IAMS vs Purina Cat Food: In-Depth Review

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Have you ever stood in the pet food aisle, scratching your head over whether to pick IAMS or Purina for your cat? If so, you’re in good company.

iams vs purina cat food

This is our IAMS vs Purina cat food comparison review for any confusing cat owners.

After spending lots of time researching and talking to vets, we’ve reached a conclusion that might surprise you.

In the battle of IAMS cat food vs Purina, IAMS tends to win with more benefits for your cat. But why, you might wonder? Let’s explore the reasons.

Overall Winner: IAMS

Choosing between Purina and IAMS can be tough. Both brands stand out with their unique strengths. But, after looking at their history, recall records and food reviews, IAMS takes the lead.

It excels in recent food safety and offers superior nutritional content in its popular foods. This gives it a small advantage over Purina, known for its long history and wide variety of products.

IAMS vs Purina cat food: Brand Overview

Exploring the brand histories of IAMS and Purina is key to understanding their credibility, trustworthiness, and how their products have evolved.

About IAMS

iams brand

IAMS is a big name in pet food, starting its journey in 1946. Paul Iams, the founder, wanted to make top-notch, meaty food for pets. His idea sparked during the tough times of the Great Depression. He saw how much people cared for their furry friends.

As time went by, IAMS changed hands. It first joined Procter & Gamble, but things didn’t go smoothly, leading to a lawsuit. Things took a positive turn when Mars Inc., the world’s pet food leader, bought it in 2014.

IAMS is easy to find in stores. It offers a variety of foods for cats of all ages, meeting their specific needs. Whether it’s a young kitten or a graceful older cat, IAMS has something special.

They focus on high-quality ingredients. Their well-liked formulas help with weight control and hairball management. These efforts show IAMS’s dedication to pet health and happiness.

About Purina

purina brand

Purina has been a big player in pet food for over 100 years. It started as the Robinson-Danforth Commission Company and evolved into Ralston Purina. The name “Purina” reflects their commitment to pure, quality pet food. This has been their focus from the start.

In 2001, Purina joined forces with Nestlé’s pet care division. This partnership created the Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. Through all the changes, Purina has always aimed to give pets the best nutrition.

They have a huge variety of foods for cats and dogs, no matter their age. They even make special formulas for pets with unique health needs.

Purina’s famous lines, like Purina ONE, Purina PRO PLAN, and Purina BEYOND, blend natural ingredients with added nutrients to keep pets healthy.

They also have special recipes for cats, like ones for sensitive skin or to help with urinary tract health.

Purina has a cool 28-Day Challenge with Purina ONE. They promise you’ll see your cat’s health get better in just 28 days.

Winner: Purina

Purina has been creating pet food for over 100 years, leading the way in pet nutrition. This long history of innovation puts it ahead of IAMS, which also has a respectable history but hasn’t been around as long.

IAMS vs Purina ONE cat food: Recall History

Knowing the recall histories of IAMS and Purina is important to gauge their commitment to food safety and quality, which are key to your cat’s health.

Understanding the recall histories between IAMS vs. Purina cat food helps us see how serious they are about keeping their food safe and high quality.

IAMS Recalls

  • March 2007: IAMS recalled many wet cat foods, like IAMS Select Bites and IAMS Kitten Slices, because of possible melamine contamination.
  • 2010 Recalls: IAMS had several recalls. The first was because their kitten food had low levels of thiamine. Later, they recalled their veterinary and weight control foods due to the risk of Salmonella contamination.
  • 2011 and 2013 Recalls: IAMS recalled dog food products because of issues like mold, aflatoxins, and Salmonella.

Purina Recalls

  • 2011: Purina experienced two recalls of dry cat foods due to suspected salmonella contamination.
  • 2012: A batch of Purina Veterinary Diets OM Overweight Management Feline Formula was recalled for not containing enough thiamine.
  • 2013: Purina ONE was recalled due to suspected salmonella contamination.
  • March 2016: Several wet dog food tubs were recalled due to low levels of vitamins and minerals.
  • March 2019: Purina recalled a specific variety of Muse cat food.

