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Nulo Cat Food Review in 2021: A Complete Guide

This article is a comprehensive Nulo cat food review. Nulo is a relative newcomer on the cat food scene but has built a reputation as a reputable brand.

Nulo is a cat food brand founded in 2009. They pride themselves on providing high-quality grain-free dry and wet foods. The products are high in animal protein from quality meat sources.

Nulo is also renowned for using fewer fillers. You won’t find ingredients such as powdered cellulose, wheat gluten, corn, and carrageenan.

My name is Derrick, and I write for Simply Cat Care. Our goal is to provide the best advice to improve your cat’s health. I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet before continuing.

In this brand review, I’ll provide an in-depth review of the best Nulo products for your cat. I’ll also cover a bit more background on the Nulo brand and answer frequently answered questions.

This is what you’ll find in this article.

Let’s get into the article.


Best Nulo Cat Food: Full Product Breakdown

Best Nulo Product Top Pick: Nulo Freestyle Duck & Tuna

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Tuna Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food, 5.5-oz, case of 24

High in protein (54.5%) for optimal health

Low carb species-appropriate for digestion

Affordable

Suitable for all life stages

No grains or carrageenan for sensitive stomachs

Mixed reviews with taste

Vegetables are not necessary for cat nutrition

Overall, the Nulo Freestyle Duck & Tuna is a solid performer.

Out of the gate, the tin has a great species-appropriate range of meats including duck, chicken, turkey, and tuna. The product uses a small amount of plant-based foods, but the total carbohydrate content is less than 10% on a dry matter basis, which is great for digestion.

The only downside of this affordable choice is a few mixed reviews. I’m not sure what the reason is, but the high animal-based protein foods are generally well tolerated and liked by cats.

This food (like the rest of the Nulo range) contains vegetable ingredients. These aren’t necessary for cat nutrition and may not benefit their health.

VERDICT: A

INGREDIENTS

Duck, Chicken, Turkey Liver, Duck Broth, Tuna, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Agar-Agar, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Tomato, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Salt, Iron Proteinate, Sodium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Magnesium Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract


Best Rated Nulo Cat Food: Nulo Freestyle Minced Salmon & Turkey

Nulo Freestyle Minced Salmon & Turkey in Gravy Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food, 3 oz-, case of 24

High in protein (54.5%) for optimal health

High moisture (82%) for kidney health

94% approval on Chewy

Suitable for all life stages

No grains or carrageenan for sensitive stomachs

Omega 3 from salmon for immune health

Higher cost

Additional plant foods may not be needed

The highest rating Nulo product with 94% approval on Chewy is the Freestyle Minced Salmon and Turkey in Gravy.

This product is high in protein (54.5%) and moisture (82.0%). The first five ingredients are all animal-based protein sources and broths. Salmon gives your cat a source of omega 3 fatty acids for a healthy immune system. Overall, this is a great start to give your cat what it needs for health maintenance.

Like many Nulo products, there are a lot of added plant-based foods (e.g. carrots, peas, cranberries, pumpkin). I speculate that this is due to the ‘doggy’ food origins of the Nulo brand seeping into the cat foods. I don’t think cats benefit from these foods, however, the carbohydrate content is around 11.1% (the exact amount is hard to determine since Nulo doesn’t list the ash content on their foods) which is appropriate for cats.

Overall, the cost is higher on average than the top pick (Nulo Freestyle Duck & Tuna Recipe Grain-Free Canned Cat & Kitten Food) and doesn’t have too many more benefits, aside from a little better customer approval.

VERDICT: B+

INGREDIENTS

Salmon, Salmon Broth, Turkey Broth, Turkey Liver, Turkey, Dried Egg Whites, Carrots, Dried Ground Peas, Natural Flavor, Guar Gum, Ground Flaxseed, Sodium Phosphate, Salt, Chicken Fat, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Cranberries, Pumpkin, Blueberries, Dried Kelp, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Inulin, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Niacin Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid


Best Nulo Product Dry Cat Food: Nulo Freestyle Indoor Cat Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free

Nulo Freestyle Duck & Lentils Recipe Grain-Free Indoor Dry Cat Food, 4-lb bag

High in protein (44%) for optimal health

Affordable

92% customer approval on Chewy

Suitable for all life stages

No grains or carrageenan for sensitive stomachs

Low in moisture (10%)

Additional plant foods may not be needed

Nulo freestyle indoor cat duck recipe is a good alternative to most dry cat foods on the market. It’s a high protein choice (44.4% dry matter basis) with less reliance on carbohydrates (sparingly low 21.7% on a dry matter basis). Nulo doesn’t use grains (e.g. wheat, corn) which is part of the reason for this.

