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Home > Cats > Darwin’s Raw Cat Food Review 2024: Pros, Cons, Verdict, & FAQ

Darwin’s Raw Cat Food Review 2024: Pros, Cons, Verdict, & FAQ

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Our Final Verdict

We give Darwin’s Cat Food a rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

At the risk of sounding like we’ve been utterly smitten by Darwin’s, their commitment to exceptional pet nutrition has caught our admiration. For over a decade and a half, Darwin’s has been delivering an impressive line-up of 100% real meat delights, including chicken and turkey variants, that make feline taste buds tingle with anticipation. The result is a cat food so tempting that even the pickiest of feline gourmands can’t resist.

While our initial impressions of Darwin’s cat food certainly lean towards the positive, it’s important to note that our glowing prelude is not the be-all and end-all. As with any review, we’re going to dive deeper, exploring every nook and cranny of this product range, from ingredients to affordability, to ensure a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation. So, let’s embark on this detailed scrutiny, one paw step at a time.

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At a Glance: What We Reviewed

Image Product Details
Our Favorite
Winner
Natural Selections™ Chicken for Cats Natural Selections™ Chicken for Cats
  • Contains organ meats, which are a rich source of taurine
  • The addition of marine oils supports skin and coat health
  • High-quality, antibiotic-free chicken is the primary ingredient
  • Second place
    Natural Selections™ Turkey for Cats Natural Selections™ Turkey for Cats
  • Primarily contains high-quality, antibiotic-free turkey
  • Contains organ meats, providing a healthy amount of taurine
  • Good source of essential nutrients including B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and potassium
  • Darwin’s Natural Selection – Chicken for Cats

    Who Makes Darwin’s Natural Selection – Chicken for Cats and Where Is It Produced?

    This offering from Darwin’s is proudly made in the USA, crafted with a blend of nature’s bounty and scientific understanding of feline dietary needs. The Natural Selection- Chicken for Cats variant caters to cats of all ages and lifestyles, thanks to its broad appeal and affordable pricing. Moreover, the brand offers an easy-to-use subscription service that adjusts to your feline friend’s changing demands.

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    Unpacking the Ingredients: A Closer Look

    Before we dive into the potentially thorny issue of raw food safety, it’s only fair we dedicate some time to appraising the primary ingredients that make up Darwin’s cat food. After all, it’s the actual constituents of these meals that fundamentally influence their nutritional value and palatability for our feline friends.

    With Darwin’s Natural Selections Chicken and Turkey meals for cats, the centerpiece of each recipe is unequivocally meat—high-quality, pasture-raised, free-roaming, antibiotic-free, and hormone-free meat, to be precise. Whether it’s chicken or turkey, the meat content constitutes a significant 98.5% and 98% respectively, a statistic that speaks volumes about Darwin’s commitment to species-appropriate nutrition.

    darwin's cat food packaging

    Natural Selections™ Chicken for Cats

    The chicken recipe, priced at $16.07 per 2-pound package, boasts chicken meat, necks, gizzards, livers, and hearts. Apart from being an excellent protein source, chicken offers a wealth of nutrients including a wide array of B vitamins, phosphorus, and potassium.

    A noteworthy detail is the inclusion of organ meats, making up 37% of the meat content. Organ meats like chicken hearts are rich in crucial nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and the all-important taurine.

    Natural Selections™ Turkey for Cats

    Not to be outdone, the turkey variant (costing $17.57 per 2-pound package) similarly emphasizes quality and nutrition. Composed of turkey meat, necks, gizzards, livers, and hearts, this lean meat option is rich in vitamins and minerals, with organ meats making up a hefty 45% of the total meat content. Like the chicken recipe, essential nutrients abound, with the addition of tryptophan, an amino acid vital for strengthening the immune system.

    But that’s not all. Both recipes contain a blend of trace minerals and vitamins (1%), as well as marine oils (0.5%) derived from sea-harvested wild sardines and Alaskan cod. The evident attention to detail is further exemplified by Darwin’s readily accessible nutritional data. With a single click, you’re presented with a comprehensive, color-coded, and easy-to-read PDF detailing the nutritional profile of the meal you’re considering for your furry friend.

    Now, with the primary ingredients in the spotlight, let’s address the question of raw food safety.

