Halo Spot's Stew packs butcher-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 earn a rare "Superior" rating from the veterinarians and nutritionists who rate cat foods at 1800PetMeds.com. It has everything they're looking for in a cat food, including no byproducts, no fillers and "butcher quality meats -- same quality meats as what you would eat." Another top expert also gives Halo the highest possible rating, for the same reasons. Halo adds chelated minerals to its cat food, as well, which are easy for cats to absorb.
Halo is also a favorite of Tracie Hotchner (author of "The Cat Bible" and host of the syndicated radio show "Cat Chat") and About.com's guide to cats, Franny Syufy, who says her own cats love this homemade-looking stew. Cat owners who post reviews at ZooToo.com agree: "You can see the vegetables before the cats gobble it up," one writes. Another notes that "it really resembles human food, so those cats that beg for table scraps may be fooled with this."
A clean recall history "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.
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. It costs 10 to 30 cents more per can than runner-up foods like Wellness Chicken Formula (*Est. $1.50 for a 5.5-oz. can), Evo Cat and Kitten Food (*Est. $1.40 for a 5.5-oz. can), Merrick Cowboy Cookout (*Est. $1.40 for a 5.5-oz. can) and Felidae Cat and Kitten Formula (*Est. $1.30 for a 5.5-oz. can).
Also, Halo cat food comes only in small 3- or 5.5-ounce cans. These other brands also offer money-saving, economy-size 10- to 13-ounce cans.
A 5.5-ounce can of Halo contains about 135 to 160 calories (depending on which flavor you pick), making it lower-calorie than other highly rated brands like Wellness, Evo and Felidae, which have 190 to 220 calories per 5.5-ounce can. If your cat is trying to lose weight, a lower-calorie food can help -- but if you're trying to maintain your cat's weight, you might need to feed extra if you choose Halo.
One well-regarded, budget-premium cat food, Natural Balance Indoor Cat Formula (*Est. $1.20 for a 6-oz. can), costs less than Halo and other super-premium brands. However, unlike Halo, Natural Balance contains grains.
With top-quality meat and vegetables in a recipe cats tend to adore, Halo canned cat food earns lots of recommendations from experts -- making it one of the best choices, albeit one that costs a little bit more.
Excellent 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 4-point scale, with a lot of weight given to ingredient quality.
Review: Halo Cat Food, Susan Thixton, Updated December 2010
Very Good An expert panel of "veterinarians, nutritionists and the knowledgeable staff" of this pet supply website rate many cat foods, including four canned flavors of Halo Spot's Stew. All four earn the highest rating of "Superior" -- a rating given to very few cat foods here. Experts here take ingredient quality and sources into account, as well as 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
Very Good Halo Spot's Stew earns a place on this list of the best canned cat foods, compiled by About.com guide to cats Franny Syufy. She doesn't discuss the food much -- just names the ingredients, mentions that it "contains no chemicals, fillers or byproducts" and notes that it's "a favorite of many cats." (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Top Canned Cat Food, Franny Syufy, Not Dated
Very Good Halo Spot's Stew is one of Tracie Hotchner's top recommended cat foods. Hotchner hosts a syndicated radio show devoted to cats and is the author of "The Cat Bible."
Review: Cat Chat Approved Foods, Tracie Hotchner, Not Dated
Good 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
Good 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 -- 35 reviewers award it 5 out of 5 stars.
Review: Halo Spot's Stew Canned Cat Food, Editors of and contributors to Zootoo.com, As of October 2012