Nutro Cat Food Reviews in 2021

Learn if Nutro cat food is good in terms of ingredient quality, species-appropriateness, recall history, price range, and customer experience.


  • Species appropriate diet: 2/5
  • Quailty of ingredients: 3/5
  • Variety of recipes: 4.5/5
  • Pricing: 4.5/5
  • Customers experience: 4.5/5
  • Recalls history: 2/5

What Is Nutro Story?

Nutro is one of the oldest players in the pet food market. This company has been making quality cat and dog food for more than 90 years.

Indeed, Nutro is a long-liver, but has it remained its glory and quality established by three brothers, John, Herman, and Albert Saleen, who had started it all?

So, three brothers were originally involved in a fox-raising business and produced their own fox food in 1933. Later, they formulated the line of dog food and distributed it under the trademark Kal Kan. That made a hit among pet parents.


John Saleen, who took the pet food manufacturing business into his firm hands, purchased the Nutro business, which was located in downtown Santa Monica in 1947. This critical decision gave a new push to the company’s development since the reputation of both companies was brilliant, but Nutro was a more recognized player in the American market.

Nutro’s success skyrocketed when John’s son joined the team and started implementing new marketing strategies and carried a complete rebranding. That transformation changed not only the look of the logo and packages, but also improved the efficiency of the company's stores.

The Nutro company was a family business until John Saleen decided to sell it in 1975 to several partners. In 2007, the Nutro pet food was purchased by Mars Inc., the world leader of pet food manufacturing.

What Is Manufacturing Facility Location?

Nutro is headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee. The manufacturing facilities are scattered all over the USA. For example, there are two buildings for dry pet food in Henderson (North Carolina) and Victorville (California). Wet pet food is made in Columbus (Ohio), Fort Smith (Arkansas), and North Sioux City (South Dakota).

Nutro cat food ingredients come from trusted farmers and proven suppliers from all over the globe. All the ingredients that enter the manufacturing facilities are subject to rigorous safety and quality tests.

One of the key claims of Nutro is that it uses GMO-free ingredients only. To prove that these are not just empty words, the company takes DNA tests of every ingredient used in Nutro cat food.

What Is Nutro Recall History?

I wish Nutro cat food recall history were crystal clean, but, unfortunately, that’s not the case.

The first recall incident happened in March 2007 as a part of the massive melamine food recall that shocked the whole country. According to the FDA investigation, some pet foods were sickening and killing cats and dogs all over the world due to the melamine that was found in vegetable proteins imported from China. Nutro Natural Choice, Nutro Ultra, and Nutro Max dog and cat foods had been recalled due to the potential melamine contamination.

Later, some dry cat food recipes were recalled due to improper zinc and potassium levels in May 2009. The error happened because of the mistake from the side of the U.S.-based premix supplier.

Preview 2

October 2009 was noted by another food recall of Nutro Ultra and Nutro Natural Choice puppy food because small pieces of melted plastic were found in the bags.

And, finally, Nutro Apple Chewy Treats were recalled in December 2015 due to the potential mold contamination.

I would also like to warn you that Nutro was added to the list of 16 pet food brands that might be the reason for heart diseases. The list was filed by the FDA in June 2019. However, the FDA also states that a cat’s diet might not necessarily be the cause of heart problems.

What’s more, the FDA tested popular dog food brands for the presence of pentobarbital, a deadly drug. According to the investigation, pentobarbital was found in two samples of Nutro dog food (not cat food), but in the amounts that are safe for pets.

What Kind of Cat Food Does Nutro Offer?

Now, as you have a general understanding of what this brand is about, it’s high time to delve into Nutro cat food.

According to the company’s website, its philosophy is all about manufacturing pet food cats will love so that they could feast on their meals as much as we enjoy ours. That is why they pick popular proteins, mix them with superfoods, and other functional ingredients (spoiler! - sometimes not that functional), enhance with the supplements, and voila! The perfect food for your beloved feline is ready.

