Does Essence have what it takes to earn a spot in your cat’s bowl? Keep reading to find out.
We’ve gone deep on this new addition to the cat food market, doing everything from in-depth research to real-world testing. In this review, you’ll learn everything you need to know about this brand—like what makes it different from other brands, where it’s made, and what real cats think of it.
The Cats.com Standard – Rating Essence on What Matters
We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 8/10
- Ingredient Quality – 9/10
- Product Variety – 8/10
- Price – 7/10
- Customer Experience – 9/10
- Recall History – 9/10
Overall Score: 8.3/10
Before we get into the details, let’s talk about what Essence cat food is.
Essence was created by Pets Global, a California-based company that specializes in “holistic wellness pet food”. Other Pets Global brands include Fussie Cat, Zignature, and Inception Pet Foods.
In a press release in Pet Business, Pets Global president Daniel Hereford says that Essence “delivers the highest quality in pet nutrition, while taking into consideration the changing needs pets have.” The brand’s website describes it as “the embodiment of superior pet nutrition”.
What Kind of Cat Food Does Essence Offer?
Essence foods come in three recipes, each available in a dry and canned variety. Choose from Air & Gamefowl, Ranch & Meadow, and Ocean & Freshwater fish formulas.
Whether wet or dry, all Essence recipes are composed of 85% or more animal protein ingredients. Because addressing food sensitivities is a major part of the Essence offering, their foods feature typically novel proteins like wild boar, duck, and guinea fowl. They don’t contain grains, potatoes, or other ingredients that the company deems likely to cause food sensitivities.
Who Makes Essence Cat Food?
Essence says that all of their recipes are manufactured in the midwestern United States, but the company doesn’t go into any more details about who makes the food. It appears that Essence is made in the same Minnesota and South Dakota facilities that produce Zignature foods.
Their ingredients are sourced from the United States and imported from around the world. If you want more information on the origins of the ingredients used in a given food, visit the product listing on Essence’s website.
Essence Cat Food Review – A Personal Experience
In order to fully understand what Essence has to offer, I tried out a sampler pack of their recipes.
Over the course of a week, I subjected Essence cat food to hands-on testing. I evaluated every aspect of the experience, including the look and feel of the packaging, the ease of opening and closing the bags, the way the food looked and smelled, and—most importantly—how my cats reacted to each recipe.
At first glance, I liked the way the Essence food was packaged. With their deep, glowing scenes of sunset, prairies, and icy mountains, each package was visually captivating. The bags of kibble were easy to open and close, with convenient pull tabs and resealable Ziploc closures. In contrast to the usual impossible-to-reseal packages, Essence’s bags promise fresher food for a longer amount of time.
We’ll go in depth on our experience with three Essence cat food recipes—Air & Gamefowl kibble, Ocean & Freshwater Recipe canned food, and Essence’s Ranch & Meadow canned food.
How Much Does Essence Cat Food Cost?
That depends on where you buy and how much your cat eats.
Essence dry cat food costs, on average, around $20 per 4-lb bag or roughly $0.64 per day. The canned recipes are more expensive at about $2 per can or $2.25 per day.
This places Essence at the lower end of the premium price range. It shares that territory with brands like Merrick and Nature’s Variety Instinct.
Overall, Is Essence A Good Choice?
Essence cat food recipes are brimming with the things cats need most—identifiable cuts of muscle meat and organs. Their canned recipes, in particular, come close to embodying species-appropriate nutrition.
They skip both the potentially-harmful additives found in the worst foods and the unnecessary fruits and vegetables found in so-called premium products.
Their dry foods aren’t the best thing you could give your cat, but as far as dry foods are concerned, they’re some of the better products you can buy.
Animal protein takes precedence in every formula and you won’t find any of the artificial colors, artificial flavors, or potentially-harmful preservatives that appear in so many other foods.
Considering that Essence and other Pets Global brands have never been recalled, this brand looks like an option worth trying.
Where To Buy Essence Cat Food?
Essence cat food is sold through independent brick-and-mortar pet specialty stores. The company doesn’t authorize sales on Amazon, Chewy, or other online retailers.
*FTC Disclosure: We received this sample box for review at no charge. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves. All of our reviews are unbiased, regardless of payment received, and always reflect our honest opinion or the opinion of our cats.