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Redbarn calls itself “Simply the Best”, but is it the best choice for your cat? Find out in our unbiased Redbarn cat food review.
The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Redbarn On What Matters
We’ve analyzed Redbarn 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 – 8/10
- Ingredient Quality – 8/10
- Product Variety – 6/10
- Price – 9/10
- Customer Experience – 8/10
- Recall History – 6/10
Overall Score: 7.5/10
We give Redbarn cat food a 45 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.
The story of Redbarn began in the mid-1990s. Lifelong friends Jeff Baikie and Howie Bloxam turned their friendship into a business partnership to co-found Redbarn in 1996. For over 25 years, Redbarn has operated as a family-owned business, and they intend to stay that way.
The company originally focused on food rolls and bully sticks for dogs. In 2014, Redbarn introduced a line of paté and stew foods for cats. Their foods are economically-priced and focus on plenty of meat without a lot of unnecessary fluff.
Sourcing And Manufacturing
Though originally produced in their own kitchens, Redbarn co-founders realized the need for more space. In 1998 they purchased their first production facility in Long Beach, CA. By 2010, however, they’d outgrown that facility as well. Today, about 80% of Redbarn’s food manufacturing and all of their cat food production occurs in their USDA-inspected plant in Great Bend, Kansas.
All of Redbarn’s meat and poultry ingredients are sourced in the United States, but the company doesn’t specify the origins of other ingredients. They do, however, have a Quality Assurance team that runs over 3,500 physical, chemical, and microbiological tests each week to ensure the safety of their products.
Has Redbarn Cat Food Been Recalled?
Redbarn cat food has never been recalled, but their dog chews have been. In early 2018, the company recalled a single lot of bully sticks due to potential salmonella contamination.
What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Redbarn Offer?
All Redbarn cat foods are low-carbohydrate, meat-rich canned products available in a variety of stew and paté-style recipes. They’re gluten-free, grain-free, and made with minimal plant content. They don’t contain any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and they’re thickened without any carrageenan.
Redbarn Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Price Per Ounce||Our Grade|
|Redbarn Naturals Lamb Pate Skin & Coat Grain-Free Canned Cat Food||Wet||$0.33||A-|
|Redbarn Naturals Turkey Pate Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Review||Wet||$0.33||A|
|Redbarn Naturals Beef Stew Grain-Free Canned Cat Food Review||Wet||$0.27||A|
Lamb appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
With lamb meat at its heart, no common allergens anywhere on the ingredient list, and the inclusion of anti-inflammatory salmon oil, this recipe is made with the needs of allergic or sensitive cats in mind.
This food contains lamb as its first ingredient. Though lamb meat is a common ingredient in some regions, it’s not a central part of most cats’ diets and not a common allergen. Lamb liver complements the muscle meat, bringing an extra dash of nutrients from a species-appropriate source.
The food contains an additive called “natural flavor”, which is typically made from hydrolyzed animal tissue. When proteins are hydrolyzed, they’re rendered hypoallergenic.
Instead of potentially-harmful gums, this food is thickened with agar-agar. Like carrageenan, agar-agar is derived from seaweed. Despite their similar origins, agar-agar and carrageenan have significantly different properties and the former appears to be one of the safest thickeners you can use.
Salmon oil serves as a source of omega-3 fatty acids and can help to reduce inflammation.
Later on the ingredient list, the food contains green lipped mussel, a nutrient-dense ingredient that’s also rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
Along with a smattering of trace fruits and vegetables, the food contains synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make it nutritionally complete and balanced.
Overall, this food has moderate protein content, high fat, and low carbohydrate content.
With muscle meat and organs heading up the ingredient list and only the tiniest touch of low-glycemic produce, this appears to be a species-appropriate canned food. It’s a good option for cats with food allergies and sensitivities or any cat who needs a meat-focused, low-carbohydrate diet.
