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Pure Balance Cat Food Review 2023 – Top Picks, Pros & Cons

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Review Summary

Our Final Verdict
We give Pure Balance Cat food a 4 out of 5 stars.

When considering what to feed your cat, you want to be sure you’re giving them something tasty as well as nutritious and healthy. However, there are a multitude of options out there, so it can be easy to get overwhelmed with trying to find the best food — particularly one that doesn’t cost a bundle. That’s why in 2012, Walmart introduced its brand, Pure Balance. Promising quality ingredients at Walmart prices, this brand offers plenty of flavor variation. Initially just offering dry

At a Glance: The Best Pure Balance Cat Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Pure Balance Dry Cat Food Pure Balance Dry Cat Food
  • No animal by-products
  • No artificial preservatives or flavors
  • Real chicken listed as the first ingredient
  • Best Protein Option
    Second place
    Pure Balance Wild & Free High Protein  Pure Balance Wild & Free High Protein
  • High protein
  • Limited ingredient
  • Omega-3s and omega-6 for a shinier coat
  • Third place
    Pure Balance Turkey and Sweet Potato Cat Food Pure Balance Turkey and Sweet Potato Cat Food
  • Grain-free
  • Comes in a dry and canned version
  • Turkey is a great alternative to chicken for cats who have issues with the latter
  • Pure Balance Cat Food Reviewed

    Pure Balance cat food is quite popular amongst cat parents looking for better quality foods for a lower price. It does live up to its quality ingredients claim by avoiding many fillers and unnatural additives common in cat foods. However, it is a bit heavier on carbs than you may like. There also seems to be little information on where ingredients are found or whether food is tested on animals prior to hitting shelves.

    Who makes Pure Balance Cat Food, and where is it produced?

    While a Walmart brand, several of the Pure Balance cat foods are made by Ainsworth Pet Nutrition in Meadville, Pennsylvania. You might recognize the name as they also make Rachel Ray’s pet food line and Ol’Roy. There are other places that manufacture this brand, but good luck finding out who. When customer service was contacted with this question, they merely said the brand is mostly made in the United States.

    Which Types of Cats is Pure Balance Cat Food Best Suited For?

    Pure Balance cat food is good for a variety of cats, as they have different recipes specifically for kittens, senior cats, indoor cats, cats who need help with weight management, cats with sensitive stomachs, and more. They also have dry and wet foods to fit your kitty’s needs.

    Which Sort of Cats Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    Cats who have food allergies or food sensitivities to proteins such as turkey, chicken, or salmon, or grains would likely not do well with this brand as these are some of their main ingredients.

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    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and bad)

    The main questions people have about Pure Balance cat food are about the ingredients. Are the ingredients quality? Will any ingredients harm your pet? Let’s look closer at the ingredients and break down the good and bad. The main ingredients in Pure Balance Dry cat foods are salmon, chicken, turkey, meat meal, dried peas and pea fiber, dried carrots, dried beet pulp, potatoes, chickpeas, brown rice, ground barley, fish and sunflower oil, tapioca starch, and dried egg.

    Gray cat eating from the bowl
    Image Credit: Skrypnykov Dmytro, Shutterstock

    Protein Sources are a Mix

    The good news is that each Pure Balance cat food recipe lists meat and meat meals as the first products. Since cats are carnivores, a good portion of their nutritional needs should be met via protein, and this brand seems to deliver on that. The bad news is that most feline food allergies are to common proteins such as the ones included here, so that may be an issue for some cats.

    But Aren’t Legumes Bad for Cats?

    You may have heard that peas and chickpeas aren’t good for cats to eat due to their limited ability to digest plant products. Yet, these products (and other beans) have become much more common in pet foods due to the “grain-free” craze. Pea fiber, particularly, is known to replace grain products and boost the protein content of foods.  The good news is that the addition of these products, known as “pulses”, should be absolutely fine for your feline friend to consume when paired with animal proteins. That said, if you’re dealing with a kitten, it’s best to leave them to animal proteins and grains till they get older.

    Pure Balance Cat Food Leans Towards Carb Heavy

    Despite the abundance of protein in their products, Pure Balance cat food still leans pretty heavily on carbs which can be an issue for kitties. Cats that consume higher amounts of carbohydrates may be more liable to develop diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases.

