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Nutro cat food has had more than a few recalls since it set foot in the pet food industry in 1926 for many different reasons. The Mars Incorporated affiliate offers five different cat food brands in its product line which received positive reviews from most clients.  Just like any other cat food brand, however, Nutro has had its fair share of cat food recalls for reasons such as possible mold problems, melamine contamination, and more. We shall discuss this in detail below.

If you love feeding your feline friend the Nutro cat food brand, we have done the research to save you time and tried to answer all your questions regarding their cat food recalls. Nutro was founded in 1926 in the City of Industries, California, United States. The brand also makes dog foods as well as treats for cats and pooches. Their pet food facilities are in different countries including California, Tennessee, South Dakota, Lebanon, Victorville, and North Sioux City. Nutro Greenies treats are manufactured in their Kansas City, MI facility.

Is Nutro a good cat food brand

Overall, Nutro cat food is a decent brand that focuses on giving your feline friend a healthy and happy life. Their formulas are nutrient-rich with fine ingredients. And while both their dry and wet cat foods are excellent choices, their wet cat foods are better than their dry recipes. That is because they contain good amounts of moisture, calories, and are packed with vitamins, minerals, taurine, and have no fillers.

The brand’s cat foods superiority can be seen in customer reviews. If you are looking for cat food that will help keep your feline friend healthy and happy, Nutro can be an outstanding candidate on your list. In fact, Nutro stands out amongst the longest-standing, natural cat food brands in the market. All their 31 cat food products are produced in the US with your kitty’s health and safety in mind.

For their best dry cat food, we would recommend the Nutro Wholesome Essentials Indoor Chicken & Brown Rice recipe. We love it for the rich flavor that your feline friend will cherish, premium protein as the first ingredient, omega 6 fatty acids, and healthy fiber to boost your cat’s digestion. For wet cat food, we pick Nutro Perfect Portions Grain-Free Natural Wet Cat Food that is also rich in protein, packaging, moisture & taurine contents as well as a rich texture that your cat will love.

In fact, Nutro ranked first throughout 2012 and won the American Feed Industry Association’s Pet Food Manufacturing Facilities Certification. The brand’s dry and wet cat foods protein content are 33.8 and 10.4 against the industry’s average of 34 and 10. That is enough proof for quality, right?

Has Nutro ever been recalled

Yes, as we mentioned in the beginning, Nutro has been recalled several times on its dog and cat foods due to various reasons. This does not make the brand unfit for your feline friend, but it is always good to stay in the know because diet has a lot of impacts on your cat’s lifestyle. We shall look at these reasons and in-depth review the recalls in our sections below.

Reasons for recalls – Nutro Cat Food Complaints

The problems with Nutro cat food vary from one recipe to another with the most recent recall being caused by possible mold problems. Other reasons for recalls include the presence of pieces of plastic pieces in their food, melamine contamination, as well as inappropriate levels of potassium and zinc.

Feeding your feline pal food contaminated with mold can lead to can make them sick very easily and quickly, possibly within an hour of consumption. Plastic pieces can contain toxic chemicals like BPA or phthalates which can cause damage to organs such as your cat’s liver and kidney. On the one hand, melamine contamination, a common reason for pet food recalls on most brands, is associated with kidney failure. Incorrect levels of potassium and zinc, on the other hand, lead to mineral inadequacy, which can make your cat lethargic & uncoordinated (potassium) as well as develop skin disease (zinc).

Nutro cat food recall history

Nutro has had its fair share of hard nights due to cat food recalls for the last 15 years which you should be aware of as a brand enthusiast. March 2007, however, saw the largest recall of Nutro cat foods with 35 products being removed from the shelves. 19 of these cat foods belonged to the Nutro Max line which was later discontinued.

Here is the full breakdown of the Nutro cat food recall history as it appears in searches from 2007, 2009, 2019, 2020, through 2021.

