If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m passionate about bio-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.

Allegra, Ruby and I recently had the opportunity to evaluate Holistic Select’s new line of canned paté recipes. These grain-free can recipes provide prebiotic support and feature botanicals such as pumpkin, papaya and pomegranate. These ingredients, combined with premium proteins, are designed to support digestive health.

The diets are made in the US.

Since I don’t feed fish to the girls, and many of Holistic Select’s formulas contain ocean fish, salmon or shrimp, I requested the Chicken Paté and Turkey Paté recipes for our review.

The girls loved both formulas. I could tell as soon as I opened the can that this was going to be a hit. They were both dancing around my feet as I was getting their meals ready. Once they started eating, it was like a race to the finish line (Allegra finished first).  I can’t tell whether they had a favorite since they inhaled both formulas equally fast.

My only reservation about this line is that it contains xanthan gum. This ingredient was recently approved by AAFCO for use in pet food formulas; it has been used as a thickener and binder in human foods for a long time. According to Dr. Karen Becker, it is generally considered safe for dogs and assumed safe for cats. It is made by using carbohydrates from corn, wheat, dairy, or soy, all of which have been implicated in causing allergies, which might not make foods containing this ingredient a good choice for animals with sensitivities.

My bottom line: since the girls liked the  formulas, and since I like to ensure that they get a variety of different brands, I will add these diets into our rotation as an occasional choice.

All canned formulas come in three sizes: 3 ounces, 5.5 ounces, and 13 ounces. For more information, please visit HolisticSelect.com.

FTC Disclosure: I received this product for review at no charge. I also received a fee for writing this review. Receiving the free product and the fee did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion. Or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest and unbiased opinion.

12 Comments on Review: Holistic Select Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

  1. why do you have to use xanthan gum especially if it contains corn & wheat they are grains . is xanthan in all the cat food, even the grain free foods. need to do more research on your products.

  2. Thank you Ingrid for reviewing, great to hear other opinions. I feed the 3 chicken based formulas of this range to my cat for half her meals, the other half is usually raw (balanced). She has a mildly sensitive tummy but never had an issue with the Holistic Select. The choices of good quality cat food are limited where I live, so very happy with this as part of her diet.

  3. I tried HS Turkey today because I wanted something WITHOUT carrageenan and veggie filler and comes in large 13 oz cans. This is the only AAFCO certified canned food available that meets those criteria.

    The 500 pound gorilla in the room is the Xanthan gum. It is the replacement for carageenan to be used as a binder/thickening agent. Carageenan is a highly implicated carcinogen especially if harvested near the radioactive ocean near Japan. It is also implicated in other GI health problems including IBD. So I was all for trying HS when I saw it did not contain the ubiquitous carageenan ingredient.

    My joy was short-lived upon finding that Xanthan can cause or exacerbate allergies and can cause diarreah. Obviously there is something about this ingredient that points to it problematic as well. We can only hope it is not as bad as carageenan and that a better solution is developed soon.

    • I absolutely agree that Xanthan gum is not a great ingredient, either. The only way to completely avoid any of these binders is to feed a raw or homecooked diet.

  4. After reading Ingrid’s post on cat food I skipped HS and went for Stella & Chewy’s raw diet. The first time I put it down my cats gobbled it up. After that they won’t touch it so I’m off to buy Holistic Select and give it a try.

    • I have been feeding my cats HS dry kibble (sardine formula) and the wet food in the large cans, which was pointed out is a great value. All four of my cats have thick, healthy, shiny coats, no allergies or hair balls. They all have normal weight and good energy and temper. My oldest is 15 going on 16.

      I also give them Stella and Chewy raw, dehydrated, the chicken one, either dry as a treat or moistened for a couple minutes in warm water then stirred in Spot’s Stew. The oldest won’t eat much of that. She hates the cubes in the SS, and she doesn’t like the SC, but the others will finish hers.

      I am very happy with Holistic Select, and I would recommend it to anyone. My cats also get lots of vegetables as treats. They love broccoli and squash.

  5. I feed my cats HS indoor formula grain-free dry food but only 1 c split between 5 cats. I try to stick to a can food only diet for a variety of reasons. They absolutely love HS so I tried all the flavors of the can food and they were a hit as well! Unfortunately, my 13 yo has food sensitivities, and he started vomiting several times a day with the HS can food. 🙁 I was also concerned about the xanthan gum ingredient and am glad to have read your review–maybe this caused the problem with my cat. Not sure, but I was sad to see the cans go, along with my cats. They are doing well with Merrick can food, HS dry food, and Hill’s Science Diet turkey n giblets that one will not quit begging for so I gave in! Thanks for the review!

  6. Thanks for the review Ingrid. It’s always good to know about the different brands and what everyone thinks of them. And how the kitties like them.

  7. Once again I have an older cat having intestinal issues and weight loss. I was feeding Halo but am going to give Holistic Select a try. We have a second vet appointment this week. Going to request blood work and abdominal xray to make sure it’s not cancer or diabetes. I will do sonagram if necessary. Simon was a feral cat and I’ve had him in the house for the last 8 years. He is the sweetest most loving cat but only trusts me. I don’t want to lose this cat. I love him so much

  8. This food sounds like a possibility for Binga, who has gotten a little pickier about food and eats way more slowly than she used to. Me? I’ll scarf down anything!

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