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Orijen Cat Food Review

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Orijen says their unique foods, custom-built kitchens, and unmatched fresh local ingredients have earned them an international reputation and more industry awards than any other pet food maker in the world. Is this status well-deserved?

Are Orijen Foods a Good Choice for Your Cat?

To answer these questions, we’ve taken a close look at Orijen, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, product variety, price, ingredient quality, customer experience, and recall history.

The Cats.com Standard—Rating Orijen on What Matters

After hours of research, we’ve rated Orijen cat food according to the Cats.com standard. Here’s how it measures up to each of our six criteria for quality.


  • Species-Appropriateness – 8/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 9/10
  • Product Variety – 6/10
  • Price – 4/10
  • Customer Experience – 6/10
  • Recall History – 5/10

Overall Score: 6.3/10

About Orijen

Orijen is marketed as “a new class of food, designed to nourish dogs and cats according to their evolutionary adaptation to a diet rich and diverse in fresh meat and protein.”

It’s the flagship brand of Champion Petfoods, the first and largest pet food manufacturer in Canada. The company was founded in 1985 by Reinhard Mühlenfeld, an entrepreneur determined to become the first pet food manufacturer in Canada.

Reinhard started the company with two employees, making and packaging animal food for local Alberta farmers. By 2018, the company had over 500 employees working on their global sales team and at facilities in Alberta, Ontario, and Kentucky.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Orijen sources ingredients from carefully-vetted farms and ranches near their manufacturing facilities. The company has two manufacturing facilities—a NorthStar kitchen in Alberta and one DogStar kitchen located in Kentucky.

Customers in Canada, Europe, and parts of Asia get Orijen foods made in the Canadian facility, while those living in the United States and Central and South America will buy foods manufactured in Auburn, Kentucky.

Champion Petfoods has a mandate to “never outsource”, so they don’t work with outside manufacturers and their kitchens produce exclusively Orijen and Acana foods. Their custom-built facilities have received internationally-recognized Safe Food Quality (SQF) and Safe Feed/Safe Food (SFSF) certifications.

After production, Orijen cat food is sampled by in-house quality assurance staff and a third-party lab.

Has Orijen Cat Food Been Recalled?

Orijen has been recalled once.

In 2008, all Orijen cat food sold in Australia was recalled when several cats got sick and died after eating Orijen cat food. Champion Petfoods states that their recipes were not at fault. Mandatory gamma irradiation had made the food unsafe.

Why Was the Food Irradiated?

Prior to 2009, Australia’s food import regulations dictated that all pet foods made with fresh meat or cooked at low temperatures underwent irradiation treatment before reaching store shelves. This treatment exposes food to gamma rays, which destroy microbial contaminants.

Apparently, this mandatory irradiation treatment destroyed more than microbes—it depleted the vitamin A in the food and promoted the formation and release of free radicals in the body. Together,

vitamin A depletion and the release of free radicals made a number of Australian cats fall seriously ill after eating Orijen food.

Ten years later, a lawsuit was filed against Champion Petfoods.

Consumers from Minnesota, California, and Florida said that Champion Petfoods had misrepresented their products by not disclosing the presence of heavy metals and toxins in their food.

Testing by the Clean Label Project found that Orijen and Acana foods contained arsenic, BPA, cadmium, mercury, and lead. The average amount of heavy metals in the foods, however, were below the maximum tolerable levels set by the FDA.

What Kind of Cat Food Does Orijen Offer?

The current lineup of Orijen cat food includes a variety of dry foods, wet foods, and treats. Until mid-2022, Orijen only offers dry foods for cats as well as a selection of freeze-dried treats.

All of Orijen’s foods contain high levels of animal ingredients. Their dry foods formulas are made with up to 90% animal meat and their wet foods are even higher, around 95%. Orijen’s promises that at least the first five ingredients in every diet are comprised of fresh or raw animal ingredients.

Aside from fresh and raw muscle meat, Orijen cat foods contain organs, bones, and cartilage in what Orijen describes as Whole Prey ratios. This combination is designed to approximate the ratios of animal parts a cat might consume in their natural whole prey diet.

