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Iams claims that their food provides “nutrition that’s tailored to bring out their unique best”, but will Iams cat food bring out the best in your cat? Let’s learn more about Iams to determine whether or not it’s a healthy, high-quality choice.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating Iams on What Matters
We’ve taken a close look at Iams and graded it according to the Cats.com standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history.
Here’s how it scored in each of these six key areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 5/10
- Ingredient Quality – 5/10
- Product Variety – 6/10
- Price – 4/10
- Customer Experience – 7/10
- Recall History – 4/10
Overall Score: 5.1/10
In total, we give Iams cat food a 31 out of 60 rating or a D grade.
Iams is owned by Mars, Inc., with the exception of their European branch, which is owned and manufactured by Spectrum Brands.
Iams was created in 1946 by Paul Iams, a self-taught animal nutritionist from Ohio. Iams originally made and sold high-protein, high-fat dog food. In 1950, Iams developed the first dry dog food made primarily from animal-based protein. The company later expanded into cat food.
In 1999, the company was sold to Procter & Gamble (P&G), allowing Iams cat food to reach 70 countries worldwide. In the spring of 2014, P&G announced that it would sell Iams, Eukanuba, and Natura to Mars, Incorporated, retaining ownership of the products sold in the European market.
Mars Petcare is the world’s largest pet food company. In 2017, it took in over 17 billion dollars in revenue. In addition to Iams, the conglomerate is behind over 40 other pet food brands, including Crave, Whiskas, and Royal Canin.
At the end of the 2014, P&G sold Iams’ European division to Spectrum Brands. Spectrum Brands’ pet care division includes One Earth pet food, Furminator, LitterMaid, and Nature’s Miracle.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Most Iams pet food is manufactured in the United States. Iams manufacturing facilities are located in Ohio, Nebraska, and North Carolina. The brand’s European division has a plant in Coevorden, a city in the province of Drenthe, Netherlands.
Iams explains that their food safety program is one of the strictest in the business, exceeding FDA and USDA standards. The company adds that they receive superior ratings from the American Institute of Baking, an independent certification authority for the human food industry.
Iams doesn’t say where their ingredients are sourced. All Mars subsidiaries work with Mars’ Responsible Sourcing program and their Supplier Code of Conduct, both of which mean that the company uses third-party supplier risk assessment to choose ethical, reliable suppliers.
Has Iams Cat Food Been Recalled?
Iams has been recalled several times since its founding in the 1940s. Here’s an overview of the most recent events in the brand’s recall history.
In March of 2013, Iams Shakeables dog treats were recalled due to potential mold growth. Later that summer, several varieties of Iams dog food were recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.
Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food was recalled due to aflatoxin mold contamination.
In June of 2010, Iams ProActive Health canned cat and kitten food was recalled due to low levels of thiamine. The next month, one lot of Feline Renal formula was recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.
Like many other brands sourcing ingredients from China that year, Iams issued a recall of several varieties of both cat and dog food due to potential melamine contamination.
What Kinds of Cat Food Does Iams Offer?
Iams emphasizes tailored nutrition for cats’ individual needs, saying that their recipes are crafted for cats of specific life stages and activity levels.
Their dry cat food selection is limited to the ProActive Health line, while their wet selection is broken down into three lines—Purrfect Delights, Purrfect Delicacies, and Perfect Portions.
Iams Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price||Our Grade|
|Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Care Dry Cat Food||Dry||$2.25 per lb||C|
|Iams ProActive Health Healthy Adult Original with Chicken Dry Cat Food||Dry||$2.33 per lb||C|
|Iams Perfect Portions Indoor Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Cat Food||Wet||$0.48 per oz||B-|
What Do Customers Think of Iams Cat Food?
Iams cat food receives primarily positive customer reviews, though the brand has come under fire at least once in recent memory. Thousands of people boycotted Iams after learning about the treatment of animals in a research facility doing contract work for Iams.
In 2002 and 2003, the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) conducted an undercover investigation of the Sinclair Research Center, a contract laboratory for Iams. PETA investigators released video footage from the lab, some of which you can watch on YouTube.
After the footage was released, Iams severed their relationship with Sinclair Research.
“I had been feeding my cat Meow mix for years.He was now spitting up his food regularly.A friend recommend I try IAMS and within a couple of weeks, he put on a little needed weight, had a much shiner coat and started playing with his toys and running around the house. He is about 12 years old and has not done that for years.He rarely ever spits up his food now as well!” – Don1, reviewing Iams ProActive Heart Healthy Adult dry cat food
“My cat is crazy about this super stinky, kinda gross looking cat food. He totally lost his desire to eat after stomatitis pain became too much for him, but this food has made him happy to eat again, so much so that I will have to order double the amount I anticipated he would eat. I tried a lot more expensive types of food, but kept finding there were chicken ingredients added even though the flavor would be seafood or fish. We will stick with this variety due to price and eagerness to eat.” – Jessica, reviewing Iams Purrfect Delights Tuna-Topia in Sauce wet cat food
“I have one cat addicted to the stuff and he came to me that way and I have not been able to switch him over to anything as yet…still trying though. This food is loaded with GARBAGE! Grains, by products…all the stuff you don’t want them to have. One day I WILL get him off of this.” – SharonNatsarim, reviewing ProActive Heart Healthy Adult dry cat food
“After going to the vets, they informed us that since Iams was bought out the new company has cheapen the products, cats & dogs, by putting in carmel coloring which IS NOT GOOD FOR OUR PETS! We are looking for new products now.” – Iamsproducts, reviewing Iams ProActive Health Indoor Weight & Hairball Control dry cat food
How Much Does Iams Cat Food Cost?
It would cost about $0.45 per day to feed a 10-lb cat one of the Iams dry foods reviewed above.
The Iams canned food reviewed above costs roughly $2.62 each day. If you prefer a food packed in a tray, Iams Perfect Portions food is more expensive at about $3.76 per day.
Most Iams foods have prices comparable to mid-level brands like Purina Beyond or Rachael Ray Nutrish, with some of their wet foods entering premium price territory. Even their most expensive foods contain low-cost or unnecessary ingredients that you might not find in similarly-priced foods.
Overall, Is Iams a Good Choice?
Many cats and their guardians love Iams, but it’s not a brand we’d recommend.
Iams has issued at least six recalls since 2004, suggesting flaws in their quality control and safety program. Iams foods are moderately-priced, but have ingredient lists similar to those found in budget products.
Where Is Iams Cat Food Sold?
Iams is widely distributed around the world. It’s available in grocery stores, big box stores, and pet food retailers. Click here to find Iams in a store near you.
Online, you can buy Iams on Amazon, PetSmart, Chewy, Walmart, PetFlow, Petco, PetFoodDirect, Target, and Wag.com.