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Pure Vita Cat Food Review of 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

pure vita review header
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Pure Vita Cat food a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. 

Pure Vita Cat Food includes both wet and dry food. Overall, the food is considered to be of decent quality but it is the wet food considered to be of a higher standard than the dry. The dry food is lacking some essential vitamins and minerals, while the wet food range is nutritionally well-balanced and largely considered to be species-appropriate. Their foods do not contain artificial colorings or preservatives.

Pure Vita also offers grain-free foods. No pet food manufactured by the parent company, KLN Family Brands, has ever had a recall, which is a positive sign. The ingredient lists are largely free of controversial ingredients, and the primary food sources are meat-based proteins.

Overall, Pure Vita can be considered safe, and some of the food gets high ratings when compared to other manufacturers, although you may want to stick to their wet food range and consider an alternative supplier of dry foods.

cat face divider 2At a Glance: The Best Pure Vita Cat Food Recipes:

Best Overall
Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon Canned Cat Food Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon Canned Cat Food
  • 0% carbs
  • Salmon as the primary ingredient
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon Dry Cat Food Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon Dry Cat Food
  • 10% moisture is reasonable for dry food
  • Salmon and salmon meal are the primary ingredients
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Pure Vita Grain Free Chicken Entrée Dry Cat Food Pure Vita Grain Free Chicken Entrée Dry Cat Food
  • Decent moisture levels for a dry food
  • Chicken and chicken meal are the primary ingredients
  • Pure Vita Grain Free Chicken And Peas Cat Food Pure Vita Grain Free Chicken And Peas Cat Food
  • Formulated to meet the nutritional levels
  • 3 cat face dividerPure Vita Cat Food Reviewed

    Finding the right food for your cat can seem like an uphill struggle. There are hundreds of manufacturers of dry and wet food, each claiming to offer the best food packed with the vitamins and nutrients that your cat requires.

    In reality, many commercial brands include highly questionable ingredients, including some that are not only controversial for representing cheap filler ingredients, but that could be harming the cats that are eating it.

    We have taken a look at Pure Vita, including information on the company itself, its manufacturing processes, and some of its most popular food lines, to help determine whether you should consider giving this food to your cats. Below are our findings.

    Pure Vita History

    In 1947, Darrell “Tuffy” Nelson started an animal feed company, in Minnesota, called Pine Lakes Feed. Twenty years later, his son rejoined the company after studying away, and the two of them created the Tuffy’s Dog Food Company brand. The son, Kenny Nelson, still owns Tuffy’s to this day.

    After 40 years of producing economy food, Tuffy’s turned their attention to the manufacture of premium food. At this point, the new premium ranges were under the brand NutriSource Super Premium and, following on from its success, they launched the Pure Vita range of food.

    Today, Tuffy’s ethos is to sell high-quality food that is made from natural ingredients without any artificial ingredients. They pride themselves on the manufacture and supply of premium quality cat food.

    Which Types of Cats is Pure Vita Best Suited For?

    Pure Vita food includes wet and dry food and it is said to be suitable for young kittens as well as senior cats. The recipes are all grain-free, so they are suitable for cats with grain sensitivities, and the foods contain meat protein from a single source of meat, which makes it much easier to manage food allergies. Effectively, the food is suitable for all cats, except those that might have very specific allergies or sensitivities.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and bad)

    Because Pure Vita offers a wide range of dry and wet foods, it is difficult to rank and assess all ingredients in one. However, looking across the entire range, we do see that the vast majority contain meat protein from a single source of meat. For cats with food allergies, this makes them much easier to manage, and it also allows you to single out a specific meat source that might be causing an upset stomach or allergic reaction in your cat.

    Among the most notable ingredients in Pure Vita food, we found:

    Pea Protein

    All of the foods that Pure Vita offers are grain-free. As with all grain-free recipes, the manufacturer has to use some method of binding the ingredients together. One common ingredient to do this is pea. Peas are quite starchy, and this starch acts to bind the kibble and dry ingredients together. It makes the food more palatable and ensures that it doesn’t simply crumble to dust while in the packet and in transit. Pea protein or pea flour is used in the same way as soy or corn, but it is not a grain.

    Later in the list of ingredients of some recipes, you will also find pea starch and pea fiber. This can be considered a form of ingredient splitting. Ingredients are listed in order, by volume, so the first ingredient is the primary ingredient. By splitting an ingredient like peas down into pea flour, pea starch, and pea fiber, it enables the manufacturer to list them separately so that they appear further down the ingredient list than if they were just to list peas.

    cat eating food at home
    Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

    Dried Tomato Pomace

    Another ingredient that is found in some Pure Vita recipes is that of dried tomato pomace. Some people consider this a cheap filler. It adds fiber and carbs and costs very little. It is made as a by-product of the manufacturing process of tomatoes and while some believe it to be a cheap filler with minimal benefit, it provides dietary fiber, a host of B vitamins, Lycopene, and vitamin A. Therefore, while it might be an inexpensive ingredient, we do believe that it offers some benefit to cats.

    Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex

    One ingredient that is found in several wet food recipes from Pure Vita and is considered controversial is menadione sodium bisulfite complex, which is a synthetic vitamin K. It has been linked to liver toxicity and some experts have warned that it is also toxic to the lungs, kidneys, and mucous membrane. As such, you may wish to avoid this particular ingredient in your cat’s food.

    Named Meat

    A lot of cheap pet foods include unnamed meat ingredients. These ingredients can come from almost any animal, but Pure Vita has not been found to use such ingredients. In fact, Pure Vita recipes are usually made with a single named meat source as the primary ingredient.

