Whiskas Cat Food Review

The Whiskas cat food brand is produced and manufactured by Mars, Inc. and their products are self-described as, “a savory feast for your cat”.

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The company website is fairly simple, offering little more than pictures and basic descriptions of their recipes. The website also offers Cat’s Corner which consists of an assortment of helpful articles and videos as well as the Purr’em Gallery, a place where customers can upload photos of their cats. The fact that little factual information is offered about Whiskas products raises some red flags and an analysis of the ingredients for several products confirms the suspicion that this is not a high-quality brand. While Whiskas products do meet the basic nutritional requirements established by AAFCO, the quality of their ingredients is questionable.

Who Manufactures Whiskas?

The Whiskas cat food brand was originally known as Kal Kan. The Kal Kan Company was founded in 1936 but the company changed its name to Whiskas in 1988 in order to start promoting the brand internationally. For many years, the Whiskas advertising slogan was, “eight out of ten owners said their cat prefers it” but complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority required a change to “eight out of ten owners who expressed a preference said their cat prefers it”. Today, Whiskas products are manufactured in McLean, Virginia by a manufacturing company previously known as Pedigree Pet Foods. This company is now a subsidiary of Mars, Inc. – this company also produces other pet food brands such as Eukanuba, Iams, Pedigree, Royal Canin, and Sheba.

Whiskas Cat Food Recalls 2019

If you do a little research you will not find any recalls affecting the Whiskas brand specifically. You may, however, come across a number of consumer complaints. The Consumer Affairs website gives this brand a 1.5 out of 5 star rating based on more than 260 customer reviews. These reviews are based on individual experiences with the brand but there are some repeating themes. Multiple customers report incidences of their cats vomiting after eating Whiskas products as well as general complaints of lethargy, weight loss, and changes in behavior. While these reviews must be taken with a grain of salt, it is certainly concerning to see that there are so many complaints about this company and it is worth noting that many of these complaints mention the same problems.

Whiskas Cat Food Coupons 2019

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Overall Whiskas Cat Food Review

As it has already been mentioned, the Whiskas website provides very little information about their products. The website makes no mention of the sources for their ingredients, though there are plenty of references to “delicious flavors” or “savory flavors”. Rather than providing information about the quality or manufacture of their products, Whiskas relies on brightly colored pictures and carefully chosen marketing terms to draw the attention of consumers. If you take the time to actually review the ingredients list and the guaranteed analysis for some of their products, however, you will see the truth – that Whiskas is a low- to moderate-quality pet food brand at best.

When it comes to their cat food products, Whiskas offers an assortment of both dry food and wet food options. There are four dry food recipes – For Kittens, Indoor Chicken Flavor, Chicken & Turkey Flavor, and Salmon & Shrimp Flavor. The fact that these recipes include the word “flavor” in the name raises a red flag because the FDA regulates the use of certain words in pet food product names. In order for a product to be called “chicken for cats,” 95% of the ingredients must come from the named source, chicken. If the named ingredients comprise 25% of the product it can be called “Chicken Dinner” and the “with” rule applies to products that contain 3% of the named ingredient (example, Cat Food with Tuna). When it comes to the use of the word “flavor,” however, this word can be used even if the product doesn’t contain even the slightest trace of the named ingredient. If you take a look at the ingredients lists for these products you will see that this is true. For example, the Indoor Chicken Flavor recipe contains no named chicken ingredients except for “natural chicken flavor”.

For wet food products, Whiskas offers a much larger variety and they come in various forms including pouches, cans, and trays. Many of Whiskas wet food offerings are packaged in gravy, juices, or sauce and these additions are largely thickened with carrageenan – this ingredient has been called into question many times and while it has not been definitively labeled a harmful ingredient, it is certainly a questionable one. Whiskas wet cat foods also contain guar gum which has similarly been a point of controversy among pet owners. More notable, however, is the fact that most of Whiskas cat foods contain a limited number of actual ingredients – over half the ingredients list is comprised of additives and any true ingredients are most commonly seen in the form of by-products.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Whiskas Indoor Chicken Flavor Food for Cats Formula

This Whiskas Indoor Chicken Flavor Food for Cats is marketed as an indoor cat formula designed to help cat owners keep their cats healthy and hairball-free. The website claims that this formula contains natural fibers to gently move hairballs through the cat’s digestive system and it is said to contain quality proteins and L-Carnitine for lean muscle mass. Taurine supplements help to boost heart health and eye healthy while other essential nutrients support your cat’s bone, skin, and coat health. This recipe is recommended for cats 1 year and older and it meets the AAFCO standards for maintenance, though a review of the ingredients list shows that the actual quality of nutrition offered by this product is fairly low or, at the very least, questionable.

