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Is Pure Vita a wholesome choice for your cat? Find out in our unbiased Pure Vita cat food review.
The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Pure Vita on What Matters
We’ve analyzed Pure Vita 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 – 7/10
- Product Variety – 8/10
- Price – 5/10
- Customer Experience – 9/10
- Recall History – 10/10
Overall Score: 7.3/10
We give Pure Vita cat food a 46 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.
About Pure Vita
Clean white packages, a nod to the Costa Rican good life in its name, and the company’s claim that Pure Vita provides “pure and natural holistic pet foods for a long and healthy life” imply that this brand is a clean, healthy choice for cats.
Pure Vita is owned by KLN Family Brands, a Minnesota company dating back to 1947. That’s when Darrell “Tuffy” Nelson started Pine Lakes Feed.
After operating the feed store for almost 20 years, Darrell and his son Kenny decided to expand into the manufacturing side of the pet food industry. They later expanded into the super premium market and in 2007, they started Pure Vita, their first holistic line of pet food.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Pure Vita foods are made in a single company-owned facility in Perham, Minnesota. This facility is certified to the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety and inspected by the American Institute of Baking.
Has Pure Vita cat food been recalled?
After more than 50 years in the pet food manufacturing business, no KLN Family Brands pet food line has ever been involved in a recall.
What kinds of cat food does Pure Vita offer?
The Pure Vita lineup includes three grain-free dry foods, five canned recipes, and six types of freeze-dried treats. They’re free of dyes, flavors, and preservatives that might harm your cat.
Pure Vita Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Pure Vita Grain Free Chicken and Peas Entrée||Dry||$0.17||B-|
|Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon and Peas Entrée||Dry||$0.25||B-|
|Pure Vita 96% Grain Free Turkey & Turkey Liver Entreé||Wet||$0.73||A-|
Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.
Like all Pure Vita foods, this product features a single species protein source. Chicken and chicken meal lead the ingredient list, followed by a small amount of dried egg product.
Like many grain-free foods, it contains a healthy dose of peas and pea flour. These ingredients help to make the food cohesive, crunchy, and consistent, but they’re no better than unfashionable corn, soy, and wheat. Later on the ingredient list, the recipe includes a few more pea-sourced ingredients, including pea starch and pea fiber.
Chicken fat is the food’s primary fat source. This is a good thing. Chicken fat and other animal-sourced fats are superior to the plant-derived oils sometimes found in cat food.
Part of the secret to this food’s high palatability ratings is an additive called natural flavor. Usually made from hydrolyzed animal tissues, this ingredient is a concentrated source of the meaty flavor cats love.
In addition to its primary ingredients, the food contains a signature blend of minerals and digestive aids, including a yeast culture and chelated minerals.
Overall, this food has moderate protein content, moderate fat, and high carbohydrate content.
This food appeals to cats, is easy on the digestion, and seems to be made from high-quality ingredients.
That said, it’s not one of the best foods you can buy. As obligate carnivores, cats should eat a low-carbohydrate diet that’s made primarily from muscle meat, organs, and fat. With peas taking up so much space in this entrée, it’s a legume-laden meal better suited to an omnivorous eater.
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Pea Flour, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Yeast Extract, Pea Protein, Pea Starch, Pea Fiber, Dried Brewers Yeast, Tomato Pomace, Phosphoric Acid, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Dl Methionine, Carrots, Sunflower Oil, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Cranberries, Apricots, Cherries, Taurine, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Mineral Oil, Calcium Iodate, Cobalt Carbonate), Turmeric, Dried Chicory Root, Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Ascorbic Acid (Source Of Vitamin C), Choline Chloride, Inositol, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Glutamic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtillis Fermentation Product.
|Crude Protein||10% min|
|Crude Fat||4.0% min|
Pure Vita Grain-Free Chicken & Peas Entrée Macronutrient Distribution
Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Fat
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Peas, Pea Flour, Pea Protein, Pea Starch
Common Allergens: Chicken, Eggs
- Made without animal by-products
- Cats love the way the kibble tastes
- Free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
- Primarily made with animal-sourced fat
- Comes in a resealable, easy-to-use bag with a zip closure
- Contains the Good4Life system of minerals and digestive supplements
- High carbohydrate content
Salmon appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.
