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Cat Food

8 Wet Selections for Feline Foodies

Trend toward human grade makes wet food more appealing.

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FOR MANY CAT PARENTS, mealtime means holding your breath while scraping out a stinky can of mush. As the trend toward super-premium foods continues, wet food is evolving into a culinary centerpiece, focusing on human-grade quality, novel proteins and recognizable morsels. The end result is pleasing for both feline foodies and their human counterparts.

$ <16 cents/ounce | $$ 16-30 cents/ounce | $$$ 31-50 cents/ounce | $$$$ >50 cents/ounce

 

NOW FRESH Grain Free Minced Chicken

Petcurean

KEY FEATURES: Expansion to line adds three new cat formulas. Minced chicken recipe offers picky eaters a unique texture. Bone broth provides moisture and nutrition. 6.4-ounce cartons.

SALES TIP: Easy-to-open tear-off strip and no sharp edges.

petcurean.com, (866) 864-6112

$$$

Grain Free Sensitive Stomach Quail and Garden Greens

Halo

KEY FEATURES: With novel protein, non-GMO vegetables and dandelion greens, barley grass and parsley to provide antioxidants and support easy digestion. 5.5-ounce cans.

SALES TIP: Thirst quenchers: Canned food provides the benefit of added hydration, especially important for cats who drink little water.

halopets.com, (800) 426-4256

$$$

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Pristine Cage-Free Duck

Castor & Pollux

KEY FEATURES: Grain-free duck recipe features poultry raised without antibiotics or hormones. New wild-caught tuna recipe available, too. 3-ounce pouch.

SALES TIP: The Pristine line uses only responsibly sourced ingredients, such as organic fruits and vegetables grown without synthetic fertilizers or chemical pesticides.

castorpolluxpet.com, (800) 875-7518

$$$$

Hound & Gatos Natural Cat Food

Hound & Gatos

KEY FEATURES: A natural line formulated with 98 percent meat, plus a precisely balanced vitamin-mineral mix. Made in the USA by a family-owned company. 5.5-ounce cans.

SALES TIP: This entire line and brand have gotten a reboot, with updated logo, look and packaging.

houndgatos.com, (888) 896-2951

$$-$$$$

Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals

Grandma Mae’s Country Naturals

KEY FEATURES: Five new pâtés and three new slices in gravy formulas. Grain-free, carrageenan-free and non-GMO. Supplemented with DL-methionine to maintain urinary tract health. 2.8-ounce cans.

SALES TIP: Not every cat digs seafood. Five of the new flavors meet consumers’ demand for fish-free foods.

grandmamaes.com, (888) 653-8021

$$$

Redbarn Naturals Cat Filets

Redbarn Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Filets flaked in broth or gravy, available in five flavors and a variety pack; 2.8-ouce cans.

SALES TIP: A “no goo” guarantee: Crack open a can to show customers the recognizable ingredients, from real pieces of pumpkin to whole shrimp and shredded chicken.

redbarninc.com, (800) 775-3849

$$$$

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Grain Free Tuna & Prawns

Health Extension

KEY FEATURES: Made with real fish as the first ingredient, in a savory sauce. 2.8-ounce cans.

SALES TIP: Liberate cans from the food aisles: Showcase newer offerings in your end caps and other promotional displays.

healthextension.com, (800) 992-9738

$$$

Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

Raised Right

KEY FEATURES: A soft food lightly cooked in a USDA-inspected human-grade facility. Third-party tested for e-coli, listeria and salmonella. 2-pound refrigerated bags.

SALES TIP: In a testament to its tastiness, company founder Braeden Ruud holds eating contests of “man against pets,” during which he personally races to finish the food first.

raisedrightpets.com, (844) 777-3871

$$$$

After 15 years working for newspapers across the US (and even Alaska), Melissa Hart is now freelancing, working for a variety of publications and trade organizations. She specializes in content for the small nonprofit and business owner, in fields such as pets, IT, grocery and other retail. Melissa is based in Upstate NY with her husband, twin daughters, two rescue dogs and rescue cat.

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Cat Food

New Dry Food Formulas to Suit Any Cat

Grain-free, high-protein formulas lead new releases.

