Ziwi Peak Cat Food Review

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Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

According to Ziwi Peak co-founder Peter Mitchell, this brand is all about selling a little piece of New Zealand’s food products and lifestyle to the rest of the world. The taste of New Zealand is a hit among pet food consumers—Ziwi Peak is rated as one of the best cat food brands on the market, but is it a healthy, high-quality choice for your cat? Let’s find out.

The Cats.com Standard—Rating Ziwi Peak on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Ziwi Peak and graded it according to the Cats.com standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history.

Here’s how it rates in each of these six key areas.


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

Overall Score: 8.2/10

We give Ziwi Peak cat food a 49 out of 60 rating or an A- grade.

In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.

Also Read: Why We Lab Test Cat Food and How to Interpret the Reports

We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by Cats.com without direct input or influence from the companies involved.

Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.

To access the lab reports for each food reviewed here, click the “view lab report” link in the product review.

About Ziwi Peak Cat Food

Kimberly and Peter Mitchell started developing Ziwi Peak in 2004. Before Ziwi, Peter worked in a different part of the meat business—he sold commoditized ingredients or what Ziwi Peak USA director Nigel Woodd calls “the nasty stuff”.

Their experience in the meat industry made Kimberly and Peter aware of the growing demand for all-meat pet food. The Mitchells started working with slaughterhouses to develop a system for recovering waste meat, then designed an air-drying system that would make the meat suitable for export.

The result was Ziwi Peak air-dried food. An innovative air-drying process differentiated the original Ziwi Peak products from traditional kibble and helped the company gain worldwide recognition.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Sourcing most of their ingredients from sustainable New Zealand farms, ranches, and waters gives Ziwi Peak what they call “The New Zealand Difference”.

New Zealand’s warm, temperate climate gives Ziwi Peak year-round access to free-range, grass-fed local cattle, sheep, and deer. All of their fish ingredients are caught in sustainably-managed fisheries in the southern oceans of New Zealand.

New Zealand’s strict bio-security protects livestock from infectious diseases, including BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), West Nile virus, rabies, chronic wasting, and foot and mouth disease. All of their ingredients are sourced from export-certified facilities that meet stringent New Zealand safety requirements.

Ziwi owns and operates dry food manufacturing facilities in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch, New Zealand. Their canned foods are made by a manufacturing partner also located in New Zealand.

Has Ziwi Peak Cat Food Been Recalled?

Ziwi Peak has never been recalled.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Ziwi Peak Offer?

Ziwi Peak’s cat food selection includes several varieties of both dry and wet cat food.

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Cat Food

Ziwi Peak offers 5 air-dried cat food recipes. Because they’re made using a twin-stage dehydration process, Ziwi Peak foods don’t require the starches and grains present in most extruded foods. This allows their dry foods to have exceptionally low carbohydrate content compared to kibble. Listed as one of the best cat dry cat foods on the market, their air-dried foods are 96% fresh meat, organs, bone, and seafood, including 3% green-lipped mussel and 7% tripe for palatability and digestive support.

Ziwi Peak dry food is calorie-dense. Each 2 oz scoop contains at least 263 calories—that’s more than some cats need in a day. Ziwi Peak has 25% more calories per ounce than the average premium kibble and 63% more than the average hydrated freeze-dried food. Each bag comes with a scoop to make sure you don’t give your cat too little or too much.

Ziwi Peak Canned Cat Cuisine

The brand offers two lines of canned cat food products: Originals and Provenance.

Ziwi Peak’s Originals canned cat foods are available in seven flavors, each made with at least 92% meat, organs, and bone including 3% green-lipped mussel and 7% species-specific tripe. All canned foods in the Originals line feature one or two animal protein sources with a fairly limited list of ingredients. In addition to meat and seafood, Ziwi Peak canned foods contain chickpeas, dried kelp, and an assortment of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

The Provenance line of canned foods is the newest addition to the Ziwi family. This line includes three protein-packed wet foods featuring five meats and fish from a single region in New Zealand. These foods are nutritionally complete but can also be used as a meal topper. Ziwi’s Provenance cat foods are made with 97% meat or poultry, seafood, broth, and organs.

