My cat loves Aldi’s cat treats, and few years ago, I offered my cat some of Aldi’s dry cat food, but she was less than thrilled with the dry food. In contrast, some readers have mentioned that their cats like Aldi’s canned cat food, so it seemed like a good time to do some additional research.
Aldi sells two different sizes of canned cat food: three flavors in 3-oz. cans for 49 cents each, and three flavors in 5.5-oz. cans for 39 cents each. I’m not sure why the smaller cans cost more, but it’s possible it has to do with economy of scale and that the can with the larger volume requires less raw material to manufacture. National brands such as Purina and Fancy Feast also sell larger cans at a lower cost. Overall, Aldi sells a total of six different flavors ranging from salmon to chicken to beef, and more. They are Regular Buys, which means Aldi sells them all year.
All of Aldi’s canned cat food is all a product of Canada, and the cans say they are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for Growth and Maintenance. Cat owners are encouraged to feed according to age, size, and activity of their cats. The canned food should be offered at room temperature, and unused portions should be refrigerated.
While canned cat food costs more than dry cat food, both types of cat food are nutritionally complete. The consensus from most vets is that whether you feed your cat dry food or canned food, it should be a high-quality food. The main difference between the two, according to petfinder.com, is the moisture content. This can be helpful for cats with kidney or lower urinary tract issues. The higher moisture content may also help your cat to feel more full while still consuming the same amount of calories as dry food. In contrast, if your cat has a lot of dental issues, dry food may be better at helping to keep his or her teeth cleaner.
Catster.com also mentions that cats on a dry food diet may be more vulnerable to obesity and diabetes because of higher carbohydrate levels, and because many cat owners who feed dry food leave it out continually, possibly not limiting how much a cat consumes.
Catster and vetinfo.com recommend that if you feed your cat a canned food, it should list an animal protein source as the first ingredient, and ideally it should not have meat by-products. Spoiler: all of Aldi’s canned cat foods contain meat by-products, and the Salmon Entree and Turkey & Giblets Entree both list meat by-products as the first ingredient. A quick search indicates that popular name-brand cat foods such as Purina Friskies, 9 Lives, and Fancy Feast also contain meat by-products.
Vetinfo.com also recommends that canned cat food have taurine, an essential amino acid, and all of Aldi’s canned cat foods do have it. Aldi’s canned cat food also seems to avoid some less desirable ingredients, including corn and other grains, soy, bone meal, and added sugar. The 78% moisture level in all of Aldi’s canned cat food also is the minimum ideal, according to vetinfo.com.
As for what my 14-year-old cat thought of Aldi’s canned food, she approved. She usually receives measured portions of dry food every morning and every evening, and we offered her one can every other morning in place of her usual dry food, eventually working through all six flavor options. She did not waste any time chowing down and sometimes tried to nose in while we were still opening the can. While I primarily feed my cat Purina dry food, she occasionally shows signs that she might benefit from increased moisture in her diet, so I may supplement occasionally with some of the Heart to Tail canned food to add some moisture to her diet.
With that said, here is a closer look at each of the Heart to Tail Premium Canned Cat Food varieties.
Heart to Tail Premium Cat Food (the 3-ounce varieties):
As mentioned above, these cost 49 cents for a 3-oz. can. In comparison, you can buy a 3-oz. can of Fancy Feast wet cat food at Target for 69 cents at the time of publication. You also can buy a bulk box of 24 3-oz. cans of Fancy Feast for about 64 cents per can from Target.
The cans say for adult cats to feed 2 1/2 cans per 6-8 lbs. of body weight per day, and for kittens to feed up to twice the adult amount. Check with your veterinarian to be sure you’re feeding the right amount. In my experience feeding my cat dry food over the years, the packaging encourages us to feed our cat more than she needs in order to maintain a healthy weight. I’m not sure if the same issue exists with canned food.
- Cod, Sole & Shrimp Entree. The first few ingredients are cod, animal liver, meat by-products, fish, water sufficient for processing, sole, shrimp, and natural flavors. This has a crude protein min. of 13%, crude fat min. of 2%, crude fiber max of 1.5%, moisture max of 78%, ash max of 3.5%, and taurine min. of 0.05%. Calorie content is 875 kcal/kg and 74 kcal/can.
