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​​VēRUS Cat Food Review

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VēRUS makes holistic pet foods for both dogs and cats. It is an American brand sold in North America and parts of Asia at this time. Their foods are made in EU-certified facilities. They offer both grain-free and grain-inclusive formulas. According to the company, VēRUS has never been involved in a recall.

Learn more about VēRUS cat food in our unbiased review.

The Cats.com Standard –Rating VēRUS Cat Food on What Matters

We have analyzed VēRUS cat food and rated it according to our standards here at Cats.com. Our grades are based on the food’s species-appropriateness, ingredients quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. You can read more about our ratings on the Cats.com website.

Here are our ratings for VēRUS in these key areas:

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 8/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 8/10
  • Product Variety – 5/10
  • Price – 6/10
  • Customer Experience – 7/10
  • Recall History – 10/10

Overall Score: 7.33/10

We give VēRUS cat food a 44 out of 60 rating (73.33%) or a B grade.

About VēRUS

In 1993, VēRUS Pet Foods was founded by Russell Armstrong, who is still the owner of the company today. According to the company website, VēRUS was formulated to meet the holistic values that Armstrong believes in wholeheartedly.

VēRUS states that their brand may not be as well-known as some others because they focus on high quality ingredients instead of advertising. The company has headquarters in Hartford County, Maryland. VēRUS is a veteran-owned business.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

According to the VēRUS, their ingredients are sourced from European Union (EU)-certified suppliers. EU certification is part of an international strategy to eradicate food-borne epidemics. EU certification requires that all animal products used in pet food be derived from animals declared fit for human consumption. This provides Vērus pet owners a level of guarantee that no fallen animals or 4D meats are used in producing their products. All of the meats they use are from USDA-inspected facilities and are raised for human consumption. You can find more details about the ingredients used in VēRUS foods here.

The company’s pet foods are manufactured in EU-certified facilities in the United States and New Zealand. Their dry food is manufactured in upstate New York, while their canned formulas are made in South Dakota (blue labels) and New Zealand (green and cat-faced labels).

Quality assurance tests include tests for vomitoxin, aflatoxin, peroxide/free fatty acids, salmonella/enterobacter, nutritional integrity, and moisture levels. After testing is completed and samples are deemed safe, they are accepted into the facility.

When the manufacturing process begins, samples are taken every 15-20 minutes, tested, and verified for safety. The samples are then sent to the NIR room (near-infrared technology) to ensure that the formulas are compliant with the Guaranteed Analysis.

In addition to testing at the manufacturing facility, extensive lab testing is performed monthly to ensure the formulas are safe and are meeting the required nutritional needs of pets.

Has VēRUS Cat Food Been Recalled?

According to the company and other sources, VēRUS has never been involved in a recall. They are proud of this fact and repeat it several times on their website. That is quite remarkable for a pet food company that has been in business for some 30 years.

VēRUS offers a 100 percent guarantee on all of their products. According to the company, “On the rare occasion that a pet will not eat or has a physical difficulty with one of our formulas, please return the bag to your local retailer where you purchased the product, along with your receipt, for a full refund or exchange.” Not many pet food companies make this kind of guarantee.

What Kinds of Food Does VēRUS Offer?

I (very favorably) reviewed VēRUS dog foods several years ago, so I was curious to see what VēRUS cat foods were like.

VēRUS currently makes both kibble and canned foods for cats.

USA Grain-inclusive

  • VēRUS Feline Chicken and Liver Formula
  • VēRUS Feline Turkey, Chicken, and Fish Formula

USA Grain-Free

  • VēRUS Feline Chicken Pate Formula
  • VēRUS Feline Turkey Pate Formula

This isn’t a large selection of cat foods. VēRUS makes more varieties of dog foods than cat foods.

All of VēRUS’s cat foods – both wet and dry – are formulated to meet nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

What Do Customers Think of VēRUS Cat Food?

Most of the reviews we found for VēRUS were very positive.

Positive Reviews

“We’ve been using this food since adopting our cats from the Humane Society. Our vet recommended it. We noticed a vast improvement in their fur (much softer). Most important, though, is how much less of this food they eat than regular dry cat food such as Iams. This is because the regular stuff has a lot of filler, and the cats have to eat more to feel full. The VēRUS cat food, on the other hand, is full of protein and fills them up. While on the surface this looks like expensive cat food, it’s actually quite economical because they don’t have to eat as much of it to be satisfied. I can’t say enough good things about it.” – by Smarter Shopper, reviewing VeRUS Feline Life Advantage Diet Chicken Meal and Brown on May 12, 2014

“Both cats (even the picky one) love this chicken and liver-flavored food – definitely their favorite flavor of VēRUS.” – by Daphner, reviewing VēRUS Chicken & Liver Pâté

