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Last updated: 13 May 2020

Iams Cat Food Review

Key features

Tasty, easy to digestible formula

High fiber content helps reduce hairballs

L-carnitine for efficient fat loss

Complete and well-balanced cat food

Key features

Rich in animal protein

Enriched with potassium and calcium for healthy bones

Contains fish oil for healthy skin and glossy coat

Well-balanced and nourishing

Key features

33% of protein for muscle development

Fortified with all important supplements

Taurine for healthy heart and eye function

Fiber blend for gentle digestion

Show contents
Angela Westfall
Published 15:51 pm

One of the oldest and most popular pet food brands, Iams cat food has been the primary choice for many pet owners for decades now. It’s hardly surprising why – the brand is reasonably priced, can be found everywhere and their recipes are tailored to “keep pets healthy and happy for life”. But is Iams really the best diet for your cat? In this article, we take a close look at the company, the ingredients they use in their formulas and the specific pros and cons of feeding this diet. There’s also Iams cat food review to help you pick the best recipe for your kitty.

Iams Cat Food Review

1

For indoor cats who need help with weight management and hairball control, this recipe can be a godsend. Made with quality proteins like chicken and turkey and supplements like L-carnitine, this dry cat food will help your kitty shed extra weight slowly and healthily while supporting their muscle development and maintenance. Additional tailored fiber blend (beet pulp and prebiotics) helps support digestive health and reduce hairballs before they even start forming. Importantly for sensitive felines, the food is free from artificial preservatives and synthetic dyes. However, it’s not free from grains, which is something to keep in mind if your cat has grain sensitivities. If not, it’s a healthy, nutritious and delicious cat food!

Calorie content: 3364 kcal/kg; 302 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 30%

Minimum fat: 11%

Maximum fiber: 8.3%

Maximum moisture: 10%

With Taurine and L-Carnitine

First three ingredients: chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn grits

Specification:
  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10146520
  • Weight: 16 pounds

2

Rich in protein and healthy fats, this Iams kitten food is a good choice for all developing, young cats. Real chicken is the first ingredient, followed by grains, salmon, dried beet pulp and a few other nutritious foods, making the recipe ideal for growing kittens. There’s plenty of fats too, with a good ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids – very important for proper brain development. To support eye and heart health, the formula contains taurine, as well as other essential supplements needed for feline health and well-being. In fact, Iams markets this recipe as containing “nutrients like those in mother’s milk”. Of course, the food doesn’t contain any artificial additives, so it’s suitable for sensitive kitties.

Calorie content: 4043 kcal/kg; 512 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 33%

Minimum fat: 21%

Maximum fiber: 3%

Maximum moisture: 3%

With Taurine and DHA

First three ingredients: chicken, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain corn

Specification:
  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10146506
  • Weight: 16 pounds

3

Specially crafted to support strong muscles, healthy heart, gentle digestion and skin and coat health, this Iams dry cat food is perfect for most adult cats. Containing chicken as the first ingredient, the formula is quite rich in protein, which is great news for your cat’s overall health. Other ingredients include whole ground corn and corn grits, dried beet pulp, dried eggs and chicken fat and fish oil. Overall, it’s a nicely balanced formula with just enough fat for healthy skin and a glossy coat. To ensure 100% complete nutrition, the food is also supplemented with a host of vitamins and minerals, including calcium and potassium for healthy bones and heart function.

Calorie content: 3652 kcal/kg; 341 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 32%

Minimum fat: 15%

Maximum fiber: 3%

Maximum moisture: 10%

With Taurine and L-Carnitine

First three ingredients: chicken, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain corn

Specification:
  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10146514
  • Weight: 16 pounds

4

With lots of quality protein and twice the amount of antioxidants (vs. Iams Healthy Adult) for a healthy immune system, Iams Healthy Senior is a good choice for all aging and senior cats. Like most Iams recipes, this one too contains real meat as the first ingredient – chicken it this case – followed by grains and other nutritious foods, including dried egg product, chicken fat and fish oil. A rather simple formula that is enriched with various vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as other supplements. There is extra vitamin E for healthy immunity, calcium for healthy bones, Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate for healthy joints, and taurine for proper eye and heart function.

Calorie content: 3880 kcal/kg; 467 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 34%

Minimum fat: 17%

Maximum fiber: 3%

Maximum moisture: 10%

With Taurine, Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate

First three ingredients: chicken, chicken by-product meal, corn grits

Specification:
  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10133666
  • Weight: 16 pounds

5

For kitties struggling with dry, itchy skin, a lackluster coat, and poor digestion, Iams Healthy Digestion & Skin may be a great choice. Made with turkey as the star ingredient, as well as brewers rice, fish oil and a unique fiber blend, this recipe supports the health of sensitive felines, promoting stronger immunity. A unique fiber blend with beet pulp and prebiotics supports gentle digestion, while essential supplements like calcium, potassium and taurine promote healthy heart and eye function. Thanks to chicken fat and fish oil, there is plenty of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are necessary for good skin and shiny coat.

Calorie content: 3708 kcal/kg; 352 kcal/cup

Minimum protein: 33%

Minimum fat: 14%

Maximum fiber: 3%

Maximum moisture: 10%

With Taurine

First three ingredients: turkey, chicken by-product meal, ground whole grain corn

Specification:
  • Brand: Iams
  • Model: 10133980
  • Weight: 16 pounds

Iams Cat Food Review Buying Guide

If some of these recipes seem like something your cat would like and you’re thinking of purchasing Iams food, this buying guide is for you. Here, we take a closer look at the brand in general, including the company information you should know about, ingredient analysis and why you may want to give Iams cat food a go. By the end, you should feel more informed about the company and whether their recipes are the right fit for your pet.