    Pure Balance Cat Food Has Less Transparency

    For many cat food brands, you’ll be able to go directly to the manufacturer to find more information. However, Pure Balance cat food seems to have less transparency than other brands about where ingredients are found, and food is made. This may be a result of the brand being less than 10 years old or because it’s privately owned, but it does mean you won’t be able to find answers to certain questions.

    A Quick Look at Pure Balance Cat Food

    cat eating food from bowl at home
    Image Credit: Pixel-Shot, Shutterstock
    • Is affordable
    • For the price, the quality is good
    • Is high in protein which is excellent for cats
    • Avoids most fillers and additives
    • Has recipes for almost any type of cat or cat need
    • Is still carb-heavy, despite the amount of protein
    • Brand lacks transparency
    • Can mostly only find at Walmart (though Amazon has a few kinds)
    • Uses common proteins that might cause food allergies

    Recall History

    There have been no reports of any recalls for Pure Balance Cat Food, which is a huge positive!

    Reviews of the 3 Best Pure Balance Cat Food Recipes

    Here we’ll take a closer look at the recipes on our list.

    1. Pure Balance Dry Cat Food – Our Favorite

    Pure Balance Dry Cat Food, Chicken & Brown Rice

    The Pure Balance Dry Cat Food, Chicken & Brown Rice recipe is one of their most popular recipes — one that offers cat-friendly ingredients — and our favorite. Chicken, which makes for an excellent cat protein as it helps maintain muscle mass, is listed as the first ingredient, and brown rice is a natural source of fiber. There’s no wheat, soy, or corn and no fillers or artificial flavors and preservatives. This recipe has added good stuff, though, in the form of fish oil for omega-3s. It also has the usual standard of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids found in cat foods.
    • Real chicken listed as the first ingredient
    • No animal by-products
    • No artificial preservatives or flavors
    • High in carbs
    • Might not be suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs or food allergies

    2. Pure Balance Wild & Free High Protein  – Best Protein Option

    Pure Balance Wild & Free High Protein Dry Cat Food, Salmon Recipe

    This recipe offers salmon as the main ingredient making it a winner for those looking for high protein options for their kitty. Peas and salmon meal also help to boost protein levels. Thanks to the omega-3s in the salmon (along with added omega-6 via sunflower oil), this food can help keep your cat’s coat nice and shiny. This recipe is limited ingredient and contains no wheat, soy, or corn, nor does it contain artificial preservatives and colors.
    • High protein
    • Omega-3s and omega-6 for a shinier coat
    • Limited ingredient
    • Some cats may be allergic to salmon.
    • A few reports of cats not liking the taste

    3. Pure Balance Turkey and Sweet Potato Cat Food

    Pure Balance Limited Ingredient Turkey and Sweet Potato Cat Food

    This recipe comes in a dry and wet version and says it’s great for kitties with sensitive stomachs or food allergies. It’s grain-free, so you don’t have to worry about potential grain allergies, and the turkey is great for cats who have issues with chicken. Oddly, it does contain chicken and fish meal, both of which are common allergens, so problems may arise due to those. This recipe is higher in carbs than proteins and fats, and like the other recipes, contains no wheat, soy, or corn, nor artificial colors and preservatives.
    • Turkey is a great alternative to chicken for cats who have issues with the latter
    • Comes in a dry and canned version
    • Grain-free
    • Not necessarily as safe for food allergies as it claims
    • Higher in carbs than proteins

    What Other Users Are Saying

    The above information can help you decide if Pure Balance cat food is right for your pet, but it’s useful to always do your own research as well. A fabulous way to do that is by checking reviews others have left about this food.

    Here’s what people are saying about Pure Balance cat food:
    • Walmart – “As soon as I knew I was getting a cat, I did a lot of research on feeding her properly, and this was the brand I felt combined both quality and price point. Sure, there were a few higher quality foods, but they were much more expensive than this one. I started her on it when she turned a year old and have never looked back. She likes, I like it – win, win, win.”
    • Amazon – Amazon is a wonderful place to check and see what other pet parents have to say about something before buying. Check out several reviews here!


    For the money, Pure Balance cat food is pretty great. It features plenty of natural ingredients and tends to avoid most of the artificial junky stuff. They also provide recipes for specific ages and dietary needs, which can come in handy (though you may want to double-check ingredients if your cat has a food allergy). You can mostly only get them at Walmart since it’s one of their brands, so if you don’t live close to one of those, you’ll have to try your luck on Amazon, where there are fewer options available. Maybe most important? Parents of felines seem to love this brand!

    Featured Image Credit: Amazon

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