Friskies Cat Food Review

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Our Review Process

Our 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.

They say Friskies feeds the senses, but what about your cat’s health? Read our unbiased Friskies review to find out if this brand is a safe, nutritious choice.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Friskies on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Friskies 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 those six key areas.


  • Species-Appropriateness – 6/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 4/10
  • Product Variety – 8/10
  • Price – 6/10
  • Customer Experience – 5/10
  • Recall History – 5/10

Overall Score: 5.6/10

We give Friskies cat food a 34 out of 60 rating or a C grade.

About Friskies

The Friskies brand dates back to 1934, just a few decades after the first dog biscuit was sold. The dog food industry was in its infancy and commercial cat food was virtually nonexistent. So when Carnation started the Friskies brand, they focused on dog food.

In the 1950s, the product developers at Carnation introduced a new line of specialty Friskies dog food. Instead of targeting adult dogs only, one of the new specialty recipes was intended for puppies. Not only was this food just right for growing pups, but it was also appropriate for the household cat.

The only problem was that cats didn’t like Friskies puppy food. Friskies sales manager Henry Arnest suggested that the company formulate a food made just for cats and convinced the team to start a market trial of a cat-specific food.

Little Friskies for Cats had a slow start, initially doing well only on the West Coast of the United States. The brand gained a foothold in the growing cat food market and, almost 60 years after its birth, Friskies was the United States’ leading wet cat food, generating almost 586 million dollars in sales.

In 1985, the brand was acquired by Nestlé, now the Nestlé-Purina company. Nestlé-Purina is one of the world’s leading pet food conglomerates. In addition to Friskies, Nestlé-Purina is behind Fancy Feast, Purina Cat Chow, Tidy Cats, and other household names.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Friskies is made in multiple Purina-owned facilities in the United States. The company sources ingredients primarily from the United States. Ingredients including lamb, venison, duck, rabbit, and vitamin packs are sourced from countries outside of the United States.

Has Friskies Cat Food Been Recalled?

Friskies cat food has been recalled at least once. In 2011, the brand’s Grillers Blend dry cat food was recalled due to potential salmonella contamination.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Friskies Offer?

Friskies offers a huge variety of wet food, a small selection of dry food, and treats.

The Friskies wet food lineup includes over 60 varieties, with lines including Lil’ Soups™, Extra Gravy Paté, Extra Gravy Chunky, Classic Paté, Shreds, Prime Filets, Tasty Treasures®, Meaty Bits, Indoor, Cat Concoctions®, Gravy Sensations™, and Flaked cat food.

Alongside its world of wet food, the brand offers six varieties of kibble and four lines of treats.

Friskies Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Friskies Classic Pate Turkey & Giblets Dinner Canned Cat Food Review

Friskies Classic Paté Turkey & Giblets Dinner

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Meat by-products appear to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

Though this food is called “Turkey & Giblets Dinner”, it’s primarily made from meat by-products, a vague name for any combination of AAFCO-approved tissues from cattle, pigs, sheep, or goats.

If that seems odd, remember that the word “dinner” in this food’s title has an important job. It tells you, roughly, how much turkey and giblets are in the food. According to FDA labeling requirements, the word “dinner” after “turkey & giblets” indicates that turkey and giblets, combined, constitute no less than 25% of the food on a dry matter basis. To lose the “dinner” qualifier, turkey & giblets would have to comprise at least 95% of the food on a dry matter basis.

Turkey is the second meat ingredient, followed by poultry by-products, vaguely-specified fish, and poultry giblets. Aside from a small amount of rice, the food is virtually free of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Rice is followed by a series of additives, including artificial and natural flavors and added color. The food is thickened with both guar gum and carrageenan. While neither of these gums is species-appropriate or nutritious, carrageenan is particularly questionable due to its potentially carcinogenic properties.

Overall, this is a meat-based wet cat food with high protein, moderate fat, and moderate carbohydrate content.

There are 416 calories in each 13 oz can or 32 calories per ounce.


