Wellness Core Original Chicken & Turkey grain-free formula changed in 2017 (check my review of the previous Wellness Core formula). As I usually do when brands change their recipe, I research the new ingredients and the guaranteed analysis to see if those changes point in the right direction. However, I didn’t notice this formula changed in 2017 so here is my delayed review.
Nutritional Features of Wellness Core Original
- Grain-free formula, no corn, wheat, soy, rice.
- Egg-free recipe
- The four first ingredients are animal and fish sourced proteins
- Chicken and turkey are locally sourced (the USA or Canada) and Herring is wild-caught in the North Atlantic.
- No by-products or fillers.
- No artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives
- Formula with 45% protein
- With flaxseed and salmon oil to provide Omega-3 fatty acids for a healthy cat’s skin, and shiny coat.
- Vegetables and fruits help the cat’s digestive system and provide antioxidants
- Packaged with vitamins, minerals, and probiotics
- Made in the USA
Wellness Core formula includes the following meats & fish varieties:
⇒ Chicken: Deboned meat, meal, fat.
⇒ Turkey: Deboned meat, meal.
⇒ Herring: Meal.
Wellness Core Original Chicken & Turkey Formula Ingredients:
Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, Peas, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Ground Potatoes, Tomato Pomace, Ground Flaxseed, Natural Chicken Flavor, Salmon Oil, Cranberries, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (added to preserve freshness), Zinc Sulfate, Calcium Carbonate, Niacin, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract, Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract.
Crude protein 45.0% min – Crude fat 18.0% min – Crude fiber 3.0% max – Moisture 10.0% max – Calcium 2.1% max – Phosphorus 1.60% max – Vitamin A 25,000 IU/kg min -Vitamin E 200 IU/kg min – Taurine 0.20% min – Omega-6 fatty acids 4.75% min – Omega-3 fatty acids 1.25% min.
Ingredients Discontinued Formula
Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Herring Meal, Peas, Turkey Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato Pomace, Natural Chicken Flavor, Flaxseed, Cranberries, Chicory Root Extract, Choline Chloride, Salmon Oil, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Biotin],Minerals [Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate], Taurine, Mixed Tocopherols added to preserve freshness, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Lactobacillus plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Rosemary Extract. This is a naturally preserved product.
Guaranteed Analysis Discontinued formula
Crude protein (min.) 40 % – Crude fat (min.) 20 % – Crude fibers (max.) 3% – Moisture (max.) 10 % – Calcium (min.) 1.2 % – Phosphorus (min.) 1% – Magnesium (min.) 0.1% – Taurine (min.) 0.2% – Omega-6 fatty acids (min.) 3.5 % – Omega-3 fatty acids (min.) 0.8% – DHA (min.) 0.2 % – EPA (min.) 0.2 %
Changes In Wellness Core Original VS Previous Recipe
I analyze the most important changes in the formula, so I consider the first five ingredients. The first ingredients represent the biggest proportion in the formula.
Changes in the first ingredients:
- It replaced “chicken meal” with “turkey meal”. Turkey meal provides more protein than cat meal. They are both excellent sources of protein for cats.
- It replaces “whitefish meal” with “chicken meal”. Though whitefish is a good source of protein for cats, chicken meal is a much better option. This change was good.
- It replaces “herring meal” with “peas”. Here, the ingredients were switched over. In the previous formula, “herring meal” was the 5th ingredient and “peas”, the 6th. Now in the new formula, “peas” is the 5th ingredient and “herring meal” the 6th. It’s better a low-mercury and low-carb fish protein such as “herring meal” than a vegetable protein such as “peas”. Even though this change didn’t point in the right direction, it didn’t affect significantly the nutritional profile of the formula. Actually, adding more vegetable fiber could be a good change for cats with digestive problems.
Changes in the Guaranteed Analysis:
- Crude protein increased from 40% to 45%. This is a good change because it means your cat will be satisfied with less food.