Low-glycemic fruits, vegetables, and other additives constitute the remaining percentage of Orijen’s dry cat foods. Their wet food formulas are much lower in carbohydrate content, many under 5% carbs on a dry matter basis.

While Orijen foods rely heavily on fresh meat and botanicals to achieve nutritional completeness, many still contain synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids like those found in most cat foods.

Orijen Cat Food – Top 4 Recipes Reviewed

As of May 2022, we’ve updated this recipe comparison to include one of Orijen’s new wet food formulas.

Product Name Food Type Price Our Grade
Orijen Dry Cat and Kitten Food Dry $6.67 per lb B-
Orijen Original Entrée Wet Cat Food Wet $1.53 per oz A
Orijen FIT & TRIM Cat Food Dry $7.04 per lb B-
Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Food Dry $7.00 per lb B-

#1 Orijen Dry Cat and Kitten Food Review

Chicken, turkey, and eggs appear to be the primary protein sources in this dry cat food.

This food is made for cats of all life stages. It’s appropriate for both adult cats and growing kittens. Like most Orijen foods, it contains a variety of protein sources, including a mix of poultry meat, organs, and cartilage, along with whole eggs, flounder, mackerel, and herring.

Most of these meats are fresh—refrigerated without preservatives—or raw, meaning that they were flash-frozen and not treated with any preservatives. The remaining third of the meat is dehydrated at low temperatures. Dehydrated meat is a concentrated source of animal protein.

In addition to meat, the food contains a variety of legumes, including peas, lentils, and chickpeas.

In total, this is a meat-based food with moderate protein, moderate fat, and relatively low carbohydrate content.

Each cup of Orijen Cat & Kitten food is 463 calories.


Deboned Chicken, Deboned Turkey, Whole Eggs, Atlantic Flounder, Whole Atlantic Mackerel, Chicken Liver, Turkey Liver, Whole Atlantic Herring, Chicken Heart, Turkey Heart, Dehydrated Chicken, Dehydrated Turkey, Dehydrated Mackerel, Dehydrated Chicken Liver, Dehydrated Egg, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Pinto Beans, Chicken Fat, Chicken Necks, Chicken Kidney, Whole Green Peas, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Navy Beans, Whole Chickpeas, Natural Chicken Flavor, Pollock Oil, Ground Chicken Bone, Chicken Cartilage, Lentil Fiber, Choline Chloride, Whole Pumpkin, Whole Butternut Squash, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Freeze-dried Chicken Liver, Kale, Spinach, Mustard Greens, Collard Greens, Turnip Greens, Whole Carrots, Apples, Pears, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Proteinate, Chicory Root, Turmeric, Sarsaparilla Root, Althea Root, Rosehips, Juniper Berries, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Animalis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Turkey, Whole Eggs, Chicken Liver, Turkey Liver, Chicken Heart, Turkey Heart, Chicken Fat, Pollock Oil, Chicken Necks, Chicken Bone and Cartilage

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Red Lentils, Pinto Beans, Green Peas, Green Lentils, Navy Beans, Chickpeas, Lentil Fiber

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 40%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 44.44%
Fat: 22.22%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 30%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 34.61%
Fat: 42.03%
Carbs: 23.36%


  • High protein content
  • Made primarily from animal protein sources
  • Contains multiple nourishing animal parts
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Low carbohydrate content compared to most dry cat foods


  • Contains legumes
  • Some reviewers say the food made their cats sick
  • Expensive

#2 Orijen Original Entrée Wet Cat Food Review

Buy on Petco

Chicken appears to be the primary source of protein in this wet food.

Formulated with 95% animal-derived ingredients, this wet food from Orijen is packed with protein and healthy fats. Fresh chicken, chicken liver, and whole mackerel make up the first three ingredients followed by nutrient- and protein-rich bone broths.

Mackerel and sardine are particularly rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help to support your cat’s skin and coat. Chicken heart, nutrient-rich organ meat, adds plenty of natural chicken flavor.

