Whole Paws Cat Food Ingredients

Whole Paws Logo

Whole Paws manufactures roughly 11 different cat food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

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

As of right now, our records indicate that Whole Paws uses roughly 80 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 Whole Paws, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 cat food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. chicken
  3. chicken liver
  4. chicken liver
  5. chicken

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Whole Paws is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken, followed by chicken liver, chicken liver, and chicken.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Whole Paws does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 11 Whole Paws 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, Whole Paws 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 Whole Paws 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 2 anonymous meat ingredients used by Whole Paws.

fish meal
1 Recipes

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:

poultry giblets
1 Recipes

Poultry giblets includes the heart, liver, gizzards, and other internal organs of poultry. Organs are nutritiously dense ingredients which provide high quality protein and fat. However, this particular ingredient is considered an anonymous meat ingredient because the type of poultry is not specified. In order words, "named" giblets such as chicken giblets or turkey giblets are preferred over poultry giblets.

The following recipes contain poultry giblets:

Cereal Grains

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

According to our data, Whole Paws cat food recipes do not contain grains. In other words, all recipes are grain-free.

Please note, 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.

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 2 controversial ingredients inside Whole Paws products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

powdered cellulose
2 Recipes

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:

poultry giblets
1 Recipes

Poultry giblets includes the heart, liver, gizzards, and other internal organs of poultry. Organs are nutritiously dense ingredients which provide high quality protein and fat. However, this particular ingredient is considered an anonymous meat ingredient because the type of poultry is not specified. In order words, "named" giblets such as chicken giblets or turkey giblets are preferred over poultry giblets.

The following recipes contain poultry giblets:

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 Whole Paws ingredients analyzed were classified as harmful by our system. The absence of harmful ingredients is indicative of a relatively premium cat food brand.

Whole Paws Cat Food Ingredient Lists

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Dry Cat Food
Grain Free Chicken & Pea Recipe
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Dry Cat Food Grain Free Chicken & Pea Recipe
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken meal
pea
garbanzo bean
turkey meal

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Dry Cat Food
Grain Free Chicken & Pea Recipe (Indoor Formula)
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Dry Cat Food Grain Free Chicken & Pea Recipe (Indoor Formula)
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken meal
pea
turkey meal
garbanzo bean

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Dry Cat Food
Grain Free Salmon & Pea Recipe (Indoor Formula)
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Dry Cat Food Grain Free Salmon & Pea Recipe (Indoor Formula)
First Five Ingredients
salmon
fish meal
pea
turkey meal
garbanzo bean

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Chicken Dinner
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Chicken Dinner
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken broth
chicken liver
ground flaxseed
natural flavor

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Chicken & Giblets Dinner With Vegetables
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Chicken & Giblets Dinner With Vegetables
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken broth
poultry giblets
carrot
potato

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Chicken Paté
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Chicken Paté
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken liver
chicken broth
carrot
pea

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Salmon Dinner In A Savory Gravy
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Salmon Dinner In A Savory Gravy
First Five Ingredients
salmon
salmon broth
water sufficient for processing
chicken liver
chicken

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Salmon Paté
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Salmon Paté
First Five Ingredients
salmon
chicken
chicken liver
salmon broth
carrot

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Tuna Dinner In A Savory Gravy
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Tuna Dinner In A Savory Gravy
First Five Ingredients
tuna
fish broth
water sufficient for processing
chicken liver
chicken

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Turkey & Giblets Recipe
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Turkey & Giblets Recipe
First Five Ingredients
turkey
chicken
turkey broth
chicken liver
chicken heart

Whole Paws

(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food
Grain Free Whitefish Dinner
Whole Paws
(Whole Foods Market) Premium Cat Food Grain Free Whitefish Dinner
First Five Ingredients
whitefish
chicken
chicken liver
fish broth
carrot