IAMS is likely a name that you’re familiar with if you’ve ever set foot in a pet store or supermarket. This brand has been around for a long time, and it has been sold at convenient locations for decades. Because it’s sold at retail stores and it’s owned by a large corporation, some people have assumed that IAMS produces low-quality cat food, but they couldn’t be more wrong! IAMS is a reliable brand that has been at the forefront of pet food since its inception, and it makes excellent products, so let’s talk about them.
At a Glance – What We Reviewed:
Who Makes IAMS Cat Food and Where Is It Produced?
IAMS was founded in the 1940s by Paul Iams, a pet nutritionist. This was one of the first companies to begin production of commercial pet foods. Currently, IAMS is owned by Mars, Inc. If you’re in Europe, then the food is produced by Spectrum Brands, but if you’re anywhere else in the world, then the food is produced by Mars at their own manufacturing facilities. All of IAMS’s cat foods are produced right here in the US at their privately-owned plants in Ohio, North Carolina, and Nebraska.
Their ingredients are sourced from multiple parts of the world, including Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico. They aim to source as many ingredients as possible as closely as possible, and many of their ingredients come from Central, South, and North America. Some of their vitamins and minerals are sourced from China, but none of their meat ingredients come from China.
Which Types of Cats Is IAMS Cat Food Best Suited For?
IAMS produces a wide range of cat foods for cats with all kinds of needs. They offer wet and dry foods in multiple flavors and to meet multiple needs, including hairball reduction, weight reduction, and urinary tract support. They also make foods for cats at all life stages, including kittens and seniors.
Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)
While IAMS uses a variety of high-quality ingredients, including whole meats and quality grains, there are some concerns associated with their beef products. Most of the beef products that IAMS uses are sourced from Latin America. In this area, there are concerns about deforestation associated with cattle ranching. While IAMS does limit the number of cattle ranches they work with, they cannot guarantee that their beef products are sourced from responsible sources.
IAMS has made this commitment, though: “By 2025, our aim is to stop deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems in Mars supply chains, up to the direct cattle supplier for our beef ingredients in Latin America…”
Although it’s not the cheapest pet food brand on the market, IAMS is an affordable option for tighter budgets. This is especially true for pets that need a specialty diet, like urinary support or digestive health. Targeted foods can be expensive, and IAMS has made these types of foods quite affordable.
Don’t let the low price fool you—IAMS doesn’t cut corners on ensuring they use high-quality ingredients. In fact, IAMS is one of only five brands available in the US that meets the pet food guidelines set by WSAVA, so you can rest assured that your cat will receive top-notch nutrition from their food. The food produced by IAMS is so high in quality that it is often recommended by vets, especially when providing a budget-friendly food option, and some vets even sell IAMS products in their clinics.
The variety of foods offered by IAMS is great, but it’s not so extensive that it becomes overwhelming. They offer targeted diets for urinary, sensitive stomach and skin, immune, weight, and hairball issues. They also offer kitten and senior cat foods, although both the kitten and senior food lines offered by IAMS are only available in one flavor.
Reviewing the IAMS Cat Foods We’ve Tried
1. IAMS Proactive Health Adult Sensitive Digestion & Skin
The IAMS Sensitive Digestion & Skin recipe is an excellent option for kitties with skin problems and those that routinely have tummy troubles. It contains a blend of beet pulp and prebiotics to better support healthy digestion and aid in the absorption of nutrients. It’s a great source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which can support your cat’s skin and coat, as well as their eyes, brain, heart, and joints. It’s a great source of protein, coming in at 33% protein content, which supports muscle development and maintenance, as well as many necessary metabolic functions.
This is a highly palatable food, with turkey as the first ingredient, and compared to many other sensitive digestion and skin foods on the market, this is definitely a budget-friendly option. Although it supports digestive health, some people have reported stomach upset if switching the food too quickly.
2. IAMS Perfect Portions Indoor Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack – Tuna & Salmon Recipe
The IAMS Perfect Portions foods are extremely convenient, thanks to their single-serve, recyclable packaging. This variety pack includes both tuna and salmon wet foods. These foods are small, soft, chopped pieces in a tasty gravy, so it’s easy to chew and highly hydrating. They contain multiple whole protein sources, including salmon, tuna, and chicken. Because of the chicken, this may not be a top pick for cats with food sensitivities. These recipes are free of fillers, artificial preservatives, and grains.
3. IAMS Proactive Health Hairball Care
The IAMS Proactive Health Hairball Care food is a great option for cats with recurring hairballs, thanks to its proprietary fiber blend that supports gastrointestinal function and nutrient absorption. It’s a great source of omega fatty acids, as well as vitamin E, which supports immune health.
The kibble pieces are thick and crunchy, making them ideal for supporting dental health. However, they may be too difficult for some cats to chew. This is a high-calorie food at 399 kcal per cup of food, making it a good option for active cats and those that need to gain weight, but it can also lead to weight gain in cats that don’t need it if not fed in proper portions.
Our Experience With IAMS Cat Food
For my experience with IAMS, I received the IAMS Sensitive Digestion & Skin kibble, the IAMS Proactive Health Hairball Care kibble, and the IAMS Perfect Portions Indoor Cuts in Gravy Variety Pack – Tuna & Salmon Recipe. I have two cats: Noodles and Nutmeg. Both cats are domestic shorthair cats, but they are not related. Noodles is 6 years old, and Nutmeg is 2 years old.
Nutmeg is a food fiend! She’s a little bit round and loves to snack. She’s not a particularly picky cat, and while she liked both kibble varieties, she loved the wet food. She can hear the portions snap apart from across the house and will come running. She does have a habit of vomiting, maybe once or twice per week, usually just bile or small amounts of hair. Feeding her the Sensitive Digestion & Skin kibble seems to have reduced the frequency of her vomiting, and she definitely enjoys eating it.
Noodles is the pickier cat, so it’s always a crapshoot with her. Like Nutmeg, Noodles absolutely goes nuts for the Perfect Portions. She knows the sound of the portions breaking apart, as well as the sound of Nutmeg running to the kitchen for food, so either way, she ends up at her bowl, patiently waiting for her food. Noodles tends to get hairballs even though she’s a short-haired cat, so having an opportunity to try out the Hairball Care kibble was great. She doesn’t seem to love the kibble, but she will eat it, which means she likes it at least a little bit. Trust me, if Noodles didn’t like it, she would snub it entirely. In the couple of weeks that she’s been eating the Hairball Care food, I haven’t seen any hairballs being thrown up!
IAMS is far more than just an affordable pet food brand. They make excellent quality cat foods at an reasonable price, making it easier for people with any budget to provide their cat with high-quality, nutritious food. IAMS is one of only five brands in the US that meets WSAVA food standards, which means it meets exceptionally high standards that have been set internationally for pet foods. The variety of foods offered by IAMS is excellent without feeling like there are too many options to sort through, and the food is manufactured right here in the US.