Meat By-Products, Water Sufficient for Processing, Turkey, Poultry By-Products, Fish, Poultry Giblets, Rice, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Salt, Guar Gum, Calcium Phosphate, Added Color, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Calcium Pantothenate, Copper Sulfate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 22.73%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 13.64%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 39.77%
Fat: 48.3%
Carbs: 11.93%

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Meat By-Products, Poultry By-Products, Fish, Rice, Artificial Flavors, Added Color, Carrageenan

Common Allergens: Poultry, Fish, Meat By-Products


  • Relatively low in carbohydrates
  • Primarily made with animal-sourced protein
  • Highly palatable
  • Affordable


  • Contains multiple artificial ingredients
  • Contains carrageenan
  • By-products constitute most of the food’s meat content

Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Favorites Dry Cat Food Review

Friskies Surfin

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Corn gluten meal and chicken by-product meal appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food.

Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ appears to be the most popular of the brand’s six dry cat foods. The recipe is decidedly plant-heavy with ground yellow corn and corn gluten meal leading the ingredient list. Later on the ingredient list, soybean meal rounds out the food’s range of plant protein concentrates.

In addition to plant protein, the kibble contains a few sources of animal protein. Chicken by-product meal is the third ingredient, followed by meat and bone meal. Salmon meal is a final source of animal protein.

The food contains beef tallow as a fat source. Instead of liver from a named animal, it contains “animal liver flavor”. Dried cheese powder is also added as for an additional flavor boost.

At the bottom of the ingredient list, you’ll notice that the food contains several dyes, including Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, and Blue 2. All of these artificial colors are associated with negative health effects for both humans and animals.

Overall, this food has moderate protein content, low fat content, and is high in carbohydrates.

The food contains 393 calories per cup.


Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Meat And Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Beef Tallow Preserved With Mixed-Tocopherols, Powdered Cellulose, Animal Liver Flavor, Soybean Hulls, Phosphoric Acid, Salmon Meal, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Dried Cheese Powder, Parsley Flakes, Taurine, MINERALS [Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite], VITAMINS [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B-3), Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B-5), Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B-1), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B-2), Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B-6), Folic Acid (Vitamin B-9), Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B-7), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K)], Vitamin E Supplement, Yellow 6, L-Tryptophan, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 30%
Crude Fat: 11%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 12%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 34.09%
Fat: 12.5%
Fiber: 3.41%
Carbs: 50%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 29.79%
Fat: 26.52%
Carbs: 43.69%

Ingredients We Liked: Beef Tallow

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Meat and Bone Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Liver Flavor, Soybean Hulls, Yellow 6, Yellow 5, Red 40, Blue 2

Common Allergens: Chicken, Beef, Fish, Dairy


  • Affordable
  • Cats seem to like the food’s flavor


  • Primarily made from plant ingredients
  • Almost all meat ingredients are vaguely-named by-products
  • Contains artificial colors

Friskies Classic Paté Poultry Platter Canned Cat Food Review

Friskies Classic Paté Poultry Platter Canned Cat Food Review

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Turkey and poultry by-products appear to be the primary protein sources in this wet cat food.

The first ingredient in this food is turkey, followed by vaguely-named poultry by-products, liver, and fish.

In additional to animal protein sources, the food contains a trace amount of rice and is flavored with both artificial and natural flavors. It’s thickened with guar gum and carrageenan. Unlike many other Friskies foods, this recipe doesn’t contain any added colors.

Overall, this is a meat-based food with high protein content, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate content.

Friskies Poultry Platter contains 190 calories in each 5.5 oz can or 35 calories per ounce.


Turkey, Poultry By-Products, Water Sufficient for Processing, Meat By-Products, Liver, Fish, Rice, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Phosphate, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Sulfate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Biotin, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3.5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 22.73%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 15.91%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 36.52%
Fat: 49.28%
Carbs: 14.2%

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Poultry By-Products, Meat By-Products, Liver, Fish, Rice, Artificial Flavors, Carrageenan

Common Allergens: Poultry, Fish, Meat By-Products


  • This Friskies formula is free of artificial colors
  • The first ingredient is a named meat
  • Cats like the food’s flavor
  • Affordable


  • Primarily made from meat and poultry by-products
  • Contains artificial flavor
  • Contains rice
  • Made with carrageenan

What Do Customers Think Of Friskies Cat Food?

