Halo Cat Food Review

The Halo brand of pet food is marketed as “America’s Best Loved Holistic Brand”. Not only is Halo known for the quality of their products, but they have also become very active in giving back to local shelters – they donate one bowl of food to a local shelter with each purchase and, to date, they donate more than 1.5 million bowls of pet food each year.

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When it comes to the quality of Halo pet food products, it is not hard to tell that all of their nutritional claims are true. The Halo company promises no rendered meats or by-product meals – they use only real animal proteins like wholesome chicken, wild salmon, and New Zealand lamb – and they balance their recipes using fresh, natural ingredients like wholesome fruits, vegetables, and nutritional supplements. According to the brand website, it is Halo’s mission to “provide people and pets with honest information and wholesome products to better the lives of animals and the people who love them”.

Who Manufactures Halo Cat Food?

The Halo brand of cat food is produced and manufactured by the Halo, Purely for Pets Company. This company was founded in 1986 by Andi Brown, the owner of a kitten named Spot who developed a number of health problems as he matured from a kitten into an adult cat. In hopes of resolving her kittens’ health problems, Andi developed her own premium cat food made with fresh, natural ingredients and thus “Spot’s Stew” was born. To this day, Halo keeps their recipes as close to nature as they can by focusing their formulas around quality animal proteins, wholesome fruits and veggies, and added vitamins and minerals. In 2008, Ellen DeGeneres acquired part of the Halo pet food brand because she believed in its products so much. To this day, Halo maintains that all of their products are produced and manufactured in the U.S., though some of their products are sourced from outside the country – this applies primarily to their New Zealand lamb and their pea protein which comes from Canada.

Halo Cat Food Recalls 2020

For a pet food brand that was founded thirty years ago, it is impressive that Halo has yet to be affected by many major pet food recalls. The only recall affecting the Halo brand occurred in October 2015 when the company voluntarily recalled a small run of one of their dry food products due to reports of mold. The product affected was the 3- and 6-pound bags of Spot’s Stew Wholesome Turkey Recipe Sensitive Formula for Cats.

Halo Cat Food Coupons 2020

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Overall Halo Cat Food Review

The Halo, Purely for Pets company is one of the only holistic pet food manufacturers on the market. This company has been producing high-quality, holistic pet foods for more than 30 years and they are also very active in giving back to local animal rescue organizations. According to the brand website, Halo believes that “nutrition is the single most important factor in the quality of a pet’s life” which is why they use only the best, most natural ingredients in their pet food products. When designing their products, Halo follows three core principles: balance, nature, and love. With these three guiding principles, halo believes that they can provide pets with optimum health, vitality and wellness – they also design their recipes with input from nutritional experts.

What began as a single homemade dog food recipe has blossomed in to a successful brand of holistic cat food and dog food products. Halo designs their products around quality animal proteins and supplements their recipes with added vitamins and minerals, no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Halo pet foods utilize the principles of whole food nutrition and they hold themselves to the highest standards for quality and safety when it comes to sourcing their ingredients, designing their recipes, and manufacturing their products. Halo also donates more than 1.5 million meals to shelter pets in need each and every year.

When it comes to their cat food products, Halo offers 11 dry food options and 22 wet food options – these formulas are divided into three product lines including Vigor, Impulse, and Spot’s Stew. The Vigor line of cat food products includes three dry food and three wet food options. This product line is formulated around a carefully selected number of ingredients that work in harmony to promote your cat’s healthy energy, vitality, and digestion. These recipes are fortified with natural digestive enzymes, healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, and other essential nutrients. The Vigor line of cat food products is natural grain-free and made with a variety of high-quality protein sources to help cats build strong muscles. These recipes feature proteins like lamb, turkey, salmon, chicken, quail, and whitefish.

The Impulse line of cat food products includes four canned foods designed to satisfy your cat’s natural cravings. These products are made with a smooth texture with plenty of natural flavor that comes from quality proteins like rabbit, chicken, quail, guinea hen, and eggs. The Impulse line of products is naturally grain-free, made with garden greens for balanced nutrition and barley grass for dietary fiber. In addition to the primary ingredients, the Impulse line of canned foods is supplemented with chelated minerals which have been chemically bonded to protein molecules, making them easier for your cat’s body to digest and absorb. All Impulse recipes are free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives and they are complete and balanced for cats in all life stages.

The Spot’s Stew line of cat food products includes 8 dry food options and 15 wet food options. This line of products features a number of different formulas including indoor cat recipes, sensitive stomach recipes, healthy weight recipes, and more. In addition to four classic dry food options, there are four grain-free Spot’s Stew dry food formulas made with quality proteins like chicken, salmon, whitefish, and game bird. Many of the same recipes available in dry food are also available in wet food form, cooked in naturally flavorful broths and gravies. Spot’s canned food formulas come in paté, shredded meats, and succulent stews.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe

The Halo website states that this Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe has the goodness of their original grain-free canned food with the convenience of dry food. This recipe is formulated with love as a major ingredient, shaped into delicious crunchy bites that are filled with natural flavor and healthy nutrients. This recipe is high in animal protein and grain-free to avoid triggering food allergies or sensitivities. It contains no corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and it is free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. This recipe is also supplemented with natural sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber to support your cat’s healthy digestion.

