Contents of Article
- Wild Frontier’s tagline is “True to the Hunt”—but does it offer truly predator-appropriate nutrition?
- What types of cat food does Wild Frontier offer?
- Has Wild Frontier ever been recalled?
- Where can you buy Wild Frontier cat food?
- What do customers think of Wild Frontier cat food?
- Wild Frontier Adult Open Valley Recipe Chicken Flavor Dry Cat Food Review
Wild Frontier’s tagline is “True to the Hunt”—but does it offer truly predator-appropriate nutrition?
Wild Frontier was originally a line created by Nutro Pet Food, an American pet food company founded in 1926. The Wild Frontier line was born as a response to today’s growing interest in ancestrally-inspired pet food. Today, Nutro and all of its lines, including Wild Frontier, are owned by pet food giant Mars Petcare.
On the brand’s website, Wild Frontier foods are described as “prey-based nutrition inspired by the way our pets’ ancestors thrived in the wild.”
Part of the Wild Frontier mission statement is a commitment to synergy with nature, both in their recipes and in their manufacturing processes. According to the company, Wild Frontier strives to make an environmental impact as small and harmonious as that of the wild predator.
They achieve this by using renewable energy from windfarms in Texas and by manufacturing products in a “zero waste to landfill” facility.
At the time of this writing, Wild Frontier is a changing brand. On June 26th, 2019, Mars Petcare announced that Wild Frontier was breaking away from Nutro and will now exist as an independent Mars brand. This change has prompted packaging reform and the introduction of several new products.
What types of cat food does Wild Frontier offer?
Wild Frontier cat food is available in wet and dry varieties.
According to the company, all Wild Frontier cat food products contain a high percentage of animal ingredients and includes nutrient-rich organs. Each formula represents a variety of animal protein sources.
Wet Cat Food – Pate Formulas
All Wild Frontier wet foods comes in plastic twin trays. Each half of the tray is described as one serving, but it’s worth noting that the company recommends that an 8-lb cat eats 5-6 of these servings each day.
- Chicken Recipe Pate
- Turkey Recipe Pate
- Catfish & Trout Recipe Pate
- Salmon Recipe Pate
- Chicken & Beef Recipe Pate
- Turkey & Duck Recipe Pate
- Salmon & Trout Recipe Pate
Wet Cat Food – Cuts in Gravy Formulas
- Chicken Recipe Cuts in Gravy
- Turkey Recipe Cuts in Gravy
- Chicken & Beef Recipe Cuts in Gravy
- Turkey & Duck Recipe Cuts in Gravy
Dry Cat Food
According to the Wild Frontier website, the brand will soon release a new line of dry cat food recipes. For now, these formulas aren’t available through the independent brand and are still sold under the Nutro brand. All recipes are formulated for adult cats unless otherwise specified.
All of the dry recipes are grain-free with 40-42% protein. Every formula features salmon, chicken, or white fish as the first ingredient.
Note that the brand uses “white fish”, a general term not to be confused with specific species of freshwater fish named whitefish. The white fish descriptor may refer to any white-fleshed fish, including cod, halibut, and pollock.
- Open Valley Chicken
- Cold Water Salmon
- Indoor Open Valley Chicken
- Open Valley Chicken Kitten Food
- Indoor Deep Ocean Whitefish
- Open Valley Chicken Senior Cat Food
Has Wild Frontier ever been recalled?
Wild Frontier cat food has not been recalled, but Nutro, the Mars subsidiary behind Wild Frontier, has issued several recalls since their acquisition by Mars in 2007.
Several lots of Nutro dog treats were recalled due to potential mold contamination.
Nutro dry cat food products were recalled due to inappropriate zinc and potassium levels. The same year, fragments of a worker’s plastic hat were found in the production line, prompting the recall of two dog food formulas.
Although no cat food products were involved, the Nutro brand was a part of the nationwide melamine recalls of 2007.
