If you’ve read any of your previous cat (or pet) food reviews, you’ll be aware of how we usually do things around here; however, if you’re new, firstly, welcome, and secondly, let me explain our process for reviewing pet foods.
Our primary aim is to provide you, our valued reader, with 100% independent, unbiased reviews and information; therefore, we do more than scratch the surface when reviewing products – particularly when they’re consumables like pet food. Like you, we take the health of (y)our pets and animals very seriously, meaning we scrutinize pet foods to ensure they’re not only a healthy option for your pets but are worth your hard-earned money.
In today’s post, we’re going to be casting our expert eye over Applaws range of cat food. We’ll review their range of cat foods by examining their formulations, analyzing ingredients and analytical constituents, and cost looking at the cost of the products relative to their quality. In short,
we’ll find out whether or not their cat food range is a good option for your cat and your wallet.
So, without further ado, let’s review Applaws range of cat food.
Applaws Cat Food: What Does The Marketing Blurb Say?
While we’ve learnt many things during our time in the pet and pet food industry, probably the most crucial lesson is that products don’t always live up to the standards and expectations laid out by the company’s marketing blurb. Therefore, a key part of our review process is to examine what a company says about their products, then see if the products live up to the usual superlatives and clever marketing.
Unfortunately, a relatively high percentage of products don’t ‘walk the walk’ after a company has ‘talked the talk’, and when it’s something that your cat is going to eat, it’s absolutely critical not to be buttered up and taken in by a company or products advertising patter. While this may sound a little harsh (and perhaps a little over-the-top to some), your pet’s health is of paramount importance; therefore, to ensure they get the best food, it’s essential to scrutinize every aspect of a brand’s food(s).
So, what does Applaws say?
Applaws’ ‘About Us’ page tells us that their philosophy is based around ‘natural simplicity’, meaning that no artificial preservatives, colours, or flavours are added to their food products. Furthermore, they state that all of the ingredients are sourced with the “highest ethical standards”.
Following this, they make four promises:
- To never use cheap and unnecessary additives to fill their food.
- To only use the finest cuts of breast meat or fish fillet in their pouched, potted, and tinned food.
- To only use high-quality animal protein.
- To only ever use the ingredients listed on the packet, nothing more and nothing hidden.
High-quality, natural ingredients, with no hidden ‘nasties’ sounds perfect, right? Well, let’s see if Applaws range of cat food is as good as they make it out to be…
Applaws Chicken with Extra Salmon (Dry Food)
First on our list is Applaws grain-free dry food. This food comes in a variety of flavours, but our review today will focus on the ‘Chicken with Extra Salmon’ flavour. Let’s begin by looking at the ingredients and analytical constituents:
Ingredients: Dry Chicken Meal (50%), Dry Salmon (13%) Chicken Mince (13%), Potato, Salmon (6%), Beet Pulp, Brewer’s yeast, Salmon Oil (1% source of Omega 3), Chicken Gravy (1%), Fish Gravy (0.5%), Vitamins and Minerals, Dried Egg, Cellulose Plant Fibre (0.03%), Sodium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Seaweed/Kelp, Cranberry, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Yucca Extract, Citrus Extract, Rosemary Extract.
Analytical Constituents: Crude Protein 37%, Crude Oils & Fats 20%, Crude Fibre 2.2%, Crude Ash 10.8%, Calcium 2.8%, Phosphorus 1.6%, Omega 6: 3.5%, Omega 3: 1.4%, Taurine 2,000 mg/kg.
Being carnivores, cats require high levels of both meat and protein, so it’s encouraging to see that 86% of the ingredients are meat-based – 63% chicken and 19% salmon. But what about the other 18%?
Given that potato is sandwiched between chicken mince (13%) and salmon (6%), the amount of potato in this formulation must be greater than 6% but less than 13%, with our estimation being around 9-10%. Is potato needed in cat food? No, not really. Cats don’t require any carbohydrates to live and be healthy, so it’s fair to say that the potato is, while not an unhealthy ‘filler’, a ‘filler’ nonetheless.
In addition to the potato, there is also beet pulp, which, although is typically classed as a filler, does actually have some digestive benefits due to it being a form of fibre. Chicken and fish gravies are used to improve flavour; salmon oil is a good source of Omega-3; dried egg is typically used as a high-protein and high-fat filler, but in such small amounts, it’s unclear what – if any – benefits it will provide; plant fibre is used to improve digestion, and the other added vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, and extracts are to ensure that all essential micronutrients are provided.
