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Kirkland Cat Food Review

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Fact checked by  Taylor Le | Cats.com Editor
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Introduced in 1995, Kirkland Signature is Costco’s private-label brand that includes a limited selection of affordable pet foods. Kirkland Signature has a reputation for delivering affordable products that are as good or better than their name-brand equivalents. Bon Appetit even calls Kirkland Signature “the best store brand there ever was.”[2]

Are you considering trying it in your home? Read this Kirkland cat food review to determine if Costco’s famous store brand delivers the quality and value you need for your cat.

The Cats.com Standard—Rating Kirkland on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Kirkland cat food and graded it according to the Cats.com standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, customer experience, and recall history. Here’s how it rates in each of these five key areas.


  • Species-Appropriateness – 3/5
  • Ingredient Quality – 4/5
  • Product Variety – 3/5
  • Customer Experience – 4/5
  • Recall History – 3/5

Overall Score: 3.4/5

We give Kirkland cat food a 17 out of 25 or a D+ grade.

Why Trust Cats.com

I’ve done hours of research on Kirkland cat food, studying the brand’s recall history, manufacturing, ingredient quality, and customer experience. On top of those hours of screen time, I did some paws-on testing, too.

To get a sense of what this food is like, I bought a bag of Kirkland Signature dry cat food and a mixed case of wet food cans—all at full retail price. Then I tested the food out with my two cats, Wessie and Forest.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Costco operates as a membership-only warehouse club, and as of 2022, it was the fifth-largest retailer in the world. The worldwide headquarters are located in Issaquah, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. As of 2023, Costco has over 850 stores around the world.

Costco sources its products from around the world, but Kirkland Signature foods are made in the United States from domestic and imported ingredients.

Kirkland Signature cat food is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods in five facilities around the United States. In addition to Kirkland Signature, Diamond makes food for numerous names in pet food, including—to mention a few—Taste of the Wild, 4health, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Has Kirkland Cat Food Been Recalled?

Yes. Kirkland Signature cat food was recalled due to potential salmonella contamination in the spring of 2012. It wasn’t the only brand involved—Diamond recalled numerous other brands after a salmonella outbreak in its manufacturing facility located in Gaston, South Carolina. Following the outbreak, the FDA launched a week-long investigation of the facilities, revealing that Diamond Pet Foods wasn’t taking “all reasonable precautions” to ensure its products were safe.

This wasn’t the first time Diamond’s Gaston plant was scrutinized by the FDA. According to the inspection, the Gaston plant had produced dog food with excessive levels of aflatoxin and hadn’t implemented any procedures to prevent aflatoxin contamination.

Though it has been involved in one recall and its manufacturer has a history of safety and quality control issues, Kirkland Signature appears to be a consistent and safe brand. As of this writing, Kirkland cat food hasn’t been recalled in over a decade.

What Kinds of Cat Food Does Kirkland Offer?


Kate Barrington / Cats.com

Kirkland Signature currently offers a limited selection of dry and wet cat food products. The dry cat foods are sold in bulk bags containing 18, 20, or 25 pounds of cat food, depending on the recipe. Kirkland Signature wet cat food comes in 3-ounce or 3.5-ounce cans. They’re sold in variety packs of 40 or 45 trays.

The Kirkland Signature cat food lineup currently includes the following recipes:

  • Kirkland Signature Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Food
  • Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Food
  • Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Indoor Adult Cat Formula Dry Food
  • Kirkland Signature Chicken Recipe Pâté Wet Cat Food
  • Kirkland Signature Turkey Recipe Pâté Wet Cat Food
  • Kirkland Signature Salmon Recipe Pâté Wet Cat Food
  • Kirkland Signature Chicken Recipe Chunks in Gravy Wet Cat Food
  • Kirkland Signature Salmon Recipe Chunks in Gravy Wet Cat Food

All Kirkland Signature cat foods feature animal protein as the first ingredient. The wet cat food formulas are all grain-free, as is the Nature’s Domain dry food recipe. Kirkland’s other two dry foods rely heavily on rice and other carbohydrates.

What Did Our Test Cats Think?

Kirkland cat food isn’t perfect. Like many other dry products, their recipes are moisture-depleted, carbohydrate-heavy, and relatively low in protein.

But Kirkland is an outstanding option compared to other similarly priced products, such as Kindfull and Pretty Please. This brand offers superior ingredient quality with none of the potentially harmful additives you’ll find in other budget foods.