Customers are, for the most part, happy with Friskies. People spend hundreds of millions of dollars on it every year. As one of the oldest cat food brands still on the market, Friskies has become a cat food staple. Many have been feeding it to their cats for decades—a tradition passed down from their parents and grandparents.

Not everyone is happy with Friskies cat food, however. On Consumer Affairs, for example, the brand has an overall satisfaction rating of just over 1 out of 5 stars. Complaints range from texture concerns to non-food objects found in cans to reports of illness.

Multiple customers have found pieces of plastic in cans of Friskies food. Between October and December of 2018, numerous reviewers said their cats started to refuse their Friskies food. Friskies says there were no reformulations around the time these reports started popping up. It’s unclear whether or not the incidents were connected.

Positive Reviews

“I have 13 indoor cats that all love this stuff. I just switched from Wellness Canned chicken cat food – which costs 3 times as much, and so far, the cats are all chowing down on it and don’t seem to know the difference. After trying many pricier brands that only come in small cans, I decided to give Friskies a try and it seems to me that the ingredients in the expensive stuff probably aren’t any better. Cats don’t care as long as it smells and tastes good to them.”Fergusboy, reviewing Friskies Classic Paté Turkey & Giblets recipe

“Feeding a feral group of 12 cats and 8 kittens does get expensive. Even so we have been feeding them a much more costly dry food to help the kittens, especially to get healthy start. They ate it. It was suggested to try this food. My daughter told me that when she put the bowls down, they not only dove right into them, she said they all started purring. So how can I give any less than 5 stars since they are so happy with it and we hope for their continued good health too. Quite a help toward not breaking the bank also as we work toward getting all spayed and neutered. Just when we were more than halfway to that, 3 litters totaling 8 kittens arrived. That’s another story.” Pato13, reviewing Friskies Surfin’ & Turfin’ Dry Cat Food

Negative Reviews

“Friskies in their “wisdom” have made all labels the same color – with a little splotch listing the variety. The reality of this stupidity is all cans in the closet now look identical. Making opening the “right can” (yes, we all have picky cats) a nightmare. I now hate Friskies for making my mornings miserable. Emailing Friskies was useless!! (oh but it is the same wonderful product). And will no longer be ordering Friskies. And I have used their products for over 40 years in 2 different countries. This has nothing much to do with Chewy but you may carry more weight than a ‘mere customer’” Finnian, reviewing Friskies Classic Paté Poultry Platter Recipe

“The Friskies T&G pate is probably the most widely accepted flavor of all the Friskies foods. It does, however, contain fish, so make sure you read the ingredients if you have a cat with food sensitivities. There are other “hidden” flavors in the mix.” RNforCats, reviewing Friskies Classic Paté Turkey & Giblets Recipe

How Much Does Friskies Cat Food Cost?

Friskies is one of the lowest-priced cat food brands you can buy. According to the brand’s feeding guidelines, it would cost roughly $0.70 per day to feed a 10-lb cat one of Friskies’ canned products. Like most brands, Friskies’ dry food is cheaper than their wet offerings. One of Friskies’ dry foods would cost closer to $0.13 per day.

Overall, Is Friskies A Good Choice?

Friskies isn’t a brand we’d recommend. Its selling points are not ingredient quality or nutritional integrity. It is, however, one of the most affordable brands available.

If you choose to buy Friskies, avoid their dry recipes. Friskies dry cat food is packed with low-value plant ingredients like corn gluten meal and soybean meal and rely on vaguely-named animal by-products instead of named meats.

Instead, opt for Friskies wet cat food. Their wet recipes contain some undesirable additives, including carrageenan, artificial colors, and artificial flavors, but are meat-rich with minimal carbohydrate content.

Stick to the patés to avoid starchy thickeners. Read the ingredient lists carefully to minimize harmful additives—some Friskies foods contain artificial colors and others don’t.

Where Is Friskies Cat Food Sold?

Friskies is available at discount stores, big box stores, and groceries. It’s similarly widespread online. You can buy it from Walmart, Target, Amazon, Chewy, and other stores where cat food is sold.

