The 5 Wellness Cat Food Reviews from the CORE and Complete Health Range

wellness cat food reviews

 

When it comes to the food that I feed my beloved cat, I am not only looking for recipes that are high in protein and the high-quality ingredients that I value, I am also looking for a brand that I can trust. I want to know that what it says on the label is what is actually in the packet and choose a brand that will be honest with me about the real health benefits that their food offers my cat, not just try to dazzle me with marketing speak. This means that I always put a lot of research into a brand before I consider buying their food.

One brand that I have encountered over the years that meets my reliability criteria is the Wellness brand. They have formulas which my cat likes and is good for her health, and I appreciate their brand philosophy.

 

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Read on and I will share more information about the Wellness brand and its approach to fitness, and which recipes I think the best to invest in.

Wellness has two main lines for cats, Complete Health and CORE. Both lines offer a variety of wet and dry food options. When it comes to deciding which to buy, scroll down to read my favorites from each line.

 

If You Are In A Rush…

If you are already keen on the Wellness brand and just want to know which recipes to buy, the Complete Health line wins when it comes to wet food, despite not being their premium line, mostly based on texture and feline appeal. When it comes to dry food, invest in the CORE premium line, or supercharge your cat’s plate with their CORE RawRev, which is basically the CORE kibble enhanced with freeze-dried raw meat.

Here are the products we’ll be covering in this Wellness Cat Food review:

 

Wellness Complete Health Reviews

 

Wellness Complete Health Natural Grain-Free Deboned Chicken and Chicken Meal Dry Cat Food

The Complete Health line dry food is quite similar to the CORE line, but contains noticeably less meat and protein, though it is still high protein for dry cat food. This gives it a slightly more affordable price tag. While high-quality meat is still the first ingredient, it has a higher meat-to-meal ratio than the CORE line. However, it is clear on the packaging that this is a feed that relies on meal.

For its carbohydrate, it similarly relies on peas, potatoes, and also chickpeas, which present the same problems as not being natural things for cats to eat and potentially inflating protein content in an unhelpful way.

Pros

  • High in protein
  • Transparent packaging
  • Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals
  • High in fiber

 

Cons

  • Uses more meal than other lines
  • Contains peas and potatoes

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 40% minimum
  • Crude fat 18% minimum
  • Crude fiber 4% maximum
  • Moisture 10% minimum

 

This recipe is enriched with a long list of vitamins and minerals, more than in some of their other recipes. Worth noting are tomato pomace and ground flaxseed for fiber, cranberries for antioxidants and Wellness’ patented probiotic.

The recipe comes in a pretty good range of flavors, including recipes modified for kittens, seniors, and indoor cats. Like with wet food, be a little bit wary of the recipes containing a lot of fish.

 

Overall: Dry Meal Protein

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Wellness Complete Health Pate Chicken Entree Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

When it comes to Wellness’ canned cat food range, their Complete Health range offers the best choice. It is high in protein, garnered from high-quality chicken, turkey, and chicken liver. Never make the mistake of thinking of organ meat as filler. Organ meat, especially liver, is full of nutrients that cats need. The recipe has some added cranberries and carrots to provide antioxidants and support immunity and eye health, but the level of carbohydrates in this dish is low.

The recipe is held together and thickened with guar gum and xanthan gum and delivered in a kind of mincemeat texture, which cats like, and humans also generally find appealing to handle.

It is enriched with a variety of added vitamins and minerals designed to support a lustrous coat, healthy stomach, bright eyes, strong teeth and gums, immune health, and provide a lot of energy. The list of added nutrients is so long that it is difficult to untangle what does what (though not as long as in some of their other recipes), but pet owners do generally report that their cats are healthier and happier on this food. However, it is lower in fiber than I generally like to see.