The jury is still out on Kirkland’s wet foods since they’ve only been released within the last year. They seem to be on par with other recognizable brands like Iams and Diamond. Because these foods don’t contain meat by-products, corn, wheat, or soy ingredients, however, they’re a little higher in quality than store brands like Aldi’s Heart to Tail.

Kirkland Signature—Top Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Main Protein Source Calories Price Our Grade
Kirkland Signature Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula Dry Chicken 115 kcal/oz. $0.09 per oz C+
Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Recipe Dry Salmon Meal 102 kcal/oz. $0.13 per oz C+
Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Indoor Adult Cat Formula Dry Chicken Meal 88 kcal/oz. $0.10 per oz D+
Kirkland Signature Turkey Recipe Pate Wet Cat Food Wet Turkey 28 kcal/oz. $0.22 per oz B+

#1 Kirkland Signature Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

This affordable kibble is a real crowd-pleaser. The recipe is formulated for all life stages, meaning it’s nutritionally well-rounded for kittens and adult cats of all ages. It’s primarily made from chicken and chicken meal, both good sources of the amino acids your cat needs to thrive.

After these chicken-derived ingredients, the food contains whole-grain brown and ground white rice. These two types of rice help to bind the kibble, lending it structure and crunch. Chicken fat serves as the food’s primary fat source. It’s a good one—compared to plant oils, cats get more benefits from animal-derived fats.

In addition to synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, the food contains guaranteed levels of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis. These probiotic bacteria may help to support digestion and overall health.

This food has low protein, low fat, and high carbohydrate content. With no animal by-products, no vaguely named meats, no plant by-products, and no artificial colors or flavors, this food is free of a lot of ingredients we like to avoid. Though it’s one of the best values in dry cat food, this product isn’t perfect. Between its low protein levels, high carbohydrate content, and moisture depletion, it’s not a carnivore-appropriate meal.


Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Grain Brown Rice, Ground White Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat.

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 30%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 33.33%
Fat: 22.22%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 41.11%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 25.96%
Fat: 42.03%
Carbs: 32.01%


  • Features named cuts of meat rather than vaguely-named meals or animal by-products
  • Contains guaranteed levels of probiotics
  • Free of artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • One of the most affordable foods you can buy


  • High in carbohydrates
  • Low moisture content
  • Low in protein

#2 Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Recipe

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

View on Costco

Nature’s Domain is Kirkland’s grain-free pet food line. Instead of rice and other grains, the food uses sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes as starchy binders. Like all Kirkland cat foods, the recipe has guaranteed levels of probiotics. Chicory root serves as a source of prebiotic fiber, which helps to feed beneficial bacteria in the gut.

This fish-based recipe features salmon meal and ocean fish meal as its first two ingredients, followed by peas and potatoes. Canola oil is the primary fat source, which offers less bioavailability than an animal-sourced fat.

This food has high protein, moderate fat, and high carbohydrate content. But with lots of starch, some plant-sourced protein, and canola oil in lieu of animal-derived fats, it isn’t very species-appropriate. It looks a little bit worse than the food in the Maintenance Cat blend.


Salmon Meal, Ocean Fish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Canola Oil, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Dl-methionine, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Raspberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.

Ingredients We Liked: Salmon Meal, Ocean Fish Meal.

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Peas, Potatoes, Pea Protein.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 32%
Crude Fat: 14%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 35.56%
Fat: 15.56%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 45.56%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 29.91%
Fat: 31.78%
Carbs: 38.32%


  • A relatively high-quality kibble for cats who like fish
  • One of the best economical dry foods you can buy
  • Contains guaranteed levels of probiotic bacteria for digestive support and overall health


  • Contains canola oil instead of animal-sourced fat
  • High carbohydrate content

#3 Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Indoor Adult Cat Formula

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

This Kirkland recipe is marketed for indoor cats, promising to help your cat lose weight while keeping hairballs under control. The food contains chicken meal as its first ingredient, followed by ground white rice, peas, powdered cellulose, and potato protein. It contains chicken fat as its main fat source, along with natural flavor—presumably hydrolyzed animal tissues—and a small amount of fish meal.

In addition to synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, the food contains dried chicory root as a source of prebiotic fiber and two species of probiotic bacteria. It also offers boosted levels of L-carnitine, an amino acid that helps to convert fat into energy.

This food has high protein, low fat, and low calorie recipe that prioritizes weight management. It’s significantly lower in calories than most dry foods and offers plenty of fiber. While it might help your cat to lose weight, it’s not the most nutritious food you can give them.