While most other fish-based foods contain a mix of unidentified fish species, this food contains salmon and salmon alone. The first two ingredients are salmon and salmon meal.
The food contains sunflower oil as its primary fat source. While not bad for your cat, sunflower oil lacks the fatty acid profile found in animal fat.
The food contains a variety of peas and pea derivatives, with pea starch, peas, pea protein, and pea flour taking up plenty of label space. These ingredients primarily add carbohydrates, but they also increase the food’s fiber and protein content.
The food also contains flaxseeds, sunflower meal, and alfalfa meal. Instead of the usual vaguely-named “natural flavor” we’re accustomed to seeing in cat food, this food contains “natural salmon flavor”.
Like all Pure Vita foods, the recipe is supplemented with the Good4Life System, which includes a combination of digestive aids and chelated minerals. It also contains a sprinkling of fruits and vegetables, including small amounts of carrots, cranberries, apricots, and cherries.
Overall, this dry food has moderate protein content with moderate fat and high carbohydrate content.
If you’ve been looking for a fish-based food that doesn’t contain an ounce of chicken fat, eggs, and other ingredients that might irritate your cat, this kibble could be a good option.
That said, it goes heavy on peas and other high-carbohydrate ingredients and isn’t particularly rich in protein, both signs that it’s a less-than-ideal option for your carnivorous feline.
The food has 407 calories per cup.
Salmon, Salmon Meal, Pea Starch, Sunflower Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols And Citric Acid), Peas, Pea Protein, Pea Flour, Flax Seeds, Sunflower Meal, Alfalfa Meal, Natural Salmon Flavor, Yeast Extract, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Brewers Yeast, Dried Tomato Pomace, Phosphoric Acid, Choline Chloride, Salt, Dl Methionine, Carrots, Potassium Chloride, Minerals (Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Cobalt Proteinate), Taurine, Cranberries, Apricots, Cherries, Lactic Acid, Turmeric, Dried Chicory Root, Vitamins (Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, D-calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Inositol, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (Source Of Vitamin C), Yucca Schidigera Extract, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture (Saccharomyces Cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma Longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Extract.
|Crude Protein||31% min|
|Crude Fat||18% min|
Pure Vita Salmon & Pea Entrée Macronutrient Distribution
Ingredients We Liked: Salmon, Probiotics
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Peas, Pea Flour, Pea Starch, Pea Fiber, Carrots, Sunflower Oil
Common Allergens: Chicken, Eggs
- Appropriate for cats with food sensitivities and allergies
- Free of potentially-harmful additives
- Contains probiotics and digestive enzymes
- High carbohydrate content
Turkey appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
This canned food is 96% turkey meat, with turkey, turkey broth, and turkey liver occupying the first three spots on the ingredient list. It’s enhanced with natural flavor, an additive usually made from hydrolyzed animal tissue.
The paté is bound and stabilized with agar-agar. This seaweed derivative is similar to carrageenan in origin and function, but unlike carrageenan, it’s one of the safest thickeners you can use.
The food contains nutrient-rich dried kelp and is fortified with Pure Vita’s signature blend of digestive enzymes, yeasts, and proteinated minerals.
Overall, this food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.
With a combination of turkey muscle meat and liver making up 96% of the total recipe and no low-value plant ingredients, this is a species-appropriate food for your obligate carnivore.
This is a relatively high-calorie food with 35 calories per ounce or 192 calories per can.
