Menu

Special Kitty Cat Food Reviews: Good or Bad?

special kitty cat food reviews cat on a couch

After receiving a couple of emails from readers, we decided to review Special Kitty Cat food. Never heard of it? Then it’s a good thing you’re here.

Although a lot of people aren’t familiar with it, Special Kitty Cat Food is one of Walmart’s brands of cat food. The range offers wet and dry food products, as well as pouches and variety packs. And as you would expect, it’s an affordable option.

The first question, of course, is who makes Special Kitty Cat Food? The J.M. Smucker Company is responsible for the manufacturing of Special Kitty Cat Food, as well as other brands including 9Lives, Rachel Ray Nutrish, Nature’s Balance, and Nature’s Recipe. 

While you’ll be hard-pressed to find the exact ingredients used in their range of cat food, there are reports that Walmart initially commissioned Mars Corporated to create it according to the standards of 9Lives. So, for all intents and purposes, the two foods are almost identical, bar the packaging.

Where Can You Buy Special Kitty Cat Food

You can buy all of the Special Kitty Cat Food products online from Walmart. If you look online, you’ll see that there is a lot to choose from within the range, including a new Naturals formula. You can also buy it from Amazon, and if you look around, you’ll see some websites that offer Special Kitty Cat Food coupons.

Special Kitty Cat Food Reviews

But what about the cat food itself? Looking at a couple of reviews, some customers swear by it and claim their cats thrive on Special Kitty Cat Food, while others reckon it is great to use if you are feeding feral cats, strays, or lots of cats, like in a shelter, because of its low price. And then there are a few that say you should steer clear of the product completely.

We thought we would check out a few Special Kitty Cat Food products for ourselves.

Special Kitty Gourmet Cat Food

Special Kitty Gourmet Cat Food is described as a premium food. According to the packaging, it contains crab, lobster, shrimp, tuna, and chicken flavors. This sounds delicious and definitely worth the ‘gourmet’ label, but it is important to keep in mind that using flavors isn’t quite the same as using real meat.

The recipe does contain taurine, which is an essential ingredient cats need, but in the same breath, it also has artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Corn is listed as one of the ingredients too, so for cats with sensitive stomachs or that suffer from food allergies, this probably isn’t the best choice.

Like with any dry cat food, it’s convenient to store, easy to serve up, and it lasts for a long time. 

Special Kitty Gourmet Cat Food has over 400 reviews, with about 4.1 stars out of 5. While it’s fair to say there’s room for improvement, it seems to be tasty, offers some nutritional value, and is very friendly on the budget.

What’s to like:

  • It's budget-friendly
  • The lobster, shrimp, tuna, crab and chicken flavors make it a delicious choice for adult cats
  • The recipe includes taurine, an essential nutrient for cats

What’s not to like:

  • Because it contains artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives as well as corn products, it is not suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs or those that have food allergies
  • It is almost impossible to find a list of ingredients, and there is no Guaranteed Analysis

Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner Canned Cat Food

The first thing we noticed is the Guaranteed Analysis on the label, as well as the statement: Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner Premium Cat Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles for growth and maintenance. This means that Special Kitty wet cat food has been checked, and has met the same manufacturing standards as other brands.

Marketed as 100% balanced and complete nutrition for cats of all life stages, the wet food contains protein, fiber, moisture, and taurine. And there are feeding Instructions for adult cats and kittens. For us, this is a bit of a problem, simply because kittens have different nutritional needs to older cats and require a formulated diet to meet their specific needs.

Unfortunately, an animal protein is not listed as the number one ingredient, and the food contains artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.

What’s to like:

  • According to the Guaranteed Analysis, it contains protein, fiber, moisture and taurine
  • It is manufactured according to the AAFCO Nutrient Profiles
  • It is a budget-friendly option
  • It is described as balanced and nutritional for all life stages

What’s not to like:

  • It doesn't list an animal protein as the number one ingredient
  • It contains artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives which means it isn't suitable for cats with food allergies or sensitive stomachs
  • Although it is described as ideal for all kittens and adult cats, kittens must have a specially formulated food that meets their developmental needs

Special Kitty Kitten Food

The Special Kitty Kitten Formula Dry Cat Food packaging has a list of ingredients and a Guaranteed Analysis. This shows it contains protein, fat, fiber as well as essential vitamins and minerals kittens need, including DHA for cognitive and eye development.

The kibbles are bite-sized and full of flavors that kittens enjoy. On the downside, it doesn’t have a high-quality real meat protein as the number one ingredient, and it contains artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. Wheat and corn are also included, so it isn’t recommended for kittens with wheat allergies or sensitive stomachs.

According to happy customers, it is a nutritional, tasty, and economical option for kittens and pregnant or nursing adult cats.