Date of RecallAnnouncement Reason for RecallWhat was Recalled 
March 2007Nutro website report on 2/3/2007FDA reports as of May 2007Melamine contamination35 pouches and cans of cat foods from the Nutro Natural Choice, Nutro Max, and Nutro Ultra lines
May 2009FDA report dated 21/5/2009Incorrect levels of potassium & zinc7 dry cat foods from the Nutro Natural Choice and Nutro Max product lines with best by date between May 12, 2010 & August 22, 2010
Mars Inc. reportThe possible presence of small pieces of melted plastic

As you can see, too many of their cat foods have been pulled out of the shelves. This raises an alarm especially when it is from three major product lines of its cat foods. In the graphical representation of the recalls in the Nutro pet food brand, however, you can see a big drop in recalls from 2007 to 2009 on the same brands which means that the company is changing its formulas to make them safer and healthier for your cats.

a graphical representation of Nutro cat food recalls between 2007 and 2009

As of 2019, 2020, and 2021, no cat food recalls have been made on Nutro at all. The only major notice was on the discontinued Nutro Max line of cat food products.

Nutro Wholesome Essentials and Nutro Max canned cat food recall

Nutro Wholesome Essentials (rebranded to Nutro Natural Choice) and Nutro Max cat foods product lines have been victims of recalls in 2007 and 2009. In 2007, Nutro Natural Choice had 16 recalls on canned variety due to melamine contamination while Nutro Max canned cat foods also had 19 recalls due to the same reasons.

Other than the wet cat food varieties, both Natural Choice and Max dry cat food products had recalls as well. In 2009, 3 Natural Choice and 4 Max dry cat foods were pulled from the shelves after an FDA report for incorrect potassium and zinc levels.

Both Nutro Natural Choice and Max are excellent choices with most recipes having real meat as the first ingredient with ideal protein contents in their guaranteed analysis. Some also contain wholesome grains but tend to have high plant content and excessive carb content.

Nutro wet cat food recalls

Multiple Nutro wet cat foods were recalled in 2007 due to the presence of melamine. At least 35 Nutro Natural Choice and Nutro Max product lines were pulled off the shelves following an FDA report dated May 30, 2007. One can only imagine how many cats had consumed the batches already.

We rank Nutro wet cat foods as significantly above average when it comes to quality when compared to other manufacturers in the industry. They have excellent moisture content, ideal protein content, and use reliable ingredients for the most part in their recipes. Even when you look at product reviews from consumers, you can tell that cats love the brand’s wet food variety more.

Nutro Wild Frontier cat food recall

Nutro Wild Frontier cat food has never been recalled. Available in both wet and dry varieties, Wild Frontier cat food feature a ‘true to the hunt’ tagline. As the company markets, the brand, Wild Frontier’s product line of cat foods contains a high percentage of animal-based ingredients. There are different formulas that contain nutrient-rich animal organs and include a wide range of animal protein sources.

Nutro Wild Frontier wet variety gives your cat a choice between pate formulas and cuts in gravy formulas. You can try one of their formulas to find the best choice for your feline friend.

Is Nutro cat food being discontinued?

Nutro announced in June 2020 that it was going to discontinue its Nutro Max line of cat foods which also includes dog foods. Max, my indoor cat, loved the Nutro Max Cat Adult Dry Cat Food. In fact, Roasted Chicken & Salmon formula was his best and I always ordered the 16 lbs. bag for him. Being active, was excellent for Max and helped promote healthy skin and a lustrous coat. Too bad I now must find another brand that is close to Nutro Max.

In the video below, 10 cats were reported to have died after consuming Nutro cat food brands;


Overall, Nutro cat food is an above-average cat food brand when compared to other brands in its level despite the recalls. And even though they are not the best in the industry, the brand is well-regarded for good quality dry and wet cat foods. Yes, Nutro cat food has a debatable history of recalls, but we would recommend it to you to feed your feline friend. Nutro is also affordable which makes it a superb choice for people working on a tight budget and looking for a premium cat food range.

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