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We’ve taken a close look at Wellness and graded it according to the Cats.com standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, product variety, price, ingredient quality, customer experience, and recall history.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating Wellness on What Matters
We’ve rated Wellness on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 8/10
- Ingredient Quality – 7/10
- Product Variety – 7/10
- Price – 7/10
- Customer Experience – 8/10
- Recall History – 4/10
Overall Score: 6.9/10
In total, we give Wellness cat food a 41 out of 60 rating or a B- grade.
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.
Wellness cat food, particularly canned foods in the CORE line, are rich in species-appropriate animal protein and made from high-quality ingredients. Other Wellness foods aren’t as nutritionally excellent, containing hefty doses of plant ingredients and higher carbohydrate content than cats require. Wellness foods have been recalled several times, but the brand doesn’t get many customer complaints and most cats seem to love Wellness cat food.
Overall, it’s an above-average cat food brand, but it does have a few flaws. Find out what’s great about Wellness and what’s not in our in-depth Wellness cat food review.
Wellness started in 1997 as a creation of WellPet LLC, a pet food company that started in 1926 with the founding of Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats. When Old Mother Hubbard and Eagle Pack merged, they formed WellPet, LLC. The company is now a subsidiary of Berwind Corporation, a private investment management company.
Sourcing And Manufacturing
The company says that the vast majority of their pet food production is done in their own Mishawaka, Indiana facility. Wellness Signature Selects, Divine Duos, and all wet foods in pouches are made in Thailand.
On the Wellness website, the company provides a step-by-step description of their canned food manufacturing process. The page explains that they work with “only the most respectable ingredient suppliers” to ensure that all products are made with excellent raw ingredients, then manufacture the foods according to a controlled process.
In a video published in 2012, WellPet says that their quality assurance program maintains the strictest standards of food safety in the pet food business and exceeds standards established by the FDA and AAFCO.
Wellness has been recalled several times since 1997. Here’s a quick summary of the brand’s recall history.
In February, a small amount of metal was found in products made in one of the facilities that manufactures Wellness products. While the affected products were not part of the WellPet family, the company decided to take the “conservative step” and recalled several canned cat food varieties.
In March of 2017, Wellness recalled one variety of canned dog food due to possibly excessive levels of naturally-occurring beef thyroid hormone.
In May of 2012, Wellness issued a recall due to possible salmonella contamination of dry dog food.
In October, Wellness recalled a single variety of dry dog food due to excessive moisture content. While not immediately dangerous, excessively moist dry foods are prone to developing mold before their labeled expiration date.
In February of 2011, 21.6 million cans of Wellness canned cat food were recalled due to inadequate levels of thiamine.
What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Wellness Offer?
All Wellness foods are made with whole foods and are free of wheat, corn, and soy. They don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
Wellness’ two lines are CORE, which is a protein-centric, grain-free food, and Complete
Health. The Complete Health line offers “whole food nutrition with grain-free options for your cat’s everyday health. The line includes products geared towards specific life stages and lifestyles, including foods for kittens, indoor cats, and weight management.
CORE’s dry selection is currently limited to seven products, which includes five original recipes, Wellness Air Dried food, and two RawRev products, which involve kibble blended with chunks of freeze-dried meat.
The CORE wet food selection includes Pates, Hearty Cuts, 95% Animal Protein, CORE Signature Selects, Divine Duos, and Simply Shreds snacks.
Wellness Complete Health
Wellness Complete Health offers a selection of both grain-free and grain-inclusive dry foods, each formula targeting life stages and health and lifestyle needs.
The wet food selection includes Complete Health Pate, Gravies, Minced, Sliced, Morsels, and Healthy Indulgence. The Complete Health line also includes Wellness Kittles treats.
Wellness Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price||Our Grade|
|Complete Health Pate Chicken Entree Grain-Free Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.47 per oz||A-|
|CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Wild Salmon Entree in Broth Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.68 per oz||A-|
|CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food||Dry||$6.15 per lb||B-|
|Wellness CORE Kitten Turkey & Chicken Liver Recipe Canned Food||Dry||$0.6 per oz||A-|
What Do Customers Think Of Wellness Cat Food?
While many other brands garner complaints around the web, Wellness has a good reputation among consumers. Most of their products receive four and five-star reviews.
One of their leading recipes, Wellness Complete Health pate, has a 4.3 out of 5 star rating on Chewy based on 521 customer reviews. 90% of these customers say they’d recommend the food to a friend.
“I have used this food for … well over 15 years, for my cats! I tried a less expensive “house brand,” here, for quite a few months, but decided despite a huge price difference to go back to Wellness. I am so glad I DID! My cats and I are much much happier. wellness SMELLS like something I would eat, myself! My cats have been finishing it within ten minutes, instead of leaving it, and my husband thinks he may be seeing an improvement in litter box “outcomes,” too.” – Ollie, reviewing Wellness Complete Health Chicken Pate
“My indoor calico turned 12 last month, and I noticed she looked fat! She was always trim most of her life, but, although I liked holding her and feeling all of that extra cushion on her, I knew it wasn’t good for her health, especially now that she’s getting older. So I switched her to Wellness Indoor and, just a month later, she’s back to her normal trim self. So impressed! I didn’t change the amount – honestly, since she was a kitten, I’ve always free-fed her – making sure there’s always fresh food and water in her bowls, and she’s good at managing her own intake. So the difference-maker in her weight regulation was purely the ingredient shift. EXCELLENT!” – MomOfSev, reviewing Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken Dry Cat Food
“The ingredients in this wet cat food is pretty decent but upon opening the can it was runny with no chunks. My cats ate it of course but was asking for more after a short time. Plus it went right through my elderly’ cats system which is very unlike her. I’m going back to our tried and true, Earthborn.” – Anniesmom, reviewing Wellness CORE Signature Selects Skipjack Tuna & Wild Salmon Entree
“Cats seem to like it, just not sure it is super dry and the crumbles turn to “dust”. Might look again for something else.” – Core, reviewing Wellness CORE Grain-Free Chicken Dry Cat Food
How Much Does Wellness Cat Food Cost?
In part because the brand covers everything from grain-inclusive kibble to canned products with 95% animal protein, Wellness cat foods range from very inexpensive to pricey.
For example, Wellness wet foods range from around $0.5 per ounce if you choose a product from the Complete Health line and $0.57 per ounce for Divine Duos, meaning your average daily feeding costs will add up to something between $1.34 and $3.42.
Complete Health Indoor dry cat food costs about $0.29 per ounce and their CORE Grain-Free dry foods cost about $0.23 per ounce. Your daily feeding costs will range from $1.22 to $1.48 and more if you opt for the brand’s air-dried formulas.
Overall, Is Wellness A Good Choice?
Wellness cat food is one of the better brands on the market. The Wellness CORE line stands out with a great selection of high-protein foods made primarily from animal ingredients. Their Complete Health line is also a good option, particularly if you choose their canned recipes rather than the dry foods.
Though Wellness has been recalled several times in the past, the company reacted promptly to reports of problems and very few customers complain about the food making their pets sick. Overall, the brand has a good reputation among both cats and people.
Where Is Wellness Cat Food Sold?
You can buy it through independent pet retailers, chains, and in some big box stores. It’s also available online through sites like Amazon and Chewy.
Wellness is available in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.