies.


  • A minimum of 32% crude protein is required.
  • Omega fatty acids are present for a healthy coat.
  • The major ingredient is a whole-food animal protein source.


  • Corn is not suitable for all cats.


Dry Cat Food Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult Original with Chicken

The principal protein sources in this dry cat food appear to be chicken and chicken by-product meal.

The first two ingredients in this adult maintenance food are chicken and chicken by-product meal, followed by several types of maize.

Corn and its derivatives can be found in the form of ground whole grain corn, corn grits, and corn gluten meal.

One of the benefits of this cuisine is that it contains animal fats. It has both chicken fat and fish oil in it.

According to Iams, the diet provides an ideal ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids, which promotes good skin and a lustrous coat.

The food has a moderate protein content, a low-to-moderate fat content, and a high carbohydrate content. Each cup of this cat food contains 373 calories.


  • Made using lipids derived from animals
  • An excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids


  • Carbohydrate content is high.
  • Colored with caramel


Grain-Free Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Tuna Recipe

The predominant protein source in this wet cat chow appears to be tuna.

This fishy canned dish is mostly made of flaked tuna with sauce. The sauce is thickened with guar gum, carrageenan, and modified tapioca starch.

While these thickeners increase the commercial worth of the food, they are not nutritionally necessary. Carrageenan may induce inflammation and other problems.

Instead of carnivore-appropriate fat sources, sunflower oil is the predominant fat source in the diet.

Overall, this fish-based wet food has a high protein concentration, a low fat content, and a moderate carbohydrate load. 85 calories are contained in each 3 oz can.


  • There are no animal byproducts in this product.


  • Carrageenan is present.
  • In comparison to other wet foods, it is high in carbs.
  • Fish-based food is not recommended for long-term feeding.


Recipe for IAMS Perfect Portions Indoor Pate Turkey

  • Food Type: Wet
  • Turkey broth, chicken, turkey, chicken liver, dried beet pulp are the first five ingredients.
  • Guaranteed composition: 9.5% protein, 5% fat, 1% fiber, and 78% moisture.
  • Calories per serving: 48 kcal
  • Price per pound/ounce: $0.38

Iams sells wet food only in twin-packs like this, with each part weighing 1.32 ounces.

Cats should be fed 2 34 meals for every 5 pounds of bodyweight, according to the feeding recommendations. A 10-pound cat would require 5.5 servings per day, or roughly three twin-packs.

Overall, this dish does not appear to be that horrible. The first three components are turkey broth, chicken, and turkey, none of which are problematic.

Chicken liver is also a good addition because it contains both animal protein and healthy elements.

Fiber is provided via dried beet pulp, followed by calcium carbonate, dried egg, and guar gum. Guar gum is a thickening and a contentious component. There’s also “added color.”

In comparison to dry food formulae, this Iams wet food contains significantly more animal protein and significantly less carbs (about 3%). The only significant issue is the extra color.

What Other Users Have to Say

You already know how we feel about IAMS, but we wanted to be sure we were giving you the complete picture.

We examined the internet to discover what others who had used IAMS cat food thought of it, checking through reviews and forums to find different thoughts to share with you.

You can see some of these reviews for yourself by clicking here.

Many Amazon customers reported that IAMS cat food relieved their animals’ intestinal issues. One user’s kitten had issues for weeks that were swiftly resolved by switching to IAMS.

Other customers were happy with the low cost of IAMS cat food.


What is the price of Iams Cat Food?

Feeding a 10-pound cat one of the Iams dry feeds discussed above would cost roughly $0.30 per day.

Each day, the Iams canned food reviewed above costs about $1.62. If you want food in a tray, Iams Perfect Portions food is little more expensive, costing roughly $2.76 each day.

Most Iams feeds are priced similarly to mid-tier brands such as Purina Beyond or Rachael Ray Nutrish, with some of their wet foods approaching premium area.

Even their most costly items have low-cost or unneeded additives that you may not find in comparably priced items.

Is Iams a Good Option Overall?

Many cats and their owners adore Iams, but it is not a brand we would suggest.

Since 2004, Iams has issued at least six recalls, indicating weaknesses in their quality control and safety program.

Iams foods are reasonably priced, although their ingredient lists are identical to those found in low-cost items.

Where Can I Buy Iams Cat Food?

Iams is well-known throughout the world. It is sold at supermarket stores, big box stores, and pet food stores. Click here to locate an Iams shop near you.

Iams may be purchased online from Amazon, PetSmart, Chewy, Walmart, PetFlow, Petco, PetFoodDirect, Target, and Wag.com.


IAMS is one of the oldest pet food manufacturers, and you might argue that they are the original.

They now sell their goods in over 70 countries and are the seventh-largest pet food brand in the United States.

After conducting a study and considering everything in the IAMS cat food review, we found that items Perfect Portions by IAMS Wet Cat Food with No Grain and Adult Indoor Weight & Hairball Control IAMS Proactive Health are the most significant and trustworthy.

IAMS will remain one of the biggest names in pet food, with a staff of veterinarians, nutritionists, and scientists constantly working to enhance existing recipes and create new ones to help maintain pets in excellent condition.

With recipes for pets of all ages, lifestyles, and even those with special needs, BestForPets (bestforpets.org) is sure that you’re bound to find one that works for your pet.

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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