Leonardo 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.

We’ve rated Leonardo Food on ingredient quality, species-appropriateness, recalls, and more. Read our Encore cat food review to learn how this brand stacks up.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Leonardo Cat Food On What Matters

We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 7/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 8/10
  • Product Variety – 8/10
  • Price – 6/10
  • Customer Experience – 9/10
  • Recall History – 9/10

Overall Score: 7.8/10

In total, we give Leonardo food a 47 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.

NOTE: These ratings are based on an in-depth exploration of the brand and reading dozens of customer reviews. We’re not able to personally test the cat food given that Leonardo is a brand based in Germany.

About Leonardo Cat Food

Leonardo is a German family-owned cat food company that was founded in 1963. This company is known for their unique Thermal-Mix-Procedure which utilizes steam pressure instead of mechanical friction to prepare their dry foods. Leonardo claims that, not only is this process gentler on the ingredients, but it’s better for the environment.

The company is currently represented by Dr. Jürgen Wigger and his sister, Ulrike Petershagen. They are the second generation to run the family business. Like their predecessors, they maintain time-honored traditions in their own families and in running the family business.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Leonardo cat food is formulated by a team of nutritionists and veterinarians, though the brand website doesn’t provide any specific information about who they are. They do, however, provide plenty of information about how their products are made.

Unlike many commercial cat food companies that use extrusion to produce their dry foods, Leonardo has developed their own technique: the Thermal-Mix-Procedure.

As is true for traditional cat foods, the process starts with the fresh ingredients being blended together. From there, however, it is gently steamed and formed into bite-sized pieces without the use of mechanical friction. The food is then gently dried twice – outside then inside – to keep it fresh without the use of preservatives. Finally, the food is coated in oil for flavor.

Leonardo cat food is manufactured at a company-owned production site located in the Münsterland region of Germany. They use fresh meat in both their dry and wet foods, sourced from local suppliers.

Recall History

To our knowledge, Leonardo has never had a product recall. It’s important to recognize that European pet food companies aren’t regulated by the FDA. They are, however, held to the standards determined by local governing bodies including the European Pet Food Industry Federation (FEDIAF), the trade body representing the European pet food industry.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Leonardo Offer?

Leonardo offers a variety of moist and dry cat foods. Their recipes are formulated to support the vitality, health, and life expectancy of cats, so they are designed around a holistic nutritional concept.

When it comes to their moist food products, Leonardo offers both canned food and pouches. They offer formulas for adult cats as well as kittens, all made with premium animal proteins like beef, rabbit, and duck. The Drink line of complementary food pouches helps encourage cats to drink more water.

Leonardo dry foods are divided into three product lines:

  • Classic
  • Fresh Meat
  • Grain-Free

In addition to traditional adult cat food formulas, Leonardo offers recipes for kittens as well as “light” recipes to support healthy weight.

What Do Customers Think Of Leonardo Food?

Because Leonardo is based in Germany, I wasn’t able to order samples of the food myself. This makes it all the more important to read customer reviews for the brand. Again, however, I had a difficult time finding independent reviews of their products.

Leonardo allows customers to leave reviews on their website but, unsurprisingly, most of them are in German. Using Google Translate, I was able to translate some of them:

“I liked it very much. The high meat content is good with the taurine and the salmon oil.”Reviewing Leonardo Adult Fish Dry Cat Food

“I mix it with Applaw’s chicken breast in broth and there is never anything left. Perfect for additional fluid intake. It couldn’t be healthier. Our three cats give it an all-paws rating. Their favorite is the salmon Drink recipe.”Reviewing Leonardo Drink Salmon

“My cat Milka liked the food very much. She immediately ran to her food bowl. The food makes a good impression, the consistency is great, and the smell is not the same as with other feeds. The accompanying information material was also good, and you were informed about the ingredients. This was definitely not my last food from Leonardo, and it will definitely end up in the shopping cart next time I visit Fressnapf.”Reviewing Leonardo Adult Fish Dry Cat Food

NOTE: Because Google Translate often provides a literal translation, some of these reviews have been rephrased for syntax.

