This post is sponsored by Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein™*

I first heard about Dr. Elsey’s new line of food, Clean Protein™ from Dr. Elsey himself at last year’s American Association of Feline Practitioners conference. Given that I’ve long been a fan of Dr. Elsey’s Precious Cat Litter, which I’ve been using for the last two decades, I was pretty excited to hear that he was working on developing a high-protein cat food.

Cats need protein not just to survive, but to thrive

Cats are obligate carnivores. They cannot get enough nutritional support from plant-based proteins such as grains and vegetables. Feeding foods high in carbohydrates leads to any number of degenerative diseases, including diabetes, kidney disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Some pet food manufacturers are using plant-based proteins to boost protein content. Plant-based proteins are high in oxalate and lead to rapid metabolization, which actually increases your cat’s hunger. Feeding a high quality protein rich diet make your cat feel full longer, which helps maintain a healthy weight at every age.

About Clean Protein™

Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein™ formulas are paté style, and are grain-free and gluten-free. Over 90% of the protein used is animal based, and there are no fillers or preservatives added. The canned formulas come in chicken, turkey, beef, salmon and ocean whitefish flavors. Clean Protein™ is also available in two dry formulas, chicken and salmon. At 59% and 56% respectively, these dry formulas have the highest protein content of any dry food currently available, but I still don’t recommend any dry food, no matter how good a quality. However, if you absolutely must feed dry, this is an acceptable option.

All proteins are sourced and manufactured in the USA, as are 90% of all ingredients. The remaining ingredients are sourced from Switzerland, France, Germany, Scotland, and Canada. Up until now, taurine was sourced from China, but starting this quarter, it will be sourced in the US only.

Putting Clean Protein™ to the test

Since I don’t feed fish except as a very occasional treat, I requested the turkey and chicken flavors for Allegra and Ruby. The girls like paté style foods, so I was pretty confident they’d like these. Paté style foods vary in consistency from brand to brand. These formulas are very moist and juicy, something I like in a food.

Ruby practically inhaled the turkey flavor. Allegra needed a little coaxing, but once she got over “this is something new,” she cleaned her plate. They both loved the chicken flavor, which isn’t a given with these girls since they’re such big turkey fans.

May I have some more, please?

For more information about Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein™, please visit Dr. Elsey’s website.

*FTC Disclosure: I received these products for review at no charge. I also received a fee to feature these products. 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.

37 Comments on Review: Dr. Elsey’s Clean Protein™

  1. I have 4 cats…2 seniors and 2 just out of kittenhood. I fed Halo grain free and it never failed that one of the youngsters would vomit soon after she ate. I figured out that Halo , which may be a good food, has very small kibbles they can practically inhale. I had also had some Dr. Elsey;s Clean Protein dry which has bigger kibbles she actually has to chew. ..No more vomiting. And they aren’t ravenous all the time. They seem more content, also.

  2. This food might work well for some cats, but be careful. I have two 9 yo cats who are littermates, and mixed this with their regular cat food about 50/50 for a while. When that ran out, I fed them this exclusively. One of my cats did fine on it, but the other started vomiting every day. I didn’t think of the food at first because one was fine and I had mixed it with the other food for a while, so I ended up taking him to the vet, getting a full blood workup, etc. She sent me home with a can of wet food and the vomiting stopped. The next day he ate this one again and threw up. I put him back on the old food and no vomiting since. He’s not a very sensitive cat, but something in this didn’t work for him. Maybe the second ingredient being eggs was the issue, no clue. Anyway, if you try it and your cats start throwing up, switch them off it before running off the vet to drop hundreds of dollars on tests.

    • I tried Dr Elsey’s with my cat last year and had the exact same issue. First meal went down fine but every meal past that was vomited up. My Cat did not want to eat the food because he was afraid of the eventual vomit.
      I got a refund from and gave the rest away.

    • did the food you gave them before have eggs? Im considering getting dr elsys dry food, and Im hoping my cats will do good on it, considering that the dry food they have now also has egs in it

  3. 31/2 yr old maine coon mix has IBD. Confirmed with a colonoscopy, by Internist vet. Have had him for 9 mo. He does not vomit nor have loose stools. He is over weight and eating around 5-8 oz;s of food a day. The vet does not accept my food diary for his meals. Thinks I am off on amount of food. He eats LM ingredients. mostly duck and turkey. His current weight is 15.8 lbs. He should weighs about 13 lbs. He is fed Koha and other top lines. just almost anything to get him to eat. Is given ondansetron for nausea twice a day. Pred every other day. Am very interested in the oxalate and weight info. Will mention this to my vet. Please give info to alert the vet to this interesting problem.

  4. Thanks for the great review Ingrid! Can’t wait to try it and hope you’re well 🙂

    Lots of love,

    Jen + Frodo xx

  5. i want to give this food to my 16 yr old with early stage kidney disease is this a good food for him thank you

  6. Three years ago I had put my cat on a high protein, no carb (if possible) wet food diet. The food helped stabilize his diabetes and weaning from insulin.

    So when I saw Dr. Elsey cat food as an high protein option, I was excited to give it a try. I was also hoping to find a turkey brand that my cat would like. So far I have given my kitty 2 cans of Dr. Elsey’s Turkey, but he has vomited both times. My kitty has not vomited when transitioning between prescription diets, Friskie’s pate (horrible food but my kitty loves it as a special treat), Natures Variety, or Nutro diets without a transition period.
    As a kitten he did vomit the Wellness pouch cat food.

    I am undecided if a slow transition to Dr. Elsey’s diet will help alleviate my kitties vomiting issue. Hoping for any suggestions, please.

