Hill’s cat food is produced and manufactured by the Colgate-Palmolive Company and its headquarters are located in Topeka, Kansas. The Hill’s pet food brand was created in 1907 under the name Hill’s Pet Nutrition and its original purpose was to provide rendering services to the Shawnee County area in Kansas. In 1930, a million division was added and Hill’s began to produce dog food using horsemeat.
Since then, Hill’s has created and developed a number of product lines for both dog food and cat food products, including prescription diets and specialized veterinary diets.
Today, Hill’s is one of the largest pet food producers in the United States. Hill’s uses ingredients sourced from suppliers whose facilities are proven to adhere to high-quality standards, though the website does not state where these suppliers are located. The Hill’s website also states that products are compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) as well as Hill’s own rigorous quality standards.
Hill’s opened a 500,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Emporia, Kansas in 2010 and they have three other production facilities located in Topeka. Hill’s operates seven different manufacturing plants, five of which are located in the United States.
Rating & Hills Cat Food
Rating: This Hill’s Ideal Balance Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Recipe receives a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Hill’s cat foods can be purchased at a variety of local and national pet food chains including specialty stores and some veterinary offices. You can also buy Hill’s products from some online pet food retailers like Chewy.com and PetFoodDirect.com.
About Hills Cat Food
The Hill’s cat food brand began in the late 1930s when Dr. Mark Morris, Senior began developing a specialized diet for Buddy, an ailing German Shepherd. What started as a very small company has blossomed into one of the world’s leading producers of pet food products, available in 86 countries with annual sales surpassing the $1 billion mark. According to the Hill’s website, all of Hill’s cat food products are designed to follow sound nutritional principles because quality nutrition is vital to ensuring a long, happy life for pets.
Not only does Hill’s claim to use high-quality ingredients, but this company also claims that extensive research has led them to discover the ideal proportions for those ingredients. Hill’s cat food products are made with a precise blend of essential nutrients to meet the specific dietary and nutrition needs of cats in all life stages.
The Hill’s pet food brand employs over 220 veterinarians and animal nutritionists to develop their products and they own a 180-acre Pet Nutrition Center (PNC) where they analyze ingredients, test new recipes, and conduct research.
Overall, the Hill’s brand is equated with quality nutrition, especially for pets with special dietary needs. A review of several Hill’s cat food products reveals, however, an entirely different story. While some Hill’s cat food products are made with chicken as the first ingredient, some list Brewer’s Rice and other carbohydrates first.
Many Hill’s cat food products also include low-quality ingredients and fillers like chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole grain corn, and various wheat ingredients. It is understandable that a cat food designed for certain health problems might not meet the same ratios as a traditional product, but it is hard to imagine that corn, wheat, and soy ingredients are good for a cat, regardless of any health problems.
Hills Wilderness Chicken Recipe
This Hill’s Ideal Balance Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Recipe is formulated to meet the basic nutritional needs of adult cats between 1 and 6 years of age. According to the Hill’s website, this formula provides the following benefits:
- Fresh chicken as the first ingredient
- Brown rice for natural fiber and healthy digestion
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids for skin and coat health
- No corn, wheat or soy ingredients
- No artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives
If you were to only consider these claims in evaluating this recipe you might come to the conclusion that it is a high-quality cat food. A more in-depth review of this recipe, however, reveals several questionable ingredients as well as some issues with macronutrient ratios. According to the guaranteed analysis, this product contains nearly 32% protein, 22.6% fat, and 38% carbohydrate.
It is very troubling to see a carbohydrate content so high in a cat food product, especially since it is higher than the amount of protein in the product.
Chicken, Brown Rice, Yellow Peas, Brewers Rice, Pea Protein Concentrate, Chicken Fat, Dried Egg Product, Flaxseed, Chicken Liver Flavor, Lactic Acid, Vegetable & fruit blend (Green Peas, Apples, Cranberries, Carrots, Broccoli), Fish Oil, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Iodized Salt, Taurine, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Lysine, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Phosphoric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Natural Flavors.
This Hill’s Ideal Balance Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Recipe is made with fresh chicken as the number-1 ingredient which Hill’s claims will help keep your cat lean and trim. The second ingredient is brown rice which is a fairly digestible carbohydrate for cats.
Alone, brown rice would not be a bad ingredient in this formula but it is troubling to see another two carbohydrates listed afterward with the addition of pea protein concentrate to follow. Cats have no dietary need for carbohydrates so it is very troubling to see such a high carb content for this product – the guaranteed analysis states that this recipe contains 38% carbohydrate on a dry matter basis.
Another point of contention for this recipe is the fact that there is only one source of animal protein listed. Fresh chicken is a valuable source of protein for cats but it contains as much as 80% water. Once the product is cooked down, the actual volume of meat in this formula will likely be less than the volume of any of the three carbohydrates that follows it.
It is also troubling to see pea protein concentrated listed here instead of a source of animal protein. The inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables is likely intended to boost the nutrient content of this product, but it may also boost the fiber content beyond your cat’s needs when combined with multiple carbohydrates.