Canidae Cat Food Review 2022 | Recalls | Ratings

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Canidae is a family-owned pet food company with an excellent reputation. There are thousands of positive reviews for this brand. 

And Canidae’s popular, limited-ingredient diets are one many pet food companies have tried to replicate over the years.

The company is much smaller than its competitors. But this allows Canidae to oversee much more of its manufacturing processes and ensure each batch adheres to its rigorous safety and quality standards.

Continue reading this Canidae cat food review to learn about this pet food company, its safety and quality controls, recall history, and why it’s one of the best for its specialized diets.  

How We Rated Canidae Cat Food

We’ve taken a detailed look at Canidae and graded it according to five key criteria. Overall, we’ve considered the brand’s quality, price, product range, recall history, and species suitability. 

6.6
Honest Whiskers Verdict
Species Suitability6
Quality of Ingredients8
Affordability7
Product Range7
Recall History5

Overall, we give Canidae cat food a score of 6.6 out of 10. Continue reading this Canidae cat food review to learn how we reached this conclusion.

About Canidae

Most large pet food companies claim to only use the finest ingredients in their formulas for high-quality nutrition. But often, these companies will focus on cost and sacrifice quality.

Canidae is a much smaller brand than its competitors. But the company has enjoyed steady growth in popularity over recent years because of its commitment to quality. Many pet owners recommend Canidae’s limited ingredient diets, especially for food allergies.

Each product formulated by Canidae is made by a team of veterinary nutritionists. And all Canidae pet foods meet, and often exceed, the recommendations of the AAFCO. 

Canidae History

The company’s journey started in 1996, where it focused on developing pet food using human-grade, fresh ingredients. At the time, Canidae’s founders, John Gordon and Scott Whipple, firmly believed they could exceed the quality of most commercial pet foods.

As a company, Canidae has remained committed to advancing pet nutrition. They’ve formed close, trusted partnerships with local US farmers. And as a result, these partnerships have developed nutrient-rich crops with minimal environmental impact.

Today, over two decades later, the company remains a family-owned business. And it now has over 100 varieties of canned food, dry food, and treats for cats and dogs. 

In 2020, consumers filed lawsuits against the company, accusing them of having misleading and deceptive labeling on specific products. Several formulas stated they contained “natural ingredients” but would include artificial ingredients. [1,2]

For example, some recipes used mineral fortification like fermentation products or DiCalcium Phosphate (DCP). 

DCP is usually included to improve texture in pet food, and some limited ingredient diets need it to meet AAFCO nutrient requirements. But, this substance can potentially cause soft tissue damage or kidney stones. 

On the other hand, fermentation products are usually included to support gut health, immune function and increase essential B-vitamins.

Sourcing & Manufacturing

Ingredients

In 2012, Canidae invested in its Ethos Pet Nutrition plant in Texas. This plant would act as its main manufacturing facility, where most of its dry and wet foods would be cooked.

The Ethos Pet Nutrition plant is the smallest facility of its kind in the USA. 

But despite the company owning its own facility, Canidae still works with partners and third-parties manufacturers for its formulas. 

And unfortunately, this has resulted in Canidae’s only pet food recall, which affected several formulas made at Diamond Pet Foods manufacturing facility. [3]

Today, it’s still not unclear which products are made in the company’s Ethos Pet Nutrition facility and which are made elsewhere. But from the public information available, it seems Canidae still outsources manufacturing to Diamond Pet Food even after acquiring its own plant.

However, Canidae performs consistent quality and safety testing on all products coming out of its Texas-based plant.

Canidae is also committed to responsible ingredient sourcing. 

The Canidae Farms Initiative allows the pet food company to increase involvement and oversee the ingredients used in its recipes. They’ve developed long-term partnerships with US farmers, assisting the growth of ingredients like tomato, pumpkin, zucchini, millet, yellow peas, and parsley. 

