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Shine Cat Food Review

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Shannon Perry / Cats.com

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

The Cats.com Standard—Rating Shine Cat Food on What Matters

We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.


  • Species-Appropriateness – 4/5
  • Ingredient Quality – 5/5
  • Product Variety – 4/5
  • Price – 2/5
  • Customer Experience – 5/5
  • Recall History – 5/5

Overall Score: 4.6/5

We give Shine a 23 out of 25 rating or an A+ grade.

Why Trust Cats.com

I’m an avid pet lover (and cat mom to 11 ). I’ve spent years learning about everything I need to do to take the best care of my cats, from feline nutrition to how to enrich their environment. I’ve tested numerous cat products, offering in-depth reviews and owner insights for other pet parents.

The quality of cat food and the company’s values are important to me. I ordered a variety of raw and transitional recipes from Shine Pet Food so that my cats could sample different flavors. As my cat crew and I tested these cat foods, I looked at the moisture content, texture, palatability, and general appeal these recipes had for my cats. I also considered the nutritional content on the label and whether they met my cats’ dietary needs.

Once I researched Shine’s recipes and tested them with my cats, I ranked the cat food in the six categories of the Cats.com Standard.

About Shine

Shine Pet Food Co. was founded by Sandra Bosben in 2010 and was initially called Marty’s Meals. Named after her dog and inspired by his degenerative joint disease, Sandra worked with animal nutrition expert Zarna Carter to develop a fresh food diet that had a foundation in the work of veterinary nutrition experts, homeopathists, and herbalists. Sandra’s recipes became so popular with friends and family that she founded Marty’s Meals and later added cat food.

Over the years, the company grew to have two locations in Boulder, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2020, Marty’s Meals went national with their online storefront and got a new name, becoming Shine Pet Food.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Shine Pet Food sources its meats from small farms as well as some deer farms in New Zealand. According to their website, they use certified organic, non-GMO ingredients. Because of this, their meats and ingredients are without additives, drugs, or toxins.

In addition to cleaner ingredients, Shine also prioritizes manufacturing techniques that minimize their impact on the environment. Their cat food comes in biodegradable cardboard with a thin paper lining between the food and lid. The only exception is nuggets, which are packaged in clear plastic bags when shipped. They mail their food in cardboard boxes with reflective bubble wrap lining and two bags of dry ice to keep the food frozen for the trip.

Recall History

We checked the current year and archives, but to our knowledge, Shine Pet Food (or Marty’s Meals) has never been recalled.

What Kinds of Cat Food Does Shine Offer?

While Shine offers cooked options for their dog food, their cat food choices are exclusively raw or transitional recipes designed to transition cats to a raw diet.

Both options are primarily meat-based, with some added vegetables, like carrots, sweet potatoes, and bok choy. Certain ingredients, like kelp, cod liver oil (which is rich in omega oils), and sea salt, are in every food we looked at. Here is a complete list of the cat foods Shine offers.

Frozen Raw

  • Beef (we tested this one)
  • Rabbit (see review below)
  • Turkey (we tested this one)
  • Chicken (we tested this one)

Transitional Raw

  • Venison (deer) (see review below)
  • Rabbit
  • Turkey (see review below)
  • Chicken (we tested this one)


  • Transitional Venison

Except for their Freeze Dried Transitional Raw Venison, their freeze-dried offerings are only available for local pickup at their stores in Santa Fe and Boulder. According to their owner, Shine’s recipes are complete and balanced and meet the AAFCO’s nutrient profile guidelines. Furthermore, Shine’s cat foods are free of fillers, like rice or wheat, and ingredients that don’t have nutritional value, like corn. Additionally, their cat food is grain-free. For cats with food sensitivities or allergies, this is a huge bonus.

One thing to note about Shine’s cat food is that they don’t include the calorie content of any of their foods, which can make monitoring calorie intake for kittens and obese cats challenging.

What Did Our Test Cats Think?