While this recipe contains a significant number of synthetic vitamins and minerals, it’s free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. It also doesn’t contain any added carbohydrate which makes it even more species-appropriate for cats.

Availability is currently limited for Orijen wet cat foods, so it’s best to call or visit your local pet store to see if you can find it. It may eventually become available online.


Chicken, Chicken Liver, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Bone Broth, Fish Bone Broth, Chicken Heart, Whole Sardine, Egg, Taurine, Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide, Choline Chloride.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Whole Mackerel, Chicken Bone Broth, Fish Bone Broth, Chicken Heart, Whole Sardine, Egg

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 12%
Crude Fat: 6%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 80%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 60%
Fat: 30%
Fiber: 2.5%
Carbs: 7.5%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 42.75%
Fat: 51.91%
Carbs: 5.34%


  • Doesn’t contain any added carbohydrates
  • Bone broth provides a nutritious source of moisture
  • Packed with species-appropriate animal protein
  • Completely free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives


  • Limited availability following the release

#3 Orijen FIT & TRIM Cat Food Review

Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.

This Orijen food geared towards overweight cats and those with lower calorie needs.

It’s made with the brand’s standard variety of fresh, raw, and dehydrated animal proteins, whole prey ratios of muscle meat, organs, bones, and cartilage, and low-glycemic fruits and vegetables.

Chicken, turkey eggs, herring, turkey, mackerel, and flounder serve as the food’s primary protein sources, followed by a variety of legumes, fruits, and veggies.

Overall, it’s a meat-based food with high protein, low fat, and relatively low carbohydrate content.

Despite being sold as a low-calorie food, the product’s 445 calories per cup are higher than the average dry food. All Orijen foods are calorically-dense and intended for smaller-than-average portions.


Fresh Chicken Meat (14%), Fresh Whole Eggs (6%), Fresh Whole Herring (6%), Fresh Turkey Meat (6%), Fresh Chicken Liver (6%), Fresh Whole Flounder (4%), Fresh Whole Mackerel (4%), Fresh Whole Pacific Hake (4%), Fresh Turkey Liver (4%), Fresh Chicken Heart (4%), Chicken (Dehydrated, 4%), Turkey (Dehydrated, 4%), Whole Mackerel (Dehydrated, 4%), Whole Sardine (Dehydrated, 4%), Whole Herring (Dehydrated, 4%), Alaskan Pollock (Dehydrated, 4%), Lentil Fiber, Whole Red Lentils, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Green Peas, Whole Chickpeas, Whole Yellow Peas, Whole Pinto Beans, Whole Navy Beans, Chicken Cartilage (Dehydrated, 1%), Fresh Turkey Heart (1%), Whole Blue Whiting (Dehydrated, 1%), Chicken Fat (0.5%), etc..

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Eggs, Turkey, Chicken Liver, Turkey Liver, Chicken Heart, Turkey Heart, Chicken Cartilage

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Lentil Fiber, Red Lentils, Green Lentils, Green Peas, Chickpeas, Yellow Peas, Pinto Beans, Navy Beans

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 42%
Crude Fat: 14%
Crude Fiber: 6%
Moisture: 10%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 46.67%
Fat: 15.56%
Fiber: 6.67%
Carbs: 31.11%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 40.38%
Fat: 32.69%
Carbs: 26.92%


  • Rich in nourishing animal protein
  • No plant protein fillers
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Contains multiple animal parts
  • Relatively low carbohydrate content


  • More plant matter than cats require
  • Expensive

#4 Orijen Six Fish Cat Food Review

Pacific pilchard appears to be the primary protein source in this dry cat food.

This food is made primarily from wild fish caught in New England waters, including mackerel, herring, flounder, redfish, monkfish, and silver hake. Fish accounts for 90% of the entire recipe. Due to fish’s potential for heavy metal and toxin contamination, fish-based diets aren’t ideal for cats.

Two-thirds of the fish is fresh or raw. The remaining one-third of the fish ingredients are dehydrated to provide a concentrated source of animal protein. To increase the food’s palatability, it’s infused with freeze-dried cod liver.