All Ziwi Peak cat foods are grain-free and made without any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives. Their canned foods are free from potentially harmful thickeners like carrageenan.

Ziwi Peak Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Price Our Grade
Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food Wet $0.94 per oz A-
Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food Wet $1.18 per oz A-
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food Dry $27.35 per lb A-
Ziwi Peak Otago Valley Wet Food Recipe for Cats Wet $0.91 per oz A

#1 Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food Review

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Lamb appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This popular recipe is primarily made from lamb meat and organs, along with chickpeas and a variety of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

In addition to lamb muscle meat, the food contains lamb liver, lung, kidney, tripe, heart, and bone. It’s made with green-lipped mussel. This natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin  helps support joint health.

Chickpeas add significantly to the food’s carbohydrate content and are a source of plant protein. Ziwi Peak includes this legume as an alternative to traditional binders.

Overall, this is a meat-based food that’s high in protein with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.

There are 185 calories in each 6 oz can or about 30 calories per ounce.


Lamb, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Chickpeas, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Ingredients We Liked: Lamb, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas

Common Allergens: Shellfish

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 9.5%
Crude Fat: 6%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 43.18%
Fat: 27.27%
Fiber: 9.09%
Carbs: 6.82%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 37.15%
Fat: 56.98%
Carbs: 5.87%


  • Contains muscle meat and a species-appropriate variety of organs
  • Contains lamb bone
  • Contains green tripe for added palatability
  • Made with green-lipped mussel


  • Unnecessarily high carbohydrate content
  • Contains chickpeas
  • Expensive

#2 Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food Review

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View Lab Report

Venison appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This venison-based food contains venison muscle meat, venison broth, and a variety of nourishing deer parts not typically found in cat food—liver, lung, heart, kidney, tripe, and bone appear on the ingredient list.

In addition to venison, the food is made with Ziwi Peak’s standard green-lipped mussel, which is a carnivore-appropriate source of glucosamine and chondroitin.

Not-so-carnivore-appropriate is the inclusion of chickpeas. Ziwi Peak adds chickpeas to their wet foods as a less-controversial alternative to traditional binders like agar-agar, but chickpeas increase the food’s carbohydrate content by 8% on a dry matter basis.

Overall, this is a meat-based food that’s high in protein with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.

There are 85 calories in each 3 oz can or about 28 calories per ounce.


Venison, Water Sufficient for Processing, Venison Tripe, Venison Liver, Chickpeas, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Ingredients We Liked: Venison, Venison Liver, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, Venison Tripe, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas

Common Allergens: Shellfish

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 10%
Crude Fat: 4%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 18.18%
Fiber: 9.09%
Carbs: 13.64%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 44.03%
Fat: 42.77%
Carbs: 13.21%


  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Relatively low carbohydrate content
  • Green-lipped mussel is added as a source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Rich in animal protein
  • No artificial ingredients


  • Contains chickpeas
  • Almost 20% carbohydrate on a dry matter basis
  • Expensive

#3 Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food Review

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food

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View Lab Report

Mackerel and lamb appear to be the primary protein sources in this air-dried cat food.

This air-dried food is made primarily from meat— wild-caught mackerel, lamb meat, lamb organs, heart, and bone constitute 93% of the recipe. Like all Ziwi Peak air-dried foods, 3% of the food’s animal content is green-lipped mussel, a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin.

The food is supplemented with chicory, lecithin, dried kelp, and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Overall, this is a meat-based food with high protein content, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate content. There are 273 calories in each 2 oz scoop or 137 calories per ounce.


Whole Mackerel, Lamb, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Lung, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Spleen, Lamb Bone, Lecithin, Inulin (from Chicory Root), Dried Apple Pomace, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Lamb Cartilage, Dried Organic Kelp, Salt, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), DL-Methionine, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine.