Shannon Perry / Cats.com

Shine Cat Food—Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Food Type Main Protein Source Calories Price Per Ounce Our Grade
Transitional Raw Venison Recipe Wet Venison $0.86

per ounce

Raw Rabbit Wet Rabbit $0.95

per ounce

Transitional Raw Turkey Recipe Wet Turkey $0.75

per ounce


#1 Frozen Transitional Raw Venison Recipe

Shannon Perry / Cats.com

Buy on Shine.pet

Available in a 1-pound tub or 1-pound bag of nuggets, the transitional venison recipe is made from pasture-raised, human-grade venison farmed in New Zealand. Venison is a good protein source, is leaner than red meat, and is rich in riboflavin (B6), zinc, thiamine, and essential amino acids.

Thawed and out of the tub, the food is soft yet ground. Other ingredients, like the kelp, are visible in the mix. Once thawed, it’s easy to scoop out and control the portions.

The venison recipe was the second most popular choice for my cats. (The transitional turkey was the most popular.) The pickiest eater (Peter) wasn’t interested in any of the offerings, but Oliver enjoyed finishing off the venison after enthusiastically eating the turkey.


Venison, Venison Heart, Venison Liver, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Magnesium Carbonate, Organic Kelp, Manganese Chelate, Cod Liver Oil, and Sea Salt

Ingredients We Liked: Venison meat and organs

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 5%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 7%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 5.38%
Fat: 5.38%
Fiber: 5.38%
Carbs: 83.87%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 5.26%
Fat: 12.76%
Carbs: 81.98%

What We Liked:

  • Made with a short list of ingredients
  • Just over 63% of protein (measured as dry matter)
  • Very moist, which supports hydration
  • Soft texture with a moist consistency

What We Didn’t Like:

  • This recipe only contains around 12% dry matter fat; at least 20% is best.

#2 Frozen Raw Rabbit Recipe

Shannon Perry / Cats.com

Buy on Shine.pet

The rabbit recipe is available in a 1-pound tub or 1- or 2-pound bag of nuggets. Once thawed, the balls tend to be very soft, making it easier for them to become misshapen in the bag.

The rabbit nuggets were smoother than the venison, but kelp and other ingredients were still visible in the ball. It came apart easily on the plate and in the bowl, making it easier to spread out for the cats. The cats seemed less inclined to try it out as a whole ball, but they were more interested once I spread it across the plate and in the bowl.

Oliver, who typically isn’t a voracious eater, seemed to enjoy all of the food offerings. He moved on to the rabbit after finishing his venison, and after Wilson (pictured at the beginning of this section) moved on to another food.


Ground Rabbit with Bone, Organic Sweet Potato, Organic Carrots, Organic Bok Choy, Organic Parsley, Taurine, Iron Chelate, Zinc Chelate, Vitamin E, Copper Chelate, Manganese Chelate, Cod Liver Oil, Kelp

Ingredients We Liked: Bone and the addition of certain essential vitamins and minerals

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 3%
Crude Fat: 2%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 7%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 3.23%
Fat: 2.15%
Fiber: 5.38%
Carbs: 89.25%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 3.3%
Fat: 5.35%
Carbs: 91.35%

What We Liked:

  • Bone was included with the rabbit, adding calcium.

What We Didn’t Like:

  • The fat content should be higher — at least 40%

#3 Frozen Transitional Raw Turkey Recipe

Shannon Perry / Cats.com

Buy on Shine.pet

Available in a 1-pound tub or a 1-pound bag of nuggets, the transitional turkey recipe had a smoother texture with visible bits of kelp. Shine’s transitional recipes are designed for cats that are new to a raw diet and include added nutrients. This makes switching cats to a raw diet easier.

Overall, the cats responded well to the turkey recipe. It was eaten quickly and enthusiastically, particularly by Oliver and Gizmo. Not used to a raw diet, I suspect my cats preferred the transitional recipes because of the texture and lack of vegetables.