Regarding the analytical constituents, 37% is a solid amount of protein. Although it’s true that in the wild, a cat’s diet would consist of 50% protein, 37% is more than enough to maintain bodily functions and support muscle maintenance/growth. Given that cats don’t require carbohydrates, they will get most of their energy from fats. The 20% fat content of this food is more than sufficient.
Upon examining the ingredient list and analytical constituents, three important questions spring to mind:
- Does this food contain high-quality protein?
- Will this food provide a complete and healthy diet for cats?
- Is this food as ‘natural’ as Applaws make out?
- Given that all of the protein in this food comes from chicken and salmon, it’s safe to say that it does contain high-quality, animal-based protein.
- The combination of 37% protein, 20% fat, and the array of added vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, probiotics, and extracts, means that Applaws grain-free dry cat food is a ‘complete’ food and provides your cat with the macronutrients and micronutrients that they require.
- Although there are a lot of natural ingredients, it’s always hard to deem a food wholly ‘natural’ when it has added vitamins, minerals and the like. It’d be a harsh assessment to label this food as not being ‘natural’ given that 99% of the ingredients are of natural origin, so I think it’s fair to say it is natural, but anything with added micronutrients will never be 100% ‘natural’.
Is it cost-effective?
Based on Amazon prices, a 7.5kg will set you back around 35. Of course, how many servings this will provide will depend on how much your cat weighs, but if we use the example of a 5kg cat, we can make the following calculation based on Applaws recommendation of feeding 60g per day:
7.5kg / 60g = 125 servings. 35GBP / 125 = 28p per serving.
28p per day is exceptionally good value; therefore, this is definitely a cost-effective cat food.
Our verdict: Taking everything into consideration, we have absolutely no problem recommending Applaws grain-free dry cat food. Not only is it 99% natural, but it also contains high levels of protein that comes from animal-based sources, contains everything needed to keep your cat fit and healthy, and is very inexpensive. Although it’s not wholly natural as advertised, it’s exceptionally hard – in not impossible – to create an all-natural cat food that contains everything your cat needs. All-in-all, this a high-quality dry cat food that comes without the expensive price tag.
Applaws Broth Pot – Tuna Fillet & Crab
Next, we’re going to at Applaws Broth Pots, specifically focussing on the Tuna Fillet & Crab flavour. Before we begin the review, it’s important to point out that Applaws’ Broth Pots are complementary pet food and must be fed alongside a complete dry or wet food; therefore, if you are considering introducing Applaws Broth Pots to your cat’s diet, it must be combined with their complete wet or dry food (our dry food review is directly above).
As this is a complementary cat food, there is no need to delve too deeply into the ingredient list and its analytical constituents; however, as Applaws is a brand pride that prides themselves on ‘natural’ products, it is essential to ensure that their broth pot range is, indeed, ‘natural’.
The ingredient list is a short one and only contains four ingredients: tuna fillet (65%), crab meat (4%), fish broth (35%), rice (5%), which provides 15% protein, 0.5% fats, and is 80% moisture.
As a complementary food, this is more than adequate. After all, pure meat is, by its very nature, 15-35% protein, so it certainly isn’t low compared to other meat sources (it’s often easy to disregard complementary foods due to their lower protein content compared to complete foods, but that’s akin comparing apples to oranges, so it’s wise only to compare like-for-like products). We like the low-fat content; however, the 35% fish broth does seem a little excessive and is probably done to fill out the product and make it a little less expensive to make (as does the inclusion of 5% rice). Nevertheless, Applaws Broth Pots are a good source of natural, healthy protein, and are a great addition to a complete dry or wet food.
Are Applaws Broth Pots cost-effective?
If we go by Amazon’s latest prices, it’s going to cost around 9GBP for ten Broth Pots. If we, again, use the example of a 5kg being fed according to Applaws feeding guidelines of two pots per day, we can make the following calculation:
9GBP / 10 = 90p per pot x 2 = 1.80GBP per day.
In the grand scheme of things, this isn’t a huge amount of money; however, over the course of a month, this would equate to 54GBP, which is a lot more than the nine or so pounds monthly cost of Applaws dry cat food. If your budget allows for this expense, by all means, buy Applaws Broth Pots as they will provide your cat with high-quality extra protein; however, it’s not necessary.
Our verdict: Applaws Broth Pots are a great addition to a complete dry or wet food; however, they are relatively expensive. That being said, adding a pot or two to your cat’s food a couple of times per week – rather than every day – will provide them with a regular dose of extra protein and will make your hard-earned money go that little bit further without any detriment to your cat whatsoever.
