GMO’s Are In What!? Edition 5: Purina Cat Chow Naturals

GMO’s are lurking everywhere.

Who would have ever thought that GMO’s would be in pet food? It’s simply insane that not only do I have to monitor what is in the food I buy for my human family, I also have to monitor what I buy for my little and crazy ball of furry fluff. Insane, I tell you!

I’ve had animals all my life but the past 3 or so years, I’ve been pet-free. About 3 months ago, we came across this cute, little stray kitten (was still with her mama and siblings) and I immediately fell in love. Who wouldn’t fall in love with a ridiculously sweet face like hers?

We decided to catch her and keep her as ours. Me being somewhat of an — ahem — unconventional, type of person I knew I couldn’t just blindly go to the store and buy any kind of cat food on the shelves.

Ideally, I know I should feed her a raw diet and those were my first intentions but things have been a little crazy over here and I just never got around to it. I read cats are a little more specific in what types of food they need and I, ashamedly, have not taken the time to research it.

BUT, before we talk about the better alternatives out there, let’s take a look at the ingredient list of something more mainstream but claims they are “natural” — don’t you love that word, natural?

Let’s start with a positive about the brand, so I don’t seem to be bashing it completely (even though somewhat secretly I am). The good thing about this brand of cat food is that there are no byproducts. I don’t really want to go into the nitty gritty of byproducts but let’s just say they are the things you don’t really want your furry loved one to eat and could possibly contain things like dead animals. YUCK! (Here is an interesting article about byproducts in pet food).

The bad thing about this brand of cat food is that it is very similar to the mainstream, conventional food products we encounter at the grocery store that come out with “all-natural” products. The only difference is that Purina Cat Chow is made for cats and Cheerios are made for humans. That’s it. And actually, here’s a little fun fact for you: the company who owns Purina is Nestle.

Ding, ding ding! Nestle donated hundreds of thousands of dollars against consumers (like you) right to know what is being put in their foods. Yes, my friends. AND Nestle is the company who blatantly stated they believe water is not a human right. You don’t believe me? Check out the video here.

Okay, back to the ingredient list. As with all ingredient lists, the ingredients closest to the beginning of the list are more abundant in the recipe. In the Purina Cat Chow Naturals, the second ingredient is “corn gluten meal”Β  followed by soybean meal.


First off, since cats are considered more of a “true” carnivore, there is no reason corn or soy should be in the recipe. And, as you probably guessed, the corn and soy are a ridiculously high percentage of being genetically modified. According to the Non-GMO Verified Project, items like malt extract, mixed-tocopherols and natural flavor all have a huge chance of being genetically modified as well. I did some snooping around their website and I found nowhere stating they stay away from GMO’s.

My guess is, if Nestle owns the company, you can be damn sure they take no precaution to sourcing non-GM products. The rest of the ingredients are added vitamins and minerals and who knows if those have any GM traces in them?

What is The Better Option?

Note: I know a raw food diet is the best for animals and I did have good intentions to put her on a raw food diet, but I am so busy every day that this was the easier option for us. Please don’t judge me!

So what are the better choices if you decide to go with dry cat food? First, make sure you do not buy Purina Cat Chow Naturals. You don’t want to support a company who does not care about your food (or water) choices and obviously uses GMO’s in their products.

Second, I did a little more snooping around and have found two main brands you can purchase online or at your local pet store that are definitely more “real food” friendly.

Wellness Core Grain-Free Kitten Formula and BLUE Buffalo Kitten Formula.

Blue Buffalo Grain-Free Kitten Food -- the healthier option

We started off with BLUE Buffalo Kitten Formula and were happy with it. Then one day as I was sitting in the living room, I overheard a commercial from Wellness CORE that based their whole commercial around the fact that their products were GMO-free.

GMO-free?? That’s my kind of cat food! When the BLUE Buffalo was almost empty, I headed to the store and switched over to Wellness because, well, I love supporting companies that clearly state they are non-GMO.

I also contacted BLUE Buffalo and asked if they were non-GMO and this is the response I received:

Hi Loriel,

Thank you for contacting BLUE. Β We do not use any ingredients that are known to be genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Β While we only use all-natural ingredients in our foods, our products are not certified organic.

Thank you again for contacting BLUE.

I don’t know about you but their response still makes me feel iffy. I’d personally rather go with the Wellness brand because they are proud to state their pet food is non-GMO. However, I think BLUE would be the next runner in line.


So tell me, what do you feed your furry loved ones?

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  1. So glad to finally see a post that addresses the needs of our pets! I’ve been reading & searching for healthier dry food for my beloved Siamese, so I am definitively going to check out the brands you have mentioned above. This past week I bought Goodlife “real chicken recipe” cat food which claims to not have any corn, soy, or wheat products in it. It’s at least a step in somewhat of the right direction in feeding my cat better. Thanks again for your post.

    1. Shauna,
      Yes! It is so crazy we have to worry for our pets as well. I have never heard of Goodlife but I may check into them. Are they a brand you can find at most stores?

      And I agree. Anything is better than nothing and now you are armed with a little more knowledge!

      Good luck!

