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gray tabby cat eating wet cat food

Is Fancy Feast Good For Cats?

You've seen the commercials. Plump, pampered cats delicately nibbling from their crystal bowls, being fed morsels of what appears to be the cat food equivalent of foie gras.

According to the ads, Fancy Feast is the caviar of feline food that is fit for only the most discerning and sophisticated cats. But behind the chandeliers and string quartets, you have to wonderis Fancy Feast good for your cat?

You owe it to Mittens, Mr. Whiskers, or whatever cutesy name you've bestowed upon your furball to discover the truth. The truth may not be quite as fancy as the Feast, but your cat's health and happiness should matter more than keeping up appearances.

It's time to cut through the hype and break it downjust what exactly is in that little silver tray, and is it worth the extra cash? The truth may surprise you.

All About Fancy Feast's Wet Cat Food

Fancy Feast is a famous feline food brand by Purina, but it might not be the best choice for your cat. However, this partially depends on which type you choose.

The classic brand of Fancy Feast cat food by Purina is generally regarded as nutritionally sound. In addition to concerns about how much nutrition is provided by other brands of Fancy Feast, there have been concerns raised on message boards about the safety of their products.

Many Fancy Feast wet food brands contain meat byproducts. These wet cat food ingredients generally provide a relatively low level of nutrition. In addition, some people have found that Fancy Feast products weren't very appealing to their cats. This resulted in them not eating enough to have a nutritionally sound diet.

Safety Concerns

While the cause is unknown, some cat owners have reported that some batches of the Fancy Feast brand might have been contaminated. There have been cases of cats becoming ill after their diet was switched to Fancy Feast.

orange cat eating wet food out of a can

Some pet owners were concerned that their cats suffered long-term health problems due to a switch to Fancy Feast.

In a few cases, cat owners were concerned that a contaminated batch could have caused their pets' death. Luckily, these reports appear to be quite rare, and it has never been verified that Fancy Feast was, in fact, the cause of the problems.

Mercury-Containing Fish

Many of Fancy Feast's products contain a large amount of fish. If you feed your cat products with fish, it is crucial to ensure that the product doesn't have high levels of mercury. Many fish products contain significant levels of mercury.

Many Fancy Feast feline food products contain fish that may carry high levels of mercury. These products can cause the effects of mercury poisoning over a long period, resulting in severe health problems. One common effect of mercury poisoning is kidney damage.

In addition, mercury can cause neurological problems. Unfortunately, if your cat suffered health problems due to mercury in pet foods, it would be difficult for vets to diagnose. Of course, mercury is not a concern for cats who eat Fancy Feast products without fish.

Lack of High-Quality Ingredients

You won't find whole, named meat like chicken, fish, or beef as the first ingredient in Fancy Feast. And you definitely won't spot superfoods like pumpkin, sweet potatoes, or berries on the list.

While Fancy Feast isn't the worst cat food out there, it lacks the high-quality, natural ingredients in premium brands. For kittens and adult cats, a diet full of whole, digestible ingredients is best for health, growth, and longevity.

Ultimately, Fancy Feast's fancy packaging may appeal to humans, but most cats would prefer a simple can of high-quality feline food over a can of byproducts and artificial flavors any day. For the health and happiness of your cat, you're better off choosing food with whole, natural ingredients and skipping the fancy fluff. Your cat will thank you for it!

Pros And Cons Of Fancy Feast Products

The Pros: Affordable Wide Range Of Flavors

Your cat will be living the high life with Fancy Feast's gourmet grub. With many different flavors, your cat will feel like they're dining at a 5-star seafood restaurant whenever you fill their bowl. The tender morsels and rich gravies are fit for a furry king or queen. Talk about the lap of luxury without breaking the bank!

The Cons: Mystery Meat and Misleading Marketing

However, some critics argue Fancy Feast is more of a fancy facade than a fancy feast. The ingredients list reads like an exotic scavenger hunt in the jungle, including vague terms like "meat byproducts" and "artificial and natural flavors."

