Grey,Cat,Peeps,Out,Of,The,Corner,,Animal,Emotions,,Looks

Nutro Cat Food Reviewed: Pros, Cons, and Ingredient Analysis

Charles Grisham
By Charles Grisham
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission. See our advertising disclosure.
If you buy something from a link on our site, we may earn a commission.
See our advertising disclosure.

Nutro Cat Food Summary

What is Nutro Cat Food?

Nutro Cat Food is a pet food brand that has been around since 1926 and its philosophy is to never use GMO ingredients. Nutro is trying to keep the food as close to its natural form as possible.

They make cat and dog food formulas and, in their words, “produce nutrient-rich food, ensuring every single ingredient serves a precise purpose,” meaning they do not use fillers or unnecessary ingredients.

Where is Nutro Cat Food Made?

Nutro pet food has facilities in Victorville, California, Lebanon, Tennessee, and North Sioux City, South Dakota. They make their Greenies line of treats in Kansas City, Missouri.

How is Nutro Cat Food Made?

Nutro Cat Food is made with ingredients sourced from trusted farmers and suppliers and prepared in facilities whose processes are tested regularly for quality and safety. The recipes are always free from artificial flavors, colors, soy, wheat, and meat by-products.

However, trace amounts of genetically modified material may be present in the food as a result of accidental cross-contamination during manufacturing.

Is Nutro Cat Food Good for Cats?

Yes, Nutro Cat Food is good.

Their ingredients are responsibly sourced and the production process is made to keep the food as nutritious as possible. They use only non-GMO ingredients to ensure the food is as natural and safe as possible.

Nutro Cat Food Formulas Reviewed

Before clicking checkout, take a look at our review of the best-selling Nutro Cat Food formulas. 

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult & Senior Dry Cat Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult & Senior Dry Cat Food

Get it on Amazon      Get it on Chewy

Summary: This cat food formula comes in adult cat and senior cat formulas. It is made with chicken and brown rice for protein and complex carbs. Taurine and antioxidants are added for heart and urinary health as well as omega-6 fatty acids for skin and fur health. This is made completely free of corn, wheat, and soy protein.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Adult cats and senior cats

Price: $3.13/lb

Pros

  • Made without artificial preservatives, flavors, and colors
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • A healthy amount of fiber for satiation and hairball control
  • No chicken by-product meal added
  • Supports healthy skin

Cons

  • Low moisture content can lead to urinary issues
  • Relatively high-calorie content

Ingredient Analysis: Real chicken and chicken meal are the first two ingredients, both of which are great sources of high-quality protein. Chicken fat preserved with mixed tocopherols is added for fat content and brewers rice and whole brown rice are added for a source of carbohydrates. These are fine ingredients for fiber content as well. Rich vitamin supplementation is used to add complete nutrition to this dry food.

Review: Over 2,800 reviews on Amazon give this product an average of 4.5 stars. Of those reviews, over 80% gave this a 5-star review. They say things like “this is the only food we give our pets” and compare is companies like Blue Buffalo in terms of quality. One-star reviews noted their cat had developed urinary crystals and some of their cats wouldn’t eat it when they bought it on Amazon but also stated their cats would eat it when purchased at the pet store, raising concerns of sellers on Amazon selling a bad product.

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Dry Cat Food

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Adult Dry Cat Food

Get it on Amazon      Get it on Chewy

Summary: This natural dry cat food comes in a three, five, and fourteen-pound bag and in a variety of flavors. It is formulated for adult cats with quality ingredients that are rich in antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids, and natural fiber for digestive health. Whole Essentials provides cats with all of the vitamins and minerals they need to be healthy.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Adult cats

Price: $3.42/lb

Pros

  • Made with non-GMO ingredients
  • Real salmon is the first ingredient
  • Provides balanced daily nutrition
  • Made grain-free
  • Promotes healthy weight

Cons

  • Often out of stock at big online retailers

Ingredient Analysis: Real salmon is the first ingredient, which is a fantastic source of high-quality protein. Chicken meal and pea protein help to make this richer in protein while vitamin E, taurine, and vitamin B12 supplements help to complete the nutrient profile of this food. Rosemary extract for added flavor.

Review: A surprising 85% of 2,100+ ratings on Amazon give this Nutro Cat Food five stars. They claim their cat litter is easier to clean and less odorous since giving their cat this food and are pleased with the quality of the product. Making up only 2% of reviews, one and two-star reviews were disappointed their cat was not interested in this food after having to switch from Nutro Max Cat cat food line, which is now discontinued.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food

Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor and Sensitive Digestion Dry Cat Food

Get it on Amazon     Get it on Chewy

Summary: This cat food recipe is specific to indoor cats in the adult life stage and cats with sensitive stomachs. Real chicken is used as the primary ingredient while natural fiber aids in digestion. The high protein and fiber content also aids in weight management.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Indoor adult cats

Price: $3.42/lb

Pros

  • Delicious chicken and brown rice recipe
  • Rich in fiber to help with hairball control
  • High protein helps cats feel full on less food
  • Omega-6 fatty acid content promotes a shiny coat
  • Supports healthy digestion

Cons

  • Uses a lot of plant ingredients

Ingredient Analysis: The first ingredients in this food are chicken and chicken meal, both of which are great protein sources. However, nearly every ingredient after the chicken meal is plant-based, which may not be ideal for an obligate carnivore like cats.

