Trader Joe’s doesn’t only sell food for people. The retailer, which is a cousin to Aldi, also sells a small selection of food for dogs and cats. I recently decided to try feeding my cat some dry cat food from Trader Joe’s.
I’ve heard that Trader Joe’s has or had a brand of dry cat food under its own private Trader Joe’s label, but the only dry food I found in my local store was under the Bench & Field brand, which is not exclusive to Trader Joe’s. It’s a brand that is also found on Amazon and Chewy, and possibly at some pet store chains.
Bench & Field Holistic Natural Feline Chicken Meal Formula Cat Food cost $6.99 for a 3-lb. bag at Trader Joe’s at the time of publication, which comes out to about $2.33 per pound. That’s a better deal than I found for Bench & Field cat food on either Amazon or Chewy.
Bench & Field manufactures cat and dog food and treats, and the company is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They state on their website that they use no corn, wheat, or glutens in their pet food, and that “high quality meat is always the first ingredient” in all of their products.
The front of the bag says “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed or it’s Free.” On the back, it states that if you are not completely satisfied, mail the UPC code and your receipt to the following address for a full refund of the original purchase price: Bench & Field Pet Foods LLC, 7708 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49546. They also provide a customer service number: 1-800-525-4802.
The first few ingredients in this cat food are chicken meal, brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oat groats, menhaden fish meal, chicken liver, sardine meal, dried egg product, sweet potatoes, dried tomato pomace, peas, natural flavor, and salmon oil. The list is lengthy and goes on from there, also including things such as dried beet pulp, carrots, pumpkin, cranberries, apples, blueberries, and quinoa.
A quick comparison of some ingredients: my cat’s Purina One dry food currently in the pantry lists turkey as the first ingredient, which is good, while the next ingredients are chicken by-product meal and corn gluten meal. When I purchased Heart to Tail dry cat food from Aldi a couple of years ago, corn meal and poultry by-product meal were the first two ingredients.
In contrast, the Bench & Field brand lists meat as the first ingredient and does not contain the grain products some other brands have. In exchange for gluten products, it seems to go heavier on the fruits and vegetables, which may simply be a different kind of filler than gluten products, since cats are obligate carnivores who require meat in their diets. Also of note, the second ingredient is brown rice, which is usually added as a filler, although it also can help dry food maintain its shape.
The package states: “Bench & Field Holistic Natural Feline Chicken Mel Formula Cat Food is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.”
Calorie content is 4,144.0 kcal/kg, 1,833.64 kcal/lb (488.99 kcal/cup).
Package feeding guidelines based on your cat’s weight are as follows:
- For a 4- to 6-lb. cat, 1/4-1/3 cup per day
- For a 6- to 8-lb. cat, 1/3-1/2 cup per day
- For an 8- to 10-lb. cat, 1/2-2/3 cup per day
- For a 10- to 12-lb. cat, 2/3-3/4 cup per day
- For a 12- to 14-lb. cat, 3/4-7/8 cup per day
- For a 14- to 16-lb. cat, 7/8-1 cup per day
The package also states age, breed, weight, activity level, and other factors affect the amount of food a cat needs. Pregnant or nursing cats will need two to four times more food, and spayed or neutered cats may need up to 25% less food. My indoor, spayed cat often needs less food than what is directed on the cat food packages in order to maintain a healthy weight, so be sure to check with your vet regarding feeding guidelines.
Also, the bag says to make sure to offer your cat plenty of clean, fresh water.
I was curious to see whether my cat would eat a dry cat food that is not her usual brand. I typically feed her dry Purina cat food, and I often purchase their formula for indoor cats. She does not care for the dry Heart to Tail cat food sold at Aldi, although she does really like the canned cat food sold at Aldi, which I feed her occasionally to add some more water to her diet. She also enjoys cat treats purchased at Aldi.
My cat loved the Bench & Field dry cat food from Trader Joe’s. In fact, while I was photographing it in her bowl for this post, she smelled it, came running, and immediately began to chow down.
I appreciate that this food does not skimp on meat and provides complete, balanced nutrition for my cat. It’s a bit pricier than my usual Purina brand, so I probably won’t be changing brands any time soon, but I wouldn’t hesitate to pick it up if I was at Trader Joe’s and needed cat food.
Bench & Field Holistic Natural Feline Chicken Meal Formula Cat Food is not exclusive to Trader Joe’s and can be ordered from the manufacturer, or from sites such as Amazon or Chewy. Bench & Field’s website states their products have no corn, wheat, or gluten. The first ingredient in this cat food is chicken meal, which is considered a high quality meat. It’s a pricier dry food than some other common brands, but a decent option if you need cat food.