Is The Honest Kitchen’s human-grade, minimally-processed food worth it for your cat? Find out in our unbiased Honest Kitchen cat food review.
Want to try it for yourself? Enter coupon code ALLABOUTCATS30 for 30% off all orders $30 or more.* Click here to explore The Honest Kitchen’s store.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating The Honest Kitchen on What Matters
We’ve analyzed The Honest Kitchen 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 – 7/10
- Ingredient Quality – 10/10
- Product Variety – 9/10
- Price – 8/10
- Customer Experience – 7/10
- Recall History – 6/10
Overall Score: 7.8/10
Overall, we give The Honest Kitchen a 47 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.
About The Honest Kitchen
The Honest Kitchen was created in 2002. Company founder Lucy Postins was inspired by her own dog’s success on a homemade diet and started selling similar foods for dogs and cats.
Today, The Honest Kitchen is one of the few truly human-grade cat food brands and among the leading producers of dehydrated food for pets. There’s no arguing that The Honest Kitchen brings something interesting to the pet food aisle, but is it a safe, healthy choice for cats?
To answer that question, let’s learn more about The Honest Kitchen’s manufacturing practices, recall history, recipes, customer experience, and more.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
The Honest Kitchen foods are human-grade products. Human-grade food is prepared, handled, and transported according to human food manufacturing standards. From the time of harvest until the food reaches store shelves, every step of the manufacturing and handling process meets requirements for human food manufacturing.
The company sources 67% (by weight) of their ingredients from North America, including all of their protein sources and the majority of the fruits, vegetables, and supplements. Other ingredients are sourced from South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. None of their ingredients are sourced from China. Each supplier is required to sign the company’s “Human Food Grade Guarantee”.
These ingredients are processed in The Honest Kitchen’s company-owned facilities in the United States. These kitchens are registered and inspected by the FDA and meet all U.S. requirements for human food production.
Has The Honest Kitchen Cat Food Been Recalled?
In 2013, The Honest Kitchen recalled several varieties of pet food after learning that one of their suppliers may have sold them salmonella-contaminated parsley.
What Kind of Cat Food Does the Honest Kitchen Offer?
The Honest Kitchen was originally launched with a limited selection of dehydrated cat food products. Dehydrated cat food offers similar quality to freeze-dried or raw food, but it is very different in texture. It’s a pulverized product, much like instant mashed potatoes. You need to add water and give the product time to rehydrate before feeding.
More recently, The Honest Kitchen introduced over a dozen new products including wet food, dry food, toppers, and treats.
Among their wet food lineup, The Honest Kitchen offers 10 recipes of grain-free, minced, or pate-style wet cat food packaged in resealable 5.5-ounce cartons. Their food toppers are similar in consistency to wet food and their treats are dehydrated.
Is The Honest Kitchen Cat Food Raw?
Compared to extrusion and other processing methods, the dehydration process uses less heat and leaves more of the raw ingredients’ nutritional components intact, but The Honest Kitchen cat food isn’t raw. Think of it as a gently-processed alternative to traditional dry or canned food—a midpoint on the processing scale.
The Honest Kitchen Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price||Our Grade|
|The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Cat Food||Dehydrated||$11.76 per lb||B|
|The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Pate Wet Cat Food||Wet||$0.53 per oz||B|
|The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Clusters Grain-Free Chicken & Fish Dry Cat Food||Dry||$0.5 per oz||B-|
What Do Customers Think Of The Honest Kitchen Cat Food?
My cat, Wessie, seemed to love The Honest Kitchen wet food. Their dry food didn’t go over quite as well—while he would eat it, he didn’t show much enthusiasm for the Chicken & Fish dry food. While we didn’t try any of their dehydrated recipes, customer reviews suggest that they’re a bit less palatable than the traditional wet and dry options.
Case in point—The Honest Kitchen Turkey Recipe cat food. This recipe has 86 reviews on Chewy. Just about half of them give it a full 5-star rating, while almost a quarter of them give it just one star. Most of these unhappy reviewers say their cats refused to eat it. Almost all of the in-between reviewers gave extra points for perceived ingredient quality but agreed with the one-star reviewers that their cats simply wouldn’t eat this food.
