Our Review ProcessOur reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.
We’ve taken the deep dive on Applaws cat food, learning about its recall history, where Applaws is made, and more. Keep reading to get the scoop.
The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Applaws on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Applaws and graded it according to the We’re All About Cats standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. Here’s how it rates in each of these six key areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 7/10
- Ingredient Quality – 9/10
- Product Variety – 7/10
- Price – 4/10
- Customer Experience – 9/10
- Recall History – 9/10
Overall Score: 7.5/10
We give Applaws cat food a 45 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.
Applaws first appeared in 2006, initially populating pet specialty retailers across the United Kingdom. Later, the brand started popping up around western Europe, North America, and Australia. Its parent company describes Applaws as “high quality, 100% natural, ethically sourced premium pet food”.
But those buzzwords don’t mean much.
To decide if it’s a good choice for your cat, we have to take a closer look at Applaws.
Let’s start at the source.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Applaws sources ingredients from around the world.
Their suppliers adhere to relevant international safety and husbandry standards, including those set by Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development, the British Retail Consortium, and the International Labour Organization.
Applaws suppliers are required to be members of at least one of the following organizations:
- ISSF – International Seafood Sustainability Foundation
- Marine Stewardship Council
- Earth Island Institute
- TTIA – Thai Tuna Industry Association
Applaws dry cat food is manufactured in the United States, while their wet offerings are made in Thailand.
Has Applaws Cat Food Been Recalled?
According to our research, it doesn’t appear that Applaws cat food has ever been recalled.
What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Applaws Offer?
The Applaws cat food lineup includes dry and wet foods.
Applaws dry food comes in five varieties. These recipes feature named meats and stay true to the brand’s promise of no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. They’re fortified to meet the nutritional requirements of a complete and balanced diet.
Their wet recipes are some of the simplest on the market. In addition to skipping animal by-products and artificial ingredients, Applaws wet food is made without any additives, including vitamins, minerals, and supplemental amino acids.
That means that Applaws wet food isn’t considered a nutritionally complete and balanced diet.
Applaws dry food is appropriate for feeding as your cat’s sole source of nutrition, while Applaws wet food is best complemented by other foods.
Applaws Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Applaws Tuna Fillet in Broth||Wet||$0.78||B-|
|Applaws Tuna and Sardine Mousse||Wet||$0.78||B-|
|Applaws Chicken Recipe with Country Vegetables||Dry||$0.24||B-|
Tuna appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
This canned food features tuna with broth and a touch of rice. That’s it. The food doesn’t contain any supplemental ingredients, added oils, or added flavors.
Though at first glance it looks like a meat-centric recipe and the epitome of feline-appropriate nutrition, that third and final ingredient makes a big impact. This food’s carbohydrate content appears to sit somewhere around 14% on a dry matter basis.
Overall, this food has high protein content, low fat, and moderate carbohydrate content.
For food with just three ingredients and which prides itself on simplicity, the inclusion of rice seems uncalled for. Excessive starch makes this food a species-inappropriate choice.
Tuna Fillet, Fish Broth, Rice.
|Crude Protein||11% min|
|Crude Fat||1.0% min|
Applaws Tuna Fillet in Broth Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Tuna
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Rice
Common Allergens: Fish
- A simple recipe appropriate for cats with food sensitivities and allergies
- Made without low-value meat by-products and meals
- Primarily made with animal protein
- Free of potentially-irritating additives
- Contains high-carbohydrate rice
- Recommended for supplemental feeding only
Tuna appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
This mousse-style food features puréed tuna as its main ingredient. The tuna is mixed with sardines, which are also broken down into what Applaws describes as “visible flecks”. Holding all of this together is a combination of carrageenan and locust bean gum. Both of these are plant-sourced gums that help to thicken and stabilize food.
While locust bean gum appears to be safe, carrageenan has a long reputation for causing or worsening inflammation. It’s not necessarily harmful, but its potential for harm makes it an ingredient we’d rather avoid.
Overall, this dry food has high protein content with low fat and moderate carbohydrate content.
Remember that like other Applaws foods, this isn’t a nutritionally complete diet. Even if it were, this food’s use of carrageenan and extremely low fat content may deter some buyers.
Fish Broth, Tuna, Sardine, Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum
|Crude Protein||10% min|
|Crude Fat||0.3% min|
Applaws Tuna and Sardine Mousse Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Tuna, Sardine
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Carrageenan, Locust Bean Gum
Common Allergens: Fish
- Primarily made from tuna and sardine, relatively nourishing protein sources for cats
- Doesn’t contain any low-value animal by-products or vaguely-named fish
- Cats seem to love the way this food tastes
- Low carbohydrate content
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- Contains carrageenan, a potentially-harmful thickening agent
Chicken and chicken meal appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food.
In contrast to the brand’s wet foods, Applaws dry food is guaranteed nutritionally complete and balanced. You can feed it for breakfast and dinner every day without adding supplements or worrying about nutritional imbalances.
The food is a grain-free product. It features chicken and chicken meal as primary sources, accompanied by a trio of legumes. Chickpeas, lentils, and peas serve as sources of protein while adding carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients. These ingredients help to give the kibble its shape and structure. Flaxseed is a source of fiber. The additive “natural flavors” makes the food more palatable. It’s a concentrated flavor source made from hydrolyzed animal tissue. These are the last primary ingredients before a long list of additives.
The food contains an array of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make each meal nutritionally complete.