The first ingredient in this Whiskas dry food recipe is poultry by-product meal. The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) defines this ingredient as, “the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcasses of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, and intestines, exclusive of feathers except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices”. If you think this sounds like a low quality ingredient, you would be right. Because this ingredients is poultry by-product meal, not chicken by-product meal, you cannot even be sure what kind of poultry it comes from. Furthermore, there is no control over the quality or consistency in different batches of this ingredient. It is also worth noting that byproducts are less digestible for cats than actual meat.

The second ingredient in this product is ground yellow corn followed by ground wheat, soybean meal, and corn gluten meal. Ground yellow corn and ground wheat are likely included as inexpensive fillers in this recipe and they are also a source of dietary fiber, though not a particularly valuable source. Soybean meal is a byproduct of the process through which the oil is extracted from soybeans and it is generally considered a low-quality filler with little nutritional value. Corn gluten meal is very similar and while it is rich in protein, it is a plant-based protein that offers low digestibility for cats and corn-based products also have a high risk for triggering food allergies.

For fat, this recipe includes animal fat which, like poultry by-product meal, can vary significantly in quality and consistency from one batch to another. It is also worth noting that this fat does not come from a named source so it is very questionable. Other ingredients worth noting include dried plain beet pulp and powdered cellulose – both of which are included as sources of dietary fiber – as well as an assortment of vitamin and mineral supplements. The mineral supplements in this product are not chelated which means that your cat will only be able to digest and utilize a small amount. Chelated minerals have been chemically bonded to protein molecules which makes them easier for your cat’s body to digest and absorb.

Overall, this Whiskas Indoor Chicken Flavor Food for Cats has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 31.5%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 9.5%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 6%
  • Moisture (Max) – 12%
  • Zinc (Min) – 150 mg/kg
  • Magnesium (Min) – 0.1 mg/kg
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 150 IU/kg
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.10%

This formula meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for cats in the maintenance stage. It is important to remember, however, that the AAFCO standards are an absolute minimum. Just because a product meets the minimum nutritional requirements for cats does not necessarily mean that it is a high-quality product – the ingredients list and manufacturing process must be considered. In reference to the guaranteed analysis for this product, the values for protein and fat are a little low while the values for fiber and moisture are a little high. The Whiskas website does not provide specific calorie content or feeding instructions for this product, though it can be assumed that this information is provided on the actual pet food label. When feeding your cat this product you should keep an eye on his weight and condition while feeding him the recommended portion for several weeks. If your cat seems to be gaining too much weight you can scale back his daily portion or, if he is losing weight or becoming lethargic, you can step it up a little. Your veterinarian can also help you determine the right amount to feed your cat.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this Whiskas Indoor Chicken Flavor Food for Cats seems to offer moderate nutritional value, though the quality of the product itself is questionable. Looking at the guaranteed analysis alone, it would seem that this product is a little low in the protein department – the minimum protein requirement for a moderate quality cat food is 30%, though anything above 35% is considered high-quality. In terms of fat, adult cats have a recommendation of 15% to 20% – this product contains a minimum of 9.5% and a maximum of 11%, according to the Whiskas website. The fiber content of 6% in this recipe is close to the standard for quality cat foods (anything under 5% is good) but it is somewhat strange to see a 12% moisture content (10% is standard). These values, combined with the ingredients list, suggest that this Whiskas product is a low- to moderate-quality product 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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5 comments

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  • My cat Max is currently getting emergency surgery . 1-21-17
    He has always ate Wiskas . I now know this is why he is having this surgery tonight . Why would a company sell food that would hurt the animals . Remind you that he has eaten Wiskas for his whole life and he is almost 10. Now one very large payment plus later he is getting the help he needs . Warning to all Fur parents out there don’t feed your animals Wiskas wet or dry food !!

  • My cat of 16 months did like the 1 year+ Whiskas casserole selection and ate the entire contents.
    It’s difficult to say, because the cat was given a tin of tuna and some left over beef.
    However I did notice diarrhea on one occasion and today the cat is ill and irritable.
    I would recommend Felix and conclude that Whiskas is a bit rich and heavy.

  • Our cat lucky is 21 years old in three weeks time and her daughter is 20 in eight weeks time never a day without whiskers .The both of them have had it from kittens and have never been operated never had joint problems highly recommend whiskers 110%

  • Help me understand why everyone hates Whiskas so much. I have a kitten who loves Whiskas. I’ve tried to change his diet to Core Wellness but he had diarrhea constantly, even after 2 weeks of trying to change slowly, bit by bit. I’m trying the same with Royal Canin now but the same thing is happening. I’m doing this out of all the fear-mongering that goes on around these brands and I only want the best for my cat.

    That said, I’ve researched Whiskas as well as many other brands. The reviews & comments don’t match what is on the label. Whiskas wet kitten food ingredients are:

    Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Meat By-Products, Vitamins and Minerals, Guar Gum, Added Colour, Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), DL-Methionine, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Salt.

    My cat is so happy, healthy, energetic, and cuddly. I can’t find any articles of Whiskas being mis-leading or dishonest about their ingredients. What am I missing here?

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