Winner: IAMS

Since 2013, IAMS has had a clean slate with no big recalls noted by the FDA. This shows they’ve really stepped up their game in making sure their pet food is safe and top-notch. On the other hand, Purina has had a few bumps in the road with some recalls happening more recently.

IAMS cat food vs Purina: Products Review

Since both brands have their strengths, one in Brand History and the other in Recall History, it’s essential to explore their products. Analyzing their top products offers a decisive insight into their overall quality and suitability for your cat.

Both brands have their highlights: one shines with its Brand History, and the other stands out with its Recall History. So, it’s important to look at their products closely.

IAMS Proactive Health Adult Indoor Weight and Hairball Control

iams proactive health adult indoor weight and hairball control dry cat food

  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Gluten Meal
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Protein (min) 30%, Fat (min) 11%, Fiber (max) 8.3%
  • Special Diet: Indoor, Weight Control, Pea-Free, High Fiber, With Grain
  • Cost: $2.13/lb

We all love pampering our furry friends, but sometimes this can make them a bit too chubby. This product is perfect for indoor cats who don’t move around much. It helps keep their weight in check and tackles hairball issues.

With chicken as the top ingredient, it offers a protein-packed meal for indoor cats who aren’t very active.

The formula includes fiber to help with digestion and keep hairballs to a minimum.

Plus, it’s got L-carnitine to help burn off fat and keep your cat in shape.

But, while it claims to have no fillers, finding corn and by-product meal in the ingredients hints at a lower protein quality.

  • Pros:
    • Formulated to reduce hairball.
    • It helps burn fat.
  • Cons:
    • Contains corn and by-products.

IAMS Proactive Health High Protein Adult Dry Cat Food

iams proactive health high protein dry cat food

  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken By-product Meal, Corn Grits, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Salmon
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Protein (min) 38%, Fat (min) 18%, Fiber (max) 3%
  • Special Diet: High-Protein, With Grain
  • Cost: $2.77/lb

IAMS Proactive Health High Protein Adult Dry Cat Food is made for active adult cats. It gives them the high protein they need for all their energy.

This food boasts 38% crude protein, mostly from sources like chicken. This helps keep muscles strong and supports your cat’s overall health.

It also has a special mix of fiber, including prebiotics and beet pulp, to help with digestion.

But, Corn and by-product meal appear again in the ingredient list. It means there’s less high-quality animal protein.

  • Pros:
    • High in protein.
    • Beneficial for overall cat health and wellness.
  • Cons:
    • Contains corn and by-products.

IAMS Perfect Portions Healthy Grain Free Wet Cat Food

iams perfect portions healthy wet cat food

  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Water, Poultry Liver, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg Product
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Protein (min) 9%, Fat (min) 5%, Fiber (max) 1%
  • Special Diet: Grain-Free
  • Cost: $0.54/oz

IAMS Perfect Portions offers an ideal choice for cats with special dietary needs or sensitivities.

Firstly, its top ingredient is real chicken, providing a high-quality protein source. This grain-free formula is also easy on the stomach, making it great for digestion.

Additionally, it’s packed with vitamin E, an antioxidant that boosts the immune system.

This option is low in carbs, ensuring your cat gets only the essentials.

Moreover, the portion-controlled packaging is a big plus. It aids in weight management and cuts down on waste, offering convenience for cat owners.

  • Pros:
    • Grain-free and low in carbohydrates.
    • Portion control packaging.
    • Without animal by-products.
  • Cons:
    • None

Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Probiotic Chicken & Rice Cat Food

purina pro plan liveclear probiotic chicken & rice cat food

  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Poultry By-Product Meal, Wheat Flour
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Protein (min) 36%, Fat (min) 16%, Fiber (max) 2%
  • Special Diet: High-Protein, With Grain
  • Cost: $6.71/lb

Purina Pro Plan LiveClear Probiotic Chicken & Rice Cat Food is a product born from more than a decade of research. It’s designed to lessen allergens in cat hair and dander.

Featuring chicken as the primary ingredient, this food delivers high-quality protein. This is essential for maintaining strong muscles and promoting overall health.

Additionally, it includes probiotics to aid in digestive health, ensuring a well-rounded diet for your cat.

