Taste of the Wild Cat Food Reviews: Just How Good is It?

taste of the wild cat food review

 

I would love to be able to only feed my cat the best quality food that money can buy—high in good quality animal protein, free from non-species appropriate ingredients such as grains, definitely free from artificial additives, and enriched with all the nutrients that I know my cat needs to thrive. Unfortunately, my budget does not always stretch to the premium foods that I would like to buy.

A friend and fellow devoted cat parent pointed me in the direction of the Taste of the Wild brand as a potential, affordable alternative that offers many of the benefits of the premium foods that I love. As it was exactly what I was looking for, naturally I researched the brand.

 

 

Taste of the Wild is a quality, affordable cat food brand that ticks most of my boxes. It puts meat-based protein first, doesn’t use grains, doesn’t include artificial additives, and is enriched with all the things that cats need.

However, in order to keep the price-tag low, some compromises have been made. Their wet foods contain significantly more empty carbohydrate filler than premium lines, and their dry lines contain plant protein filler, which also adds calories without adding nutrition. Nonetheless, they are a solid choice for anyone looking for cat food at this price point.

Read on to find out more about the brand, and I will also review their four main lines and suggest which are worth investing in.

 

If You Are In A Rush…

If you are trying to choose between Taste of the Wild’s two main lines, Rocky Mountain and River Mountain, go for Rocky Mountain as both a wet and dry option. The recipe contains a wider variety of meets, giving your cat’s diet the diversity it needs and it is also higher in protein.

The River Canyon line is fish-based, making it more limited, and a no-go for any cat parents that choose not to feed their cats fish due to concerns around heavy metals and contamination. However, be aware that the Rocky Mountain recipe also contains fish products.

Here are Taste of the Wild’s four cat food options:

 

Taste Of The Wild Cat Food Reviews

Taste of the Wild currently has two main cat food lines, which come in both wet and dry versions. Let’s take a closer look at them.

 

Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Taste of the Wild’s Rocky Mountain canned food has the making of a good cat food as it starts with a lot of high-quality meats. It uses salmon, chicken liver, and chicken delivered in fish broth and chicken broth as it’s main ingredients. It also adds smoked salmon and roasted venison as novel protein sources, adding much-needed variety to a cat’s diet. This is a lot of high-quality meat and healthy protein for such an affordable cat food.

However, on the downside, this recipe is one of the most carbohydrate-dense wet cat foods on the market, containing almost 30% carbohydrates from potato starch and pea flour. While carbohydrates shouldn’t hurt your cat, it is not a natural part of a cat’s diet and gives them no nutritional value, so it is pretty much empty filler. It is surprising that it is so carbohydrate heavy as these are usually added to give the food a thick texture, while this is quite a liquid heavy stew.

The other problem with his recipe, and all of the Taste of the Wild recipes, is that it does not offer a fish-free option. While, in theory, fish is a great source of protein for cats, these days fish often suffers from a lot of heavy metals or contamination, so some pet parents choose to avoid it. All of Taste of the Wild’s recipes contain fish, making this impossible.

 

Pros

  • Affordable price-tag
  • High in protein
  • Uses high-quality animal products
  • Contains varied protein sources including novel proteins
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Added probiotics

 

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Does not offer a fish-free recipe

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 8% minimum
  • Crude fat 3% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1.5% maximum
  • Moisture 82% maximum

 

The recipe is enriched with all the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that we have come to expect from good quality cat foods. It is particularly high in taurine, essential for cat eye health and immunity, as well as tomatoes, blueberries, and raspberries, which are high in natural fiber and antibiotics. Your cat’s digestion is also supported by the inclusion of Taste of the Wild’s patented Viable probiotic, optimized for cats and added after cooking to ensure its integrity.

Overall: Affordable Meat Mix

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Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Taste of the Wild’s other wet food option is called Canyon River and is very similar to the Rocky Mountain recipe, but is its exclusive fish recipe. Its main ingredients are trout and ocean fish in fish broth and it also contains smoked salmon. This renders the recipe high in protein, but, as already suggested, will not be an option for pet parents choosing to avoid fish products due to the likelihood of heavy metals and contamination.

If you want to mix it up a little bit, you can alternate this with some of our other favorite canned food, Nutro Max Chicken Supreme Entree Chunks in Sauce or Fromm Four Star Chicken and Duck Pate.

 

Pros

  • Affordable price-tag
  • High in protein
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Added probiotics

 

Cons

  • High in carbohydrates
  • All animal-based protein comes from fish

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 8% minimum
  • Crude fat 3% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1.5% maximum
  • Moisture 82% maximum

 

Canyon River shares Taste of the Wild’s seemingly unnecessary high carbohydrate levels, considering its stew-like texture, as it contains quite a bit of carbohydrate from potato starch, pea flour, and sweet potato. It contains all the same vitamins, minerals, and amino acids as the Rocky Mountain recipe and Taste of the Wild’s patented probiotic.

This is a less attractive formula, because while it delivers the same high-protein for the low price-tag, that protein is less varied, coming exclusively from fish products.

Overall: Affordable Fish Protein

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Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Taste of the Wild’s Rocky Mountain dry cat food is one of the more high-protein dry foods on the market, making it the superior choice of the dry cat foods. Its basic meat is chicken meal and chicken fat, which are more affordable sources of protein than fresh meat, but the recipe is boosted with roasted venison, smoked salmon, and ocean fish meal, providing the novel protein sources that add essential diversity to a cat’s diet. This is a good and affordable cat food, which we have recommended as one of the best grain-free foods you can give your kitty.