Where can you buy Wild Frontier cat food?
You can purchase Wild Frontier cat food online through Amazon, Chewy, and various other retailers including PetSmart and Petco.
What do customers think of Wild Frontier cat food?
The stand-alone Wild Frontier brand was announced just a couple of months ago and customer reviews are limited.
Overall, the product line appears to be well-received. Above all other factors, palatability gets the most mentions in customer reviews.
Let’s take a look at what customers are saying about one of the brand’s most popular formulas.
Wild Frontier Adult Open Valley Recipe Chicken Flavor cat food has 32 reviews on Chewy and a 4.8 out of 5 star rating. 100% of reviewers say they’d recommend this food.
Let’s zoom in and read a few real reviews from the Chewy listing.
“My youngest cat has been very picky. I have tried to keep them on a grain free and wet food diet to maintain their weight. However, the youngest cat will cry all day until I give him Wild Frontier. He loves it. I leave a small bowl for him as he grazes all day and doesn’t eat much at any one time. I have tried other dry foods but he won’t eat them. He prefers Nutro.” – SmokeysMom
“My SUPER picky one year old kitty is obsessed with this food.. He begs for it! The ingredients are pretty good, and the price is just okay. I really like that the pieces are bigger because it forces him to slow down and chew. He has a problem with swallowing his food whole when the kibbles are small, but he actually chews this kind thankfully. Definitely recommend!” – haleyyy
“Since my cat loves the can Wild Frontier I decided to try the dry food. I was disappointed to find that she does not like it. I still like the Wild Frontier brand.” – Rose
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Pea Protein, Split Peas, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
The ingredient list starts out on a positive note with chicken as the first inclusion. Following chicken is chicken meal, a dehydrated chicken product that’s much more protein-dense than water-rich chicken.
The third ingredient is pea protein, which is a concentrated source of plant protein. As carnivores, cats thrive on animal protein and aren’t wired to effectively metabolize protein from plants. Considering that it’s so high on the ingredient list, you can assume that pea protein, along with other plant proteins, contributes heavily to the food’s 40% protein content.
By weight, the recipe includes more pea protein and potato protein than salmon and menhaden fish meal. While these ingredients are good sources of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, a better recipe would place them higher on the ingredient list.
Most of the food’s fat content comes from chicken fat, which is a biologically-correct source of nourishing fatty acids.
It’s a grain-free formula made with what Wild Frontier calls a “healthy carb blend”.
When you’re feeding an obligate carnivore, it’s oxymoronic to describe any carbohydrate source as healthy. If this food were true to the hunt as the brand’s tagline suggests, it would be 10% or less carbohydrate matter. Instead, this formula is 24% carbohydrates, and what Wild Frontier describes as healthy carbohydrate sources include split peas, tapioca, and dried beet pulp.
Before supplemental vitamins and minerals, the ingredient list features natural flavor, which is a flavor additive made from hydrolyzed animal tissue, flaxseed as a less-than-ideal source of omega-3 fatty acids, and salt.
Overall, this is a mediocre kibble and a below-average cat food choice.
According to the guaranteed analysis, the kibble is composed of 40% protein, 18% fat, and 24% carbohydrates.
While the 40% protein content looks good on the front of the bag, the ingredient list reveals that this product leans heavily on cheap, minimally digestible plant ingredients to reach that number. These fat and carbohydrate percentages are similar to other dry foods.
Like all dry foods, this chicken formula from Wild Frontier fails to provide the moisture your cat deserves. Cats have naturally low thirst drives and though cats who eat kibble may drink more water, that time spent at the water bowl leaves dry eaters about half as hydrated as cats who eat wet cat food.
The kibble is available in a 2-lb, 5-lb, or 11-lb bag.
According to Wild Frontier’s feeding suggestions for the average 8-lb cat, this food costs about $.72 per day.
This cost estimate is based on Chewy prices and excludes shipping costs.