Let’s hear it from a few real customers on Chewy.
“Grain Free, human grade cat food. Made in the USA. I wish it was organic and non gmo verified; very important to me. My cats love this as a main meal or as an addition to canned human grade chicken or wet cat food. Mixes right into their food or eats it as it is once its mixed with warm water. Love it!!” – Cindy, reviewing The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe
“My cat has been on the Honest Kitchen for months now. She loves the chicken flavor, but recently has seemed a little bored with it so I switched to the flavor. She runs right to it and can’t get enough of it! The only “bad” thing I could say is that it’s much more watery than the chicken and it took forever to get to me. I give her 1/4 cup with 1/4 cup water it’s like soup. She seems to still enjoy it though and lessening the water isn’t a big deal.” – Erin, reviewing The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe
“My cats will not go near this. Total waste of money. This has a somewhat pudding-like consistency. I should have stuck with Vital Essentials which maintained a crunchiness – a nice complement to canned food. I also have 2 cases of Hounds and Gatos canned cat food which they won’t eat either.” – EducatingMama, reviewing The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe
“Bought 2 boxes. Tired to get my cats interested in it but none of my 4 fur babies give it more than a couple of licks before walking away. Mixed it thin, mixed it thick, no matter. Also it smells like peanut butter to me but that is not listed as one of the ingredients. Im not sure this product is what it says it is. Im on social security income and spending 90$ on two boxes is a hard hit to take. I wanted something other than canned food that would be nutritious and delicious. Should have tried primal instead. Dont waste your money on this. Unless you raise them from kittens on it. Maybe tben theyll take to it if they dont know any bettet. Van i get my money back?” – nothankyoutothis1, reviewing The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe
How Much Does The Honest Kitchen Cat Food Cost?
If you’re used to freeze-dried, raw, and fresh cat food, The Honest Kitchen will look surprisingly economical. The company says that a 4-lb box will feed a 10-lb cat for about 32 days, breaking down to about $1.73 per day.
Though it’s definitely more expensive than the average dry food and some economy canned products, anything under $2 per day is impressive for a human-grade food.
While The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated recipes are very expensive, their wet and dry food formulas are more moderately priced. Both cost around $0.50 per ounce which puts The Honest Kitchen in a similar price spectrum as higher-rated brands like Open Farm and Ziwi Peak.
The wet food formula evaluated above costs $0.53 per ounce. To feed a 10-pound cat, it would cost you about $3.40 per day. The dry food recipe is a little cheaper at $0.50 and it would cost about $0.86 to feed a 10-pound cat per day.
Overall, Is The Honest Kitchen a Good Choice?
You could do better than The Honest Kitchen in terms of palatability, carbohydrate content, and emphasis on carnivore-appropriate ingredients, but where ingredient quality is concerned, this brand is hard to beat. If you’re passionate about feeding your cat food that’s good enough for you to eat, think about trying The Honest Kitchen. This brand delivers ingredient quality and safety that’s virtually unheard of at this price.
Though buying human-grade food doesn’t guarantee that the food will never be contaminated with bacteria or be recalled—The Honest Kitchen’s 2013 recall is an example of that—it does provide a level of comfort that you can’t get from feed-grade products.
Those who want a combination of ingredient quality and low plant content might consider Open Farm, Caru, or Smalls. Though they’re more expensive than The Honest Kitchen, these brands incorporate a more meat-heavy array of human-grade ingredients—plus cats seem to like eating them.
Where To Buy The Honest Kitchen Cat Food?
You can buy The Honest Kitchen cat food in pet specialty stores and natural grocery stores. Click here to find a retail location near you. If you’d prefer to buy The Honest Kitchen cat food online, you can shop on Amazon, Chewy, and The Honest Kitchen’s website.
Enter coupon code ALLABOUTCATS30 for 30% off all orders $30 or more. Click here to explore The Honest Kitchen’s store.
* Discount only applies to a single order totaling $30 or more. You must be a first-time customer to qualify.