- Gourmet Chicken Entree. The first several ingredients are chicken, water sufficient for processing, animal liver, meat-byproducts, fish, poultry by-products, and natural flavor. This has a crude protein min. of 11%, crude fat min. of 5%, crude fiber max. of 1.5%, moisture max. of 78%, ash max. of 3%, and taurine min. of 0.05%. Calorie content is 1158 kcal/kg and 98 kcal/can.
- Beef Entree. The first several ingredients are beef, water sufficient for processing, animal liver, meat by-products, fish, natural flavor, and salt. This has a crude protein min. of 11%, crude fat min. of 4%, crude fiber max. of 1.5%, moisture max. of 78%, ash max. of 3.5%, and taurine min. of 0.05%. Calorie content is 1199 kcal/kg and 101 kcal/can.
Heart to Tail Premium Cat Food (the 5.5-ounce varieties):
These cost 39 cents for a 5.5-oz. can. In comparison, you can purchase a single 5.5-oz. can of pate-style Purina Friskies wet cat food for 59 cents from Target at the time of publication, or you can buy a 24-pack of 5.5-oz. cans for $12.99 or about 54 cents per can. One of the cheaper options I found at Target was a 12-pack of pate-style 5.5-oz. cans of 9 Lives cat food for $4.29, or about 36 cents per can. It appears that if you buy certain brands in bulk, you might get a slightly better price than Aldi, but that’s not a guarantee. The nutrition information and ingredients look very similar, with the Purina, 9 Lives, and Heart to Tail brands containing a mix of whole cuts of meat and meat by-products.
The Heart to Tail cans say for adult cats, you should feed one can per 6-8 lbs. of body weight per day, and for kittens you should feed up to twice the adult amount. As mentioned above, check with your veterinarian to determine how much your cat should eat each day, because you may need to tweak what is recommended on food packaging in order to help your cat maintain a healthy weight.
- Turkey & Giblets Entree. The first ingredients are meat by-products, poultry by-products, water sufficient for processing, turkey, chicken liver, chicken heart, and fish. This has a crude protein min. of 10%, crude fat min. of 5%, crude fiber max. of 1.5%, moisture max. of 78%, ash max. of 3%, and taurine min. of 0.05%. Calorie content is 1130 kcal/kg and 176 kcal/can.
- Salmon Entree. The first several ingredients are meat by-products, water sufficient for processing, salmon, poultry by-products, fish, brewers rice, and natural flavors. This has a crude protein min. of 10%, crude fat min. of 5%, crude fiber max. of 1.5%, moisture max. of 78%, ash max. of 3%, and taurine min. of 0.05%. Calorie content is 1190 kcal/kg and 186 kcal/can.
- Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Entree. The first several ingredients are ocean whitefish, meat by-products, poultry by-products, water sufficient for processing, animal liver, tuna, and mackerel. This has a crude protein min. of 11%, crude fat min. of 4%, crude fiber max. of 1.5%, moisture max. of 78%, ash max. of 3.2%, and taurine min. of 0.05%. Calorie content is 986 kcal/kg and 153 kcal/can.
Aldi’s Heart to Tail Premium Canned Cat Food gets a better reaction from my cat than Aldi’s dry cat food. She eagerly ate all six flavors of canned food.
While both canned and dry cat food can be nutritionally complete if you feed a high-quality food, a large benefit of canned food is that it contains extra moisture, which may benefit some cats with kidney or urinary tract issues. Aldi’s canned cat food seems to be good to average in terms of ingredient quality, and it is comparable to other familiar mid-priced brands such as Purina, Fancy Feast, and 9 Lives. It avoids certain undesirable ingredients such as cornmeal, bone-meal, and other fillers. It does, however, contain some meat by-products just like its name-brand cousins do.
If you try this food with your cat, be sure to keep in contact with your vet to ensure your cat is at a healthy weight and is getting what he or she needs nutritionally.