With more carbohydrate matter than protein, this food is not a species-appropriate choice and not the best choice for your carnivore.


Chicken Meal, Ground White Rice, Peas, Powdered Cellulose (Source Of Fiber), Potato Protein, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Natural Flavor, Flaxseed, Fish Meal, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Dl-methionine, Taurine, Dried Chicory Root, L-carnitine, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Bifidobacterium Lactis, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Fish Meal.

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Peas, Potato Protein

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 32%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 10%
Moisture: 10%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 35.56%
Fat: 10%
Fiber: 11.11%
Carbs: 43.33%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 34.46%
Fat: 23.54%
Carbs: 42%


  • May be a good choice for cats who need to lose weight
  • Contains guaranteed levels of beneficial bacteria
  • Contains species-appropriate animal fat instead of plant-derived oils


  • Very high in carbohydrate matter
  • Low fat content isn’t ideal for every cat

#4 Kirkland Signature Turkey Recipe Pate Wet Cat Food

Kate Barrington / Cats.com

This grain-free turkey recipe pate starts off strong with fresh turkey as the first ingredient, followed by three more animal-based ingredients. Poultry broth provides flavor and moisture, while poultry liver and hearts supply supplemental protein and essential nutrients. Poultry organs are rich in protein and nutrients but it’s difficult to gauge their quality and safety because the source isn’t specifically named.

Natural flavor is generally just hydrolyzed protein, but unfortunately, the source isn’t usually listed. Locust bean gum, xanthan gum, and carrageenan are used to improve the texture and consistency of wet foods, but they can be hard on a kitty’s tummy. Gums, including carrageenan, have been known to cause gas, diarrhea, and intestinal inflammation in some cats. Carrageenan gum in cat food is particularly controversial, though claims that it may be carcinogenic have not been proven.[1]

Fortunately, this wet food recipe doesn’t contain a significant number of added plant ingredients. Both flaxseed meal and canola oil provide plant-based omega-3 fatty acids, though I’d prefer to see them come from an animal-based source like salmon oil.

Overall, this wet food has high protein content and high fat. According to the guaranteed analysis, its carbohydrate content looks high, but we were unable to get more accurate information. From the ingredient list, though, it looks like a lower-carb food.


Turkey, Poultry Broth, Poultry Liver, Poultry Hearts, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Locust Bean Gum, Carrageenan, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Flaxseed Meal, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Taurine, Canola Oil, Magnesium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Sulfate, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Niacin Supplement, Pantothenic Acid, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Biotin.

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Dried Egg Product.

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Carrageenan, Canola Oil.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 8%
Crude Fat: 4.5%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 80%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 40%
Fat: 22.5%
Fiber: 7.5%
Carbs: 30%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 32.09%
Fat: 43.84%
Carbs: 24.07%


  • Fresh turkey is the main ingredient
  • Rich in moisture to support hydration and digestion
  • Comes with two other flavors in a variety pack
  • Fairly high protein and fat content


  • Contains vaguely named poultry ingredients
  • Relies primarily on plant-based fats
  • Contains carrageenan and gum thickeners

What Do Customers Think of Kirkland Signature Cat Food?

On Costco.com, the popular Maintenance Cat Chicken and Rice cat food has earned over 2,000 reviews and a healthy 4.7 out of 5-star rating. Most reviewers praise Kirkland cat food’s combination of price and quality.

Because Kirkland Signature’s wet cat food was recently released, availability is limited and so are the reviews. I was unable to find comments about the products, but customers are excited about the return of Kirkland Signature wet cat food.

Positive Reviews

“My cats have always stayed healthy on this food. Amazing price, clean ingredients compared to most.”
—Sarah, Kirkland Signature Maintenance Dry Cat Food on Costco.com, September 2023

“We have both of our older cats on this food and have been buying it for many, many years. They seem to digest it easily and it maintains their health. It’s a great price, as expected, from Costco.”
—Laha42, Kirkland Signature Maintenance Dry Cat Food on Costco.com, September 2023

Customers seem satisfied with Kirkland Signature cat foods. They love the price and the convenience of being able to buy in bulk. Several mentioned improvements to their cat’s health or reduction of litter box odor.