    • It’s rare that cats vomit when transitioning from one food to another, usually, loose stools are a more likely occurrence, although that’s usually not a problem when cats transition from one grain-free food to another. I wonder whether your cat reacts to one of the ingredients in the Dr. Elsey’s? You may want to contact them to see what they suggest.

  7. Do you know how much taurine is in their dry food? I’ve been looking at their website and at the labels and I can’t seem to find this information, which worries me. (It is listed in the ingredient list but not under the guaranteed analysis.)

    It’s clearly labeled as 0.1% for the wet food, which in line with what I currently feed my kittens.

      • I got the following response:

        “In the chicken kibble on a DM basis – 1364.18 mg/kg for the Salmon – 1817.23 mg/kg.”

        That seems a little low; shouldn’t it be around 2000 mg/kg? I could be wrong though.

        • The minimum allowance for taurine per AAFCO is 0.2% on a dry matter basis. I’m not sure how the mg/kg converts to percentage (math has never been my strong suit!) You could always add a taurine supplement if you’re worried. Taurine is highly water soluble, so it might be beneficial to have a slight excess of taurine in a cat’s diet.

  8. This doesn’t seem like a true review, more like an advertisement. What else is good about this food? What do you think of mussels as an ingredient?

    • It is clearly identified as a sponsored post, Nancy. I also clearly state that we only feature products that we feel comfortable recommending. As for your question about mussels, I know some pet food manufacturers use them as a source of omega-3’s. As with all pet food ingredients, it depends on the company, where they source their ingredients, the quality of the ingredients, etc. If there’s a specific brand you’d like me to evaluate, send me an email.

  9. Would you happen to know if the company is using “feed” grade ingredients or food grade? Thanks Ingrid.

  10. hey ingrid,

    do you always feed your cats in the bathroom? looks kind of precarious up there on the sink….. but i’m sure ruby and allegra have it all figured out. torties are smart that way!

    thanks for your blog.

  11. I was excited about this food and I contacted them to get the nutritional analysis, not the guaranteed analysis (which shows minimum amounts…that would be like us buying food with calories listed as a minimum of 10 per serving, might be 1000 but it won’t be below 10). They will not prove that information. Here is their response: We typically don’t provide that information – if you have a specific question related to your cat I will be happy to try to answer that for you. Thank you.


    Gina Zaro
    Marketing Director
    Dr. Elsey’s Cat Products
    1600 W. Dartmouth Ave.
    Englewood, CO 80110
    877-311-2287 x103

    “Saving one cat will not change the world, but surely for that one cat, the world will change forever.”

    Thanks but no thanks. I won’t be using that food.

      • Hi Ingrid, I too need to know the Nutritional Analysis not the Guaranteed Analysis of the wet food. I am a repeat customer of the Chicken Wet Food. I need the Protein% Fat% Carbohydrate% along with the mg of Phosphorus per 100 kcal for a 5.5 can. I am not using a limited diet for early stage CKD in my two 16 year old kitties. The limited diet CKD foods are not nutritionally sound for cats as I am sure you already know. Knowing these numbers will keep the nutritional percentages in the correct range for optimal health for my kitties. These numbers are vital for me to know so I can keep purchasing this food that my cats love so much 🙂

        Thanks Ingrid
        Kay, Shadow & Sunshine 🙂

      • Hi Ingrid, were you ever able to get the nutritional analysis information for this food from Dr. Elsy? Thanks.

  12. Thanks for your review on this food, I’ll have to try it with my cats. Can you give me pointers on switching my finicky eaters over to a better wet food? Over the past few years I’ve tried to switch my 3 to a better can food from what they are on currently with no luck. I’ve lost count of how many different brands I’ve tried. I feed them Fancy Feast medleys, chicken or fish flavors, they don’t like turkey. I have 2 that are finicky eaters with my 14 year old Siamese being the worst so she pretty much sets what I feed them. My third one will inhale anything I put in front of him. I’ve tried mixing a better quality food with the FF and my girl will sniff it, take a lick and walk away. She is on a supplement for her joints and I mix it in her wet food so it’s important that she eat her wet food. Any tips you can give me would be much appreciated.

  13. I had a cat that weighed 32 lbs for no apparent reason. My vet suggested that he was sensitive to the oxalate in his food. So the owner of a “boutique” pet food store and I went on a hunt for kitty food without oxalate. It took a couple of months, but we found it, and thank goodness, my big boy liked it. It took some time, but he lost 11 lbs. over 16 months. And the most amazing part to me was that he “woke up”. He was so lethargic and disinterested in life in general, but within a few days of eating his new food, he was alert, talkative, and willing to try playing again! I am looking forward to learning more about Dr. Elsey’s program and feeding it to my current kitty, a tiny 2 year old almost-feral girl who certainly deserves the best!

    • Hi m.a.,
      I’m curious, what is the food you and your “boutique” pet food owner friend found? I have NO choice but to feed a food called Young Again, because my kid was just gaining weight like crazy and had become so lethargic, after a major surgery. Young Again makes alot of wonderful claims, and I can’t dispute any of them as he lost 5 lbs almost immediately following the switch, and their coats were healthier looking, etc …. HOWEVER I have 4 kids and this food is a dry food. I really prefer a wet food for all of them, but you can’t really feed one kid differently from the rest.
      None of them have any physical ailments but one in particular will overeat (eating wtvr the others might leave behind) and has a bit of a food aggression.
      If you’re talking about a wet canned food, I am interested in researching it and possibly trying it. (As I will do the same with Dr. Elsey’s program)

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