Fancy Feast also relies heavily on marketing to convey a gourmet image that may not match the reality of what's inside the can or pouch.

Those sumptuous-sounding flavor names and photos of whole salmon filets are designed to appeal more to you, the doting cat parent, than to your discerning cat. Your cat just cares if it tastes good—they don't care if it's called "Flaked Fish & Shrimp Feast" or "Mystery Mishmash."

The Bottom Line

While Fancy Feast can be part of a balanced diet for your cat and provides complete nutrition, it may not be quite as fancy as the name suggests.

As with any food, ensure the first few ingredients are high-quality, natural proteins like fish, chicken, or meat. Supplement kibble or wet food with other treats, proteins, and fresh foods when possible.

Is Fancy Feast Good For Cats?

gray tabby cat with a bowl of wet food licking its mouth

There are many different varieties of Fancy Feast recipes to choose from. This gives you the flavor preferable to your cat, even if they are a picky eater. You can select from poultry, beef, or seafood flavors like tuna. They even have a formula for senior cats!

The food is fortified with vitamins and has high protein and low fat. This helps to boost the nutritional content to some degree. Not all feline foods are fortified with vitamins. Some veterinarians feel this will ensure your cat has a nutritionally sound diet.

In fact, some vets even recommend the products for active cats, kittens, and adult cats.

Overall Customer Reviews

Surprisingly, there was a substantial decline in ratings of Fancy Feast's feline food products on Consumer Affairs. It's currently standing at 2.7 out of 5 stars, with most comments stating they noticed a change in the food after the COVID pandemic hit. Some have also mentioned their cats now refuse to eat the food despite being loyal consumers of the brand for years.

Alternatives: Best Cat Food To Consider

Fancy Feast may be affordable, but it isn't the ideal food choice for your cat. While Fluffy may love the taste of those fishy little morsels, her body probably doesn't appreciate all the byproducts and fillers. As her faithful owner, you want your cat to live a long and healthy life. That means finding her a diet with more substance than those colorful cans provide.

Go Grain-Free

Many vets recommend grain-free food as a better alternative. Grains are cheap fillers that can be hard for some cats to digest. A high-quality, grain-free brand will use digestible carbs like sweet potatoes or chickpeas and pair them with named meat like chicken, fish, or turkey as the first ingredients. Some excellent grain-free brands are Blue Buffalo, Wellness, and Nutro.

Think Raw

If you want to get fancy, consider raw food. Brands like Stella & Chewy's and Vital Essentials use fresh, whole ingredients and added supplements to create a balanced raw diet. Raw food is thought to be more digestible and help reduce allergies. However, it does cost more, and you'll need to keep it refrigerated. For some owners, the benefits of raw are worth the investment.


siamese cat eating wet food

Are you feeling ambitious? You can make your own feline food or even cat treats at home. All you need is a good recipe, a meat grinder, and some time. Homemade food lets you control exactly what goes into your cat's bowl. However, creating a balanced diet requires research and can be time-consuming. If done right, though, homemade food can be a healthy option.

Ultimately, any of these alternatives—grain-free, raw, or homemade—will provide better nutrition for your cat than those fancy little feasts. Your cat may initially protest, but her body will thank you for the upgrade. And you'll rest easier knowing you're giving her the very best.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Has Fancy Feast cat food been recalled?

Although Purina already had some of its animal food products recalled in the past, Fancy Feast, fortunately, isn't one of them. You can check this on FDA's website and look for recalled Purina products.

Do cats need carbs?

Cats are obligate carnivores and don't have a biological need for carbs. However, a small amount of grains, usually rice, barley, or oats, is unlikely to harm most cats and provides a cheap filler for pet food companies.

Is Fancy Feast grain-free?

