Kirkland 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.

Considering Kirkland cat food? Get the facts first. Read this review to find out if Costco’s famous store brand delivers the quality and value you’re seeking.

The Standard—Rating Kirkland on What Matters

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


  • Species-Appropriateness – 6/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 7/10
  • Product Variety – 7/10
  • Price – 10/10
  • Customer Experience – 8/10
  • Recall History – 4/10

Overall Score: 7/10

We give Kirkland cat food a 39 out of 60 rating or a B- grade.

As part of our review process, we’ve submitted samples to an independent lab. You can see the full report here.

In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.

We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by without direct input or influence from the companies involved.

Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.

To access the lab reports for each food reviewed here, click the “view lab report” link in the product review.

About Kirkland Cat Food

Bon Appetit calls Kirkland Signature “the best store brand there ever was”.

From vodka rumored to be a rebottling of Grey Goose to famously fresh cashews and socks said to rival Smartwools, Kirkland Signature has a reputation for delivering affordable products that are as-good-or-better-than their name-brand equivalents.

But can this brand do cat food as well as it does liquor and wool socks?

That’s what we’re about to find out. 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 in the real world, I bought a bag of Kirkland Signature cat food and tested it out with my two cats.

After that research and testing, I’m ready to bring you the facts about Kirkland Signature cat food. Let’s start at the beginning—where Kirkland cat food is made.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Kirkland Signature foods are made in the United States from domestic and imported ingredients.

Who Makes Costco Cat Food?

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?

In the spring of 2012, Kirkland Signature cat food was recalled due to potential salmonella contamination. It wasn’t the only brand involved—Diamond recalled numerous other brands after a salmonella outbreak in its facility.

In addition to Kirkland cat food, the recall affected Diamond-produced foods from brands including Chicken Soup for the Soul, Country Value, Diamond, Premium Edge, 4Health, Taste of the Wild, and Professional.

Following the salmonella outbreak, the FDA launched a week-long investigation of the company’s facilities in Gaston, South Carolina.

The FDA investigation found that Diamond Pet Foods wasn’t taking “all reasonable precautions” to ensure that its products were safe. For example, the FDA report observed that Diamond didn’t conduct any microbiological analysis to ensure that incoming animal fat was contaminant-free, nor did it control contamination of animal digest during its time in the warehouse.

The facility lacked hand washing or sanitizing stations in key areas. There were feed residues covering some parts of the food conveyor system and damage to some parts, increasing the likelihood of contamination. Perhaps to repair these damaged parts, Diamond had used cardboard and duct tape on their equipment, making some parts impossible to clean and hence a breeding ground for contaminants.

This wasn’t the first time Diamond’s Gaston plant was scrutinized by the FDA.

Back in 2005, Diamond Pet Food issued a dog food recall after discovering aflatoxin in its Gaston, South Carolina plant. Subsequently, the facility received a warning from the FDA after an inspection found “significant violations” of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

The Gaston plant had produced dog food with excessive levels of aflatoxin and, according to the inspection, 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 almost eight years.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Kirkland Offer?

While Kirkland Signature offered both dry and wet cat food recipes for a while, both the Organic Chicken & Chicken Liver and the Organic Chicken & Turkey canned foods were eventually discontinued. This left the following three dry food recipes:

  • Kirkland Signature Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula
  • Kirkland Signature Nature’s Domain Salmon Meal & Sweet Potato Recipe
  • Kirkland Signature Healthy Weight Indoor Adult Cat Formula

In late 2022, Kirkland Signature wet cat foods reappeared in certain Costco stores. They are sold in a 3-flavor variety pack which includes 45 3.5-ounce trays of pate-style wet food. All three are made with chicken, turkey, or salmon as the first ingredient.

As of October 2022, availability of Kirkland Signature wet cat food was still limited but may increase in the coming new year.

Kirkland Cat Food – Top 4 Recipes Reviewed

#1 Kirkland Signature Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula

EVAXO Kirkland Signature Chicken and Rice Cat Food

View on Amazon View on Costco

View Lab Report

Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food. 

This kibble is a crowd-pleaser. It’s an affordable and palate-friendly recipe formulated for all life stages, meaning that it’s nutritionally well-rounded for kittens and adults of all ages. It’s primarily made from chicken and chicken meal, both good sources of the amino acids that 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.

Overall, this food has low protein content, 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’d like to avoid.

It’s also special in what it does contain. Few comparably-priced foods offer guaranteed levels of probiotic bacteria. If the food meets these label claims, it could help to support healthy gut flora.

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.

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%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Whole Grain Brown Rice, Ground White Rice

Common Allergens: Chicken


  • 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

View on Costco

Salmon meal appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food. 

Nature’s Domain is Kirkland’s grain-free pet food line. Instead of rice or other grains, the food uses sweet potatoes, peas, and potatoes as starchy binders.

It’s a fish-based food that features salmon meal and ocean fish meal as its first two ingredients, followed by several variations on peas and potatoes. The recipe uses canola oil as its primary fat source. We’d prefer to see animal-sourced fat in its place.

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.

Overall, this food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content. 

With a name like Nature’s Domain, you know that this grain-free kibble is going to cost a little bit more than the standard Kirkland Signature food. And it does—each ounce of this food is three cents more expensive than Kirkland’s Maintenance Cat recipe.

But with plenty of starch, a bit of plant-sourced protein, and canola oil in lieu of animal-derived fats, this recipe isn’t any more nutritious or species-appropriate than the food in the purple bag. Instead, it looks a little bit worse.


