Conscious Cat

April 23, 2013 143 Comments

Weruva Cat Food Review

Posted by Ingrid

weruva_review

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about species-appropriate nutrition for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, and they need meat not only to survive, but to thrive. The optimal diet for a cat is a properly formulated raw, home-cooked or grain-free canned diet. Cats shouldn’t eat dry food; even the grain-free dry varieties are too high in carbohydrates.

You can find many of the articles I’ve written about this topic in the Feline Nutrition section right here on this site. I also provide one-on-one consultations if you need help with transitioning your cat to a healthier diet.

What I look for in a food I feed and recommend

  • Protein is listed as the first ingredient on the label, and the meat/poultry used is fit for human consumption. If the meat is organic, that’s even better.
  • The food is grain-free (no rice, barley, or any other grains. Even though these are considered healthy in human nutrition, cats’ digestive tracts are not designed to digest the unnecessary carbs).
  • The food does not contain by-products, corn, soy, or any other fillers.

I am often asked what brands I recommend, and you can find a small list of recommended brands in my post The Best Food For Your Cat: My Recommendations. The brands listed are foods I have thoroughly researched, and feed to Allegra and Ruby. One of the brands I recommend and like is Weruva.

Weruva recently sent us a very generous sampling of some of their products. Since I rarely accept food for review, the girls were super excited when I opened the box!

Weruva_cat_food

Why I like Weruva

The first thing I like about Weruva is that they don’t even make any dry food. I also like that you can actually recognize the ingredients in their canned formulas. I had asked for chicken and turkey flavors only – I limit fish to only an occasional special treat. Their chicken dinners look like the chicken fricassee my mother used to make!

According to the company, all of their formulas are produced in a human food facility using many of the ingredients and processes that are used in products made for people. Their  base proteins of chicken, beef and fish include only top quality muscle  meat, such as white breast chicken, whole tuna loins and select cuts of beef.

But as with any cat food, the true test is whether your cats will eat it. “Eating” may not be the right word to use in this context: Allegra and Ruby practically hoover up their Weruva meals. I alternate raw food with canned food, and of all the canned food I feed, Weruva is the paws down favorite, with Fowl Ball being a particular favorite at our house.

We got to test the new Cats in the Kitchen Pouches and Canned formulas, and they were all a big hit. I love that they have no vegetables at all in them, it’s all meat. Some of Weruva’s Cat Cuisine formulas do contain small amounts of vegetables and my girls usually just eat around them. These formulas are also slightly higher in carbs, so I prefer to use the all meat ones (and the girls are not complaining!).

Weruva_cat_treats

We also received a can of their new freeze dried chicken treats, which proved to be a big hit as well.

Weruva addresses a few concerns I have about the diets

There are a few things I don’t like about Weruva, and I discussed my concerns with David Forman, one of the company’s owners.

Their diets are made in Thailand.

I generally prefer foods that are manufactured in the US. David Forman explained: “Our foods are produced in a facility in Thailand that also makes food for people around the world, including the US and the strict EU and Japan. Similar to our USDA, there is a branch in Thailand called the Department of Livestock Development (DLD). The chickens we source in Thailand are part of an Animal Welfare Standard that sets forth ethical treatment guidelines that helps protect livestock and cattle at the farm, during transport and at the time of processing. Thailand is the 3rd or 4th largest poultry producer in the world for human consumption with much of it exported…so there is heavy regulation by the Thai government to ensure the ethical treatment of animals as well as high processing standards. The diets of the chickens is non-GMO.”

The taurine, and a few of the minerals, are sourced in China.

I generally don’t recommend diets with any ingredients sourced in China, but I wanted to understand why Weruva made this choice, given how much I like everything else about their diets. David Forman: “Indeed, country of origin has become a very important issue. What we have always maintained is that it is less about the country of origin and more about the quality control from a particular company and what proactive steps a company takes when they learn there is an issue. Many people are focused on “US only” production and feel it is the safest, but the reality about that is that the US has experienced and continues to experience higher rates of recall than most countries, including those in China.” Given the recent slew of pet food recalls, most of them for dry food, this point is well taken.