Organic Ground Turkey with Bone, Organic Turkey Liver, Organic Turkey Heart, Taurine, Iron Chelate, Zinc Chelate, Vitamin E, Copper Chelate, Manganese Chelate, Cod Liver Oil, Organic Kelp, and Sea Salt

Ingredients We Liked: Bone, turkey meat and organs

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 5%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 70%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 16.67%
Fat: 16.67%
Fiber: 16.67%
Carbs: 50%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 15.56%
Fat: 37.78%
Carbs: 46.67%

What We Liked:

  • The inclusion of bone for calcium
  • The recipe also has turkey heart and liver

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Nothing

When shipping their foods, Shine requires a minimum order of 5 pounds. We ordered a variety of six foods, reviewed all six, and wrote in-depth reviews for three of the choices here. The remaining three recipes were their transitional raw chicken, raw chicken, and raw beef.

The cats seemed to enjoy the two chicken recipes the most. These recipes were softer out of the tub, and for cats like Oliver, who has broken teeth, and Gizmo, who has chronic gingivostomatitis, softer wet foods are more popular.

The beef was the only recipe that didn’t go over well with any of the cats. Across the board, all of the cats seemed less enthused about this recipe in favor of the others — particularly the venison and poultry choices. Ranking from most to least popular, here’s how my cats responded to Shine Pet Food:

  1. Transitional Raw Chicken Recipe
  2. Raw Chicken Recipe
  3. Transitional Raw Turkey Recipe
  4. Transitional Raw Venison Recipe
  5. Raw Rabbit Recipe
  6. Raw Beef Recipe

What Do Customers Think of Shine Cat Food?

Shine Pet Food isn’t sold on popular sites like Chewy.com or Amazon, and their reviews aren’t public on their site. Social media was also not particularly helpful, but Yelp reviewers did provide insight into the experiences customers have with Shine, including the example below:

“Polite and helpful and at a great price. My cat loves the rabbit and the rockfish. They also have great treats like minions and my cat loves.”—Elizabeth R, Yelp

While most reviews are over a year old, they are almost exclusively positive at their Santa Fe and Boulder locations. Customers comment on the variety of products and the staff’s knowledge and polite attitude. Some reviewers even mentioned custom recipes for special needs dogs and cats. Even non-food items available in-store are popular with owners and pets alike, making a great visit for those local to the areas they serve.

The only negative review on Yelp states that they had a negative experience with a policy and food return. However, the company’s response indicates that this review was in error as there was no record of the sale and that the policy mentioned in the review (that the company will take the food back if the pet doesn’t like it) isn’t one that Shine has.

How Much Does Shine Cat Food Cost?

For those local to Boulder, Colorado, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, Shine provides raw food at an affordable price of less than $1 per ounce. When comparing Shine’s shelf price to other raw food companies, they tend to be right in the middle. Some raw foods, such as Darwin’s Natural, are less expensive, while others, like Raw Meow, might cost more.

Before considering shipping costs, Shine is a very affordable raw food. However, purchasing their raw food offerings might be challenging for customers who aren’t local to their retail stores. I bought several pounds of cat food and shipped it from their Santa Fe facility to my home in North Carolina. The only shipping option was UPS 2-day air, which cost $85.75—around $23 more than the cost of the food.

Fortunately, Shine seems open to working with customers for future shipments, and the food can stay frozen for up to six months. Customers with the space could order only a few shipments a year, which can help with the costs.

Not factoring shipping and averaging the cost of the three cat foods we reviewed, feeding a 10-lb cat Shine’s raw cat food will cost around $3.40 daily.

Where Is Shine Cat Food Sold?

Before 2020, Shine Pet Food was only available at their stores in New Mexico and Colorado. Today, Shine ships nationwide, but the only shipping option is UPS 2-day air. Purchasing Shine Pet Food might be problematic for consumers not in the region and outside of UPS’ delivery area.

 Similar Brands

Looking for other cat food brands similar to Shine Pet Food? Check out some of our other brand reviews.

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 Shannon Perry

A seasoned writer with over a decade of experience, Shannon specializes in producing content in the pet industry — particularly about cats. With 11 cats of her own, she has years of experience as a pet owner caring for cats of all ages, administering medicines, and finding the best cat products. As a cat mom and writer, she’s dedicated to finding the best, healthiest, and most enriching cat products. When she’s not writing, she stays busy caring for her cats, volunteering with local non-profits, and DIY projects around the home.