Evolve Cat Food Ingredients

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Evolve manufactures roughly 12 different cat food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Evolve ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Evolve uses roughly 126 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Cat food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For Evolve, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 cat food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. chicken meal
  3. chicken liver
  4. rice flour
  5. chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols)

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Evolve is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken meal, followed by chicken liver, rice flour, and chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols).

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Evolve does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 12 Evolve cat foods contain artificial food dyes.

Artificial food coloring dyes are unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. In general, we not not recommend feeding any pet foods that contain artificial dyes.

In 2010, the CSPI raised serious concerns regarding the safety of many artificial dyes. Most of the studies referenced by the CSPI involved prolonged or excessive consumption. Since most cats consume the same foods throughout their lives, concerns raised by the CSPI are alarming to say the least.

To read more about Artificial Food Dyes, click here.

Animal By-Products

According to our records, Evolve does not contain any animal by-products.

Animal by-products are basically the leftover parts of the the carcass after its been processed for meat. AAFCO defines by-products as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals.

Although by-products are still fairly nutritious ingredients, consumers have equated them with slaughterhouse waste. Therefore, most premium brands, including Evolve have decided to remove by-products and instead use named organ meats (beef liver, chicken gizzards).

For further reading on the controversy over animal by-products, click here.

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.

In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.

In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.

Unfortunately, we've identified 3 anonymous meat ingredients used by Evolve.

Fish meal is defined by AAFCO as "the clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cutting, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil." Since the specific type of fish is not mentioned, we cannot discuss any specific qualities of this ingredient. In general, anonymous ingredients are low quality inclusions when compared to ingredients such as tuna meal, salmon meal, catfish meal, etc.

The following recipes contain fish meal:

Ocean fish can refer to multiple species of fish, since the particular type of fish is not specified, it's difficult to discuss this ingredient. The nutritional contribution of ocean fish depends on the species included; however, fish generally provides high quality protein and fat.

The following recipes contain ocean fish:

Poultry is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous ingredients such as poultry are typically low-quality ingredients in comparison to named protein sources (e.g. chicken, turkey, duck).

The following recipes contain poultry:

Cereal Grains

Certain Evolve cat food recipes contain one or more grains. The specific ingredients are listed below.

For cats, we typically recommend choosing a grain-free recipe. Cats are obligate carnivores and therefore grains are not species appropriate.

The kibble production requires a binding agent. Grains are commonly used for this purpose in cat food. When purchasing grain-free cat food, grains are often replaced with another starchy source. This is also not ideal.

To avoid grains and other starchy additions, consider feeding wet or frozen recipes.

Ground barley is a nutritious carbohydrate source, naturally rich in dietary fiber and various minerals. Unlike pearled barley, regular barley contains the entire grain.

The following recipes contain ground barley:

Whole ground barley is a nutritious carbohydrate source. It's a great source of dietary fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc.

The following recipes contain whole ground barley:

Brown rice is naturally rich in fiber and various minerals including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Relative to other grains, brown rice is easy to digest.

The following recipes contain brown rice:

Oatmeal is simply coarsely ground oats and therefore contains the entire oat grain. As with regular oats, oatmeal is rich in dietary fiber, B vitamins, and various minerals.

The following recipes contain oatmeal:

Ground brown rice is naturally rich in fiber and various minerals including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Relative to other grains, ground brown rice is easy to digest.

The following recipes contain ground brown rice:

Rice flour is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. As long as the bran and germ of the grain are included in the flour, rice flour can provide a notable amount of fiber and nutrition. However, because the type of rice ("brown" or "white") is not specified, we cannot make this determination.

The following recipes contain rice flour:

Ground whole rice is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. As long as the bran and germ of the grain are intact, rice can provide a notable amount of fiber and nutrition. However, because the type of rice ("brown" or "white") is not specified, we cannot make this determination.

The following recipes contain ground whole rice:

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce cat foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 6 controversial ingredients inside Evolve products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

Powdered cellulose is produced from minuscule pieces of wood pulp and plant fibers. Other than its fiber content, powdered cellulose lacks any nutritional contribution.

The following recipes contain powdered cellulose:

Pea protein is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein is considered controversial because it provides a substantial plant based protein boost. This boost is undesirable because plant based protein is typically lower in biological value when compared to meat based proteins.

The following recipes contain pea protein:

Garlic powder in very small quantities can be an acceptable addition, however, garlic can also be toxic. Therefore many pet owners choose to completely avoid garlic.

The following recipes contain garlic powder:

Canola oil is a plant-derived oil from the seeds of canola plants. Although fat is an essential component of any diet, canola oil is controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that canola oil provides a better fat profile in comparison to other plant based oils. However, opponents claim that canola oil is typically produced with genetically modified rapeseed and that rapeseed oil has multiple adverse health affects.

The following recipes contain canola oil:

Poultry is a controversial ingredient because the source animal is not specified. Anonymous ingredients such as poultry are typically low-quality ingredients in comparison to named protein sources (e.g. chicken, turkey, duck).

The following recipes contain poultry:

Tomato pomace is a by-product of tomato manufacturing. It's considered a controversial ingredient because many people believe it is an inexpensive low quality filler. However, tomato pomace provides a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, Lycopene, and vitamin A. Although it is a very inexpensive ingredient, it is not nutritionally empty.

The following recipes contain tomato pomace:

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

During our review, none of the Evolve ingredients analyzed were classified as harmful by our system. The absence of harmful ingredients is indicative of a relatively premium cat food brand.

Evolve Cat Food Ingredient Lists