Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (2023)

Disclaimer: As a Chewy and Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons.

Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (1)

Score: 6.7/10

Bottom Line

Not the tastiest choice, and a bit high in carbs for our liking.

PROS

  • Huge range
  • Chunky meat texture
  • Product guarantee

CONS

  • High carb
  • Mixed taste results
  • Pricey

We’ve done this Hills Science Diet cat food review with the help of cat taste testers.

Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (2)

Hill’s are popular with vets.

With a wide range of choices, there’s plenty to choose from.

The food has a nice chunky appearance and fresh smell.

What’s not to like?

Hill’s Science Diet wet food is high in carbohydrate. How high?

Pretty dang high.

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Not only that, but the products are pricey even buying in bulk.

As for taste?

Our cat Oscar left some of his Hill’s wet cat food in the bowl and wasn’t overly excited.

Overall, Hill’s Science Diet is a mid option. Suitable for adult cats as an occasional choice.

>> Check outHill’s Science Diet cat food here.

Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (3)
Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (4)

Want more info on Hill’s Science Diet cat foods?

In this Hill’s Science Diet cat food review, I’ll share results from testing.

I’ll take a look at the background of this company. Finally, I’ll answer frequently asked questions.

More below!

I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions.This article is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Hills Science Diet CAT FOOD REVIEW

Who are Hill’s Science Diet?

Hill’s are a large company that began in the 1940’s based on a prescription kidney formula for dogs. The Science Diet range started in the 1960’s.

Colgate-Palmolive Co bought Hill’s Pet Nutrition in 1976. Since then, the brand has released a wide array of condition-specific cat and dog foods.

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is one of the largest players in the pet food market. The following companies own 25-30% of the global market:

  • Mars Incorporated
  • Purina
  • The J.M. Smucker Company
  • Hill’s Pet Nutrition
  • Affinity Petcare SA

Can you trust Hill’s Science Diet to deliver the quality for your cat?

In 2019, there was a large recall of over 20 million dog food products worldwide. This was due to a toxic amount of Vitamin D in the foods due to processing error.

There was a melamine (plastic contamination) issue in 2007 that also affected Hill’s Science Diet foods.

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On their website, Hill’s Science Diet are transparent about their products and include:

  • Dry matter basis analysis including carbohydrate content
  • Whether their food meets the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO and what stage
  • A feeding guide with tips
  • Reviews on their products
Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (5)

Hill’s also have a satisfaction guarantee from authorized sellers. This means you can return product if it doesn’t meet your satisfaction.

Hills Science Diet Nutrition

We’ve taken a look at Hill’s Healthy Cuisine for nutrition.

Hill’s Healthy Cuisine meets the needs for maintenance or growth, per AAFCO’s nutrient profiles.

This cat food exceed AAFCO’s protein guideline of 30% minimum. It only scrapes in though, which isn’t convincing.

Their cat food is high in carbs, at 33.3% dry matter basis.

This can interfere with digestion. A cat has a limited ability to digest and metabolize carbohydrate (~20g/day).

It can also affect taste.

Cats can stop eating food due to the ‘carb ceiling’ effect.

This can lead to nutrient shortfalls including protein.

Hill’s barely scrape by with protein and also use wheat gluten (a poor source of protein).

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Hill’s Healthy Cuisine Chicken & Rice

  • Calories: 837 kcal/kg
  • Kcal/g dry matter: 5.6
  • Moisture: 85.0%

Nutrition: 5.5/10

Hill’s Science Diet Ingredients

We’ve taken a look at Hill’s Science Diet adult tender chicken for nutrition.

Ingredients: Water, Chicken, Pork Liver, Wheat Flour, Wheat Gluten, Dextrose, Modified Rice Starch, Oat Fiber, Egg Whites, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Fish Oil, Guar Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Iodized Salt, L-Lysine, minerals (Calcium Chloride, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate), vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Taurine, Caramel color, Beta-Carotene

Hill’s use the dinner descriptor on this label. It means 25-94.9% of the named ingredient is in the food.

Ingredients are listed by weight. Higher on the list = higher weight.

In the chicken dinner product the following ingredients sandwich between two chicken ingredients:

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  • Wheat Flour
  • Wheat Gluten
  • Dextrose
  • Modified Rice Starch
  • Oat Fiber

Since these ingredients sandwich the chicken ingredients, their content is going to be high.