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.

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%

Ingredients We Liked: Salmon Meal, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Potatoes, Pea Protein, Canola Oil

Common Allergens: Fish


  • 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

Super Premium Healthy Weight Indoor Adult Cat Food

View on Amazon View on Costco

Chicken meal appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.

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.

Overall, this food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

This food prioritizes weight management over all else. It’s significantly lower-calorie than most dry foods with very low fat content and plenty of fiber. While it might help your cat to lose weight, it’s not the most nutritious food you can give him.

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

The food is 285 calories per cup.


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.

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%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Fat, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Ground White Rice, Peas, Potato Protein

Common Allergens: Chicken


  • 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

View on Costco

Photo from Reddit

Turkey appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

All three Kirkland Signature wet foods are marketed for adult cats. They’re grain-free and do not contain corn, wheat, soy, or artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

This 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 poultry hearts supply supplemental protein and essential nutrients. While poultry organs are rich in protein and nutrients, it’s difficult to gauge their quality and safety because the source isn’t specifically named.

There are several other potentially concerning ingredients on the list as well.

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 like this, but they can be problematic. Gums have been known to cause gas and diarrhea in some cats while carrageenan has been identified as a known carcinogen.

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 but we’d prefer to see them come from an animal-based source like salmon oil.

Overall, this wet food has high protein content, high fat content, and fairly high carbohydrate content. While the protein, fat, and moisture contents are decent, it’s still too high in carbohydrates for us to recommend without reservation.

The food has 98 calories per 3.5-ounce tray.


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.

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%

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Dried Egg Product

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Locust Bean Gum, Carrageenan, Canola Oil, Xanthan Gum

Common Allergens: May contain chicken


  • 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 Cat Food?

On, the popular Maintenance Cat Chicken and Rice cat food has earned 500 reviews and a healthy 4.6 out of 5-star rating. Most reviewers praise Kirkland cat food’s combination of price and quality.

A few complaints crop up in the review section and in threads around the web. Most negative reviews accuse various Kirkland formulas of making their cats sick, but I wasn’t able to find any substance to these claims.

Another common complaint relates to the Costco-sized packages. Even happy customers feel overwhelmed by Kirkland’s cumbersome 25-lb sacks 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.

Because Kirkland Signature’s wet cat food is only now being released, availability is limited and so are reviews. While I wasn’t able to find any customer comments about the products themselves, there’s a decent amount of excitement about the return of wet cat food to Kirkland Signature’s lineup in general.

Positive Reviews

“So if you’re a cat lady like me this is for you lol. Super great value, good nutrition, and simple ingredients!” – Latissa G., reviewing Kirkland Signature cat food on Influenster

“Great value for money with this cat food. Maintaining my 12 year old cat’s weight with this food has been easy, and she seems to enjoy the food. The only downside to buying this brand is storing all of the extra food. I use a big plastic tub, and a smaller cereal storage container to pour the food from every morning.” – Christine A., reviewing Kirkland Signature on Influenster

Negative Reviews

“I’ve used Costco dry cat food for years. And all the cats liked it. However, At this time I have nine rescue cats. Not one will touch the food. I don’t understand what is wrong. I see from other reviews that people are having the same issue. Kirkland: you need to be aware of this problem!!!!” Landa, reviewing Kirkland Signature cat food on ConsumerAffairs

“Both of my cats are sick after being on a new bag Kirkland maintenance chicken and rice for about a week. Both have diarrhea and one is vomiting. They have been on this before so at first I thought maybe it was just upset stomach but now I’m convinced its the food.” – Gwen, commenting on a Kirkland cat food review on PetFoodTalk

How Much Does Kirkland Signature Cost?

If you buy it on the Costco website or in the warehouse, Kirkland cat food ranges from $0.07 to $0.10 per ounce. If you’re feeding a typical 10-lb cat, that adds up to roughly $0.14 to $0.20 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.

Kirkland Signature wet food isn’t widely available yet, but a cat owner living in the San Francisco Bay Area reported that the 45-tray variety pack sold for $32.99 in her area. This puts the per-ounce price for this food around $0.21. To feed a 10-pound cat Kirkland Signature wet food, you’d spend about $1.50 per day.

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 To Buy Kirkland Cat Food?

You can buy Kirkland cat food through the Costco website, on Amazon, or in Costco stores around the world. Click here to find a Costco Wholesale warehouse near you.

Click Here to Shop for Kirkland Cat Food on Costco

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About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at 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 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.

49 thoughts on “Kirkland Cat Food Review

  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:

      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. Tomas ramos

    hello I have a better kitten for your advertising in the food bags, I would like to contact the person in charge and offer my cat. regards

  6. 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

  8. 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:
      Our article on the best cat food for smelly poop may also help:

      Hope you’re able to find some solutions soon!

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Jimbo, I would make sure that all of the formulas you’re giving your kitten are either formulated for kittens or all life stages. I would also use this calorie calculator to determine how much food your new kitten needs:
      Other than that, that’s a decent diet—you seem to have an emphasis on animal-derived proteins and high moisture content.

  13. 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.

  14. Selina Wong

    Is there any way to find out the phosphorous levels of the weight management kirkland food?

    thanks you!


    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

  15. 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.


    Hello Mallory!
    Would you please recommend a higher protein dry and canned cat food for my cats?
    Thank you so much!

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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!

      1. Louise

        Thank you so much for taking the time to provide me with guidance. It is so incredibly helpful, and I am so grateful!

  23. 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..


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