Ingredients We Liked: Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Bone

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Fish, Shellfish

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 44%
Crude Fat: 24%
Crude Fiber: 3%
Moisture: 14%
Ash: 12%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 51.16%
Fat: 27.91%
Fiber: 3.49%
Carbs: 3.49%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 41.79%
Fat: 55.36%
Carbs: 2.85%


  • Species-appropriate macronutrient distribution
  • Primarily made from animal ingredients
  • Very low carbohydrate content
  • Contains a variety of muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Free of artificial ingredients


  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t provide the moisture cats need

#4 Ziwi Peak Otago Valley Wet Food Recipe for Cats

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Beef appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This beef-based canned food contains five different types of animal protein: beef, blue whiting, lamb, venison, and hoki. It’s almost entirely composed of animal ingredients including fresh meat, fish, broth, and organs.

In addition to the meats and fish, this canned food contains New Zealand green-lipped mussels which act as a natural source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.

The food is very species-appropriate in terms of being comprised of 97% ingredients of animal origin, but the carbohydrate content is still higher than we’d like to see. This recipe and others in the Provenance line contains lecithin and dried kelp, both of which contribute to the carb content. Lecithin is used in pet food as an emulsifier of fats and dried kelp is often included as a source of prebiotic fiber and essential nutrients.

Overall, this is a meat-based wet food that’s high in protein and fat with moderate carbohydrate content.

There are 213 calories per 6-ounce can or about 35.5 calories per ounce.


Beef, Beef Broth, Venison, Whole Southern Blue Whiting, Lamb Tripe, Beef Kidney, Lamb Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Plasma, Venison Tripe, Hoki, Beef Liver, Venison Lung, Beef Bone, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Lamb, Lecithin, Venison Kidney, Venison Bone, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), DL-Methionine, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Kelp, Lamb Bone, Taurine.

Ingredients We Liked: All

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Beef, Fish

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 7%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 4%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 31.82%
Fiber: 6.82%
Carbs: 2.27%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 33.96%
Fat: 64.15%
Carbs: 1.89%


  • Contains five high-quality sources of animal protein
  • Mussels provide joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Made with 97% meat, seafood, broth, and organs
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration


  • Expensive, about $0.79 per ounce
  • Carb content is a little high

What Do Customers Think Of Ziwi Peak Cat Food?

Ziwi Peak receives primarily positive customer reviews. Happy customers praise Ziwi Peak’s ingredient quality and say that it improved their cats’ health and energy. Unhappy customers typically talk about poor palatability. Some wonder if Ziwi Peak food contains too much bone.

Whether they give the brand one, three, or five stars, reviewers agree on one thing—Ziwi Peak cat food is expensive. The food’s price comes up in almost every review, whether negative or positive.

Positive Reviews

“It is pretty expensive but so far worth it!! My kitty went bonkers for this food. I normally put in a little bit of water with her dry food and she doesn’t like the water in this food (I think it dilutes the smell too much) but she adores it dry. I love how healthy it is for her. If I feel she needs a little more fiber (since it is a little low there), I put some cat-friendly wheatgrass into it (which she also loves).” –  Willow, reviewing Ziwi Peak Mackerel and Lamb Air-Dried Cat Food

“I have researched so many cat foods but nothing comes near Ziwi cat food. It is nothing short of amazing. It is expensive but so much is packed into one can that it last as long as a large can. The quality of the food is exceptional. I have switched over all of my cat food to Ziwi. My sixteen-year-old cat has energy like he did when he was 7 or 8. And, he has not thrown up one time since eating this food. I have had problems with other good brand cat foods that has made him sick..”Memaux, reviewing Ziwi Peak Venison Canned Cat Food

