Taste of the Wild Cat Food Review

Taste of the Wild makes grain free pet foods for dogs and cats. Most of their foods have a higher meat protein content than traditional pet foods while their prices are fairly reasonable.

Taste of the Wild is owned by Diamond Pet Food, headquartered in Meta, Missouri. Diamond was founded in 1970. Taste of the Wild is a premium or super premium brand.

Who Manufactures Taste of the Wild?

Taste of the Wild is made by Diamond. The company has four manufacturing facilities in the U.S. Facilities are located in northern California, one in central California, one in Missouri and one in South Carolina.

Taste of the Wild Cat Food Recalls 2023

  • Diamond has had numerous product recalls, some due to Salmonella and some due to aflatoxins. They have settled several court cases brought against them by pet owners.
  • Taste of the Wild was included in a class action settlement, along with Canidae, Sold Gold Wolf King, Kirkland, and some others, when foods were recalled in 2012.
  • In most cases, Taste of the Wild has not been involved in Diamond’s recalls. The May 2012 recall for Taste of the Wild was the only time we could find a recall for this brand. Taste of the Wild cat food was included in the May 2012 Diamond recall, along with many other brands made by Diamond for their own company and other companies. We have not found any recalls affecting Taste of the Wild since 2012.

Taste of the Wild Cat Food Coupons 2023

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Taste of the Wild Cat Food Reviews

Taste of the Wild pet foods are grain free. They currently make two formulas for cats: Canyon River Feline® with Trout & Smoked Salmon and Rocky Mountain Feline® with Roasted Venison & Smoked Salmon. Both of these foods come in dry and wet versions.

Taste of the Wild is best known for its dog foods and most of the information on the company web site is currently geared toward dog nutrition. Although the food is made by Diamond which makes some people nervous because they have a past history of recalls (mostly due to Salmonella found at their South Carolina plant), Taste of the Wild dog foods have continued to be highly regarded by dog owners. The ingredients and overall quality of their dog foods is very good. They are a favorite with many dog people who like a good grain free food at an affordable price.

Taste of the Wild cat foods include the following canned cat foods:

Canyon River Feline® Formula:

Trout and salmon, sweet potatoes, vegetables, fruits, antioxidants.
Protein: 8.5% Minimum, Fat: 5.0% Minimum
Calories: 951 kcal/kg, 80.8 kcal/can (3.0 oz.), 148.4 kcal/can (5.5 oz.) Calculated Metabolizable Energy
Available in 3.0 and 5.5 ounce cans

Rocky Mountain Feline® Formula:

Salmon, chicken liver and roasted venison, peas, antioxidants.
Protein: 8.5% minimum, Fat: 3.5% minimum
Calories: 972 kcal/kg, 82.5 kcal/can (3.0 oz.), 151.6 kcal/can (5.5 oz.) Calculated Metabolizable Energy
Available in 3.0 and 5.5 ounce cans

Taste of the Wild also makes these dry cat foods:

Canyon River Feline® Formula:

Grain free with sweet potatoes, trout and wood-smoked salmon, vegetables, fruits, antioxidants.
Protein: 32% Minimum, Fat: 16% Minimum
Calcium: 1.6%, as-fed; Phosphorus: 1.10%, as-fed
Calories: 3,741 kcal/kg (350 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy
Available in 5lb and 15lb bags.

Rocky Mountain Feline® Formula:

Grain-free, peas, sweet potatoes, roasted venison, smoked salmon, vegetables, fruits, antioxidants.
Protein: 42% Minimum, Fat: 18% Minimum
Calcium: 1.9%, as-fed; Phosphorus: 1.2%, as-fed
Calories: 3,745 kcal/kg (390 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy
Available in 5lb and 15lb bags.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Taste of the Wild Canyon River Feline Formula Dry Cat Food with Trout and Smoked Salmon

Since Taste of the Wild only makes two dry foods at this time, we are somewhat limited in our choice of foods to review. The Rocky Mountain formula has a higher protein percentage but it also looks like is has lots more peas, so more of the protein comes from a plant source instead of an animal source. For this reason, we chose the Canyon River Feline Formula to review.

