Acana Grasslands grain-free cat food changed its formula again in 2020 so I knew I had to make a new review to discover if the changes made on this formula pointed in the right direction. Acana is a brand of cat food that is produced in Canada and the USA. They make different formulas for the Canadian and American markets because they use locally grown ingredients and reach for the bests sourced ones.
Let’s check this new Acana Grassland 2020 cat food formula made in Kentucky, and see if it’s better than the previous Grasslands recipe.
Nutritional Key Features
- Acana Grasslands is a grain-free formula
- 75% of small animal ingredients (Percentage may change after the cooking process).
- 37.5% of animal ingredients are fresh or raw.
- Free-run duck, chicken, turkey, and quail.
- 25% carbohydrate provided by fruits and vegetables.
- Locally grown meats (USA).
- Fresh fruits and vegetables are grown locally (USA).
- Contains all essential amino acids to keep your cat healthy.
- No artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors
- With probiotics for the cat’s healthy gut.
- Limited synthetic supplements, only Choline, Zinc, and Copper have been added.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 support healthy skin and shiny coats.
The formula includes the following meats variety:
⇒ Duck: Meat, meal, liver, cartilage (Kentucky farms).
⇒Chicken: Meat, meal, liver, and heart (Kentucky farms).
⇒ Eggs: Fresh from local Kentucky farms.
⇒ Turkey: Meal, meat, freeze-dried liver (Kentucky farms).
⇒ Catfish Meal
⇒ Free-run quail: Fresh from South Carolina farms.
What Does It Mean Fresh And Raw Meats?
Fresh meats mean the meats are refrigerated as the sole method of preservation. Raw meats are the same fresh meats but they are frozen at the peak of freshness to preserve nutrients. In the Acana Grasslands recipe, half of the total animal protein ingredients come from fresh and raw meats.
Acana Grasslands New USA 2020 Formula Ingredients:
Deboned Duck, Deboned Chicken, Eggs, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Catfish Meal, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Duck Fat, Deboned Turkey, Pea Starch, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Chickpeas, Quail, Pollock Oil, Natural Chicken Flavor, Duck Meal, Lentil Fiber, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Duck Liver, Duck Cartilage, Freeze-Dried Turkey Liver, Choline Chloride, Whole Cranberries, Whole Pumpkin, Collard Greens, Carrots, Apples, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Taurine, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin, Copper Proteinate, L-Carnitine, Dlmethionine, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.
Guaranteed Analysis New Formula
Crude protein (min.), 36% – Crude fat (min.) 18% – Moisture (max.) 10% – Crude fiber (max.) 4% – Dietary starch 15% (max.) – Sugars (1.2%) – Calcium (min.) 1.9% – Phosphorus (min.) 1.3% – Magnesium (min.) 0.1% – Taurine (min.) 0.1% – Omega-6 fatty acids* (min.) 3% – Omega-3 fatty acids* (min.) 0.8% – DHA* (min.) 0.15% – EPA* (min.) 0.1%
Previous 2016 Acana Grasslands formula (discontinued).
Deboned lamb, deboned duck, whole eggs, lamb meal, catfish meal, goat meal, whole green peas, red lentils, pinto beans, rainbow trout, lamb fat, chickpeas, green lentils, whole yellow peas, herring oil, quail, duck meal, lentil fiber, natural lamb flavor, lamb tripe, lamb liver, lamb kidney, duck giblets (liver, heart, kidney), duck cartilage, dried kelp, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, carrots, apples, pears, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried duck liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.
Crude protein (min.), 35% – Crude fat (min.) 20% – Moisture (max.) 10% – Crude fiber (max.) 4% – Calcium (min.) 1.8% – Phosphorus (min.) 1.3% – Omega-6 fatty acids* (min.) 3% – Omega-3 fatty acids* (min.) 0.7% – DHA* (min.) 0.15% – EPA* (min.) 0.15.
Changes In Acana Grasslands 2020 USA Formula VS 2016 Recipe
The following changes have been made in the new 2020 recipe produced in Kentucky, USA.
Changes in main ingredients:
- It replaced deboned lamb for a deboned duck. Good change. The fat in duck meat provides a decent amount of monounsaturated fatty acid, which is a good type of fat. This type of fat has oxidation resistance so in this case, the use of duck meat as the main ingredient in this formula provides more flavor, longer shelf-life, and the main difference is the oxidation process regarding other formulas (source). Additionally, deboned lamb raw meat contains more water weight in the muscles than deboned raw duck meat. The result is that the deboned lamb percentage in the formula has an inflated protein number when it’s weighed before the cooking process. On the other hand, duck deboned meat’s weight varies less after being cooked. This provides closer to the real percentage of proteins in the formula.
- It replaces deboned lamb for deboned chicken. Both sources of protein are good for cats, but chicken is a small animal closer to the cat’s natural diet which includes the internal organs.
- It replaces whole eggs for eggs. Great change, whole eggs may contain pieces of shells but the “eggs” ingredient is free of any.
