Wellness Cat Food Review 2024

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Best quality for parents on a budget

Written by Emily Bayne

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 11/20/2023, edited: 02/19/2024

Wellness Cat Food Review 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.


Wellness took the pet food scene by storm in 1997 as one of the first pet food brands that really prioritized quality nutrition and ingredients. But it hasn't always been sunshine and rainbows. This company has been through its share of ups and downs over the years. However, they have still made a name for themselves for offering superior nutrition at an affordable price and even has become a favorite of many vets. 

As pet parents ourselves, we know how difficult choosing the right foods for our furbabies is. Finding a food that fits their individual nutritional needs, health goals, and life stage that won't break the bank or upset their tummy is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. But that's where we come in! We research these brands so you can spend less time scouting the internet and more time with your baby.

From the brand's history to reviews from verified buyers, read on for a deep dive into Wellness cat food.

Wellness product ranges and flavors

Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, pet nutrition expert and one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants, says, “Wellness cat food offers a protein-rich, grain-free option for those on a budget, featuring both wet and dry varieties complemented by toppers and treats. Their CORE line prioritizes gut health with prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes. Wellness diets have been the center of several recalls in recent years and those seeking a safe wet-food alternative might consider the batch-tested “Raised Right” range.”

Wellness has dozens of cat food products, so it's easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of subranges. Below, we will explore these different ranges to help you make the most informed purchase for your pet!

Wellness Complete Health Cat Food

Wellness Complete Health Cat Food

Wellness Complete Health ranges 

  • Complete Health with Wholesome Grain: This dry food line contains 4 adult formulas, including an indoor and hairball formula and a kitten recipe. We love that the adult recipes have glucosamine and chondroitin to support their aging joints and that the indoor formula has L-carnitine to help combat weight gain in cats with sedentary lifestyles.
  • Complete Health Grain Free: A grain-free range that contains both dry and wet food offerings for kittens, adults, and seniors. Like the grain-inclusive formula, this line also has recipes for hairball relief and less active indoor cats.
  • Complete Health Healthy Indulgence: Healthy Indulgence wet food pouches come in three textures: shreds, gravies, and morsels, with numerous flavor combinations like tuna & mackerel and turkey & duck. These nutritionally complete recipes center around quality proteins and high moisture content to help boost hydration and fuel active lifestyles.
  • Complete Health Canned Wet Food: Available in pates, gravies, morsels, minced and sliced varieties, these furbulous flavors will have your cat meowing for dinnertime! Whether your kitty loves chicken and turkey or seafood, Wellness has just what they love. 

Wellness CORE Cat Food

Wellness CORE Cat Food

Wellness CORE ranges

Wellness CORE is a range of protein-centric recipes to help cats fuel their active lifestyles. With 7 different subranges and dozens of flavors, Wellness Core is the brand's most diverse pet food line.

  • Wellness CORE: With 5 dry foods and 5 wet foods, Wellness clearly did not skimp on this product line. The CORE line features their original recipe, a turkey and chicken flavor, a kitten recipe (also turkey and chicken flavor, an adult formula (turkey and duck flavor), and 2 indoor formulations (available in 2 flavors: chicken & turkey and a salmon & herring.)
  • Wellness CORE RawRev: This line only features one flavor (turkey) and contains bits of freeze-dried raw turkey liver mixed with an array of veggies and peas for a complete and balanced diet. According to their website, "CORE RawRev Indoor has been formulated with optimal levels of fat and calories to support cats with a less-active indoor lifestyle."
  • Wellness CORE Tiny Tasters: Tiny Tasters are a line of single-serving wet food pouches that intend to reduce waste and mess. These pouches come in 12 variations and flavors, including flaked, pate, and minced styles with flavors like chicken, tuna, duck, and more!
  • Wellness CORE Pate: In five delicious flavors, these smoot pates satisfy even the finickiest of felines! Flavors include chicken, turkey, duck, salmon and herring.
  • Wellness CORE 95%: This high-protein, grain-free wet food formulation is currently available in two flavors, 95% chicken and 95% turkey. The beef & chicken and chicken & salmon varieties are no longer available. 
  • Wellness CORE Hearty Cuts: A subrange of shredded-style wet foods with quality meat sources, DHA-rich salmon oil, and antioxidant-packed superfoods like spinach and cranberries. 
  • Wellness CORE Signature Selects: No matter what flavor and texture your pet purr-fers, Core Signature Selects has them covered. With three textures (chunky, flaked, and shredded, and 6 different flavor combos from chicken & beef to skipjack, tuna, & shrimp, this line is sure to please!

Wellness CORE Digestive Health

Wellness CORE Digestive Health

Wellness CORE Digestive Health

With easy-to-digest ingredients like rice and pumpkin, along with pre-and probiotics to support gut health, this line offers quality nutrition for kitties with sensitive tummies. CORE Digestive Health comes in two dry food flavors (chicken & rice and salmon & rice), which incorporate whole grains for a healthy boost of fiber. This line also has wet food options, with 6 tasty grain-free pates (chicken, chicken & turkey, turkey, whitefish, salmon & whitefish, and salmon.)