Overall, it’s a meat-based food with high protein, moderate fat, and relatively low carbohydrate content.

Each cup of this food is 463 calories.


Fresh Whole Pacific Pilchard (26%), Fresh Whole Pacific Hake (9%), Fresh Whole Pacific Mackerel (8%), Fresh Whole Pacific Flounder (5%), Fresh Whole Rockfish (5%), Fresh Whole Sole (5%), Whole Mackerel (Dehydrated, 5%), Whole Herring (Dehydrated, 5%), Whole Blue Whiting (Dehydrated, 5%), Herring Oil (5%), Alaskan Cod (Dehydrated, 5%), Whole Red Lentils, Whole Green Lentils, Whole Green Peas, Sunflower Oil (Cold-pressed), Whole Sardines (Dehydrated, 1.5%), Lentil Fiber, Whole Chickpeas, Whole Yellow Peas, Whole Pinto Beans, Cod Liver (Freeze-dried), Fresh Whole Pumpkin, Fresh Whole Butternut Squash, Fresh Whole Zucchini, Fresh Whole Parsnips, Fresh Carrots, Fresh Whole Red Delicious Apples, Fresh Whole Bartlett Pears, Fresh Kale, Fresh Spinach, Fresh Beet Greens, Fresh Turnip Greens, Brown Kelp, Whole Cranberries, Whole Blueberries, Whole Saskatoon Berries, Chicory Root, Turmeric Root, Milk Thistle, Burdock Root, Lavender, Marshmallow Root, Rosehips, Enterococcus Faecium.

Ingredients We Liked: Herring Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Red Lentils, Green Lentils, Lentil Fiber, Chickpeas, Yellow Peas, Pinto Beans

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 42%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 10%
Ash: 9%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 46.67%
Fat: 22.22%
Fiber: 3.33%
Carbs: 17.78%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 39.41%
Fat: 45.58%
Carbs: 15.01%


  • Primarily made from animal protein sources
  • Protein-rich
  • Contains herring oil as a source of species-appropriate omega-3 fatty acids
  • Relatively low carbohydrate content
  • No artificial ingredients


  • Expensive
  • Fish-based foods aren’t appropriate for long-term feeding

What Do Customers Think About Orijen Cat Food?

Back when Orijen was exclusively manufactured in Canada, their cat food received consistently positive customer reviews.

Since the company opened their facility in Auburn, Kentucky, many loyal customers in the United States and Central and South America report a decline in quality. These customers say the US-made food is inconsistent, smells strange, and makes their cats sick. Such complaints make up the majority of negative reviews.

That all being said, the majority of Orijen cat food reviews online focus on the dry food products. Because their wet food line has only recently been released, we aren’t able to determine how customers like it quite yet.

Positive Reviews

“Yes, it is more expensive than cat food from the grocery store but it’s worth it. The quality is amazing, my two cats eat less with Orijen. It improved the digestion of my oldest cat and improved the quality of their fur. They lost weight and look healthier. They are always hungry with other cat food. So, yes it’s more expensive but you give them less and better quality food that it’s better for their health.”Nolwenn, reviewing Orijen Fit & Trim Cat Food

“My Senior Cat loves this and she is healthy and beautiful. I got her from the Shelter and feed her only dry food this Orijen 6 Fish and the Orijen dry Cat and Kitten food. The vet says she is in great shape and I have to agree because she is so playful and her coat is so nice. Also if you are on a budget. They really don’t eat as much as it is so nutrient rich. My cat Cinnamon has stayed a consistent healthy weight and she has constant access to her food. I just give her a bit twice a day so it stays fresh. That might be over doing it but she is my sweetie. I feel very confident feeding her Orijen..”Dreamer, reviewing Orijen Six Fish Cat Food

