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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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Nisan - November 27, 2023

I researched the healthiest cat foods. I bought expensive cat food that fit the bill. My cats would eat it at first and then turn their noses up at it. So much money was going to waste. So, I decided to cook for them. They need organ meat and bone meal, so it wasn’t easy (or cheap), but then, they stopped eating even that.
They liked canned tuna and turkey deli meat, but it’s too high in salt. They’ll eat boiled chicken on occasion, but not two days in a row. I was beside myself. I almost broke down in tears at the pet food store.

Their former foster mother (who cat sits on occasion) said they love Fancy Feast. It’s so easy to find and cheap… and more importantly… THEY EAT IT. They also like Trader Joe’s kibble. (A client had gifted me a bag.) I give them treats and lots of love. So, I’ve decided to be okay with “mystery mishmash.”

Jake Star - November 27, 2023

Omg it makes perfect sense. I love my cat incredible amounts and she’s 19 and always ate FF. Now she puked the foam up too. I can think of only two reasons as it is all Covid agenda30 great reset garbage… They are now intentionally poisoning not just us, but our animals too, which if you just google The Draco Empire and Orion Empire it will make perfect sense. The other one is that it could be related to the Fukushima radiation poisoning of the entire Pacific ocean in 2011.. millions of sea animals still are dying, but then, why all of a sudden, now? They said in 2013 that the Pacific ocean is big enough to dilute it. I think it’s more likely the first one. Not too happy, they can shove their New World Order dictatorship and death dealing agenda30. Definitely Covid related.

Lois Greeke - November 27, 2023

My Cat Paws passed away 7/10/23 from Mercury poisoning. He liked FF Tuna grilled. He had seizures, his back leg had mobility issues,
his gait was wobbly when trying to walk. It is really sad he had to end his life with Mercury poisoning.

Marcelle C Bristol - November 27, 2023

My cat has been eating Fancy Feast patè moist cat food for yrs now. Has never thrown up. She does puke the dry Rachel Ray cat food once in a while. I’ve tried switching her to other dry and moist cat foods and she refuses to eat it.

Lois Greene - November 27, 2023

Mercury poisoning is the cause of my Cat having seizures and he can barely move his back leg. Why is the FDA Pet Division not checking the contaminates in Pet Food instead of letting diseased carcasses, dead carcasses, euthanized carcasses with phenobarbital, importing tons of carcasses from China being allowed for Pet Food manufacturers to use these in Pet Foods and not checking Mercury in fish going into Pet Food. The FDA Pet Division is not doing their job which
their purpose is to protect our Pets by making sure Pet Food is SAFE. Who is going to make sure that the Pet Food which is $billions of dollar business is SAFE since the FDA Pet Division DOES NOT?

Lois Greene - November 27, 2023

My Senior cat has eaten nothing but Fancy Feast Seafood in gravy, grilled salmon in gravy and Tuna feast and now has been havinh seizures for the last week and a half. He has all the symptoms of mercury poisoning which is irreversible. Fancy Feast owned by Purina needs to have a RECALL for their Fancy Feast cans containing FISH.
Who should be contacted?
The Pet Poison Center phone line charged $85.00 for a call
Help please, so other Cats are not going to die.

Brenda - November 27, 2023

I have been feeding my cat fancy feast for 3 years with no problems until last Saturday night. She vomited all night long. I took her to the emergency vet on Sunday and they gave her fluids and a shot for nausea. Today is Friday and I had to take her to the vet this morning because she has been vomiting again and has no appetite. The vet gave her a nausea shot, gastrointestinal biome food, probiotics to sprinkle on her food. I don’t know what to start feeding her. The vet said Purina pro plan cat food. I’m kinda afraid of purina products. I have over $100 of canned fancy feast. I’m so upset about this. Any suggestions on what to feed her?

Lisa Duncan - November 27, 2023

In reading all these comments..I noticed something…most of pet parents are feeding FF dry cat food…..please stop….all the dry food in the grocery store is nothing but corn..corn meal..corn gluten …your cat is an obligate carnivore..meaning they are meat eaters only…if you are going to feed your cat dry food..make absolutely sure an animal named protein is listed..cats do not need carbohydrates for energy..they get their energy from their protein source..the carbs can and will cause weight gain..and feline diabetes..I know from personal experience..if you love your cat..find a good protein based dry a fountain for water…be sure you clean it thoroughly weekly….I feed my cats their kibble but the main source is wet food that I prepare for them..I know what they are getting…as for treats..stop giving temptations and other some very thin steak and dehydrate it for their can also do that with chicken..
My one cat CJ..gained so much weight on the corn based kibble…went from 10 pounds to 21 in 4 months..developed diabetes as well….I took him completely off all dry food and store bought treats. Started him on homemade food and dehydrated meat for treats and he lost 11 pounds and blood sugar went from 516 to 115 in about 6 months..his litter box stopped smelling ..less in the box..he was a much happier cat…and at last healthy…take it from someone who has had over 150 cats in my life time..I swear by homemade food…with the needed supplements added….you’ll have a healthier happier and less picky eater once they adjust….

Judy Wood - November 27, 2023

I fed FF wet to my cats for years. They loved the Turkey pate especially and the Savory Centers, too. But I just saw it has gone up to $1.36 per can, and the least you can buy is a 12-pack. Also the turkey started looking darker with black specks in it, so they lost interest.
I also am seeing tiny chunks of bone in pretty much every flavor. They were also both vomiting.
What is going on? I just bought some dry food to supplement, and I leave down one gravy FF just for moisture, but they are drinking plenty of water.
This really ticks me off. All the pet food manufacturers and many vets have just become greedy.
I volunteer for an animal shelter, and the number of cats not getting fixed due to vet prices and them trying to push $85 bags of prescription food on you and the inflammatory cost of even the cheapest cat food has led to tons of abandoned cats and thousands of kittens filling shelter, getting hit by cars and getting sick. Shame on all of them. They have to be losing money because people can’t afford food or vet visits.

Frankie Hernandez - November 23, 2023

I have been feeding my boys FF for two years as a treat twice a day. They love the gravy lovers chicken and salmon. They rarely eat the solid pieces of the fish variety of FF. But the past three months I have noticed my cats are hesitant to eat the FF; they eat the gravy only. My younger cat has always enjoyed the food. Lately, I have found small amounts of yellow liquid throughout the area they play in. My boys are use to one-half can each, two times a day treat of FF. it will be difficult to break this routine of a treat twice a day: they look forward to it. I researched FF and found it is addictive to cats, and Mercury might be an issue. So, long post, it is going to be heartbreaking to not give them their scheduled daily treat, but I have to say “no” to FF. I want my boys with me for many, many years to come.

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