Evolve Cat Food Review

The Evolve pet food brand is produced and manufactured by Sunshine Mills, Inc., a pet food company that was founded in 1949. This company has seen four generations and it remains a family-owned and –operated business with its headquarters near Red Bay, Alabama. The company got its start as a producer of animal feed but pet food was added to the production lineup in 1960. Since the 1960s, Evolve has developed into a high-quality pet food brand known for creating high-quality products using the freshest natural ingredients available. Evolve markets itself as a premium brand of pet food and they promise their customers that each and every recipe is made with wholesome foods. This company does not use any animal by-product meals and their recipes are completely free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. They make sure that all of their products are complete and balanced, even offering a line of advanced grain-free and limited ingredient products for pets with food allergies.

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Who Manufactures Evolve Cat Food?

The Evolve pet food brand is produced and manufactured by Sunshine Mills, Inc. This manufacturing company has been family-owned and –operated for more than 50 years and they have numerous production facilities throughout the United States. The fact that Evolve manufactures their own products means that they have control over the quality of their ingredients as well as the production process – they can control the quality of their products from start to finish. Every Sunshine Mills plant is certified for food safety and the company follows the strictest standards for quality as well. Even as the company grows and changes, their commitment to crafting carefully designed pet foods using high-quality ingredients remains the same.

Evolve Cat Food Recalls 2019

The Evolve pet food brand has been affected by several recalls in recent years. Here is a list of recalls affecting either Evolve or Sunshine Mills, Inc.:

  • In March 2007, the FDA issued a recall of Evolve’s Kitten Formula due to melamine contamination. The manufacturer also recalled some of its dog treats and biscuits at the same time as a precaution.
  • In May 2014, Sunshine Mills issued a voluntary recall for some of its dog food products due to thiamine levels below the FDA-recommended limit.

The fact that Evolve was involved in a melamine recall in 2007 is concerning but it is worth noting that there were a great many pet food companies affecting by recalls of this type that same year. Evolve has not been affected by any FDA recalls since 2007.

Evolve Cat Food Coupons 2019

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Overall Evolve Cat Food Review

The Evolve website opens with the claim, “superior pet food made with real meat”. This pet food brand markets itself as a super-premium brand with value prices – they also make reference to the fact that they are a family-owned company with traditional family values. If you really look into the information provided by the Evolve website you will find a lot of helpful information about the brand’s production and manufacturing facilities as well as their quality assurance program. The Evolve pet food brand adheres to the regulations set by the SQF Certification Program, one of the most globally recognized food safety programs. In fact, the brand has achieved Level 3 certification which is the same level of certification needed to manufacture foods for human consumption.

The Evolve pet food company makes several promises to its customers in addition to its commitment to quality. All of Evolve’s products are manufactured in the company’s own United States facilities which enables them to control quality from start to finish – they call this their kitchen crafted concept. Evolve also has a commitment to using the highest quality ingredients and enriched wholesome foods in all of their pet food products. The brand does not use any by-product meals or artificial colors and they make heavy use of wholesome fruits and vegetables as well as other healthy ingredients to create products that meet the nutritional needs of pets. Evolve also offers their customers a satisfaction guarantee – they offer a 100% money-back guarantee on all of their products so if you are not satisfied in any way you can return the product for a full refund.

When it comes to their cat food products, Evolve offers four dry food and four wet food options. The four dry food recipes are as follows: Chicken & Rice Formula; Chicken & Rice Kitten Formula; Salmon, Brown Rice & Barley Formula; and Grain-Free Chicken, Pea & Veggie Formula. Evolve claims that all of its products are designed to provide the level of nutrition needed to promote the health and vitality of cats. Not only do their products offer high nutritional quality, but they are also loaded with natural flavor. They do not use any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and the grain-free recipe is ideal for cats with sensitivities to gluten or grains. The four wet food options are: Chicken Formula, Seafood Formula, Turkey Formula, and Kitten Turkey Formula. These canned food products are made with real animal proteins and wholesome fruits and veggies to ensure healthy nutrition and satisfying taste.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food Formula

This Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula claims to provide all the nutrition your cat needs to promote health and vitality. This product is designed specifically for adult cats, though the website does not provide the AAFCO recommendation. This recipe features real chicken as the number one ingredient with brown rice as the primary source of carbohydrate. The product does not include any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and it is loaded with mouth-watering flavor that your cat will not be able to resist. The website also states that the recipe includes dried egg, dried kelp, dried cheese, cranberries, and blueberries which not only contributes to the natural flavor of the product but also to its nutritional completeness.

True to promise, the first ingredient in this Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula is fresh chicken. This ingredient is followed by chicken meal which is another highly beneficial ingredient. One thing worth mentioning is that fresh chicken contains up to 80% moisture so, when the product is cooked, the moisture level will reduce to 11% and the total volume of protein that comes from the chicken will be much lower. Because chicken meal is the second ingredient listed, however, that is not a problem – chicken meal has already been cooked to remove moisture so it remains a highly concentrated source of protein for your cat. This recipe also contains supplementary protein sources in the form of fish meal and dried egg. The only problem here is that the fish meal does not come from a named source (like salmon meal) so its quality is difficult to judge.

