Friskies Cat Food Reviews and Top Picks — Is This a Good Brand?

friskies cat food review

 

While we would all love to be able to feed our cats the best quality food, budget does not always allow for this. Sometimes good quality cat foods can be as expensive as putting wholesome meals on your own plate. This is where affordable cat food has a role to play in the market.

If you ever browse the supermarket shelves for cat food, you will have seen Friskies cat food. It is one of the most widely available, affordable, and highly sold cat foods on the market. It certainly is not a five-star cat food full of species-appropriate ingredients with nothing added that your cat doesn’t need. However, it does its best to provide a lot of meat-based protein on a budget. It also enriches its foods with a good range of vitamins and minerals that help your cat thrive.

Read on to find out more about Friskies cat food, what exactly it is that goes into their recipes, and if you are looking for an affordable line, which of their foods is best for your cat.

 

 

If You Are In A Rush…

When it comes to which dish to choose, Shreds is the best of the wet food lines, using more named muscle meat and being lower in fat that Friskies’ other wet food lines. When it comes to dry food, either of Friskies’ two lines do the job. They are carbohydrate based recipes enriched with protein secured from meat by-products, and again supplemented with Friskies’ vitamin and mineral pack.

Our Top 5 Picks:

  1. Friskies Shreds Chicken and Salmon Dinner in Gravy Canned Cat Food
  2. Friskies Classic Pate Turkey and Giblets Dinner Canned Cat Food
  3. Friskies Extra Gravy Chicken in Savory Gravy Pate Canned Cat Food
  4. Friskies Surfin’ and Turfin’ Favorites Dry Cat Food
  5. Friskies Tender and Crunchy Dry Cat Food Combo

 

 

Friskies Cat Food Reviews

Friskies does not market itself as anything above and beyond a budget cat food, but it is an affordable way to give your cat meat-based protein, enriched with appropriate vitamins and minerals.

 

Friskies Shreds Chicken and Salmon Dinner in Gravy Canned Cat Food

Friskies’ range of Shreds wet cat food is one of their most popular products, and it is an affordable way to give you cat animal-based protein.

friskies shreds chicken and salmon

Pros

  • High protein
  • Low fat
  • Good vitamin and mineral pack

 

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains by-products
  • Contains artificial colors and flavors
  • Contains potentially carcinogenic ingredients

 

The Shreds recipes are relatively high in animal-based protein, with a good fat, fiber, and calorie balance. What differentiates this Friskies line for more expensive cat foods is that the meat does not come from the best sources. Looking inside their chicken and salmon recipe, the first ingredient of this formula is meat by-products, which are leftover beef and pork products from the butchering process.

There is nothing wrong with including meat by-products in cat foods. In fact, the bone and skin that they contain are actually good for your cat and a natural part of their diet in the wild.

The problem with meat by-product is that you cannot be sure what it actually contains, or how good quality it is, so you don’t really know what you are feeding your cat. This is why meat by-products is rarely the first ingredient in more expensive cat foods, as it usually contains less muscle meat than other types of meat, and cats need a lot more muscle meat in their diet than organ meat.

Chicken, the main muscle meat in this recipe, appears as the second ingredient, which is good. However, salmon only appears as the seventh ingredient, behind turkey, which is not featured as a main meat in this recipe.

This formula is also high in carbohydrates, including wheat gluten, modified corn starch, and soy flour. While we might expect to see these ingredients in a dry food, which needs carbohydrates to achieve a kibble texture, they are just not needed, and certainly not in this kind of quantity, in wet foods. This is largely filler as far as your cat’s nutrition is concerned. Also be a bit wary that the recipe contains artificial colors and flavors, which can cause health problems in cats.

This recipe (and all the Friskies recipes) contains a pretty good nutrients pack providing a variety of essential vitamins and minerals including magnesium, potassium, complex B vitamins, taurine, and folic acid. This means that despite some of the problems with this recipe, your cat should still be getting what they need.