The company aims to use ingredients only sourced through its Canidae Farms Initiative. But, today, this only makes up a small portion of the ingredients used. 

Nonetheless, Canidae remains committed to improving its carbon footprint. It follows sustainable practices, invests in regenerative agriculture, and uses green technology to reduce the impact on the environment. 

Ingredients Quality

Most cat owners regularly comment on Canidae’s premium ingredients. They’re widely recognized for their limited ingredient or grain-free formulas. And most recipes are made without artificial ingredients and low-quality foods like corn, wheat, and soy. 

Every Canidae cat food starts with real animal meat for high protein concentrations. Then, whole fruits and vegetables from partnered suppliers are included for a high-quality meal.

While protein-dense meats like bison and fish are sourced from the USA, most of the animal meats used are imported. For example, lamb meal is sourced from New Zealand and duck meal from France. But both of these countries are among some of the best for ingredient sourcing.

Most formulas have above-average protein from wholesome animal meats. So each cat food offers an impressive variety of amino acids and nutrients.

Cats are obligate carnivores, so protein is crucial for their diet. But Canidae also includes nutritious vegetables and fruits to ensure your cat eats a well-rounded diet with high-quality vitamins and minerals.

What’s more, every Canidae cat food has healthy doses of fatty acids like EPA and DHA to maintain and improve eye, brain, skin, and coat health. Most grain-free diets included supplemented taurine to protect heart health too. 


Canidae Cat Food Ranges

Canidae has several cat food products and offers both dry and wet diets. 

Canidae PURE Grain-Free

These premium, grain-free diets are one of Canidae’s most popular product ranges.

They’re limited ingredient formulas specifically designed for sensitive cats. And whenever you select one, you’ll be greeted with plenty of positive reviews. 

These products feature fresh meat or fish as the first ingredient. Dry kibbles typically contain 7-8 key ingredients, while every wet food has 5 or fewer.  This helps prevent new allergies from developing or triggering existing food allergies and sensitivities. 

Each diet is carefully designed to cater to and improve detrimental symptoms of food allergies. You’ll generally find they contain healthy doses of omega fatty acids like DHA and EPA. These healthy fats are anti-inflammatory nutrients ideal for inflammatory diseases like food allergies. 

Not only this, but this collection of cat foods includes recipes for the unique dietary needs of indoor, senior, and less active cats. Every Canidae PURE grain-free cat food is made without gluten, grains, corn, wheat, soy, hormones, or antibiotics. 

Canidae Goodness

Canidae Goodness dry cat foods are health-focused diets formulated to support adult cats. They’re made by a team of board-certified veterinary nutritionists and contain carefully selected ingredients that provide comprehensive nutrition. 

For example, Goodness for Joints contains healthy doses of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and amino sugars like glucosamine that’ll improve joint health. What’s more, it has natural glucose and sulfate sources that help grow cartilage tissue. 

Canidae’s indoor adult cat food supports a healthy weight by including protein-dense meats like whitefish and easily digestible, natural fiber sources to boost digestion. 

In this product range, trusted animal proteins are always the first ingredient. Each recipe only includes nutrient-rich foods and is made without corn, wheat, and soy.  

But, unlike other Canidae products, they are grain-inclusive, containing whole grains like oatmeal for added nutrients.

Canidae Balanced Bowl

Canidae Balanced Bowl is a relatively new canned product line. Each recipe is inspired by home-cooked, healthy meals. 

High-quality animal protein sources always begin the ingredients list. You can select between nutrient-dense meats like chicken, salmon, and tuna. 

To make it balanced and complete, every food contains beneficial vitamins and minerals from wholesome fruits and vegetables. You’ll also find every can comes in a yummy gravy that entices fussy eaters because of its palatability.

This grain-inclusive collection of cat foods can be safely used as a topper or a stand-alone meal. Canidae excludes low-quality ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, or carrageenan in these diets too. 

