Is Fancy Feast Good For Cats? The Answer Might Surprise You!

When it comes to cat food, choosing between wet and dry can get a tad confusing. But now that we know that dry food is better than its wet counterpart, we can make better decisions for our cats. But this doesn’t diminish the popularity of Fancy Feast. So is Fancy Feast good for cats?

The company came into existence in 1982. It was considered to be an authentic gourmet cat food brand. And in 1985, Fancy Feast along with another giant company, Friskies, got acquired by Nestle.

And it’s under the tag Nestle-Purina that Fancy Feast is now put up on the market. It offers 80 different varieties of wet food along with dry food, appetizers, and broths.

So let’s find out if Fancy Feast is safe for cats or not.

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Is Fancy Feast Good for Cats: The Truth

If you ask any veterinarian or cat expert, they will not advise you to opt for Fancy Feast. But do you know why? It’s because the food contains an enormous amount of filler with less healthy ingredients. Fancy Feast ranks as one of the unhealthiest cats foods available in the industry.

The food has an inexpensive price tag, hence the popularity. But you should know that the ingredients present in Fancy Feast don’t have the ability to support this reputation.

In fact, the first two ingredients of any cat or dog food are considered to be vital to their health. So it’s important that they don’t contain a lot of filler portions. But in the case of Fancy Feast, the first two ingredients along with the others consist of a large amount of filler.

The majority of vets and experts strongly recommend keepingFancy Feast away from your cat. They claim that the ingredients of the food offer zero redeeming value.

But this doesn’t mean that Fancy Feast is dangerous to cat health. It just means that the food fails to fulfill your cat’s dietary requirements. So if what you want for your cat is a long and healthy life, then Fancy Feast is not the right kind of food for that.

Here’s a video explaining dry cat food vs. wet cat food:

Dry Cat Food vs. Wet Cat Food

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The Ingredients Present in Fancy Feast

Is Fancy Feast Good For Cats

In this section, I’m going to discuss the Fancy Feast nutritional information. So let’s begin by stating the top ingredient; brewer’s rice.

The second ingredient comes in the form of by-product poultry meal. And it’s this particular component that provides the body with the most amount of proteins.

Fancy Feast is a brand that manufactures cat food with high carb content. And do you know why? It’s because they all come with corn, which is a part of the top five ingredients.

Other ingredients include salt, ground corn, the flavor of animal liver, and soybean meal. The formula of Fancy Feast cat food also has a high, unhealthy level of artificial coloring. This includes Yellow 5 or Red 40.

Allergies associated with Fancy Feast

Is Fancy Feast good for cats? You already know the answer to this question. But nevertheless, if you’re still not convinced that your cat can do better without Fancy Feast, then please continue reading.

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As is the case with many types of cat foods, Fancy Feast too gives rise to allergic symptoms in certain cases. Since corn falls under the category of the top five ingredients, you know that the food is not okay. And that’s because corn is considered to be a common allergen when it comes to cats.

There’s another Fancy Feast ingredient that fails to function as a hypoallergenic component. And that is soybean meal. It’s important that your cat food contains maximum hypoallergenic properties. Bu Fancy Feast doesn’t offer that kind of quality.

So whatever you decide to feed your cat, please make sure that you go through the ingredients of that particular food. Because sometimes cats are allergic or highly sensitive to certain food items present in the formulas.

Is Fancy Feast Good for Cats? What People Say


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The reason why Fancy Feast is so popular is because it’s relatively affordable. And here’s another unfortunate truth, cats just can’t get enough of it.

Many pet owners that feed Fancy Feast to their cats state that the food does its job well when it comes to filling up the stomach.

On the other hand, some owners complain about the low quality of the food. And this has led to Fancy Feast falling under the category of being one of the unhealthiest foods for cats.

So what is the consensus here? That food producs with the Fancy Feast tag is an ideal choice for pet owners on a budget. But if you can afford to buy better quality cat food for your precious little creature, please do so.

Now You Know, Don’t You?

It’s important that you feed you cat a healthy meal. It goes a long way in improving the cat’s quality of life. And this should be every pet owner’s primary goal.

But please remember that all this doesn’t mean that Fancy Feast is harmful to your cat’s health. It just means that the ingredients present in Fancy Feast don’t provide the body with enough dietary components. And this can interfere with the cat’s energy and lifestyle.