Fancy Feast offers a grain-free wet cat food line, the Gems Mousse Pate. They also have some grain-free cat treats, which you can browse in their online store.

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Sharley Rose - January 4, 2024

My boys are dead because of purina’s greed. Both developed severe problems overtime. They’d lap the gravy and leave the rest. I reached out to purina, but no response. It was always their favorite until after covid. After reading this article, and comments, I now know it was the product not their ages. Purina sucks. By the time I changed brands, it was too late.
They had developed kidney disease and intestinal absorption problems causing diarrhea and vomiting. I miss them. I hope this message helps others who are wondering what happened to Purina’s cat food. If you think it’s because of your cat and not the food, you’ll be sorry like I am.

Ceci Miller - December 18, 2023

I have 3 cats and in the past week they will not eat Fancy Feast anymore.
I have been feeding them the flaked tuna and shrimp. The last shipment did not look the same as in the past. I do not see any shrimp and can not figure out what the dark pieces that have been added to the can.
My cat were throwing up after ingesting and had diarrhea. I threw it out.
Stay away from this brand!

Patty Robinson - November 27, 2023

My cat has started having explosive diarrhea by eating fancy feast. I had to pitch it before my Zebby dies. He was so pitiful. He started meowing like he was in a lot of pain and then he would take off running to his litter box and have explosive diarrhea. I had him for 2 1/2 years eating fancy feast before this started happening. Now I have thrown it away the vet told me to get a product in hole foods to put on his food . Iam giving him shiba an blue with A4 of a teaspoon of this Meta-Meusel for cats. So far he has not had diarrhea

Don Carlson - November 27, 2023

I have three rescue cats one deaf.. I got them at the beginning of covid from people who couldn’t care for them anymore. I tried several dry food flavors but the only one they would eat was the green bag. This last delivery of a seven pound bag is garbage. My cats loved this.. After they ate some from that bag they all vomited that night and in the morning. I intend on getting a refund and not use any of their products. The cats also wouldn’t touch any wet flavors I tried in the beginning. Stay away from this stuff.

Bernadette M. - November 27, 2023

My cats have been eating fancy feast since they were eating the chicken beef and turkey flavors and then they got tired of them. Now they’re reading the card and tuna I don’t like the shrimp. Cats are very finicky. They can go from love and the food to not like it at all. Go with the flow.

Ronald M. - November 27, 2023

My cat won’t touch the stuff. I just feed her dry with plenty of water available. I think she knows that it’s not fit to eat. I use the ‘if I wouldn’t eat it, I’m not feeding it to my cat.’

Susan T - November 27, 2023

I had two cats that both lived to be 20 years old. They each had one can of fancy feast a day and plenty of cat chow. They wouldn’t eat any other cat food.

Patrick M Johns - November 27, 2023
any of you cat parents out there that may have trouble feeding your cat dry food. then try young again cat food it is very good for your cats and if you have dogs they make that also. and is the only dry food that makes a dry food for diabetic cats and dogs. check them out.
Lois Greene - November 27, 2023

My Cat, Paws had eaten only Fancy Feast Seafood. When I started him in the Tuna Feast
he started getting symptoms of lead poisoning: seizures, his gait when trying to walk was wobbly (he could not walk straight), his back leg had mobility issues, he went into a coma and he passed away on July 10, 2023.
I raised him since he was 3 months old when I adopted
him from Happy Tails rescue in Sacramento, CA.
Why ar there no warnings at Petstores about Mercury in seafood cat food in the Cat Food aisles?

James - November 27, 2023

no way am I feeding my cats this garbage. Its like feeding yourself fast food on a daily basis. Pick up the can and read all about the garbage they pack into it. I can promise you that any meat they put into their product is first read off as a crude protein. They can’t even say what meat is in the can. If you want to feed your pets a crude protein that can’t be identified, by all means go ahead and do that, as for mine I will be feeding them no grain and the first ingredient is a meat that is clearly stated.

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