Wellness CORE Cat Food Review


The CORE range from Wellness is a premium “grain free” offering, with a number of formulas including kitten and indoor. For this review I’ll focus on the Original formula, but the others are on par.

Wellness have been around for a while, being available across the globe. They’re a big company, and are known to produce high quality premium foods. I see this as being the best food on the shelves at my local PetBarn.

The top five ingredients are all meat and fish ingredients, which is absolutely fantastic. They’re excellent ingredients, being a combination of chicken, turkey, whitefish, and herring. There’s no ominous non-descriptive “poultry” or “fish” ingredients like we find in many of the supermarket brands. This is how a cat food should be, and the overall protein of 45% is testament to the amount of meat and fish in the food.

Wellness CORE Cat Food Review

We have peas as the 6th ingredient, another source of protein, and necessary fibre. In 7th we find yet another meat ingredient, turkey meal, as if the top five ingredients weren’t enough!

Potatoes are included as a carb source, which is common in grain-free foods. Cats don’t really need carbs, but I estimate the carbs in the food to be a very low 18% which is really good.

Wellness CORE Cat Food Review

Flaxseed and salmon oil are both great for heart health, healthy skin, and glossy coat.

This is without doubt a premium cat food, one of the best I’ve seen.


Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Cranberries, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)],Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract.

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9 Total Score
Wellness CORE Cat Food Review

  • Lots of meat and fish
  • Excellent protein and fat
  • Low carbs


  1. It seems that PetBarn have phased out the Wellness Brand of dry cat food! Probably replaced it with their Leaps and Bounds brand?

  2. I feed my cat raw kangaroo meat daily (the mince sold for human consumption) and he loves the stuff and wont eat much else except small amounts occasionally of raw liver, raw kidney, raw beef etc. I very ocassionaly give him a small amount of a dry food.

  3. My cats hate this brand. Won’t touch it.

  4. Hello! Has anyone heard of the Clean Label Project and their review of Wellness? They did an independent study of this cat food and the results were sky-high lead and arsenic. I’ve written to Wellness for a response and dead silence. I spend a fortune on Wellness and now have removed this from my rotation.

    • One of Susan’s posts was pinned for that exact matter, I think it should be pinned here as well though, so people know what their buying, not everyone is going to visit the page where it was pinned.

      It’s not surprising you didn’t get a response, after all their here to sell the food and make money not to care about your pet.
      Those that do care will reply every time and it won’t take them several months to reply either.

  5. My 15 month old Birman female has been on Wellness Core Kitten and now Indoor (also tried Complete) and has had a number of urinary issues. Thought I was feeding her one of the best foods, but my vet says that they see a high number of cats with urinary issues that are being feed high protein grain free type foods.
    Vet of course recommends Science diet S/D or Royal Canin S/O.
    Are there any better options, need something that is good for the cat and has low PH to reduce urinary issues, which doesn’t seem to exist?

    • You will want to increase water intake immediately, almost all urinary problems in cats are caused by a dehydrating dry food diet.
      High protein grain free is not the issue I had actually read somewhere that some vet had started that and everyone kind of followed only it has no basis or proof.

      You will now need to feed canned and maybe even add extra water to the food probably for the entire life of your cat, I’ve noticed over the years once people’s cats got a urinary problem once they then had it for life.

      You may even be better off feeding a freeze dried food where you have to add the water back in, that’s what cats should typically be eating that and raw, dry foods have no real place for them on their food pyramid, it’s just convienient is all.

      There also is no best food for you or your pets, each food has its problems, but species appropriate is better then not species appropriate.

      Pets are typically chronically dehydrated on kibble when fed alone, I know that if I don’t drink enough water my urine burns it’s really no different for pets.

      • My cat has access to water all the time and seems to drink a fair bit of water.
        She doesn’t like any wet food, have tried many flavors/brands, she sniffs them and walks off.
        My vet only deals with cats, she said that her personally has seen a lot of cats with urinary issues where a high number were on a high protein – good food, she suspects that these foods can increase the PH of the urine which causes issues.

        I have her on Royal Canin Urinary care at the moment, it seems to have more protein than Wellness Complete indoor 33% v 30% so it can’t be all that bad.