Overall, this food has moderate protein content with low fat and high carbohydrate content.
Though this food outperforms the competition in some areas—think ingredient quality and the use of harmful additives—it’s not perfect. The food shares the issues that most dry foods face. It’s too high in carbohydrates and too low in moisture. Combined with its low fat content, these qualities make this a species-inappropriate choice.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Chick Peas, Lentils, Peas, Flaxseed, Natural Flavors, Taurine Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Iodate.
|Crude Protein||33% min|
|Crude Fat||16% min|
Applaws Chicken and Country Vegetables Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Peas, Lentils, Chickpeas
Common Allergens: Chicken
- Primarily made from nourishing animal ingredients
- Doesn’t contain low-value animal by-products and vaguely-named ingredients
- Free of artificial colors and flavors
- Excessive carbohydrate content
- Low moisture may lead to chronic dehydration and urinary tract issues
- Very low in fat
What Do Customers Think Of Applaws Cat Food?
Applaws receives predominantly positive customer reviews. The brand’s simple, often single-protein, recipes make Applaws a popular choice among cats with food intolerances and health issues.
The biggest concern among people writing about Applaws is the fact that their wet foods aren’t nutritionally adequate for long-term feeding.
“First let me say I have never written a review before and I’ve been using Amazon for over 10 years. My cat has suffered with terrible allergies for the past year of his life. We have tried so many grain free limited ingredient cat foods without success including Wysong, Dr. Elsey’s, and Natural Balance. It seems my cat may be allergic to eggs, fish and salmon oil, and brewer’s yeast. All of the above have one of these ingredients included. I am so happy to finally find Applaws grain free chicken. The list of ingredients is so simple and my cat seems to be relieved. He has stopped itching and licking himself constantly. He is more playful and sleeps peacefully now like a cat should. What a difference! And as an added bonus he seriously loves the taste of this food. Thank you for making this product…it is helping him so much!” – Jenna H., reviewing Applaws Chicken Recipe with Country Vegetables Dry Cat Food
“My 18 year old Ragdoll has kidney disease and hardly ever bothers to eat wet food any more, other than the prescription dry food she is used to. But man, did she scarf down this product of yours! I will ration it to make sure she doesn’t get bored with it, but like I said, so far so good! Great ingredients make this product valuable, no matter what the cost.” – G. Stucco, reviewing Applaws Tuna with Sardine Mousse
“My cat has large cell lymphoma and has been sick for a while. We’ve gone through oodles of flavors and brands because she would associate the food with not feeling well. She finished radiation and is looking cancer free, but is down to 6.5 pounds. This was recommended at the pet food store. After this was fed to her as her exclusive food for almost 2 weeks (this and other flavors), I noticed that while it is an additive-free food, it has no serving directions because it states one the can “FOR INTERMITTENT AND SUPPLEMENTAL FEEDING ONLY”…
It has no Taurine or any of the other vitamins or nutrients that a cat needs. A chronic Taurine deficiency won’t show up on standard bloodwork (requires a specialized blood-test) and can cause blindness (among other things). While on only Applaws, Allie’s appetite yo-yoed and her health took a dive. Because she has problems with feeling other canned foods smell appetizing enough, I did buy some more of these and use a tiny spoonful to mix in with REGULAR cat food, and she’ll go right back and eat some more. PLEASE KNOW WHAT YOU’RE BUYING. Feeding just this to your cat would be dangerous, and I’ve already put in a call to the manager of the store whose employee recommended this. If it’s supplemental, it shouldn’t be called food. It should be called a “treat” or something. It’s really misleading, and seriously endangered a very sick cat we’ve spent a lot to try and save.” – ArtemisDeFeisty, reviewing Applaws Tuna Fillet in Broth
“First, I wanted the chicken but got the tuna. Second, the consistency is not the moist product pictured. It iYou may as well head to the grocery and buy an 80-cent can of tuna.s firm solid pack and coated in gel. My cat would not even try it . I donated to a shelter. Maybe your cat will like it but be prepared to cop it up, it can’t be flaked. I had high hopes for this but was disappointed in the product, so was my cat.” – twopups, reviewing Applaws Tuna with Seaweed Mousse
How Much Does Applaws Cat Food Cost?
While Applaws dry food is moderately-priced—you’ll spend about $0.50 per day to feed a 10-lb cat—their wet food isn’t quite so easy on the budget.
If that sounds pricey to you, consider that Applaws food isn’t a nutritionally-complete diet. You’re paying pet specialty prices for something no more cat-specific than an 80-cent can of tuna from the grocery.
Overall, Is Applaws A Good Choice?
Applaws cat food is an interesting option.
In addition to a small variety of dry foods, Applaws brings you a vast selection of wet foods in textures and tastes that cats love. Though they make scrumptious, cat-approved treats or once-weekly meals, Applaws wet foods are both too expensive and too nutritionally incomplete to be a viable option for a long-term diet.
And their dry foods? Applaws dry food may be a good option for some cats, but they’re nothing special compared to other foods in the same category. If you’re a kibble lover, Applaws dry food is worth trying, but it doesn’t come with an enthusiastic recommendation.
Where To Buy Applaws Cat Food
Applaws cat food is available in pet stores around the United States, England, Italy, France, Spain, and Australia. Click here to find an Applaws retailer near you. If you’d rather shop for Applaws online, you’ll find it on Amazon, Petco.com, PetSmart.com, PetFlow, and other web retailers.
About the author
Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.