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Orijen Cat Food 2021 [Review]

Orijen cat food is a nutritious and species-appropriate choice for cats of all ages. Sustainably sourced and fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, Orijen cat food is a complete and balanced choice for our feline friends. Our top pick for Orijen cat food is Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Cat Food.

Based in Alberta, with additional U.S. locations, Orijen is Canada’s largest independent pet food manufacturer. With a razor-sharp focus on “biologically appropriate” cat food and a staunch commitment to using only the best sustainably sourced ingredients, Orijen has become one of the leading holistic cat food brands on the market. Having grown far beyond a presence in North America alone, Orijen (and its sister company Acana) are now exported to over 94 countries worldwide.

Our top picks for Orijen cat food:

  1. Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Cat Food – our top pick!
  2. Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Food
  3. Orijen Regional Red Dry Cat Food
Our Top Pick!
ORIJEN Dry Cat Food for Cats & Kittens, Premium Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 4lb
ORIJEN Dry Cat Food, Grain Free, Premium Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, Six Fish, 4lb
ORIJEN Dry Cat Food, Grain Free, Premium Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, Regional Red, 4lb
Grain Free, Biologically Appropriate Cat Food
Six Fish Flavor, Grain Free, Biologically Appropriate
Regional Red Flavor, Grain Free, Made with Regional Red Meats
Our Top Pick!
ORIJEN Dry Cat Food for Cats & Kittens, Premium Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, 4lb
Grain Free, Biologically Appropriate Cat Food
ORIJEN Dry Cat Food, Grain Free, Premium Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, Six Fish, 4lb
Six Fish Flavor, Grain Free, Biologically Appropriate
ORIJEN Dry Cat Food, Grain Free, Premium Fresh & Raw Animal Ingredients, Regional Red, 4lb
Regional Red Flavor, Grain Free, Made with Regional Red Meats

Plus more Orijen cat food and cat treat choices:

  1. Orijen Tundra Dry Cat Food
  2. Orijen Fit and Trim Dry Cat Food
  3. Orijen Original Freeze-Dried Cat Treats
  4. Orijen Six Fish Freeze-Dried Cat Treats
  5. Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried Cat Treats
  6. Orijen Tundra Freeze-Dried Cat Treats
  7. Orijen Grass-Fed Lamb Freeze-Dried Cat Treats
  8. Orijen Wild-Roaming Boar Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

orijen cat and kitten

The origin of Orijen cat food

Orijen is a Canadian cat and dog food company founded by award-winning entrepreneur and philanthropist Reinhard Otto Mühlenfeld in 2005. Before launching Orijen, Mühlenfeld founded its parent company, Champion Feed Services, in 1985.

Guided by Mühlenfeld’s principles of fairness, integrity, and honesty, the highly esteemed multi-award winning independent company continues to be a top seller in the pet food industry.

When Orijen launched in 2005, the little company disrupted the trend of “natural” pet foods, which had previously staked a claim on the market. Unlike the average “natural” cat food competitor, Orijen’s focus on “whole prey” meat ratios, biological appropriate nutrition, and their dedication to using fresh regional ingredients that are never outsourced gave them a leading edge, and it’s an advantage that the company rightfully deserves.

Where is Orijen manufactured?

Orijen doesn’t outsource any of its ingredients. So why would they outsource their manufacturing?! In other words, Orijen not only develops every recipe, but they craft it in their factories located in Alberta, Canada, and Kentucky.

Orijen’s DogStar Kitchen in Kentucky is a multi-award winning state-of-the-art facility. One of the factory’s most notable accomplishments is its 2017 Global Markets Award from the Global Food

Safety Initiative. This is one of the highest food-safety achievements in the pet food industry.

Where do Orijen’s ingredients come from?

Orijen’s commitment to high quality is also present in all of the ingredients they use to craft their beloved cat food.