Negative Reviews

“My cat has been eating the 5 star Canadian Orijen formula for 2 years. She loves it and I have nothing to say but great things about the Orijen product made in Canada. My local distributor told me that ALL U.S. retailers are now required to purchase the NEW formula made in Louisville, Kentucky I bought one 4 Lb. bag of the new Kentucky stuff. My cat began vomiting the new stuff and her stools were something different. Her coat became dull and dry. I mentioned this to the retailer and he gave me a talk about how great the new Kentucky plant was. I was able to obtain more of the Canadian product and within a week the cat was back to her old self. No more vomiting, same old stools and her coat is like shiny velvet again. When she’s happy, I’m happy. I compared the ingredients on the bags and you can see where the difference is. I’d give the new food minus one star if I could. I will NEVER buy the U.S. formula again and I’m not the only one. You’ll see more bad reviews for the new stuff if you look around a little.” Ric Lbon, reviewing Orijen Dry Cat and Kitten Food

“My cat ate this food for 5 years and loved it. Then she started puking. The vet found nothing wrong with her and then luckily, I found some 1-star reviews about the company switching factories, and therefore the formula. I was able to pinpoint the very day she started throwing up was the day I started feeding her a new bag. I switched brands, and now no more grossness. I’ll take this review down once the company gets their stuff together, though I probably won’t ever go back.”Barry Neely, reviewing Orijen Six Fish Cat Food

How Much Does Orijen Cat Food Cost?

Most Orijen dry cat food varieties cost roughly the same amount—around $0.30 to $0.35 per ounce. According to the company’s feeding recommendations for the average 11-lb cat, the food will cost about $0.91 per day.

As of May 2022, Orijen wet foods aren’t yet available online or in stores, so we weren’t able to determine pricing for this food. We imagine it will be in a similar range to other species-appropriate wet food brands like Ziwi Peak and Identity.

Note: Pricing is not currently available for Orijen wet cat food. Once these products become available online, we’ll be able to update this section.

Overall, Is Orijen Cat Food a Good Choice?

There’s a reason Orijen cat food made our list of the best dry cat foods on the market. Orijen products are some of the only dry foods that feature a whole-prey-inspired variety of fresh muscle meat, organs, and bones. Very few dry food companies can match the low carbohydrate content of Orijen foods or the integrity of their sourcing.

That said, Orijen isn’t a great choice for every cat. Since opening their DogStar kitchen in the United States and reformulating their recipes to include more American ingredients, the company has lost a lot of customers and gained a lot of complaints.

While Orijen has recently released a line of wet foods, they haven’t updated their FAQs to say specifically where their wet foods are made. At this point, we assume they’re made in the same Dogstar Kitchens as their dry foods.

We aren’t quite sure what Orijen is doing wrong at the DogStar kitchen, but the reviews from unhappy customers are enough of a reason to hesitate before choosing this brand.

Orijen wet and dry cat foods emphasize variety, including multiple animal species in each recipe. If your cat has allergies or food sensitivities, this might make it a less-than-ideal brand choice.

Overall, Orijen foods are some of the best dry and wet food products on the market, but they’re not perfect. Recent reformulations and manufacturing changes may have decreased the quality of Orijen cat food sold to customers in the US, Central America, and South America.

Where Is Orijen Cat Food Sold?

Orijen cat food is exclusively sold in-store exclusively through independent pet specialty retailers, much like other premium brands including Open Farm and Koha. You can also find their dry food formulas on Amazon and Chewy.

Because Orijen’s wet foods have only recently launched in May 2022, they aren’t available online yet. Before long, however, you should be able to purchase them through trusted online retailers and locally through independent and specialty pet food stores.

Note: The values in our nutrient charts are automatically calculated based on the guaranteed analysis and may not represent typical nutrient values. This may lead to discrepancies between the charts and the values mentioned in the body of the review.
small mallory photo

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

39 thoughts on “Orijen Cat Food Review”

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  1. Debbie Hadley

    Mallory, thank you for your research. I have done some research myself, and did choose the Orijen brand of dry cat food. I am not sure where mine was manufactured, I will have to look at the bag. I purchase it the first time through Chewy, this last time I used Amazon, because it was cheaper. I hope it is not the bad one they are trying to unload. How can I tell if it was cheaply manufactured? So far not any upset tummies.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Debbie, thanks for reaching out. As the years have passed, I’ve come to think that the issues with cats responding poorly to the food may not have been the result of a manufacturing or formulation problem at all. Instead, the sick cats were likely not accustomed to the new formulations (remember, Orijen sources ingredients from as close to their manufacturing facility as possible). I don’t get any indication that Orijen foods are cheaply-manufactured in any location, and I’m not surprised that your cats seem to be doing well on it.