Canidae Adore

Canidae Adore are limited ingredient cat foods with simple recipes made up of five or fewer ingredients. Each can is loaded with the protein your cat needs from a single premium animal source and excludes common allergens like peas. 

Most wet foods will include peas as an alternative carbohydrate source for grains. But some cats can suffer from pea sensitivities. And the FDA has issued a report on some grain-free diets containing high amounts of peas and potatoes, possibly contributing to increased heart disease risk.

These pea-free cat foods include supplemented taurine to help combat heart disease risk. This amino acid helps improve eyesight, hydration, immune strength, and digestion. 

This collection of canned foods is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to provide complete, balanced nutrition for cats of all life stages. And every can comes in a savory stew that is packed full of flavor and smell to entice fussy eaters. 


Canidae Cat Food: Top Three Diets Reviewed

To get a much better understanding of Canidae, we thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the brand’s best cat foods. 

We’ve considered the nutrient percentages and ingredient quality for each recommended diet. After this, we’ve compared the product against other popular, well-established pet food brands. 

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon Recipe Dry Cat Food
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon Recipe Dry Cat Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Potatoes, Peas
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 32% Protein, 17% Fat, 3% Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Calories: 480 kcal/cup
CANIDAE Balanced Bowl Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe in Gravy Wet Cat Food
CANIDAE Balanced Bowl Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe in Gravy Wet Cat Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Chicken Broth, Chicken, Water, Pumpkin, Tuna
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 8% Protein, 1.5% Fat, 1.5% Fiber, 84% Moisture
  • Calories: 60 kcal/can
Canidae Goodness for Skin & Coat Real Salmon Dry Cat Food
Canidae Goodness for Skin & Coat Real Salmon Dry Cat Food
  • First 5 ingredients: Salmon, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Garbanzo Beans
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 33% Protein, 12.75% Fat, 5% Fiber, 9% Moisture
  • Calories: 513 kcal/cup
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1. Canidae PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon Dry Cat Food

CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon Recipe Dry Cat Food
CANIDAE Grain-Free PURE Limited Ingredient Salmon Recipe Dry Cat Food
9/10Honest Whiskers Score
  • Has a high 32% crude protein content
  • Contains several animal protein sources
  • Canola oil and rich amounts of fish supply plenty of omega fatty acids
  • Made in the USA
  • Free of gluten, grains, corn, wheat, soy, antibiotics, and hormones
  • Includes plant protein ingredients like pea protein
  • The recipe list includes common allergens like peas and potatoes
  • Contains natural flavor

All Canidae PURE Limited Ingredient cat foods are simple recipes made with just 7 key ingredients. And this formula is no different. 

Salmon, salmon meal, and menhaden fish meal act as easily digestible protein sources. These ideal meats are joined with canola oil for rich concentrations of omega fatty acids. Healthy fats like DHA and EPA are excellent for reducing inflammatory reactions caused by food allergies. 

Added potatoes and peas act as easily digestible carbohydrate sources. These are typical ingredients to find in grain-free diets. 

Both of these whole vegetables contribute powerful antioxidants that’ll improve your cat’s immune system and overall well-being. 

Sweet potato provides plenty of dietary fiber and probiotics that’ll boost digestion too. And every cup contains 480 kcal calories, an ideal caloric content that keeps energy levels topped up. 

Added natural flavor is included to enhance the taste in the formula. It’s difficult to define what the ingredient actually is and can come from various sources. [4] Most of the time, it’s made up of hydrolyzed animal tissue. 

Canidae PURE is made in the USA without common allergens like gluten, grains, corn, wheat, and soy. It’s also free of antibiotics and hormones to avoid adverse reactions. 

Ingredients

Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Potatoes, Peas, Canola Oil, Sweet Potatoes, Natural Flavor, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Choline Chloride, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Mixed Tocopherols (a Source of Vitamin E).

Ingredients We Love
  • Salmon, Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Canola Oil, Taurine, Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients We Hate
  • Natural Flavor, Peas, Potatoes

Nutrient Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of the macronutrient percentages; both Guaranteed Analysis and on a Dry Matter Basis.