- Crude fat reduced from 20% to 18%. This is a good change for indoor cats since fats are a source of energy and indoor cats are usually less active.
- Calcium increased from 1.8% max to 2.1% max. More calcium means more chances of bladder irritation or kidney stones formation in cats. This could be a problem, especially with male cats.
- The maximum level of Phosphorus (1.6%) is now mentioned in the guaranteed analysis. This is good because many cat food formulas don’t mention the maximum guaranteed phosphorus in the diet. This maximum level is a little high, so the portions should be smaller than usual.
- Omega-6 increased from 3.5% to 4.75% and Omega-3 increased from 0.8% to 1.25%. Both fatty acids were increased and the Omega-3’s vs Omega-6 ratio was reduced. This is a good change because the ratio of Omega-3 vs Omega-6 should be 1:5. However, the more important values are the DHA and EPA, because those rates represent the actual fatty acids nutrition, and they are not mentioned in this formula.
Analysis of the first 5 Ingredients of Wellness Core Original Chicken & Turkey
Deboned turkey: 2 stars. This meat adds water weight that evaporates after being cooked. The real percentage after being cooked is less. Turkey provides less flavor than chicken.
Deboned chicken: 3 stars. The meat lacks bones but it adds water weight. This is a less real percentage of protein after being cooked.
Turkey meal: 4 stars. This ingredient represents a higher level of protein since it’s cooked and dehydrated turkey meat. Good source of proteins for cats.
Chicken meal: 5 stars. Very good concentrated source of protein for cats.
Peas:5 stars. A good vegetable alternative of protein, carbohydrates, and fiber.
What are the Pros & Cons Of Wellness Core Original Cat Formula?
The most important elements are the following:
- The grain-free formula reduces blood sugar spikes in the cat, less prone to develop obesity and diabetes.
- No artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors. These are harmful and could cause cancer.
- The formula contains 45% proteins, a denser in protein cat food means your cat will need to be satisfied.
- Good level of fatty acids that ensures a cat’s healthy skin, eyes, and a shiny, smooth coat.
- No eggs, no chances of cats developing an allergy to eggs.
- Guaranteed levels of vitamin-A and vitamin-E. These vitamins are essential for the cat body’s functions and immune system.
- The nutritional profile informs all the 11 essential amino acids cats need.
- This formula eliminated whitefish from the ingredients, keeping only “herring meal”.
- Even though this formula is grain-free which reduces the sugar spike in the cat’s blood, it contains ground dried potatoes, not the best ingredient for cat foods. The good thing is that the impact of this ingredient on the cat’s blood sugar is lower since it’s not part of the main ingredients.
- Magnesium level is not mentioned in the guaranteed analysis. In the nutritional pdf file, the informed magnesium level is 0.166%, a little higher than the maintenance profile recommended by AFFCO (0.100%).
- Phosphorus is a little higher than the maintenance profile recommended by AFFCO for adult cats, but the difference is very minimum (0.30%)
Wellness Core Original Turkey & Chicken is a good formula and it didn’t change dramatically regarding the first recipe previous to 2017. Most of the protein sources were kept the same, only the order of the ingredients was changed. A good change in this formula was eliminating one of the two fish ingredients. Whitefish is not present in the formula anymore, only “herring meal”. I don’t like too many fish in cat foods. Minerals like calcium and phosphorus were slightly increased, which means you will have to feed your cat less of this food. This won’t be a problem because this formula has a high level of protein, so your cat will be satisfied with much less food. Also, this formula must be complemented with low-in-phosphorus wet canned food.
I recommend Wellness Core Original Chicken & Turkey cat food for adult healthy cats. It’s a high-in-protein formula, and most of the protein comes from poultry which is the natural prey in the cat’s diet. Also, all of the 11 essential amino acids are informed in their nutritional profile on their website. One condition for my recommendation is complementing your cat’s diet with wet canned food low-in-phosphorus, especially if you have a male cat.
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