The company focuses on employing sustainability when sourcing meats, animal products, and produce for their dry cat food. Orijen exclusively uses free-range chickens and eggs, ranch-raised cattle, wild-caught salmon, and grass-fed lamb, among other animals raised in environmentally-friendly and sustainably sourced conditions.

Orijen also uses farm-fresh, non-GMO, and locally-grown vegetables and produce. Farms around Orijen’s Kentucky DogStar Kitchen grow nutritious, vitamin-packed vegetables like pumpkins, butternut squash, and carrots that appear in Orijen foods.

Did Orijen have any recalls?

Orijen’s cat food has never been recalled in Canada or the U.S.

What kind of cat food does Orijen make?

Orijen makes grain free dry cat food, and cat treats for kittens, adult, and senior cats.

These lines include:

  1. Orijen dry cat food: Available in five flavors, including Orijen Cat and Kitten, Six Fish, Regional Red, Tundra, and Fit and Trim.
  2. Orijen Freeze-dried cat treats: These pouches of freeze-dried meat come in four flavors, including Orijen Original, Six Fish, Regional Red, Tundra, Grass-fed Lamb, and Wild-roaming Boar

Does Orijen make canned cat food?

No. Orijen exclusively makes dry kibble cat food and freeze-dried cat treats.

orijen cat & kitten dry cat food

Which is better, Acana cat food or Orijen cat food?

It depends on your definition of better! Orijen and Acana are sister companies owned by Champion Feed Services.

Acana cat food is also billed as “biologically appropriate” and has a high-protein and high meat content formula. Acana is crafted from the same locally-sourced ingredients as Orijen and in the same Kentucky-based factories as Orijen.

All of Acana’s cat foods are made with “Whole Prey” ratios. Like Orijen, this means that they also include animal muscle meat, cartilage and organs in their cat food. All of Acana’s dry cat food contains at least 65% meat, which makes it a species-appropriate and highly digestible cat food. Acana has grain-free options as well as options that do contain small amounts of grains like oats.

Acana’s dry cat food is inspired by regions in the US and Western Canada and are crafted from animal and plant ingredients that reflect each of those unique regions.

Acana’s US-inspired dry cat food includes the varieties: Homestead Harvest, Wild Atlantic, Meadowland, Bountiful Catch, Grasslands, and a new Indoor Entree kibble. These dry cat foods include animal ingredients like quail, turkey liver and herring, as well as highly digestible plant proteins like green lentils and peas.

All of Acana’s dry cat food is considered complete and balanced and meets all of your kitties nutritional needs. Most of the essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids come from the animal proteins in Acana’s food, and what isn’t, is specially fortified. Many of Acana’s cat food options are also enhanced with probiotics, zinc, and biotin.

Acana has had no recalls.

orijen dry cat food

Is Orijen a good cat food?

Orijen isn’t merely a good cat food. It’s extraordinarily good cat food!

Orijen employs expert nutritionists and leading scientists to develop the most nutritious, species-appropriate cat foods. The company performs extensive testing and quality checks to ensure the safety and palatability of their foods. All of Orijen’s suppliers follow strict quality guidelines and are subject to regular inspections.

Orijen is entirely transparent about what they put into their cat food, namely the premium, environmentally-friendly, and locally-sourced meats and vegetables they harvest to use in all of their cat food recipes.

Orijen’s “Whole Prey” approach sets them apart from competing cat food companies. Recognizing that cats are obligate carnivores, Orijen’s cat foods are first and foremost meat-based. Orijen’s grain-free dry cat food and freeze-dried cat treats are designed to reflect what cats eat in the wild with a focus on animal-proteins above all else.

Using both raw and cooked ingredients, Orijen incorporates meats and cartilage and organs in a ratio that “mirrors” the diet cats eat in the wild. As a result, Orijen’s recipes contain up to 90 percent of highly digestible animal ingredients with protein levels that can top out at 44 percent.

This full nutritional profile eliminates Orijen’s need to add extra (or synthetic) vitamins, minerals, or fatty acids to their cat foods.