Have you ever fed your cat Fancy Feast and do you still do it?

How likely are you to continue feeding your cat the same formula now that you’ve read the article?

Please let me know what you think about Fancy Feast and the ingredients found in it. You can share your experiences with us below. Please don’t hesitate to leave your honest feedback.

Thank you for reading the article. Don’t forget to share to spread the word!

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20 thoughts on “Is Fancy Feast Good For Cats? The Answer Might Surprise You!”

  1. Hi Ruby! I just got my cat Marley and I was feeding him a high brand canned wet food, can’t remember the name, but it was getting expensive so I read some articles that said fancy feast is the best for a budget. But then I started researching homemade cat food and I came across this page. I had no idea about fancy feasts, and I hadn’t even bothered to read the labels. I feel like a bad fur parent now 🙁 I wonder if you have any suggestions for wet food, or if you have any experience with homemade food?

  2. Hi There.

    I’m really curious about the top two ingredients you list on your blog. I’ve been buying Fancy Feast – Beef Pate and Elegant Medley’s Chicken Florentine (my boys like different textures so I alternate).

    Fancy Feast – Beef Pate: Chicken, Chicken Broth, Liver, Meat By-Products, Fish, Artificial and Natural Flavours, (Source of Artificial Beef Flavour), Calcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Minerals, Salt, Taurine, Vitamins, Sodium Nitrite (to Promote Colour Retention). A-6679-C.

    Fancy Feast – Elegant Medley’s Chicken Florentine: Poultry Broth, Chicken, Wheat Gluten, Liver, Meat By-Products, Spinach, Turkey, Corn Starch-Modified, Artificial and Natural Flavours, Calcium Phosphate, Added Colour, Salt, Soy Protein Concentrate, Potassium Chloride, Minerals, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Vitamins. A-6700-C.

    They also get an IAMS brand of grain free dry kibble (for the last year).

    They had been starting to get sick more often the year previous (9 years old), they had been getting Meow Mix dry and Friskies wet (chunk varieties). They’ve been doing a lot better since I switched to Fancy Feast and the grain free dry. I have noticed that the non-pate varieties do include more cornstarch and other gain ingredients.

    Both are still very fit and agile for 10 year olds. I think like with our own food we need to read the ingredient lists ourselves instead of demonizing an entire brand without doing full research. Perhaps the laws on pet foods differ here in Canada which is why your ingredients are different?

    • Memo … In the interest of your pets, do some more research. Iams food is very low quality as well, for both dogs and cats. Spend a little more, and combine raw [or freeze dried] Stella & Chewy’s or Primal, and mix in a QUALITY dry good like Orijen/Acana [same companies], or Fromm. Mix in some Primal bone broth too. Do this and it will give your pets a much better chance of living into their 20’s like mine have. FYI .. I came across this info after years of trial and error myself. I too used t think that Iams, Science Diet etc.. were good foods. They are not. My vet will tell you the same thing. Take care -KLE-

  3. I had a vet recommend Fancy feast patte to reduce problems with a sensitive stomach. It worked. My cat IS happier and healthier since I switched from very expensive “healthy” boutique brands. I was wary at first but results speak for themselves.

  4. Fancy Feast in NJ is nothing like what you say. We use several kinds (Classic) and none even list Brewer’s Rice, much less the first ingredient. I aim for varieties where the first 3 ingredients are actual meat or broth (and most of them are), and after that I don’t mind if it contains “meat byproducts”. I’m a label reader and FF generally sounds pretty darn good (I avoid Friskies, 9 Lives, and generic brands). Oh, and our cats really like FF too (as long as it’s pâté)!

    FYI: The FF website lists the ingredients and they are in line with what I see on the labels. The FF line has one of the most (if not THE most) varieties of cat food. Please let us know which kind(s) you are writing about.

    Bottom line: I think FF is a very good cat food at a very good price.

    • Absolutely this. From what I can tell, the classic varieties have no corn, no wheat, no rice, and some even have no fish. I’m sure that the ingredients aren’t as high quality as some better foods like Wellness but it’s still a good step in the right direction (classic only from what I can tell). The author needs to do a little more research rather than making assumptions based on a single variety of a whole line of foods (most of which I abhor, but again, the classic varieties are decent).