Note that it looks like the official name of this food on the label is Canyon River Feline Formula with Trout & Smoked Salmon. Experienced pet food consumers will know that when a label says “with” something, it has a specific meaning. Under AAFCO and FDA rules for pet food labeling, there is this statement:

The “3%” or “with” rule was originally intended to apply only to ingredients highlighted on the principal display panel, but outside the product name, in order to allow manufacturers to point out the presence of minor ingredients that were not added in sufficient quantity to merit a “dinner” claim. For example, a “Cheese Dinner,” with 25% cheese, would not be feasible or economical to produce, but either a “Beef Dinner for Dogs” or “Chicken Formula Cat Food” could include a side burst “with cheese” if at least 3% cheese is added. The AAFCO model regulations now allow use of the term “with” as part of the product name, such as “Dog Food With Beef” or “Cat Food With Chicken.” Now, even a minor change in the wording of the name has a dramatic impact on the minimum amount of the named ingredient required, e.g., a can of “Cat Food With Tuna” could be confused with a can of “Tuna Cat Food,” but, whereas the latter example must contain at least 95% tuna, the first needs only 3%. Therefore, the consumer must read labels carefully before purchase to ensure that the desired product is obtained.

What that means in this case is that there only has to be 3 percent trout and smoked salmon in this food. (If the name of the food was “Canyon River Trout Feline Formula,” it would have to have a lot more trout in the food.)

Trout is the first ingredient. Whole trout will contain a lot of moisture. If the moisture were removed, however, this ingredient would be found much lower in the list. Trout (usually farm-raised) is 61 percent protein, 38 percent fat, and 1 percent carbs. It’s a good source of Vitamin B6, Phosphorus and Selenium, and a very good source of Niacin and Vitamin B12. It’s also a very good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. But, again, if the moisture were removed from this ingredient, it would be found lower in the list and it likely only makes up about 3 percent of the ingredients in this food.

The second ingredient in the food is ocean fish meal. This is a somewhat generic term for mixed ocean fish, such as whitefish. It’s found in many pet foods. Ocean fish or whitefish are about 61 percent protein and 39 percent fat. They are a good source of Niacin, Phosphorus and Selenium. They are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acid. Since this is a fish meal, most of the moisture has been removed and it is a concentrated source of protein and nutrients. Diamond, the maker of Taste of the Wild, says that they do not use suppliers that use ethoxyquin, an artificial preservative often used to preserve fish meals. However, companies change suppliers frequently and this information is subject to change.

The third ingredient listed is sweet potatoes. This is a grain free cat food but that’s not the same as a carb-free food. Most pet food manufacturers will tell you that they can’t make pet foods without using carbs. Your cat has little need for carbs but they can be useful in the diet. Cats can digest some carbs, though not as efficiently as dogs. Sweet potatoes are mostly carbohydrates – they are 93 percent carbs, 6 percent protein, and 1 percent fat. They are a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese. There is some thought that insoluble fiber is not so good for cats, but sweet potatoes have lots of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber essentially turns into a gel in the digestive tract and helps slow down digestion and uptake of sugar into the bloodstream. It can be beneficial for cats with diabetic issues.

The fourth ingredient in the food is potatoes, so more carbs. Potatoes are 92 percent carbs, 7 percent protein, and 1 percent fat. They are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese. Like sweet potatoes, potatoes are also a dietary fiber and can provide soluble fiber in the diet. This can help your cat feel full and slow down digestion and absorption of sugar.

The fifth ingredient is pea protein. This is a plant source of protein. It raises the protein percentage of the food without adding the fiber or other elements of peas. Favored by vegetarians, weight lifters, and others who want to add non-animal sources of protein to their diet, or simply add more protein. However, plant sources of protein are not especially desirable for cats. The use of peas and other legumes, as well as lentils, and other plant ingredients in pet foods is widespread today as pet food manufacturers try to avoid using corn and wheat and still save money.