Applaws Broth Tins Supreme Collection Multipack
In addition to Broth Pots, Applaws also offer Broth Tins, which are designed to be used in exactly the same manner as Broth Pots, i.e. as a complementary food to be fed alongside a complete wet or dry cat food.
The ‘Supreme Collection’ multipack contains four different flavours, which are as follows (ingredient lists included):
Tuna Fillet: Tuna fillet (75%), rice (6%), fish broth (19%).
Chicken Breast: Chicken breast (75%), chicken broth (24%), rice (1%).
Ocean Fish: Mackerel (45%), tuna fillet (30%), fish broth (24%), rice (1%).
Chicken with Cheese: Chicken breast (70%), cheese (5%), cooking water (24%), rice (1%).
As you can see, the ‘Supreme Collection’ multipack contains an array of different flavours and sources of protein, which is always a good thing. While there’s certainly no harm in feeding your cat the same complementary food day-in-day-out, mixing it up will stop your four-legged friend from becoming bored of a certain flavour, and, as each protein source brings something slightly different to the table (no pun intended!), it is probably very slightly healthier to opt for a multipack over lots of tins of the same flavour.
The only critical point we can make about Applaws Broth Tins is the relatively high amount of broth/cooking water in each tin. Around one-quarter of each tin is broth/cooking water, which, although it will help to make the product even tastier to your cat, will not provide any extra nutritional benefit. In an ideal world, we’d like to see the broth/cooking water reduced by 5-10%, with some extra meat added to boost the overall protein content. That being said, Applaws Broth Tins are a complementary food and are designed merely to boost overall protein intake and make your cats complete food that little bit tastier.
Are Applaws Broth Tins Cost-Effective?
Yes, you guessed it, we’re going to use the example of a 5kg cat in conjunction with Applaws recommended feeding guidelines to make the following calculation, based on Amazon’s price of 9.50GBP for 12 tins:
9.50/ 12 = 0.80 per pot x 2 pots per day = 1.60
So, slightly less expensive than Applaws Broth pots, but feeding two pots per day would still amount to 48GBP per month extra. If your budget allows for this expense, by all means, buy Applaws Broth Tins as they will provide your cat with high-quality extra protein; however, it’s not necessary, i.e. your cat won’t be at a disadvantage if you don’t add Broth Tins to their daily diet (but they may show some extra love if you do!).
Our verdict: Much the same as Applaws Broth Pots, a high-protein ‘added extra’ that is a great supplement to your cat’s complete food if it’s affordable and within your budget. If not, there’s nothing to worry about, provided your cat is getting everything they need from their complete food. A good balance between giving your cat that little bit extra and saving your hard-earned cash is to give them a tin two or three times per week, which is what most cat owners do.
Applaws Complete Grain-Free Kitten Food (Dry)
Of course, a cat food review article wouldn’t be complete without looking at foods specifically designed for kitten and senior cats, so in this section, we’re going to examine the former and see what Applaws has to offer, namely their Complete Dry Kitten Food that comes in chicken flavour and is available in both 2kg and 7.5kg packs.
If truth be told, there isn’t a whole lot of difference between Applaws adult dry food (chicken flavour) and Applaws dry food for kittens (chick flavour). 80% of the food is made from dry chicken meal and chicken mince, with the additional 18% consisting of potato, brewer’s yeast, beet pulp, chicken gravy, salmon oil, dried egg, and a wide array of added vitamins, minerals, and extracts.
Although it’s often said that kittens require higher amounts of protein than adult cats, vets typically recommend a food that contains between 35%-50% protein, and, as Applaws dry kitten food contains 38% protein, it sits well within these advised levels (albeit slightly nearer the lower end).
However, 38% protein and 20% is more than enough to help a young kitten grow and develop when accompanied by a range of essential micronutrients, so there’s absolutely no reason why your kitten wouldn’t grow strong and healthy if solely fed this particular complete dry kitten food.
Like Applaws adult dry food, their kitten version is also grain- and cereal-free, which is a definite plus point given that a) cats don’t require any form of carbohydrate to live or be healthy and b) because cats don’t digest cereals and grains with ease, which can lead to digestive issues; therefore, foods that are grain- and cereal-free are always the best option, regardless of brand.
Is Applaws Complete Dry Kitten Food Cost-Effective?
