Canidae All Life Stages Formula, formerly known as Felidae Cat and Kitten Formula, is a good quality cat food despite the presence of some grain. Several top sources recommend Canidae All Life Stages as one of the best canned cat foods you can buy.
Lots of different meats -- but brown rice and carrageenan are controversial. Canidae All Life Stages Formula is the new name for Felidae Cat and Kitten Formula, but nothing else about the food has changed. Unlike most other top-rated canned cat foods, Canidae All Life Stages Formula contains grain (ground brown rice). Some experts, like veterinarian Lisa Pierson, point out that cats didn't evolve to digest grains -- they're strict carnivores, which would ordinarily only eat little bits of predigested grain in the stomachs of their prey.
However, Pierson still recommends Felidae (now Canidae) as a top-quality canned cat food -- as does Tracie Hotchner, author of "The Cat Bible" and host of the syndicated radio show "Cat Chat." Brown rice is the seventh ingredient, after five different kinds of meat and chicken broth. And Canidae All Life Stages Formula is still relatively low-carb, according to a chart linked to Pierson's website.
Another top expert awards Canidae All Life Stages Formula the highest possible rating, pointing out that it packs a wide variety of protein sources into one food (chicken, turkey, liver, lamb, egg, fish) and includes chelated minerals, which are easy for cats to absorb. This expert doesn't mind the brown rice, but does object to the carrageenan in the food. Carrageenan, a thickener made from seaweed, is a controversial ingredient because some animal studies have linked it to intestinal problems.
A clean track record for Canidae cat food. Canidae/Felidae cat food hasn't been involved in any recalls, according to the Food and Drug Administration's online recall database (which goes back to 2007). The company's Canidae dry dog food was recalled in May 2012 because some other pet foods manufactured at the same Diamond Pet Food plant were contaminated with salmonella. Canidae dog food did not test positive for salmonella -- the recall was just a precaution -- and Canidae cat food is made in a different plant by a different company.
One expert reviewer, who likes to know where cat food companies get their ingredients from, notes that Canidae "stated most ingredients are sourced from the U.S. and nothing is sourced from China." On the plus side, Canidae's small 5.5-ounce cans (not the bigger cans) are bisphenol A (BPA)-free. BPA is a chemical that studies have linked to reproductive problems, cancers and other diseases.
Costs a bit less than other super-premium cat foods. Canidae All Life Stages Formula costs 10 to 30 cents less per can than top-rated, grain-free cat foods like Evo Cat and Kitten Food (Est. $1.35 for a 5.5-oz. can) , Merrick Cowboy Cookout (Est. $1.40 for a 5.5-oz. can) or the top-rated Halo Spot's Stew Wholesome Chicken Recipe (Est. $1.60 for a 5.5-oz. can) .
Natural Balance Indoor Cat Formula (Est. $1.20 for a 6-oz. can) includes grains higher up on its ingredient list. It costs a bit less than Canidae but still earns nods from some top experts, making it a good value choice.
On this website, Truth About Pet Food blogger Susan Thixton rates dozens of cat food brands, including Canidae/Felidae. She assesses the ingredient quality and nutritional value of individual flavors of food, and she reports further information -- like where the ingredients are sourced from and the temperature at which the food is cooked.
Review: Felidae Cat and Kitten Formula Cat Food Can, Susan Thixton, As of January 2014
Veterinarian Lisa Pierson advocates feeding cats a raw diet with no grains or vegetables. However, she does list a few canned foods with grains that she considers high-quality, including Felidae (now Canidae).
Review: Commercial Foods, Lisa A. Pierson, DVM, Updated February 2013
Felidae (now Canidae) makes Tracie Hotchner's list of approved cat foods. Hotchner is the author of "The Cat Bible" and host of the syndicated radio show "Cat Chat."
Review: The List of Cat Chat Approved Canned Foods, Tracie Hotchner, Not Dated
This website recommends Felidae Cat and Kitten Formula (now Canidae All Life Stages Formula) as a food suitable for cats with feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It contains some possibly bowel-irritating ingredients -- such as rosemary and carrageenan -- but some IBD cats still tolerate it.
Review: Wet Food, Editors of IBDKitties.net, Not Dated