- It replaces lamb meal with a chicken meal. Not so good. Both are a good concentrated source of protein for cats. However, lamb is less likely to cause allergies.
- It replaces catfish meal with turkey meal. Good change. It’s always better to put fish ingredients further down the list.
- It replaces goat meal with catfish meal. Catfish meal is a good source of fatty acids and very low in mercury, however, fish may create addiction.
- It replaces whole green peas with whole red lentils. Good change. Even though green peas have more fiber than red lentils, lentils provide less phosphorus and carbohydrate than peas.
Guaranteed Analysis Changes:
- Increased protein level from 35% to 36%. Good change.
- Reduced crude fat from 20% to 18%. Not very good change. Cats need from 20% to 24% fat in their food.
- Calcium increase from 1.8% min. to 1.9% min. It’s better to reduce calcium to a lower level.
- It increased Omega-3 from 0.7% to 0.8%. This is a good change considering that the last 2016 formula reduced Omega-3 dramatically from 1% to 0.7%. This is a step in the right direction.
- It lowered Taurine from 0.15% to 0.1% (min). Not good.
- Now it mentions Magnesium, starch content, and sugars. The magnesium level is low. Starch content is low, considering that most commercial cat foods contain up to 35% starch on a dry matter basis (source). Sugars content of 1.2% refers to the carbohydrate sugars and it’s low.
Analysis of first 5 Ingredients of New Acana Grasslands Recipe
Deboned Duck: This is a very good alternative source of protein for cats. The muscle meats contain water, but duck meat is denser than chicken or lamb. 4 stars
Deboned Chicken: Contains water in muscles so it represents less protein once it’s cooked. Though, chicken is a great source of protein for cats. 3 stars
Eggs: Good source of protein for cats. Free of shells. 4 stars
Chicken meal: Excellent source of proteins for cats. 5 stars
Turkey Meal: Good concentrated source of protein for cats. Water has been extracted. 4 stars
What are the Pros & Cons of Acana Grasslands Grain-Free Cat Food?
I made my list considering the main nutritional aspects of this formula:
- Grain-free formula, which means free of soy, corn, wheat, tapioca.
- Free of artificial color, flavor, or preservatives.
- Vitamin E, as a natural preservative.
- 75% of ingredients are from small animals, half of which are fresh or raw meats. Eggs are free of shell.
- Free-run duck, chicken, turkey, and quail.
- All the main 6 ingredients are animal proteins. This means even if the first 3 ingredients lose the percentage of weight after being cooked, the following ingredients are still a highly concentrated source of proteins (chicken meal, turkey meal, catfish meal).
- The first 6 ingredients are from locally grown animal sources (USA).
- Freeze-dried coated with turkey liver for great flavor
- A reduced low-glycemic carbohydrates content of 25%
- Reduced starch content of 15%
- Low-glycemic carbs come from locally grown veggies and fruits. This type of carbs prevents peaks in the cat’s blood sugar, supports the immune system, and helps with the cat’s digestive function.
- Low-glycemic carbs and a grain-free formula prevent diabetes and obesity.
- Formula increased protein levels from 35% to 36%
- Magnesium is not high (0.1% max.)
- It informs all essential amino acids cats need to stay healthy and that they only can get from food.
- Limited synthetic supplements (Choline, Zinc, and Copper)
- Catfish has a very low mercury level and provides fatty acids.
- Essential fatty acid Omega-3 was increased by 0.1%.
- The main percentage of the formula consists of fresh or raw ingredients that decrease in their proportion once they are cooked.
- Ash content is not listed on the guaranteed analysis.
- Lamb was replaced by chicken, both are good proteins but lamb is less likely to cause allergies.
Acana originally changed the Canadian formula in 2016 to a USA formula made in Kentucky. Now the recipe has been changed again in 2020 and I can see an improvement regarding the last 2016 formula. Whole eggs were replaced by eggs that don’t include pieces of shell. The Omega-3 fatty acid has been increased. Deboned duck now as the first ingredient represents a tastier cat food and a longer freshness of it, because the fat contained in the duck meat slowers the oxidation process. The chicken was increased on this formula, with less lamb present on it. Chicken is a good source of protein but lamb is less likely to cause allergies.
The ash content is still not informed on this formula. The ash content in cat food may influence urinary tract health so this information is important. This formula lists all essential amino acids that are crucial for the cat’s health. Very few brands list the essential amino acids on their cat foods.
Considering the main 3 ingredients this formula rate is 3.6 stars. This represents an improvement regarding the last Acana Grasslands cat dry food.
Bottom Line As A Cat Owner
The Acana Grasslands grain-free 2020 USA formula has been improved regarding its 2016 version. I recommend this formula for adult cats, using it in a mixed diet of wet and dry food. You can get Acana Grasslands 2020 USA formula on Chewy with fast shipping (1-3 days) and save 30% on your first Autoship. Check it out ⇒ here.