Review: Of the 4,400+ ratings on Amazon, 84% of them are five-star reviews. They make claims that this Nutro Cat Food helped their cat’s urinary infections and digestive issues and that their cats actually liked the food. The one and two-star reviews mostly hit on the point there seems to have been a formula change or their cats just got tired of eating the food because they recently refused to touch it.

NUTRO Perfect Portions Grain-Free Natural Wet Cat Food, Paté

NUTRO Perfect Portions Grain-Free Natural Wet Cat Food, Paté

Get it on Amazon      Get it on Chewy

Summary: This wet Nutro Cat Food comes in a wide variety of flavors. The food is delicious and enticing enough even for cats considered to be picky eaters. It is also high in water content thus ensuring healthy hydration. The formula is free from harmful ingredients. 

Type: Wet cat food

Best for: Cats of all life stages

Price: $1.28/can

Pros

  • High moisture content for hydration
  • Chicken is used as the first ingredient
  • Grain-free and no artificial flavors/colors
  • Variety of flavors available
  • Easy-use, snap-and-peel packaging

Cons

  • Relatively low protein when compared to dry food

Ingredient Analysis: The ingredients in this wet food are great. Chicken, chicken broth, and chicken liver make up the first three ingredients. There are no plant products in the food, only mineral supplements to balance the nutrient profile. There seems to be an imbalance in the lack of vitamins, however.

Review: Averaging a 4.5 out of 5 with over 2,700 reviews this Nutro Cat Food is a highly rated wet cat food recipe. Those who rated it highly were pleased with the variety of flavors offered and mentioned the cans are easy to open. While they were pleased with the packaging, others expressed concern that the container was made of plastic and a few had described issues they had when receiving the package with broken food containers.

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Kitten Dry Cat Food

NUTRO WHOLESOME ESSENTIALS Kitten Dry Cat Food

Get it on Amazon      Get it on Chewy

Summary: This is a dry kibble kitten food made with calcium, DHA, and antioxidants for immune system development. It is available in three and five-pound bags and is recommended for cats up to one year old. It is made with no corn, preservatives, or GMOs.

Type: Dry cat food

Best for: Kittens

Price: $4.13/lb

Pros

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Supports skin and coat health
  • Includes calcium to build strong bones
  • Antioxidants for healthy immunity
  • For healthy growth and development

Cons

  • More expensive than the other options on this list

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken, chicken meal, and chicken fat are three of the first four ingredients. All of which are healthy and nutritious for a growing cat. Pea protein is there to supplement some protein but may not be ideal for a kitten as it is a plant protein, not an animal protein. This food includes an array of vitamins and minerals to support the healthy development of a young cat.

Review: This kitten food is rated a 4.8 out of 5 with over 1,600 reviews. The five-star reviewers were pleased with the fact this food can be eaten by older cats who have no teeth as well as a growing kitten. Pet parents of more than one cat said their cats of all ages and breeds enjoyed this food, and that surprised them. While the one-star reviews were few, they all noted the same thing. The food, when ordered on Amazon, would make their cats vomit or give them hairballs.

What Cat Food Formulas does Nutro Make?

There are many Nutro formulas for cats. The brand classifies its products into two lines. Here is a list of the lines and their recipes:

  • Nutro Perfect Portions
  • Nutro Wholesome Essentials
Nutro Wholesome Essentials Adult & Senior Dry Cat Food
  • Real chicken is the No.1 ingredient in this delicious senior healthy cat food that’s rich in nutrients and full of flavor
  • Natural cat food fortified with essential nutrients like taurine to support heart health in aging cats, as well as antioxidants for healthy immunity
  • Made with non-GMO ingredients from trusted farmers and suppliers

Has Nutro Cat Food Been Recalled?

Yes, Nutro has been recalled in its past.

The most recent recall was in 2015, but it included its line of dog treats and was due to potential mold contamination.

In 2009, several varieties of cat food were recalled due to incorrect levels of zinc and potassium.

From 2007-2009 there were over 800 reports about pets becoming sick after eating Nutro dog and cat food. It is unclear if the issues were related to the mineral imbalances. However, all pets showed the same symptoms Nutro described in the recall as related to zinc and potassium imbalances.

Is Nutro Cat Food Worth it?

Yes, Nutro Cat Food is worth it.

Overall, Nutro is a high-quality cat food producer. Its ingredients are wholesome and responsibly sourced to provide your pet with trusted foods free of artificial preservatives, GMOs, and fillers.

Cat owners often compared it to Blue Buffalo, IAMS, and Purina One in the reviews and it is easy to access as it is widely available in stores. When purchasing, however, it may be wiser to do so in-store. More than a few Amazon reviews have stated the food does not seem to be the same food when they order it as it is when they buy it from the store.