All cat food recipes are marketed with the FEED CLEAN label right under the brand name on the logo. This stands for the philosophy the company sticks to. According to it, the brand refuses to use artificial preservatives or flavors as it believes that all pet food should be naturally nutritious.

Nutro is committed to using non-GMO ingredients and keeping them to the original form as close as possible. The company refuses to add chicken by-product meal, corn, soy, wheat, or artificial preservatives that do more harm than good. It also states that every ingredient is used with a purpose and fuels the feline with the essential nutrients. I will give you more insights into the ingredients and their value a little bit later.

All Nutro cat recipes fall into two product sublines, which are divided by the parameter of the food type. All dry formulas are gathered under the product series called Wholesome Essentials, while wet food is entitled Perfect Portions.

Preview 3

Nutro Dry Cat Food Reviews

Nutro dry cat food is represented by the Wholesome Essentials subline. These recipes are made of meat, grains, peas, and supplements. There is no grain-free kibble in the cat food series, which is a significant disadvantage.

There are seven formulas for you to choose from. All of them are made of chicken with brown rice but for one salmon flavor. The difference between the recipes is in the pet’s life stage, health condition, or style of life. Nutro offers kibble for kittens, indoor adult cats, and adult felines that require the diet for hairball control. There’s also an option for cats with sensitive stomachs and senior pets.

I am curious if Nutro maintenance cat food makes any difference, so let’s analyze Nutro Wholesome Essentials Sensitive Cat Chicken, Rice & Peas Recipe Dry Cat Food. This recipe is meant to help felines sensitive to specific ingredients, but what seems strange to me is that it does include rice, peas, eggs. These ingredients are the common reason for upset stomachs and other gut issues. So, why these ingredients are on the list of the sensitive cat food recipe is a mystery for me.

Nutro Feed Clean Wholesome Essentials Cat Food


Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Split Peas, Pea Protein, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Chickpeas, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Dried Egg Product.

Chicken and chicken meal are the first ingredients in this recipe. They work as a source of animal proteins and make the core of the whole recipe. Brewers rice, a tiny piece of the broken rice remaining after milling, is the third ingredient. It’s considered to be a filler and provides no nutritional value. Besides, it’s extremely stodgy and makes a significant contribution to the high carbohydrate level. Peas, chickpeas, and pea proteins are then added to increase the level of proteins and carbs.


This recipe is made of chicken and eggs, which are frequent allergens.

Good Stuff about This Nutro Wholesome Essentials Sensitive Cat Chicken, Rice & Peas Recipe:
  • Chicken and chicken meal are rich in proteins
  • Enhanced with supplements and minerals
  • Free of artificial additives
What You Might not Like about This Nutro Wholesome Essentials Sensitive Cat Chicken, Rice & Peas Recipe:
  • High carbohydrate level
  • Grains, peas, and eggs, which are frequently poorly tolerated by cats
  • Too many plant ingredients

Nutro Wet Cat Food Reviews

In these Nutro canned cat food reviews, I’ll dwell on the Nutro Perfect Portions. That’s the name of the line of wet cat food manufactured by this brand.

All the recipes come in trays with a paper lid. The trays are made of #7 plastic, so they could be recycled if you take them to the recycling facilities. These containers allow easier cat feeding without leftovers. They measure the optimal amount of food for one serving, so you don’t have to store the remaining food in the fridge.

Wet cat recipes from the Perfect Portion line are all grain-free. There are two texture options: patés and cuts in gravy. You can choose between a variety of flavors, including chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, tuna. If your feline loves foods with multiple proteins, Nutro offers cat recipes with chicken & salmon, chicken & catfish, chicken & shrimp, and some other options. The variety packs are also available for sale, so you could serve a new flavor every day if your cat loves diversity in its diet.

Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Turkey Paté Recipe will please your feline with the gentle texture and delicious taste while you are enjoying the mess-free feeding experience. All the ingredients in this Nutro grain free cat food have been processed and then blended to a uniform consistency. There are no grains, artificial additives, fillers, or by-products here.