Negative Reviews

“I loved the old Ziwi Peak formula. The new formula is much drier and my cat’s urine has been very concentrated and the vet feels he isn’t taking in enough water. However, my cat has IBD and he tolerates Ziwi well and I am very thankful that he does. Ziwi also has a lot of bone matter. My cat had an X-ray and his stomach lit up like a Christmas tree from all the bones. I am not particularly concerned about this but do wonder if the bones contribute to the chronic constipation my cat suffers from. Unfortunately, this food gets more and more expensive. After the new formulations were introduced, the prices jumped quite a bit. Now they have just jumped again. Since the food tends to dry out in the fridge, I prefer purchasing the 3 ounce cans but can no longer afford to. Twelve 6.5 ounce cans of venison costs $66.24 while Twenty- four 3 ounce cans cost $84.48!!! That’s $2,569 a year just to feed my kitty Ziwi Peak!! So far, I haven’t found anything else on the market that my cat likes and can tolerate but I’ll be on the lookout for a more affordable alternative.” GeiselW, reviewing Ziwi Peak Venison Canned Cat Food

“This is a very strange cat food. The pieces are tiny 3/8″ flat squares. (very dry & hard) I purchased for my special needs kitteh who only eats fish. . . She is not amused. So if you have a fussy one like mine don’t do it !” Jebijou, reviewing Ziwi Peak Mackerel and Lamb Air-Dried Cat Food

How Much Does Ziwi Peak Cat Food Cost?

Ziwi Peak cat foods are expensive, priced upwards of $0.50 per ounce for both wet and dry foods. The cost depends largely on the type of protein used with more uncommon proteins like venison and rabbit outpricing things like beef and fish.

To feed a 10-pound cat from Ziwi’s Originals line of canned foods, you’d spend about $3.75 per day. A diet of Ziwi Peak Provenance foods will likely be more expensive, around $4.39 per day.

Compared to their wet food, Ziwi Peak air-dried food costs more per ounce, but it’s calorie-dense, so you’ll need to feed your cat about 2 oz or one scoop each day. This adds up to $2.68 per day.

Overall, Is Ziwi Peak A Good Choice?

If you’re willing to spend $2 to $8—or more, depending on your cat’s appetite and which size cans you choose—on cat food every day and are passionate about responsible sourcing and ingredient quality, Ziwi Peak might be a great choice.

Ziwi appears to be one of the world’s most sourcing-conscious pet food companies. The use of safe, ethically-raised meat is one of their biggest selling points.

Nutritionally, Ziwi’s air-dried foods are where the company shines. Ziwi Peak out-classes the competition with an innovative dry food that’s low in carbohydrates and made primarily from fresh, minimally-processed meat. In a category dominated by plant-based kibble, these air-dried recipes are among the best you can buy.

Their wet food is also good, representing a variety of organ and muscle meats typically found in vaguely-named, potentially low-value animal by-products. Ziwi Peak wet food is higher in carbohydrate content and isn’t as innovative or exciting as their dry foods.

Where Is Ziwi Peak Cat Food Sold?

Ziwi Peak is sold in independent pet specialty stores and holistic veterinary offices around the world. Online, you can buy it through Amazon, Chewy, and other pet product retailers.

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.

45 thoughts on “Ziwi Peak Cat Food Review

    1. kateKate Barrington

      Thanks for bringing that to our attention, Brad! The link you shared is really helpful, others I’ve found only make general comments that “This investment will build on the current team’s successful strategy and plan to meet strong global demand for ZIWI’s product range.” It sounds like the company is purchasing Ziwi’s manufacturing plant but keeping on the original development team. I didn’t get the sense that operations were moving entirely to China, so I would imagine the current quality standards will continue to apply. Things could certainly change in the future, but hopefully the new owners will keep the quality the same and just expand distribution. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on it and will update the article if anything major changes!

    2. Marina Lalbeharry

      Brad, I had the same concerns and reached out to the company directly. They assured me all manufacturing process are the same as before, including existing staff, product source and will remain of high quality and standards.
      I hope this is true and will continue to be this way. At the price it is, this better be a true statement. I personally love the brand and what it stands for, most importantly my fur baby loves it. Let’s hope the investment is solely for growth and expansion.

