Thrive 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.

Sold in more than 20 countries, Thrive has headquarters in London. They have been making nutritional foods for pets for more than 20 years.

According to the company, they use “real” food in their recipes such as 100 percent chicken breast and 100 percent tuna fillets. Find out if Thrive cat food is a good choice for your cat in our unbiased review.

The We’re All About Cats Standard – Rating Thrive Cat Food On What Matters

We have analyzed Thrive cat food and rated it according to our standards here at We’re All About Cats. Our grades are based on the species-appropriateness of the food, the quality of the ingredients, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. You can read more about our ratings here.

Here are our ratings for Thrive in these key areas:

Ratings

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

Overall Score: 7.7/10

We give Thrive cat food a 76.7 out of 60 rating or a B grade.

About Thrive

According to the company, the people at Thrive previously made food for humans. At some point they had a look at pet foods and decided they could turn their expertise to cats and dogs. Thrive says that they use the very best ingredients and processes them gently to make sure their foods are nutritionally balanced.

Thrive maintains that their foods are extremely palatable and loved by pets. Since they use “real” food in their recipes, their products also cost more.

The company states that their dry cat foods have the highest meat content of any chicken pet food in the world with 90 percent meat.

Thrive states that they use “human-grade” cuts of meat or fish with no substitutes and no “animal derivatives.” Their wet foods for cats are completely pure and free from artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, added sugars, wheat, gluten, dairy, soya, and GM ingredients.

Treats are made with 100 percent meat or 100 percent fish and then freeze-dried which is a gentler process than others.

Their canned foods are hand-filled with added vitamins and minerals to be nutritionally complete and balanced, unlike some other canned foods.

Thrive says that their foods are “vet-approved.” They explain this to mean that their products have been recommended and sold by more than 1,000 vets since 2003. They develop every recipe with their panel of specialist nutritional experts.

Thrive is widely available in about 20 countries. You can find it in supermarkets, pet stores, veterinary offices, and from internet retailers. You can also buy Thrive on the company web site.
Thrive has been awarded independent ethical accreditation for multiple years from the Ethical Company Organisation.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Owned by Pet Project Ltd., Thrive Pet Foods has headquarters in London. According to the information we found online, the company was founded in 2000. (Their Facebook page says 2005.)

Thrive uses freeze-drying to preserve their natural meats.

We had difficulty finding information about where Thrive is manufactured and where ingredients are sourced. We finally found old (2014) information that suggested Thrive was manufactured in Thailand, where many canned foods are made today.

You can read more about cat foods made in Thailand in this article. Thrive is not included on the list and the information we found is old so their food may not be made in Thailand at this time. You can decide if this information contradicts the company’s award as an ethical company.

Has Thrive Cat Food Been Recalled?

No, Thrive has never had a recall. This was confirmed on their Facebook page recently.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Thrive Offer?

Thrive makes pet foods for both dogs and cats. Their cat food includes dry and wet foods as well as toppers and treats. Thrive first transitioned into the pet food business with treats before they began making pet food.

Thrive currently offers three dry foods, 12 wet foods, 10 treats, and one topper. Their foods come in a variety of flavors including beef, chicken, chicken & liver, chicken & turkey, ocean fish, salmon & herring, shrimp, tuna, tuna & salmon, and white fish.

Thrive Cat Food Reviews

#1 Thrive Complete Chicken and Chicken Liver with Vegetables Cat Food Review

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Thrive wet cat foods come in a variety of sizes. This 0.75 gram tin is just £0.99 on the Thrive web site. Chicken and chicken liver are the only meat protein sources in this food. It is made from real chicken – not meat or animal derivatives or by-products.

This food is complete and balanced. It is easy for cats to digest. It contains no preservatives, fillers, or artificial gelling agents. It has no added colors, sugars, or artificial flavors.

The total ingredients in this food are: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Brown rice, Tomato, Pumpkin, Water, Vitamins & Minerals.

Brown rice is a source of carbohydrates. Brown rice provides more nutrients than white rice because it retains the bran of the rice. Brown rice is also a source of fiber. It can help with constipation which can be a problem for some cats.

Tomatoes are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.
Pumpkins provide some carbohydrates and they are a very good source of fiber. They are often added to pet foods because they are good for the gut. They can help sluggish digestion and, conversely, settle an agitated stomach.

Figured on a dry matter basis, this chicken & chicken liver formula contains 52.8 percent protein, 11.1 percent fat, 1.1 percent fiber, 8.33 percent ash, and 4.79 percent carbohydrates. By our estimate, this food has about 75 kcal per 100 grams.

Thrive Complete Chicken and Chicken Liver with Vegetables Cat Food appears to have a good amount of meat protein. Some purchasers will probably be surprised at the brown rice in the food since it’s technically a grain.

