FirstMate Cat Food Review

This Canadian pet food company started when guard dogs couldn’t keep out of the fish food.

In the 80’s, Mike Florian owned and operated Taplow Feeds, a company selling high-protein fish food. Dogs had an important job at Taplow Feeds. Their duty was to stand guard and protect the stock from both animals and humans. The fish food was too enticing, and the canine employees couldn’t resist noshing on it.

This was unacceptable, so the company assembled a team to create a canine-specific food that would satisfy the dogs and keep them out of the product. In 1989, the FirstMate dog food brand was born.

Taplow Ventures is now a pet food company that sells and manufactures dog and cat food under the FirstMate, KASIKS, and Skoki lines.

This family-owned company operates its own cannery and dry food production facilities in British Columbia. It takes pride in its end-to-end supervision of the sourcing, manufacturing, and distribution process.

The company’s About Us page emphasizes this point with a word from the company founder:

“We feel that to truly produce a superior product you must have control over the quality of your ingredients and manufacturing.” – Mike Florian

What types of cat food does FirstMate offer?

FirstMate offers both grain-free and grain-inclusive varieties of canned and dry cat food.

A few interesting qualities set FirstMate foods apart from other cat food products.

Instead of allowing you to guess about the biological availability of the protein in each formula, a protein source breakdown is printed on each package of FirstMate cat food. This shows you what percentage of the protein comes from animal tissue and how much is plant-based.

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Their dry formulas are made using a vacuum infusion system, which infuses fats and oils into the pores of each kibble. In contrast to spraying fats on the surface of the kibble, this process ensures uniform fat distribution and preserves heat-sensitive fatty acids and nutrients.

FirstMate canned foods are free from binders and thickeners, lending the food a soft, silky texture.

All FirstMate foods are made from North American ingredients, with the exception of Australian lamb. The formulas are manufactured in the company’s own facilities in British Columbia.

Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

  • Free Run Turkey Formula
  • Wild Salmon & Wild Tuna 50/50 Formula
  • Free Run Turkey & Wild Tuna 50/50 Formula
  • Free Run Chicken & Wild Tuna 50/50 Formula
  • Limited Ingredient – Wild Tuna Formula
  • Limited Ingredient – Wild Salmon Formula
  • Limited Ingredient – Free Run Chicken Formula

Grain-Friendly Canned Cat Food

  • Cage-Free Turkey & Rice Formula
  • Cage-Free Chicken & Rice Formula
  • Wild Pacific Salmon & Rice Formula

Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

  • Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula
  • Pacific Ocean Fish Meal with Blueberries Formula

Grain-Friendly Dry Cat Food

  • Classic Formula – Super Premium Cat Food
  • Indoor Cat Formula
  • Cat & Kitten Formula

Has FirstMate ever been recalled?

Currently, FirstMate has never been recalled.

FirstMate Cat Food Coupons 2018

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Where can you buy FirstMate cat food?

FirstMate cat food is available in-store through pet specialty retailers across Canada and the United States. You can also purchase it through online retailers including Amazon and Chewy. If you are living outside of Canada and the United States, you can contact one of several FirstMate providers representing certain countries in Europe and Asia.

Click here to find a retailer near you.

What do customers think of FirstMate cat food?

Across all formulas, customer reviews tend towards the positive. Customers like the price; FirstMate pet food is economical compared to similar products. Because the brand specializes in limited ingredient diets, their formulas are popular among allergic cats and those with food sensitivities.

Negative reviews typically revolve around the palatability of the food.

Positive Reviews

“I’ve been a Fromm devote’ for quite awhile now, but after the “offer” from Chewy, then hearing about First Mate from a cat guy at the gym, and then getting the rest of a leftover bag from a friend with a fussy, ancient cat, I checked out the company for any issues(none), Decided to try it, aaaannnnd my 4 cats, and two outside ferals, love it. They’re on their second bag, and just like the other brand, there are no litter box issues, and it doesn’t make their poops stinky. I bought the dog a bag too, and yowza! Another hit!” – Kittnlvr, reviewing Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula

“One of my cats kept puking on other catfoods, I couldn’t pin point what ingredient in the catfoods are causing it. This limited ingredient diet seems to help with that. My cat has not puked eating this.” – Jesse1229, reviewing Chicken Meal with Blueberries Formula

Negative Reviews

“I was really hoping this would be a wonderful product after reading the ingredients and how much better they are for cats than most other name brands, unfortunately non of the six (6) cats are attracted to the aroma as they are with other brands. So far the brand they are most drawn to is MaxCat. When I open a bag of MaxCat they can’t wait until it’s in their bowl. I just wish they were as excited about yours.” – scuiter, reviewing FirstMate Classic Cat Dry Cat Food

“I bought this food along with another extremely good brand and it arrived yesterday. They seemed like they liked the smell of the can but when I put it in front of them they had two bites, stuck up their little noses and walked away. So I tried it again at night, same thing. I even put some of their kibbles on top. Well they ate the kibbles but left the food. The other brand I bought a totally different story. They went nuts when I opened the can and gave them their bowls, ate it all up and wanted more! So the other food won out and I will be buying it from now on.” – Debs4, reviewing FirstMate Chicken Formula Canned Cat Food

Read more customer reviews on Chewy.

FirstMate Chicken Meal with Blueberries Limited Ingredient Diet Grain-Free Cat Food Review

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken Meal, Potato, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Whole Blueberries, Dl-Methionine, Minerals

This formula is a limited-ingredient recipe, meaning that it’s made with a single animal protein source and a single primary carbohydrate. This makes it an appropriate part of a rotational diet and a good fit for cats with allergies and food sensitivities.

The recipe begins with chicken meal, which is dehydrated chicken. Because the water has been extracted, this is a concentrated source of protein.

All dry foods require some starch as a kibble binder, and this grain-free food opts for potato to do the job. This vegetable has virtually zero nutritional value for your cat. It’s important to note, however, that it’s the only major carbohydrate source on the ingredient list. While other ingredient lists feature a number of high-carb plant ingredients in order of descending weight, this food contains just one.

Following the potato is chicken fat, an ideal source of fat for your carnivorous cat. Whole blueberries are added as a source of antioxidants. The ingredient list wraps up with added vitamins and minerals, along with notable traces of prebiotics, kale, and glucosamine.

Although this food appears to provide healthy concentrations of animal protein from high-quality sources, no dry food is free from a fundamental flaw. As a rule, all kibble lacks an adequate quantity of an essential nutrient. All dry food is water-depleted and fails to keep your cat properly hydrated.

The food is 36% protein, 16% fat, and about 29% carbohydrates.

It’s available in a small 3.96-lb bag or a 10-lb bag.

Based on the company’s feeding guidelines for an average 10-lb cat, this food costs between about $.33 and $.45 each day.

This cost estimate is based on Chewy prices and excludes shipping costs.

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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