IAMS Cat Food Review

Reviews June 10, 2019
IAMS Cat Food Review


IAMS Cat Food Review

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IAMS Cat Food Review

In the 1950s, IAMS was the first pet food manufacturer to use animal-based protein as the primary protein source. At present, IAMS is a subsidiary of Mars Inc Company, and their website states Iams provides ” nutrition that is tailored to bring out their unique best”.

If you’re wondering which line of IAMS is best for your cat, there are several options to choose from depending on age, activity level or health issues, including a line of natural foods. Here we are reviewing the most popular foods purchased from the Iams cat food lines.

Our Review Process

  • We purchased all of the cat food for this review
  • We did not accept free products in exchange for a favorable review
  • We did extensive research and hands on testing
  • When you make a purchase through one of our links, we receive a percentage of the proceeds

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About Iams

Iams sells pet food for cats and dogs formulated for all ages and stages of life. Its products are developed by nutritionists and veterinarians and can be found in three main formulas: ProActive Health, Healthy Naturals and Premium Protection. Veterinary formulas for pets with special dietary requirements are also available.

Pet food was not available in stores and pets were predominantly fed homemade food and table scraps. The Iams Company was founded in 1946 in a small feed mill near Dayton, Ohio by animal nutritionist Paul Iams. In 1950, he developed the world’s first animal-based protein, dry dog food and later developed cat food recipes. Prior to founding Iams, he worked for a number of companies including his father’s feed business.

How IAMS Ranks


  • Ingredients: 2.5 out of 5 stars
  • Pricing:  3 out of 5 stars
  • Variety:  4 out of 5 stars
  • Quality:  2.5 out of 5 stars
  • Overall Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

Manufacturing and Sourcing

Iams manufactures their food in Ohio, Nebraska, and North Carolina. They also have a European manufacturing plant in Coevorden, Netherlands.

Iams does not provide information on where their ingredients are sourced, just that they are high quality. All Mars subsidiaries work with Mars’ Responsible Sourcing program and their Supplier Code of Conduct, meaning that the company uses third-party supplier risk assessment to choose ethical, reliable suppliers.

Mars Inc and Iams claims their food safety program is one of the most rigorous in the business, and it exceeds FDA and USDA standards. The company also states they have received superior ratings from the American Institute of Baking, an independent certification authority for the human food industry.

Analysis and Review

Iams Proactive Health Indoor Formula

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein – 30% Min
  • Fat – 13.5% Max
  • Fiber – 8.3% Max
  • Moisture– 10% Max
  • Caloric Content: 3,313 kcal/kg
Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Dried Beet Pulp, Turkey, Powdered Cellulose, Dried Peas, Natural Flavor, Salt, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Egg Product, Caramel Color, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Carrots, Dried Apple Pomace, Calcium Carbonate Fructooligosaccharides, Spinach, Tomato, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide), Taurine, L-Carnitine, Silicon Dioxide, Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract.

The well-known IAMS Proactive Health makes a dry food that is formulated especially for indoor cats. It has 10% less fat than the regular IAMS and is designed to help your cat maintain healthy weight and control hairballs.

This recipe starts with Chicken as the first ingredient which is a good start. The second ingredient is chicken by product meal, a high-protein commodity, used as a major component in cat food. It is made from grinding clean, rendered parts of carcasses. It can provide a rich source of protein and healthy fats in addition to essential vitamins and minerals. Fish oil is a nice addition which can help with inflammation of the heart, kidneys, skin, and joints.

Corn grits, corn gluten meal, ground whole grain corn are among some of the top ingredients. Cats do not digest corn well. They can eat corn, but get very little nutritional value from it. Even though corn gluten meal does have protein, it’s not the kind of protein that cats can use very well. Cats have to eat twice as much corn to get the same amount of protein that they would from meat or egg protein.

Whole grain sorghum is sometimes considered a filler but it is a whole grain, rich in antioxidants, and a good source of various vitamins and minerals. It has been said to be gluten free and should not affect cats with digestive issues.

Other concerning ingredients would be caramel coloring which contains 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE), a known animal carcinogen. Powdered cellulose is wood pulp or sawdust and used as a filler.