To give you an idea of how much it will cost to feed your kitten Applaws Complete Dry Kitten food, we’ll use the current price of a 7.5kg bag coupled with the feeding guidelines on Applaws’ website. At present, a 7.5kg of Applaws’ kitten food will set you back around 35GBP, so we’ll use this price to make the following calculation:
0-4 months (20-55g per day): 375 x 20g servings = 10p per serving / 136 x 55g servings = 26p per serving. Range: 10p to 36p per serving.
4-5 months (55-70g per day): 136 x 55g servings = 26p per serving / 107 x 70g servings = 33p per serving. Range: 26p to 33p per serving.
6-8 months (70-75g per day): 107 x 70g servings = 33p per serving / 100 x 75g servings = 35p per serving. Range: 33p to 35p per serving.
8-14 months (75-85g per day): 100 x 75g servings = 35p per serving / 88 x 85g servings = 40p per serving. Range 35p to 40p per servings.
So, as you can see, even at the utmost end of the spectrum, the most it is going to cost to feed your kitten using Applaws Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food is 40p per day.
Our verdict: It’s difficult to be critical of Applaws Grain-Free Dry Kitten Food given that it’s packed full of high-quality protein (from animal sources), contains all the essentials vitamins and minerals a kitten requires to grow and develop, is grain-free and is inexpensive for the quality of ingredients. If we were to be hypercritical, we’d like to see a little more protein in there instead of the potato, but all-in-all, this is a quality complete kitten food.
If you want to add a little extra healthy protein to your kitten’s complete dry food, Applaws complementary tinned foods are a great way to do this. They come in chicken, tuna, and sardine flavours, contain high levels of protein, have very few ingredients (that are all 100% natural), and, when fed a few times per week, are relatively cost-effective.
Applaws Grain-Free Complete Senior Food (Dry)
Last, but certainly not least, we’re going to review Applaws Grain-Free Complete Senior Cat Food.
In general, senior dry cat food doesn’t differ too much from adult dry cat food, although most brands will add in supplements or extracts that help a cat to cope with the symptoms of ageing, such as decreased mobility and stiffer joints. So, let’s see what Applaws Senior food has to offer your ageing cat.
If we compare the ingredients from Applaws Complete Dry Adult Food and that of their Complete Food, it’s apparent that they’re exactly the same, barring one ingredient: Coconut oil (which we’ll discuss shortly).
As senior cats do require slightly less protein than kittens and adult cats, the (fractionally) lower 37% protein content of this food is a decent amount for a cat entering its final years. Remember, even though your senior cat will be less active, they still require a lot of protein to keep their bodily functions and muscles working as optimally as possible; therefore, going below 35% protein isn’t recommended.
It’s easy to see why Applaws have included Coconut oil in their senior dog food, given that it has a myriad of health benefits, from improving skin, boosting joint health, and improving overall vitality. Although the amount of Coconut oil in the food isn’t earth-shattering by any stretch of the imagination, it is still sufficient enough to have some positive health effects.
Is Applaws Grain-Free Senior Dry Cat Food Cost-Effective?
Based on a 5kg cat and going on Amazon’s current price:
7.5kg / 60g = 125 servings. 35GBP / 125 = 28p per serving.
28p per day is exceptionally good value; therefore, this is definitely a cost-effective cat food.
Our verdict: Truth be told, there’s nothing much to grumble about where Applaws senior cat food is concerned. Sure, it could have a touch more coconut oil and perhaps a little more where joint health is concerned, but that’s just us being picky and wanting more from a complete senior cat food that’s priced exceptionally well and already provides a lot’ bang for its buck’.
Applaws Cat Food Review: Our Final Verdict
Although we haven’t looked at and reviewed every single one of Applaws cat food products (I would have happily done this, but I’m sure you wouldn’t enjoy reading a very lengthy10,000-word article!), we have covered all of the main wet and dry cat foods offered by Applaws, which will hopefully stand you in good stead when it comes to making a decision regarding whether or not they’re a brand you wish to purchase.
Our thoughts on Applaws on their range of cat food is relatively straightforward: they offer high-quality wet and dry foods that are made from (almost) 100% natural ingredients (aside from the added vitamins and minerals) and are contain everything your kitten, adult cat, or senior cat needs to live a happy, healthy life.
Although it’s true that Applaws isn’t the absolute best cat food currently available on the market, what is also true is that it is far better than many higher-priced options out there, which makes it an exceptional choice for any cat owner. While we would like to see a little more protein and a little less filler, for the price you’ll pay, you cannot argue at all; your cat will still be getting everything they need…and, from your perspective, it won’t dent your bank balance much at all!