David continued to explain: “As it pertains to taurine, it does come from China. The last statistic I heard was that 98% of the world’s supply of taurine comes from China. I believe Japan produces the next highest amount, but when looking into sourcing from there, as supply is extremely limited in comparison to demand, new customers more or less get on a waiting list as the existing customers get priority. As to the other minerals from China, we have had no reason to doubt the quality of the ingredients or the availability thereof. While we do understand the concerns about China, suffice to say, sometimes unpopular decisions are still healthy ones.”

The diets are lower in calories than many other canned diets.

This isn’t so much a concern, as it is something I want you to be aware of – you may have to feed larger amounts to make up for the lower calories, as compared to other brands. However, chances are, your kitties won’t be complaining about that!

For more information about Weruva and their products, please visit Weruva.com.

I received free products from Weruva. Receiving the complimentary products did not influence my review.

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143 Responses to “Weruva Cat Food Review”

  1. Tom Randall says:

    Hi Ingrid and all.

    Just a quick update on how we’re doing with the Weruva. These last cases we’ve gotten have seemed much better there is a much more consistant amount of the gravy in the cans. We’re currently feeding our kitties a combination of the Nature’s Variety and Weruva, they like them both but all of them tend to take a lot longer to eat up their helpings of the Weruva, maybe because of the bigger pieces of chicken, I’m not sure. In any case I just wanted to mention that it seems a lot better since I had brought up the problem with the gravy before so it looks like they have addressed this.

    Best regards,

    Tom Mary Beth and the Furrries.

    • Ingrid says:

      I’ve noticed the same thing, Tom: more consistency in the amounts of meat, and less gravy. My girls take longer to eat the Weruva than other brands, too – but that’s because it’s “real food” and they have to chew!

      • Will Hodges says:

        One of our kitties, Anya, takes longer to eat her Weruva chicken, too. So we sometimes actually cut up the chicken strips her the food to make the bites smaller. Then she “hoovers” it down just like Oscar. This is great food!

    • Judith Smith says:

      Ugh! My cat has enjoyed Weruva Pumpkin Jack for 8 months. Last week we found a solid bone measuring 1 1/2 inches in a food pouch. When we contacted the company owner, his response was anything but satisfactory. We will be going back to an American made product.

      • Ingrid says:

        I’m really sorry to hear that, Judith.

      • Will Hodges says:

        Yipes!

        • Joyce says:

          Oh wow ……. I JUST ordered that yesterday for Casey, because he sometimes has been having bouts of loose stools. Now I’m not just concerned about that in particular but what else could go wrong if they aren’t really showing concern for this? PLEASE keep us in the loop.

      • Will Hodges says:

        I’d be really interested to read or hear from you what the owner said.

      • Ingrid says:

        I emailed David Forman, Weruva’s president, last night, and got this response a few hours later. I hope this helps explain.

        “As you may know, even tuna products for human consumption will occasionally have bones in them. In fact, some labels on human food tuna products state that the product may contain bones, and they state this because not matter how good the processing, it is impossible to remove bones 100% of the time in canned fish items. The same holds true in even the finest of restaurants that serve fish.

        Though bones may be present, they become brittle during the cooking process. And similarly, on the Chicken of the Sea website regarding its salmon product that has bones, “The high heat sterilization process softens the bones and skin to the point where they can be easily mashed and blended into salads, casseroles and other delicious dishes.” The cooking process is the retort process, and we perform this as well.

        Does a customer want to see bones? Probably not. It is a delicate balance. We believe in “what you see is what you get”, and this means that a customer can see and identify everything we use. We can accomplish this because we flake meat off the bone and hand pack the meat into cans. Though we have an excellent system in place, as do other tuna canning entities, despite best efforts per elite international human food processing standards, it is inevitable that bones will be present. The other option would be to completely blend our formulas, but this will eliminate the customer’s ability to identify the cuts and quality.

        Thailand is a world leader when it comes to canning fish by hand, and there is limited if any hand processing of fish into cans in the US. US pet facilities manufacture by machine, and everything is blended. So certainly, in Thailand, we can blend the same exact formula and if any bones were missed in the preparation and sifting, they would not present an issue as they would not be visible after blending. And if someone claims that bones are an issue, even if blended, they will be hard pressed to find any pet food at all.