The first ingredient on the list for this Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe is chicken. Fresh chicken is an excellent ingredient but one thing to keep in mind is that fresh meats like chicken contain up to 80% moisture by volume. Once the total product is cooked, the moisture level is reduced to 10% which means that the volume of this ingredient is likely to be much lower after cooking than before. Chicken meal is chicken that has already been cooked to remove moisture and it is a highly concentrated source of animal protein. It is interesting to note that Halo makes it very clear that they do not use chicken meal in their products. According to the Halo website, there is the possibility for chicken meal to contain 4D meats or waste products – this is why they only use fresh meats in their cat food formulas. Unfortunately, this recipe does not list any supplementary animal sources of protein to make up for the loss of protein volume during cooking.

To help boost the protein concentration of this recipe without using chicken meal, Halo uses pea protein. While this is a highly concentrated source of protein it comes from a plant-based source which is less biologically valuable to your cat than an animal-based source. You will also see pea fiber further down on the ingredients list. This is a source of dietary fiber which some consider to be a non-nutritive filler. This is up for debate but it is a little troubling to see three pea ingredients on the list for this Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe. The pea protein and the whole peas likely contribute a significant amount of protein to this recipe and the pea fiber adds dietary fiber which may or may not be nutritionally valuable for your cat.

The main source of fat for this recipe is chicken fat, though salmon oil appears a little later in the list. Chicken fat may not sound like an appetizing ingredient to you but it is a very valuable addition to this recipe because animal fats are more digestible and useful to cats than plant-based fats. Not only is chicken fat a valuable ingredient, but the salmon oil is as well – it helps to boost the overall fat content while also promoting a balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This recipe has a very high overall fat content of 18% which can be good for your cat – you just have to be careful how much you feed him so he doesn’t gain too much weight.

In addition to the ingredients already mentioned, this Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe contains flaxseed, sweet potatoes, an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables, chelated minerals, and dried fermentation products. Flaxseed provides both dietary fat and fiber while the sweet potatoes act as a gluten-free, grain-free carbohydrate. Fresh fruits and vegetables also provide some dietary fiber but they are more likely included as natural sources for key vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chelated minerals are chemically bounded to protein molecules which makes them easier for your cat’s body to digest and absorb and dried fermentation products act as probiotics to support your cat’s digestive system.

Overall, this Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 33%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 18%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3.5%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.10%
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.1%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.5%
  • Calorie Content – 449 kcal/cup

This formula meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for cats in all life stages. According to the feeding instructions on the website, this Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe contains 449 calories per cup which is fairly high for a dry cat food. This is likely due to the high fat content of the recipe which is 18% – this is a good value for cats but still a good bit higher than the standard dry kibble. Cats weighing between 5 and 10 pounds should be offered 1/3 to ½ cup of this food daily. Because this product is so high in calories it is very important that you follow these feeding recommendations but you should also keep a close eye on your cat’s weight and condition. If your cat gains too much weight you should scale back on his daily portion – if he loses weight or becomes lethargic, you may need to increase his portion a little bit. You can also use this recipe for kittens but it is recommended that you feed kittens freely or double the feeding recommendation to make sure they get the calories and the nutrients they need to grow.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this Halo Spot’s Stew Grain-Free Hearty Chicken Recipe seems to provide good nutritional balance and excellent nutritional quality. This recipe includes high levels of animal-based fats which comes from both chicken fat and salmon oil with supplementary omega-3 fatty acids from the flaxseed. Fresh fruits and vegetables help to boost the nutritional balance of this recipe in addition to providing dietary fiber to supplement the peas, pea fiber, and sweet potatoes. As valuable as all of these ingredients are, however, it is a little troubling to see just one source of animal protein listed, especially considering the fact that the volume of this ingredient will be greatly reduced during cooking. The inclusion of three pea ingredients is also a little strange. All in all, however, this recipe does not appear to contain any dangerous ingredients and the guaranteed analysis suggests good nutritional balance.

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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8 comments

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  • My cat has allergies, and is very finicky about what she eats. She only eats flaked food, refuses to eat anything with gravy. What product do you recommend. I current have her on a grain free flaked product by Purina.

  • There’s a new Halo Spot Stew formula now and my cat doesn’t seem to like it. Little triangle shaped pellets instead of round.. Just a heads up

    • I purchased the new “Holistic” after being told that the packaging had been changed . Not true, it is a different shape (small/hard) and apparently a different formula because my 2 cats do not like it. One would not eat it at all so I had to buy an expired bag ( 9/17) yesterday of the original and had not planned on going out on black Friday! Grain Free Spot’s Stew Hearty Chicken which they have eaten for a few years was great.
      Back to researching a semi- affordable food that will not make them ill or worse.

  • i am very saddened by the recipe change in the spot’s stew cat food my cat’s loved the original now they are not interested what happened?

  • My cat has eaten canned Spot Stew for 6 years, and now that you’ve changed the recipe, he will not eat it. Why did you change the recipe? You have many dedicated customers who are not going to purchase your products anymore because of the change. We now have several cases of your cat food that he will not eat, and I need the address to return it for a refund.

  • I switched to Halo cat food after seeing a documentary about what goes into most cat foods. I was so disgusted that I started researching as soon as it was over and decided on Halo brand. I ordered it that same night. After a week on this brand my 10 month old cat lost her hard swollen belly. I thought she was just fat. Turns out she was full of gas and bloated that whole time. She stopped having constant gas and I noticed after switching foods that when she used the litter box she stopped smelling up the entire upstairs. She became more active, her fur became softer and shiny, and started allowing herself to be picked up. I felt so bad because I didn’t know she was suffering from digestive problems before switching her food. I had been feeding her cat food made for sensitive tummies but when I researched that brand it was terrible. I’ve also noticed that my cats eat less of this food than their previous brand but not because they dont like it.
    I highly recommend this brand, in just a week I started noticing a big difference in my youngest cat.

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