Purina One vs Purina Pro Plan cat food

cat sat on chair at dining room table with paw touching plate of cat food
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Trying to decide between Purina One vs Purina Pro Plan cat food is a common dilemma for pet parents and it’s not hard to see why. Produced by one of the most reputable companies on the market, these two brands offer some of the best cat food money can buy, delivering on both flavor and nutrition. 

Purina has long been regarded as a world-leader in the pet food arena, creating some of the best dry cat food and wet food dishes. Ensuring they have a product line to cater to every budget and feline age, stage and health issue, their mid-range Purina One and high-end Purina Pro Plan lines are known for delivering a complete and balanced meal.

There’s no getting around the fact that Purina Pro Plan is more expensive than Purina One. The good news is, that unless your feline friend suffers from allergies and would benefit from the targeted LiveClear products in the Pro Plan range, most cats will do just fine on Purina One.

That being said, there are a few other differences aside from the price that are worth considering before deciding which Purina range is right for your kitty. To help make things easier, we’ve put together this handy guide where we breakdown the pros and cons of Purina One and Purina Pro Plan so that you can ensure you’re fueling your fur baby with the best possible nutrition. 

About Purina One

Purina One was developed in 1986 with the goal of producing a formula that would improve a cat's health within 28 days. The brand reports that after just 7 days of eating Purina One, you'll likely notice your cat's energy levels increasing with 14 days leading to improved digestion and 21 days bringing brighter eyes and a shinier coat.

Reviews across the Purina One range reveal that pet parents do notice these difference, which is probably why the team at Purina are so confident in their formulas ability to deliver positive changes that they're prepared to knock $5 off your first purchase if you sign up to take the Purina One 28-day challenge.

Purina One offers a good range of wet and dry options and all of their blends come packed with all the vitamins and minerals your kitty needs to thrive. You'll also find specially tailored blends to suit older cats, as well as a formula to help control hairballs and one designed for kitty's experiencing digestive issues.

Basically, across the range, and as you'd expect from a high quality brand such as Purina, you'll find that these formulas are well balanced, complete, and come packed with all the nutrients your cat needs to stay healthy. 

What’s good about Purina One?

cat sat with chin touching can of cat food and paw wrapped around it

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Across both their wet and dry formulas, Purina One stacks up well against its competitors when it comes to the quality of the ingredients used. It's a great choice if you're looking for dishes that are free from fillers, use real meats as the first ingredient and include plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Overall, we find the vitamin and mineral content to be impressive across the entire line, with plenty of calcium for strong bones and an antioxidant blend to ensure the immune system stays strong. There's also a good dose of protein for a radiant coat and healthy energy levels.

Because Purina One is free from a lot of the unnecessary ingredients you might find in cheaper brands, it's highly digestible, which makes it a really solid choice if you have a cat who suffers from gastrointestinal issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea. You'll also find grain-free options that are well suited to cats who have allergies, as these are incredibly soothing for sensitive stomachs.

Overall, the formulas are low fat and low in calories and many of their wet food blends have a higher moisture content than some competitors, clocking in at an impressive 78%. Purina One is also usually the cheapest of this brand’s premium range and it’s vet-approved, which is another big tick in its favor.

What’s not so good about Purina One?

Although there's a lot to love about the Purina One range, one of the biggest drawbacks is the high carbohydrate content, which isn't great if you have an overweight kitty who needs to lose a kilo or two.

According to the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine, cats evolved as hunters that consumed prey that contained high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates - a ratio they believe is still important today. 

In fact, research conducted by scientists from the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition found that the optimal dietary macronutrient intake target for cats is 52% protein, 36% fat and 12% carbohydrates. It's worth pointing out that most commercial cat foods are going to struggle to reach those targets with a raw food diet most likely to provide that kind of ratio.

However, even allowing for this, Purina One tends to have a carb content that clocks in at over 40% and while this is unlikely to be an issue for healthy cats who are within their ideal weight range, it's not a range we would recommend for sedentary cats as they'll be taking in more energy than they're able to burn off - not good for the old waistline!

While Purina One doesn't use artificial preservatives and focuses on high-quality ingredients, they do use artificial caramel colouring in their dry food range, which is both unnecessary and problematic for cats with allergies. Corn and soy pop up fairly frequently too as do animal by-products, none of which offer any nutritional value to your cat.

The verdict on Purina One

Yes, it does have some drawbacks, but overall Purina One is a solid choice for  kittens and adult cats. Nutritious and vet-approved, the majority of pet parents say their cats give both the wet and dry formulas a huge paw up.

We love that this range is budget-friendly but doesn’t compromise on health, with quality ingredients and plenty of vitamins and minerals. Because it provides 100% complete and balanced nutrition, you don’t need to supplement with anything else, and they have a variety of different blends, so whatever the needs of your cat, you’re bound to find a formula to suit.

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food

Purina ONE Indoor Advantage Adult Cat Food
The perfect calorie-controlled meal for indoor and sedentary cats, this protein-rich kibble features a satisfying crunchy texture with real turkey as the first ingredient and plenty of vitamins and minerals to keep your kitty glowing from the inside out.