It won’t harm your cat, especially if it’s prepared well when used in cat food, but the company should be careful that they don’t advertise that their foods are “grain-free.” Tomato and pumpkin are probably not the “vegetables” most people are expecting in the food either.

We did notice that this food has more ash content than is common for most wet cat foods. This is not a good thing. The crude ash content of a pet food refers to the minerals that are left over in a food after the food is burnt away.

If a lot of minerals are leftover, it can suggest that the food contained a lot of bone, for example. Meat or fish with lots of bone can be a lower quality cut. (Here is a good explanation of ash from an American pet food company.)

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Brown rice, Tomato, Pumpkin, Water, Vitamins & Minerals

Nutritional Additives: Vitamin A 1000 IU/100g, Vitamin D3 10 IU/100g, Manganese 0.3 mg/100g, Zinc 3.9mg/100g, Copper 0.135mg/100g, Iron 5mg/100g, Iodine 0.06mg/100g

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 9.5%
Crude Fat: 2%
Crude Fiber: 0.2%
Moisture: 82%
Ash: 1.5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 52.78%
Fat: 11.11%
Fiber: 1.11%
Carbs: 26.67%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 49.59%
Fat: 25.35%
Carbs: 25.06%
  • Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, chicken liver, pumpkin
  • Ingredients We Didn’t Like: No added taurine?
  • Common Allergens: Chicken

Pros

  • No preservatives, fillers, or artificial gelling agents. No added colors, sugars, or artificial flavors
  • Thrive has never had a recall
  • Thrive uses real meat and fish
  • The company freeze-dries their foods for gentler processing
  • The foods are widely available

Cons

  • It’s hard to find information about where the foods are sourced and manufactured
  • Thrive can cost more than many cat foods
  • Recent customer reviews seem to be trending downward

#2 Thrive PremiumPlus Salmon & Herring Dry Food for Cats

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If you prefer to feed your cat a dry food or offer some dry kibble along with some wet food, Thrive makes three dry cat foods: Thrive PremiumPlus Salmon & Herring Dry Food for Cats, Thrive PremiumPlus Chicken Complete Dry Food for Cats, and Thrive PremiumPlus Chicken with Turkey Food for Cats.

All of these foods are grain-free. We decided to look at the salmon and herring dry food to give you an idea of what Thrive’s dry foods are like.

Thrive’s salmon and herring formula contains 70 percent fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids. It is free of cereals and grains but contains other carbs in the form of sweet potatoes and potatoes. These ingredients are low-glycemic and help to bind the protein together.

They are low fat, hypoallergenic and easily digestible — ideal for cats with wheat intolerances or sensitive stomachs.

Pea fiber is present in an amount less than 2 percent. Vitamins and minerals are added to make this a complete and balanced cat food.

The ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids in this food is very good. Omega-6 oils are widely available but many foods fail to have a good percentage of omega-3 oils.

  • Omega-6 oils 0.9%
  • Omega-3 oils 4.5%

These ingredients should be easy for your cat to digest. Thrive uses 100 percent real fish.
Thrive’s foods contain no added colors, sugars, or artificial flavors.

Thrive PremiumPlus uses a small amount of low-glycemic sweet potato and potato to bind the protein together. These ingredients are low fat, hypoallergenic and easily digestible – ideal for cats with wheat intolerances or sensitive stomachs.

Figured on a dry matter basis, this salmon and herring dry cat food formula contains 43.3 percent protein, 18.9 percent fat, 2.2 percent fiber, 11.1 percent ash, and 24.4 percent carbohydrates.

We couldn’t find calories provided by Thrive but we estimated that the food contains approximately 113 kcal per ounce.

Ingredients

Dried salmon meat (26%), dried herring meat (20%), fresh salmon (17%), sweet potato, potato, salmon oil (6%), salmon gravy (2%), pea fibre, vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional additives: Vitamin A (retinyl acetate) (21635 IU/kg), vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) (1730 IU/kg) vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol acetate) (82 IU/kg), sodium (0.64mg/kg), ferrous sulfate monohydrate (240mg/kg), copper sulphate pentahydrate (19mg/kg), manganese sulfate monohydrate (90mg/kg), zinc sulfate monohydrate (267mg/kg), L-carnitine (480mg/kg), DL-Methionine (1865mg/kg), taurine (2385mg/kg).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 39%
Crude Fat: 17%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Ash: 11.5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 39%
Fat: 17%
Fiber: 2%
Carbs: 30.5%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 35.2%
Fat: 37.27%
Carbs: 27.53%

Ingredients We Liked: Dried salmon, dried herring, fresh salmon, salmon oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Pea fiber

Common Allergens: Fish can be an allergen for some cats

Pros

  • No preservatives or fillers. No added colors, sugars, or artificial flavors; contains no soy or wheat products
  • Thrive has never had a recall
  • Thrive uses real meat and fish
  • Customers seem to like Thrive’s dry foods

Cons

  • It’s hard to find information about where the foods are sourced and manufactured
  • Only available in the UK
  • The company needs to provide more complete nutritional information on their web site

#3 Thrive Complete Wet Food Beef with Vegetables Cat Food Review

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Thrive Complete Wet Food Beef with Vegetables is a single-sourced protein featuring beef. Thrive uses only100 percent real meat without animal derivatives or by-products.