  1. Lola

    The recent price hike here in Australia is crazy. Almost a 30% price increase. I want to always give my two cats the best but it’s getting hard. And I can forget about rescuing anymore cats if I want to keep them on this diet.

  2. Catherine Dalwood

    Hi there,
    My older rescue loves ZiwiPeak wet food, but I’m concerned the new China owners will reduce the quality of the food (cheaper and lower levels of meat, more carbs, intro of binders etc). Can you please do similar research on the same products in a years time, so we can monitor the ingredients and quality? Thanks for all your work, it really helps to understand what’s in cat food given the ambiguity in the label information.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Catherine! It’s good having you here. We update these reviews on a regular basis, so you can expect to see an update noting any changes as a consequence of the acquisition. Cheers, Mallory

  3. Marina

    My kitten now 4 months old have gotten a bit picky with food, this brand cane recommended by the pet store.
    I tried a can and haven’t seen a happier cat in my life, the energy level is unbelievable today and he cleaned his bowl. The only thing is it’s expensive, might have to do one can per day and try another for mornings.
    Glad he’s happy.

  4. Daphanal

    if the wet foods are so high on carbohydrates, why do they still get A-?
    Do the quality of the ingredients and the benefits they provide outweigh the carbs?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      We felt that the foods’ concentration of animal components and ingredient quality compensated for the carbohydrate content to an extent, but we may re-evaluate and change this rating in the future. Thanks for commenting.

  5. Valerie

    Hi Mallory, do you have a recommendation of a similar food to Ziwi Peak but perhaps less bone content? Everything else checks out here for me but I think the bone content would upset my cats sensitive stomach. Otherwise super helpful and well written review just wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks!

  6. Davis

    Can you update your review on ziwi peak with the provenance line that does not contain the chickpeas? I would love to see your opinion on this line as i believe it out performs the other line of wet food that contains chickpeas.

  7. Aleia Staschuk

    Hey there. Thank you for making this site available. I find it very informative and insightful. I started using Ziwi cat food about 6 to 8 months ago on a recommendation from my contact at Vitality Science, a company that specializes in helping pet owners who’s fur babies have serious health issues. My Yoshi came to me with a wicked case of IBD about 3 years ago. I have tried one thing after another to try to help him. Everything that other cat owners were saying worked to help their kitties did nothing for my Yoshi so when my contact recommended, I try Ziwi I went for it. First though, I researched the company and went over the list of ingredients with a fine-tooth comb. I was impressed with the company’s ethics in regard to animal health and welfare and how clean the list of ingredients was. Satisfied that the ingredient list was acceptable based on their whole-prey protein philosophy I started feeding all of my cats canned ZIWI.

    It took about 4 months of trial and error to see what Yoshi could tolerate. We found that the only food that did not make his diarrhea worse was the venison formula. We tried the air-dried version as well but that was a disaster, so we stuck to the 6.5 oz cans of venison for him. Our 3 other cats love a mix of chicken and mackerel as well as the Hauraki Plains formula also in cans.
    After about a month we started seeing the benefits of using Ziwi for all of our cats. Their fur became super soft, they became way more energetic and best of all while Yoshi’s diarrhea did not completely go away, he was much improved, and he started putting weight back on.

    Because of how expensive the product is, especially when feed I 4 cats, one of which can only have a diet of venison which is one of the most expensive formulas, I made a deal with a pet store that we had been dealing with when we used Farmina pet food before Farmina started playing around with their recipes. The deal was that we would get a better discount if we purchased several cases per month.

    We were shocked when our first order was much higher than before due to a substantial price hike. That was fine because I knew it was a good product. However, after about 3 weeks Yoshi’s diarrhea came back with a vengeance. I could not figure out why, but I kept using the products but just added more of the supplements I was using for his IBD and Leaky Gut.

    By the time we got our second batch from them though, things really seemed to go south. Almost all the cans in all the cases were dented in various degrees from slightly or barely noticeably dented to so severely dented that the product inside was clearly spoiled. One of the cans I opened had leaked black stick stuff at the top near the seam of the can, but what shocked me even more was the fact that I found a whole chickpea sitting on the top of the food.

