Halo Cat Food Review: Halo Provides the Nutritional Balance Your Cat Is Probably Missing
Selecting the best food for your cat can be a daunting task. Walking down the cat aisle in your local pet store reveals an abundance of choices: dry, wet, grain free, pâté, whole vegetables, and dehydrated, just to name a few.
Pick up a can or bag, and the ingredients complicate the selection further: beef tallow, brewers rice, chicken liver, dried beet pulp, and so on. You want your cat to eat healthily, so she can play and lounge worry free for years to come.
You shouldn’t have to take night classes in a veterinary program in order to ensure that she does. Halo cat food has you covered. That’s why we conducted this Halo Cat Food Review–to help you make the best decision on your cat’s diet.
What Halo Cat Food Offers
Halo cat food offers balanced foods with human-grade meats and quality vegetables. Whole meats go into their foods—bypassing suspicious ingredients like turkey meal or meat by-products. Halo uses the word “holistic” on their cans and bags for a reason. There are no added preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial flavors.
Cats can be quite picky, and Halo cat food offers a variety of balanced blends. They also offer specialized blends to address any digestive, skin, fur, and energy issues your cat may face throughout her life.
Halo Cat Food Review Overview
In this Halo cat food review, we’ll look at a few recipes then break down your cat’s nutritional requirements. You’ll see how brands like Halo differ from popular (and less healthy) brands and how they prioritize your cat’s needs—just as much as you do.
Halo Cat Food for Indoor Cats
On any given day, your cat can be found lounging in her favorite sunspot, sharpening her claws on her cat tree, or chasing a feathered string you dangle in front of her. You won’t find her chasing a mouse through the lawn or following a bird up to its nest.
Halo offers a balanced recipe for indoor cats, who may not exercise as much or eat as much meat as their outdoor friends. Cats love the Holistic Wild Salmon and Whitefish Recipe, and many cat owners report less waste in the litter box.
Grain-Free Halo Cat Food
You’ve never seen a documentary that depicted a tiger or panther foraging in a field of grain to supplement their diet. Wildcats don’t eat grains, because they’re carnivores—just like the cats we bring home. Domestic cats have been bred over centuries to arrive at the size they are today, but their biology hasn’t changed.
Grains are used as a nutritional replacement in pet food, which is why you’ll find it in many cat food brands. If you feed your cat a food with grain in it, she may vomit to purge her digestive tract of it. No one likes to find surprises around the house, and your cat definitely doesn’t like the process of creating them.
Halo cat food provides protein-rich wet varieties to feed grain-intolerant cats. Their Spot’s Stew blend has six different flavors, and the smell makes cats sing in anticipation. As with any high-protein diet, make sure you follow the feeding instructions, or you may have to switch to a weight-control recipe later.
Halo Cat Food for Picky Eaters
Any number of reasons can leave cat owners in a frustrating situation with their picky cat. They prefer a certain brand and flavor that’s been discontinued. They have kidney or liver problems that cause them to eat less. They’ve suffered from tooth decay in the past. Regardless of the reason, you know you have a picky eater. Mix ‘n Mores have your cat in mind.
Mix ‘n Mores are new to the Halo product line, and they come with a money-back guarantee. Not that you’ll need it. Soak these freeze-dried pieces in a small amount of water, and mix them in with the kibble. Then watch your cat gobble up her dinner.
Spot’s Stew and Halo’s Philosophy
Halo began in 1986 with a recipe for a sick cat named Spot. After trying prescription food and being advised to put Spot to sleep, Spot’s owner talked to a nutritionist. The nutritionist’s research revealed the long history of the pet food industry, which uses by-products from human food production and processed meats.
Spot’s food, the nutritionist concluded, caused his problems. Together, they made a stew from human-grade ingredients that all three of them ate together as a meal. Spot’s health became better, and they made the stew for interested friends.
Since then, Halo cat food has grown to have multiple dry and wet food recipes for cats and dogs. In addition to using whole meats and avoiding preservatives, artificial flavors, and artificial colors, they add vitamins and minerals to their recipes. This includes chelated minerals that aid in digestion.
A History of the Pet Food Industry
How does a history lesson fit into a Halo cat food review? Halo falls under the premium cat food umbrella, and, therefore, costs more than popular brands. It’s important to understand what your money is buying and how it affects your cat.
“Grocery store brand” foods may be cheaper in price, but they sacrifice value. This stems from a long history of devaluing pet food.