The Good

  • Chicken is 1st ingredient
  • Added fish oil

The Bad

  • Contains caramel color
  • Contains meals and fillers
  • High in carbohydrates

Iams Perfect Portions

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein – 9.5% Min
  • Fat – 5% Min
  • Fiber – 1% Min
  • Moisture– 78% Min
  • Caloric Content: 1,233 kcal/kg
Click here to see full list of Ingredients
Chicken, Chicken Broth, Chicken Liver, Dried Egg Product, Guar Gum, Added Color, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, Choline Chloride, Salt, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Copper Sulfate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Vitamin K).

IAMS Perfect Portions Grain Free cat food is grain free and contains no artificial preservatives. There are several flavors to choose from like : Chicken, Salmon, Tuna or choose a variety pack with multiple flavors. These are formulated to help maintain a healthy immune system.

The first four ingredients are promising with chicken, chicken broth, chicken liver and dried egg. All are good sources of protein and have high levels of taurine.

Guar gum is in the top five ingredients and is a controversial ingredient. It is used as a thickening agent in both pet and human foods and has been known to make you cat feel full longer. It has been known to help cats with diabetes or who maybe overweight by slowing digestion.

Added color is not an ingredient we like to see in any pet food. It is usually added to make the food look more appealing to pet owners. Without knowing exactly which color was added it is hard to determine the negative affects specifically. Many colors are considered carcinogens and can have serious consequences.

Fish oil is a nice addition which can help with inflammation of the heart, kidneys, skin, and joints.

The Good

  • Grain free
  • No artificial preservatives
  • First ingredient is chicken
  • High moisture content

The Bad

  • Contains added color
  • Small portions

Iams Proactive Health Daily Cat Treats

Nutritional Info:

  • Protein: 33% (Min)
  • Fat: 16.5% (Min)
  • Fiber: 3% Max
  • Moisture – 70%
  • Caloric Content: 1,372 kcal/kg
Click here to see full list of Ingredients

These IAMS Cat Treats feature a crunchy shell and a soft center and are created to treat prevent, protect and support your adult cat when it comes to digestion and hairballs. In addition to hairball treats, they also come in oral care. They come in two flavors, chicken or salmon and a convenient package for easy storage.

The first ingredient is chicken by product meal. This is not bad and can be considered a form of protein. Since this is a treat and not a meal it is not your cats source of protein entirely. It does go on to list other by-products in the list as well.

Ground corn is the second ingredient and this is a filler your cat does not benefit from. Cats do not digest corn well and is not part of their diet in the wild. There are several other fillers on the list as you read on and are equally useless.

Another ingredient high on the list is brewers rice and is considered useless in a cats diet. It is high in carbohydrates and some cats are allergic to it.

The Good

  • Cats enjoy treats
  • May help with oral care
  • Provides some protein

The Bad

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Contains a lot of fillers
  • Low amounts of fiber

IAMS Recall History

  • In March 2007, the FDA issued a recall for several Iams Flakes canned cat food recipes and three canned dog food recipes: Iams Chunks, Iams Select Bites, and Iams Small Bites , due to potential melamine contamination.
  • In June 2010, the FDA issued a recall for Iams ProActive Health canned cat and kitten food due to low levels of thiamine.
  • In July 2010, the FDA issued a recall for Iams Veterinary Formulas Feline Renal recipe due to potential salmonella contamination.
  • In August 2010, the FDA issued a recall for Iams Indoor Care Weight Control with Hairball Care dry cat food due to potential salmonella contamination.

Is IAMS Good Cat Food?

IAMS is considered a respectable cat food manufacturer and has been producing food for pets for over 50 years. With the exception of some formulas being heavy on meals and fillers, IAMS cat food is acceptable in your cats diet.

I personally prefer the wet food formulas over the dry because they have a much higher protein content with less fillers. As for the Iams treats, they are a nice way to reward your kitty in small amounts, but the low amounts of fiber make it less likely to help much with hairballs.

Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a life long cat lover. She also writes for various other pet related websites. She is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy and happy lifestyle for their fur-babies.
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