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 9% minimum
  • Crude fat 2.5% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1% maximum
  • Moisture 82% maximum
  • 820 calories per kilogram

 

First Five Ingredients

  • Meat By-Products
  • Chicken
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Turkey
  • Corn Starch-Modified

 

Overall: Affordable High-Protein Dish

 

Other Flavors

CLICK HERE FOR BEST PRICE

 

Friskies Classic Pate Turkey and Giblets Dinner Canned Cat Food

friskies pate turkey and giblets

Friskies’ Pate wet food is very similar to its Shreds, but with a smoother texture, which can be easier for older cats or cats with dental problems to eat.

 

Pros

  • High protein
  • Low fat
  • Good vitamin and mineral pack

 

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains by-products
  • Contains artificial colors and flavors
  • Contains potentially carcinogenic ingredients
  • Little variation between the content of different flavors

 

This food is pretty high in protein, but again this is mostly procured from by-products, with meat and poultry by-products forming the first two ingredients. This accounts for the considerable high fat content of this dish as opposed to the Shreds recipe.

The dishes in Friskies’ Pate line are referred to as ‘dinners’ as the FDA requires that this term is included unless the stated meat ingredients make up 95 percent of the food on a dry matter basis. By-products and carbohydrates make up a significant proportion of this recipe.

Like all of the Friskies wet food recipes, their pates also contain carrageenan, used alongside guar gum as a thickener. This is a suspected carcinogenic in cats. While the evidence is not hard, most cat food companies avoid this ingredient to be on the safe side.

While it seems like there are a wide variety of recipes available in this line, the basis of each recipe is the same meat and poultry by-products, with only minimal amounts of the named meats added to provide the different flavor, alongside artificial flavors. This means that while you may think that you are feeding your cat a varied diet by switching between the different Pate recipes, in fact they will be getting much the same thing each time.

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 10% minimum
  • Crude fat 5% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1% maximum
  • Moisture 78% maximum
  • 1,159 calories per kilogram

 

First Five Ingredients

  • Meat By-Products
  • Poultry By-Products
  • Turkey
  • Poultry Giblets
  • Fish

 

Overall: Affordable By-Product Recipe

 

Other flavors

CLICK HERE FOR BEST PRICE

 

Friskies Extra Gravy Chicken in Savory Gravy Pate Canned Cat Food

In Friskies’ Extra Gravy wet food, we see yet another recipe based on meat and poultry by-products, with the named ingredient, chicken, forming only a small part of the recipe.

friskies extra gravy pate chicken

Pros

  • High protein
  • Low fat
  • Good vitamin and mineral pack

 

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains by-products
  • Contains artificial colors and flavors
  • Contains potentially carcinogenic ingredients
  • Little variation between the content of different flavors

 

This recipe also includes the same artificial additives and potentially carcinogenic ingredients, though much fewer carbohydrates than some of their other wet food recipes.

Again, while it seems like there is a lot of different recipe options available in this line, the basis of each recipe is identical, so feeding them a variety of these different foods offers no nutritional variety.

Thus, you can see that of the three wet foods looked at here, Shreds offers the best nutritional value, in terms of the amount of quality meat used and fat levels.

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 8% minimum
  • Crude fat 5% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1% maximum
  • Moisture 82% maximum
  • 818 calories per kilogram

 

First Five Ingredients

  • Meat By-Products
  • Poultry By-Products
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Artificial and Natural Flavors

 

Overall: Affordable Meat Flavored Chow

 

Other flavors

CLICK HERE FOR BEST PRICE

 

Friskies Surfin’ and Turfin’ Favorites Dry Cat Food

Based on the name of this Friskies dry food, you might assume that it contained a mix of seafood and beef, but this is really a carbohydrate-based dry food.

friskies surfin' and turfin'

Pros

  • Moderate protein levels
  • Good vitamin and mineral pack

 

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Protein sourced from by-products
  • Contains artificial colors and flavors
  • Contains cheese

 

The first two ingredients in the recipe are both carbohydrate-heavy meals, followed by chicken by-products. It then contains meat and bone meal, and much further down the ingredient list, is salmon meal. It is these last two meals that give the dry food its surfin’ and turfin’ flavor.

Despite the high carbohydrate content of this recipe, which is not something that cats really need in their diet, this recipe manages to deliver a moderate level of protein by using meal. This is not the best quality meat source, but does provide a protein boost on a budget.

