Inception Cat Food Review

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Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

We’ve rated Inception cat food on ingredient quality, species-appropriateness, recalls, and more. Read our Inception cat food review to learn how this brand stacks up.

The Cats.com Standard—Rating Inception Cat Food 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.

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 8/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 8/10
  • Product Variety – 6/10
  • Price – 7/10
  • Customer Experience – 8/10
  • Recall History – 8/10

Overall Score: 7.5/10

In total, we give Inception cat food a 45 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.

About Inception Cat Food

Produced by the makers of Zignature, Fussie Cat, and Essence, Inception was launched in November of 2019 by Pets Global after teasing the release at SuperZoo in August of the same year. According to a press release, Inception’s pet foods are meat-focused, with at least 70% animal-based protein in each recipe. The brand offers several grain-inclusive recipes.

Jeff Valdez, customer service manager at Pets Global, was quoted as saying, “Creating the Inception pet food line is our answer to what our valued customers have been requesting for a very long time – great product at a great price.”

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Inception cat food is made in the United States with globally sourced ingredients. According to the FAQ section on the brand’s website, Inception sources their chicken, pork, whitefish, and herring from the United States and their herring and oats from Canada. Several of their other grains are sourced from North Dakota and their nutrient mix comes from Europe.

All of Inception’s canned foods are free from carrageenan and other gum thickeners as well as corn, wheat, soy, and artificial ingredients. They do not use any ingredients sourced from China.

Recall History

To our knowledge, Inception cat food has never been recalled. Because the brand was only launched in 2019, however, we can’t give it a full 10/10 rating. Our highest rating is reserved for brands with a long history of quality and responsible practices.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Inception Offer?

Inception’s fish recipe canned food has a finely minced texture.

Inception is a fairly small brand, offering just three dry food and three wet cat food recipes. Both the dry and wet food lines include a poultry-only and fish-only recipe.

In the dry food category, there’s a single-protein formula featuring chicken and a fish-based food made with a combination of salmon and catfish. Inception’s third dry cat food features a combination of fresh turkey and herring meal.

All three of Inception’s wet cat food formulas come in 5.5-ounce cans. The fish-only recipe contains a blend of six different fish while the poultry recipe contains turkey, guineafowl, quail, and duck. The Red Meat recipe features lamb, pork, and boar.

What Do Customers Think Of Inception Cat Food?

Having only been founded in 2019, Inception isn’t the biggest cat food brand on the market. Their products generally have fewer than 30 customer ratings on Chewy and under 500 on Amazon. Of the customer ratings available, however, the majority are positive.

On Amazon, Inception dry foods have an average 4.5 out of 5-star rating and 72% of the reviews are accompanied by 5-star ratings. Many customers comment on how much their cats like the food and cat owners themselves seem to be pleased with the quality. Several customers like the small size of the kibbles as well, though a few comments mention that some bags seem to have larger pieces than others. There are, of course, also some customers who say their cats simply don’t like the food.

Let’s take a look at a few reviews from some of the most popular recipes from Inception.

Positive Reviews

Great For Cats With Chicken Allergies

“I was excited about this food since I have a cat with chicken allergies & wanting something that doesn’t make her sick & isn’t just fish. All 9 of my cats like this food & it also has high fiber so I can feed to one cat that needs a high fiber diet to help stop her chronic diarrhea issue. It really is for every cat in my household!” – by xine Reviewing Inception Turkey & Herring Recipe Dry Food on 17 Aug 2022

Great Ingredient List And Formula

“Inception cat food is wonderful! My 10-year-old fur bucket was not doing well with Nulo brand (we had switched to that because it’s very difficult to find a sulfate-free [kitty breaks out in tummy rash due to an apparent sulfate allergy], small kibble dry cat food), and Nulo fit the bill until kitty started having weird hiccupping/increase vomiting/obviously gastric upset. I suspected it was the probiotics that dry cat food brands seem to be so overly obsessed with in their formulas lately (a new trend).

Searching for a sulfate-free, probiotic-free, small sized kibble free dry cat food brought us to Inception – kitty likes both the fish and chicken just fine, and after a few weeks he no longer has all the gastric issues he had developed with the probiotic dry food. Thanks, Inception! Please don’t change your ingredients!” – by KDH Reviewing Inception Dry Cat Food on November 25, 2021

Negative Reviews

A No Go For Us!