Click Here to Shop for Friskies Cat Food on Chewy

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at All About Cats. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on All About Cats is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

20 thoughts on “Friskies Cat Food Review

  1. Danielle

    I am writing this review in response to an article regarding the recent issues with this food. I only wish I saw them sooner. It’s all over Facebook and consumer reports has numerous reviews that all go back to October. All stating cats have been sick with diarrhea and even have caused death. I feed my cats vet quality dry food, however for wet food I purchased this friskies recently. I feed them this alternating with fancy feast cans and whiskas and switch it up daily as a treat for something new tasting. For the last 2 months my cat had been getting intermittent diarrhea. I was worried so I took her to the vet. They did some tests and couldn’t find the issue, so they treated her for the active diarrhea she had. However weeks later she got it again. She has now had diarrhea on 4 different occasions lasting for a few days each time. I tried to monitor it based on what food I was giving her, however I couldn’t rule out what it was. Now I know. I only wish like I said that I could have found this out sooner, and avoided her issues. I have fed her friskies in the past, with no issues. I bought 2 different cases of multi pack at the end of October, including chefs dinner, salmon, turkey and giblets, chicken dinner and ocean whitefish and tuna. All had the expiry of sept 2021, which I read was the affected cans. I am ridden with guilt, for feeding this stuff to my beloved family member, and not knowing this. I believe the company should be held responsible and look into these products further. It can’t be sheer coincidence that all these cats in different regions and scenarios are all getting sick. The only commen denomination is this food. If this was a human getting sick the company would have already had to inquire further to this problem. Why after all these reviews has nothing been done yet. Please share this information with all your friends and family via social media, so that no other cats get sick (or die). Maybe if word gets out and enough people know, then their sales will plummet and we can get their attention so they will finally be held responsible for this product.

    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Danielle,

      First off, I hope your cat’s feeling better.

      We have heard the complaints about Friskies cat food and will be following along as more information comes to light. For now, it appears that the company is aware of the allegations and maintains that nothing is wrong with Friskies cat food. As long as customers continue to report their experiences to Purina, the FDA, and the community, the company will be aware of what’s happening and will likely take action if any safety issues are confirmed.

      I recommend reading Petful’s page on Friskies cat food’s recall history, which includes a note on the latest wave of reports.

      Thank you again for sharing your experience!

      Take care,


    2. Marian

      My cat acts like she’s on death’s door and I had to do research on it, not eating all day and cringing in pain, lo and behold, like you say the cans are sept 2021. seriously. FUCK friskies. even acting like nothing is wrong. holy @#$%@#%
      is your cat alive? now I’m worried sick for my cat. Thanks friskies!!!!!!

  2. Barbara Ann Mallett

    We have a feral colony of 20 spayed and neutered cats. They are refusing to eat the Friskies Poultry Platter and Ocean white fish. Some will eat it but for the last month they sniff the bowl and walk away. I have 5 cases from Chewy on hand so I need they to finish it . What could I switch to that’s affordable, nutritious and palatable.? Their dry cat food is Purina One Urinary Trac.
    Thank you BAM

    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi BAM!

      Thanks for your comment! A few recommendations include PetSmart’s Authority brand, which is almost identical to Friskies in terms of ingredients and price, WholeHearted if you want to try something in gravy, and Wellness Complete Health—a slightly more expensive option.

      You might also like our article on the best cheap (but healthy) cat food:

      Hope this helps you find something that works for both you and the colony.



  3. Carolyn Gordon

    I have a Norwegian Forest Cat who had, up until a few days ago, never turned down offered food. My husband and son had been purchasing the box packages of Friskies canned cat food, because it was cheaper than other brands. A few days ago, when my husband brought home a new box, when I put it down, Finnigan sniffed it, and walked away. He refused the rest of the can that evening, and refused a different flavor when we offered it.

    I asked my husband to stop at the PetSmart to purchase different brands of canned food. Halo is a good brand, And Wilderness brand as well, and I’ve never had a cat turn either of them down. I put down his plate this morning, Halo Turkey and Quail, and he literally wolfed it down as if he’d been starving. This evening, I put down the rest of the can, and again he wolfed it down. Licked that plate clean. He doesn’t even do that if we offer occasional tuna fish, or sardines.

    I’m not going to be purchasing canned Friskies or dried Friskies again. My husband picked up a bag of dried cat food at PetSmart called Naked Essentials, that is grain free and holistic. Finnigan enjoys some of those kibbles once in a while.