      1. John Chappelle

        I switched to Orejen original cat dry cat food about 8 months ago, I buy it from a specialty cat and dog food store and the employees are pretty knowledgeable about pet foods , they have told me that the Orejen original cat food is the best quality food they carry , that it has very low amounts of phosphorus (1%) , and contains quality cat specific probiotics, DHA, EPA, omega 3 & omega 6 fatty acids , that being said the low phosphorus iis a good choice for male cats who are at risk of Kidney Disease but it is too high in protein
        For older cats with CKD-
        I’m hoping they come out with a lower protein food that is specifically made for older cats with kidney issues

    2. Rajiv Jadhav

      Many cat nutritionists on YouTube rate orijen at a best quality cat food since it high in protein has a 6 fish formula and is grain free. Yet, the score given by this article compares it closely to meow mix which is an extremely low quality cat food and can’t be compared in the same galaxy as orijen 6 fish cat food.

    1. kateKate Barrington

      Great question, Aishah! Guardian 8 certainly does have a lot of animal-based ingredients but I wouldn’t put it in the “low-carb” category. With all the beans, peas, and lentils, it still contains about 30% carbs on a dry matter basis. If you’re looking for a truly low-carbohydrate food, Young Again is a great brand to consider. Their formulas are specifically designed to be low in carbs and the price point is very similar to Orijen.
      You can learn more about Young Again in our brand review here:

  2. Lo

    Could you do a review on their Regional Red formula? Found out my cat has allergies to most chicken and fish. But no problems (yet) with beef, pork or bison.

      1. Victoria

        I have been feeding Regional Red for several years to my cats who have allergies to chicken and fish and recently, I noticed that some of the ingredients have changed from the original formula I used and that my cats loved. Regional Red now includes a bunch of meals: Lamb Meal, Pork Meal, Sardine Meal, Pollock Meal. Is this bad? For the price of the food which is extremely high, I expect no “meals” to be included. Several months ago, I switched my cats to raw food, both homemade and Primal Frozen Venison, and I used the Regional Red dry as a treat. But, now, I’ve taken that completely out of their diet and am struggling to find a pure dry food to use as treats. Ziwi Peak dry Venison was a possibility, but they were sold last year to a Chinese Equity firm for $1 B and they added a few new things to the formula that I do not like. Any other suggestions?

        1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

          Hi Victoria, you might like the dry cat food from RAWZ. It’s species-appropriate, protein-rich with minimal carbohydrate content, and is meal-free. The company has strong ethics with products made in the United States.

  3. Lucinda A Grubbs

    We have 2 12-year-old cats who are diabetic and decided to try Origen as it is a little cheaper than prescription DM dry food, low in carbs and calories. Is this a good choice?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Lucinda, yes—I believe this should be a good option, and it’s lower in carbohydrates than the prescription DM food. While that’s a good thing for your cats’ long-term health, you will want to monitor their blood sugar closely, as it could decline quickly on a low-carb food. You don’t want to let that happen without also adjusting their insulin injections. A low-carb diet and continued heavy insulin use could cause blood sugar to drop dangerously. Wishing you and your cats all the best.

  4. Cynthia

    Champion foods (parent company of Orijen & Acana) was recently bought out by Nestle 🙁

    Any recommendations for an alternative for Orijen that would be available in Canada?

  5. LulutheRussianblue

    My cat is a 2 yrs old healthy neutered male. He has been on Orijen Original for 2yrs without problems. But after I purchased a new batch this Nov, he starts to vomit immediately after eating every another day. The new batch looks different than all the previous food, it is smaller, and the cut are more rounded and rough surface. Then I sent him to the vet and they gave me some Hills I/d prescribed diet. I mixed it with another new bag of Orijen Original. He looks fine on the mixture, but likes Hills more. And after the fourth day, he vomited again. It happens to my friend’s cat at the same time. I think they changed the manufacture and the quality collapsed.