“The ingredients look good on this, with something of a mid-range price. Unfortunately, no one in our household of 5 cats will give it the time of day. It’s a complete walk away without so much as a nibble. I decided to make it feral cat food, figuring it would be a bonus over their usual, but I’ve been finding that even the ferals don’t seem to really like it. And they are normally pretty hungry and unfinicky. Not sure what’s wrong with this stuff. My dog does like the Inception dog food, but the cats consider this a complete No Go.” – by Jilly Reviewing Inception Chicken Recipe Dry Food on 23 Apr 2022

The Food In This Bag I Purchased In July Had Pellets That Were Larger Than Usual

“My cat is super picky and has some allergies. He normally eats Inception fish dry food with little or no complaining. But this latest bag has larger pieces than usual. He didn’t seem to like it as much. I was back to coaxing him to eat by mixing treats on top of the food. I picked up a new bag at a local pet food store and he ate some of that right away. I’m kind of wondering if the taste was off too. Of course, I have no way of knowing what the problem is, except for the obvious visual difference.” – by Pat Reviewing Inception Dry Cat Food on October 23, 2022

What Did Our Test Cats Think?

Inception dry kibble comes in the typical round, flat disc shape.

To test Inception cat food, I ordered a 4-pound bag of both the Turkey & Herring recipe and Chicken recipe dry cat foods. I also purchased the Inception Fish Recipe wet cat food.

When opening the dry food, one of the bags ripped right down the middle. Because the bags aren’t resealable, this forced me to transfer the food to an entirely different container. I’d recommend cutting the bags open to keep this from happening. The food itself was a hit with my cats. The kibbles were very small and the aroma seemed to be appealing to my cats.

I liked the texture of Inception’s wet food. It had a consistency somewhere between a paté and a minced food. It was easy to scoop and my cats really enjoyed it.

Inception Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Main Protein Source Calories Price Per Ounce Our Grade
Inception Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food Dry Chicken 421 kcal/cup $0.19 C+
Inception Turkey & Herring Meal Recipe Dry Cat Food Dry Turkey 424 kcal/cup $0.35 C+
Inception Fish Recipe Wet Cat Food Wet Trout 184 kcal/5.5 ounce can $0.34 A-

#1 Inception Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food

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This dry cat food formula features fresh chicken as the primary ingredients with chicken meal as a concentrated source of supplemental protein. The main source of added fat in this food is also chicken-based, though ground flaxseeds provide some plant-based omega-3 fatty acids.

With a little over 30% crude protein and 15% crude fat measured on a dry matter basis, this recipe is very carbohydrate-heavy. Fortunately, these carbs don’t come from starchy potatoes or hard-to-digest legumes like lentils or chickpeas. While animal ingredients are more biologically valuable for cats than plants, whole grains like oats and milo (also known as grain sorghum) provide essential nutrients like iron, potassium, and B vitamins.

Other than the high carb content, the only other issue of any significance is that – like any dry food – this recipe is very low in moisture. It is, however, free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Overall, this is a moderate-protein, low-fat dry cat food with very high carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Meal, Oats, Milo, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseeds, Millet, Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Fructooligosaccharide, Salt, Dandelion Greens, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 30%
Crude Fat: 14%
Crude Fiber: 7%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 0.8%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 33.33%
Fat: 15.56%
Fiber: 7.78%
Carbs: 42.44%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 29.35%
Fat: 33.27%
Carbs: 37.38%

Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Chicken

Chicken Meal

Chicken Fat

None Chicken

Pros

  • Made with a single source of high-quality animal protein
  • Relies primarily on animal-based protein and fat
  • Free from potato, legumes, corn, wheat, and soy
  • Doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cons

  • Very high in carbohydrates
  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs

#2 Inception Turkey & Herring Meal Recipe Dry Cat Food

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With a nutritional analysis nearly identical to the previous recipe, this dry cat food is again very high in carbohydrate. Fresh turkey and herring meal provide most of the food’s protein content with a small amount of supplemental protein from the grains and flaxseeds.

Turkey fat is the main source of added fat, and a nutritious one at that. Again, the whole grains provide essential nutrients in a form cats have some ability to digest, though the total carbohydrate content is still concerning. We prefer to see dry cat foods with a maximum of 20% carbs and wet foods under 10%.