Purina ONE Grain Free Natural Pate Wet Kitten Food

Purina ONE Grain Free Natural Pate Wet Kitten Food
A fantastic choice for your furbaby, this pack of 24 tins of chicken and salmon-flavored goodness will have your kitty purring with delight. High in protein to support growing muscles and DHA for brain and vision development, this nourishing formula ticks all the boxes. 

About Purina Pro Plan

If you're looking for a truly advanced formula, Purina Pro Plan is without a doubt one of the most innovative on the market, offering advanced nutrition and more than 100 specially formulated blends across six different categories:

  • Indoor/sedentary
  • Weight management
  • Urinary tract health
  • Hairball control
  • Sensitive skin and stomach
  • Allergen-reducer 

This is an incredibly impressive wet and dry range that comes backed by more than 500 Purina scientists, nutritionists, animal behaviorists, and vets, which means you can be sure that you're feeding your feline friend the highest quality nutrition that's currently available.

What’s good about Purina Pro Plan?

cat bowl full of kibble and ginger cat looking at camera

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There's so much to love about this range, so let's dive in and take a good look. As you'd expect, once again real meat features heavily as the first ingredient and includes the likes of salmon, poultry and lamb. A beautiful addition that sets Purina Pro Plan apart from Purina One is the amount of live probiotics that feature across all of their dry blends, which are great for gut and digestive health.

We see a slightly lower carbohydrate content in this range, mostly sitting below 35%, and a high protein percentage at 40%, which makes this a good choice for all felines regardless of age and stage or whether they're active or sedentary. The wet food range also does well, with a high moisture content of 78% and protein and fat coming in at 12% and 6% respectively - a really good ratio. 

Now, if you have a cat with allergies, Purina Pro Plan is definitely a line to consider as their LiveClear allergen-reducing range was named the 2021 product of the year by the Consumer Survey of Product Innovation - super impressive! It has been proven to reduce the major allergen in cat hair and dander by an average of 47% – a huge relief for any pet parent who suffers from allergies.

Again, like with Purina One, the vitamin and mineral count across the range is impressive, but we see a lot more Omega 3 & 6 fatty acids featuring in the Pro Plan range, which is really good for heart health and keeping the skin and coat healthy and shiny. 

We also love that the Purina Pro Plan dry range omits the use of the artificial colorings and animal by-products used in Purina One, opting instead for more natural alternatives, that’s likely partly the cause of the inflated price tag though, so let’s take a closer look at that.

What’s not so good about Purina Pro Plan?

It's probably going to come as no surprise that the biggest drawback to Purina Pro Plan is the price tag, which is in no way budget-friendly. And unfortunately, with the exception of the LiveClear range which offers allergy suffers some very real benefits, we'd have to say that we don't see enough in this line to justify the inflated cost.

Let’s take the indoor range as an example. While ever so slightly higher in protein, fat, and fiber, the vitamin and mineral content is almost identical, with Purina One containing a broader range. Pro Plan also contains the same use of soy and corn, which has been genetically modified, and while the dry range steers clear of animal by-products, the wet range doesn’t.

So, unless you suffer from allergies, your cat really won't be getting any additional benefits to their health when you weigh it up against the extra price you'll be paying. All in all, Purina One is definitely the better choice if you're looking for a budget-friendly buy that still checks a lot of boxes.

The verdict on Purina Pro Plan

Purina Pro Plan is another tasty range that your feline furkid is bound to go wild for. The quality of the ingredients is high and the nutritional value is excellent. The ratio of protein, fats, and carbohydrates, is balanced, and it’s great to see real meat topping the ingredient list.

The Purina Pro Plan LiveClear formula is the shining star across this range and it has the potential to make a huge difference in your life if you’re an allergy sufferer. 

If your wallet can justify the big price tag, you’ll be getting a high-quality product that contains everything your kitty needs to thrive, but having compared it closely to it’s cheaper sibling, we feel Purina One offers better value for money with roughly the same level of nutrition.

Purina Pro Plan LiveClear with Probiotics

Purina Pro Plan LiveClear with Probiotics
Quality tested and winner of the 2021 product of the year in the Consumer Survey of Product Innovation survey, this kibble has been proven to reduce the major allergen in cat hair and dander by an average of 47%. It also comes packed full of live probiotics for immune and digestive health. 

Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health

Purina Pro Plan Urinary Tract Health
Providing low dietary magnesium to reduce urinary pH and help maintain a healthy urinary tract, this wet cat food is perfect for cats that are prone to suffering from bladder infections. Every serving provides 25 essential vitamins and minerals, including taurine for overall health and wellness. 

If you’re interested in how Purina stacks up against other brands, check out our piece on Purina vs Royal Canin cat food, where we put two of the best cat food brands in the ring to see who comes out on top.

Kathryn Rosenberg
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past three years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with a very mischievous Cocker Spaniel and a super sassy cat, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.