        • Hello Paul, trying to feed wet from petbarn…tiki cat …no grain, no veg, no fillers .a lot fish flavors and some chicken.and feed dry food advance indoor adult or trilogy kangaroo .lamb combination.my two cats love it…and is a healthy good mix

        • Personally I have read a lot of comments and websites stating that even though cats seem to drink a lot, adding extra to their diet is always the best course of action.

          If it were my cat I’d get her onto a non dry food whether she liked it or not, chronic dehydration is no joke or laughing matter, I’m hoping to become a holistic nutritionist to help owners make better decisions but that all comes down to the owners and if their willing to change things.

          I don’t feel that vet diets should be the first line of defence I reckon they should only be added if you’ve tried everything else and nothing has worked.

          I am going to need to learn more about homeopathic methods because I feel herbs can be very beneficial also, but I currently lack herbal knowledge except that Hawthorn is good for heart health and Milk Thistle for cleansing.

          I would just try a non dry food for 1 month and see how that goes, there’s no harm in trying it, a lot of pet food stores will gladly accept returns if nothing you do works.

        • Wet can foods are mostly all water (generally 70-80%) and have very little protein, so you can’t feed exclusively Wet food as they are not getting enough protein and minerals.

        • You can’t compare the protein content of a wet food (whether raw or canned) to dry food because it doesn’t list protein on a dry matter basis.

          Lets say a wet food is listed as 8% protein,
          Most wet foods have a 70-75% moisture content but lets assume that the food is 80% moisture.
          That wet food with 8% protein and 80% moisture has a dry matter protein content of 40% which is comparable to this dry kibble of 45% protein 😉

          That being said many canned foods can be crap if you don’t know what to look for in very much the same way dry food can be bad 🙂

        • That’s where freeze dried comes in, have you tried any of them?
          K9 Natural has all breed all life stage formulas from their cat range.
          Sunday Pets has a cat/kitten range, I haven’t really heard anyone talk about them in awhile though.

          And then Frontier Pets is only dog so far, which is too bad their food is amazing, even though only Rusty thinks so, Andzia she just walks away.
          Thing with her is that I found the reason she refused to eat and that was because of her stomach pain, thanks to Susan’s help with that as I thought it was just a skin pain or nerve pain issue she had apparently it was not, upon supplementing with some digestive, oils and vitamin c aids her stomach stopped hurting so much and she began eating daily instead of constantly walking away.

          Karen Becker also mentions that cats are stubborn but that it’s not impossible to change them, you can go look up the article if you want, I can’t link anything here or else it needs to be approved and you won’t see my comment sometimes all day.
          Even had several day old ones at times waiting approval.

          I wonder how feline natural and Ziwipeak would rate for protein in their wet foods, since their formulas are almost exclusively meat.
          I also guess try telling people that? Some feed exclusively wet and those that say on the pack that it’s not even for full feeding as it doesn’t meet any requirements, then their cats and dogs go to the vets with deficiencies congrats on not reading!
          Reminds me of that lady at the shop who pushed past me to pick up a stick of bread without even checking if it can be used for anything other than adding crumbs to a batter lol, it was like a rock eww.

  6. My kitten will not touch the wellness core dry kitten food but loves the wet!! I’ve tried and mixed with his kitten royal canon details ( which makes him have awful poops). About to try the ivory coat kitten to see how he goes.. I’m really looking into the best foods as my last cat developed cancer and it was awful 🙁 I think food related. Kitten also loves ziwipeak lamb wet food.

    • Reply
      Michele MacDonald May 15, 2017 at 8:01 am

      i would try the wellness core original my cat would not eat the kitten but loved the original,and it’s such a great food that it is perfectly fine to give a kitten 🙂

    • High carb foods are the bane of cats and dogs, if they have cancer it’s best to get off the processed foods completely and onto raw, a dog with the most aggressive cancer has been completely treated with a change to real food imagine that for a moment.

      Same with diabetes also requires lower carbs.

  7. Any thoughts on natural flavours in dry cat food? I reached out to Wellness who advised its some kind of broth (digest I suspect with possible vegetable derivatives in it too).
    Is this a no no for cat food? Wellness also have these flavours in their wet food and appears in both dry and wet very high up on the ingredient list. I rotate my dry and use Ivory Coat Chicken, Wellness Core Original, Wellness Core Turkey, Earthborn Holistic Primitive Feline and I’m very happy. Dry only makes a small portion of overall diet mixed with fresh meat, Wellness Grain Free Wet and ZiwiPeak.

