Young Again Cat Food Review

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Young Again is one of the only low-carbohydrate, meat-based dry food brands on the market. Find out if it’s the right choice for your cat in our Young Again cat food review.

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

We’ve analyzed Young Again 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.

Ratings

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

Overall Score: 8.3/10

We give Young Again cat food a 50 out of 60 rating or an A- grade.

About Young Again

Young Again was founded by Michael Massie in 1987 and the first pet food products were released in 1990. The brand was the first to offer grain-free cat food made with 50% meat-based protein, no plant proteins, and less than 6% starch/carbohydrates.

All Young Again products are free from fillers, plant proteins, grains, gluten, and peas, beans, and legumes. The food’s low carbohydrate content makes Young Again a favorite among cat owners seeking a diet appropriate for cats with diabetes mellitus.

While Young Again has earned a named for themselves through word-of-mouth, the company keeps a low profile selling directly to consumers through their own website.

Young Again promises to provide species-appropriate diets for cats, but do they practice what they preach? Let’s take a closer look at this brand to see if it’s a good choice for your cat.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Young Again sources ingredients from the United States, Canada, France, Switzerland, India, New Zealand, Japan, Germany, Finland, and Scotland. All of their meat ingredients are bought from USDA and/or FDA approved human-grade food manufacturing facilities.

Young Again cat food is manufactured in the company’s facility in Stacy, Minnesota.

For more information, read the Young Again website. Their Ingredients & Sourcing page details their ingredient sourcing, ingredient quality standards, and quality control practices. 

Has Young Again Cat Food Been Recalled?

No. According to Petful research and Young Again’s website, it doesn’t appear that Young Again pet food has ever been recalled.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Young Again Offer?

Young Again’s dry cat food promises whole prey-inspired nutrition that captures the nutritional essence of, in the brand’s own words, a juvenile mouse. The brand offers an assortment of dry cat food, treats, raw premixes, and supplements for cats, dogs, and ferrets.

All Young Again formulas are built on a foundation of animal protein with minimal carbohydrate inclusions. Their foods contain relatively high levels of nucleotides. These are organic compounds best described as the building blocks of RNA and DNA.

Though research is limited, nucleotides have been shown to support immune health and liver function. They may also play a role in mitigating your cat’s stress in response to exercise. The food also contains probiotics and digestive enzymes which may help soothe symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

Young Again cat foods are divided by life stage and by nutritional composition.

The Original 50/22 line includes a kitten-specific recipe and a recipe for kittens and juvenile cats. These products contain 50% protein and 22% fat with less than 6% starch. Young again also offers a Junior Kitten formula with 47% protein, 20% fat, and less than 15% starch.

Young Again’s Zero cat food contains less than 1% carbohydrate matter, effectively zero. The original Zero formula is designed for kittens and young cats – it contains 54% protein and 26% fat. Young Again also offers a Zero Mature formula for older cats.

A second Mature recipe is available with a 54/22 protein-to-fat ratio, but the primary focus is reduced calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium content. It’s intended for cats diagnosed with or at risk for renal disease. Young Again’s LID Zero Mature formula is a limited ingredient diet (LID) made with 54% protein from chicken and pork and contains 25% fat.

Young Again’s newest cat food products are their raw premixes. Formulated for both dogs and cats, these premixes are intended for pet owners making homemade pet food. The primary difference between the two is that one contains added calcium, and the other does not. Which you choose simply depends on whether you’re including ground bone in your homemade cat food.

Young Again Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Price Per Ounce Our Grade
Young Again ZERO Cat and Kitten Formula Dry $0.34 A-
Young Again Original 50/22 Cat & Kitten Formula Dry $0.30 B+
Young Again ZERO Mature Health Formula Dry $0.37 A-

#1 Young Again ZERO Cat & Kitten Formula Review

Young Again ZERO Cat & Kitten Formula

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Hydrolyzed pork and chicken meal appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food. 

Young Again’s signature low-carbohydrate cat food is popular among cats with diabetes and others trying to avoid starch.

The food is primarily made from a combination of hydrolyzed—non-allergenic and highly digestible—pork, chicken meal, and chicken fat as a nourishing source of fatty acids. The food contains herring meal as an additional source of protein, so watch out for this one if your cat is sensitive to fish. If your cat is an adult and his bones have stopped growing, you may opt for the Mature variety, which doesn’t contain any fish meal.

While most dry foods use potatoes, corn, wheat, and other high carbohydrate ingredients, this food relies on guar gum to hold the kibble together. Guar gum doesn’t have any digestible carbohydrates and instead is a soluble fiber. Guar gum and other soluble fibers help the stool to retain water, leading to softer stools. Some reviewers say this food gave their cats loose bowels.

In addition to the central ingredients, this food contains several species-appropriate supplements, including fish oil, prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes.

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

Indeed, this food is a great option for cats with diabetes or, really, any other cat who needs a low carbohydrate diet and won’t eat wet food. The food stays fresh in the bag, has a crunchy texture that cats love, and according to most customers, has a cat-pleasing flavor.