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When looking at newer releases in dry cat foods, a few trends appear that have been making gains for the past few years: recipes that focus on grain-free, high-quality protein, with a move toward introducing new or novel protein sources, and staying away from relying heavily on chicken/poultry. You’ll also find some new diets specially designed for different ages/stages and unique needs: from kittens to sensitive stomachs to indoor-only formulas.

 

$ <$2/pound | $$ $2-$3/pound | $$$ $3-$4/pound | $$$$ $4+/pound

Adirondack Grain-Free Indoor Whitefish & Lentils
Bright Pet Nutrition Group

KEY FEATURES: Featuring whitefish, it contains omega-3 fatty acids from coconut oil and flaxseed for healthy skin and coat, berries for antioxidants and a unique probiotic blend.

SALES TIP: Slow cooked for maximum nutrient retention and enhanced flavor.

adirondackpetfood.com, (888) 843-1738

$$

Grain-Free Kitten
Halo Purely for Pets

KEY FEATURES: Only humanely sourced proteins and non-GMO vegetables. New dry foods include its first-ever kitten formulas (chicken and seafood).

SALES TIP: Ethically minded customers will get behind the brand’s broader mission “to change the way companion animals are fed and farm animals are raised … for the better!”

halopets.com, (800) 426-4256

$$$$

 

Free-Range Chicken
Ziwi Peak

KEY FEATURES: With New Zealand free-range chicken, organs and green-lipped mussel. Air-drying preserves nutritional value.

SALES TIP: Can be used as a complete meal or food topper.

ziwipets.com, (877) 464-9494

$$$$

 

Turkey Complete
Sojos

KEY FEATURES: Just add water and this turkey-based recipe of freeze-dried meat and air-dried fruits and veggies springs to life. GMO-free, no fillers, preservatives or anything artificial.

SALES TIP: Raw has been trending with dog foods. Your cat-loving customers will appreciate having an option for them.

sojos.com, (888) 867-6567

$$$$

 

Pheasant & Whitefish Dry Food
Evanger’s

KEY FEATURES: A low-grain super-premium food for all life stages.

SALES TIP: Novel protein sources like pheasant and whitefish can appeal to finicky felines.

evangersdogfood.com, (847) 537-0102

$$

 

Wellness CORE Indoor
WellPet

KEY FEATURES: A salmon and herring meal recipe, in a protein-rich and poultry-free food made specifically for indoor cats.

SALES TIP: With added glucosamine and chondroitin, as well as omega fatty acids and probiotics, it’s got what an indoor kitty needs to stay healthy.

wellnesspetfood.com, (800) 225-0904

$$$

 

Purrfect Bistro Complete Care Sensitive Stomach
Merrick Pet Care

KEY FEATURES: Crafted with easily digestible protein and includes prebiotics and probiotics to support optimal digestion.

SALES TIP: Contains antioxidants to help support a healthy immune system to keep kitty at the top of her game.

merrickpetcare.com, (800) 664-7387

$$

 

Orijen Six Fish
Champion Petfoods

KEY FEATURES: Contains Pacific pilchards, hake, mackerel, flounder, rockfish and sole, two-thirds of which are fresh or raw at the time of processing. The remaining third is dried, for a more concentrated protein source.

SALES TIP: Great choice for cats with poultry allergies/sensitivities.

orijen.ca, (877) 939-0006

$$$$

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Cat Food

9 Organic Solutions for Cats

The benefits of going organic are many.

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RECALLS HAVE LEFT some wary pet parents turning to all-organic diets. Others are looking to align their cats’ food with their personal values. Whatever the case, the benefits of going organic are many: from cleaner eating to quality ingredients. Whether your customers are looking for dry or wet food, or just a healthy meal booster, we’ve selected a few strong options. Group them together and include signage and labels to make it easy for customers to identify them as organic. 

Dry cat food price key: $ Less than $2/pound | $$ $2-$3/pound | $$$ $3-$4 | $$$$ $4+/pound
Wet cat food price key: $
$ 5-15 cents/ounce | $$ 16-30 cents/ounce | $$$ 31-50 cents/ounce | $$$$ 51+ cents/ounce

 

Kinder Kibble

When it comes to the centerpiece of kitty’s meal, sustainably sourced proteins are front and center of these formulas. Think free-range poultry fed an organic, antibiotic-free diet, and wild-caught salmon. Add to that antioxidant-rich superfoods and your health-conscious and environment-minded customers will have food they’ll feel good about.