Comparable Brands

Overall, we’ve given Leonardo a B+ rating. This puts it on par with brands like American Journey and Fussie Cat in areas like species-appropriateness and ingredient quality. Leonardo offers a variety of wet and dry food options similar to popular brands like Wellness, though they do not offer single-protein recipes like you might find from Koha or Caru.

Leonardo Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Main Protein Source Our Grade
Leonardo Adult Fish Dry Cat Food Dry Salmon B-
Leonardo Fresh Beef Dry Cat Food Dry Beef B-
Leonardo Pure Poultry Canned Food Wet Poultry B

#1 Leonardo Adult Fish Dry Cat Food

Buy On Amazon Buy On Leonardo-Cat Food

The primary protein sources in this recipe appear to be salmon and poultry.

In evaluating this dry food formula, it’s worth noting that pet food labeling requirements in Germany differ from in the U.S. You should also keep in mind that the recipe list has been translated into English, so some of the ingredient names may sound a little strange.

This recipe starts off strong with fresh salmon as the first ingredient, though it is unfortunately followed by a starchy carbohydrate: rice. Additional protein comes from animal sources like fish meal and poultry. Leonardo does not state what kind specific sources these ingredients are derived from.

The primary downside of this formula is that it contains a significant number of plant ingredients. Not only is the overall carb content very high, but some of the grains listed offer limited nutritional value for cats. Specifically, white rice and corn.

While this recipe does contain a significant number of plant ingredients, the main source of added fat is animal-based. Poultry fat is, however, a vaguely named ingredient and the total fat content of the recipe is very high at 20%. I wasn’t able to determine the calorie content of this formula, but I would expect it to be fairly high.

Overall, this is a moderate protein dry food with high fat and high carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Fresh Salmon, Rice, Fish Meal, Poultry Protein, Maize, Poultry Fat, Marine Zooplankton, Poultry Liver, Rye, Egg, Brewers’ Yeast, Grape Pips, Chia Seeds, Carob Pods, Sodium Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Chicory Inulin.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 32%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 2.3%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 8.5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 35.56%
Fat: 22.22%
Fiber: 2.56%
Carbs: 30.22%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 29.69%
Fat: 45.07%
Carbs: 25.24%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Salmon Rice

Maize

Rye

Brewers’ Yeast

Fish

Poultry

Pros

  • Primarily made from animal ingredients
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • Gently steam-cooked rather than extruded

Cons

  • Contains some unnecessary plant ingredients
  • Some vaguely named animal ingredients (ex: poultry protein)
  • Doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs

#2 Leonardo Fresh Beef Dry Cat Food

Buy On Leonardo-Cat Food

The primary protein sources in this recipe appear to be beef and poultry.

Like the previous recipe, this dry food contains animal-based protein from multiple sources. The first ingredient is fresh beef, followed by beef liver and kidney. Again, we see some vaguely named poultry inclusions like poultry meat, liver, and fat. It’s hard to judge the quality of these ingredients.

This dry food is a grain-free formula, made with pea flour and amaranth instead of rice and corn. There is a great deal of debate regarding the potential benefits of grain-free versus grain-inclusive pet food, but the fact remains that plant ingredients simply aren’t necessary for cats.

Again, the primary source of added fat is vaguely named poultry fat. The recipe gets some additional fat from chia seeds as well.

Overall, this is a high protein dry food with high fat and high carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Fresh Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Fresh Poultry, Pea Flour, Amaranth, Marine Zooplankton, Egg, Fish Meal, Poultry Liver, Chia Seeds, Brewers’ Yeast, Kibbled Carob, Apple Pulp, Carrots, Parsnips, Beetroot, Leek, Dried Algae, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Wild Berries, Cranberries, Dried Herbs, Olive Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 40%
Crude Fat: 22%
Crude Fiber: 2.5%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 7%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 44.44%
Fat: 24.44%
Fiber: 2.78%
Carbs: 20.56%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 35.74%
Fat: 47.73%
Carbs: 16.53%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Fresh Beef

Beef Liver

Beef Kidney

Pea Flour

Amaranth

Brewers’ Yeast

Beef

Poultry

Pros

  • Gently steam-cooked rather than extruded
  • Primarily made from animal ingredients
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Cons

  • Contains some unnecessary plant ingredients
  • Some vaguely named animal ingredients (ex: poultry liver)
  • Doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs

#3 Leonardo Pure Poultry Canned Food

Buy On Amazon Buy On Leonardo-Cat Food

The primary protein source in this recipe appears to be poultry.