Negative Reviews

“I had my cat on this food for over nine months because she was overweight when I adopted her. I fed her less than the instructions and she only lost one pound. The vet said she’s still very overweight. I recently switched to an all-wet food, low-carb diet, and that seems to be way healthier. Her poops also barely stink now.”
—Logan, Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Indoor Cat Food on Costco.com, October 2023

“I bought this a month ago. As I was feeding my cats one morning, I realized there was a huge piece of [plastic cling] wrap in the bag. After going through the bag, there were sharp pieces of something and little plastic wrap pieces. I’m so glad I found it when I did and my cats weren’t harmed, but I am so mad at the quality of this product.”
—Julia, Kirkland Signature Cat Food on Costco.com, August 2023

A few complaints crop up in the review sections and in online threads. Most negative reviews accuse various Kirkland formulas of making their cats sick, but I couldn’t find any substance to these claims. Many reviewers say their cats love the food but they wish the carb content were lower.

Another common complaint relates to the Costco-sized packages. Even happy customers feel overwhelmed by Kirkland’s cumbersome 25-pound bags of dry food. One person on Reddit said they’d buy it if they could, but they didn’t have room to store the bag. It may even be hard for some cats to consume 25 pounds of dry food before it goes bad.

How Much Does Kirkland Signature Cat Food Cost?

If you buy it on the Costco website or in the warehouse, Kirkland dry cat food ranges from $0.09 to $0.13 per ounce.

Kirkland wet cat foods are sold only in variety packs. A 45-count variety pack of 3.5-ounce cans of Kirkland Signature Pate costs $34.99, which averages out to about $0.22 per ounce. The Chunks in Gravy wet foods are sold in 40-count packs of 3-ounce cans for $26.99, also about $0.22 per ounce.

If you’re feeding a typical 10-lb cat Kirkland Signature dry food, you’ll end up spending between $0.16 to $0.25 per day. A Kirkland Signature wet food diet will be a little more expensive, between $1.50 and $1.85 per day.

This puts Kirkland cat food among the cheapest brands on the market. Kirkland Signature’s dry cat food is similarly priced to brands like Diamond Cat Food and Friskies.

Overall, Is Kirkland Cat Food A Good Choice?

Kirkland cat food isn’t perfect. Like many other dry products, their recipes are moisture-depleted, carbohydrate-heavy, and relatively low in protein.

But compared to other comparably-priced products such as Kindfull and Pretty Please Kirkland is an outstanding option. This brand offers superior ingredient quality with none of the potentially-harmful additives you’ll find in other budget foods.

The jury is still out on Kirkland’s newly released wet foods, but they seem to be on par with other recognizable brands like Iams and Diamond. Because these foods don’t contain meat by-products, corn, wheat, or soy ingredients, however, they’re a little higher in quality than store brands like Aldi’s Heart to Tail.

Where Is Kirkland Signature Cat Food Sold?

Costco’s private label brand, Kirkland Signature cat food, is easiest to find in Costco stores and on their website. You’ll need to purchase or borrow a Costco membership.

If you want to skip the membership process, you can also purchase some Kirkland cat foods on Amazon.com and Walmart.com. Availability seems spotty and more expensive, however, and the sellers may not be licensed by Costco.

View Sources
Cats.com uses high-quality, credible sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the claims in our articles. This content is regularly reviewed and updated for accuracy. Visit our About Us page to learn about our standards and meet our veterinary review board.
  1. MS CK. Harmful or harmless: Carrageenan. Chris Kresser. Published September 26, 2022.

  2. Delany A. Costco’s Kirkland Signature is the best store brand there ever was. Bon Appétit. Published August 29, 2016.

Note: The values in our nutrient charts are automatically calculated based on the guaranteed analysis and may not represent typical nutrient values. This may lead to discrepancies between the charts and the values mentioned in the body of the review.
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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

72 thoughts on “Kirkland Cat Food Review”

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  1. Joyce Bevins

    What is the ash content of Kirkland Maintenance Cat Food?
    What is the ash content of Kirkland’s Nature’s Domain Salmon meal and sweet potato cat food?
    I have a male cat and want to care for his kidneys.
    Any suggestions for best cat food ?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Joyce,

      Thanks for your comment! I contacted Kirkland and it looks like the Kirkland Maintenance cat food is about 7% ash, while the Nature’s Domain food is 8.5% ash. This is typical among dry foods. Controlling ash levels can help, but it isn’t necessarily the most reliable way to choose a kidney-friendly food. It appears that the best way to preserve your cat’s kidney health is by choosing moisture-rich foods with high-quality, low-waste protein and controlled levels of phosphorus.

      Our list of the best cat food for senior cats takes these factors into consideration and you might find it helpful: https://cats.com/best-cat-food-for-senior-cats

      Hope this helps you choose the best food for your cat!