Michelle @ Amazon.com says…

I LOVE this food for my kitties. It’s a great brand, has really good ingredients, and it’s way cheaper on Amazon versus your local pet food store. Love this!

Other ingredients of interest in this food include: potato protein – another plant source of protein; natural flavor which is usually a code term for a form of monosodium gutamate or MSG – added for flavor enhancement; blueberries and raspberries which are good antioxidants; some fermentation products to help with digestion; some proteinated or chelated minerals to help your cat absorb them more easily; and dried chicory root which is used as a prebiotic and soluble fiber. Other ingredients, such as taurine, are found in most cat foods, and are standard today.

Overall, this cat food has some good fish protein. It also has a lot of carbs and some plant protein. We don’t see any awful ingredients here. This is an above average cat food and not bad at an affordable price. You can buy better cat foods but you will need to spend more – and some more expensive cat foods will also contain a lot of carbs and plant protein.

Calorie Content (calculated): 3,741 kcal/kg (350 kcal/cup) Calculated Metabolizable Energy

Guaranteed Analysis:

Crude Protein 32.0% Minimum
Crude Fat 16.0% Minimum
Crude Fiber 3.0% Maximum
Moisture 10.0% Maximum
Zinc 120 mg/kg Minimum
Selenium 0.3 mg/kg Minimum
Vitamin E 150 IU/kg Minimum
Taurine 0.15% Minimum
Omega-6 Fatty Acids * 2.4% Minimum
Omega-3 Fatty Acids * 0.3% Minimum
Total Microorganisms (Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium animalis) * 100,000,000 CFU/lb Minimum

* Not recognized as an essential nutrient by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles.

Taste of the Wild® Canyon River Feline® Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.

Dry Matter Basis: This food has an estimated 35.6 percent protein, 17.8 percent fat, 3.33 percent fiber, and 35.6 percent carbohydrates. (AAFCO recommendations for protein for adult cats are a minimum of 26 percent and 30 percent for growing kittens; and 9 percent fat for both adult cats and growing kittens.)

Final Thoughts

Many people believe that canned foods are better for cats than dry foods. We think you can find good foods for your cat in both canned and dry formulas. However, it’s always important to read the label and look at the dry matter basis for the food. Taste of the Wild® Canyon River Feline® Formula Dry Cat Food does have a lot of carbs and some of the protein comes from plant sources. That said, we think that if you are looking for a good dry cat food at a reasonable price, this is a pretty good food. There are better foods, but this one isn’t bad.

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  1. Any ‘farm-raised’ fish is not even considered safe for human consumption, so why should it be deemed appropriate for our furbabies? Farm-raised usually denotes fertilizer runoff into ponds where the fish are reared. I would never feed any farm raised fish meal to my babies….ever.

  2. I have been buying Taste of the Wild cat food for several months but now I am switching.
    I have 3 older cats in the last 8 months end up at the vet’s for kidney blockage.. Out of these 3 one of them died. Now I just got the 4th cat back from my veterinarian
    for kidney blockage again.

    I have a problem with all these cats getting the same medical issues and what they have in common is the same cat food.

  3. We have a fairly large clowder (13) and have been feeding them this food for quite a few years with all around satisfaction. Until recently. One bag not a single cat would touch, bowls remained full and untouched all day. We returned the bag and got the brown bag (fish). They ate that somewhat reluctantly. The next bag we went back to the green bag (rocky mountain) and they reluctantly are eating this, a few cats not at all. Also we are noticing quite a bit of whole undigested food that has been vomited up. I don’t know what’s changed but something sure has and we’re not sure what decent affordable food to now buy. Any one else noticing this with their cats??

    1. I bought Taste of the wild cat food. The brown bag (salmon/trout) and no, my cat refused to eat it. After a few days she still would not touch it! Replaced with Red-Ford and she seems happy.

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