Canidae Cat Food Reviews in 2021

Deliciously simple or blandly unpalatable? Are Canida grain-free formulas worth it? Are they good for your cat? Learn the answers in our detailed review.


  • Species appropriate diet: 3/5
  • Quailty of ingredients: 4/5
  • Variety of recipes: 4/5
  • Pricing: 4/5
  • Customers experience: 4.5/5
  • Recalls history: 3/5

What Is the Canidae Story?

The company started as a two-man team of John Gordon and Scott Whipple, both still in their teens, working at a pet food shop in San Dimas, California. After seeing the rift between the pet owners' needs and expectations and the pet food ingredients and quality, Gordon and Whipple came up with an idea to create better food for dogs and cats.

They turned to vets and nutritionists to create a balanced combination of protein, fat, and carbohydrates to keep their furry friends happy and healthy throughout their lifetimes. At first, the young entrepreneurs had to sell the bags of pet food off the back of a pickup truck. But as the brand grew and became more popular, they increased production volume and acquired a Texas manufacturing facility.

As of 2021, Canidae is still an independent, family-owned pet food company with an unwavering dedication to quality. And if you're after Canidae cat food, where to buy it shouldn't be a hard question to answer. Plenty of stores carry their products in the US and Canada. There are also Canidae distributors in South America, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, and the Middle East. And you can always place an order online via Amazon, Chewy, Petco, and other websites.


What Is the Manufacturing Facility Location?

Since 2012, most Canidae products are manufactured at the Ethos Pet Nutrition plant in Brentwood, Texas. It's a small facility that belongs to the company, which allows the founders complete control over the ingredients, production, and packaging.

According to Chewy, Canidae sources all ingredients within the US, though they import lamb from New Zealand and duck from France. Most vegetable and fruit components are grown by the company or partner farmers with minimal use of chemicals to promote sustainable and safe agriculture.

You should be aware that Canidae has a history of outsourcing pet food production to Diamond Pet Food. However, it's unclear whether the companies are still in partnership after the recall fiasco of 2012.

What Is the Canidae Recall History?

Unlike many mass-produced pet foods, Canidae cat food recall history is respectfully scarce. In over twenty years, the company recalled its products once, back in 2012. A few batches of dog food were contaminated with salmonella and were voluntarily recalled by Canidae.

You should also be aware that the recalled recipes were not manufactured at the Brentwood facility. Instead, they were produced by Diamond Pet Foods, an outsourcing manufacturer that works with dozens of pet food companies within the US. Hopefully, Canidae no longer partners with Diamond Pet Foods, though I couldn't find any official claims by the company representatives.

Overall, I feel good about the lack of recalls, though it could result from the brand's niche status. We might see an uptick in recalls as Canidae products become more widespread and popular, though that's pure conjecture.

Preview 2

What Kind of Cat Food Does Canidae Offer?

Considering the size of the company, the variety of cat food they offer is quite wide. Every pet owner will find the right product for their kitty's taste without breaking the bank. Still, there are no options for addressing health conditions, and most products are designed for cats of all ages, from kittens to senior kitties. The four main Canidae maintenance cat food lines include:

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  • Canidae Grain-Free Pure Ancestral Diet. The premium line of cat food relies on a mix of animal protein from fish and poultry to provide your kitty with plenty of energy. The kibble is freeze-dried raw coated, making it an instant hit. The protein-to-fat ratio of 38 to 16 is perfect for energetic adult kitties.
  • Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Diet. The most affordable of all pet food varieties, this line features kibble crafted with a minimal number of core ingredients. With fish or poultry as the first ingredient and a variety of whole products, like sweet potatoes or peas, this line is ideal for allergy-prone cats with sensitive tummies.
  • Canidae All-Life-Stages. This line's vet-formulated products are ideal for households with multiple pets tired of juggling food bags and varying nutritional needs. The high-protein (over 30%) formulas are free of preservatives and artificial ingredients, and you won't find soy, wheat, corn, or other 'fillers' in the kibble.
  • Adore Grain-Free Canned Cat Food. The line includes half a dozen wet food options that range from your standard chicken with veggies to a combination of sardine and mackerel as the primary protein source. All products I've found are broth-based and easy on the tummy, with around 11% protein on average.

Canidae Grain-Free Pure Ancestral Diet Turkey & Salmon

To mimic the diet of tigers, lions, and other feline ancestors of your kitties, Canidae formulated this kibble with various protein sources and whole foods. Unlike many mass-produced pet foods, this product is free of 'filler' ingredients and full of healthy goodies, like digestion-facilitation bacteria, flaxseed, alfalfa, vitamins, and minerals. There are no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives inside the bag, and the byproducts are absent too.

On the not-so-bright side of the Canidae cat food ingredients list are potatoes and various 'meals', including lamb, chicken, and duck. Turkey and salmon do proudly take the first two spaces on the list, but the presence of these alternative protein sources keeps the price manageable, though still around $40 for a 10-pound bag.

While the high protein (38%) and fat (16%) levels are perfect for kittens and active adult cats, they might be too high for the less energetic feline seniors of the household. Be careful when introducing this kibble and use smaller portions to prevent uncontrollable weight gain.