The third and fourth ingredients on the list for this Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula are ground brown rice and rice flour. Brown rice is generally considered to be a highly digestible carbohydrate for cats and because it is a whole grain it offers good nutritional value as well. Rice flour is a derivative of rice, though the ingredients list does not make it clear whether it comes from brown rice or white rice. A few ingredients later there is also ground barley. This is a gluten-containing grain which may cause a problem if your cat has allergies or sensitivities to gluten or grains. In general, however, it is a fairly nutritious ingredient. The fact that there are three carbohydrate sources used in this recipe is not a problem because the total fiber content is still just 3% and anything under 5% is ideal for cats.

After the protein and carbohydrate sources comes chicken fat. While this may not sound like an appetizing ingredient to you, it is actually a high-quality addition to cat food because it is an animal-based fat which makes it more biologically valuable than plant-based fats. Fats are the most highly concentrated source of energy for cats and they provide essential fatty acids as well to support your cat’s healthy skin and coat. A supplementary source of fat, flaxseed, appears further down the list as does canola oil. These ingredients help to balance the omega-3 and omega-6 content of the product which is good, though it would be better to see something like salmon oil or another animal-based fat as a replacement for the canola oil.

In addition to these main ingredients this Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula contains some other ingredients that should be addressed – dried beet pulp, brewer’s dried yeast, dried skim milk, dried kelp, and dried cheese product. Dried beet pulp is a source of dietary fiber in most cases and brewer’s dried yeast is generally used as a supplementary source of protein in pet foods. It is a little bit strange to see dried dairy products like milk and cheese included in this recipe because many cats have trouble tolerating dairy products. These ingredients are likely included for their calcium content.

The rest of the ingredients list for this Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula is made up of fresh fruits and vegetables, vitamin supplements, dried fermentation products and mineral supplements. Not only do the fresh fruits and vegetables (like cranberries, blueberries, tomato, carrots, celery, beets, parsley, lettuce, and spinach) provide supplemental fiber, but they are also natural source of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The dried fermentation products listed act as probiotics to help support your cat’s digestion and the vitamins and minerals help ensure complete and balanced nutrition. It would be better to see chelated minerals listed here because they are more valuable, but the fact that so many fresh fruits and vegetables are used means that there are some natural mineral sources at use.

Overall, this Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 32%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 13%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3%
  • Moisture (Max) – 11%
  • Calorie Content – 366 kcal/cup

This Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula comes with a very limited guaranteed analysis. The website also does not provide any information as far as feeding recommendations go. It can be assumed, however, that additional information is provided on the actual product label. If you choose this product for your cat, consult the feeding recommendations on the label and follow them for a few weeks while monitoring your cat’s weight and condition. If he seems to gain too much weight you can cut back on his daily portion and, if he loses too much weight, you can increase it. You should also provide your cat with access to unlimited fresh water at all times.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this Evolve Chicken & Rice Maintenance Cat Food formula seems to provide good nutritional value for adult cats in the maintenance stage. A protein content of 32% is decent for a commercial dry cat food product, though 13% is a little low for the fat content – it would also be better if more of the fat came from animal-based sources. The fiber content of 3% is ideal, though some cats may have trouble tolerating the barley. In terms of vitamins and minerals it is always good to see natural sources like fresh fruits and vegetables, though the cooking process may destroy some of the nutrient content for these ingredients. The dried fermentation products are a valuable addition, but the mineral supplements would be better if they were chelated. There are also a few other ingredients that are somewhat questionable but they may not be present in high enough quantities to make a significant difference. All in all, this a moderate- to high-quality cat food product.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a freelance writer specializing in the subject of pet health and wellness. An avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate has a great deal of experience writing about all kinds of pets and all aspects of pet care. Her work has been featured on a number of pet websites and she is a regular columnist for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.

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3 comments

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  • I’ve been feeding Evolve Chicken and Rice dry food to my two cats for about ten months. I was feeding Blue Buffalo and Royal Canin when they were kittens and transitioned to Evolve as their dry food. Three things happened, I could feed them a little bit less to maintain a healthy weight, their coats started to really shine, and the cat box odor was reduced.

    I also make a little wet food for them from fresh meat, liver, hearts, and vary the mix, that they get 2-3 times a week. I’m still questioning why this food is priced so much less, but happy is it. My dad was a veterinarian and would have approved.

  • The ingredients looked great in the wet cat food chicken formula, so I bought some to try. Only one of my 3 cats will eat it, and he vomited it up before he finished the tablespoon. He has been eating Purina One wet with the chicken and rice and turkey and rice with no problem. What would cause this? The only thing in your food I find a little questionable is the guar gum, and carrageenan, which I have read are not great for cats. It looks and smells good, the ingredients seem good other than the above, and price is good. I like the company story, and history.

  • I bought a 3 lb bag of Evolve Classic Chicken. My 3 cats ate it and liked it. Then I bought the large 15 lb bag and not one of them will touch it. Have tried to contact the company and they called once. I have called them back but still have not heard from them. I then bought another brand and my cats love it. I really don’t know what is wrong with this product.

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