Company Information

IAMS is a popular brand name for pet food that is manufactured by Mars, Inc worldwide and Spectrum Brands in Europe. Created in 1946 by Paul Iams (hence the name!), the company has decades of experience in pet food manufacturing under its belt. Originally, Iams made and sold only dry dog food – in fact, Paul created the world’s first animal-based protein dry pet food. First, the food was called Iams 999, then Eukanuba, and finally, Iams.

In 1999, the brand was sold to Procter & Gamble, which is what allowed Iams to become available worldwide. In 2014 though, the company was sold to Mars, Inc, however, Spectrum Brands remains the owner of the European branch.

Today, Iams is one of the largest and most popular pet food companies. There are a lot of options to choose from, including many Iams dry cat food recipes - which is what we focused on in this article – and wet cat food formulas. There are two main categories that recipes fall into: those tailored for age and activity, and those tailored for individual dietary needs. So, you can find anything from high-protein formulas, to senior-specific recipes, to hairball care, urinary tract health and more. Besides these, there is also Iams healthy naturals line, which is focused on farm-raised produce plus high-quality protein. All in all, a wide selection of products, which is always a plus.

Woman feeding a cat

Why Choose This Brand?

If you want cat food that is nutritious, tasty and affordable, Iams is the right choice. The company never cuts corners when making cat food, ensuring all the ingredients used in their recipes are of good quality, nutritious and safe. Equally important, since its creation, Iams has been researching new ways to improve upon existing pet foods. In fact, they were the first to suggest that cats should be treated as carnivores and fed as such, and also among the first to tailor recipes by life stage, developing puppy and senior pet food. As such, Iams’ cat food recipes are quite healthy and nourishing, typically rich in protein. User reviews confirm this as most are generally positive – always a good sign. Mostly though, Iams seems to offer nicely balanced cat food in terms of quality, price and product variety. In other words, although this may not be the world’s healthiest cat diet, the brand does offer affordable, nutritious options for parents on a budget.

Ingredient Analysis

When deciding whether to buy cat food, the first thing to look at is the ingredient list. Look for real, natural ingredients, including real meat, which should always come first. While Iams offers a wide range of cat food recipes, most of their formulas contain similar ingredients. Typically, you’ll find meat or poultry as the first ingredient, followed by meat by-products, some grains and a few vegetables or fruits. Let’s talk about each macronutrient group in a little more detail so you can decide whether some of the recipes are right for your cat.

  • Protein

All recipes we reviewed and tried contain either chicken or turkey as the first ingredient, or alternatively fish like salmon or ocean fish. All of these are good protein sources as they naturally provide the amino acids necessary for carnivores to thrive. Fish also provide good fats, so fish-based recipes are a great option for cats struggling with poor skin and coat health. Typically, Iams cat food recipes contain meat by-products as second ingredients, which, while not the greatest of protein sources, can be nutritious and healthy. Thankfully, all meat by-products in these recipes are properly named, so we know with certainty where they come from.

  • Fat

Pretty much all Iams formulas contain healthy fat sources such as chicken fat and fish oil. Both of these are beneficial for cats as they provide a nice balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids - crucial for a healthy immune system and skin and coat health. As far as we can tell, no recipe contains bad fat sources, such as lard or unspecified animal fat.

  • Carbohydrates

Iams doesn’t seem to use a whole lot of vegetables, fruits and seeds in their cat foods. Instead, the company seems to focus on several core carbohydrate sources such as corn, rice and dried beet pulp, and there are sometimes extra grains like sorghum or spinach. Overall, a pretty simple carbohydrate list that varies slightly from recipe to recipe. While many pet parents today seem to avoid corn meals, Iams claims that research has shown that a specific combination of carbohydrates in the feline diet, such as corn meal, provides an optimal balance of nutrients. We don’t know if that’s actually true as they don't list sources, however, what we do know is that high-protein, well-balanced recipes can indeed benefit from the inclusion of grains like corn as they’re easily digestible and provide energy. As for other carb sources, dried beet pulp is a fantastic choice as it contains fiber – great for digestion and hairball control.

Pros & Cons

Now that we have gone through the most important aspects of Iams cat food, let’s take a look at the main pros and cons of this diet. Hopefully, this should help you decide if this is the brand for you and your kitty.

Pros
  • High protein content: most Iams formulas are rich in protein (over 30%) thanks to quality animal protein sources such as chicken, turkey, salmon and ocean fish. There are also named meat by-products, which, although not the best sources of protein, are quite nutritious too.
  • Good fat sources: all recipes contain healthy fat sources like chicken fat and fish oil.
  • Added supplements: Iams foods are enriched with necessary vitamins and minerals, and many recipes contain extra supplements like L-carnitine for efficient fat loss, and Glucosamine for joint health.
  • Reasonable price: one of the Iams’ best-selling points is the price of their products. Most foods are quite affordable, making them popular among pet parents.
Cons
  • Higher carbohydrate content: most recipes contain corn or other grains as the third or fourth ingredient, suggesting a higher carbohydrate content.
  • Some recipes contain Added color: normally, Iams formulas don’t contain artificial additives, however, we found a few recipes that contain caramel color. Not a deal-breaker for most, but may be a problem for sensitive cats!

Angela Westfall
Angela Westfall
Angela has fostered, adopted, screened and saved cats for over 15 years. She is known as one of Central Ohio’s most passionate and knowledgeable cat enthusiasts. Her rescue, Angels Assisting Felines has partnerships with PetSmart and PetSuppliesPlus to help more cats find great homes.
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