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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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Connie Miller - May 26, 2022

my cats were born feral and started eating fancy feast grilled cat food when weaned because that’s what I was giving their mom. now they refuse to eat anything I’ve tried-different brands or even classic pate’fancy feast because I feel the quality has declined severely. It looks and smells different than it used to and they don’t like most of it either. Now I can’t find it anywhere in stores or to order. I don’t know what to do. I’m at my wits end!

Di Jones - May 26, 2022

I have a very fussy cat or is it because most brands are low quality? She likes variety but mainly likes packaged Fancy Feast Chicken and Turkey but not Turkey and liver. I have to check the box to make sure no liver in it. She doesn’t like fish, maybe too much mercury in some brands?

John Kennedy - May 26, 2022

My cat I give Fancy feast Regularary and came down with cystis

Donna Wahl - January 16, 2022

My cat ate fancy feast today. It’s new for her. We’re on our second box. Within a half hour of eating the Turkey gravy? She began meowing in pain. She pooped outside the litter box. Her mouth was foaming. She trough it all up! She foamed at the mouth and panted. I did what I could for her thinking it def was poisoning.

I will never buy this shit again.

Wanda J KENDRICK - January 16, 2022

I’ve fed my cats Fancy Feast for 25 years. Have had 3 different cats that lived to be 16 to 18 years. My current babies are two and a half years and 10 years and are FF Fed.

Nikky - January 16, 2022

To find kitten soft cat food at a good price is difficult. I use fancy feast and they love it, I alternate the taste chicken, fish, turkey.. I try another brand and they didn’t want it.

Peter - October 26, 2021

My 7 years old cat (Gizmo) is quite healthy and he is so picky on cat food. He loves the only Temptation and Fancy Feast brands cat food and these two brands look good,taste good which makes him none stop eating and causing him in upset stomach and diarrhea and making a mess out side its litter box. I am kind of worry that I just bought a lot of these cat food and they’re not cheap.

Kelly Ann Barcelos - October 26, 2021

My Russian blue siamese and chocolate point siamese seem to favor Fancy Feast and do well with it.
They do not like the salmon or fish ones though at all. They push it away.
Tells me they are saying no thanks. Smart cats.
Dry food I hope Temptation treats are safe.

JSfarber - October 26, 2021

My cat died within 24 hrs of eating canned fancy feast – he was perfectly healthy prior to : he began vomiting profusely after consuming and was taken to the vet the following day to the emergency clinic in which he died ——— I am still not over it a year later

JSfarber - October 26, 2021

My cat died within 24 hrs of eating canned fancy feast – he was perfectly healthy prior to : he began vomiting profusely after consuming and was taken to the vet the following day to the emergency clinic in which he died ——— I am still not over it a year later

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