 

Pros

  • High in protein
  • High-quality meat
  • Low in carbohydrates
  • Appealing texture
  • Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Wide range of flavors available

 

Cons

  • Low in fiber

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 10.5% minimum
  • Crude fat 7% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1% maximum
  • Moisture 78% maximum
  • 34 calories per ounce

 

Wellness Complete Health has a wide range of flavors which is great. Often when we find a food that our cat loves we are tempted to feed them the same food all the time. But when cats have a diet that is too regular, they can develop sensitivities and allergies to the foods that they eat the most. The wide variety of flavors helps mix things up. Available recipes include:

 

Overall: Reliable Quality Protein

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Wellness CORE Cat Food Reviews

 

Wellness CORE Signature Selects Shredded Boneless Chicken and Chicken Liver Entree in Sauce Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

Despite being Wellness’ premium and more expensive canned food brand, the Wellness CORE Signature Select range, while still good, is not quite as good as the Complete Health range. This is mostly down to its texture. The recipe is high in moisture, which makes it a great choice for cats that have hydration issues, but also means that it is a bit runny. This can be unappealing to both cats and owners. Even the company recommends serving it as a kibble topper, which would give it a bit more thickness.

What thickening there is in the recipe is provided by tapioca and potato starch, which makes it relatively high in carbohydrates for a wet cat food, though it is still pretty low. It is enriched with largely the same essential vitamins and minerals as the Complete Health range that will keep your cat healthy and full of energy.

 

Pros

  • High in protein
  • High in moisture
  • Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals
  • Wide range of flavors

 

Cons

  • Liquid texture
  • Relatively high in carbohydrates

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 8% minimum
  • Crude fat 2% minimum
  • Crude fiber 1.5% maximum
  • Moisture 85% maximum
  • 25 calories per ounce

 

Wellness CORE comes in a variety of flavors which is great, but be careful when selecting the fish flavors, which use a wide range of different fish. It is not generally recommended to feed cats food that contains fish products as these days fish is prone to heavy metal and toxin contamination.

 

Overall: Maximum Moisture

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Wellness CORE Grain-Free Original Formula, Dry

When it comes to Wellness’ dry food, it is the CORE line that stands out as the favorite. It is high in protein and contains more meat than the average dry food. The original formula gets its meat from deboned chicken and deboned turkey, as well as chicken meal, turkey meal, and herring meal.

When it comes to wet cat foods, it is always recommended to go with high-quality meat and not invest in anything with meal. This is less important in dry food, though meal should not be the first or most plentiful ingredient, which it isn’t here.

However, the inclusion of herring meal is not great if you are avoiding fish for your cat (for the reasons stated above). It appears in pretty much all of the dry foods in the CORE line but isn’t always listed as an ingredient on the front of the packet. So you may think that you are safe with chicken or turkey, but there is some herring hidden in there as well. This should not be a problem for most cats.

 

Pros

  • High-quality meat as the first ingredient
  • High in protein
  • Contains more meat than most dry foods
  • Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals

 

Cons

  • Includes herring meal that is not listed on the front of the packet
  • Contains peas and potatoes

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 45% minimum
  • Crude fat 18% minimum
  • Crude fiber 3% maximum
  • Moisture 10% maximum

 

Dry cat food needs quite a few more carbohydrates than wet cat food to give it its texture and preservation. In this case, it is coming from peas and potatoes, which are replacing grains, which are generally now considered a no-go for cat foods along with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. While neither of these foods will hurt your cat, neither are they a natural part of a cat’s diet in the wild.

Further, both contain quite a bit of protein, which can inflate the protein levels in the dish. This should not be seen as a benefit as cats have evolved as carnivores that use animal-based protein, and they cannot use plant-based protein in the same way.

This recipe is relatively high in fiber, which it gets naturally from tomato pomace, pea fiber, and ground flaxseed. It also contains a lot of other vitamins and minerals for overall cat health, including antioxidants from cranberries. This might not be something that you would think to feed your cat, but cranberries are great for them. The recipe also has added probiotics to support digestion, including Wellness’ patented Acticoat probiotic that has been specifically designed for cats.

This is one of our favorites and is up there on our top list of grain-free cat food.

