Purina. Cat Food or Dog Food? The Surprising Answer


Purina is a leading pet food company known for its wide range of dog and cat food products. The company was originally founded as Robinson-Danforth Commission Company in St. Louis, Missouri in 1894 by William H. Danforth. It was renamed Ralston Purina in 1902 after acquiring the Purina Mills company. Over the decades, Purina grew to become one of the largest pet food manufacturers in the world.

Today, Purina produces many well-known pet food brands including Purina Dog Chow, Purina Cat Chow, Purina Pro Plan, Purina ONE, Purina Beyond, and Friskies. The company manufactures wet and dry dog and cat foods, treats, and litters for puppies, kittens, adult pets, and pets with specific dietary needs. All Purina products are made with natural, high-quality ingredients and backed by scientific research into pet nutrition and health.

Purina operates large manufacturing facilities and pet nutrition research centers in the United States and around the world. It is now a subsidiary of Nestlé and part of Nestlé Purina PetCare. While no longer an independent company, Purina continues its long-standing tradition of innovation and commitment to pets under the Nestlé umbrella.

Purina’s Origins

Purina was founded in 1894 in St. Louis, Missouri by William H. Danforth under the original name Robinson-Danforth Commission Company. Danforth partnered with George Robinson and William Andrews to form the company. The original purpose was to sell feed, flour, and popcorn to local businesses. In 1902, the name was changed to Ralston Purina Company, incorporating the name of one of Danforth’s early cereals.

In 1926, after Danforth’s death, his son Donald took over the company and focused efforts on researching and developing animal feeds. Purina became the first company to provide complete pet food, making chow for dogs as well as livestock. By the 1950s, Purina expanded into pet care products such as kitty litter.

Over the decades, Purina grew to become one of the largest pet food companies in the world. In 2001, Nestle acquired Ralston Purina, forming Nestle Purina PetCare. Today, Purina manufactures many well-known pet food brands including Purina Dog Chow, Purina Cat Chow, Purina One, and Purina Pro Plan.



Purina PetCare Brands

Purina offers pet food products for both dogs and cats under several well-known brand names, including:

Purina Pro Plan – This premium brand offers customized nutrition for dogs and cats, with options like sensitive skin and stomach, weight management, and high protein formulas. Made with real meat as the first ingredient. Pro Plan products are primarily manufactured in the United States.

Purina ONE – A brand marketed as providing wholesome ingredients and natural nutrition. Formulated to support your pet’s whole health, including the immune system, digestion, skin and coat, etc. Real meat is the #1 ingredient.

Friskies – A more affordable brand of wet and dry cat food made with real meat or fish. Includes product lines for kittens, adults, seniors, and those with dietary sensitivities.

Tidy Cats – Known for cat litter products designed to effectively control odor and absorb messes. Offers varieties like lightweight, low dust, and natural.

Purina Cat Chow – A long-standing cat food brand providing complete and balanced nutrition. Made with real chicken and fish. Includes formulas tailored to kittens, adult cats, seniors, hairball control, etc.

Purina Dog Food Brands

Purina offers over a dozen well-known dog food brands in dry kibble, wet/canned food, treats, and supplements. Some of Purina’s most popular dog food brands include:

Dog Chow – Dog Chow has been around since 1957 and offers complete and balanced nutrition. Formulas include options for puppies, adults, seniors, and large breeds. Dog Chow uses ingredients like real chicken, beef, or fish as the #1 ingredient.

Purina ONE – Purina ONE claims to provide outstanding nutrition and quality ingredients optimized for your dog’s health and nourishment. Its top formulas feature real meat or fish as the first ingredient, supplemented by whole grains, veggies, and fruits.

Purina Pro Plan – Purina Pro Plan provides premium nutrition tailored to your dog’s age, activity level, and specific health needs. Their veterinarian-formulated recipes include options like Focus for puppies, Savor for Shih Tzus, Sport for athletic dogs, and Sensitive Skin & Stomach.

Beneful – Beneful offers a variety of recipes made with real meats, wholesome grains, accents of vegetables and fruits. It comes in dry kibble and wet/canned foods with options for puppies, adult dogs, and weight management.

Purina Cat Food Brands

Purina offers a wide range of popular cat food brands including Friskies, Purina Cat Chow, Tidy Cats, and Purina ONE.

Friskies is one of Purina’s most well-known cat food brands. Friskies wet and dry cat foods come in a variety of flavors and forms including pates, morsels, shreds, and slices. Friskies cat food contains meat or poultry as the number one ingredient. Some popular Friskies product lines include Indoor Delights, Party Mix, and Seafood Sensations [1].