The commercial pet food industry began in the 1860s with dog biscuits. James Pratt watched sailors throw biscuits to stray dogs. Knowing the simplicity of the ingredients (flour, water, and salt), he saw an opportunity. Thus, began the commercial pet food industry.
The first recipe meals appeared in the 1920s. Manufacturers made these from mill scraps. Canned food appeared next and expanded until World War II, when metal was prioritized for weapons. With canned food gone, pet owners began buying more dry kibble.
Pet food manufacturers took advantage of the post-war era economic boom. American agricultural companies produced large amounts of scraps due to the high food demand. These scraps included parts of animals not eaten by humans: necks, feet, intestines, and tissue. Pet food companies bought these at low prices and used them in their food.
They used these recipes until later in the twentieth century, when they sought ways to increase their production value. They began using filler ingredients that mostly included plants. This led to malnutrition in domestic cats, and research found that they were missing the vital nutrient taurine.
Today’s Pet Food Industry
Today, many commercial pet food companies still use the same ingredients from the post-war era, performing a balancing act between meat and plant by-products. They supplement their recipes with various ingredients to meet minimum regulation requirements.
But minimum requirements don’t necessarily mean your cat is eating healthy. As carnivores, cats require a diet different from ours.
The Carnivore on Your Lap
The cats that are part of our families now have ancestors that hunted daily. Unless your cat ventures outside, most domestic cats don’t hunt today (unless you count that squeaky mouse you threw across the floor). But that doesn’t change their physiology.
Obligate carnivores require animal tissue to survive, and they can’t derive nutrition from plant material. Animal-based protein has taurine, and plant-based protein doesn’t. Due to the high quantity of plant filler in cat food, many domestic cats in the 1980s suffered from taurine deficiency, which caused blindness and heart problems. This caused the pet food industry to begin investing in nutritional research.
Because of taurine, vegetarian or vegan diets are dangerous for cats. As an omnivore, you can transition to a meat-free diet, but your cat can’t join you.
When an omnivore eats a plant, its digestive system breaks down nearly every part of the plant and uses those pieces as nutrition for the body. When a carnivore eats a plant, its digestive system doesn’t know how to reuse the pieces. Carnivores derive little to no nutrients from the plant.
Dogs are also omnivores, so dog food isn’t a nutritionally complete diet for cats. Some table scraps or grazing at the dog food bowl won’t hurt your cat. Know that, because of the way they break down non-meat food, they may gain weight from it.
Understanding Cat Food Ingredients
An easy trick to get an idea of the true content of your cat food is to look at the first three ingredients. One of those ingredients should be a meat (meal, by-products, and organs don’t count), and water or broth should not be listed first. U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations require that ingredients be listed in order of quantity. This allows companies to share their ingredients without revealing their recipe.
You may not know the exact amount, but you’ll know if meat (remember, cats are carnivores) isn’t one of the highest quantities. Some premium brands even list percentage breakdowns by nutrients.
Cats and Grains
A salivary enzyme called amylase assists with the breakdown of carbohydrates from grains, but a cat’s digestive system doesn’t produce amylase before digestion begins in the stomach.
This causes their pancreas, which does secrete the enzyme, to work overtime during digestion in the intestines. This could lead to pancreatic issues later in life.
While the pancreas can step in to assist with grain digestion, it doesn’t always. Some cats have an allergy to grains or can’t tolerate large amounts of it. As carnivores, they don’t fully process plants, and their bodies react accordingly, creating a mess inside and outside of the litter box.
Pros and Cons
Overall, here are some of the biggest benefits of choosing Halo Cat Food over other cat foods:
- No protein meal or by-products
- No artificial colors or flavors
- Whole meat ingredients
- Human-grade meat
- Supplemented with vitamins and minerals
- Some recipes use vegetable and grain, though the percentage is low and they’re high-quality ingredients
- A premium food that’s more expensive than the popular (and less nutritional) brands
Halo Knows How Important Your Cat Is
Cat owners should be able to trust that the food they buy will keep their cats healthy. This Halo cat food review should help alleviate your worries. Halo cat food started because most recipes had protein meal and by-products, which caused Spot the cat to have skin, hair, and digestion issues.
You shouldn’t need a nutritionist to keep your cat healthy, so Halo shared Spot’s stew. We no longer feed our pets table scraps and leave them outside to hunt. They’re a part of our family, and we want them to live long, healthy lives. Premium food brands like Halo understand that.