Product review: New Wellness grain-free canned food

Allegra and Ruby Wellness canned cat food

I don’t usually accept food and treats for review here on The Conscious Cat. I like what I feed Allegra and Ruby, and I won’t use them as product testers for diets whose claims I can’t verify. However, I have been feeding Wellness® grain-free canned food for many years, and it meets my criteria for what constitutes a species-appropriate diet for cats (a feline diet must be completely grain-free, and it must be canned or raw. I don’t recommend ANY dry food for cats).

When a representative for Wellness® contacted me to see whether Allegra and Ruby would like to taste test their new Succulent Cuts with Savory Sauces for Cats line of grain-free canned diets, I accepted their offer (and there was much celebrating on Allegra and Ruby’s part). 

The new Wellness® Cubed, Sliced and Minced canned diets are 100% grain-free and contain no added artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. For each recipe, Wellness® has paired succulent cuts of wholesome, all natural protein sources like chicken, turkey, salmon and tuna with savory sauces that are designed to please the palate of even the most finicky feline. The new diets come in 12 different sliced, cubed and minced varieties

Finicky is not a word I’d associate with either of my two. Ruby would probably eat just about anything I put in front of her. Allegra is a little more discerning and sometimes needs a little encouragement whenever I present a new brand or flavor.

We tested the Minced Chicken Dinner and the Sliced Turkey Entree. Allegra got the chicken, Ruby the turkey. But why don’t I let the girls tell you what they thought.

Allegra: Finally! I told you about those cans that had been sitting on our kitchen counter last week, and even though Ruby and I tried our best, we just couldn’t figure out how to open them ourselves, and we had to wait for Mom to do it. When she popped the lids (She makes it look so easy – why can’t we figure it out?), the smell coming at me was incredible! I couldn’t wait to taste what smelled so good!

Ruby: I smell food! Woohoo! It’s dinner time!

Allegra: When Mom put the dish in front of me, I wasn’t quite sure at first. It looked really different from our usual raw food, and it looked different from any of the canned food Mom occasionally gives us, too. But boy, did it smell good! So I took a lick – and that was all I needed. I proceeded to eat the entire can in one sitting. Yummy!

Ruby: Food, food, food! Put it down already, Mom! I’m totally starving! I haven’t eaten in hours!!! – Oh. Hmm. This is different from what I had for breakfast. But it’s food! It smells great! I’m going to eat it all as fast as I can!

Well – I told you not to expect much of a review from Ruby.

Allegra eating canned Wellness grain-free food

Allegra takes her product testing duties very seriously!

We were also sent cans of the Minced Tuna Dinner and Sliced Salmon Entree varieties. I only very rarely give the girls fish protein based food, so we’re saving them as a special treat. 

If I were feeding canned food on a regular basis, I would definitely consider adding these new foods to my rotation. I think it’s important to feed a variety of flavors and textures to avoid having your cat stuck on only one diet. The different texture may be an issue for some finicky eaters who are used to the standard canned food texture, for those cats, Wellness®’s regular grain-free canned varieties may be a better choice.

If your cat has tried these new products, let us know how she liked them in a comment!

For more information about Wellness and their wide range of products, please visit their website.

You may also enjoy reading:

The truth about dry cat food

Cats are not small dogs, especially when it comes to nutrition

Feline nutrition: who bears the responsibility?

44 Comments on Product review: New Wellness grain-free canned food

  1. Julie
    April 18, 2017 at 10:39 am (7 months ago)

    I know this is an older thread, but I’m hoping you can still help me. I have been on the hunt for a high-quality canned cat food that isn’t pate’ because my cats refuse to eat that texture, as well as a food that is appropriate for my 12-year-old diabetic boy, Chester. I recently tried Wellness Grain-Free Gravies canned food, which doesn’t contain carrageenan. I see in your comments that you no longer recommended Wellness because it contained carrageenan. With the grain-free gravies product not containing carrageenan, does this mean it’s a good choice? Thank you in advance!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm (7 months ago)

      I believe Wellness has removed carrageenan from most of their formulas since I wrote this review, but you’d have to check each individual formula’s ingredient list to be sure. You can find my recommendations for other grain-free canned and raw diets here, Julie: http://consciouscat.net/2012/03/22/the-best-food-for-your-cat/

      Reply
  2. Ashley
    August 18, 2016 at 6:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Correction to my just posted comment. It’s the Wellness Core Hearty Cuts formulas that don’t contain carrageenan. Would you recommend that formula?