Very Berry for Cats
Smack Pet Food

KEY FEATURES: A dehydrated raw recipe that can be fed like kibble or with added water. Featuring USDA-certified organic chicken and wild salmon for protein, packed with antioxidant-rich organic cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, and herbs.

SALES TIP: This “lip-smacking good” food is handmade in small batches in Winnipeg, Canada. The next best thing to making it yourself!

smackpetfood.com, (844) 737-6225

$$$$

GATHER Free Acres
Petcurean

KEY FEATURES: Made with certified organic, sustainably raised, free-range chicken as the single source of poultry protein. Recipe also includes organic peas and flaxseed, blueberries and cranberries for extra nutrition.

SALES TIP: Even the packaging is sustainable, with a third of the bag coming from plant-based material.

Petcurean.com, (866) 864-6112

$$$$

Grizzly Super Foods
Grizzly Pet Products

KEY FEATURES: Wild Alaska salmon is first and main ingredient in this new formula with seven ingredients. Contains organic coconut meal and sprouted organic quinoa for fiber and additional nutrients. Well suited for diabetic and overweight felines.

SALES TIP: This high-protein, low-fat and low-carb formula can stand alone or be used as a food topper.

grizzlypetproducts.com, (888) 323-5575

$$$$

Positive Pâté

Nothing gets cats purring like a plate of pâté. The rise in people eating organic, humanely raised meat has helped the pet industry find new sources of human-grade protein as well as keeping prices affordable. Which is something to purr about! Help your customers share the love with organic options that can be part of a full line of foods or stand alone.

ORGANIX
Castor & Pollux

KEY FEATURES: Made with 95 percent or more USDA-certified organic ingredients.

SALES TIP: Great opportunity to build a lifetime of brand loyalty. Start your customers on the kitten food, and then they can graduate to the full line of adult recipes, including seven new pates and new dry formulas.

castorpolluxpet.com, (800) 875-7518

$$$

Organic Braised Chicken Dinner
Evanger’s

KEY FEATURES: Two flavors — Braised Chicken Dinner and Turkey and Butternut Squash — certified organic by USDA and Oregon Tilth.

SALES TIP: Your customers who have been faithful to this 85-year-old company will be celebrating. Newcomers will be impressed with these grain-free formulas served in BPA-free cans.

evangerpetfood.com, (847) 537-0102

$$$

Organic Turkey & Liver
Tender & True

KEY FEATURES: Grain-free, GMO-free, made with organic, humanely raised antibiotic-free turkey source from U.S. farmers. Also comes in chicken and liver flavor and in dry formulas of both.

SALES TIP: This food packs a lot of perks into an affordable price point, proving organic doesn’t have to be expensive.

tenderandtruepet.com, (877) 616-4455

$$

Top It Off

Sauces, broths and purées, oh my! Organic supplements can be used as a treat or to boost a meal, turning dry kibble even more palatable and giving an extra incentive to dig in, while maintaining healthy eating. These will also appeal to your budget-conscious customers, who want to give their pets the best but are wary of the higher costs of going all-in organic.

Raw Organic Grass-Fed Kefir
Open Farm

KEY FEATURES: Made from the same stuff as kefir for people — organic raw milk, turmeric, cinnamon and cultures — with the same benefits: Promotes healthy digestion through probiotics.

SALES TIP: A little bit goes a long way, with just 1 to 2 ounces a day needed per cat.

openfarmpet.com, (833) 399-3403

$$$

Organic Chicken Stock
Raw Paws Pet Food

KEY FEATURES: Human-grade stock made from USDA organic chicken, veggies and herbs. So good you’ll be tempted to add some to your food, too.

SALES TIP: Your customers will see this as a great way to give kibble a boost and add moisture and essential nutrients. Make sure they “stock up!”

Rawpawspetfood.com, (866) 368-3369

$$$

Pamperin’ Pumpkin Blend
Nummy Tum Tum

KEY FEATURES: Just three organic ingredients: Pureed pumpkin, apples and cranberries, for adding extra fiber, vitamin C and other minerals.