Negative Reviews

“We adopted two kittens during the Pandemic. One of them had digestive issues from the beginning as he was a bottle baby as he did not have a mother. When we adopted him we noticed immediately he had diarrhea and eventually our local pet store recommended VēRUS. The kitten did not do well on this food but VēRUS was fine for the other kitten. We are not sure if it was the food that the diarrhea kitten reacted to or he just had an unhealthy gut from the beginning of his life. We are still trying to figure it out. We now have him on chicken, pumpkin and rice. The diarrhea healed when we switched him to the chicken, pumpkin and rice. The trouble is we have to cook for him. We will post further developments.” – by Nancy Jean, reviewing VeRUS Feline Life Advantage Diet Chicken Meal and Brown on December 27, 2020

“New batches in this year 2021 look different, I think less meat and fat, my cats liked last year’s ones, more dense meat and fat, looked very tasty. They still eat new batches, but I was disappointed” – by Cats lover, reviewing VēRUS Grain-Free Chicken Pâté

VēRUS Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Primary Protein Calories Price Our Grade
VēRUS Feline Life Advantage Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, & Oats Holistic Formula Dry Chicken 475 kcal ME/cup $7.74 per lb A-
VēRUS Chicken & Liver Pâté (Grain- Inclusive) Wet Chicken 170 kcal ME/can $0.43 per oz B
VēRUS Turkey Pâté (Grain-free) Wet Turkey 190 kcal ME/can $0.52 per oz B+

#1 VēRUS Feline Life Advantage Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, & Oats Holistic Formula

At this time, we only found one dry cat food on the VēRUS website. VēRUS Feline Life Advantage Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, & Oats Holistic Formula is described as a highly palatable dry cat food that is great for cats and kittens of all breeds, all life stages.

Chicken meal is the first ingredient. This is a grain-inclusive formula, but, as mentioned, it does not contain corn, wheat, or soy. Instead, the grains/cereals used are ground brown rice, millet, and ground oat groats.

We also noted that the ingredients included Dried Pediococcus acidilactici Fermentation Product, a probiotic/fermentation product that appears to be helpful in regulating intestinal flora. It may also help prevent constipation.

VēRUS Feline Life Advantage Holistic Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for All Life Stages.

Overall, VēRUS Feline Life Advantage Formula appears to have many good ingredients. If your cat enjoys kibble, this looks like it would be a good choice. Be sure to have fresh water available.

Calorie Content: 4185.34 kcal ME/kg, 475 kcal ME/cup

Ingredients

Chicken Meal, Ground Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Millet, Dried Egg Product, Ground Oat Groats, Pea Protein, Menhaden Fish Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Menhaden Fish Oil, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Tomato Pomace, Chicken, Chicory Root Extract, Taurine, Dried Cranberry, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Pediococcus acidilactici Fermentation Product, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Biotin, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Magnesium Sulfate, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate

VēRUS was kind enough to supply us with a typical analysis for this food.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Dried Egg Product, Menhaden Fish Meal, Menhaden Fish Oil, Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Chicken, Chicory Root Extract, Dried Cranberry

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Pea Protein, Natural Flavors

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 33.9%
Crude Fat: 20.6%
Crude Fiber: 1.49%
Moisture: 6.82%
Ash: 8.39%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 36.38%
Fat: 22.11%
Fiber: 1.6%
Carbs: 30.91%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 30.07%
Fat: 44.38%
Carbs: 25.55%

Pros

  • Contains no artificial colors or preservatives
  • No synthetic chemical preservatives
  • No meat by-products, fillers, corn, wheat, and soy
  • VeRus uses chelated (proteinated) minerals, which are easier for cats to absorb

Cons

  • Contains “natural flavors”, which is vague; it can sometimes hide a form of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer
  • Contains pea protein, which increases the protein percentage

#2 VēRUS Chicken & Liver Pâté (Grain-Inclusive)

VēRUS currently offers a total of four wet foods. Two of them are grain-inclusive and two are grain-free. We are taking a look at one of the grain-inclusive formulas, VēRUS Chicken & Liver Pate. The other grain-inclusive recipe is Turkey, Chicken & Fish formula.

The proteins in this food – chicken, chicken liver, and ocean fish – are antibiotic-free and free of any added hormones. This food is free of carrageenan. It uses agar (also known as agar-agar) instead.