    Warning bells went off, so I rechecked the ingredient list and sure enough the formula had changed. Not only did the list of ingredients change order with tripe moving up from 4th or 5th on the list to moving up so that it was now second or third ingredient on the list, but to my horror, chickpea was added to the list of ingredients. What may I ask is a plant protein doing in a cat food whose company pride’s themselves on putting out a whole-prey protein pet food? I cannot help but wonder if this had something to do with their partnership with China who has a very NASTY reputation of using very inferior ingredients. I cannot help but wonder what will happen to the immaculate “human” grade cat food that Ziwi is supposed to stand for or so they claim on their website. Since then, I have found more cans with whole chickpeas in them. This is really disturbing.

    I have already found a viable alternative for my other 3 cats that has a very short list of quality meat ingredients in a freeze-dried raw form but sadly Yoshi is not so lucky because he cannot stomach anything freeze-dried, air-dried or any other kind of raw and the only meat he can handle is venison. What will I do for him if this merger with China really goes sideways? I am already seeing the devastating results of chickpea being added to this line of products.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Aleia, thank you for the comment. The chickpea inclusion is quite strange, though I know from having reviewed this brand years ago that they were present in the food long before the acquisition. If you’d like to get a version of Ziwi without chickpeas, try their Provenance line. We are working on an update of the article that includes this line, and you’ll find that it has all the good qualities of Ziwi without the silly garbanzo beans. Additionally, I would recommend considering Koha as an alternative—they have similar quality standards and an excellent selection of highly-digestible recipes that have a great reputation among cats with digestive issues.

  8. Avatar photoJim

    I have two sisters that are extremely finicky.I have only found one dry and one wet food that they will eat. I bought a bag of the dry mackerel and lamb to see if they would eat it. Nope, turned their noses up and walked off.
    I guess I’m lucky they won’t eat it with how expensive it is.

    1. kateKate Barrington

      Cats can certainly be picky, Jim. And it’s unfortunate when they turn up their noses to something that’s good for them (and pricey)! If you’re trying to use up the bag so it doesn’t go to waste, you could always try mixing a little of it in with their other food to see if they’ll eat it.

  9. Jennifer Gosun

    My cat appears to be allergic to the canned chicken from Ziwi. I ordered a case, and after just 2 days, he developed rashes on his body and his bottom lip ballooned out ☹️
    So now I have 22 cans left with no one to give them to, as I wouldn’t feel right with the way my cat reacted to it. At the cost, it is so wasteful to just throw away, but don’t know what else to do with them.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Has your cat exhibited allergies to chicken-based products before? Are there any ingredients in this recipe that aren’t present in foods he had in the past? My best guess is that other cats wouldn’t be affected in the same way, and you could safely donate the excess food to a rescue, shelter, or food bank.

      1. Jennifer

        Sylvester has never reacted to chicken based food before. In fact it is his favorite and that’s why I bought it. Good point about other cats. Thanks for the suggestion.

  10. Julie

    My cat loves the canned lamb but the new set of cans I got he refuses to eat so I ordered another set thinking it might be the batch but no I’m so worried about this. Is there any updates about the quality ?

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Julie, I haven’t heard anything about formulation or quality changes, but I would recommend contacting Ziwi directly and making them aware of your concerns.

  11. Aurelia

    I have two of my cats eating dry ZiwiPeak and two of my parent’s cats eating it as well. 2 of them aren’t crazy about the taste of it but they do eat it. There is definitely an improvement in their stools, even with one cat that has a super sensitive stomach.
    Sadly, my parent’s cats got slightly poisoned by ZiwiPeak wet cans… One of them had to take antibiotics but the other one was fine. Our vet said this can happen with the best-canned food, sometimes bacteria can appear because of bad shipping conditions. Still, we gave up on their canned food.
    The prices of ZiwiPeak are absolutely HORRIBLE in my country (Poland) but if it’s the best of the best, I am willing to pay for it.