  • 38% of protein from turkey and salmon
  • Bags of 2.5, 5, and 10 pounds available
  • Includes healthy bacteria for better digestion
  • Cooked kibble covered with raw ingredients
  • Not for the picky eaters among kitties
  • Might not be ideal for senior cats

Canidae Pure Limited Ingredient Diet Chicken Recipe

Designed with sensitive tummies and digestive troubles in mind, this streamlined recipe contains far more than 8 ingredients, though the rest are mostly vitamins, minerals, and ‘good’ bacteria. Chicken takes the first place on the list of components, followed by chicken, turkey, fish, and lamb meals to provide extra protein, while potatoes and peas add the much-needed fiber and a moderate amount of carbs.

It's your best bet if your cat is allergic to grains, as there are none in the bag. There's also no soy or corn and zero antibiotics, hormones, preservatives, or artificial flavors. The company relies on natural flavors and a combination of whole ingredients to make kibble desirable for a kitty of every age.

I would be happy to recommend this recipe for every allergy-prone kitty, if not for the not-so-glowing Canidae dry cat food reviews I've found online. Apparently, the kibble is on the dry side, and many picky eaters seem to ignore it. However, switching from a regular cat food filled with artificial flavors is always a struggle, and Canidae may seem like a less delicious option to your kitty if she's used to all those flavor enhancers.

  • Chicken is the first on the ingredient list
  • Protein to fat ratio is 35 to 18
  • Safe components for easy digestion
  • Small, dense, and hard kibble pieces
  • The list of ingredients is actually longer than 8
  • Mediocre reviews online

Canidae All-Life-Stages Chicken Meal & Rice Formula

If you're tired of fussing with three different bags to feed the kitties of all ages, this recipe will be a blessing. It's simple and nutritious enough to supply all the necessary nutrients to kittens, adult and senior cats. With chicken meal as the primary protein source and brown rice, egg, fruit, and veggies to round up the formula, this kibble has everything your kitty needs to stay healthy and active.

One of the few Canidae cat food problems is a substantial amount of carbs and fat in the formula. It's great for young, energetic felines but could be a bit over the top for a senior cat of the household. If you choose this formula, keep an eye on the portion size and reduce it in case you notice unchecked weight gain.

  • Nutritious formula for all breeds and ages
  • Available in 4, 8, and 16-pound bags
  • Great for households with two or more cats
  • Chicken meal as the primary protein source
  • 20% of fat and 28.5% of carbs might be too much for older cats
  • Not universally loved by picky eaters

Canidae Adore Grain-Free Salmon & Whitefish in Broth

Cats can be so particular about their food that finding the right formula is a chore, but this Canidae salmon cat food seems to have struck gold. It's a rich stew with chunks of whole salmon, tuna, and whitefish that will have your kitty mewling in anticipation of every meal. Besides, you can serve this wet food as an entree or couple it with kibble to adjust to new food easier.

The stew is grain-free, though the fish broth and fish chunks are made better by adding carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas. This combination is ideal for allergy-prone cats, especially those with digestive issues. Like most canned formulas, this product is less nutritious than kibble, but it still scores 11% of protein and only 1.5% of fat.

Buying this canned food is an investment, so don't be surprised a 24-count case of 5.5-oz cans will cost over $50. Plenty of Canidae canned cat food reviews are griping about the rates, but if you don't make it your kitty's every meal, you could certainly afford to make the stew a small daily treat.

  • Protein-rich formula based on fish
  • Beloved even by picky eaters
  • Works with kibble and on its own
  • Price tags can get overwhelming fast
  • Largish chunks of meat inside the can
  • Occasional quality control issues

Is Canidae Good For Your Cat?

After analyzing the ingredient list and nutritional info, I believe most Canidae products should support a healthy weight and provide the cats with enough energy at any age. However, I wouldn't put much stock into the latest grain-free streak that's taken over pet food manufacturers and owners alike. There's actually no unbiased research into the influence of a grain-free diet on your kitty's health. So unless the vet has prescribed it, you don't have to go out of your way to go grain-free.

And if you decide to make a switch to Canidae grain-free cat food, keep an eye on your kitty's weight and adjust the portions accordingly. Any kibble that's richer in protein and fat may result in undesirable weight gain, especially for indoor cats that don't see much action.

What Are Pet Owners Saying About Canidae?

I've found a surprising number of poor Canidae cat food reviews on Chewy. But if you take a closer look, you'll see most buyers complain about the cats ignoring the food, and that's hardly a testament to its poor quality or nutritious value.

This review made me believe the cats were simply used to richer and more tasty kibble and were reluctant to make a switch. It could be used to their advantage, for instance, to control weight gain. I've found this particular review most detailed and helpful.

review 1

When I started looking for Canidae cat food reviews, Reddit was one of the first places I checked. The one review that drew my attention mentioned how the food influenced the kitty's mood and coat. However, it also raised a common concern among pet owners–the price tag that's far from affordable. It wasn't the only mention of exorbitant prices, as canned formulas, in particular, seem a bit overpriced.

review 2

The most concerning among the Canidae wet cat food reviews was a mention of a bone fragment inside a can. The buyer mentioned the worsening of the food quality over the years. Though I can't attest to that, I would be extra vigilant when feeding the cats wet food by Canidae as largish chunks can hide some unpleasant surprises.

review 4

Is Canidae Worth Trying?

If you're looking into high-end pet food, the old adage about not fixing what's not broken is obviously not working for you. So I say, go for it. Canidae might be a good option if you have a sufficient pet care budget and can afford to pay thirty bucks for a 10-pound bag. It's also a great way to support an independent US-based family-owned company.

For those willing to give Canidae cat food a try, the company offers a trial bag for $9.99, though it may only be available at select retail stores. And if your kitty likes the new kibble, you should consider setting up an auto-ship subscription to save an extra 5%.

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