VēRUS Feline Chicken and Liver holistic formula is formulated to meet nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Calorie Content (ME Calculated): 1091 kcal ME/kg, 170 kcal ME/can (5.5 ounce cans)

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Ocean Fish, Brown Rice Flour, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Agar-Agar, Slat [sic], Dried Spinach, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Tricalcium Phosphate, Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (a source of Vitamin K activity)

VēRUS supplied us with the typical analysis for this food.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Natural Flavor

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 11.8%
Crude Fat: 7%
Crude Fiber: 0.31%
Moisture: 75.4%
Ash: 1.82%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 47.97%
Fat: 28.46%
Fiber: 1.26%
Carbs: 14.92%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 36.34%
Fat: 52.36%
Carbs: 11.3%

Pros

  • Three of the first four ingredients are animal/fish proteins
  • Carrageenan-free, gluten-free, with no synthetic chemical preservatives
  • No meat by-products, artificial colors, or flavors
  • VeRus uses chelated (proteinated) minerals, which are easier for cats to absorb

Cons

  • Contains “Natural flavors” which is vague; natural flavors can include a kind of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer
  • Contains brown rice flour, which is not necessary in a wet food

#3 VēRUS Turkey Pâté (Grain-Free)

VēRUS currently offers two grain-free canned cat foods: VēRUS Turkey Pate formula and Chicken Pate formula. We’re taking a closer look at the VēRUS Turkey Pate formula. The recipe is primarily made with turkey and chicken liver, nourishing sources of animal-derived protein.

Instead of carrageenan, this turkey formula uses agar as a thickening agent. Carrots, dried spinach, alfalfa, and dried cranberries appear later on the ingredient list.

VēRUS Feline Turkey Pâté holistic formula is formulated to meet nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Calorie Content (ME Calculated): 1215 kcal ME/kg, 190 kcal ME/can (5.5 ounce cans)

Ingredients

Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Agar-Agar, Salt, Dried Spinach, Suncured Alfalfa, Choline Chloride, Dried Cranberries, Magnesium Proteinate, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Broth, Dried Cranberries

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Natural Flavor, Guar Gum

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 13.2%
Crude Fat: 8.23%
Crude Fiber: 0.47%
Moisture: 74%
Ash: 2.4%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 50.77%
Fat: 31.65%
Fiber: 1.81%
Carbs: 6.54%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 37.84%
Fat: 57.29%
Carbs: 4.87%

Pros

  • Contains no meat by-products, artificial colors, or flavors
  • No synthetic chemical preservatives
  • Carrageenan-free, gluten-free
  • VeRus uses chelated (proteinated) minerals, which are easier for cats to absorb

Cons

  • Contains “Natural flavors” which can hide forms of monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer

How Much Does VēRUS Cat Food Cost?

VēRUS canned cat food is typically sold in a case of 24 cans (5.5 ounce cans). We found the cases online for prices ranging from about $54 to $69, depending on the formula and the retailer. The grain-free foods were priced at the higher end of the scale. Prices don’t include shipping costs.

VēRUS kibble is available in 4, 12, and 25-pound bags. We found the 12-lb bag for sale on Amazon for about $52. However, we found the 12-lb bag at another retailer for $37. We found the 25-lb bag elsewhere for about $90. We saw the 4-lb bag for $21. So, it does pay to check around and compare prices.

Overall, Is VēRUS Cat Food a Good Choice?

We do like VēRUS cat foods. They appear to use good quality ingredients from EU-certified suppliers, made at EU-certified manufacturing facilities. The meats are fit for human consumption so you know that you aren’t feeding your cat meat from poor-quality sources.

Be aware that “fit for human consumption” does not necessarily mean that pet food is “human grade.” Human grade is one of those terms that gets tossed around a lot in the pet food world. At one time the U.S. Food & Drug Administration jealously guarded this terminology and slapped down any pet food company that tried to use it.

Today, they have largely given up and tossed it back to the states to regulate through state agricultural departments. In general, human grade means that every single ingredient used in a food must be suitable for humans to eat. In addition, the facilities where the food is made must also be approved to make food for humans.

If you like cat foods like VēRUS, you might also be interested in some brands such as Open Farm and Annamaet.

If you like cat foods that are sold as 100 percent human grade and use similarly top-quality ingredients, Open Farm is a brand you may want to consider. They have a large selection of both wet and dry foods.

Annamaet is a family-owned company that uses ingredients that are fit for human consumption. They use no corn, wheat, or soy in their foods. They offer grain-free and grain-inclusive dry cat foods.

How Do You Order VēRUS Cat Food?

You can buy VēRUS cat food in person from select pet food retailers in the U.S. and parts of Asia. You can check the company website to find locations. You can also buy VēRUS cat foods online through pet food dealers. Dealers include PetFlow, Baxter Boo, WhiteDogBone.com, NurturePet.com, Pet Nirvana, and Hearty Pet.

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 Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is is a Certified NAVC Pet Nutritionist and long time animal lover. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and the author of several books about dogs and other animals. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.