    Grain-Free Diet

    Cats are obligate carnivores, and grains are not considered to be a natural part of their diet. In the wild, the only exposure a cat would have to any grain would be in the stomach of their prey, and this would be minimal. As such, and because the grain in cat food can cause sensitivity that leads to gastrointestinal upset, it is advised that cats be fed a grain-free diet. All Pure Vita recipes are grain-free.

    Nutrisource Super Premium Nutrition

    This is a blend of nutrients and vitamins that form the basis of every cat food recipe from the company. After the meat source, ingredients include barley and rice, followed by omega oils, selenium, vitamin C, and antioxidants. This combination helps ensure that your cat is getting the vitamins it needs while being presented with food that will not cause gut problems.

    cat eating cat food
    Image Credit: Surprise, Pixabay

    No Artificial Colorings

    Pure Vita states that it does not use any artificial colorings in its ingredients, and none have been found in the ingredient list. There really is no need for artificial coloring in cat food, because cats will eat food regardless of its color. The only reason to color cat food is to make it more appealing to human pet parents.

    No Animal By-Products

    Animal by-products are the largely undesirable leftovers that remain after an animal has been processed for meat. It can include any part of the animal, including the carcass itself, and while some of these can be considered nutritional and beneficial to a cat, they can include some less than desirable ingredients. Pure Vita does not list any animal by-products in its ingredients.

    High In Carbs

    Carbohydrates are not needed by cats. In fact, they are only really included in cat food because they are found in cheap filler and some other ingredients. If cat food does include carbs, the actual amount should be kept to an absolute minimum.

    While Pure Vita is widely considered a good food source with plenty of benefits, many of its recipes are quite high in carbohydrates. This is primarily because the foods use pea flour and pea ingredients as cheap fillers, and these ingredients do add to the carbohydrate content.

    Want to see more cat food reviews? Check out our review page here!

    Cat ball divider 1A Quick Look at Pure Vita Cat Food

    • No animal by-products
    • No artificial colorings
    • Grain-free food
    • No recalls
    • Contains menadione sodium bisulfite complex
    • High in carbs
    • Uses pea flour
    • Not a wide range of flavors

    Recall History

    Neither Pure Vita nor its parent company, Tuffy’s, has had a recall of pet food in its 70 years of manufacturing.

    cat + line divider

    Reviews of the 3 Best Pure Vita Cat Food Recipes

    1. Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon Canned Cat Food1PureVita Grain Free Salmon Canned Cat Food

    Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon Canned Cat Food is a grain-free wet food. Its primary ingredient is salmon, it has no controversial ingredients, and it does not contain by-products or fillers within its top ingredients.

    Salmon is an allergen, and the ingredients also include fish broth, which is also on the list of allergens, but if your cat is not allergic to fish, it should be fine. The food has average protein but less fiber and more fat than the average wet food.

    The food is quite expensive but, like all wet foods, it offers decent hydration levels for your cat, and has proven a popular flavor.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    purevita salmon entree

    • 0% carbs
    • Salmon as the primary ingredient
    • High in calories
    • Contains menadione sodium bisulfite complex

    2. Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon Dry Cat Food2Pure Vita Grain Free Salmon

    The Grain-Free Salmon and Pea Entrée Dry Cat Food is a dry kibble that lists salmon and salmon meal as the main ingredients. Both of these ingredients are considered high quality. The recipe does contain pea flour high in its list of ingredients.

    While this is considered a cheap filler, it is often used in grain-free recipes like this one because it helps to maintain the shape of the kibble and ensure that it retains its form. The recipe, however, is considered low in protein and high in carbohydrates. It has average fat and fiber content and contains roughly the average calories compared to other foods.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    puravita grain free salmon

    • 10% moisture is reasonable for dry food
    • Salmon and salmon meal are the primary ingredients
    • 31% protein
    • 35% carbs
    • Contains pea flour

    3. Pure Vita Grain Free Chicken Entrée Dry Cat Food3PureVita GrainFree Chicken Entree Dry Cat Food

    The Pure Vita Grain Free Chicken and Pea Entrée Dry Cat Food is another dry food that utilizes meat as its primary ingredient. In this case, it lists chicken and chicken meal high in the ingredients.

    It is another recipe that also uses pea flour and pea starch to bind the ingredients, and it contains dried egg product, which is a known allergen and should be avoided if your cat is sensitive to this ingredient. Like the salmon dry food, it is low in protein and high in carbs.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    puravita grain free chicken

    • Decent moisture levels for a dry food
    • Chicken and chicken meal are the primary ingredients
    • 32% protein
    • 5% carbs
    • Contains pea flour


    What Other Users Are Saying

    To see what others think of Pure Vita cat food, check out these quotes and reviews:

    • AllAboutCats – “If you can stomach the price tag, Pure Vita wet cat food is among the best you can buy.”
    • MyPetNeedsThat – “The Pure Vita Range is packed with wholesome ingredients and has a single source of animal protein. There is also an emphasis on taste.”
    • Amazon – You can also see what other buyers and pet owners have to say about Pure Vita cat food products on Amazon. Read the reviews.

    cat paw dividerConclusion

    Pure Vita is made by a family-run company in Minnesota that has more than 70 years of experience and is known for producing cat food from high-quality ingredients. Their primary recipes use a single meat source as their main protein source and use very few if any controversial or potentially dangerous ingredients.

    Although they do use pea filler, we believe this is to ensure that the kibble retains its shape and because all of the company’s recipes are grain-free. Although the dry foods leave a little to be desired, in terms of protein and carb content, the wet food is very good quality and suitable for all cats.

    About the Author

    Christian Adams
    Christian Adams
    Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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