      – Mallory

  2. Linda Bryson

    I feed my two cats Blue Buffalo. One kitty likes it in the house. My other kitty wants noting to do with indoors. Is the Costco brand cat food as good as Blue Buffalo (dry)? It is getting expensive. Especially because of loss if income due to Coronavirus.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hey Linda, yes! The Costco brand is as good as Blue Buffalo, if not better. I think you’re going to be very happy with it and it’ll be good for your budget, too.

  3. Dave

    Hi Ms Crusta,
    I was at a Costco Store in the Bay Area today and found the two Kirland Dry Cat food offer. I’m a frequent Costco
    Member, I shop for gas and food and other products every week. Just got a kitten now 15 week old. At what age is my kitten ready to try the Domain product. It looks like the next level from kitten to adult food. I’m giving Tiger Nourish Kitten food now a rice base product. Also when and what type of wet kitten food you suggest Tiger should try along with method of introduction to my little guy ?.
    Warmest Regards,

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Dave, thanks for your question about providing the best food for your Tiger. He can safely transition to adult food when he’s around 12 months of age. As for making the move to a wet diet, you can do that as soon as you like. There are so many wet kitten foods that would work! You can learn about some of them in our article on the best kitten food. You can start adding a spoonful of wet food into his kibble and gradually increasing the amount over the course of a week or two. This is the same gradual approach I’d recommend for switching to adult food later on. Hope this answers your questions! Best, Mallory

  4. Austin

    I’m tempted to get this brand for my cat, but I’m worried about the low protein. I’ve read that indoor cats require quite a bit of protein.

    Do you recommend mixing in some wet cat food with this kibble for the extra protein?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Austin, that would be a great idea! The food is definitely a bit higher-carbohydrate and lower-protein than we’d like, so mixing in some wet cat food or alternating dry and wet meals would be an excellent way to help get those macronutrients in line.

  5. Katie

    Would it be appropriate to mix the Maintenance Cat food with the Sweet Potato/Salmon food, since one is high carb/low protein and the other is low carb/high protein?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Yes, Katie, you could certainly do that. It still wouldn’t be a nutritionally stellar diet, but it’s a good start. You could also try alternating meals to give your cat more variety.


    Hi, my kitties have been eating Kirkland Maintenance Cat food for years. They all loved it. I noticed that when we switched to Kirkland, they all quit throwing up (except the occasional hairball). Now after years of this food, all 6 of my kitties will not eat the food. This happened halfway through the bag. We bought another bag from a different Costco and they still won’t touch it. I cleaned bowls, the mat and everything near their food, just in case they were smelling something else. I called the manufacturer of Kirkland cat food and spoke with a vet. She told me that nothing has changed with their formula or processing. Now we are going nuts trying to figure out what to do. We bought Blue Buffalo, Abound grain free, and Iams, etc, they ate some and all threw up. We bought Rachael Ray food, they won’t eat it. They will eat Purina grain free but all continue to throw up and now 4 of my cats have allergies (scratching fur off, licking so much in spots that she is loosing her hair. We used to buy Authority Brand cat food at Petsmart. They loved it and had no alleries. It got so expensive we can’t afford it for so many rescue kitties. Any suggestions. We are almost out of food and I don’t know what to do. Lorie

  7. krist

    My cat will love the Kirkland brand they also get extra protein i cooked chicken and sometimes cook steak.
    But I notice that my cat fart and there shit at times stink more then others why is it they fart so much.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello there Kristi, flatulence can sometimes be caused by excessive fiber in your cat’s diet or may be a sign that your cat has a sensitivity to something in their diet. You can try closely tracking patterns in your cat’s waste and flatulence to identify if they correlate with dietary factors.
      You might like this article on the best cat food for gassy cats: https://wereallaboutpets.com/best-cat-food-for-gassy-cats
      Our article on the best cat food for smelly poop may also help: https://cats.com/best-cat-food-smelly-poop

      Hope you’re able to find some solutions soon!

  8. Jeff

    Mallory, I appreciate your reviews. While in search of a better food, due mostly to soft smelly stools, I moved from Kirkland maintenance to the Natures domain salmon & Sweet potato. He has more energy and stools are firm and normal odor. So it seems I am good. Now I see Rachel ray indoor is in the store. Is that inferior to the Natures domain? Thank you!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Jeff, thanks for stopping by! I wonder if your cat has a sensitivity to chicken, given that the switch to a fish-based food alleviated his soft, smelly stools. With that in mind, I wouldn’t recommend the Rachael Ray indoor cat food for a couple of reasons. For one, it contains chicken, and secondly, it appears to contain slightly more plant-derived protein, which is arguably lower-value than meat-based protein for cats.
      Hope this helps! – Mallory

  9. Aei

    My male orange tabby has a tendency to obstruct his urinary tracts. Problem solved by mixing dry and wet food (half each) PLUS 4 tablespoon of water mixed into it.