Purina Cat Chow is another leading Purina brand formulated for cat nutritional needs at every life stage. Cat Chow comes in dry kibble formulas like Naturals, Complete, Tender Selects, and Nourish as well as complementary wet foods. Key ingredients include real chicken, salmon, or tuna. Cat Chow offers both kitten and adult formulas [2].

Tidy Cats is Purina’s cat litter line designed to deliver superior clumping, odor control, and dust reduction. Popular products include LightWeight, Instant Action, and Glade Tough Odor Solutions cat litter. Tidy Cats litter comes in clay, clumping, and lightweight crystal formulas [3].

Purina ONE cat food provides natural nutrition with real meat as the number one ingredient. Formulas include grain-free and indoor options in wet and dry varieties. Purina ONE caters to different life stages and health needs. Key Purina ONE lines include Healthy Kitten, Urinary Tract Health, and Sensitive Systems [4].

Nutritional Research

Purina invests significantly in pet nutrition research to develop scientifically balanced diets for dogs and cats. The Purina Institute focuses specifically on advancing scientific knowledge in pet health and nutrition. According to the Institute’s About Us page, Purina spends over $300 million annually on nutritional and scientific research.

One major nutritional study conducted by Purina is the 14-year Life Span Study, which examined the impact of restricted calorie intake on dogs’ longevity and health as they aged. The findings, reported on Purina’s News Center, showed that dogs fed 25% fewer calories than littermates maintained a healthy lean body mass and lived, on average, 1-2 years longer.

This significant commitment to scientific research allows Purina to continually enhance their pet food formulations with the latest nutritional findings and innovations.

Manufacturing Facilities

Purina operates pet food manufacturing facilities primarily in the United States. According to Purina’s website, “At Purina, we own and operate all of our own U.S. factories and facilities, which is where we manufacture all of our dog foods made in the U.S.” [1] This allows them to closely monitor and control the ingredient sourcing and quality of their pet foods.

Some of Purina’s major manufacturing facilities in the U.S. include locations in Missouri, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and South Carolina. The company emphasizes its commitment to frequent audits and safety testing at these facilities. Overall, the majority of Purina pet food sold in the U.S. is manufactured domestically in Purina’s own American factories.

Quality Control

Purina places a strong emphasis on quality control and adheres to industry standards for pet food safety. At their manufacturing facilities, Purina employs strict protocols and testing at multiple stages of production to ensure the quality and safety of their products (https://www.purina.co.uk/your-questions-matter/how-it-is-made/product-quality-assurance).

All incoming ingredients are thoroughly analyzed and must meet nutritional requirements before being used. During production, safety tests are conducted including checks for salmonella and other contaminants. Finished products undergo final safety and quality checks before being packaged and shipped to ensure they meet Purina’s high standards (https://www.petfoodprocessing.net/articles/13245-how-processors-are-going-beyond-the-label-to-guarantee-transparency).

While there is no overarching regulatory agency for pet food quality in the US, Purina voluntarily follows the standards and guidelines set by organizations like the FDA, USDA, and AAFCO. This demonstrates Purina’s commitment to making quality nutrition that pet owners can trust (https://www.puppybellydeli.com/?page_id=313).

Environmental Sustainability

Purina aims to reduce environmental impact through sustainable sourcing and operations. The company has set ambitious sustainability goals for 2025, including reducing packaging waste intensity by 50%, making all packaging recyclable or reusable, and reducing water use intensity by 50%[source].

To encourage consumers to recycle, Purina has launched the #PurinaRecyclesChallenge, asking pet owners to share videos of their pets’ best trick shots recycling empty Purina packaging. The challenge spreads awareness and provides tips on how to properly recycle pet food pouches and cans[source].


Purina has a long, rich history of producing quality pet foods for both dogs and cats. The company was founded in 1894 by William H. Danforth as an animal feed business. In 1902, Purina began producing dog food with the introduction of their Puppy Bread. Over the decades, Purina expanded into making various types of feed and food for farm animals, dogs, and eventually cats.

Today, Purina PetCare is a leading global producer of pet food, owning top brands for both dogs and cats. Some of Purina’s most popular dog food brands include Purina Dog Chow, Purina ONE, Purina Pro Plan, and Purina Beneful. On the cat food side, well-known Purina brands include Purina Cat Chow, Purina ONE, Purina Pro Plan, and Fancy Feast. All Purina pet foods are backed by extensive research into pet nutrition and manufactured in facilities that meet strict quality standards.

So in summary, Purina proudly makes nutritious, quality pet foods for both cats and dogs. Their large portfolio of brands allows pet owners to find the ideal Purina formula to keep their pets happy and healthy.

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