This canned food formula from Leonardo is a little bit confusing. The first ingredient is listed as meat and animal derivatives which, at first, sounds a little scary. However, a breakdown is provided in parentheses which suggests these ingredients come from poultry and poultry broth.

As is true for the other recipes I’ve evaluated, it’s hard to judge the quality of these animal ingredients because they are vaguely named. This also poses a potential problem for cats with food allergies or sensitive stomach because the protein might come from a combination of sources.

On the upside, this wet cat food formula doesn’t contain all of the unnecessary plant ingredients we see in the dry food formulas. The overall carb content is minimal.

Overall, this is a high protein dry food with high fat and minimal carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Meat and Animal Derivatives (Poultry and Poultry Broth), Minerals, Egg Shells.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 0.3%
Moisture: 80%
Ash: 2%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 50%
Fat: 25%
Fiber: 1.5%
Carbs: 13.5%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 40.25%
Fat: 48.88%
Carbs: 10.87%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
None Meat and Animal Derivatives Poultry

Pros

  • Primarily animal-based with no plant ingredients
  • Rich in the moisture your cat needs for hydration
  • Free from artificial colors, dyes, and preservatives

Cons

  • Contains some vaguely named animal ingredients

Overall, Is Leonardo Food A Good Choice?

It’s difficult to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of a cat food brand that isn’t sold in the US, especially when the website is originally written in another language. The UK version of the Leonardo website is fairly informative, however, and I was able to glean enough information to get a decent impression of the Leonardo brand as a whole despite being unable to test the products.

What I appreciate most about the Leonardo brand is their transparency. While they don’t provide specific information about who formulates their recipes, they go into great detail about where and how they are processed. I also appreciate that they use local suppliers for their fresh meats.

In terms of the recipes themselves, quality and species-appropriateness varies. Most of the protein seemed to come from animal sources, though most recipes contained unnecessary plant ingredients.

All of the recipes I reviewed listed animal ingredients at the top of the list, though many were vaguely named. There’s no reason to assume these are low-quality ingredients, however – it could simply be a difference in pet food labeling requirements that specific sources do not need to be named.

On the whole, Leonardo may be a good option for some cats, though it’s hard to comment on the price and availability. I’d certainly recommend their wet foods over their dry foods based on carbohydrate content alone, but I’d prefer to see named sources for their animal proteins.

Where Is Leonardo Food Sold?

Leonardo is a European cat food company like Applaws and Blink! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to determine exactly where to find Leonardo cat food because the website doesn’t list any of the brand’s suppliers. Based on a few customer comments, however, it seems like the brand is sold in German pet food stores like Fressnapf.

You may also be able to purchase it from German online retailers, though Leonardo doesn’t appear to sell directly through their website.

About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

2 thoughts on “Leonardo Cat Food Review

  1. Monica Maria Pintilie

    I was waiting for this review for a while now to be sure that what I feed Luna is a healthy wet food ❤️.

    I can say she loves rabbit(&cranberies), kangaroo(&catnip), trout(&catnip) and veal(&vegetables) wet food(pouches) by Leonardo. Luna is not specifically fond of pure chicken or pure beef, she doesn’t clean the bowl(although I personally consider them healthier than the her favs above). I like them more pouches than canned because I consider them more practical.

    Note: the shrimp and trout pouch smells horrible , I have to open the windows after she eats.

    Thanks a lot for this article, it is really helpful for us, europeans.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      That’s fantastic to hear! We’ve been wanting to provide more reviews for the European market for a while, too, and I’m delighted to hear that you found the article helpful. Thanks for dropping by, and I hope to see you around in the future!

      Reply

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