  2. This is a great article! And your kitten is adorable! πŸ™‚
    A couple of years ago I had to start paying very close attention to what I feed my Old Man Cat… it turns out he’s allergic to wheat or corn or soy… (all his fur fell out; it was gross). It prompted me to really pay attention to what he eats… but now you’ve got me thinking that I should check and make sure it’s GMO-free, too!
    Especially since I just wrote a post–and linked it up to Tuned-in Tuesday– explaining that I won’t let my daughter sell Girl Scout Cookies because they have GMOs in them!
    ~ Christine

    1. Christine
      Thank you! I think her cuteness makes up for her craziness! πŸ˜‰

      Oh wow! I can’t even imagine my kitty’s hair just falling out! that’s crazy! I’m happy you found out why though. What brand do you use?

      Yes, I am totally pinning that to my boards! Thanks for a great article!

      1. For dry food, Evolve… aaaaannnd it has Canola oil in it. (I just checked.) πŸ™
        And the “Wegmans Brand” canned cat food… because he won’t eat anything else. I tried to feed him fresh, raw venison liver and he wouldn’t eat it. I guess when you are an Old Man Cat you can have your little quirks. πŸ˜‰

        Thanks for pinning my article. That makes me feel better about the whole thing. Let’s just say that my little Pixie’s Girl Scout troop is being less-than-supportive about the whole cookie thing.
        ~ Christine

        1. Sneaky! It’s crazy how they always put something that is a high risk ingredient. I almost feel like I am always saying, “what DOESN’T have canola oil in it!” BUT, at least now you are aware.

          Yes, Old Man Cat is stuck in his ways and you’ve gotta love him no matter what. πŸ™‚

          I’m sorry her Girl Scout Troop is being not so supportive. You almost had to expect that though, didn’t you? I’ll share your article on my Facebook page and G+ as well.

          I may even start a twitter account but I cringe at the thought of another social media platform. πŸ˜‰

          1. I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one avoiding twitter! I do actually have an account… and have been known to visit it. Facebook… easy. Google + … yeah, I can figure this out. But twitter… I don’t need twitter for dummies… I need twitter for people who learned to type on a typewriter! πŸ˜‰

            As for the Girl Scouts… I was prepared for them to not be supportive. But there is an update…

  3. Your kitten is adorable and I am glad you wrote an article about cat food. I have two very picky cats who are ages 9 & 10 and was told one has asthma but after I changed to the Wellness brand her respiratory problems disappeared. Unfortunately, she has had to have two teeth removed and the dry Wellness is too hard for her to chew now but she does not like the canned either. I just tried the dry Blue in December and both cats seemed to like it and be able to chew it okay. I had tried the Purina Naturals when it first came out and neither of my cats would touch it.

    1. Thank you!

      Isn’t that crazy that it just disappeared like that? I love how real food does that… even for animals! Just living proof that we are NOT supposed to be eating that junk and that EVERYONE suffers from it.

      I’m glad they at least like the Blue. It’s good they have little raw bits in there which I’m sure makes it easier for them to chew.

      Isn’t that interesting that they wouldn’t take Purina Naturals? Thanks for sharing your experience!

  4. Hi, I just needed to leave a quick comment. When I came across the part of the article where you mentioned that the Nestle CEO said water was not a human right I was shocked. So I did my own research. this video- by Big Think- features Peter Brabeck in an interview and closer to the middle of the video explains what he meant by water not being a human right. He does agree that water is a human right for certain things. He goes on to explain that he believes water is not a human right to be washing our cars with or watering golf courses with. He talks about how precious this raw material is and the problems in the world associated with the controversy over water being free or priced. I suggest viewing this video so that you can get his whole story instead of honing in on one statement that has clearly been misconstrued.

    I enjoyed the article nonetheless and appreciate the information about these particular brands. My cats are currently eating the Naturals (and I know a raw diet is the best for them too- I actually had them on one for a while but it was getting too expensive for me to continue at this point in time). My one cat has puking episodes once in a while and I read an article from Dr. Mercola’s website about it and there are a number of different reasons for it. One of them being that cats can develop food allergies to a food that they’re being fed constantly. Learning this new information led me to this website and I’ll be considering these brands that you mentioned and hope that my cats can adapt to a healthier dry food brand until I can reintroduce a raw food diet to them.

    Thanks again for posting.

    1. Thank you, Emily! Sometimes it’s easy to just assume something and that was definitely my fault.

      I hope you find a food that fits your cats well and satisfies them. It’s crazy that our furry loved ones are subjected to the same things us human folks, are. Good luck!

  5. You know they are actually using chicken byproduct as the first ingredient in the 3.15 and 6.3 lb bags now, despite saying real chicken and salmon. The 13 and 18lb bags say chicken meal but I’m highly skeptical.

    1. You do understand that when a cat kills a bird or a mouse it eats pretty much the whole thing, particularly the internal organs. So did people before we got so fussy. Putting the whole bird in the cat food is natural.

    When you look at other sites one of the bags you posted (Wellness CORE) is on there.
    There are a lot of sites here that will tell you how good one brand is but then you will find others that tell you the opposite.
    I’ve been looking for reviews on two different brands of cat food for my cat and i find both positive and negative responses. How do you pick from something like that? I really think that we should ask our vets which brands are the best.

  7. You found a stray cat with multiple kittens and you took one of them in? The ones you didn’t take in, did you get them fixed, vaccinated, checked for diseases? People who have an opportunity to protect animals and reduce the feral population and disease transmission among them will do infinitely more harm than GMOs.

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