SALES TIP: The squeezable, resealable BPA-free pouch works well for a quick treat while traveling or on the go.

nummytumtum.com, (800) 644-7462

$$$$

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Cat Food

9 Cat Food Choices for Senior Cats

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In recent decades, pet parents are spending more on veterinary care, ensuring their animal friends are able to lead longer and more fulfilling lives. As a result, we’re seeing cats living long beyond their nine lives. As they achieve senior status, many cats rely on canned food for extra hydration. Keep the Golden Girls happy by working a few of these varieties into your wet food offerings, which provide softer textures with easy-to-digest proteins. 

PRICE SCALE: $ .05 to .15 per oz   | $$ .16 to .30 per oz  | $$$ .31 to 50 per oz  | $$$$ .51+ per oz

No filler food for senior cats

No Fillers 

According to the American Association of Feline Practitioners, cats become mature between 7 and 10 years and “senior” from 11 to 14. Like people, as cats age, their appetite and digestion slows down, hampering their ability to absorb all the nutrients from their foods. For elderly cats, maximizing nutrition means serving high-calorie, high-protein foods without grain fillers.

Wilderness for Mature Cats 
Blue Buffalo

Key features: High-protein, low-carb, in chicken flavor. No poultry by-product meal, artificial preservatives, corn, wheat or soy.

Sales tip: An alternative to a raw diet because of its high concentration of chicken. 

bluebuffalo.com, (800) 919-2833 

Nutro Soft Loaf Pate 
Nutro

Key features: Smooth texture designed to go down easy, for cats with sore teeth and gums. Comes in chicken or cod flavors.

Sales tip: Grain-free helps with digestion for older cats with sensitive stomachs.

nutro.com, (800) 833-5330 

Freestyle Minced 
Nulo

Key features: Technically not a senior formula, but contains many of the characteristics of one: grain-free, with high-quality protein in a palatable, easy-to-digest gravy. Six varieties. 

Sales tip: Made with free-range beef, chicken and turkey and wild-caught fish.

nulo.com, (512) 476-6856


Fortified food for senior cats

Fortified

According to one estimate, the population of senior cats has doubled in recent years. With this rise comes increased attention on the special dietary needs of older felines. Even healthy kitties can develop joint problems like arthritis or dental pain that makes eating hard food difficult. These formulas provide extra fortification to help with the aches and pains of aging.

Hill’s Science Diet Adult 11+ Healthy Cuisine
Hill’s Pet

Key features: Seared tuna and tender carrots in a formula full of nutrients to support eye, heart, kidney and joint health.

Sales tip: Flavor combination stands apart from the usual chicken and poultry.

hillspet.com, (800) 445-5777

Aging 12+ Joint Health 
Royal Canin

Key features: Thin loaf slices in gravy, designed to go down easy, formulated with nutrients to support joint health.

Sales tip: Finally, a cat food for elderly cats that’s tailored to cats ages 12 and older. 

royalcanin.com

Weight & Mature Formula 
Chicken Soup for the Soul Pet Food

Key features: With Omega 6, Omega 3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, zinc and selenium. 

Sales tip: Slow cooked to lock in flavor. 

chickensouppets.com, (800) 658-0624 


Protein packed food for senior cats

Protein Punch

When it comes to protein, quality counts. Cats with inflammatory bowel disease, colitis, and kidney problems all need highly digestible protein sources. These foods put the meat front and center and also include the vitamins and minerals kitty needs to stays healthy.

Precise Naturals Senior Formula
Precise Pet Products

Key features: Chicken-based formula chock-full of vitamins and minerals for aging kitties.

Sales tip: Packaged in a BPA-free can for added health benefits.

precisepet.com, (888) 477-3247

Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult 11+
Purina

Key features: Available in two flavors: chicken & beef and salmon & tuna

Sales tip: Affordable option from big brand.

proplan.com, (800) 776-7526 

Tiki Cat Grill & Luau
Tiki Pets

Key features: Whole meats and mercury-tested seafood in 22 flavors from ahi tuna with crab to seabass, topped with prawn, crab surimi, calamari and lobster.

Sales tip: Technically not just for senior cats, the emphasis on gourmet-quality protein will appeal to pet parents.

tikipets.com, (866) 821-8562


This article originally appeared in the July-August 2017 edition of PETS+.

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