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    Educational Outreach: How Darwin’s Guides Pet Parents

    Darwin’s goes the extra mile to ensure pet parents know how to handle raw food safely. Their user-friendly website and handy leaflets (included with each meal box) offer precise handling instructions. These include washing everything that comes in contact with the raw food, thawing meals properly, serving raw meals in low-traffic areas, refrigerating leftovers promptly, and keeping meals frozen if not consumed within a certain timeframe.

    For those with kittens and puppies, Darwin’s provides specific advice. They suggest lightly sautéing the food over medium to medium-high heat for about 8–12 minutes to minimize any risks associated with feeding raw foods to these younger pets.

    At the end of the day, while there are valid considerations when it comes to a raw diet, Darwin’s comprehensive guidance helps pet parents navigate these concerns. It is evident that their primary goal is not just to sell food but to ensure the overall well-being of your feline companion, even when that means going the extra mile in their guidance. This sincerity further underscores why we hold Darwin’s in such high regard.

    a cat looking at the darwin's cat food

    Animal Protein

    To provide a balanced and complete diet, Darwin’s recipes leverage a variety of animal proteins, including lean turkey and beef. Turkey is rich in vitamins and minerals that help regulate blood pressure, boost the immune system, and support healing processes. Beef, on the other hand, provides essential amino acids and nutrients like zinc, iron, manganese, selenium, and potassium, as well as B vitamins that enhance the absorption of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.

    Animal proteins also contain amino acids that are critical to a wide range of bodily functions, including hormone production, tissue repair, muscle maintenance, and immune functions.

    Fatty Acids and Trace Minerals

    Marine oils, comprising less than 1% of the recipes, are derived from sea-harvested wild sardines and Alaskan cod. These oils are a critical source of EPA, DHA, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for a cat’s overall health, contributing to brain function, skin and coat health, joint health, and more. The ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in both recipes is also well within recommended levels, providing a balanced profile of essential fatty acids.

    Trace minerals play a crucial role in your cat’s diet. They are required for several bodily functions, including maintaining a healthy coat, healing wounds, and carrying oxygen in the blood. These meals come enriched with a variety of trace minerals, like iron, zinc, copper, and manganese, which contribute to a balanced diet.

    darwin's cat food in bowl

    No Commitment

    Understanding that every pet’s needs and preferences may change over time, Darwin’s allows for flexibility in their meal plans. There’s an introductory offer for new customers to try out their premium raw food with the auto-ship program, but one can cancel or change the plan at any time. This flexibility ensures that you’re not locked into a plan that doesn’t work for your pet, allowing you to adjust their meal plan as necessary.

    Free Pet Food Consultation

    Transitioning from conventional pet food to raw feeding can be overwhelming. Darwin’s addresses this by offering free pet food consultations to their customers. The experienced team of menu consultants can assist you in navigating the change, addressing any questions or concerns you may have. They’ll help you create a customized feeding schedule, develop a tailored menu based on your pet’s needs, and provide advice on appropriate portion sizes.

    The consultations are flexible and can range from 10 minutes to longer sessions, depending on your needs. This personal touch helps to make the transition to fresh, healthy food smoother for both you and your pet.

    cats eating darwin's cat food from bowl

    Helpful Articles and Guides

    The Darwin’s website is an invaluable resource for pet owners. It houses a wealth of articles and guides covering a broad spectrum of topics, from transitioning your pet to a raw diet to addressing specific health concerns. For instance, their Complete Transition Guide for Cats offers a comprehensive plan to ease your feline friend into a healthier, raw diet.

    For those who need additional support, there are safe handling instructions, tips on creating a feeding schedule, and even advice for handling finicky eaters. Whether you’re a new pet owner or have been one for years, you’re sure to find valuable insights and guidance on the Darwin’s website.

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    A Quick Look at Darwin’s Raw Cat Food Natural Selections™

    Pros
    • High-quality ingredients
    • Nutrient-rich recipes
    • Optimal omega ratios
    • Hormone and antibiotic-free
    • Multiple flavors: chicken, beef, lamb, and turkey-based meals
    Cons
    • Requires freezing and thawing
    • Not suitable for all cats

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    Reviews of the Darwin’s Raw Cat Food We Tried

    1. Natural Selections™ Chicken for Cats

    Natural Selections™ Chicken for Cats

    The Natural Selections Chicken for Cats from Darwin’s presents a comprehensive, balanced, and protein-rich meal for your feline friends. It primarily contains antibiotic-free chicken meat and organs (including bone, gizzard, liver, and heart), providing a good source of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals necessary for your cat’s health. The addition of marine oils from sustainable sources adds beneficial Omega fatty acids to the mix.