    Never feed adult male cats dry food only.

    I’m using Kirkland chicken kibble for dry and Friskiie’s for wet.

  10. Ian

    Hi Mallory,
    I am wondering what you think of Krikland’s claim that their chicken recipe (purple bag) is suitable for both cats and kittens. My two male kitties are about seven months old and I am thinking of changing from Iams Kitten kibble to Kirkland. The kitties also currently get one 3oz can (each) of Fancy Feast Kitten wet food (turkey) per day.
    Thank you!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Ian, the food should be appropriate for both cats and kittens as it meets the AAFCO’s nutritional benchmarks for all life stages. Between the all life stages kibble and the kitten food, your youngsters should be getting a nutritionally-adequate diet.

  11. Jimbo

    Hi Mallory, We are brand new to having a pet. A month ago we adopted a stray young male cat who the vet estimates is 8 months old.
    We have been feeding him 2 Sheeba servings and 2 1/8 lb serving of Fresh Pet, in addition to leaving out a small amount of Rachael Ray dry Noutrish.. Can you rate the pros and cons of this combo diet?

  12. Shaw Roskott

    My cat is 10 years old and is allergic to all kinds of poultry, and I believe to other things as well but we haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly what. It seems chicken gets slipped into most cat foods. She throws up a lot if she is sensitive to anything and she often runs underweight until we can find the next thing she isn’t allergic to, until she is. Do you think the Kirklands Salmon and Sweet Potato would be an option for me to try with her? I tend to lean away from mass produced products that cut corners and add fillers. I will probably add a homemade bone broth to moisten the dry food since she tends to vomit often.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Shaw! Thanks for commenting. For a cat who can’t eat poultry, I’d say that the Salmon & Sweet Potato food might be a good option, but I would prefer a limited-ingredient food that really strips down the ingredient list so that you know exactly what your cat’s eating. Considering that you’re not sure what she’s sensitive to, I think this type of elimination diet is going to be invaluable. Consider the recommendations from our article on the best cat food for cats with sensitive stomachs.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Angelina, it depends on which grain your cat is allergic to, but a cat with grain sensitivities can opt for the Nature’s Domain variety, which is grain-free.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Selina, good question. I have been able to get information on Kirkland food from Costco’s customer support department. You may contact them here. Hope this helps.
      – Mallory

  13. Alexander

    Hello Mallory! I’ve been looking into Kirkland as a way to upgrade my cats diet. The price in comparison to the amount of food definitely caught my interest, as I’m looking to get more for less with how tight my budget is as a currently unemployed high-school senior.

    But the problem I’m having is that the low-protein content makes me worried about how it’ll impact my cats. Do you think it’ll be too much of a change in protein they’re receiving? My cats are fully indoor two-year olds and all currently eat meow-mix, which makes it a little obvious why I’d like to switch to a better brand lol

    I’ve personally considered buying some of the cheaper wet foods as added supplements for both protein and moisture, since I can’t afford switching them to a wet diet, but I’m unsure how helpful it would be.

    Thank you for any help!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Alex, thanks for your comment! Could you please clarify your concerns about protein content? I’m not sure exactly which Meow Mix variety you’re currently feeding, but their original kibble is at least 31% protein, which puts it only 1% higher than the Kirkland dry food’s minimum. The Kirkland food features chicken and chicken meal as its primary proteins, meaning that most of that protein is coming from a species-appropriate source. Conversely, the Meow Mix food features corn, corn gluten meal, and soybean meal, the latter of which are concentrated sources of plant protein. So while the Kirkland appears to be marginally lower in protein, it seems to have better sources of protein that will likely make it more biologically available to your cats. So between that and mixing in some low-cost wet food, I do believe that this would be a worthwhile upgrade from their current diet. It’s hard to quantify the difference any dietary change will make, but I believe it’s worth the change.