    There is one thing though, that REALLY WORRIES me. I hoped to find the answer in your article but sadly it wasn’t there. My question is, why is there salt listed in the ingredients?? From what I know, salt is deadly for a cat’s kidneys. It especially concerns me since I lost my previous cat to kidney failure… But maybe I am wrong and salt isn’t that bad then? I will be REALLY GRATEFUL for answering my question!

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Aurelia, apologies for the late reply! I’m glad your parents’ cat is doing better after getting sick from ZiwiPeak cat food. Of course this does happen occasionally. However, I would want to confirm the cause and find out if it’s something that affected other cans. Regarding the salt content, it is normal for cat food to contain salt, and at 70.3 mg sodium per 100g of food, it looks like its sodium content is on par with the other foods we’ve recommended. However, there is no known sodium limit for cat food, so it’s really hard to say what’s too much. Just another area where the cat food industry and our understanding of feline nutrition could use some improvement.

      1. Aurelia

        Hi Mallory, no worries, I haven’t checked in here for a long time as well 🙂 Thank you very much for your reply! If it’s the regular amount of salt, that definitely puts my mind at ease.
        I have another small question though. I’ve heard that good cat food should have more muscle meat than organs, the ratio of 80% muscle being (apparently) the best option. But I can’t find any information on how it looks with ZiwiPeak. Do you know that perhaps? Or what is the general lowest accepted ratio of muscle-organs in cat food that would be still healthy?

        One thing I worry about is that China acquired the company which scares me that the food will now become poisonous garbage… Another thing is the price, it has skyrocketed in the past few months! In my country, it was about a 20,5% price increase, which is crazy considering it has been already super expensive before… I am thinking about mixing in some other good dry food to avoid going broke For now I’ve been testing Orijen Regional Red (produced in Germany for Polish distribution) but I am definitely not too happy about the results. We will probably try something out from our Polish market this time 🙂

  12. Teal

    Ziwi products are generally significantly higher in fat (more than other brands) but lower in carb. Do you think it’s ok for cat to consume that much fat? Thank you.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Teal, yes, I think the amount of fat in Ziwi cat food is fine. For instance, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association says that a wild cat’s diet is approximately 55 percent protein, 45 percent fat, and just 1 to 2 percent carbohydrates, which means that Ziwi food is well in line with what would be considered an ideal ancestral diet.

  13. Marley

    Why garbanzo beans? Aren’t they an irritant to the feline GI tract? Ninety-five percent of my cats’ diet is a ‘fresh food’ diet of fresh meat I provide made with a pre-mix consisting of minerals, egg shell, desiccated liver. I use the canned to fill gaps and to provide some novel proteins (the rabbit in the lamb-rabbit recipe) and for emergencies. Other than the garbanzos, I like the profile of Ziwi.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      The inclusion of garbanzos here doesn’t make much sense, you’re right—the claim is that they are used as an alternative to potentially-harmful thickeners and high-carb additives, but the issues of legumes seem to outweigh the benefits.

  14. Kathryn G

    I have been feeding my cats Ziwi Peak for about a year and a half. Always wondered about mercury content in pet foods containing fish. Your independent lab report shows 817 micograms mercury per 100g in the Mackerel and Lamb…that works out to 8.17 micrograms per gram or 8170 nanograms per gram. I found a reference stating: Currently, the Food and Drug administration only has recommended maximum tolerable limits for non-reproducing cats, which is 267 nanograms of mercury per gram of food, and reproducing cats, which is 67 nanograms per gram. (https://www.unr.edu/nevada-today/blogs/2018/mercury-in-pet-food). So this pet food contains more than 30 times the limit for a non-reproducing cat and more than 120 times the limit for a reproducing cat. That is freaking insane! Now I have to stop feeding my cats this food.

