Halo Spot's Stew packs high-quality meats and veggies into a stew that looks like people food -- and experts recommend it more often than most other canned cat foods.
It looks appealing to cats … and humans. Reviewers like Halo's simple ingredients: chicken, liver, carrots, zucchini, peas and the like. Like other top-rated canned cat foods, Halo is grain-free -- which experts prefer, as cats are strict carnivores that didn't evolve to digest much grain. Some experts say cats can't digest vegetables well, either, but others have no problem with vegetables in cat food.
Halo canned cat foods include no byproducts, no fillers and "butcher quality meats -- same quality meats as what you would eat," say the experts at 1800PetMeds.com. Halo adds chelated minerals to its cat food, as well, which are easy for cats to absorb.
A clean recall history -- but all cans aren't BPA-free. "Halo has never been recalled," its website boasts, and a search of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's website (which lists pet food recalls back to 2007) shows no recalls for Halo. Halo sources its ingredients from the U.S. only, except for lamb from New Zealand and peas from Canada, a top expert source notes.
However, only Halo's small 3-ounce cat food cans are bisphenol A (BPA)-free, that source notes. The larger 5.5-ounce cans are not. BPA is a chemical that studies have linked to reproductive problems, cancers and other diseases. In 2010, Susan Thixton at TruthAboutPetFood.com quoted Halo representatives as saying, "Our cans do contain BPA in the safe and acceptable level established by the FDA." The paté varieties contain carageenan, but others are carrageenan-free.
Lower in calories than some other premium foods, so you might need to feed more. At about $1.60 for a 5.5-ounce can, Halo is one of the priciest top-rated cat foods. For example, it costs 25 cents more per can than runner-up Evo Cat and Kitten Food (Est. $1.35 for a 5.5-oz. can) -- and Evo also offers money-saving, economy-size 13.2-ounce cans. Halo cat food comes only in small 3- or 5.5-ounce cans.
A 5.5-ounce can of Halo contains about 135 to 160 calories (depending on which flavor you pick), so you may need to feed more than with other highly rated brands like Evo and Nature's Logic Feline Canned Food -- Chicken (Est. $1.70 for a 5.5-oz. can) , which have 200 to 250 calories per 5.5-ounce can.
Susan Thixton, author of the blog Truth About Pet Food, researches and reviews dozens of cat food brands, including Halo. She rates the company -- and its individual flavors of food -- on a four-point scale, with a lot of weight given to ingredient quality.
Review: Halo Cat Food, Susan Thixton, As of January 2014
Halo Spot's Stew makes this list of the best canned cat foods, compiled by About.com's guide to cats. Syufy names the ingredients, says it "contains no chemicals, fillers or by-products" and is "a favorite of many cats."
Review: Top Canned Cat Food, Franny Syufy, Not Dated
Halo Spot's Stew is one of Tracie Hotchner's recommended cat foods. Hotchner hosts a syndicated radio show devoted to cats and is the author of "The Cat Bible."
Review: The List of Cat Crazy Approved Canned Foods, Tracie Hotchner, Not Dated
An expert panel of "veterinarians, nutritionists and the knowledgeable staff" of this pet supply website rate many cat foods, including five canned flavors of Halo Spot's Stew. All five earn perfect scores. Experts here consider ingredient quality and sources, and whether the foods are free of potentially harmful chemicals and fillers.
Review: Comparison Center: Compare Your Pet's Food, Editors of 1800PetMeds.com, Not Dated
This website recommends foods that can be tolerated by cats with feline inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Halo Spot's Stew canned cat food is one of them -- it contains no low-quality grains, dairy, or bowel-irritating spices and additives.
Review: Wet Food, Editors of IBDKitties.net, Not Dated
Halo Spot's Stew canned cat food is an Editor's Pick at this review website. The editor (whose qualifications aren't listed) praises its natural, high-quality ingredients. It's a favorite of readers, too -- about 35 reviewers award it 5 out of 5 stars, on average.
Review: Halo Spot's Stew Canned Cat Food, Editors of and contributors to ZooToo.com, As of January 2014