The Honest Kitchen Cat Food Review 2022: Our Expert’s Opinion


Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give The Honest Kitchen cat food a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

The Honest Kitchen is a company that was started back in 2002 by founder and Chief Integrity Officer Lucy Postins. She created her recipes in her own kitchen while trying to figure out why her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Mosi, was having so many problems with ear infections and skin irritation. Once she realized that her homemade dog food helped her own beloved fur baby, she decided to help other pets.

This company has a standard called “The Honest Difference” that aims to create recipes that are fit for human consumption, thus allowing our pets to eat whole foods. According to their impact report, 84% of their ingredients come from North America, 34% of all ingredients bought within the last year were certified organic, almost 100% of the chicken in their dehydrated foods are humanely raised, free-range chickens, and 46% of their products were a product of solar energy. Based on this information alone, The Honest Kitchen seems like a company that truly cares about what pets are eating as well as their environmental impact. So, is this a good food option for your felines? Keep reading to find out.

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At a Glance: What We Reviewed

The Honest Kitchen Cat Food Reviewed

Overall, I’m really happy with the products we received from The Honest Kitchen. Between kibble, wet food, treats, and probiotic toppers, my cats seemed to enjoy most of their products. If you’re a cat owner, you know how finicky our fur babies can be. My two cats, Chewbacca (Chewy) and Lena, had no hesitation in expressing their interest in the foods. As their “mom,” I was also pleased to discover that they truly do use wholesome ingredients and care about where their food comes from and how it’s produced.

the honest kitchen cat food products

Who Makes The Honest Kitchen and Where Is It Produced?

As we’ve already mentioned, The Honest Kitchen was created in 2002 by Lucy Postins. The company first started making its food in San Diego, California. However, as of 2021, they opened a second facility in Topeka, Kansas to support the growth of their Whole Food Clusters recipes.

Which Types of Cats Is The Honest Kitchen Best Suited For?

The Honest Kitchen is suited for cats of all breeds, ages, and sizes. They have a wide range of products to choose from. So, if your pet has any sort of health issue, they likely make a product to help. Between standard kibble, dehydrated food, wet food, treats, toppers, and supplements, you’re likely to find something that your pet likes.

On top of that, they have recipe options such as grain free, grain inclusive, legume free, high protein, low fat, low sodium, and low carb. That doesn’t even begin to touch on the assortment of proteins to choose from. Chicken, beef, fish, turkey, duck, and lamb are all available based on your pet’s needs and preferences.

two cats eating the honest kitchen minced turkey, chicken and duck recipe

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Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good & Bad)

Overall, the ingredients list on each of this brand’s food products seems to be very clean. My biggest concern is with their Clusters recipes. While the first ingredient is chicken, it is followed by peas, lentils, and eggs. Only after those three ingredients are white fish and chicken liver then introduced. While peas and lentils are safe for cats in moderation, the order in which the ingredients are listed is based on how much of that ingredient is in the recipe. I would prefer that white fish and chicken liver were the second and third ingredients in this recipe as opposed to the fifth and sixth.

However, their wet food (which my cats couldn’t get enough of) lists their first four ingredients as turkey broth, turkey, chicken, and duck. These are the types of ingredients I like to see in my pet’s daily diet. It is also important to note that they do not include GMO ingredients, fillers, corn, wheat, soy, and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

the honest kitchen chicken and fish recipe cat food

Is The Honest Kitchen’s Packaging Recyclable?

One aspect that I feel is necessary to point out (because of its importance to me personally) is how upfront they are in their impact report. This is extremely helpful if you’re curious to learn more about the company. One thing that stood out to me was that 61% of their packaging is made from renewable materials and recyclable after you use it. While there is clearly room for improvement, they have also set a goal to make it 80% renewable and recyclable by the end of 2022.

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A Quick Look at The Honest Kitchen Cat Food

  • Clean, non-GMO ingredients
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
  • Variety of recipes for various health conditions
  • Cage-free animals
  • Various proteins to choose from
  • Made in the USA
  • Some recipes could have proteins higher in ingredients list
  • A bit pricey

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Reviews of The Honest Kitchen Cat Food We Tried

Let’s take a look at three of my cat’s favorite recipes in more detail.

1. Minced Turkey, Chicken & Duck in a Bone Both Gravy — Our Favorite

Minced Turkey, Chicken & Duck in a Bone Both Gravy

The first thing that stood out to me upon receiving this food was the packaging. I loved that it came in little cardboard boxes that were easy to open and didn’t splatter on me like some tin cans do. The ingredients list is phenomenal, with the first ingredients listed as turkey broth, turkey, chicken, and duck. On top of that, everything is clearly labeled. You can find instructions on how much to feed your pet, as well as a nutrition analysis.