        US manufacturing is rarely bone free because chicken, the most popular protein source, has an industry definition that allows chicken bones to be called “chicken” on an ingredient statement. Yes, according to the industry and law, chicken is equated to chicken bones. In that regard, manufacturers regularly use fish frames and chicken frames, both highly inclusive of bone, and they blend them into pate and they need only label them as “tuna” or “chicken”. We, of course do not go this route, one of the reasons being that we, as well as our customers, will never know the meat to bone ratio. As mentioned, we prefer “what you see is what you get” even if it means bones may be present—and we can only state this because we have an excellent system to prevent bones, albeit it is not perfect…but again, no fish processing system is.

  2. Karen says:

    Hi! I just adopted a kitten and am trying to feed him the best food available. I am concerned with what seems like limited calories, carbs and phosphorous for a kitten. Should I be worried with this brand? I feed him Tiki for a day until I saw the amount of phosphorous that was included in their foods. Then I bought Weuva and now it seems like it may not have enough calories. Please advise. Thanks for your website; it has helped me tremendously.

    • Ingrid says:

      Weruva is lower in calories than other brands, so you’ll have to adjust the amount you feed for a kitten. If your kitten eats well, the larger quantities may not be an issue, but there are other, more nutrient dense foods on the market that may be a better choice for a growing kitten.

      • Joyce says:

        I found information online that a 5.5oz can of Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken is only 84 calories. http://consciouscat.net/2013/04/23/weruva-cat-food-review/

        • Joyce says:

          Sorry …. mistakenly used conscious cats link. Here is the one I found the info on:: http://www.consumersearch.com/cat-food/weruva-paw-lickin-chicken-canned-cat-food

        • Ingrid says:

          As I mention in the review, Weruva is lower in calories than other canned foods, Joyce, but I don’t think 84 calories is correct. According to Wervua’s website, a 5.5 ounce can of Paw Lickin Chicken have 103 calories.

          • Joyce says:

            Hi Ingrid,

            Oh I know, I read your post. I was just letting them know the calorie count that I had found.

            I asked Weruva at one time and I have emails from them going from 84 to 103. I’m not sure if they had changed something in the interim and didn’t inquire because I really needed to get Casey to lose some weight. After surgery and subsequent infections he stopped playing. Just ate & slept, and gained weight. I needed to do something to drop a couple lbs and decided to just give him 2 cans of the Weruva PLC. But I needed to know that I wasn’t starving Maggie May who is 4 years old and very energetic. That’s why I had been perusing different sites. I had 2 counts from Weruva and just wanted a mid point. My kids love Weruva. I’m really glad you had so much info on the site. You are the reason I stopped giving my kids dry. Casey’s vet wanted to give him CD dry and I just decided that I would rather not do that. I changed Vets (for various reasons trust me) and his new vet loves Weruva too! Thanks for all the great info!!

          • Ingrid says:

            I’m so glad you decided to take Casey off dry food, Joyce. It always makes me happy to hear that the information I provide here helped yet another kitty eat better.

  3. Karen says:

    Thanks! Do u have any suggestions?! I’ve always had cats but because if ur website, I’ve decided feed my cats only wet and high quality foods. But I’m still new to this! Should I be too concerned with high levels of phosphorous? Thanks a million!!!

  4. Lola says:

    Did you ask them why all the fish flavors? If you did, can you include their explantion in your review?
    Their explanation, on Facebook, was:

    “We have five flavors coming out on this line with NO Fish! While we do have five with fish, the good news is that they are are all small breed, bone free, low ash, low mg, low ph, (all lower than a lot of our competitors’ poultry items) wild caught, sustainable…”

    I dont feed any foods that contain fish, but if I was going to… Weruva would be it.