Wellness Bowl Boosters Cat Food

Wellness Bowl Boosters Cat Food

Wellness Bowl Boosters

Wellness has four bowl booster lines that aim to "supercharge their bowl" to beef up the flavor and protein content of your kitty's kibble. They can also work well as an occasional treat or to mask the flavor of your pet's meds! 

The shreds with broth bowl boosters come in 3 tasty flavors to keep your feline coming back for more. As the name suggests, these feature shreds of processed meat or fish in a meat-based broth.

 We love that these contain under five all-natural ingredients with no added fillers or yucky additives. The flavors included in this line are boneless chicken, flaked tuna & shrimp, and flaked salmon & tuna.

Wellness Good Kitty

Wellness Good Kitty is a high-protein wet food pate' that comes in two flavors —chicken and chicken & cod. This recipe is a Cosco-exclusive product and is only available in the 24-count variety pack with a mix of both flavors at this time.

Why Wag! likes Wellness

There are several reasons we're fans of Wellness recipes. First and foremost, they prioritize real meat as the first ingredient (usually the first 3!)— even in their wet food recipes, which is extremely rare. Pates usually have "water sufficient for processing" as the first ingredient, but Wellness favors the use of fish and meat broth over water for processing in most of their canned foods. Besides adding flavor cats love, broth can add shine to the coat, support joint health, and up the protein content!

Another bonus is their products are available at big box retailers and Chewy — which is super convenient for busy (and sometimes forgetful) pet parents like myself. The option to run to the pet store to pick up a bag when you run out during the weekend and not have to wait on a shipment is priceless!

We also like the variety of foods that Wellness offers for different life stages and dietary concerns. Plus, if you have picky cats, you'll appreciate their range of flavors and textures which can appeal to even the pickiest Persian.

Finally, we love the price point of Wellness Cat Food. They market their foods as natural, high-quality recipes, so as you would expect, their prices are higher than budget brands like Meow Mix and Friskies. Still, their recipes are reasonably priced and affordable, even more so than foods with similar ingredient quality.

Concerns & considerations

No brand is perfect, and Wellness is no exception. While they are undoubtedly a top pet food brand with plenty of nutritious recipes, there are some qualms pet parents may have with their products and history. 

One concern is Wellness' history of recalls, with 6 documented recalls since 2011. Many well-known brands have undergone recalls at one point or another, and it's important to remember that contamination can happen at any point in the manufacturing process — on the farm, at the rendering plant, or in the packaging plant. That said, the recalls seem to have become less prevalent in recent years, and they haven't had to pull products since 2017.

Wellness's choice to include carrageenan in a few of their wet cat foods is a concern for some since this thickener has earned a reputation as a carcinogen. However, it is important to mention that food-grade carrageenan is considered safe for food usage and is much different than chemically-degraded carrageenan, a known health hazard. Although it is approved for human and pet consumption, some pet parents like to steer clear of it since it can cause stomach upset in some felines.

Finally, we would love to see Wellness expand their offerings for senior cats. With dozens of different products, we were disappointed to find only a handful of them are specifically for seniors.

What pet parents say about Wellness

"Very happy with their product as well as the rest of Wellness lineup of foods. My cats eat it with no problems and are happy with the choice of the CORE chicken. Their coats are sleek and soft, their litter box doesn’t smell. The food is quality ingredients and seems to be a good fit for them. Overall a plus plus for me and my cats.”

"I used to buy this food for my cat to help her diet as she was getting older. She loved it and it helped her maintain a healthy weight for the doctor. It was a tad too expensive for me when I took in another cat so I eventually switched to another cat food, but besides expensive this food was wonderful for my cat!"

Read more reviews on Chewy.

Wellness History

Wellness Pet Food launched in 1997, but its humble beginnings stretch all the way back from a hard-tack bakery in 1873 called A. Hubbard & Son Bakery. As the story goes, a sailor tossed some of his leftover hard tack to his dog, who went paws-itively crazy for it. 

In 1926, A. Hubbard & Son became the Old Mother Hubbard bake shop, as it remained until 1961 when Jim Scott, Sr., a pet food professional, took over the business and rebranded the bake shop as Old Mother Hubbard Dog Biscuit Company. 

In the 1900s, Jim decided to expand their horizons beyond dog treats and set his sights on developing the pet food company that would become Wellness Pet Foods. He worked with a team of pet nutritionists to formulate what he hoped would be the best and most nutritious pet food on the market.

 Over the years, Wellness has added dozens of products and acquired additional companies, including Eagle Pack, Whimzees, Sojos, Good Dog, and Holistic Select.

Wellness recalls

The history of Wellness Pet Foods hasn't come without controversy. The Wellness brand has had 6 recalls dating back to 2011. Both their dog and cat food products have been recalled due to problems like elevated bovine thyroid levels, contamination, unapproved ingredients, low vitamin concentrations, and excess moisture (which poses a risk for mold.)

Wellness has had two recalls involving their cat food lines in the last 12 years. The first was in February of 2011, when all their canned cat foods were pulled from shelves due to low levels of Vitamin B1. The second recall was in 2017 due to possible contamination with foreign material in several varieties of their 12.5 oz canned cat food. Thankfully, no recalls have been issued since March 2017, but we will update this page as needed if more recalls arise.

All product images from Chewy. Copyright Wellness Pet Company.


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