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Does this PetSmart brand deliver on its promise of back-to-basics nutrition? Find out in our Simply Nourish review.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating Simply Nourish on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Simply Nourish 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 rates in each of these six key areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 5/10
- Ingredient Quality – 6/10
- Product Variety – 7/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 8/10
- Recall History – 10/10
Overall Score: 7.3/10
We give Simply Nourish cat food a 44 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 Cats.com 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 Simply Nourish
Simply Nourish landed on PetSmart shelves in May of 2011, adding to the retailer’s selection of store brands.
Mark Finke, Ph.D. Nutritional Sciences, who serves as a nutrition expert for PetSmart, told Business Wire that “Simply Nourish believes in making pet nutrition simple and understandable by using carefully-sourced, wholesome ingredients that are recognized by our pet parents, like real deboned chicken and a superfood blend of real fruits and vegetables.”
In other words, this brand aims to capture the growing natural pet food market by capitalizing on concepts like “real”, “superfoods”, and “wholesome” nutrition—but that doesn’t mean much.
Let’s learn more about Simply Nourish and let the facts speak for themselves.
Sourcing And Manufacturing
Simply Nourish dry food is manufactured in Utah, while the brand’s wet food is made in Thailand. According to a Simply Nourish representative, products made in Thailand use primarily Thai-sourced ingredients, while products made in the United States use US-sourced ingredients.
Has Simply Nourish Cat Food Been Recalled?
It doesn’t appear that Simply Nourish has ever been recalled.
What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Simply Nourish Offer?
The Simply Nourish lineup includes both wet and dry foods and is broken into four lines.
- The first is Whole Health, which addresses health and life stage needs.
- Limited Ingredients is geared towards cats with food sensitivities. Each food features one primary protein source and one primary carbohydrate.
- Grain-Free foods are made, well, without grains.
- Simply Nourish’s Source™ line is high in protein with reduced carbohydrate content.
Simply Nourish foods are made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and don’t contain animal by-products.
Simply Nourish Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Simply Nourish Source Fish & Chicken Recipe High-Protein Grain-Free Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food||Dry||$0.13||B-|
|Simply Nourish Chicken & Brown Rice Kitten Food||Dry||$0.13||B-|
|Simply Nourish Essentials Tuna Recipe Adult Chunks in Gravy Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.29||B-|
#1 Simply Nourish Source Fish & Chicken Recipe High-Protein Grain-Free Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food Review
Fish appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.
Like all Source foods, this kibble emphasizes meat over plants and has slightly lower carbohydrate content than the average dry cat food. Let’s take a closer look at the ingredient list.
An ingredient referred to simply as “fish” occupies the first slot on the ingredient list. This vaguely-named ingredient may include a wide variety of fish species, often including tilefish, tuna, salmon, and a variety of fish not used for human food consumption. Fish is followed by chicken meal, a rendered ingredient that delivers concentrated protein.
In addition to chicken meal, the food contains turkey meal and deboned chicken, both sources of nourishing animal protein.
Like many grain-free foods, this product opts for potatoes and peas instead of grains. It uses canola oil as its primary protein source—we’d rather see chicken fat, beef fat, or salmon oil—and a variety of fiber sources, including flaxseed meal, tomato pomace, and pea fiber.
The food is fortified with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make it nutritionally complete. Deep on the ingredient list—lower than folic acid and vitamin D3—the food contains traces of dried chicory root, cranberries, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
Overall, this food has moderate protein content with low fat and moderate carbohydrate content.
The food is 367 calories per cup.
Deboned Whitefish, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Dried Potatoes, Dried Peas, Deboned Chicken, Pea Fiber, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Ground Flaxseed, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Cranberries, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Choline Chloride, Taurine, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid (Preservatives), Rosemary Extract
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Ingredients We Liked: Deboned Chicken
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Dried Potatoes, Dried Peas, Flaxseed Meal
Common Allergens: Fish, Chicken, Eggs
- Lower carbohydrate content than most dry foods
- Rich in animal-sourced protein
- Free of artificial, potentially harmful additives
- Contains vaguely-named fish
- High carbohydrate content
- Doesn’t deliver the hydration your cat needs
Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.
This popular recipe is geared towards kittens, in theory providing concentrated energy and nutrients for early stage growth. It’s one of Simply Nourish’s grain-inclusive recipes, featuring a combination of chicken and rice.
The first ingredient is deboned chicken, followed by chicken meal. Both of these ingredients are nourishing sources of animal protein. One refers to fresh, moisture-packed chicken, while the other is a rendered, dehydrated product that may or may not contain bone. Both have their merits—one has ostensibly higher nutrient value as a non-rendered product, while the other is a concentrated source of protein. Both fresh chicken and chicken meal appear to be highly-digestible sources of protein for cats.
The food contains brewers rice, a rice byproduct that’s not very nutritious for humans—and even less nutritious for cats. Canola oil is the food’s primary fat source. Animal-sourced fat is preferable to this plant oil.