The food contains 650 calories per cup, significantly more than the average cat food. Young Again reminds customers that their cat will only need about ¼ cup of this food each day.

Ingredients

Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Guar Gum, Herring Meal, DL Methionine, L Lysine, Fish Oil, Psyllium Husk (source of soluble dietary fiber), Potassium Citrate, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Brewers Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, L-ascorbyl-2polyphosphate (source of stabilized vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Betaine Anhydrous, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Salt, Yucca Schidigera Extract,Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Copper Proteinate, Biotin (vitamin B7), Thiamine Mononitrate (vitamin B1), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B5), Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dehydrated Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 54%
Crude Fat: 26%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 5.5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 60%
Fat: 28.89%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 1.67%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 45.51%
Fat: 53.22%
Carbs: 1.26%

Ingredients We Liked: Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Fat, Fish Oil, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Rich in highly-digestible protein
  • A good source of bioavailable animal-sourced fatty acids
  • Supports digestive health
  • Virtually zero carbohydrate content

Cons

  • A dry food, meaning that it’s not hydrating enough for cats

#2 Young Again Original 50/22 Cat & Kitten Formula Review

Young Again Original 50/22 Cat & Kitten Formula

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Hydrolyzed pork and chicken meal appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food. 

The original 50/22 food is still low in carbohydrates with just around 6% carbs on a dry matter basis, but it differs from the ZERO recipe in the addition of a small amount of potato starch instead of guar gum. By pushing guar gum lower on the ingredient list, Young Again makes the 50/22 food a better option for those concerned that their cats might develop diarrhea due to too much soluble fiber.

Otherwise, this food’s ingredient list looks almost identical to that of the ZERO food. The recipe begins with hydrolyzed pork as a highly-digestible protein source, chicken meal, chicken fat, chicken liver flavor, and herring meal. The food contains DL-methionine, an essential amino acid that maintains whole-body health and helps bring the food’s pH to a natural prey-inspired level. Additional ingredients include fish oil as a source of omega-3 fatty acids, probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes.

Overall, this dry food is rich in protein with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

At 647 calories per cup, this is a calorie-dense food. Your cat won’t have to eat much of it to get all the calories she needs each day.

Ingredients

Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Potato Starch, Chicken Liver Flavor, Herring Meal, DL Methionine, L Lysine, Fish Oil, Psyllium Husk (source of soluble dietary fiber), Potassium Citrate, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Brewers Yeast, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, L-ascorbyl-2polyphosphate (source of stabilized vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Guar Gum, Betaine Anhydrous, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Salt, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Biotin (vitamin B7), Thiamine Mononitrate (vitamin B1), Copper Proteinate, Folic Acid (vitamin B9), Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B5), Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dehydrated Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 50%
Crude Fat: 22%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 5.6%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 55.56%
Fat: 24.44%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 10.44%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 44.32%
Fat: 47.35%
Carbs: 8.33%

Ingredients We Liked: Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Fat, Fish Oil, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Potato Starch, Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken, Fish

Pros

  • Exceptionally low-carbohydrate food
  • Rich in highly-digestible protein
  • Contains animal-sourced fat
  • Supports digestive health

Cons

  • No dry food provides the moisture your cat needs

#3 Young Again Zero Mature Health Formula Review

Young Again Zero Mature Health Formula

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Turkey appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This ZERO variety is formulated for older adult cats who no longer need high levels of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and other nutrients. Young Again notes that too much of these nutrients may cause health problems among senior cats and those with kidney disease.

It is 0.50% phosphorus, which is well within the recommended range for cats with renal disease.  Additionally, the food is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which help to reduce inflammation and discomfort associated with aging.

Unlike other ZERO recipes, the food is free of herring meal and relies instead on a mix of pork and chicken protein. It features guar gum as a kibble binder and source of soluble fiber.

Prebiotics, probiotics, and digestive enzymes support healthy digestion and overall condition.

Overall, this food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

This calorie-dense, protein-rich food bucks the senior food status quo with plenty of nourishing meat ingredients and virtually zero carbohydrate content. It has balanced levels of key minerals and highly-digestible protein, both features that may help to reduce kidney strain and help seniors stay spry.

The food contains 654 calories per cup.

Ingredients

Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Chicken Liver Flavor, Guar Gum,DL Methionine, L-Lysine, Fish Oil, Psyllium Husk (source of soluble dietary fiber), Potassium Citrate, Brewers Yeast, Fructooligosaccharides (FOS), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Potassium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Tryptophan, L-ascorbyl-2polyphosphate (source of stabilized vitamin C), L-Carnitine, Betaine Anhydrous, Magnesium Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Salt,  Biotin (vitamin B7), Zinc Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract,Rosemary Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Niacinamide (vitamin B3), Thiamine Mononitrate (vitamin B1), Copper Proteinate, Folic Acid (vitamin B9), Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin (vitamin B2), Calcium Pantothenate (vitamin B5), Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dehydrated Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Beta Carotene, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid (Preservatives).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 54%
Crude Fat: 24%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 4.85%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 60%
Fat: 26.67%
Fiber: 2.22%
Carbs: 5.72%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 45.98%
Fat: 49.63%
Carbs: 4.39%

Ingredients We Liked: Hydrolyzed Pork, Chicken Fat, Fish Oil, Probiotics

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Chicken

Pros

  • Crafted for senior cats, supports senior and kidney health
  • One of the few senior cat foods that deliver high-quality protein
  • Very low carbohydrate content
  • Supports digestive health

Cons

  • Dry food doesn’t provide enough moisture for cats

What Do Customers Think Of Young Again Cat Food?