This food has 205 calories in each 5.5-ounce can or roughly 37 calories per ounce. In practical terms, it’s extremely calorie-dense, allowing you to feed your cat less and save money.
Lamb, Lamb Broth, Lamb Liver, Natural Flavors, Agar-Agar, Parsley, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Peas, Salmon Oil, Tricalcium Phosphate, Taurine, Blueberries, Cranberries, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Dried Green Lipped Mussel (Source of Lysine), Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Ingredients We Liked: Lamb, Lamb Liver, Salmon Oil
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Agar-Agar, Parsley, Peas, Alfalfa Meal
Common Allergens: None
- Primarily made from novel proteins, making it a great choice for cats with identified or suspected food allergies or sensitivities
- Contains multiple sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids
- Free of potentially-harmful additives
- Features a mix of muscle meat and organs, mimicking the natural whole prey diet
- Low carbohydrate content
- Doesn’t receive the best palatability ratings—some cats don’t like the way this food tastes or smells
Turkey appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
This turkey-based paté food is a straightforward product. Its ingredient list starts with turkey muscle meat and organs, both carnivore-appropriate sources of nutrition. Because turkey isn’t a common allergen and the food has a single-species protein source, this food is appropriate for cats with food sensitivities and allergies.
The food’s flavor is accented with “natural flavors”, an ingredient made from unidentified animal tissues. Though anonymous proteins are typically a problem for cats with allergies, “natural flavors” are usually made from hydrolyzed tissues, which are hypoallergenic and safe for all cats.
Salmon oil and dried green-lipped mussel are both added as sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help to support skin and coat health while reducing inflammation.
The food contains a touch of alfalfa meal, parsley, cranberries, and blueberries, but these ingredients are added in trace amounts and don’t make it a high-carbohydrate food.
Overall, this wet food has high protein content with high fat and around 10% carbohydrate content.
This is a meaty, carnivore-appropriate food that’s well-suited to cats with digestive issues or inflammatory conditions. With a single protein source that’s not a common allergen, it’s a great choice for cats with food allergies and intolerances.
The food has 192 calories in each 5.5-ounce can or about 35 calories per ounce.
Turkey, Turkey Liver, Turkey Broth, Natural Flavors, Alfalfa Meal, Agar-Agar, Parsley, Cranberries, Blueberries, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, Salmon Oil, Salt, Taurine, Dried Green Lipped Mussel (Source of Lysine), Magnesium Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Turkey Liver, Salmon Oil, Dried Green Lipped Mussel
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Alfalfa Meal, Agar-Agar
Common Allergens: None
- Rich in nourishing omega-3 fatty acids from animal sources
- Contains a mix of muscle meat and organs
- Ideal for cats with food sensitivities and allergies
- Free of potentially-harmful additives
- Extraordinarily low carbohydrate content
Beef appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.
Though recently reformulated, this recipe still features fresh beef as the main ingredient with beef liver and dried egg for supplemental protein and essential nutrients. Both beef broth and vegetable broth provide moisture and natural flavor in addition to contributing to the food’s moist, stew-like texture.
Rich in biologically valuable animal protein, this formula does contain a few sources of added carbohydrate. Agar-agar is used to thicken the stew, a replacement for the potato starch and guar gum that thickened the original recipe. Again, agar-agar is generally considered safe, and we find it preferable to the previously used starch-heavy thickeners.
Other ingredients of note include salmon oil as a source of health fat (especially omega-3s) and dried green-lipped mussel. These too provide some omega-3 fatty acids but also act as a natural source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.
Overall, this appears to be a high-protein recipe with plenty of healthy fat and minimal carbohydrate content.
This is a protein-packed canned food with plenty of moisture which supports your cat’s hydration. Because it contains beef, however, it may not be ideal for cats with beef allergies.
This wet food has 137 calories in each 5.5-ounce can or about 25 calories per ounce.