This food is cooked in its own juice with added vitamins and minerals so your cat will have a complete and nutritionally balanced meal. This food can be fed alone or mixed with a good dry cat food such as Thrive PremiumPlus.

Thrive Complete Beef with Vegetables is wheat and gluten-free. It contains no preservatives, fillers, or artificial gelling agents. And, as with other Thrive foods, it has no added colors, sugars, or flavors.

The basic ingredients for this food are Beef and Pumpkin so it’s easy for your cat to digest.
Figured on a dry matter basis, this beef and vegetables formula contains 64.7 percent protein, 11.8 percent fat, 5.9 percent fiber, 11.8 percent ash, and 5.9 percent carbohydrates. According to the company, this food has about 59 kcal per 100 grams.

Ingredients

Beef, Pumpkin, Green Pea, Water, Sunflower Oil, Vitamins & Minerals

Nutritional Additives per 100g: Vitamin A 1000 IU, Vitamin D3 10 IU, Manganese 0.3 mg, Zinc 3.9mg, Copper 0.135mg, Iron 5mg, Iodine 0.06mg, Taurine 50mg, ME Kcal/100g 59

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 11%
Crude Fat: 2%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 83%
Ash: 2%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 64.71%
Fat: 11.76%
Fiber: 5.88%
Carbs: 5.88%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 65.25%
Fat: 28.81%
Carbs: 5.93%

Ingredients We Liked: Beef, pumpkin

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Green pea

Common Allergens: Beef can be an allergen for some cats

Pros

  • No preservatives, fillers, or artificial gelling agents. No added colors, sugars, or artificial flavors
  • Thrive has never had a recall
  • Thrive uses real meat and fish
  • The foods are widely available

Cons

  • It’s hard to find information about where the foods are sourced and manufactured
  • Thrive can cost more than many cat foods
  • This appears to be a popular formula for Thrive but some customers didn’t like the way it looked in the can

What Do Customers Think Of Thrive Cat Food?

Most of the reviews we found for Thrive came from the British Amazon site. Some were not kind.

Positive

My cats are addicted
My cats are addicted. I’ve never seen anything like it! Especially the chicken – Sal, 31 reviews , GB Jun 14, 2020

My cat loves it
Great quality, speedy delivery and my cat loves it. The only issue I have is that the chicken is from Thailand and I would prefer it was free range or organic chicken. I’ve spoken to the company about this and I do hope they are on the way to switching soon. I’d happily pay more if needed. – Val Mote, 6 reviews, GB Updated Feb 25, 2020

Negative

Ugh!
My cat was obviously very disappointed with this product. I must admit, on opening the can, it looked as though he’d already regurgitated it. The look on his face will haunt me for life! – John Godstone, 1.0 out of 5 stars Ugh! , Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 26 March 2020

A ‘cat-astrophe’ purchase
Written on behalf of the cat. Please provide me with edible food! This runny, grey gloop has only a few bits of fish in it, but I simply can’t bring myself to eat a bite because it smells so disgusting! Even if I am starving & it’s covered in tasty treats. My mistress bought me this as a Xmas present and she is very, very sad because she can’t return it and it was a waste of money to buy rancid food. P.S. Thrive chicken treats are yummy! (Cats are so mean.) – Nique, 1.0 out of 5 stars , Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 30 December 2019

How Much Does Thrive Cat Food Cost?

A 1.5 kg bag of Thrive dry food costs about £13-14. A pack of six cans (75 grams each) of Thrive chicken & chicken liver cat food costs about £11-12.

Overall, Is Thrive Cat Food A Good Choice?

We initially had a good opinion of Thrive but we found a lot of negative reviews on British Amazon. Customers pointed out that the wet foods contain a lot of liquid and that cans are very small. Many were not pleased with the look of the food recently.

Based on the numbers and ingredients, Thrive looks like a good cat food. However, customer feedback is concerning. If you are considering Thrive for your cat, you may want to just buy a small amount to form your own opinion. See if your cat likes it.

How Do You Order Thrive Cat Food?

You can create an account and order Thrive from the company web site. Thrive is also widely available in supermarkets, from veterinarians, in pet stores, and online.

Click Here To Buy Thrive Cat Food On Amazon

About Carlotta Cooper

Carlotta Cooper is a long-time contributing editor for the weekly dog show magazine DN Dog News. She's the author of The Dog Adoption Bible, a Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) award winner. In addition, she is an American Kennel Club Gazette breed columnist and the author of several books about dogs and other animals. She has been reviewing pet foods and writing about dog food for more than 10 years.

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