This recipe has 10% crude protein, 5.5% crude fat, 1% crude fiber, and 82% moisture. The high moisture content is ideal for my pets. My male cat, Chewy, has a history of urinary tract infections (UTI), so ensuring that he has a lot of water in his diet is crucial to keep this issue at bay. I fed them this on top of their daily kibble to ensure that they had a healthy, well-rounded diet. The only downside to this recipe was that the consistency was a little gross to look at. It was very loose—almost like baby poo. While it didn’t look appetizing to me, my cats didn’t seem to mind.

  • Excellent ingredients list
  • High moisture content
  • First four ingredients come from animal protein
  • Easy-to-open and durable packaging

2. Grain Free Chicken & White Fish Clusters

Grain Free Chicken & White Fish Clusters

The protein content of this food was excellent. It has 35% protein, 16% crude fat, 4% crude fiber, and 8% moisture. There are no artificial flavors, colors, corn, wheat, or soy. The kibble pieces are small and have a softer texture, which was easy for my cats to chew. It also didn’t have a strong smell, which I preferred because some cat foods can stink up an entire room. The packaging was also soft and of high quality.

Unfortunately, I didn’t like that peas and lentils came before white fish and chicken liver on the ingredients list. However, chicken was the first listed ingredient. While it is a good daily food, my cats still seemed to prefer their normal kibble over this one for whatever reason—you never really know why with cats.

  • Quality packaging
  • Chicken is first ingredient
  • No artificial flavors, colors, corn, wheat, or soy
  • Small, easy-to-chew pieces
  • Peas and lentils are second and third ingredients

3. Smittens White Fish Cat Treats

Smittens White Fish Cat Treats

I honestly can’t say enough good things about these treats. First, the ingredients list is short and simple. The only two things made to use them are dehydrated white fish and sea salt. Second, their nutrition analysis is excellent with 82% crude protein, 1% crude fat, 1% crude fiber, 12% moisture, and 1% omega-3 fatty acids. Third, there are less than 2.5 calories per treat, so I can feel safe giving them a couple without the worry that they’ll get a little chunky.

The only downfall of these treats is the smell. Pee-yew! It made sense that my female cat, Lena, started to bite on this bag the second I got it out of the box. Unfortunately, she bit some holes in the packaging, and those small holes were enough to make my entire kitchen smell like fish. While it’s understandable that my cats would gravitate towards these, you should definitely keep them somewhere out of reach.

  • Only two ingredients
  • High protein
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Only 2.5 calories per treat

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Our Experience With The Honest Kitchen

I’m truly happy with The Honest Kitchen and the recipes that they sent me to review. These foods seem to use whole and sustainable ingredients, which is important to me, while being tasty and delicious, which is important to my cats. Chewy made it clear that he is obsessed with their wet food. He is my pickiest eater, so the fact that he gravitated towards it so quickly made my heart sing. He has tried many brands of wet food, and I’ve never seen him dig into it quite like he did with The Honest Kitchen’s wet food. This is something that will surely be added to his daily feeding routine.

My other cat, Lena, didn’t seem to have very strong opinions about the food. She isn’t all that picky, but she did seem to prefer her regular kibble to the Clusters that were sent. Why? I’m not totally sure, but I’m not going to argue with her. With that said, she turned into a savage when it came to the white fish treats. She tore the bag open as quickly as she could. She also stunk up my entire house in the process. Rest assured that those are now kept in a drawer where she can’t get to them.

It might take some trial and error to sort through the many recipes and products that The Honest Kitchen has to offer, but I truly believe that there is something available for every cat, regardless of their nutritional needs and health concerns. If you’re someone who cares about where their food comes from, how it is grown or raised, and the impacts on the environment, this is a brand to look into. They are honest about their shortcomings and upfront about their strategies to improve on them.

tabby cat eating the honest kitchen minced turkey, chicken and duck recipe

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Conclusion

The Honest Kitchen is a food brand that any pet parent can get behind. Whether you have dogs or cats, there is a variety of recipes and proteins to choose from. Be sure to check the ingredients list of each recipe, though. Some are the best of the best, while others could do with some improvement. At the end of the day, there were some products that Chewy and Lena loved and others that they could do without. I will continue to buy their wet food and treats since I’ve never seen them enjoy mealtime so much. And that’s saying a lot—my cats charge through the house at a full sprint when it’s time to eat.



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