    Reply
  3. Ashley
    August 18, 2016 at 6:35 pm (1 year ago)

    Wellness Core canned doesn’t have carrageenan listed as an ingredient. Would you recommend the Wellness Core formulas?

    Reply
  4. Les
    April 29, 2016 at 7:43 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Ingrid, I’ve been reading quite a few reviews of Wellness dry & canned causing urinary blockages in cats. Seen on Amazon & cat forums. What are your thoughts?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 29, 2016 at 8:51 am (2 years ago)

      I’ve heard these reports, too, but have no additional information. I no longer recommend Wellness because they use carrageenan in their formulas, but I doubt that that would be responsible for urinary blockages.

      Reply
      • Les
        May 6, 2016 at 7:35 am (2 years ago)

        Thank you 🙂

        Reply
  5. mina
    June 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm (3 years ago)

    hi everyone. i have a question to askc about carageenan . is it safe if feeding in a long term. i fed him holistic select can food chicken and lamb for 7 months now he refused to eat that i gave him wellness grain free can food chicken stopped becausese of carrag freeen . it is freevery hard to find grain free can food in australia.no choices then i gave him wet pounch royal caninroyayal for kitten jelly. what should i do now. i want to swich to hill ideal balance but it has vitamin k3 that i am afraid to feed. thats all i can find premium can food in australia. please help me.

    Reply
      • Les
        May 6, 2016 at 3:28 am (2 years ago)

        Hi Mina, I’m in Australia too and it is very hard to find premium canned/wet food that does not contain carrageenan or Xanthum gum. I have just started using Holistic Select and noticed some of the formulas change the level of carageenan on the ingredients list. Maybe this means some have more than others? Ziwipeak is a canned raw diet, it’s expensive however I don’t use it as it doesn’t suit all cats.

        Reply
    • Helen
      May 25, 2016 at 3:27 am (1 year ago)

      Hi Mina,
      I’m in Australia too, not sure if you want to give it a try, but you can purchase BARF (Raw Meat) that is frozen, it’s not canned so you have to keep it in the freezer, but preservative free, yay! We’ve transitioned one of our cats on BARF and she loves it. We buy Dr B’s BARF which I researched and compared to the limited pet foods we have in Australia and it seemed like the best option. It’s about $15-$17.50 a box for 12 packets.
      They have all the nutritional information on their website if you want to check it out.
      http://www.barfaustralia.com/Products/BARFFlavours/BARFVarietiesforCats.aspx

      p.s. I’m not affiliated with Dr B’s BARF, just a happy customer =).

      Reply
  6. frankieandalex
    November 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm (4 years ago)

    Well I just returned all the blue wilderness I bought for my 2 kittens. There was a lot of chunks shards pieces, whatever you want to call them. Somewhat similar to fine grained litter. These did not dissolve in water. Very hard and difficult to break up. Blue said return it for new food. Well that’s what I did! I grabbed the wellness core kitten food, since I wasn’t feeding all that junk that was in the other food. Grabbed the wellness, low and behold…. I find some of the sake crud in the wellness!?! Much much less, but again with this crud… what gives???

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 7, 2013 at 9:23 am (4 years ago)

      Be sure to report this to both Wellness and the FDA.

      Reply
  7. Jennifer
    March 25, 2013 at 1:47 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m thrilled to see your positive review of this line, confirming what I believed was a good choice. I’ve been a foster volunteer for a cat rescue for over four years now, having raised/cared for hundreds and keeping 3 for myself along the way . I’m grateful that my rescue believes strongly in good nutrition for all of our kitties and supplies all foster homes with great, high quality food (many of which are on your canned list) – I’ve learned (and try to pass on to all adopters I can) a great deal about reading labels and importance of good nutrition for cats. When I discovered this line and tried it , it quickly became one of my favorites for my owned cats and now one of the key in the rotation. One of my kitties is quite finicky and even she loves it. I only wish they would put out an “all life stages” or kitten specific line – I tend to foster a LOT of kittens and want to make sure they get all the calories they need. Interesting to read your thoughts on limiting the amount of fish. I dont use it in this line, but they get a lot of fish with Weruva.

    Thanks for all the great articles you put out!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 25, 2013 at 2:56 pm (5 years ago)

      I’m always happy to hear that more rescue groups are emphasizing species-appropriate nutrition for cats, Jennifer!