There’s no way to know the exact amount of each ingredient (other then they all add to at least 25%).

Overall, the ratio of grains to meat ingredients skews heavily in the grain direction. This will raise the carb content, a nutrient not needed in a cats diet.

Cats are carnivores. Grain based ingredients offer no benefit to health.

Ingredient Score:6/10

What Does Our Cat Think Of Hills Science Diet?

I’ve tested 4 products from Hill’s Science Diet.

We tested 3 with our cat Oscar, and 1 with Karl.

Oscar had mixed feelings about the foods, not finishing his full meal. However, he did enjoy most of it.

Karl had no troubles with his food, licking his plate clean.

Reviews online are mostly positive.

Here are the results of our taste testing:

  • Food Test 1: Hill’s Science Diet tender chicken dinner adult
  • Amount eaten: 95%
  • Time to finish eating: 8 minutes and 10 seconds
  • Food appearance: Gravy texture with authentic meaty chunks
  • Smell: No strong smell

Here is a short video of Oscar trying Hill’s Science Diet tender chicken dinner adult:

Here is what Hill’s Science Diet tender chicken dinner adult looks like up close:

Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (7)
  • Food Test 2: Hill’s Science Diet tender chicken dinner kitten
  • Amount eaten: 80%
  • Time to finish eating: 7 minutes and 30 seconds
  • Food appearance: Gravy texture with authentic meaty chunks
  • Smell: No strong smell

Here is a short video of Oscar trying Hill’s Science Diet tender chicken dinner kitten:

Here is what Hill’s Science Diet tender chicken dinner kitten looks like up close:

Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (8)

Food Test 3: Hill’s Science Diet with beef adult
Amount eaten: 60%
Time to finish eating: 4 minutes and 20 seconds
Food appearance: Gravy corn starch texture with meaty chunks
Smell: Bland smell

Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (9)

Food Test 4: Hill’s Healthy Cuisine Chicken & Rice
Amount eaten: 100%
Time to finish eating: ~3-4 minutes
Food appearance: Mushy, not as much liquid but thicker. Vegetables were soft.
Smell: Lighter smell, more fragrant

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Hills Science Diet Cat Food Review: Healthy Choice? [2023] (10)

Taste Score: 8/10

Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Price

Compared to the average cat food, Hill’s Science Diet wet cat foods are on the mid-high end for price. This can always change due to inflation and product availability.

Similarly priced products include:

Price Score: 7/10

Learn more:

  • Wellness Core Cat Food Review
  • Meat Mates Cat Food Review

erage. Whilst there’s nothing unlawful about this, its worth keeping in mind.

Trust Score: 7/10

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Hill’s Science Diet Have a Strong Odor?

No.

We tested three wet cat food products from Hill’s Science Diet. All have a neutral odor that isn’t offensive.

Is This Food Good for Picky Eaters?

We got mixed results.

Our cat tester Oscar left some of his food with one choice.

This could be due to the taste, texture, flavor, or carbohydrate content.

Learn More:

  • Best Wet Cat Food for Picky Eaters

Does Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food Contain Real Meat?

Yes.

There’s real meat ingredients in Hill’s Science Diet wet cat food. The food appears as chunks in a gravy, which look appetizing.

Does Science Diet Cat Food Have Fillers?

Added filler ingredients in Science Diet wet cat food include:

  • Guar gum
  • Soybean oil
  • Wheat flour
  • Wheat gluten
  • Dextrose
  • Oat fiber
  • Modified rice starch

The term filler is a little vague and can refer to anything. I define a filler as anything that isn’t required in cat food for nutrition.

Soybean oil contains omega 6 fatty acids from linoleic acid. This serves a cat no purpose since they cannot use this form of omega 6. It is a filler in it doesn’t offer any benefit.

None of these ingredients provide clear benefit to cats although may help digestion. For example, guar gum is a soluble fiber that can help increase moisture in feces.

Learn More:

  • Best Cat Foods for Constipation

Conclusion

Hill’s wet cat food is an average choice for adult cats.

It’s not the best, but not the worst.

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It offers real meaty chunks and a pleasant fresh smell. Our cats enjoyed most of the products, but had mixed feelings about some.

Our main gripe is the high carb content in the cat foods. Not suitable for diabetic cats.

>> Check outHill’s Science Diet cat food here.

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