  5. My 11 year old back Bombay male cat was puking furballs about two times a day. He was also puking up food once a day a few times a week. I was feeding him weruva, an expensive canned cat food for years until he quit eating it no matter what variety. I was desperate as he was losing weight and lethargic. I put him on fancy feast variety a month ago and he is a new cat!! A healthy, talkative, playful cat. I will stick with fancy feast, thank you very much……

  6. I’ve been feeding my cats Fancy Feast for many many years. Wet and dry. The pate classics. Until they came up with severe constipation I really wasn’t thinking it was bad. They won’t eat Science Diet, IAMS, etc. I did just try one called Crave. Both of my girls ate it up quickly and it had a good list of ingredients. Not much more expensive than a can of Fancy Feast. It comes in two sections. Only saw a few flavors.
    They used to like the plastic containers of Meow Mix but grew tired of it.
    Some people say if you leave it out long enough it will get eaten. I buy the expensive cat food and they will let it sit until it is dried out and uneatable.

    BUT I do add some water now. They even seem to like it better with water added. And virgin olive oil is on the list for added moisture. I put some drops in their wet food and they liked it although it is not good to do all the time. They say pumpkin is good but they won’t touch it. And they are so picky there are only 3 or 4 flavors of Fancy Feast they like. My girls don’t like chunks. If I buy one I have to mash it into a pate.

    What seemed to be their problem was too much dry food. I left it all day for grazing. And too many treats. My boy Larry had cancer and I wanted him to eat so got in the habit of leaving many flavors out. When he passed they just wanted treats all day.

    I can’t say that any of my cats have had an illness that related to Fancy Feast. At Target I can get a can for 57 cents. Or is is 59? Anyway I get my groceries and then go to Target for the lower price.

    Dry food was their favorite (Fancy Feast). But when they were constipated I was told that dry food is not that good so I have started rationing it. And I give them smaller meals of wet food rather than the two a day with water added. Someone mentioned the beef flavor and they will eat it but not like the others. I added hot water rather than putting the leftover in the can in the microwave. (Not the can. On a saucer.) I just mixed it until it was warm and they loved it. Ate every bite.

    Also I was told that cats like water in motion. It was suggested that I get a cat water fountain for my girls just so they would be enticed to drink more water. And I was told they like cold water so I added ice cubes to their water bowl until the fountain arrives.

    I am almost 70 and always had pets. I can’t believe all I have learned just looking up what to do to help cats with constipation. Before Larry passed they had very large water bowls. Then I tried small ones but they did not seem to drink much. Now I have found out that they like a wider bowl as they don’t like their whiskers to touch the side of the bowl. Who woudda known that??

    I am so happy to see that Fancy Feast is acceptable. It’s always been their favorite and when Larry had cancer I bought his favorite flavors. No vet has ever told me to not give them Fancy Feast. Although I have read the first ingredients should be meat, chicken, etc. But I just spent almost 5 dollars for a chicken food found in the cold section. Only one would eat it and that was after putting it in the blender with water added because it was pieces with added water.
    Why they won’t eat chunks??? My baby was a feral cat I grabbed from my backyard after dark to save her from the coyotes. No one was smashing up food for her but she only wants pate. She had no microchip so she is now a part of my family.

    I would pay the higher price if they would eat it. The Crave wasn’t much. I’m getting a divorce, had to sell the home I lived in for 39 years, can’t afford the rental I am in now so I am in an emotional state. Afraid I will run out of money. But I would never let my girls be sick due to the vet bill. This specialist even told me I could take them somewhere cheaper but I knew it would be more days of having to get an appointment. I had already taken them to the cheap vet but didn’t like the treatment. People say vets do tests just for the money but I was offered to go somewhere else. They only want money???

    What is so awful is when Larry had cancer people were saying You’re going to spend that much money on a cat? I got Larry at the shelter the first day he arrived and he was very sick. (They don’t let you take them the first day they arrive now.) He only weighed a pound. They could barely get enough blood out of him for a feline leukemia test. He had to stay in a bathroom I made into a bedroom for two weeks because he was contagious. The vet didn’t think he would live. He was our baby boy.

