Purina Pro Plan Cat Food Review

The Pro Plan brand of cat food is just one of many Purina pet food brands. According to the website, Purina Pro Plan pet foods provide “nutrition that performs” – these foods are made with top-quality ingredients that team up to help cats thrive. Purina Pro Plan states that every ingredient they use in their products serves a nutritional purpose, they are selected to play a specific role in the advanced nutrition that enables your cat to thrive. The company offers three nutritional platforms to choose from – Savor, Focus, and True Nature – all of which come with an assortment of recipe options. In addition to these nutritional platforms, Purina Pro Plan also allows customers to shop for products by lifestage, offering cat foods designed specifically for kittens, adult cats, and senior cats. According to the website, Purina Pro Plan products are trusted and recommended by hundreds of breeders, veterinarians, and rescue groups around the nation.

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Who Manufactures Purina Pro Plan Cat Food?

The Purina Pro Plan cat food brand is produced and manufactured by the Nestle Purina Petcare Company which is a subsidiary of Nestle based in St. Louis, Missouri. This company was originally formed in 2001 by combining the Ralston Purina Company with the Nestle Friskies Petcare Company. The history of Ralston Purina can be traced all the way back in 1984 by William H. Danforth who began the Purina Mills feed company and released a line of products that included Purina Dog Chow and Purina Cat Chow. The company was sold in 1986 and it eventually merged with Nestle. Since the merge, the Nestle Purina Petcare Company has grown into the world’s second-largest pet food company and the largest pet food manufacturer in the United States. This company owns and produces a number of pet food brands including Beneful, Fancy Feast, Friskies, Purina ONE, and Purina Veterinary Diets.

Purina Pro Plan Cat Food Recalls 2020

According to the brand website, Purina Pro Plan cat foods are the result of more than 85 years of Purina innovation and Purina was the first dry food brand to use real meat as the first ingredient. Additionally, the website states that all products are proudly made at Purina-owned U.S. manufacturing facilities with relentless focus on nutrition, quality, and safety. If you do a little research, however, you will come to find that the Purina brand has been affected by many recalls over the years, several targeted specifically at the Purina Pro Plan brand. Here is a list of Purina Pro Plan pet food recalls:

  • In March 2016, the Purina Company issued a voluntary recall for some of its products including Pro Plan Savory Meals in the following varieties: Braised Chicken Entrée, Braised Pork Entrée, Braised Turkey Entrée, Grilled Salmon Entrée, and Braised Beef & Rice Entrée. These products were recalled due to inadequate levels of vitamins and minerals.

This is the only recall known to specifically affect the Purina Pro Plan cat food brand, but there have been many recalls for other Purina products. It is also possible that other recalls occurred earlier in the company’s history because it has been around for several decades.

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Overall Purina Pro Plan Cat Food Review

The Purina Pro Plan cat food brand website states that the brand is “trusted and recommended by experts”. Furthermore, every bag of Purina Pro Plan cat food is the result of nearly a century of research and innovation. This company recognizes the importance of quality nutrition in the health and wellbeing of cats which is why they promise to use only top-quality ingredients. In fact, Purina was the first dry pet food brand to use real meat as the first ingredient and every ingredient they use serves a purpose. Not only does Purina seek to provide quality pet food products for their consumers, but they seek to educate them on the basics of cat nutrition as well. Purina knows that cats are carnivores which means that protein is their primary source of energy and nutrition. Cats also need dietary fats and omega fatty acids, carbohydrate, vitamins and minerals. You will find all of these ingredients in Purina Pro Plan cat food products.

Purina Pro Plan products can be divided into three nutritional platforms – Savor, Focus, and True Nature. The Savor line of products offers outstanding nutrition in a variety of textures, tastes, and aromas. The Focus line of products offers advanced nutrition for cats with specific dietary needs. The True Nature line of products is made with natural ingredients in fine-tuned recipes designed to feed your cat’s natural instincts. All three of these nutritional platforms come in a variety of recipes designed for cats in all life stages – this includes kitten, adult cats, and senior cats. With such a variety of products available, cat owners have the freedom to choose the product that best suits their cat’s age, tastes, and dietary needs. All in all, there are more than 50 products available to choose from.

The Savor line of products includes dry foods, wet foods, and a shredded blend as well as an assortment of treats. Every dry food recipe in this product line is made with real poultry or fish as the number-1 ingredient and all of the wet food entrees are rich in protein with flavorful accents like cheese, rice, pasta, and vegetables. The Savor line includes two Shredded Blends which are made up of crunchy kibbles and tender, shredded pieces in a delicious combination. There are two flavor options to choose from – Salmon & Rice and Chicken & Rice. For traditional dry foods, the Savor line of products offers five different options featuring proteins like chicken, tuna, and salmon. There are over 30 recipes for wet foods which feature flavors like chicken & spinach, tuna entrée in sauce, and turkey & rice in gravy.

The Focus line of cat food products is designed to offer the specialized nutrition some cats need to meet their specific nutritional needs. This line of products includes formulas designed for the specific nutritional needs of cats in all life stages including kittens, adults over 1 year, and senior cats over 11 years. There is also an indoor cat formula, one for hairball management, and several options for weight management. While many pet food manufacturers offer these kinds of recipes, Purina Pro Plan is unique in offering recipes specifically for cats with long coats – they also have options for cats with sensitive stomachs, urinary tract problems, cats that have been spayed or neutered, and dental health formulas. All of the recipes included in the Focus line of products are supplemented with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics to help support your cat’s immune system.