As with most dry cat foods, there are inherent disadvantages. The low moisture content (10%) makes this (and other dry foods) less appropriate as a sole source of nutrition.

VERDICT: B+

INGREDIENTS

Deboned Duck, Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Deboned Cod, Whole Peas, Lentils, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols & Citric Acid), Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Ground Flaxseed, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Kelp, Dried Sweet Potato, Dried Cranberries, Calcium Carbonate, Dl-Methionine, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (Source of Vitamin C), Iron Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Manganese Proteinate, Pyridoxidine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin Supplement, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract


Best Nulo Product Kidney Health: Nulo FreeStyle Chicken, Yellowfin Tuna & Duck in Broth Cat Food Topper

Nulo FreeStyle Chicken, Yellowfin Tuna & Duck in Broth Cat Food Topper, 2.8-oz, case of 6

Simple animal-based food with no fillers

High moisture (85%) to support kidney health

Easy to digest for a sensitive stomach

Suitable for all life stages

100% customer approval on Chewy

Pricey

Low in fat, not suitable as a sole food source

Hydration is an important health consideration for cats.

Cat’s tend to get the majority of their moisture from wet food and less from water. Nulo’s Chicken, Yellowfin Tuna & Duck in Broth is a great option since it provides a delicious meaty broth with lots of moisture (85%) to help boost hydration. There are no added nasties, grains, or fillers to help with sensitive stomachs.

The main downside of this product is the cost, which is a little higher. That being said, this isn’t designed as a sole source of nutrition, but a ‘top up’ product.

VERDICT: A

INGREDIENTS

Chicken, Chicken Broth, Tuna Broth, Yellowfin Tuna, Duck


Best Nulo Product Picky Eater: Nulo Freestyle Silky Mousse Chicken & Duck Recipe Grain-Free Wet Cat Food

Nulo Freestyle Silky Mousse Chicken & Duck Recipe Grain-Free Wet Cat Food, 2.8-oz, case of 24

High protein premium food for top health

No grains or plants for easy digestion

Easy to swallow smooth mousse texture

Pricey

What I like about this product is the quality of the ingredients used here. Most of the Nulo products have added plant-based ingredients, but the Nulo mousse keeps those foods out.

For picky eaters that don’t tolerate anything other than high-quality meat, this is a great alternative on the market, albeit a little more pricey.

VERDICT: A

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Broth, Chicken, Duck, Coconut Oil, Dried Egg, Tricalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Inulin, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Choline Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Taurine, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin (Vitamin B3), Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Folic Acid, Cholecalciferol (source of Vitamin D3), Biotin, Menadione Nicotinamide Bisulfite (source of Vitamin K activity)


Nulo Cat Food Review: Comparison Table

For this review, I analyzed the Nulo cat food products on the market.

Here is a comparison table with key data about Nulo cat food products for comparison.


Table 1: Nulo ComparisonMinced Salmon & Turkey in Gravy Duck & Tuna Recipe PateChicken, Yellowfin Tuna & Duck in BrothDuck & Lentils DrySilky Mousse Chicken & Duck
TypeMincePateBrothDry FoodMousse
Protein*55.6%54.5%83.3%44.4%55.6%
Fat16.7%27.3%3.3%18.9%22.2%
Carb11.1%5.7%negligible21.7%5.6%
Fiber5.6%3.4%0.7%5.6%5.6%
Ash**11.1%9.1%12.7%9.4%11.1%
Water82%78%85%10%82%
By-productsNoNoNoNoNo
Meat MealsNo No No Yes No
Gluten No No No No No
Grains No No No No No
GumsYesYesYes No No
Carrageenan No No No No No
Customer RatingAAA+AA+
CostBAC+A+C+
IngredientsB+AA+C+A+
Total RatingB+AAB+A
* On a dry matter basis calculation **Given a 2.0% ash content for wet cat food and 8.5% ash for dry cat food

Nulo Cat Food Review: Brand Summary

Let’s talk about the origins of the pet food brand Nulo.

Nulo is a US brand of pet food inspired by biomedical engineer Micheal Landa, and his black labrador Max. The rising incidence of overweight pets inspired Micheal to start a pet food company.

Micheal resolved to create better quality pet foods. Cat’s and dogs need a higher amount of quality animal protein for nourishment. Nulo consulted with veterinarians and animal nutritionists to design health-promoting pet foods.

Cats are obligate carnivores and need a higher animal-based protein diet. Foods such as turkey, chicken, cod, and duck offer cats more nutrition than grains.

Nulo cat food review

Where is Nulo sourced and manufactured?

Nulo’s source and manufacture the majority of their pet food range in the United States of America.

This includes the following ranges:

  • Dry cat food
  • Canned wet cat food
  • Freeze-dried raw food
  • Water enhancer recipes

The Perfect Purees and Silky Mousse lines of products are Thailand-based [1].

