Is Friskies Wet Food Safe For Your Feline Friend?


Friskies is a popular brand of wet and dry cat food owned by Nestlé Purina PetCare Company. The brand was launched in the United States in the 1930s and originally produced dog food. Friskies later expanded into wet and dry cat food products in the 1940s and 1950s.

Today, Friskies offers a wide variety of canned/wet cat food products including pâtés, stews, slices, shreds, and chunks in sauce. Some of their most popular canned cat food lines include Tasty Treasures, Prime Filets, and Gravy Sensations. Friskies canned foods come in single serve pouches, twin packs, and larger cans up to 24 oz in size.

According to the Friskies website, their canned cat foods contain ingredients like real chicken, salmon, turkey, beef and added vitamins and minerals. They state their products are designed to provide cats complete and balanced nutrition.

Nutritional Value

According to Friskies, their canned wet cat food contains high-quality protein sources like chicken, tuna, salmon, and turkey to provide essential amino acids cats need [1]. A 5.5 oz can of Friskies Paté Chicken & Tuna Dinner contains a minimum of 11% crude protein. It also supplies a minimum of 2.5% crude fat, maximum 1% crude fiber, and a maximum moisture content of 79% [2].

Friskies wet cat food contains added vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, niacin, Vitamin A, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, potassium, manganese, thiamine, and pyridoxine. It meets AAFCO standards for complete and balanced nutrition for adult cat maintenance [1]. According to Friskies, their pâté style canned cat food contains 1244 kcal of metabolizable energy per kg [3].


Friskies wet cat food contains a mix of meat, meat by-products, and plant-based ingredients. According to Purina’s website, the primary protein sources are beef, chicken, fish, and liver. However, these are not always whole meats. Terms like “meat by-products” indicate lower-quality parts instead of whole muscle meat.

The carb sources are wheat flour, corn starch, and rice flour. These inexpensive fillers bump up the protein percentages without providing much nutritional value for cats. Cats have no biological need for carbohydrates, so these extras just pass through their system unused.

Overall, the meat content is not as high or nutritious as premium or raw brands. There is also an over-reliance on plant-based fillers instead of high-quality animal proteins. So while the ingredients meet a basic level of nutrition, they could be significantly improved.


Cats have a strong sense of taste and distinct flavor preferences. According to a study published in the journal Nutrition Research Reviews, cats have a clear preference for foods that have strong aroma and taste (Pekel, 2020). Research shows that cats prefer foods with a salty and umami taste, followed by sour, bitter and then sweet tastes.

In terms of palatability, most cats prefer wet food over dry food as the moisture enhances the aroma and taste. A study in the Journal of Animal Physiology and Animal Nutrition found that cats clearly favored wet foods over dry foods when given the choice (Alegría-Morán et al., 2019). This is likely because canned foods contain more meat ingredients and flavor enhancers to appeal to feline tastes.

When choosing canned cat food, look for products with a high percentage of quality meat ingredients, natural flavorings and an enticing aroma. This will satisfy your cat’s preferences for strong, savory flavors. Avoid canned foods with a high carbohydrate content, as cats have a low innate preference for sweet flavors.


When comparing the price of Friskies canned cat food to other canned cat food brands, Friskies tends to be one of the more affordable options. According to price comparisons on, the bulk price for a standard 3 oz can of Friskies canned cat food ranges from $0.10 – $0.30 per can when ordered in bulk quantities. This puts it on the lower end of the spectrum compared to other canned cat food brands like Iams, Purina One, or Wellness which can cost $0.50 – $1.00+ per 3 oz can.

The relatively low cost of Friskies canned food makes it an appealing choice for pet owners looking for an affordable canned cat food option. When bought in bulk cases, Friskies can be purchased for around $0.25 per 3 oz can on average. This is significantly less expensive compared to premium brand canned foods. While Friskies may not be the absolute cheapest canned cat food available, its lower price point combined with widespread availability make it a budget-friendly canned food choice.


Canned cat food provides several conveniences compared to dry kibble. First, canned food does not require any preparation, while dry kibble needs to be portioned out at every meal. Open a can of wet food, and it’s ready to serve. Canned food also does not need to be stored in an airtight container like kibble, which can go stale once opened. An open can of wet food will keep in the refrigerator for several days.

For feeding, canned food requires less work as well. Kibble needs to be scooped into a bowl, while wet food can be spooned directly from the can. This makes wet food easy for free-feeding cats who graze throughout the day. The cans are also portable for travel or trips to the vet. However, wet food that is uneaten cannot be stored after. Any leftovers should be thrown out.

Overall, the convenience of pre-made, ready-to-eat canned cat food makes it a popular choice for many cat owners and cats who enjoy the flavor and texture.

Health Concerns

Friskies canned cat food can contribute to some health problems if fed exclusively or in high quantities over an extended period of time. The high moisture content of wet food is beneficial for hydration, but the higher calorie density compared to dry food means cats are prone to overeating, potentially leading to obesity and associated conditions like diabetes.

Wet foods typically have increased amounts of carbohydrates like grains and vegetables compared to dry kibble. While carbs are an important part of balanced cat nutrition, carbohydrate-rich diets have been linked with increased risk of diabetes and urinary tract disease in cats.

Owners should monitor their cat’s weight, energy levels, and litterbox habits when feeding a wet food diet, and make adjustments if any troubling symptoms develop. Balancing wet and dry food, following portion recommendations, and choosing lower carb recipes can help minimize potential downsides.

Recall History

According to Petful, Friskies has had few recalls despite rumors online:
“However, despite all the recent rumors, there has been no Friskies cat food recall in 2019 or 2020, and Purina maintains that there is no problem with the food.” (Source)

Additionally, Catster states: “Friskies, in particular, has had very few recalls. They did a voluntary recall in 2011 because of potential salmonella contamination. However, there were no reports of illness.” (Source)

While some petitions and complaints exist about alleged issues, there are no verified recalls of Friskies canned cat food in recent years according to authoritative sources.

Expert Opinions

Veterinarians have mixed opinions on Friskies canned cat foods. Dr. Janet Tobiassen Crosby, a veterinarian with over 30 years of experience, says “Friskies wet foods are mostly meat, and have a decent protein level. Cats need extra fluids, which these foods provide.” (1) However, Dr. Jessica Vogelsang, a veterinarian and cat nutrition expert, cautions “Many Friskies canned foods rely heavily on by-products and corn fillers instead of quality protein sources. I don’t recommend them.” (2)

Overall, most veterinarians agree that while Friskies canned foods are affordable and tasty, they do not provide optimal nutrition compared to premium or veterinary brands. Cats may do okay on a Friskies diet, but many experts recommend looking for canned foods with more meat content and fewer fillers.



In summary, Friskies canned cat food has some pros and cons. On the plus side, it is relatively inexpensive, convenient, and has a taste that most cats seem to enjoy. The meat content is decent for a canned food in this price range. However, Friskies does contain some questionable ingredients like by-products and artificial colors, which may be problematic for some cats. There have also been recalls of Friskies products in the past due to potential salmonella contamination.

Overall, Friskies canned food is probably fine in moderation as part of a balanced feline diet, but may not be the best choice for cats with allergies or sensitive stomachs. For owners looking for a high-quality wet food with more natural ingredients, there are better options available, though they will be more expensive. Friskies makes an acceptable occasional snack or supplement if cost is a main concern, but experts generally recommend limiting its use as an everyday staple food.

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