  14. AC

    Any idea how to store this long-term once the bag is opened? I’m thinking of switching but my cats only get 3/4 cup of dry food a day between them (they eat breakfast hours before I get up and I can’t manage canned food when I’m half-asleep) so if I do buy this, it’ll take at least a few months to finish a bag, and I worry it would start to go rancid even in a sealed container. Do you think portioning it into gallon bags and freezing it until i need it would work?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi AC, thanks for commenting! Yes, a lot of people portion this food out into gallon bags and freeze it to make it last longer. If you have a vacuum sealer, this would also be a good option to ensure that the food is not exposed to air and moisture.

  15. Adriana Herrera

    Hi Mallory, we are new to the cat world, we adopt a beautiful kitten named Monatana a year ago, she is about 14 months old right now. We heard about Kirkland maintenance and it was our choice since the beginning (60-70 grams/day) and we mix it with time to time (twice a month replacing 1 serving of 4 a day) with a 1/4 can (39grams) of Hills i/d. In our last visit to the Vet. we found out that she is gaining weight (total weight currently = 10.5lb) and we want to control it on time, but all the alternatives the Vet gave us dos not have good reviews C and C+ rated. We do not want to change Kirkland brand, could you advice us please. Thanks!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Adriana, thank you for commenting, and I apologize for taking a while to get back to you! Of course, I can’t overrule your vet’s opinion as I am neither a vet nor an animal nutritionist, but I would generally advise not using a therapeutic or weight loss-specific diet for an overweight cat. You can accomplish much more controllable results through calorie control and consistent monitoring of your cat’s progress. You may appreciate this video on the subject.

  16. Laura

    Hi do you know if Kirkland or Diamond dry salmon and sweet potato cat food sold at Costco is tested on animals, sold in China or if any ingredients come from China? I’m looking for a cat food not tested on lab animals. Thank you for the help.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Laura, that’s an excellent question. I know that Diamond, presumably still the manufacturer of Kirkland cat food, does source some ingredients from China. They aren’t explicit about which ingredients come from there, but we know for certain that the list includes synthetic supplements that are only available imported from the country. Regarding animal testing, the company hasn’t published any statement on sourcing from companies that don’t perform animal testing, but there’s also no mention of animal testing as part of their process in any company literature. It’s also not mentioned in Cruelty-Free Kitty’s popular list of pet food companies that perform animal testing. With this in mind, I would tentatively assume that the company doesn’t engage in this kind of testing. Hope this helps.

  17. whocares

    I am a tightwad and my feral cats get 50% kirkland maintenance and 50% aldi
    They like kirkland better

    Aldi brand seems to have a lot more pieces & crumbs lately but my cats hate the cheap walmart brand

  18. Carole

    Hello, thank you for your hard work,
    I have 3 cats but one with urinary problems so I have to feed all of them with special food. I’m currently using Hills Science diet urinary hairball control but it’s really expensive and I’m wondering if Kirkland option would’nt be better nor worst Since I think you rated them B. But one of my cat actually had urinary issues so i’m wondering if I have to stay on Hills because of him. Would apreciate your thought!
    Thank you

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Carole, personally, I don’t feel that Hills Science Diet Urinary Hairball Control shows strong enough promise as a urinary food to justify staying on it if another option looks better in other areas. However, I also don’t think a cat with recurring urinary tract health issues should be on a dry diet at all, much less one that’s not formulated to address urinary problems. Getting your cat on a wet diet is perhaps the best thing you can do to promote long-term urinary tract health, and I would recommend trying one of the foods on our list of the best urinary health foods.

  19. Louise

    Hi! I am considering trying out the Kirkland 3-flavor variety pack pate. My cats have been consuming Blue Buffalo Wilderness pate in either salmon, duck, or chicken. As kittens, they started with kibbles, but I switched them to pates to increase hydration. I realize switching them will be a challenge, which is another beast for another day. From your assessment (I am not sure if you have done a review of the Blue Buffalo Wilderness), which food brand would be better to keep my cats on? Blue Buffalo Wildness vs Kirkland? Is Kirkland AAFCO? To note, one cat is 8 and the other is 7. Kirkland would be most favorable in terms of cost effectiveness, but I would rather give them good quality food. If neither of these are good, do you have a brand you could recommend? The cats are indoor with healthy weights and no issues according to their last vet visit just last week. Thanks in advance!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      I think you can feel okay about making the more economical shift to the Kirkland paté. Overall, the Kirkland food is a bit more species-appropriate than the Wilderness wet food line, and the only possibly concerning thing about it is its use of carrageenan (potentially carcinogenic). But the Blue Wilderness paté has that, too. Kirkland’s wet food seems to be manufactured by Simmons, which has been connected to several recalls, but Blue Buffalo has also been involved in numerous recalls. Both meet AAFCO guidelines for nutritionally complete cat food. So between the two, I would opt for the Kirkland food as a nutritionally-superior, more cost-effective choice. As alternatives, you might consider products from Nulo, Purina ONE, and Wellness, which will offer similar nutrition without any potentially-harmful additives. Hope this helps you to make a decision!