Overall, this is a moderate-protein, low-fat dry cat food with very high carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Turkey, Herring Meal, Oats, Milo, Millet, Ground Flaxseeds, Turkey Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavors, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Fructooligosaccharide, Salt, Dandelion Greens, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 30%
Crude Fat: 14%
Crude Fiber: 7%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 7%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 33.33%
Fat: 15.56%
Fiber: 7.78%
Carbs: 35.56%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 31.25%
Fat: 35.42%
Carbs: 33.33%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Turkey

Herring Meal

Turkey Fat

None Fish

Pros

  • Primarily made with animal-based protein and fat
  • Fairly short list of simple, wholesome ingredients
  • Free from potato, legumes, corn, wheat, and soy
  • Doesn’t contain artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives

Cons

  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs
  • Very carbohydrate-heavy

#3 Inception Fish Recipe Wet Cat Food

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Compared to Inception’s dry foods, their wet food formulas are high in protein and fat with low carbohydrate content. This recipe comes in at nearly 50% crude protein and over 30% crude fat, measured on a dry matter basis.

In addition to being much higher in protein and fat than the dry foods reviewed above, this canned food has a significantly larger number of animal ingredients. The top eight ingredients are all fish-based and the only carbohydrate ingredients are lentils and dandelion greens.

Lentils can be difficult for cats to digest, and they contain phytic acid which can negatively affect absorption of certain nutrients. Because lentils appear after eleven other ingredients, however, they don’t likely contribute significantly to the recipe’s composition as a whole. The dry matter carbohydrate content is around 15%.

It’s worth noting that the nutritional analysis for this product on Chewy appears to be entirely different from that on the Inception website. I’ve used Inception’s analysis for this product which makes it a high-protein, high-fat, and fairly low-carb wet cat food.

Ingredients

Trout, Salmon, Whitefish, Fish Broth, Herring, Catfish, Mackerel, Sardines, Natural Flavor, Agar-Agar, Calcium Carbonate, Lentils, Tricalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dandelion Greens, Fructooligosaccharide, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacinamide, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Magnesium Proteinate, Taurine, Chia Seed Oil, Salt.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 10.5%
Crude Fat: 7%
Crude Fiber: 1.2%
Moisture: 78%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 47.73%
Fat: 31.82%
Fiber: 5.45%
Carbs: 15%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 34.09%
Fat: 55.19%
Carbs: 10.71%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Trout

Salmon

Whitefish

Herring

Catfish

Mackerel

Sardines

Agar-Agar

Lentils

Fish

Pros

  • Entirely fish-based, free from chicken
  • Top eight ingredients are all animal-based
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
  • High in animal-based protein and fat

Cons

  • Lentils can be hard for cats to digest
  • Carbohydrate content still over 10%

How Much Does Inception Cat Food Cost?

Inception cat food is reasonably priced, and the cost appears to be an accurate reflection of the brand’s quality. Their dry cat food comes in 4-pound and 13.5-pound bags while all of their wet food is sold in 5.5-ounce cans. Dry food prices range from $13 to $16 for a 4-pound bag but if you buy the larger bag, you’ll save a few dollars and end up spending between $0.19 and $0.21 per ounce.

The wet cat food recipes from Inception are priced between $45 and $52 for a 24-pack of 5.5-ounce cans on Chewy (about $0.36 per ounce). It would cost between $1.82 and $2.27 per day to feed your cat Inception wet food and about $0.36 to $0.40 per day for dry food.

Inception is similarly priced to Nature’s Variety Instinct for both their dry and wet food products. Other brands that compare in price and rating include Whole Earth Farms and Evanger’s.

Overall, Is Inception Cat Food A Good Choice?

Inception appears to be a decent option in terms of quality and species appropriateness. As is true for most brands, however, it depends which products you choose.

Inception’s wet cat foods are much higher in protein, fat, and moisture than their dry food products which makes them the more species appropriate choice. These foods are not exorbitant in price, either. Compared to the wet foods from some of our highest-rated brands like Open Farm and Tiki Cat, Inception canned foods are around $0.10 cheaper per ounce.

Because Inception is still a fairly new brand, we don’t have a lot of information to go on in terms of how well their claims hold up in practice. That said, we don’t have any significant concerns about the brand other than the high carbohydrate content of their dry foods.

Where Is Inception Cat Food Sold?

You can purchase Inception cat food at local and independent pet retailers, but national pet store chains are not authorized dealers. Inception doesn’t sell their products on their own website but it’s easy to buy from Chewy or Amazon.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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