    • Hi Nathan, it’s one of the many completely ambiguous ways of labelling animal digest. It’s the broth from rendering meats. Grim as it is it’s in most pet foods.

    • I’ve noticed added flavours are in quiet a lot of foods, I think at the end of the day as long as it’s a company you can trust with good ethics that it’s going to be of good quality and there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

      Foods from the big brands I’d be reluctant to feed as their ethics seem to be lies on top of lies and you can tell from their ingredients that they are anything but good people, it’s all money for them.
      Purina, Mars, Hills <— these guys are f'ing awful.

      I've also read that with cats tastes adding digest helps them enjoy the food they otherwise may not? this was written on companies websites, again not sure the truth in it.

      Your cats are very lucky food wise though like damn!

  8. This food is like Orijen for Australia haha, well as close as were ever going to get to it anyways.

    Not counting dried or freeze dried foods of course.

  9. HI, I wanted to ask again about BARFF but for cats. I wanted to try to it for my cat to see if it will benefit her. How would you suggest I include it in her diet? Would I give it to her separately from her dry food at the start or end of the day? What are the benefits of adding raw meat to a cats diet?

    • I feed my 2 Ragdolls BARF Raw Isabel. Cats are Obligate Carnivores, they need raw meat in their diets to live a healthy life. Otherwise they will develop kidney and liver diseases if they are constantly fed on dry food.

  10. Thanks so much for your pet food reviews – so helpful. Would love to see a review on Wellness Complete and Canidae grain free (standard & indoor – potatoes content varies). My 5 month old kitten is on Wellness Balance dry (morning) and Wellness wet (night) but will be alternating between Canidae & Wellness several months at a time – would love your feedback on this. Thanks again for the great reviews, I’m so grateful that someone out there is doing a great job like you 😉

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) January 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

      Hi Les, they’re both good foods and I see rotating foods as a good thing as well as intermixing with wet. I’ve added a review for Wellness Complete, and here’s a review of Canidae Grain Free. The Canidae Indoor formula for cats is a grain recipe, so significantly more carbs than the grain free PURE range.

      • Thank you so much! Have also discovered Ziwipeak, however can only afford it when on bulk sae at mypetwarehouse.com.au Thank you again for your help, gets so confusing choosing the best food my cat. Your site is my go-to resource for pet food information! Would love it if you started reviews on wet food too!

  11. My cat Cleo loves this cat food. I bought a bag on special and gave her a taste of a few biscuits. There were a few of her old Whiskas cat biscuits still in her bowl and because Cleo will eat anything, I expected her to gobble the old biscuits up after the new ones. Instead, after she finished the Wellness CORE biscuits she sniffed the Whiskas biscuits, turned her nose up and looked up at me like she was asking, “Where’s more of that good stuff?”. Glad that she loves it and glad that it’s good for her! 🙂

  12. I have 4 cats. 3 just turned 1 & 1 new adoption who is 5 months. I am looking for a quality cost affect way to feed them. 1 was very sick when little & now has a sensitive tummy. She is the biggest at 6kg. I also have 1 who has had issues with urinating when eating dry food (not the 5 month old). ATM I feed them twice a day (although with the new addition who is still young they are being fed 3 x a day). They do like the dry food so I try & give this either for breakfast or lunch. Then the wet meal consist of pet kangaroo mince mixed with whiskas. )I find the 400g tins value for money however worry that it isn’t the best choice.
    Would love to hear what other feed their kitty’s in a multi cat household.
    I’m thinking the Wellness core grain free is a good option or the black hawk grain free but worry that it is not suitable for the kitty with the urinary tract issue.
    Can any-1 help or know what these have as their PH level. I believe it needs to have low magnesium levels to help lower the acidity levels?

    Also need a good wet food to add to the mince. mainly adding a can food to the mince for the vitamins?

    • Hi Jos, just noticed your message as i was posting below. I noticed my cat’s wet food mentions it helps prevent urinary stones? Not sure if this is what you’re after, but here it’s called Canidae All Life Stages (green label on the tin). Hope that helps a little.

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