The True Nature line of products offers high-protein nutrition designed to feed your cat’s natural instincts. These recipes are made with quality natural ingredients with added nutrients to support razor-sharp reflexes, intense focus, and remarkable agility. The True Nature line of products offers both traditional and grain-free options, both dry and wet, all of which are optimized to support your cat’s lean muscle mass and high energy levels. The traditional high-protein section of the product line offers 17 different recipes in both dry and wet food form while the grain-free section offers 11 different options. All of these recipes feature quality proteins like chicken, salmon, ocean whitefish, beef, trout, tuna, and more. Plus, real poultry or fish is always the number-1 ingredients in dry food recipes.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Salmon & Rice Formula

This Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Salmon & Rice formula belongs to the Focus product line and it is specifically designed to meet the unique nutritional needs of indoor cats. This recipe features high-quality animal protein as the number-1 ingredient with the addition of natural fiber to help control hairballs and antioxidants for a healthy immune system. This adult cat indoor recipe is rich in omega fatty acids for healthy skin and coat, plus the high protein content helps your cat to maintain a healthy weight. Plus, it is filled with natural flavor your cat is sure to love.

The first ingredient in this Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Salmon & Rice formula is salmon meal which can be considered a high-quality and a high-protein ingredient. Do not let the word “meal” throw you off here – it is actually a good thing. Fresh meats like salmon and chicken contain up to 80% moisture by volume so, once the pet food product has been cooked, the actual volume of protein that you get from that ingredient is likely to be much lower. Meat meals, however, have already been cooked down which means that they are a much more concentrated source of animal protein than fresh meats. The fact that salmon meal is listed first means that this product probably contains a significant amount of animal protein – it also doesn’t hurt to see chicken meal appear later in the list.

What is somewhat troubling, however, is the fact that brewers rice and corn gluten meal appear directly following the salmon meal. Brewers rice is the dried extracted residue of rice that is a byproduct of the brewing process for beer – it consists of the fragmented pieces of rice and it has lost most of its nutritional value in processing. Corn gluten meal is a byproduct as well, likely included as a binder for this product but unlikely to provide any nutritional value. It is also worth noting that corn ingredients have a high risk for triggering food allergies or sensitivities in cats. So do wheat ingredients, like the wheat flour that appears later in the ingredients list. This ingredient is also likely included as a binder or thickener and it doesn’t offer much nutritional value for cats.

Other ingredients that raise a red flag for this Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Salmon & Rice formula include soy protein isolate, powdered cellulose, soybean hulls, and gelatin. Both the soy protein isolate and the gelatin are likely included as supplementary sources of protein but they do not offer as much nutritional value as fresh meat or meat meals. The soy protein isolate is also a plant-based ingredient which means that it will be more difficult for your cat’s body to digest and utilize than animal-based ingredients. The powdered cellulose is included as a source of fiber and it may not be inherently dangerous, but it would be better to see a higher quality, more digestible source of fiber such as brown rice or whole grain oatmeal. The soybean hulls also provide some fiber and plant-based protein.

Overall, this Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Salmon & Rice formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 40%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 13.5%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.8%
  • Moisture (Max) – 12%
  • Linoleic Acid (Min) – 1.4%
  • Vitamin A (Min) – 10,000 IU/kg
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 400 IU/kg
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.15%
  • Calorie Content – 518 kcal/cup

This formula meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for adult maintenance. Looking at the guaranteed analysis for this Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Salmon & Rice formula, it is good to see a protein content of 40% – this lines up with the high-protein claims made about the product. The crude fat content is well within the proper range, though the fiber content is a little high – the maximum recommended fiber content for cats is about 5%. Another point worth noting is the moisture content of this product which is 12% – most dry food products have a moisture content of 10%. Another thing worth mentioning about this product is the fact that it contains over 500 calories per cup – that is fairly high for a dry cat food product. Because the calorie content is so high for this product you need to be very careful to follow the feeding instructions or else you might risk obesity for your cat. The feeding instructions recommend ¼ to ½ cup daily for adult cats between 5 and 9 pounds. Remember, these are just recommendations – you will need to monitor your cat’s weight and condition over a period of several weeks and make adjustments as needed. If your cat gains too much weight, cut back on his daily portion – if he loses weight or becomes lethargic, you can scale it up a little bit.

Final Thoughts

All in all, this Purina Pro Plan Indoor Care Salmon & Rice formula seems to provide decent nutritional value in terms of the crude protein, fat, and fiber content. If you actually review the list of ingredients, however, you will notice several red flags. It is true that real fish is the first ingredient (salmon meal), but the second and third ingredients are both carbohydrates and not quality ones, at that. It is even more concerning to see both corn and wheat products included in the ingredients list as well as soy protein isolate. The fact that salmon meal is listed first means that a significant amount of the product’s total protein content likely comes from animal sources, but it cannot be determined just from looking at the list whether that is actually true. This recipe does contain vitamin and mineral supplements as well, but the minerals are not chelated so they are not optimized for digestion and absorption. It would also be beneficial to see some kind of probiotic included in this product. Taking into account the ingredients list, this product can be said to offer moderate nutritional value at best.

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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  • Hi Kate!
    Thanks for your information…very helpful! I have noticed that Purina One has a Grain Free food in the grocery stores now. I only feed my cats high quality grain free food from my pet store. I purchased one can of the Purina One grain free (classic turkey recipe) to see if the cats liked it and to check out the ingredients. Can you tell me what you think about the quality of this grain free food? Thanks again!

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