Beef, Beef Broth, Vegetable Broth, Beef Liver, Natural Flavors, Dried Egg Product, Agar-Agar, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Carrots, Cranberries, Parsley, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Salt, Taurine, Salmon Oil, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Dried Green Lipped Mussel (Source of Lysine), Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Dry Matter Basis
Caloric Weight Basis
Ingredients We Liked: Beef, Beef Liver, Dried Egg, Salmon Oil, Dried Green-Lipped Mussel
Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Agar-Agar
Common Allergens: Beef
- Made with biologically appropriate animal protein
- Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration
- Contains multiple sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3s
- Very low carbohydrate content
- Some customers found the food too watery
- Recently reformulated, some cats prefer the old recipe
What Do Customers Think of Redbarn Cat Food?
Most customers like Redbarn cat food. Customer review sections, discussion boards, and comment sections are full of people with good things to say about Redbarn. The biggest complaint people have about this brand is that some of its stew recipes tend to be extremely watery.
“I was struggling to find a decent wet cat food that met my expectations. Most had ingredients I did not like and was not comfortable feeding my little ones. I saw this one online, read great reviews, and absolutely approved of the ingredients. Once I opened the can and the aroma was out, my cats came running! They all (3 of them) love this food. The bowls are always licked clean lol. Also, as a side note it improved their skin..they had some dry flaky skin which has gotten a lot better since I started using this food. This food is expensive for me, but I find it worth it since my babies love it and it is improving their well being.” – Mandii, reviewing Redbarn Naturals Lamb Paté Skin & Coat
“My cats really like it. I like that it’s Carageenen free. The can is very full so it is a satisfying meal even divided by 3. Texture is a dense pate food so I add water to loosen it a little. No complaints from the kitties on this one.” – Kittymom, reviewing Redbarn Naturals Turkey Paté
“This food is great for the ingredients. Mostly meat no junk. I like it because it is very moist and my cat likes the real moist loose texture in a pate. Even though it is in chunks it looks like is formed in a mold and not just pieces of real meat. I thought he would like it because it was so moist but he won’t eat it. He might eat part of a new food I give him but as time goes on he will let me know that he doesn’t want it. I wish it came in smaller cans because he doesn’t like leftovers either. So now I’m out the cost and will have to donate it.” – Logan, reviewing Redbarn Naturals Beef Stew
“I read all the reviews and seemed other people’s cats liked. Admit I was skeptical, lamb? Don’t think I tried lamb before, looks like may not try again. Not one of 13 cats will touch, keep trying hopefully somebody will think not so bad! Frustrated, seems the better the ingredients less likely they will eat and have tried a lot of cat foods!” – Farmerjane, reviewing Redbarn Naturals Lamb Paté Skin & Coat
How Much Does Redbarn Cat Food Cost?
While cost certainly isn’t the only factor to consider when shopping for cat food, it can help you choose between similar brands. Compared to similar brands, Redbarn is quite economical. On average, Redbarn wet cat food costs about $0.30 per ounce with some recipes being a little more and others a little less.
Breaking it down by daily feeding costs, it would cost between $1.50 and $1.76 per day for a 10-lb cat. That’s comparable to brands like Sheba and some Fancy Feast recipes which are generally lower in quality.
Overall, Is Redbarn A Good Choice?
For just a few cents more than the average canned food at the grocery, Redbarn offers species-appropriate recipes with what appear to be high-quality ingredients. It may not be the best brand on the market, but it’s better than a number of major brands available at a similar price point.
With some formulas on the dry side and others containing more water than meat, Redbarn is less consistent than some other brands. Nevertheless, this brand’s positive qualities seem to outweigh the negatives and make it worth a try.
Where To Buy Redbarn Cat Food?
Redbarn cat food is available in independent pet specialty retailers, pet retail chains, farm and ranch stores, and some hardware stores. Use Redbarn’s store locator to find a retail location near you. If you’d rather shop online, you can buy Redbarn cat food on Chewy, Amazon, and other online pet food retailers.