Nulo offers a range of different products to suit your cat’s needs.

They offer two lines of cat food product formulations. Nulo provides grain-free dry cat food and grain-free canned wet cat food varieties.

Nulo Freestyle

This product is high meat (80-87% animal protein) and a grain-free product suitable for a cat, kitten, or senior cat.

Amazon and Chewy stock this line of products among other retailers.

Nulo MedalSeries

This is a variation of the Nulo Freestyle series. It’s also high meat (77-85% animal protein), grain-free product.

Pet Smart is the only online retailer stocking this range.


Has Nulo had any recalls?

A check of the US Food and Drug (FDA) database reveals no pet food recalls for Nulo.

How much does Nulo cat food cost?

Nulo cat food is in the middle range of price.

Expect to pay a little more than a budget brand of cat food, but less than a premium brand of cat food.

Tell me the best type of Nulo cat food?

Nulo makes a lot of great cat food products.

Scroll up to check my reviews of the best Nulo cat food products.


What makes Nulo different?

Nulo products differentiate themselves from the pack in the following ways:

High in animal-based protein

Nulo products are high in animal protein.

Nulo cat food has fewer filler carbohydrates such as wheat, corn, rice, soy, and tapioca starch.

Cat’s have an easier time digesting animal protein and getting their nutrition covered. Nulo also tends to use higher quality cuts of meat in their wet canned food range, opting for meats, organs, as opposed to by-products.

Animal foods provide essential amino and fatty acids, bioavailable forms of vitamins, and minerals.

Check out my top 9 tips for optimal cat nutrition for more information.


Carrageenan Free

All Nulo products do not use carrageenan.

Carrageenan is a thickener made from seaweed used in many canned cat food brands.

A small portion of carrageenan is in a degraded form. Degraded carrageenan may cause intestinal inflammation and lead to digestive problems (e.g. diarrhea). It is unknown how degraded the carrageenan is in most cat foods.


Grain-free

All Nulo products are grain-free to help improve your cat’s digestion.

AAFCO Approval for all life stages

Many products in the Nulo range use the AAFCO approval.

This is a set of guidelines that give buyers confidence in the product they intend to buy. It shows them the food is appropriate for their cat’s nutritional needs.

If a product is AAFCO approved for all life stages, this means the food is approved for use in cats of all life stages.

Check out my helpful guide to label reading for more.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is Nulo the healthiest cat food on the market?

Nulo has a solid range of cat food products.

I would say that Nulo is an above-average cat food product that gets many things right. However, they do tend to add a few additional plant-based foods such as cranberries, pumpkin, and flaxseed.

Inspired by dog health, it’s not surprising to see the doggier (if that’s even a word) formulas creep into the cat food range.

Dogs are omnivores that benefit from a diet of meats and more vegetables. Cat’s, on the other, are ‘strict carnivores’ in that their diet consists almost exclusively of small prey such as mice, fish, and birds. There are a few differences in the physiology of each species that differentiate the two.

Check out my top 9 tips for cat nutrition for more.


Is Nulo a good and trustworthy company?

Founded in 2009, Nulo hasn’t had any major recalls or controversies.

They make above-average dry cat food and wet canned cat food.

The company has generally received positive cat food reviews from owners and appears to be trustworthy.

However, they appear to lack more evidence behind some of the statements used behind the ingredients in their cat food lines.


Who owns the Nulo cat food brand?

The CEO and founder of Nulo is Michael Landa.

Why does good cat nutrition matter?

Diet influences your cat’s health and lifespan.

A poor quality non-species appropriate diet may lead to early diseases. These include kidney disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, and macular degeneration.

In the 1980s for example, a lack of taurine (an essential amino acid) in the cat food supply leads to many cat deaths related to heart disease [2].


Conclusion: Nulo Cat Food Review (Final Thoughts)

In this article, I’ve reviewed the pet food brand Nulo.

Nulo is an above-average cat food brand. They provide a range of high protein animal-based wet canned cat food and dry cat food products. Nulo is moderately priced in the market.

Nulo products use fewer fillers such as powdered cellulose, gluten, corn, wheat, and carrageenan. The majority of Nulo products are high in quality animal protein sources such as duck, turkey, chicken, cod, salmon, and beef.

The main downside of Nulo cat food products is the inclusion of plant-based foods in many cat formulas. This includes things like sweet potato, lentils, peas, pumpkin, flaxseed, and cranberries.

Whilst these foods are great for dogs, cats being strict carnivores don’t benefit from plants. Cats may not need to eat any of these foods for optimal health.

Nulo is a great option overall for cat owners.

Where can I look at Nulo to buy?

Nulo is available on Amazon and Chewy.

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