However, this is not the only place where this recipe is getting its protein boost. It is also high in concentrated plant proteins from peas and potatoes. These are in fact some of the top ingredients on the list, after chicken meal, but ahead of the venison and salmon.

However, this should not be mistaken as another valid source of protein. While humans, and even dogs, can get the protein that they need from plant-based sources, cats have evolved as obligate carnivores. This means that they cannot get the nutrients that they need from plant-based proteins and must get it from animal products.

Consequently, these plant proteins are filler, and artificially inflate the protein level of the food as a whole. It is also high in carbohydrates, even for dry foods that need carbohydrates for their texture and preservation, another filler that cats don’t need.

 

Pros

  • Affordable price-tag
  • High in protein
  • Includes novel protein sources
  • Enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Added probiotics
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

 

Cons

  • Heavy in meat meal
  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains pea and potato protein
  • Contains fish products

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 42% minimum
  • Crude fat 18% minimum
  • Crude fiber 3% maximum
  • Moisture 10% maximum

 

The recipe is enriched with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that we have come to expect from quality cat foods, including a good level of taurine, one of the most important compounds for cats, as well as blueberries and raspberries for fiber and antioxidants. It also contains Taste of the Wild’s patented probiotic, added after cooking to maintain its integrity.

One other thing to note about the recipe is the inclusion of fish products, which means that it is no appropriate for pet parents avoiding fish for safety reasons.

Overall: Affordable Dry Protein

CLICK HERE FOR BEST PRICE

Taste of the Wild Canyon River Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

River Canyon is again Taste of the Wild’s fish based alternative to their Rocky Mountain dry food. It is lower in protein and gets its meat protein almost exclusively from fish, starting with trout and ocean fish meal, with more limited amounts of smoked salmon added.

However, this is not its only source of protein, it is also relatively heavy in plant-based proteins, from potatoes and peas, which, as already discussed, add no nutritional value for cats. This, along with the high carbohydrate content, means that there are quite a lot of empty calories in this recipe.

 

Pros

  • Affordable price-tag
  • Enriched with essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Added probiotics
  • Grain-free recipe
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

 

Cons

  • Heavy in meat meal
  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains pea and potato protein
  • Fish-based recipe

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 32% minimum
  • Crude fat 16% minimum
  • Crude fiber 3% maximum
  • Moisture 10% maximum

 

While this fish-based recipe will not appeal to all pet parents, it is enriched with all the essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that we have come to expect from quality cat foods, including a good level of taurine, one of the most important compounds for cats, as well as blueberries and raspberries for fiber and antioxidants. It also contains Taste of the Wild’s patented probiotic, added after cooking to maintain its integrity.

Other similar grain-free dry food options that we’d recommend would be those from Nutrish and Halo brand.

Overall: Affordable Dry Fish

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About Taste of the Wild

Taste of the Wild is a pet food brand that aspires to create quality foods at an affordable price. They base their formulas on the importance of real meat and always use meat, fish, or fowl as their first ingredient.

Alongside this, all of their recipes are grain-free, as grains have been recognized as a not species-appropriate ingredient for cat foods, and are free from all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Taste of the Wild also enriches their food with all the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that cats need to thrive, as we have come to expect from premium cat food brands. Their foods are particularly strong in taurine, one of the most important compounds for cats. Taste of the Wild also adds their own patented probiotic, Viable, which is always added after the food is cooked in order to maintain its integrity.

Taste of the Wild is part of the Diamond Pet Foods family, a US company founded in the 1970s. Diamond has its own manufacturing and packaging facilities in the US where all Taste of the Wild food is made. They are also a leading manufacturer and co-packager for other pet food companies.

Taste of the Wild currently has two main lines, Rocky Mountain and River Canyon, both of which come in wet and dry food varieties. They have also recently launched a new limited ingredient food line under the line name Prey, but this is not yet widely available from pet food suppliers.

 

 

New Recipes to Look Out For

Taste of the Wild has started developing some new limited ingredient dry recipes under the line name ‘Prey’, which are not yet widely available on the market, but we should be seeing soon. There are currently two varieties, Angus Beef and Turkey. Each contains only three main ingredients: one protein source, lentils as carbohydrates (essential for dry food recipes), and sunflower oil for omega fatty acids and taste.

These limited ingredient formulas are ideal for cats that have sensitive stomachs and struggle with rich, mixed foods, and cats with allergies that need to avoid certain foods. They will also be Taste of the Wild’s only fish-free recipes. It is relatively low in protein compared to their existing dry recipes, at only 30%, but still, it’s one to watch.

 

The Verdict

Taste of the Wild is an affordable cat food brand that aspires to provide the kind of natural, species-appropriate foods that we are seeing from the premium brands. While they are producing high protein cat foods that make use of quality meat sources, compromises have been made to keep prices down.

Their wet foods, which are full of excellent meat, are also significantly higher in carbohydrates than they need to be. Their Rocky Mountain recipe is their best wet food, mixing good quality and novel proteins at an affordable price. Their dry food is high in fresh meat and protein for an affordable dry food, but is also high in plant-based protein, mostly gained from peas and potatoes. This artificially inflates the protein content of their recipes, with something that is really just filler. Again, the Rocky Mountain recipe is the best dry food choice, as it contains a range of meats, including novel proteins which add much-needed variety to a cat’s diet.

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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.