Turkey, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Natural Flavor, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Agar-agar, Choline Chloride, Salt, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Plant Extract, Dried Kelp, Betaine, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Niacin, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex.
|Crude Protein||34% min|
|Crude Fat||14% min|
Pure Vita 96% Turkey Entrée Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown
Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Turkey Liver
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Agar-Agar
Common Allergens: None
- Contains a mix of turkey muscle meat and liver
- Thickened with agar-agar instead of carrageenan
- Free of potentially-harmful additives
- Fortified with digestive enzymes and prebiotics
What do customers think of Pure Vita cat food?
The brand’s emphasis on single-species protein sources has made it popular among cats with food sensitivities and allergies. People also appreciate the care put into Pure Vita’s packaging, praising its resealable bags and the freshness that they ensure.
Complaints range from palatability problems to concerns about the nutritional appropriateness of dry food in general.
“I have a cat that would throw up on a regular basis and my vet recommended that I feed him a grain free, single protein food, so that we could see which meats he tolerates. The vomiting has stopped almost completely.The food feels substantial and somewhat moist and the bag has a nice Velcro strip to keep the bag closed and the food fresh. It seems kind of pricey but if my cat keeps doing well I will buy it again.” – Carol Lemias, reviewing Pure Vita Grain-Free Chicken & Peas Recipe
“For a cat who is sensitive chicken and turkey, this is a great substitute. Nearly every other salmon cat food is salmon-flavored and contains either chicken meat or chicken fat. Pure Vita is the only brand I have found that contains no chicken at all. Kitty is so much happier on this food.” – Valbie, reviewing Pure Vita Grain-Free Salmon & Peas Entrée
“Don’t let the gorgeous packaging fool you and notice how the ingredients are not proudly advertised. The facts about dry food are crazy and I dare every cat owner to read the amazing free information at catinfo.org The velcro strap does not seal and the fats go rancid and proliferate with bacteria. “Grain Free” is also a scam. Until I read the site I had no idea how bad dry food is and it’s a disgrace we force our pets to eat this species-inappropriate diet. My cat is currently hospitalized for a completely blocked urethra and almost died. I was caught off guard by the ridiculously expensive vet bill and saddened to learn about the hell male cats go through. IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS PLEASE READ FREE INFO: catinfo.org/feline-urinary-tract-diseases/ ANY BRAND OF WET FOOD IS BETTER THAN FEEDING ANY BRAND OF DRY FOOD” – Dr. Penrose, reviewing Pure Vita Grain-Free Chicken and Peas Entrée
“This bag made my cat sick. Opened it 4 days ago and all 4 days she threw up. She never throws up. Watch out!” – Dean, reviewing Pure Vita Grain-Free Salmon & Peas Entrée
How much does Pure Vita cat food cost?
Pure Vita is on the expensive side, particularly if you choose one of their wet recipes. Breaking it down in terms of cost per day, Pure Vita would cost about $4.38 per day if you’re feeding a 10-lb cat. If you choose one of their dry cat food recipes, that price would drop to the range of $0.34 to $0.50 per day.
Overall, is Pure Vita a good choice?
Pure Vita offers a diverse variety of limited-ingredient, single-species recipes, providing plenty of options for cats with food intolerances, sensitivities, and allergies.
If you can stomach the price tag, Pure Vita wet cat food is among the best you can buy. Their wet food has an outstanding combination of thoughtfully simple recipes, limited-ingredient formulations for sensitive cats, and enough meat to satisfy your carnivore.
Where to Buy Pure Vita Cat Food
The company is committed to partnering with independent neighborhood stores and is not available in major pet retail chains. Click here to find a retailer near you.
The same applies to their online distribution. Pure Vita encourages customers to support small businesses by buying from their authorized online retailers, which include PetFlow, Anglers Outfitters, and Naturally Unleashed.
Not all of these authorized retailers provide a comprehensive selection. You can also purchase Pure Vita through larger online stores, including Amazon, eBay, Jet, Kmart, Petco, Sears, and Walmart.
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.