    This recipe seems to be a big hit with cats, at least judging by my own furry companions’ reactions. They appeared to enjoy the taste and consistency of the food, showing enthusiasm at mealtimes. Nonetheless, as a reviewer, I am aware of the individual preferences that cats may have and that what my cats love, others may not.

    Pros
    • High-quality, antibiotic-free chicken is the primary ingredient
    • Provides a good source of B Vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, and selenium
    • Contains organ meats, which are a rich source of taurine
    • The addition of marine oils supports skin and coat health
    Cons
    • Some cats develop an intolerance to chicken over time, which may limit the long-term use of this specific product

    2. Natural Selections™ Turkey for Cats

    Natural Selections™ Turkey for Cats

    The Natural Selections Turkey for Cats offers another excellent high-protein meal option from Darwin’s. This recipe predominantly contains antibiotic-free turkey meat and organs, ensuring a nutrient-rich diet that meets the needs of your feline friends. As with the chicken variant, the addition of marine oils from sustainable sources provides beneficial omega fatty acids.

    Once again, my own cats seemed to enjoy this recipe, eating with gusto and showing no adverse reactions. However, the turkey variant might not appeal to all felines, as cats can have individual dietary preferences and sensitivities.

    Pros
    • Primarily contains high-quality, antibiotic-free turkey
    • Good source of essential nutrients including B vitamins, selenium, zinc, and potassium
    • Contains organ meats, providing a healthy amount of taurine
    Cons
    • Some cats might not like the texture of organ meats

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    Our Experience With Darwin’s Raw Cat Food Natural Selection

    darwin's cat food

    If you’ve ever seen a live orchestra, you might appreciate the first few moments of anticipation—when the musicians fine-tune their instruments, the audience settles down, and the maestro takes the stage. You can almost feel the electricity in the air. Now imagine my two cats’ mealtimes being akin to this spectacle—the enthusiasm, the anticipation, and the gusto with which they devour their meals is something to witness.

    Our foray into the world of Darwin’s Natural Selections™ Chicken for Cats seemed to strike a chord of pure delight with my feline companions. It’s safe to say that the symphony was a hit. For the uninitiated, my cats aren’t the shy kind when it comes to food. Their appetites are wholesome, and their culinary preferences, while refined, are never limiting. And yet, the introduction of this new melody into their gastronomic repertoire seemed to stir an unprecedented level of excitement.

    They took turns elegantly dissecting the tender chicken. The usual post-meal serenade for treats was noticeably absent. It seemed they had found satisfaction in their symphony of chicken and offal. Moreover, I couldn’t help but notice a definite uptick in their energy levels, further proof of the meal’s triumphant performance. Taking a closer look at the recipes, the ingredients left me more than pleased. The headliner, of course, was chicken, closely followed by chicken hearts and livers. A similar thing was found in the Natural Selections™ Turkey for Cats, a well-orchestrated blend of turkey, organ meats, fish oils, and vitamins that struck all the right notes.

    On a broader scale, it’s heartening to note that Darwin’s resonates with the same tune as we do by prioritizing animal welfare, nutritional integrity, and a biologically appropriate diet. Their mission statement comprised together the right values, making them a brand we’re more than willing to follow.

    In this era of information, their website proved to be a resourceful guide with clear answers, a testament to their commitment to empowering pet owners. Even the box contained a comprehensive guide for newcomers on how to transition their cats to a raw diet. And though my cats were seasoned performers on the raw food stage, it was comforting to see this inclusive approach. The showstopper, however, was the cats’ equal appreciation for both the chicken and the turkey meals. It was as if they were sitting in an opera house, giving a standing ovation to both performances and unable to pick a favorite. It was truly a delight to offer to my fur babies!

    cat eating darwin's cat food from bowl

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    Conclusion

    In conclusion, our journey with Darwin’s Raw Cat Food Natural Selections™ struck all the right chords. The high-quality ingredients, thoughtful preparation, and the joyous reaction from my cats transformed this mealtime routine into a symphony of pleasure.

    The brand’s commitment to ethical sourcing and transparent communication made them a stand-out in the industry. As a pet owner, I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

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