Nutro Feed Clean Grain Free Recipes


Turkey, Chicken Liver, Pork Broth, Turkey Broth, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)

This recipe is made of turkey and chicken liver as the basic ingredients. Pork and turkey broths are added to enhance the moisture level of the dish and make it palatable for the feline. Guar gum is a common thickener and ensures the consistent texture of this paté. You’ll also find supplements on the list, which deliver a great nutritional value to this formula.


Some traces of grains and GMO products might be found as a result of cross-contact during the manufacturing process.

Good Stuff about This Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Turkey Paté Recipe:
  • Quality protein sources as the first ingredients
  • No grains, by-products, or fillers
  • Free of corn, soy, or artificial preservatives
What You Might not Like about This Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Turkey Paté Recipe:
  • Trays might be hard to open
  • Some cats don’t like this food

Is Nutro Good For Your Cat?

To be honest, I am not impressed with Nutro cat food. You can buy much better options for the same money. I guess this company gained popularity many years ago because of completely different recipes as many customers say that the change in the formulas was a big mistake.

Nutro dry food is presented by only two flavor options, chicken and salmon. A chicken taste comes in variations for kittens, adult cats, and senior felines. There are also chicken-flavored formulas for indoor cats and those long-haired pets that need hairball control. All these formulas contain grains, even those intended for felines with sensitive stomachs. There are too many plant ingredients with a high carbohydrate level, which do not benefit the feline in any way.

Wet recipes by Nutro have much better ingredient composition. They all have meat or fish as a key ingredient and are free of grains, fillers, by-products, or artificial additives. There is a great number of flavors you can choose from, so you’ll be able to find the taste your pet will love.

What Are Pet Owners Saying About Nutro?

Are there any serious Nutro cat food problems? Is it safe to feed your furry baby with food from this brand? I believe customer reviews are the best place to start digging out the truth.

Let’s start with the good stuff. According to Nutro cat food reviews Reddit, and on other platforms, the company offers good food that pets really enjoy. For example, Rowan’s three cats have been on the Nutro diet their whole life and never had issues after its meals. They are always excited when they hear the bag. The felines stay in a healthy weight and have a shiny coat, so the customer is satisfied even though he is not a big fan of grains in cat food.

review 1

The Chewy customer shows gratitude to Nutro Perfect Portions as they are just enough to feed his rescue kitty. He has no issues with the package at all and shares a hack about how not to get too messy when opening the tray. He says that he always opens the lid over the bowl so that the gravy doesn’t spill out and gets right to the cat’s plate.

review 2

There are many positive Nutro max cat food reviews, and customers feel nostalgic about this line. Karen is so sad that the Nutro Max product lineup was discontinued that she was thinking about switching to another manufacturer. Her cats were not interested in new recipes at all, and she was pretty shocked to see that the price for the bags had increased.

review 3

New wet food recipes have become notorious, judging by Nutro Perfect Portions cat food reviews. The main issue with the update is that the company has replaced healthy recipes in quality metal cans with plastic packages. Plastic changes the properties of food, and cats just refuse to eat their meal.

review 4

Is Nutro Worth Trying?

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about Nutro. On the one hand, their wet recipes seem to have quality ingredients and come in small trays (which many customers don’t like). But on the other hand, Nutro kibble is far from being a healthy and species-appropriate solution for your feline. I don’t really like the idea of adding plant fillers to cat food recipes. If you are on the same page with me, then you should consider another brand.

According to Nutro cat food reviews, they were a great company before Mars started making changes in the formulas and packages. They discontinued the Max brand many pet parents truly loved and replaced it with the series of grain-inclusive kibble and wet food in plastic trays.

But anyway, if you want to try Nutro cat food where to buy it? Nutro is sold almost on every corner. They even reach the international market and could be purchased in Australia, Spain, Finland, Taiwan, Japan, Portugal, and other countries. You can also buy Nutro cat food online through your favorite marketplaces.

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