    1. Cosmin

      Hello ! Until you get an answer from an expert I want to tell you that Mars bought Champion Petfoods(maker of Orijen and Acana) in October. Nestle, Mars, Procter and other very big companies like them are known for buying smaller companies with good quality products and changing their formulas, lowering the quality. Also, Hill’s is full of carbs, cereals, small meat quantity and it is also owned by a big company: Colgate-Palmolive.

  6. Mac

    I really appreciate information about the company, specifically acquisitions, change in manufacturing and production practices. A company that is good in one country or at one time, doesn’t mean it can’t change for better or worse. I suggest you dig into any specific differences for buyers from different countries as well.

  7. Trica Eustache

    So I bought Canadian tire food because I’m low income (and didn’t want to rack to high an i owe you bill with my mom i tried mixing the foods. But my 4 year old girl had a reaction to the Canadian tire food.) We’re back onto Orijen and so far no more sores. but because my ex and I had an agreement that I’d take the “aggressive ” cat I chose Orijen after reading about brands that were recalled at the time. I got her back in Feb 2019. She’s had no reactions to the Orijen brand, but every cats different and has different reactions

  8. Dawn Marie

    Good Evening:
    We took in an 11th month old stray beautiful tabby female (believe it or not) sweetheart of a kitten. We named her Sweet Pea. She has finally finished all of her medicine because of a tapeworm. Now we have to put some weight back on this kitten!! She is an extremely picky eater to say the least. The only wet food I can find that she will eat is a simple can of tuna. No wet cat food. She won’t eat it. I have tried multiple types. She nibbles at her dry food which is the Science Diet Kitten. I was looking at Orijen and was cautiously optimistic after reading the ingredients. My research also took me to Royal Canin Feline Health. I just can’t afford that right now. What do you suggest to help us put some weight back on our poor little ole’ Sweet Pea?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Dawn, my apologies for the late reply. I hope that you and Sweet Pea are doing well. I would recommend a good kitten food, as these tend to be very calorie-dense, and they’re also appropriate for her life stage. Supplementing with some additional high-calorie treats like fresh chicken, liver, canned tuna (her favorite!) and/or an omega-3-rich fish oil supplement can also help. Raw food is also quite calorie-dense, and you may find that it fits your budget restrictions better than the Royal Canin product.

  9. TWinKY

    I use to feed my cats Orijen a while back and have been considering going back to it lately since the other food I have been using omitted a prime protein ingredient. Your review says it was last updated today, April 6, 2023, but the ingredients on the foods don’t look like they have been updated due to the fact they do not match up with the ingredients on the Orijen site. Could you please look into this and make sure your info is up to date vs their site not being updated? I need true info and use your site for almost everything. I want to make sure I’m getting the proper information to be well educated on what I’m feeding my babies. Thank you!

  10. Stephanie

    The dry matter analysis and calorie pie charts are shown differrently for the Origion the nal dry food in your article “The 9 best cat foods in Canada” compared to what is shown on the page for the full brand review. As a result, the % of carbs is significanty different. Would you please review this so that the information is consistent? Or, if one set of info is outdated, can that be indicated? Thank you

  11. Connie

    Seems like the Orijen original is only 85% animal products now. Also, they added lavender as an ingredient. Although it’s almost at end of the list, isn’t lavender toxic to cats?

