Dr. Elsey’s Cat Food Review

After over 30 years selling cat litter, Dr. Elsey’s has stepped into the cat food marketplace.

Dr. Elsey’s is a cat product company best known for its line of cat litter. It was created in 1989 by Dr. Bruce Elsey, a feline-only veterinarian with over 8,000 patients and a practice dating back to the late 1970’s.

In 2017, the company launched their cleanprotein™ line. As the cleanprotein™ name suggests, protein quality plays an important role in the Dr. Elsey’s cat food story. The protein levels in each recipe are inspired by those found in animal prey, with at least 90% of that protein coming from animal sources. They’re grain and gluten-free with no corn, soy, or wheat ingredients.

What types of cat food does Dr. Elsey’s offer?

Dr. Elsey’s cat food is available in wet and dry varieties.

All proteins are sourced in the United States, while other ingredients come from Switzerland, Germany, France, China, Scotland, and Canada. According to the company, Dr. Elsey’s is attentive to supplier quality, taking pains to ensure that their vendors adhere to manufacturing standards equal to or superior to those enforced in the United States.

Both their wet and dry formulas are manufactured in the U.S.

Dry Cat Food

Dr. Elsey’s says that their dry recipes naturally optimize your cat’s appetite and body mass through simple, high-quality ingredients. A look at the ingredient list tells us that Dr. Elsey’s dry food is made primarily from meat ingredients with an unprecedented absence of starch and filler. Both of the dry formulas are less than 10% carbohydrate.

  • Chicken Recipe
  • With Salmon
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Canned Paté Cat Food

Like Dr. Elsey’s kibble, these canned recipes are inspired by the protein levels found in natural prey. They’re meat-based products with very few plant-derived additives. All of the canned formulas are less than 4% carbohydrate.

  • Salmon Recipe
  • Turkey Recipe
  • Ocean Whitefish Recipe
  • Chicken Recipe
  • Beef Recipe

Has Dr. Elsey’s cat food ever been recalled?

There’s no indication that Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein™ cat food has been recalled since its launch in 2017.

What do customers think of Dr. Elsey’s cat food?

According to reviews, Dr. Elsey’s cat food has a high rate of customer satisfaction. Customers appreciate the high-quality protein and low carbohydrate content.

The brand’s most popular formula is the cleanprotein™ chicken recipe dry cat food, which has 105 reviews on Chewy and a 4.7 out of 5 star rating. 97% of customers say they’d recommend the food.

Here’s what those reviewers are saying about the food:

Positive Reviews

“I’ve been showing and breeding Siamese for 20 years. This is the best food ever! I was given a sample at a cat show. My cats LOVED it. Even better are the ingredients. The protein is 90% animal. That is so important. Many other foods use plants (peas) to increase the protein number. There are no fillers which means no grains or even worse-potatoes, a horrible carb for cats! The expense should not prevent one from purchasing Dr. Elsey’s. Initially my cats gobbled this food, but within a day, they ate much much less. That’s because the food fills them up. That means less waste in the litter box. I truly think this food will be a money saver. Dr. Elsey’s food means healthy cats.” – Ranchcats

“Ordering a second bag, my diabetic cat likes this. Have tried other low carb and zero carb kibbles but she would not eat or snubbed after awhile. Her charts are looking good, I home test her, often for periods and twice a day. If her carbs go up, I have to increase her insulin. Have had to lower her insulin dose with this but just by a bit. Her current diet is a low carb wet (2.2%) twice daily and this. Really not one to recommend pet foods, no expert. I am of the opinion that this food is an excellent choice for keeping a healthy cat healthy and the lowest carb dry kibble that is available that my cat will eat.” – Scott

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Negative Reviews

“Way way way too expensive. Higher even than most top-end premium foods. Too bad because it seems like an excellent product.” – sr01

“We have 13 cats but only 2 senior cats on this food. One that has improved so much! He has not been able to keep weight on with any other food. But the price jumped from $29 to $42 in 3 weeks. This cost is pretty much unaffordable! Even if we didn’t purchase high quality food for the rest of our cats, which we do. So many animals could be helped by a diet like this but not with a price tag that’s so high and out of reach for the general population. So sad…” – Chasity55

Read more customer reviews on Chewy.

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein Chicken Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food Review

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Pork Protein Isolate, Gelatin, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols)

Animal protein is the most digestible form of protein available for cats. On a diet centering around high-quality protein, your cat gets more energy, greater satisfaction, more lean muscle mass, and their body produces less waste.

This kibble recipe follows the highly-digestible protein blueprint with a recipe starting with chicken. Unlike by-products, which are of uncertain digestibility value and could be more waste than fuel, this chicken is a highly-digestible source of animal protein.

The next ingredient, dried egg product, is also highly digestible. Eggs are one of the most biologically available sources of protein on the planet. The third ingredient is pork protein isolate, a concentrated source of protein. Isolates are 95% or more pure protein, containing almost no fat, carbohydrate, cholesterol, or other components.

Gelatin is included to bind the kibble. This ingredient is used in high-meat dry foods as a nourishing, non-starchy binder that prevents crumbling and kibble breakage.

Chicken fat is a biologically-appropriate source of nourishing fatty acids.

After the first five ingredients is a small amount of flaxseed, which is a fiber-rich plant ingredient that contributes to the 5% plant protein content of this food. Flax is followed by ultra-palatable “natural flavor”, an additive made from hydrolyzed animal tissue. After natural flavor is salmon oil, an ideal source of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Finally, the recipe includes necessary vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. It’s supplemented with fructooligosaccharides as a prebiotic.

The guaranteed analysis states that this food is 59% protein minimum, 18% fat minimum, and 4.69% carbohydrate.

A dry cat food with carbohydrate content under 30% is unusual. A percentage in the single digits? That’s unprecedented. If you’re going to feed your cat dry kibble, this product is about as good as you can get.

But remember that low carbohydrate content doesn’t compensate for moisture deprivation. A food with 12% moisture content simply doesn’t hydrate your cat. No amount of time at the water bowl can make up for the absence of moisture in your cat’s food.

Take it from Dr. Elsey himself, who said the following in an interview on FloppyCats.com:

“…I really think cats need to be on canned food. Cats get twice the amount of moisture from canned food than they do from dry food. Kidney failure is the number 1 demise of cats, and while I cannot prove it I have to think there is a correlation there. A cats’ urine on dry food has a higher specific gravity.  In other words, it’s thicker, so they are in a chronic state of dehydration their entire life. I think it’s hugely important for longevity and to eliminate urinary issues we are always dealing with – like crystals and more.”

The food is available in a 2-lb bag and a 6.6-lb bag.

On Chewy, these bags cost $14.69 and $42.29, respectively. Translation: it’s expensive. Complaints about the food’s price saturate the negative review section.

It’s important to remember, though, that this is not your typical dry food. Because the food is calorie-dense, your cat should eat less of it, meaning that you’re getting more servings per pound.

Where can you buy Dr. Elsey’s cat food?

Dr. Elsey’s cleanprotein™ food is available through the Dr. Elsey’s website and on Chewy.

Click here to shop for Dr. Elsey’s cat food on Chewy.

Mallory Crusta

Mallory Crusta offers simple, honest knowledge about natural cat care and products that work so that you can spend less time researching natural cat care and more time having fun with your cat. She blogs about it at WildernessCat.com.

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