    We’ve been concerned about news indicating that pet food has been sickening and in some cases killing pets. As I understand it, officials in China executed the heads of pet food corporations due to including tainted meat into the pet food.

    I hope this isn’t the case again. For now we’ll stick with Halo and Wilderness brands.

  4. catcatcher

    My situation is a bit different, as I have many older cats as a result of my rescue days. The ‘low cost’ food recommended here looks great, but is twice the price of friskies ($1.50/pound), at approximately $3/pound! My solution (this may not work for everybody) is to make my own cat food and use a friskies 5oz can as a flavoring agent.
    I can find fresh chicken thighs at a per-pound cost lower than friskies and I have a reliable recipe from I also have a freezer, so I can make 6-8 pounds of food at a time and freeze daily portion in reusable dishwasher safe deli containers I get at smart and final. Cheaper, MUCH better food comes with just a bit of work a couple of times a month. Every morning I get their container of homemade, pop a can of friskies, mix it all up and dish it out. They love it, and I feel much better about feeding them a quality wet food.

    1. Alex

      Catfoodinfo suggests raw food. Is that what you’re using? Do you cook it since you’re supplementing vitamins in the friskers?

      Also why can’t we just cook cheap chicken add a vitamins packet and call it a day? I personally don’t have freezer space for 6lb of food at a time.

  5. Lyn Cameron

    My cat is allergic to beef and it is really annoying when contents contain beef but it is not specifically named.
    I got suspicious of Friskies turkey and giblets pate when she started to go crazy with her scratching of ears and head and jaws. I live in NZ and wish I could ……… sigh – never mind – thank you for your info.

  6. Amber Swinehart

    I recently rescued a underweight barn kitten at 6 weeks old. I got a box of variety pack frisked pate food because it is cheap and one of the only options I had to get him for that first day he came home with me. I have been feeding him the friskies with a mix of different brand grain free kitten kibble and wet food along with a multivitamin and nutri cal to get some weight on him. The poor thing has had diarrhea off and on for the past two days and I thought perhaps it was his first round of dewormer that got his tummy upset, after reading all of this and other reviews I am more inclined to think it is the frisked food that is making my poor little guy sick. He already got a rough start I dont need greedy companies making his life rougher than it is already.

  7. Kylie lopez

    Friskies is a low quality food that I personally don’t recommend for any cat. Cats are like children. They depend on you and their diet is what will determine their overall health. I think friskies should not be sold anywhere and I wouldn’t dream of feeding my three boys ANY purina products. Literally not a single one

    1. Jackie szaras

      I have been feeding my cat friskies pate wet can food for 17 years.I had no problem. I now feed my 5 yrs old male cat extra gravy pate tuna. So far no problem. I also switched my dry food to clear live pro plan dry food because I am allergic to my cat.

      1. Reece

        Keep using it i don’t but used it on my first two cats lived well over 14 yes
        Its fine trolls hate on all foods that’s not there’s I’ve seen the same comments from people about their cat dying from this food yet on Royal Canin same story from them but RC instead is what they are blaming, Keep using it it

  8. Ripley

    Gotta say, for those of us caretaking feral families/colonies, Friskies is ideal: they like it, they eat it reliably, they get their nutrients, and it’s affordable. I vary it up with healthy treats and weekly special meals, but Friskies remains the staple. It far-and-away beats killing and eating doves, which they did before I came along and they adopted me.

  9. DMan


    November 23, 2020

    My cat just die today and she was roughly about 14 years old and yes she was a little big. She was very happy today running around chasing the other cat and play frightening. I saw her laying there so cute I decided to take her picture . She did not move at all I thought that was odd so I called her name Snowflake and she did not answer me.

  10. E

    I was wondering if you could do a review for the brand Brit Care? It seems like a quality brand, but I didn’t find any reviews for the cat food. I have bought some for my cat and will try it out.

  11. Megan

    My 2 cats and dog are vomiting the past 2 days. I think it’s from the friskies wet cat food. Should I contact the company?

    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Megan, yes, that would be a good idea. I would also recommend contacting a vet if you haven’t already—it’s important to have a vet’s insights on what seems to be the matter with your cats and dog. Hoping everything turns out alright for all of you.


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