What’s to like:

  • According to the Guaranteed Analysis Special Kitty Kitten Food contains protein, fiber, fat, and taurine
  • The formula has DHA, an essential amino acid that supports brain and eye development
  • The packaging includes a list of ingredients so you can see what your kitten is eating
  • The bite-sized kibbles are tasty
  • It is an affordable option

What’s not to like:

  • Real meat is not the main ingredient
  • It contains artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives
  • It has wheat and corn, which means it isn't a good choice for kittens with food allergies or sensitive stomachs

Special Kitty Recall History

According to various reports, there have been a few recalls of Special Kitty Cat Foods in the past. These include one in 2008 when there was a concern that some of the products had possible salmonella contamination. And one year before that, in 2007, there was a recall on various products affected by melamine, although we couldn’t find anything on the FDA website regarding this.

The most recent recall was in 2018, when the company, J.M. Sucker did a voluntary recall on products including Special Kitty, 9Lives and EverPet. The recall was done because of low levels of thiamine or vitamin B1 in the canned cat foods. The low levels were picked up by the company’s Quality Assurance team, and while there have been no illnesses reported, they decided to do a recall as a precautionary measure.

An essential vitamin for cats for their overall health. If a cat does not get sufficient levels of thiamine over a period of time, it can lead to gastrointestinal and neurological issues. Initial symptoms include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Weight loss
  • Excessive salivating

In more severe or advanced cases, symptoms may include:

  • Disorientated walking
  • Seizures
  • Falling
  • Tilting of the head

If thiamine deficiency is diagnosed early on and treated accordingly, it is reversible. 

Although product recalls are never a good thing, it’s good to see a company taking responsibility and alerting the public to any potential problems. It’s also important to point out that recalls have been done on a number of pet food products across all price ranges, including what a lot of people consider to be premium brands.

What You Need to Keep in Mind When Buying Special Kitty Cat Food

If you are thinking about feeding your cat Special Kitty Cat Cat Food, it’s worth considering a few important facts.

Easy on the budget

The Special Kitty range of cat food products provides cat owners with an affordable option when it comes to feeding their cats. 

Wide range of products

The brand offers a wide range of wet and dry food products, including a new natural formula. They also have specially formulated options for kittens, which contain essential vitamins and minerals, including DHA.

Guaranteed Analysis

The Special Kitty Cat Food with the Guaranteed Analysis on their labels indicate that the food contains protein, fat, fiber, moisture as well as taurine, which are all essential for a cat’s overall health.

Ingredients

Not all their products include a list of ingredients on the labels, but the ones that do show the food contains all the essential vitamins and minerals cats need for their growth and development.

AAFCO approved

Some of their products, like Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner Canned Cat Food, have the AAFCO statement on the label, which states that the food manufactured in line with their Nutritional Profiles for a cat’s growth and maintenance. 

Well-known manufacturer

J.M. Smucker, the company behind Special Kitty Cat Food, is a well-known and trusted manufacturer that also makes other pet foods, including Rachel Ray Nutrish, Nature’s Recipe, and Nature’s Balance.

Product recalls

While there have been several product recalls on some of the foods, we think it is a positive sign that the company has a Quality Assurance team in place, ensuring specific standards are met. We also appreciate their transparency, especially with a voluntary recall.

Protein source

Special Kitty Cat Food contains the protein a cat needs along with carbohydrates. Unfortunately, as we have already mentioned, the protein is often not real meat, and it isn’t the number one ingredient.

Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

While it seems cats enjoy the rich flavors of Special Kitty Cat Food, these are generally artificial. Also, the recipes include artificial colors and preservatives, which aren’t suitable for cats with food allergies or sensitive stomachs.

There’s no denying that Walmart’s Special Kitty Cat Food is one of the cheaper foods available on the market. But from what we can see, it provides many people with a nutritional, tasty, and affordable option when it comes to feeding their cats.

We know, and we’ve said it ourselves, the quality of cat food should never be judged on price alone. Marketers use smart words like ‘gourmet’, ‘premium’ and ‘holistic’ to make you think you’re buying the very best product out there, but there are other ways you can make sure. 

The Guaranteed Analysis is always a good place to start, as is checking the list of ingredients. And then there is the AAFCO seal of approval or nutrition statement that tells you the food has been tested according to their regulations. 

Some people might cite the product recalls as a reason to avoid Special Kitty Cat Food, but you should keep in mind that there have been recalls on other well-known and trusted cat foods

Deciding to feed your cat Special Kitty Cat Food will come down to your personal needs and budget, as well as your cat’s preference and his overall health. For cats that are in good health and don’t have food allergies or sensitive stomachs, this seems like an economical choice. We would suggest, like with any food, if you do notice that your cat is experiencing any adverse reactions like vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or weight loss, you consult with your vet immediately. Also, always make sure your cat has access to clean drinking water at all times.

We want to hear from you. Are you feeding your kitty any of the Special Kitty Cat products? What has your experience been like? Let us know in the comments below.

Carmen Scott
Carmen Scott
I’m the “Mom” behind The Cat Mom. I adopted my two kitties back in 2014 and since they’re the heart and soul of our home so we decided to share our experiences and tips with everyone who share the same love for their furry friends as us.

2 thoughts on “Special Kitty Cat Food Reviews: Good or Bad?”

  1. Thanks for this. I am feeding feral cats and worry about how good the cheap stuff is and this clears up a lot of my questions.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.