  12. Anna

    Good evening, I’m worried about some ingredients in Orijen dry food such as rosemary extract and Vitamin K3, some say these are dangerous for cats… is that true? I’m also not sure if the omega 6/3 ratio, specially in Fit and Trim and Six fish, is good enough… I’m from Spain, and it’s really hard to find good dry food for cats. Would be great if you could give me some orientation with this matter: maybe it’s best to avoid any food that contains rosemary or vitamin K3 and try some with better omega 6/3 ratio? I found your site very helpful. Thank you and best regards!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Anna, thanks for messaging, and good work noticing those two issues. According to my research, it seems that the claims against rosemary extract are pretty vague without good references. For instance, the 2010 article on The Dog Press that seems to be the source of a lot of these concerns links to an article from the University of Maryland Medical Center here, but that article is no longer available. The other site mentioned is no longer in operation. Overall, I’d need to see more information on this claim before ruling out rosemary extract as an acceptable preservative. Regarding the synthetic form of vitamin K3 (menadione), I’ve not seen evidence that this is harmful at the low levels you’ll see in cat food. Regarding the omega 6:omega 3 ratios in the Orijen foods, the ideal ratio is thought to be between 5:1 and 10:1, and Fit & Trim is about 2.4:1, so a little higher in omega-3s versus omega-6. Higher omega-3 levels, however, don’t seem to be harmful, and I’ve seen other sources claiming that a lower ratio, under 4:1, may be better. The amounts are still within nutrition guidelines for cat food, so I don’t see why it would be an issue.

  13. Lucia

    Hi i have 2 kittens on stella and chewy kitten kibble , my question is i read the lab reports and it mentions cyanide ? Is this in the kitten food as well ? I dont want my kitte a to get sick.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Lucia, our lab test reports were not for the kibble or the kitten food, so I’m afraid I can’t give you any more information! The cyanide levels in the food are within safety tolerances set by the company, so it’s unlikely that it would make your kitten sick. Still, I understand your concern, and can see why you may want to opt for a different diet for your kitten. You can find some more recommendations in our article on the best cat food for kittens.

  14. Julia Harbeck

    We fed our cat the Orijen 6 fish for a few years and she thrived on it until the last 2 bags. The kibble looks larger and she won’t eat it and is vomiting again. I contacted the company and they said they did not change the formula but I can tell they did. We are now going to return this bag and try to find a different food she will thrive on. So sad as she used to love this and did well on it.

  15. Roxanna

    When you update this review, can you go over the six fish formula again and any single protein wet foods they have? I have a cat with IBD, and I chose the six fish formula specifically because it was the only fish only kibble I could find that didn’t contain other proteins so I could see how my cat responds to fish. Looking at the bag, I feel like it is pretty high quality overall, but I don’t particularly dig the “extra” ingredients like blueberries, lavender, marshmallow, etc since it just seems to appeal more to humans. I particularly have concerns about the lavender, and am leaning to stop using the product because of it.
    I think going over in your review why those are there and if they even matter at all would be useful. For example, I found that there were studies that showed cranberries did little to nothing to help with urinary health in cats unless it was a concentrated liquid formula, so whole cranberries are usually not that beneficial at all. It feels like some of these ingredients are just there to make humans feel better about the food, rather than what is important for the cat. I think this also unnecessarily raises the price and manufacturing costs. I seriously wonder about the other “extras” in their ingredients list, and what the manufacturer has to say about it, and what studies they have to back that up… like isn’t lavender supposedly toxic to cats? why would it be there? what made them decide to use it and what studies back it up? so many questions.

  16. CatMom

    DO NOT BUY THIS FOOD IN THE US! It turned my cats into FAT ADDICTS! I’ve been feeding the dry food for years, but in 2021-2022 it started to change. Kibble got smaller, less in the bag, different color, different smell… But that wasn’t the worst part. I chalked it up to inflation and kept buying it. But then, my cats WHOLE PERSONALITY CHANGED! They stopped wanting to play and started begging for food at all hours of the day and night. They started RUNNING to the food when it went off. They ate every crumb instead of eating until they were full like normal. After doing some research, I realized that Mars (the candy company) bought Orijen in 2022. Due to personal experience with food company acquisitions, I know what happened. They changed the protein quality to something cheaper and started spraying crave-inducing additives to cover it up. Who’s gonna complain that their pet loves the food too much, right? Well, I am. They’ve gained weight, have more hairballs, more dandruff.. I’m so angry. Currently shopping for new food but it’s really hard to figure out what to switch to bc the Orijen was PERFECT before Mars bought it!! (Now I know why humans crave candy bars though…)