    He wasn’t just a cat. He was a being full of love and brought us such joy. He was so kind to any of the six cats we had when I saw him at the shelter. I have to admit now I don’t go look at the animals at the shelter. I donate rugs I can get cheaply or blankets, etc. We have a wildlife center and they like pillow cases they can put over the beaks of the birds. After moving I had way to many so donated them.

    It is expensive but I had him put down at home by Home Pet Euthanasia. Great people. They serve Southern California. Stated by Annie Forsland. It was so calm. The doctor called from the car and wanted to know if i had something she could put on that would smell like me. He was in my bedroom window and she gave him a sedative. So he was sound asleep when we put him on my bed for the lethal dose. It was so nice I am starting two cd’s for my two girls so I can have them leave this world in the same way at home.

    I love my girls and want only the best for them. I may buy some of the Crave to add one or two days a week. They were on special food for the last two weeks from the vet’s office for the constipation but are back on Fancy Feast now. With water added.

    Even when Larry had cancer I was not told to stop feeding him Fancy Feast. It was really the anemia that took him. Not the cancer so I did buy iron supplements online.

    Now that the girls are over the constipation I will continue to give them Fancy Feast but with a little water added.

    I mentioned that I just turned 70. When I was “young” there were only two or so kinds of cat food. I’m not sure we even got dry food. No one ever mentioned ingredients. Now the stores are lined with so many different ones it makes you think you are not doing your best by not feeding them the high price foods with a better list of ingredients.

    After reading everyone’s comments it has made me feel that I don’t have to take their Fancy Feast away from them.
    They look healthy and play with their toys. I am lucky they have a very large window sill in my bedroom with a hedge so they can see the little birds hopping around. And in the spare bedroom I have a stool on the bed so they can see the sand lizards and an occasional squirrel.

    When I am looking for a cheaper rental I always look to see what windows I can put their climbers in front of or where they can enjoy looking outside. They do not go outside ever. Besides the danger of cars we have a lot of coyotes.
    I know it sounds odd. I live in Huntington Beach, CA. The house we sold was a mile from the beach but was built on a marsh. (I moved 2 miles away to rent.) Across from Pacific Coast Highway they have protected land for wildlife. Birds, reptiles, etc.
    They are building new hones and squeezing the coyotes out of their domain. It upsets me to see a cat crossing the street after dark. Sometimes I wish they would pass a law to keep your cats indoors where it is safe. Dogs can’t wander around the roads.

    I know this is long but wanted to pass along a few things I have learned.
    My girls had Fancy Feast twice today. A quarter of a can at a time is good enough for them. They’ve never eaten as much as is listed. But they were getting dry food and treats also. And occasional catnip.

    It sounds all of us are giving our beloved animals Fancy Feast are happy with the health of our animals. Great news!!!

  7. You are a wonderful person. I read all you wrote and I thank you for as much you care and do for your animals. God bless you. I hope you and your kitties still have long and happy live ahead of you. Take care!

  8. I just read this article and never knew there was an issue with Fancy Fest. I have been feeding my 10 year old cat this brand all of her life. On my last vet visit, she only had one small issue, the vet said that she was surprised that she was so healthy for her age!
    Fancy Feast has worked well for her!

  9. My cat had always eaten dry until she swallowed something that irritated her throat. After feeding wet, she now only will eat wet. I am feeding Fancy Food and only tuna ….. will not eat other. What I find is she eats 4-5 cans a day. Is this because FF does not fulfilling her nutritional needs? She use to drink lots of water. Now doesn’t. Also she has lost weight. ….. perhaps good as she was overweight but not obese. She acts healthy. Looks healthy. Potty normal. What am I missing?

    • If you are feeding wet food only, your cat does not need to drink as much water because she is getting all the water she needs from her food. Wet food is much healthier than dry food for this reason. Additionally wet food helps to maintain a healthier weight as it tends to be lower in carbs and more filling due to the higher water content. If she seems healthy, there is probably no reason for concern. Fancy feast cans are pretty small, so it wouldn’t be surprising if she is eating that many cans. There are websites that will help you figure out her calorie needs 🙂 Always talk to your vet if you have concerns

  10. I’ve never fed my cat Fancy Feast because I don’t find it inexpensive. My second criteria for cat food is what ingredients are in it. I have to eat Paleo, so my cat gets to eat Paleo. I stopped buying canned food for him as pretty much all of them are mostly fillers, and slaughter house floor scrapings. His diet is primarily about half Crave dry food, and whatever meat I am eating for dinner that night. I take out his portion before I salt or spice it.