  5. Steve says:

    Dear Ingrid:
    Hello this is my first post. I have been feeding Weruva to my little fuzzball for a few months now because she suffers from bladder stones. We originally fed her Sheba before it was discontinued and Widget really enjoyed it. When she was one year old I was forced to move across state after a messy break up and that is when her bladder issues began. After trying many different foods to adjust her to a low uric acid diet I stumbled across Weruva at my local Agway. Widget did not care for any of the urinary tract specific foods I tried and the supermarket brands, as you are probably well aware, contained too much processed material for my liking. I eventually settled on Stella and Chewy’s Chick, Chick, Duck freeze dried food. It was healthy, nutritious and she liked it but at $25.00 a bag I couldn’t afford to keep her on it. Then I found Weruva. It has ingredients that I approve of, it was nutritious, and most importantly, she loves it. Her diet consists of fresh meat and both Weruva wet (in the packets) and dry (it is a relatively new product) foods. Since then Widget has been able to void normally and no longer cries when she goes. She has also gained 18 ounces, going from 4lbs to 5 1/2 pounds. She is still tiny, she always has been, but she is happy and healthy. I cannot begin to express the positive change that Weruva has brought about in my little cat. Thank you and best regards.

    Sincerely,
    Steven D. Howard and Widget

    P.s. Have ever reviewed, or thought of reviewing, Stella and Chewy’s?

    • Ingrid says:

      I’m so glad Widget is doing so well on her Weruva and fresh meat diet, Steve. Since the only “dry” product Weruva makes are their freeze dried treats, I’m assuming that’s what you’re referring to?

      Stella and Chewy’s is on my list of recommended brands: http://consciouscat.net/2012/03/22/the-best-food-for-your-cat/

      • Steve says:

        Ingrid:
        Sorry, I meant to say freeze dried. It truly amazes me that companies can get away with some of the ingredients they use. Widget loves Purina Happy Cat but I limit how much she gets because the ingredients are so terrible. I essentially give it to her as a treat now and then but not as a regular part of her diet. With all the news over the last few years about unhealthy foods for humans why is it that healthier options for pets is only a recent campaign? Cats really do improve the quality of their pet-parent’s life so I find it shocking that so many cat foods consist of mainly industrial floor sweepings.

        ~Steven

  6. Tom says:

    Hello. A year and a half ago we brought home a new kitten and while researching the best food I came upon your comments on Weruva and since that day the only food I fed our cat is Weruva. Her favorite is the tuna in gravy. However, today I’m a bit angry with this company. In the past they have offered a 3 and 5.5 oz can. I always buy the 5.5 oz which is about 1.99 per can. I had heard they were discounting the 5.5 oz cans and are only make 6 oz and I guess it’s true because I haven’t been able to find the 5.5 anywhere. So today, in desperate need of the tuna I went to three pet stores which now only sell the 6 oz and every store has this at 2.99 per can – A DOLLAR more for the addition of .5 oz. Six oz really is too much and 3 is too little. Now I’m forced to pay an extra dollar a can (she is fed twice a day so it’s $2 per day more) for a size I don’t need. I’m really angry with Weruva and I can’t get through to them. There site seems to be down. Has anyone noticed this? Best, Tom

    • Ingrid says:

      I can’t comment on pricing of the brands I recommend, Tom, that’s out of my realm. What I can tell you is that Weruva has three lines (well, actually four, they also make the BFF line, but they’re all fish based, and I don’t recommend fish-based foods.) Of the other Weruva lines, the basic line is the most economical, followed by the Cats in the Kitchen Line. They recently introduced their Tru Luxe line, which is more expensive than the others, but to me, doesn’t seem all that different from the basic line. You may want to look online for better pricing, Chewy.com in particular usually has great prices on food.