  15. Darya

    Hi There!
    I no longer buy Ziwi Peak. My kitty was on it for 7 months, then Ziwi has gone out of stock for 4 months. After their stock made it back to the stores, I got Lamb and rabbit canned. 2 cases, $201. But,
    My cat starts having one week-long diarrhea on it. So we’re quit.
    Chickpeas are unnecessary at the $4.30 a can.
    I am very grateful for the comments who bring up the attention that the company will be sold to China, and not going to get their dry as well now.

    We’re switching to Feline Naturals. But to be honest, looking at how Ziwi was constantly out of stock, I looked into the raw diet now. I do not see any improvement in stock from New Zealand due to the political and economical situation now. I can’t tell my cat to wait 4 months until her food will be back in stock. And it’s making me worry..
    Great article, I love it. Thank you! Great site.
    Happy Holidays season everyone!

  16. Zoe

    I am wondering what is your standard for [high carb contents]. The Ziwi Peak Otago Valley Wet Food Recipe for Cats has only 2% carbs and you guys labeled it as “Carb content is a little high”. Also, in other blogs, I also noticed the uneven standards regarding carbs and plant contents. This is sometimes very misleading. Anyway, very appreciated for the research and information gathering.

  17. Andy

    It’s interesting they never had a recall. I just found a small piece of soft plastic in a can of East Cape recipe. I just emailed the company and waiting for a reply. Produced 2020.07.23 batch PFNZ2: 2324A 45217
    I’m also disappointed that a a lot of their wet food recipes have been temporarily discontinued in New Zealand since July this year. I wonder what percentage of their food is made for the local market vs for the export market.

  18. Amy

    Ziwi Peak was very kind when I asked if their Rabbit & Lamb was discontinued. They said yes, and mailed a can of Venison, along with a coupon, to help with trying out a new food. They wrote that all of the Provence recipes are also discontinued. I’m grateful to know this before trying to transition my sensitive kitty.

  19. Peter

    I found your site in a search for why and how ZiWi had changed its beef product so I now find huge batches of white fat lining the can and also big blotches of it in the actual food. (The blotches now appear in the venison, too.) I was APPALLED to learn about the sale, which perfectly predates this problem. I just lost a male cat to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and I cannot help but wonder if the massive surge in fat content (and who knows what else?) may have taken the coolest cat I have ever been lucky to know. I am giving cases and cases of beef and venison to a local pet shelter (where it will disperse quickly and not kill their charges). I am finished with ZiWi, will rely on Instinct for my remaining cat rather than tough it out and harm her. Thank you for your letters column, which is what clued me in—particularly to BRAD, who posted the news above.

    1. small mallory photoMallory Crusta Post author

      Hello Peter, I’m sorry about the loss of your cat. While I see no indication that dietary factors (aside from taurine deficiency) would cause hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a connection is worth considering. I’m grateful for this community as well—we can learn a lot together. I will note that I’ve heard similar reports about Instinct cat food. They’ve changed some formulations and manufacturing locations, and numerous people have complained about the consistency not being the same. If it’s working for your cat, though, I wouldn’t assume that a change is necessary.

      1. Peter

        Thanks for your response, Mallory. I looked into it further and appreciate that feline arteries don’t get rammed with meat fats the way human vessels do (arterial stenosis). I will choose to presume that my wonderful cat abruptly and dramatically died in front of his sister and me when his time was up, given his heart murmur. Still, I open a lot of Instinct cans and I have never ever seen what I saw in a can of ZiWi beef I opened yesterday to photograph and post contents on Chewy’s review page. Indeed, Chewy was appalled and was rather kind to me. I hope you can find my review and photo there and then open some recent ZiWi beef cans for yourself. (I’d post the photo here if I could; I tried to post it on Amazon as a public service, but they don’t even carry ZiWi wet cat food.) Over time, I have observed changes in consistency in some Instinct foods but have never found bone. Instinct’s last recall came eight years ago. They don’t use carageenan, which I greatly appreciate. I was concerned in your review to see that some wet food (all I use) is canned in Thailand. As you say, though, I have not had any problems with it. Thanks for your work.


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