  11. Dry food is absolutely NOT better for cats. Cats are dessert animals and therefore have almost no thirst drive. Feeding dry food contributes to problems such as diabetes, renal failure and urinary blockages. In nature most of their moisture intake would come from raw meat. A low quality wet food is ALWAYS better than a low quality dry food for this reason. Please do more research before giving people advice regarding pet health.

  12. I have been reading online that low carb wet cat food is best. Our cat is 15 1/2 yrs old and has been losing weight, she’s more vocal now and throwing up more than usual so we’re making some changes in her diet. Three days ago took her off of the Fancy Feast dry food, Fancy Feast cans with gravy (she loves but too high in carbs) and Temptations treats (very high in carbs). Have been giving her boiled chicken, canned albacore, and have been experimenting with the small cans of different brands like Applause (she likes but not a complete meal), Tiki (most are low carb but she won’t eat) and some other brands ..all this until I figure the best mix to give. Today I found someone recommending 1) Fancy Feast Pate Savory Salmon Feast and 2) Fancy Feast Fish and Shrimp Flaked ..these are complete meals and are very very low in carbs, plus the ingredients look healthy and so I will try these two to see how she likes them and if she does, then will work it into her diet until I find the best mix for her. I might have tried the two above FF flavors but don’t remember if she liked them because I knew she favored the ones with gravy and so stuck with that since there was such a good variety ..also it was a complimentary food for her and so it was given as a sort of treat.

    If anyone has any good advice on healthy low carb wet cat food, then please let me know. Thanks

    • Whoops – didn’t notice the ‘reply’ option at the start of your comment, so posted one at the end of the comments)

  13. I guess when you own the bank, you can buy healthiest product ever made.

    But in the end, its just “healthy” from human prospective. Is there a clinical study of ingredient on cat’s quality of life? Nope.

  14. For malomalo (and anyone else who might find it useful):

    I wish we had realized several decades ago how important it was to ensure that cats drank sufficiently (and how much insufficiency might have contriuted to the renal problems we often encountered in their old age). For the past few years save for modest snacks we’ve fed them only wet food mixed with enough additional water to significantly increase its moisture content (sufficient that they almost never drink on their own) and with low-to-modest phosphorus content (specific to renal failure mitigation but not a bad idea in general).

    Our more recent experiences with diabetic cats taught us the importance of low-carb diets. Older cats also may need a somewhat higher percentage of calories from fat vs. protein in their diets. Common and relatively inexpensive foods with reasonably low carb and phosphorus content and a good fat/protein balance for older cats include Natural Balance Ultra Chicken, Salmon, & Duck blend (not the reduced-calorie variation) and Trader Joe’s Turkey & Giblets and Ocean Fish, Salmon, & Rice dinners. One cat who apparently had developed an allergy to chicken protein near the end of his life did well on Natural Balance Duck & Green Pea food, though it had a higher phosphorus content than was desirable (he was also suffering from renal failure) and we had to add an aluminum hydroxide phosphorus binder to mitigate that.

    We haven’t examined Fancy Feast in as much detail but all our cats have loved it when we fed it to them. The order of the ingredients list is reassuring (as several others have noted here) – my only mild concern being the prominence of guar gum (not present in any of the foods listed above, and while they do contain some carrageenan it’s near the end of the list).

    The best single source I know of for comprehensive information about cat illnesses, treatment, and nutrition is (which contains voluminous links to further detail when you need it).

  15. Hello, my husband and I are giving Fancy Feast to our cats. Have been for over a year until we started giving our two cats Royal Canin, for sensitive stomach. The reason we started giving them Fancy Feast, is that they did not want to eat Halo anymore when they got out of their kitten stage. Our cat Frankie, becomes really sick with any pea protein in his diet. We tried all the other non commercially/commercially dry cat food in supermarkets, to no avail. That is why we switched to Royal Canin. The sensitive stomach formula has no pea protein, which does not make our male cat sick. We truly wish that there would be a broader selection of pet food without traces of peas, and a well balance of vitamins and minerals.

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