Again, what makes this recipe more acceptable is its pretty good vitamin and mineral pack, which gives cats the nutrients that they need, but might be missing from the recipe in the raw ingredients.

One red flag with this food is that it contains dried cheese powder, and many cats are lactose intolerant, so just be aware in case your cat is sensitive to lactose.

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 30% minimum
  • Crude fat 1% minimum
  • Crude fiber 3% maximum
  • Moisture 12% maximum
  • 393 calories per cup

 

First Five Ingredients

  • Ground Yellow Corn
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Chicken By-Products Meal
  • Meat and Bone Meal
  • Soybean Meal

 

Overall: Dry Meal Flavored by Land and Sea

CLICK HERE FOR BEST PRICE

 

Friskies Tender and Crunchy Dry Cat Food Combo

This alternative dry food offering from Friskies is very similar to their Surfin’ and Turfin’ recipe, being high in carbohydrates with different forms of corn comprising the first two ingredients.

friskies tender and crunchy

Pros

  • Moderate protein levels
  • Good vitamin and mineral pack

 

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Protein sourced from by-products
  • Contains artificial colors and flavors

 

The meat component of the recipe comes primarily from chicken by-product meal with beef tallow and meat and bone meal. This results in a very similar recipe, which manages to be high in meat-based protein, but from a questionable source.

Therefore, the vitamin pack is again essential to make this meal appropriate for your cat. Fortunately, this recipe does not contain cheese, so is a good choice if your cat does have a problem with lactose.

 

Nutritional profile

  • Crude protein 30% minimum
  • Crude fat 11% minimum
  • Crude fiber 3% maximum
  • Moisture 12% maximum
  • 388 calories per cup

 

First Five Ingredients

  • Ground Yellow Corn
  • Corn Gluten Meal
  • Chicken By-Product Meal
  • Ground Wheat
  • Soybean Meal

 

Overall: Meat-Flavored Dry Meal

CLICK HERE FOR BEST PRICE

About Friskies

The Friskies pet food company was founded in 1934 but did not start selling cat food until the 1950s. The first cat food that it released wasn’t specifically for cats but was rather a food for growing puppies, which it said was also ideal for cats.

Understandably, cats didn’t particularly like the food, so Friskies started investing in producing lines specifically for cats. This made Friskies one of the first companies in the world to start producing commercial foods specifically for cats.

By the 1980s Friskies had become the best selling wet cat food in the United States, so in 1985 it was acquired by Nestle (now Nestle-Purina) which has all Purina lines, as well as Fancy Feast and Go Cats in its roster. The company is now the world’s second-biggest pet food company (behind Mars).

 

 

Friskies is now made in the United States by Purina and most of its ingredients are sourced from within the United States, though some of their meats and their vitamin packs are sourced from overseas.

Friskies offers a very wide range of foods for cats, including both wet and dry food formulas. Their range includes 60 varieties of wet food, six varieties of dry kibble, and four lines of treats. If you want to explore similar food that balances good quality protein and affordability, we suggest check out this brand.

 

The Verdict

Friskies may be one of the most readily available and affordable cat foods on the market. It manages to be so affordable by mass-producing dishes that are largely manufactured from meat by-products, which are what is left over from the butchering process.

This by-product can provide cats with a lot of meat-based protein at an affordable price, but it is not drawn from the best source. In order to balance this out, Friskies uses a pretty good quality vitamin and mineral pack to enrich their foods with nutrients that may be absent in the raw ingredients.

When it comes to which dish to choose, Shreds is the best of the wet food lines, using more named muscle meat and being lower in fat that Friskies’ other wet food lines. When it comes to dry food, either of Friskies’ two lines do the job. They are carbohydrate based recipes enriched with protein secured from meat by-products, and again supplemented with Friskies’ vitamin and mineral pack.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print
Share on whatsapp
Kristen Chapple

Kristen Chapple

Hi I'm Kristen, cat lover and blogger. I was born into a cat-loving family and have been a proud kitty mommy ever since I can remember. I love sharing my cat knowledge and love being an active part of the kitty-loving community.