  20. Avatar photoLanza

    Hi! I recently noticed a new cat wet food is selling at my local Costco. Its brand is called “I luv my cat”, which I never heard of before. i searched a little bit of it online and it seems like this is a local brand selling in California (some Nevada) Costco only. Not sure if you could so a review on this..

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Excellent request. In short, the paté version is significantly more carnivore-appropriate and meat-based than the chunks in gravy varieties, so we wouldn’t recommend the latter.

  21. Jenn

    I liked the info on the kirkland paye but I can’t find much info on the “chunks and gravy.” I noticed it doesn’t have carrageenan like the Pate. In general do you think it is a better choice than the pate?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      No, I don’t think so—it’s much “plantier” and has a lot higher carbohydrate content, which are generally not really cat-appropriate qualities. It depends on what you, personally, prioritize, though, and I realize that carrageenan is a concerning and complicated ingredient that you may want to avoid.

  22. Carol

    Been using Kirkland pate cat food for a while now and recently found a giant insect in the food. It kind of looks like a bot fly. It looks disgusting and has meat imbedded in its body so I know that it was cooked/packaged in the food without a doubt. Just a heads up. I’m getting it analyzed to determine what type of insect it is.

  23. Noreen

    This salmon and sweet potato dry is horrible neither of my cat’s will touch it barely even smelled it.andmy one cat eats almost everything 👎 I tried for Three days not even a morsal was ate 👎 wasted money because where I live in Alaska we can only buy bulk I will pass this on to my neighbors 👍

    1. Jim

      Salmon seems to be a miss in both wet and dry. Two of my cats liked the Salmon wet when we first brought it into the house, but the last two cases none will even get near. It stinks like liver. I wish they sold the varieties separately. They like the Turkey and Chicken.

  24. Ashlyn

    Hi there! My cats have been eating Sheba perfect portions ever since they were kittens. I have been considering switching them to Kirkland wet food for the price, as well as reduced plastic. I have been going back and forth between the reviews, but am still unsure. Do you think they are very comparable as far as quality goes?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Ashlyn! I think Kirkland’s wet food seems better than Sheba in terms of ingredient quality! The one negative is that the Kirkland food contains carrageenan, while the Sheba food relies on guar gum as a thickener. The carrageenan conversation is ongoing, and the evidence of food-grade carrageenan’s harmfulness is not strong, but I understand being cautious.

  25. Didds

    I appreciate the pics with the kibbles next to a tape measure but the photos are a little too small to be useful – one of my cats doesn’t have teeth so I try to stick to small sized kibbles for her – she likes to be able to free feed on kibble and won’t eat a full meal of wet food. Right now she’s eating science diet perfect weight, not because she needs weight loss kibble but because the size of it is good for her. I would love to switch to costco food since I have 4 cats and the price of science diet has gotten out of control.

  26. Rose

    Does the costco signature brand maintenance dry cat food (purple bag) have expiration dates – and where would i find them?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Good question! Unfortunately, I don’t have a bag available to check, but I believe there is an expiration date printed somewhere on it! Check the bottom and top of the bag, as well as any seam areas.

  27. Rose

    Fyi – read where others bought costco sig brand food that their cats did not like – bring it back for a refund. bought a bag of food for the cats from costco that they did not like – and brought it back to costco for a refund. That is what is so awesome about costco. We had a bag of chicken nuggets once from there – the humans hated- brought it back-no $$$ wasted.

  28. Emily Brien

    FYI for anyone who’s interested: Costco plans to end its contract with is supplier for the Chunks canned wet food. It’s no longer in stock at my location, and Customer Service confirmed. Such a shame–my cats preferred it, and it was a healthier alternative to bigger name brands.

    They said that if enough customers express demand, Costco would consider bringing back this product. Leaving feedback is easy. Google “costco provide feedback” if you’d like to see this product available again!

  29. Jim Bell

    If you are reviewing a variety pack you can’t just review one variety. The wet food Turkey is great, the Chicken is OK, but the Salmon stinks of liver. None of my cats will come within three feet of a plate. Not very economical if you end up throwing away a third of what you bought.