Oh my, what great looking packaging. A beautiful cat licking his lips and succulent prime cuts of meat… so yum.
Are you wondering it that succulent meat is a true representation of the meat in Farmers Market cat food?
You’ll find Farmers Market in the supermarkets. I know Woolworths and some IGAs stock it, and I think some Coles do too.
Apparently it’s “Real Food From Nature” according to the Farmers Market website. I don’t think that statement comes with any real meaning or assurances, but anyway, wouldn’t the alternative be “Unnatural Fake Food”?
Let’s take a look… is Farmers Market cat food really as good as it seems?
Farmers Market cat food review
What the marketing says
Cute cat and succulent meat aside, we find Farmers Market cat food only has a few big statements on the bag – “high protein kibble”, “freeze-dried lamb”, and “Real Chicken and Vegetables with Freeze Dried Lamb”.
By “Real Chicken” they mean they’re not using what the industry refers to as “Meal” which is a pre-cooked powdered form of meat.
That’s about it on the front of the bag.
For this review we’ll look at the chicken formula, but all recipes are fairly same same but different.
What the ingredients really say
What gets my goat is when pet food companies do their best to hide the ingredients in some elusive corner of their website. With Farmers Market it seems they haven’t bothered to include them at all, and to really get my goat even the packaging photos are taken at funny angles which don’t show the ingredients:
Instead I had to type them in manually with my fingers from an image I found on the Woolworth’s website. I hate extra work, don’t you?
Farmer’s Market Cat Food Ingredients: Chicken Meat, Poultry Meal, Peas, Lentils, Vegetable Meal, Vegetable Starch, Beef and/or Lamb Meals, Animal Tallow, Turkey Meal, Animal Digests, Beet Pulp, Freeze Dried Lamb, Sweet Potato, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Methionine, Taurine, Chicory Root, Inulin, Vitamins and Minerals, Natural Antioxidants.
The first thing you see on the ingredients list is chicken, which immediately gives you the impression you’re feeding your carnivorous cat a meaty kibble.
It’s possible the first 6 or 7 are in relatively equal amounts, and 4 of those aren’t meat.
Rearranged, the ingredients could possibly start with peas, lentils, vegetable meal, and vegetable starch. It’s possible the “main ingredients” are around 60% vegetables to 40% meat, give or take, which paints a totally different picture.
Cats eat to satiate, so if necessary will chomp through stuff they don’t really want as long as there’s some animal ingredients in it.
It’s not surprising Farmers Market cat food touts “high protein kibble” on the front of the bag, as peas and lentils contain a lot of protein. You can argue protein is better than carbs from grains, but our cats don’t metabolise protein from vegetables like they do with meat proteins.
What cats eat vegetables?
Try filling your cat’s bowl with some fresh chicken, a few peas, and a couple of lentils. What will he eat, and what will he totally ignore as if you’ve stuck pebbles in his bowl?
Anyway, what vegetables? Why the ambiguity? Why split “vegetable meal” and “vegetable starch” into two ingredients rather than just “vegetables”?
To answer those questions, “vegetables” as a single ingredient would probably have to be listed first. Would you buy a cat food with “Chicken….” as the first ingredient or “Vegetables…”?
Anyway, enough about vegetables. Nobody likes talking about vegetables.
Just keep this in mind – usually when a cat food has vague ingredients it means they don’t want to be transparent with you, or they don’t want you to know.
I said about vague ingredients a few paragraphs ago, but there are more – animal tallow, animal digest, vitamins & minerals, and natural antioxidants.
Ironically the first two likely come from meat rendering which is the same process as creating meat meal (the meat powder I mentioned earlier). That would mean they’ve made a big deal about using “real” meat, yet use other products from meat rendering in the cat food 🤷
Most good brands of cat food list vitamins and minerals individually in detail. When we see it listed in such a vague way we can assume what’s called a vitamin “pack” or “premix”, almost always sourced from overseas, usually from the cheapest supplier.
What exactly are they? How are they “natural”? And why aren’t they telling us what they are?
A summary of Farmers Market cat food – should you feed it to your cat?
My guess if you’ve jumped ship already. I wouldn’t want to read a review that waffles on so much about vegetables.
I know I’ve been fairly negative about Farmers Market cat food. Sadly many Australian cats are fed worse, so if this is what you’ve been feeding your cat then you can take that as a positive.
At least it’s not packed full of cereal grains.
I’m not a fan of the manufacturer behind Farmers Market. They make many “Australian” brands and home brands, and my email inbox tends to be full of reports from pet owners whose pets have been sick shortly after eating their pet food brands. Also, it seems everyone who complains to the company gets a response saying something along the lines of “We are sorry to hear….” and “…this is the first issue we’ve heard…”.
I don’t feed my cat any cat foods from that manufacturer, and don’t like to recommend them either. I’m sure you wouldn’t either when you’ve heard about so many sick Australian pets.
Nevertheless, these cat food reviews are rated mostly on ingredients and composition, and there are worse cat food brands than this. So I’ll give Farmers Market cat food a very generous 6, but check out the better rated cat foods below:
Related: Best rated cat foods in Australia.
Where to buy Farmers Market cat food
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Not the worst, not the best, not as fancy as you may think - and don't expect the succulent meat on the front of the bag to be a true representation of the real ingredients in Farmers Market cat food.