Guaranteed Analysis
Dry Matter Basis

2. Canidae Goodness for Skin & Coat Real Salmon Dry Cat Food

Canidae Goodness for Skin & Coat Real Salmon Dry Cat Food
Canidae Goodness for Skin & Coat Real Salmon Dry Cat Food
8/10Honest Whiskers Score
  • Has a high 33% crude protein content
  • Includes premium animal proteins like salmon
  • Turkey meal added for high concentrations of zinc
  • Loaded with omega fatty acids that help manage inflammation in the body
  • Has several wholesome fruits and vegetables for added nutrients
  • Made in the USA
  • No wheat, corn, or soy
  • Cat food is grain-inclusive, meaning it may be unsuitable for certain food allergies and sensitivities
  • Added plant proteins like pea protein

This grain-inclusive cat food is specifically formulated to improve the health of your feline friend’s skin and coat. Each ingredient is carefully selected to ensure a balanced and complete meal for adult cats.

The impressive 33% protein mainly comes from real animal sources like salmon. However, the recipe also features turkey and chicken meals for added nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Turkey has healthy doses of zinc, while salmon contains high concentrations of fatty acids. Both of which are ideal nutrients for their anti-inflammatory properties. Zinc supports the immune system by aiding enzymes that prevent dry skin conditions. While fatty acids help improve natural skin oil production in your cat’s body.

Fruits and vegetables like cranberries and pineapple are included lower down the ingredients list. These nutritious foods contain powerful antioxidants that’ll improve well-being. For example, pineapple is rich in vitamin C, which prevents dandruff and dry, flaky skin in cats. 

Canidae includes supplemented biotin to improve skin and coat health. Biotin also plays a crucial role in processing and digesting protein for cats.

This dry cat food is made in the USA and is free of wheat, soy, and corn.

Ingredients

Salmon, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Garbanzo Beans, Lentils, Peas, Whole Grain Sorghum, Pea Protein, Dried Whole Egg, Chicken Fat, Suncured Alfalfa Meal, Flaxseed, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Dl-Methionine, Iron Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Niacin, Copper Proteinate, Dried Chicory Root, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Lecithin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Mixed Tocopherols (A Preservative), Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Riboflavin, Sage Extract, Cranberries, Sunflower Oil, Papaya, Pineapple, Dried Lactobacillus Acidphilus Fermentation Product, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Manganous Oxide, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Cobalt Proteinate, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product.

Ingredients We Love
  • Salmon, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Oatmeal, Whole Grain Sorghum, Dried Whole Egg, Chicken Fat, Flaxseed, Taurine, Cranberries, Pineapple, Sunflower Oil
Ingredients We Hate
  • Lentils, Peas, Garbanzo Beans, Pea Protein, Natural Flavor

Nutrient Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of the macronutrient percentages; both Guaranteed Analysis and on a Dry Matter Basis.

Guaranteed Analysis
Dry Matter Basis

3. Canidae Balanced Bowl Chicken & Pumpkin Wet Cat Food

CANIDAE Balanced Bowl Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe in Gravy Wet Cat Food
CANIDAE Balanced Bowl Chicken & Pumpkin Recipe in Gravy Wet Cat Food
8.5/10Honest Whiskers Score
  • 8% crude protein is 50% protein on a dry matter basis
  • Loaded with amino acids and nutrients from ingredients like chicken
  • Added sunflower oil provides beneficial fats
  • Chicken broth much better choice for moisture compared to water
  • Contains several high-quality fruits and veggies for added fiber and probiotics
  • Brown rice included in recipe list for added nutrients
  • More expensive to other brands
  • Guar Gum used in the recipe
  • Contains plant protein sources like pea protein

Some cats simply prefer the unique texture and taste of canned food. Canidae Balanced Bowl Chicken cat food is crafted with high-quality chicken-based ingredients and wholesome fruits and vegetables.