However, it’s worth noting that some ingredients, like corn gluten meal and poultry by-product meal, may not align with every cat owner’s preferences.

  • Pros:
    • Reduces allergens in cat hair and dander.
    • Probiotics support digestive health.
  • Cons:
    • Contains wheat and corn, potential allergens for some cats.
    • Contains by-product.

Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original Dry Cat Food

purina cat chow naturals original dry cat food

  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-product Meal, Rice
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Protein (min) 34%, Fat (min) 13%, Fiber (max) 3%
  • Special Diet: High-Protein, Weight Control, Indoor, Natural, With Grain
  • Cost: $1.53/lb

Purina Cat Chow Naturals Original Dry Cat Food is designed to offer cats a diet that’s close to what they naturally eat. With chicken leading the ingredient list, it’s a hit for those looking for a carnivore-friendly meal.

This food stays away from artificial colors and uses fats from animals. However, its high carb content and many plant-based ingredients might not be as good as diets with more meat.

Even though it’s easy on the wallet, there are other budget-friendly choices that could provide better nutrition.

  • Pros:
  • Cons:
    • High in corn and soy products
    • Contains by-product
    • plant-based

Purina ONE Chicken Recipe Pate Natural Grain-Free Canned Cat Food

purina one chicken recipe pate grain-free canned cat food

  • Primary Ingredients: Chicken, Liver, Chicken Broth, Pork Lungs, Fish
  • Guaranteed Analysis: Protein (min) 11%, Fat (min) 5%, Fiber (max) 1.5%
  • Special Diet: Indoor, Natural, Grain-Free
  • Cost: $0.36/oz

Purina One, the most popular recipe in the Purina lineup, offers the Purina ONE Chicken Recipe Pate as a top choice for wet cat food.

This high-protein, medium-fat, and low-carb formula is made with real chicken, supporting strong muscles and overall health.

It’s grain-free, promoting a silky coat and healthy skin. The formula includes antioxidants for immune support and is moisture-rich for hydration.

As a natural wet food with added vitamins, minerals, and nutrients, it’s suitable for cats at all life stages.

Plus, its pate texture is generally well-liked by cats.

  • Pros:
    • high-protein, medium-fat, and low-carb.
    • Without animal by-products.
    • No corn, wheat, or soy.

Winner: IAMS

Truthfully, both brands offer mid-range cat food. I’m not a big fan of by-products and corn, which show up in two out of three foods from each brand. If I had to choose, IAMS would be my pick. Its plant-based ingredients never rank in the top two spots on the ingredient list. Plus, it’s more budget-friendly.


Is IAMS better than Purina?

IAMS is often favored for its ingredients and nutritional value, especially in its well-loved products. Yet, Purina boasts a broader range of options that address various dietary requirements.

What is the #1 vet-recommended cat food?

The top vet-recommended cat food can change, but brands such as Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canin, Tiki Cat and Purina Pro Plan often get the nod. They’re praised for their science-based approach to pet nutrition.

What is the healthiest cat food brand for indoor cats?

Brands such as IAMS, Royal Canin, and Blue Buffalo are often seen as healthy choices for indoor cats. They provide formulas specially made for a more sedentary lifestyle.

Do vets recommend Purina for cats?

Yes, many vets recommend Purina, especially the Purina Pro Plan line. They’re known for their science-based and nutritionally balanced cat foods.

Is IAMS cat food high quality?

Yes, IAMS cat food is generally considered high quality, focusing on high-protein content and tailored nutrition for cats at different life stages.

Do vets recommend Purina Pro?

Indeed, veterinarians frequently recommend the Purina Pro Plan. It’s praised for its focused nutrition and specific formulas that cater to the diverse health needs of cats.


All things considered, IAMS stands out as a better choice for your cat.

Choosing the best cat food means paying attention to your cat’s unique dietary needs. It’s key to read labels carefully to understand the quality of ingredients and the nutritional value.

Talking to a vet can also offer important advice specific to your cat’s health needs.

We’d love to hear from you about your experiences with IAMS vs Purina cat food. Your thoughts could help other cat parents decide.

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