The food contains tomato pomace and, later in the ingredient list, dried chicory root and flaxseed as sources of fiber. It contains “animal flavor”, which Simply Nourish says is derived from chicken.
Oatmeal is added as a second grain and source of carbohydrates and salmon oil is added as a second fat source. Salmon oil is rich in beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
The food contains a small amount of dried cranberries, sweet potatoes, and carrots. These ingredients provide some vitamins and minerals, but cats are optimized to get these nutrients from meat, not plants.
The ingredient list concludes with a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make each meal nutritionally complete.
Overall, this food is rich in protein with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.
This food has 399 calories per cup.
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pea Protein, Whole Flaxseed, Pea Fiber, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Cranberries, Natural Flavor, Salmon Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols) (Source of DHA), Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, etc…
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Ingredients We Liked: Deboned Chicken, Salmon Oil
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Brewers Rice, Canola Oil, Tomato Pomace, Oatmeal, Flaxseed, Dried Carrots, Dried Sweet Potatoes
Common Allergens: Chicken
- Primarily made from meat
- Low in plant protein
- Doesn’t contain any animal by-products
- Free of artificial colors and chemical preservatives
- High in carbohydrates
Tuna appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
This wet food is primarily made from chunked tuna in fish broth. In addition to fish, the food contains chicken, chicken liver, and dried egg product as sources of protein and other meat-sourced nutrients. Potato starch and guar gum thicken the broth while increasing its carbohydrate and fiber content.
The food contains “natural flavor”, an ingredient typically made from hydrolyzed animal tissue. This additive acts as a concentrated source of flavor and increases the food’s palatability.
The food contains sunflower oil as its primary fat source. As mentioned earlier, plant-derived oil isn’t ideal for carnivorous cats.
Flaxseed meal and cranberries add fiber and antioxidants. The ingredient list concludes with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make the food nutritionally complete.
Overall, this wet food is high in protein with low fat and moderate carbohydrate content.
The food has 72 calories in each 3-oz can.
Tuna, Fish Broth, Water Sufficient for Processing, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Potato Starch, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Cranberries, Ground Flaxseed, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Potassium Iodide, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite), Choline Chloride, Dried Chicory Root
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Liver, Chicken
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Potato Starch, Guar Gum, Sunflower Oil, Flaxseed Meal
Common Allergens: Fish, Chicken, Eggs
- Free of animal by-products
- Primarily made from animal protein sources
- Made without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Relatively high carbohydrate content compared to other wet foods
- Relies on plant-sourced fat
What Do Customers Think Of Simply Nourish Cat Food?
Simply Nourish receives primarily positive reviews. Most customers like the brand’s ingredients and accessible price. Here’s what a few customers had to say about Simply Nourish on Chewy:
“Like us our pets like to change things up, got this flavor as a change and being non grain. They like it; really like it! all 3 cats will eat this flavor. If you are looking for a dry food for your cat read the content of this bag. Our cats look and feel better eating this brand of dry food.” – catrrack, reviewing Simply Nourish Source Fish & Chicken Recipe
“We rescued 2 kittens who were very sickly. Skinny, terrible diarrhea. After Vet visit we started with the can and a just a tiny bit of KMR sprinkled in. They ate so well from the start. The transfer to dry food of same brand was easy. I like that I understand the ingredients. And it is very affordable.” – RussianBlues, reviewing Simply Nourish Chicken & Rice Recipe for Kittens
“This cat food seems great on paper…grain free, good ingredients, cheap. But there is so much food dust in these bags. It makes a mess, and my cat won’t eat it.” – duckybeans, reviewing Simply Nourish Source Fish & Chicken Recipe
“The feral kitties I take care of they changed the formula last year, I thought I would give it try again and no go the birds ate it the cats didn’t.” – Juls, reviewing Simply Nourish Chicken & Rice Recipe for Kittens
How Much Does Simply Nourish Cat Food Cost?
If you choose Simply Nourish’s dry foods, it’s one of the cheapest brands on the market. Simply Nourish dry recipes would cost about $0.26 per day if fed to the average 10-lb cat. Their wet foods are significantly more expensive at roughly $2.40 per day.
Overall, Is Simply Nourish Cat Food A Good Choice?
Simply Nourish is a tad better than most other foods at the same price point—that’s why the brand’s Source line was the budget pick in our roundup of the top 10 best dry foods on the market.
Simply Nourish appears to offer slightly higher ingredient quality and fewer artificial ingredients than other leading brands at the same price. While many of their foods are loaded with plant protein and starchy ingredients, the Source line stands out with slightly lower carbohydrate content and generous doses of animal protein.
Where To Buy Simply Nourish Cat Food?
Simply Nourish is exclusively sold through PetSmart’s brick-and-mortar stores and online retail sites, including PetSmart.com and Chewy.