      Reply
  8. Marilyn
    November 13, 2012 at 9:20 am (5 years ago)

    Ingrid – I notice you feed your cats Virbac C.E.T. oral hygiene Chews for their teeth, so I started doing that after dinner every night. But I’m worried after reading the ingredients. The first is freeze=dried fish, but it does not say what kind. Plus I know fish is not that good for cats. Do you feed this every day? Do you know what kind of fish it is? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      November 13, 2012 at 9:57 am (5 years ago)

      Marilyn, I give my cats the poultry flavor CET chews. I’m not crazy about the ingredients, but given that they only get one treat a day, I think the benefits outweigh the downside.

      Reply
  9. andrew
    November 12, 2012 at 1:49 pm (5 years ago)

    I’ve been feeding the new cubed varieties to my to boys for a few months now my big guy gets it for breakfast and supper and some dry to munch when were out at work, and my little one who is on a urinary diet wet and dry gets it mixed in his wet to add a palatable flavor and he loves it, when I mix it he cleans his dish when its straight urinary food he usually leaves over .I alternate flavors through the week,they love them all but the turkey is a particular favorite even over the tuna and that’s saying something coming from cats that can sense a can of tuna being opened over the sound of the TV from the other end of the house. lol

    Reply
  10. Lay Kian
    August 17, 2012 at 11:40 pm (5 years ago)

    I feed my 3 cats Wellness dry but switched to canned/ raw after one of them had urinary blockage. Out of my 3 cats, Huyi, a former stray who had lived on dry most of her life, refused to eat anything that is good quality canned food. She refused the Wellness regular core can even when I mixed it with lower quality food that smells nicer and fishier.

    However, with persistence, she managed to take a lick at the new Wellness canned and it took another one month for her to finish her serving in less than 1 min. It is a very different kind of cat food and the smaller chunks made it easier for them to lick and chew small bites. This helps them to take raw meat chunks slowly.

    The only issue I have is that it is much more expensive than the regular core. But, seeing how they love the food, it is worth it.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      August 18, 2012 at 7:04 am (5 years ago)

      While the higher quality foods are more expensive, they’ll also keep your cats healthier, so in the long run, you’ll save on veterinary costs, Lay Kian.

      Reply
  11. Marilyn
    April 2, 2012 at 8:21 am (6 years ago)

    I recently read that carrageenan is bad for cats, so I was very surprised to see it listed in the ingredients of both Wellness Core and others of their grain-free line. My cats have been getting this
    food for years. Should I be worried?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 2, 2012 at 8:34 am (6 years ago)

      I’m actually surprised to see it on the list of ingredients, too. I haven’t fed this food in a while, so I haven’t looked at the label for quite somet time. I’ve seen reports from both sides of the debate on whether carrageenan is safe. It’s derived from a natural substance (seaweed), but just because something is natural doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe. I’m pretty sure that the extraction process uses chemical solvents. I would have to do some more research to answer this question, but I would probably look for grain-free foods that don’t contain carageenan if you’re worried.

      Reply
  12. lamby
    March 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi. I’m so glad I found this site! I have a 2 year old awesome cat and this is my second time trying to switch him over to a raw food diet. I have tried bringing a variety of cuts from the butcher home, as well as from the health food pet store. Rad Cat, Stella and Chewy’s, The Honest Kitchen…even a raw chicken neck… he is not interested at all! Tried grilled chicken, cooked turkey… perhaps for my sake (my jumping around, singing about how delicious this is, etc.) he nibbles on a piece or two, but nothing much more than that. I, too, thought that the Wellness Core was the only grain free canned food for cats they made – thanks for the info. For now, I will stick with a variety of the highest quality, grain free, most delicious canned food for him. It seems like that’s what he’s been telling me anyway!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      March 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm (6 years ago)

      Grain-free canned food is the next best thing to raw, Lamby, so you’re definitely feeding him a species-appropriate diet. I’d keep trying to see if he’ll accept the raw food. Here are some hints on how to do it (even though the article talks about weaning your cat off dry food, the same “tricks” work for switching from canned to raw): http://consciouscat.net/2011/07/25/how-to-your-cat-off-dry-food/

      Reply
  13. Marilyn
    February 15, 2012 at 8:07 am (6 years ago)

    My 2 kitties have been getting Wellness grain free canned food for the last couple of years. They both love it and are very healthy. They also get a lot of Wysong foods. I’m wondering if you are familiar with that brand and if anyone else here uses it. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      February 15, 2012 at 8:24 am (6 years ago)

      I am somewhat familiar with the Wysong brand, but haven’t looked at it in a while. I believe they have a number of grain-free varieties, and they seem to have a good reputation.