      • Will says:

        I’m with Ingrid . . . avoid the fish and get your kitties on a chicken diet. the Weruva chicken products (without veggies) are great and healthy for your kitty. Just looking at Chewy.com as Ingrid suggested, they show a case of 24 – 6 oz. cans for a price that equals around $ 1.67 a can. Even their Tru Luxe Kawakawa tuna and gravy is less than $2.99 in Chewy.com. Good luck!

        http://www.chewy.com/cat/weruva-cats-in-kitchen-chicken-frick/dp/43930

        • Will says:

          And here’s a link to another Weruva that I know Allegra and Ruby love. Again, the price here is $ 1.67 can for 6 oz.

          http://www.chewy.com/cat/weruva-cats-in-kitchen-fowl-ball/dp/43931

          Also, watch for discount coupons from various pet stores like Petco and Petsmart. There’s a 20% off coupon today for folks who shop at Petco – good for use instore or online. Petco’s “Soulistic” brand is made by Weruva and from what I can tell by the labeling and the contents, it’s the same first-rate food for less money. Soulistic “Good karma Chicken” is $12.72 a case retail for 8 – 5.5 oz cans. That’s $1.59 a can. Take 20% off of that, and you’re down to $ 1.27 a can! Not bad.

    • Lola says:

      Tom,
      If you are interested, Weruva also makes Soulistic. It is made for, and sold only at PetCo.

  7. Joyce says:

    Hi Ingrid,

    Just wanted to let you that your advice about Casey being allergic to the chicken being more from the sourcing than the brand was right on. Before I reached out to you, I kept changing his food, (he became ridiculously finicky) as I said and I was having such trouble trying to find like quality as Weruva, but low calories. So, since your email I went ahead and purchased chicken flavor in other high quality brands. He’s doing fine. Of course I want to just go back to Weruva but they haven’t yet responded to my query about the chicken source possibly changing, so I really don’t want to risk it at this time.
    Also, Casey gained some weight back since off the Weruva Diet. I’m having trouble pinning down the number of calories my kids should get daily. Do you know a good resource I can find accurate info? Everyone has a different number. Casey & Maggie are 8 & 4 respectively. They’re Norwegian Forest Cats so that’s not a very little breed, but Casey could use to lose about 3 – 4 lbs. Can you tell me anything that might help?

    Thanks BUNCHES!!! You’re the best!!!

    Joyce

    • Ingrid says:

      Thanks for the follow up, Joyce! I would stick with the brands that work, too, rather than switching back to Weruva right now.

      Weruva is lower in calories than other brands, so,that’s probably why Casey gained weight. Calorie needs vary for individual cats. I would just cut back on the amount you feed a little to adjust for the increased calories in the brands you feed now.

  8. Carla says:

    Hello, gang!
    I adopted a semi-feral kitty born from a house cat forced to live in a garage last October. I even kitten-sat for his sister for a few weeks until renovations on her forever home were complete. When I first took them in, they had a lot of digestive issues at 8-10 weeks old, likely due to the cheapest food being put out for them and mama cat. They were so small I wasn’t even sure they were 8 weeks yet, so I started them on a high quality formula, which helped a little, then I tried various foods that didn’t help much. I put them on a raw meat diet and that solved their systems and they gained weight, but the meats in the stores near me always seem to spoil too quickly (my fridge is fine) and not knowing whether or not there were antibiotics present, I consulted the vet at a local zoo I volunteer at and he recommended supplementing with a dry balanced food, so I went with Blue Wilderness. I didn’t see him drinking a lot from his water dish, and I decided to hunt for some wet food. He liked Tiki Cat at first, but quickly tired of the fish – and most of the cans in the variety pack I got have fish in them. Chewy.com accidentally sent me a box of Weruva pouches, and so I fed him one and he gobbled it up fast! I still supplement him with the Blue Wilderness, 1/4 cup a day and ordered 3 boxes each of the non-fish menus on Chewy. Thanks for your review, it makes me feel good about the purchase. He’s not a lap cat (which makes me sad), but he does give me 5-10 minutes of cuddle and purr every night when I go to bed – just hops up, licks my neck and kneads on my chest a bit to show is appreciation and then he’s gone to protect us while we sleep.

  9. Ayesha says:

    When I initially started feeding Weruva I really liked it. It was less than Tiki, but like it in ingredients. My last case came with too much gravy compared to the amount of meat. My cat has a sensitive stomach and only seems to be able to tolerate pure foods. I can’t afford to to feed this food as she eats one of the 5.5 oz cans a day. She is not overweight so this is not too much food to eat. Due to the amount of gravy it is necessary to feed more extra.

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