Young Again’s biggest following? People with diabetic cats. Its low carbohydrate content and satisfying crunch make it an appealing compromise for the kibble-addicted diabetic.

Though most agree that a high-moisture diet is preferable, users on feline diabetes message boards have positive things to say about this brand. More than a few people attribute their cats’ diabetic remission to Young Again cat food.

Because Young Again only sells through their own site, it’s the only place to get formal customer reviews. The customer experiences published on Young Again’s site are more testimonials than reviews, so the following is a mix of those review-testimonials and comments from cat forums.

Let’s hear what these customers have to say.

Positive Reviews

“I give Young Again Pet Food’s Zero Carb Cat Food a 10 out of 10 as the best food for diabetic cats. Ever since we changed his food from a mainstream cat food to the zero carb food there have been several positive changes. Not only did our cat no longer have diabetes, he also no longer has a wheezing cough. He’s more social, his “pay attention to me” kitten antics are back, and he wants to play often. Other than myself and my husband noticing the symptoms of feline diabetes, I give all the credit to Young Again’s Zero Carb Food for curing my cat.”Cathi, blogger at Scratch and Stitch

“I put our ex-feral cat Moon on your food when he got up to 17 lbs on a vet prescribed urinary diet for his crystals and cystitis. He fully blocked at the time. He’s down to a respectable 14 lbs now for his size. His friend Rupert, who is an ex-feral we took in a year ago is FIV positive and had terrible dental issues. We dealt with that and he’s gained and maintained at also 14 lbs.

Feral cats tend to have food insecurities, so I love that I can leave multiple bowls of food out without worrying about them overeating. Moon also has food sensitivities, so I’m thrilled that your new mature LID diet helps both his issues.” – Cheryl G., in a testimonial on the Young Again Pet Food website

Negative Reviews

Young Again Zero doesn’t use starch as its binder, it uses guar gum as its binder. This is an soluble fiber that’s also sold for humans as a laxative or stool softener. It has the same effect on my cat — he gets projectile stools with it, very loose. If your cat has constipation, YAZ will certainly solve that problem. (Note that while guar gum is being investigated for its effect upon blood sugar in humans — i.e., it reduces blood sugar in humans and is being investigated as a possible treatment for borderline Type 2 diabetes in humans — there is no evidence that it has any effect on blood sugar in cats).” Badtux, discussing Young Again cat food on Feline Diabetes Forum

“I tried my male cat that had struvite crystals on the zero carb dry food.  He had a relapse of crystals/cystitis with this food. I learned from an alternative vet that dry food of any kind is not good for a cat that has had urinary crystals.  Canned food only with extra water stirred in is what has helped the most. Ideal is an all meat canned food like Natures Variety Instinct, EVO 95%, Hound and Gatos 98%.”skimble, discussing Young Again cat food on TheCatSite Forum

How Much Does Young Again Cat Food Cost?

Young Again cat food is very calorie-dense, so on a price-per-ounce basis, it looks more expensive than the average kibble. However, if you look at it in terms of cost per day, it doesn’t look quite so pricey. If you purchase the food in 25-pound bags, none of the recipes reviewed will cost you more than 0.37 per ounce.

In order to feed a 10-pound cat Young Again cat food it would cost between $0.47 and $0.57 per day. That’s significantly cheaper than a premium brand like Ziwi Peak and similarly priced to a high-quality dry food like Dr. Elsey’s.

Overall, Is Young Again A Good Choice?

If you have an overweight, diabetic, unhealthy cat who meows up and down that he’ll starve before tucking into a bowl of anything that doesn’t crunch, Young Again might be a low-carbohydrate way to indulge your cat’s passion for kibble.

It’s one of the lowest-carbohydrate dry foods you can buy, competing head-to-head with dry food from brands like Ziwi Peak, Wysong Epigen, and Dr. Elsey’s.

That said, dry food—even a thoughtfully-formulated low carbohydrate dry food like Young Again—is deficient in a vital macronutrient.

All dry food is deficient in water. Water deficiencies result in serious health problems, including urinary tract inflammation, crystals, blockage, and other forms of feline lower urinary tract disease.

Where To Buy Young Again Cat Food?

You can only buy Young Again cat food through the manufacturer’s website. You can order a single shipment or, if you like the products, opt for Young Again’s “Bottomless Bag” program and set up a recurring shipment. Shipping is free on all orders over $30.

Click here to shop for Young Again cat food.