      Reply
      • Marilyn
        February 15, 2012 at 11:43 am (6 years ago)

        They believe that cats (and other pets) should be fed a diet that most nearly matches what they would eat in the wild. They are the only pet food company I know of that recommends feeding raw food even though it takes away from their sales. They do sell freeze dried raw meat products which I use since I’m no longer able to make raw meals myself. On their website you can subscribe free to “100 Pet Health Truths” which describe their all-natural philosophy. I’ve used some of their products since the 80’s and never been disappointed. This is really hard to type since Gordon insists on being on
        my lap whenever I sit down. 🙂

        Reply
  14. Linda
    July 25, 2011 at 8:37 am (6 years ago)

    Ingrid….
    Thanks for this review! Only recently I’ve been reading about feeding cats a raw or canned food diet. I have 7 cats and I’ve always fed them dry food. I’m very conscious about the food I put in own body so why wouldn’t I do the same for my beloved kitties? I think I’ll pick up some Wellness grain-free and see how it goes. I guess I just needed a little push
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 25, 2011 at 9:07 am (6 years ago)

      Let me know how the changeover goes, Linda. You might find today’s post helpful!

      Reply
  15. bethany
    June 28, 2011 at 3:39 pm (6 years ago)

    I wonder why these are grain-free, yet NOT under the Wellness Core label? Up until now I was pretty sure that only Wellness Core was grain-free, and the rest of the Wellness line was not.

    I would not even have considered these since they were not labled as Core, and Wellness doesn’t even have them listed under the grain-free section of canned foods on their website! But thanks for pointing these out since the now confusing Wellness branding would have had my diabetic kitty (and his 7 buddies) missing out on some new grain-free options!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm (6 years ago)

      Bethany, Wellness has had grain-free canned varieties for quite some time. They’re identified by a small yellow triangle on the can. I do like their canned CORE line best of all, it’s their lowest carb line.

      Reply
      • bethany
        June 28, 2011 at 4:22 pm (6 years ago)

        I’ll have to check the carb counts of these against Core….if they aren’t low carb, my diabetic kitty can’t have them!

        Reply
  16. Connie
    June 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm (6 years ago)

    i too like wellness’s grain free options (wellness’ grain free?) but chunked or sliced foods do have to add in more “fillers” to get the foods to form into those shapes. it might not be grains, but it will be some form of plant based ingredient used to get them to keep the shape. Guess it really depends on the ratios. If they will provide as fed protein/fat/carb stats I’ll be impressed

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 28, 2011 at 4:15 pm (6 years ago)

      You’re right, Connie – as I mentioned in my reply to Liz’ comment above, grain-free doesn’t always mean low-carb or carb-free. It’s always a good idea to read labels.

      Reply
  17. Liz | NaturalCatCareBlog
    June 28, 2011 at 2:03 pm (6 years ago)

    Thanks Ingrid, Ruby, and Allegra. It’s great to see all these new grain-free, truly minimal starch options from Wellness.

    There are all kinds of cat lovers & cats out there and they need a variety of options on the healthier end of the scale.

    I’m really glad to see Wellness adding to the better possibilities.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm (6 years ago)

      It is nice to see that more and more brands are adding grain-free options to their lines, Liz. You still need to read labels – grain-free doesn’t always mean low-carb.

      Reply
  18. Bernadette
    June 28, 2011 at 9:02 am (6 years ago)

    We’ve been eating Wellness for years and years and years and we’re so happy with any sort of it, especially the grain-free with chunks! It’s the next best thing to when mom gets out the white paper packages and cutting board and knife and tosses us bits of real animal. If we have to eat canned food, we like Wellness the best.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 28, 2011 at 4:14 pm (6 years ago)

      The “bits of real animal” description made me smile, and cringe a little at the same time, Bernadette. But that’s what raw food is, isn’t it.

      Reply
  19. Karen
    June 28, 2011 at 8:14 am (6 years ago)

    I also tried these new Wellness cans after seeing them on the shelf. I’ve been feeding my two cats the Wellness pouches and original Wellness cans since they were introduced. My Sophie is about as picky an eater as there is and Wellness seems to be one of the only foods she will eat. My Simon will eat anything. So of course, I thought they would love the new formula — especially Sophie since it is similar in consistency to the pouches. While Simon thinks they are great, Sophie doesn’t like them–and I bought one of each flavor to try. Not one has been a hit. But then, she’s been known to dislike something one day and love it the next and vice versa.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      June 28, 2011 at 4:12 pm (6 years ago)

      Ah yes, the old “disliking something one day and loving it the next” symdrome – sometimes, I think cats wrote the book on that.

      Reply

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