Most canned cat food formulas will include water to increase moisture content. However, water doesn’t contain any added nutrients. Instead, Canidae includes chicken broth to provide high concentrations of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. 

Whole chicken is the primary source of the recipe’s 8% protein and contributes an impressive amino acid profile. Chicken is an excellent natural source of glucosamine for joints, chondroitin for bones, and taurine for heart health.

Added tuna provides rich amounts of omega fatty acids for skin and coat health while protecting the joints. 

Whole pumpkin is ideal for its low carbohydrate and rich fiber levels. Fiber plays a crucial role in supporting your cat’s digestive system, nourishing healthy bacteria in their tummy. 

Unfortunately, the recipe does use guar gum as a thickening agent and fiber source. 

Guar gum is a controversial ingredient that inhibits fat and protein metabolism in cats. However, most commercial foods include it for promoting healthy bacteria in the gut, decreasing inflammation, and boosting immunity. 

Each can contains 60 kcal/cup, so it’s ideal for cats with weight problems or obesity issues. It’s also made without corn, wheat, soy, and carrageenan and can be used as a topper or as a stand-alone meal. 

Ingredients

Chicken Broth, Chicken, Water, Pumpkin, Tuna, Brown Rice, Sunflower Oil, Pea Protein, Tricalcium Phosphate, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Modified Tapioca Starch, Potato Starch, Potassium Chloride, Powdered Cellulose, Dried Whole Egg, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate, Zinc Oxide, Nicotinic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Cholecalciferol, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Magnesium Oxide.

Ingredients We Love
  • Chicken Broth, Chicken, Pumpkin, Tuna, Brown Rice, Sunflower Oil, Dried Egg Product, Taurine, Biotin
Ingredients We Hate
  • Guar Gum, Modified Tapioca Starch, Pea Protein, Potato Starch

Nutrient Breakdown

Below is a breakdown of the macronutrient percentages; both Guaranteed Analysis and on a Dry Matter Basis.

Guaranteed Analysis
Dry Matter Basis

Canidae Pet Food Recalls

Since its inception, Canidae has only suffered one pet food recall. The recall occurred due to suspected Salmonella contamination in Diamond Pet Food manufacturing facilities.

Before investing in its own manufacturing plant, Canidae outsourced the production of its products to other pet brands. And unfortunately, Diamond Pet Foods doesn’t have the best history with recalls. The same year, Canidae invested in its own plant. 

That being said, although any recall is concerning, it’s unlikely Canidae will suffer the same situation. They’ve invested heavily in in-house quality assurance practices and production processes, allowing Canidae to better oversee its products.

Here is a complete list of pet food recalls suffered by Canidae.

  • May 2012: The FDA issued a recall of specific Canidae dry formulas made in Diamond Pet Foods manufacturing facilities. The recall was issued due to suspected salmonella contamination. Additional recalls were issued relating to this manufacturing facility. [5]

You can view an updated list of all pet food recalls since 2018 here.    

Our Verdict

Canidae is much smaller than its competitors. But it still has a pretty good reputation in the pet food community. And hopefully, you agree after reading this Canidae cat food review. Canidae is frequently recommended for its high-quality limited-ingredient diets made for sensitive cats.

This is why we recommend Canidae cat food as an excellent choice for parents needing a recipe for cats with food allergies or sensitivities.

There aren’t many pet food companies that offer the same quality ingredients and comprehensive nutrition. And fewer brands can boast about being a family-run business, especially these days!

Talk to your veterinarian today to see whether Canidae cat food is the right choice for your sensitive feline best friend. 

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James Fuller and Mollie

James Fuller

Founder & Chief Content Creator

I’ve owned a pet most of my life. In fact, I currently have both a cat, Milo, and a Jack Russel, Mollie! I’m the founder of Honest Whiskers. And my mission is to deliver a reliable, trusted website that only uses evidence-based information.

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