The line comes in a couple of different flavors and also has kitten and indoor cat recipes.

 

 

Overall: High Protein Dry

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Wellness CORE RawRev Grain-Free Original Recipe with Freeze-Dried Turkey Liver Dry Cat Food

Now for something a little bit different. A raw food diet for cats has been catching on as a way of providing cats with a diet that most closely resembles what they would eat in the wild. When meats are cooked, they lose some of their nutrients and it is also harder for cats to absorb these nutrients once they have been cooked. However, a raw cat food is more complicated than just getting meat from the butcher, cutting it up, and putting it in your cat’s bowl. They need to eat the whole animal, including skin, organs, ligaments, and bones, to get all the nutrients that they need. Even then, they usually need supplements to get all the vitamins and minerals that they need as well.

Pros

  • Includes raw meat
  • High in protein
  • High-quality meat as the first ingredient
  • Contains more meat than most dry foods
  • Enriched with essential vitamins and minerals

 

Cons

  • Shorter use-by date
  • Includes herring meal that is not listed on the front of the packet
  • Contains peas and potatoes

 

Nutritional Profile

  • Crude protein 46% minimum
  • Crude fat 18% minimum
  • Crude fiber 3.5% minimum
  • Moisture 10% minimum

 

While moving onto a purely raw food diet for a cat is challenging, some cat food brands are now making it easy to introduce some raw food into their diet to help them get some of the benefits. Freeze-dried meat, where meat has been air-dried rather than cooked, is one of the easiest ways to do this, as it has a longer shelf life than fresh or frozen raw food.

Wellness is introducing raw food into their recipes by adding freeze-dried meat to their high-protein kibble. They do not have a lot of lines available, but the one they do have is a good one. Their high-protein kibble is basically the CORE dry kibble, with fresh turkey freeze-dried and added in a safe way but do keep an eye on the shorter use-by date.

Visit our post if you’re interested in feeding your cat a raw diet.

Overall: Raw Food Boost

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About Wellness

The Philosophy of the Wellness brand is to provide high-quality, species-appropriate food. This means food that is rich in animal-based ingredients and high in the protein that cats need to thrive. As part of this philosophy of feeding cats things that they would eat in the wild, their recipes are all also free from grains and free from all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

 

Wellness has a long history in the industry. While the Wellness brand itself was only established in 1997, it spun off from WellPet LLC, a company which started in 1926. They seem to be more about a passion for pets than just making money, as shown by their WellPet Foundation, which raises money for a variety of non-profit organizations that support healthy, active lifestyles for pets.

What appealed to me about Wellness more than anything is that they appear to have integrity about the quality of their product. Like almost all pet food companies, some of their products have been recalled, but Wellness seems to err on the side of caution rather than reputation when it comes to recalls.

In 2017, a small amount of metal was found in other products made at a facility where Wellness products are also made and they decided to recall the potentially affected food just in case. Similarly, in 2012, they recalled a single line of dog food for potential excessive moisture. While this poses no immediate danger, it does mean that food can go moldy before its use-by date. This ethical approach is reflected in its reputation, which is high for a pet food brand. This philosophy is shared by other cat food brands, including Natural Balance and Fromm, and newbie brand Tiki Pets.

There are mostly only positive Wellness wet cat food reviews on Chewy. That goes for Wellness dry food reviews as well — for example, they have 4.3 stars on Chewy.com and of the people who rated them, 90% would recommend their products.

The Verdict

Wellness is a reliable cat food brand that matches a commitment to providing species appropriate food with integrity and honesty about the quality of their products.

While all of their products are at the superior end of the spectrum when looking at the cat food industry in general, when it comes to wet food, the Complete Health line is the one to choose, despite not being their premium line, mostly based on texture and feline appeal. When it comes to dry food, invest in the CORE premium line, or supercharge your cat’s plate with their RawRev line, which is basically the CORE kibble enhanced with freeze-dried raw meat.

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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.