Orijen’s cat foods are free from grains, gluten, corn, soy, wheat, meat by-products, and artificial colors and flavors.

orijen cat kitten dry cat food

Orijen dry cat food

Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Cat Food – our top pick!

Orijen’s Cat and Kitten Dry Cat Food starts with 15 high-quality types of meat. That means this dry cat food consists of 90 percent of nutrient-rich and highly digestible animal proteins. Moderate fats and fibers and essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids round out this dry cat food’s nutritional profile.

Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • The kibble is small enough for kittens, elderly cats, and cats with missing or sensitive teeth
  • Contains extra probiotics for digestion
  • Limited vegetable ingredients

Cons

  • Contains fish, so it’s not appropriate for cats with fish allergies
  • May be too expensive for some cat parents
  • Very low moisture content

Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Food

Wild-caught fish and freeze-dried liver morsels form the basis of Orijen’s Six Fish dry cat food. The small size of this kibble and its softer crunch means that young kittens and senior cats or cats with missing or sensitive teeth can easily eat this dry cat food. The whole fish ingredients (including their organs and bones) make this dry cat food especially high in omega fatty acids.

Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • Contains extra probiotics for digestion
  • High protein and omega fatty acids
  • Limited vegetable ingredients

Cons

  • Premium prices
  • Some cat parents think the food is smelly
  • Very low moisture content

Orijen Regional Red Dry Cat Food

Orijen’s Regional Red dry cat food boasts 40 percent pure protein, 90 percent of which comes from highly digestible whole animals. Some of the top ingredients in this partially raw dry cat food come from uncommon but highly nutritious animal proteins like wild boar liver, deboned goat, and beef hearts. Freeze-dried cod liver morsels, probiotics, and essential vitamins and minerals round out this balanced, whole-foods-based dry cat food.

Orijen Regional Red Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • High protein and omega fatty acid content
  • Contains probiotics for digestion
  • Limited vegetable ingredients

Cons

  • Causes gas and hard stool in some cats
  • Some cats don’t like the taste
  • Premium prices
  • Very low moisture content

 orijen cat food reviews

Orijen Tundra Dry Cat Food

Wild-caught arctic char, venison heart, and free-range duck are some of the main ingredients in Orijen’s Tundra dry cat food. Like Orijen’s other dry cat food offerings, this kibble is crafted from wholesome plant and animal ingredients that are highly digestible and palatable for cats. Small amounts of pumpkin and butternut squash add extra fiber, zinc, and vitamins to this dry cat food.

Orijen Tundra Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • High protein and fiber
  • Contains probiotics for digestion
  • Limited vegetable ingredients

Cons

  • Premium prices
  • Very low moisture content
  • Some cats don’t like the taste

Orijen Fit and Trim Dry Cat Food

Orijen’s Fit and Trim dry cat food contains 45% protein, 85% of which comes from animal proteins. Cage-free eggs, turkey liver, and chicken hearts make this a highly digestible and palatable choice for cats of all ages and nutritional needs. Ingredients like dried kelp and lentils naturally bump up the zinc, potassium, and magnesium content in this dry cat food.

Orijen Fit and Trim Dry Cat Food

Pros

  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • High protein, fiber, and natural vitamins
  • Contains probiotics for digestion
  • Limited vegetable ingredients

Cons

  • It’s not considered diet food, so weight loss isn’t guaranteed
  • Low moisture content
  • Premium prices

Orijen Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Orijen Original Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Orijen’s Original Freeze-Dried cat treats are crafted from less than ten ingredients. With high protein and highly digestible meats like turkey hearts and whole chicken (including gizzards, hearts, and livers), this cat treat is designed to appeal to our obligate carnivore kitty friends appetites!

Orijen Original Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Pros

  • Treats are soft and easy for cats to eat
  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • High protein and moderate fat content
  • Easy to digest

Cons

  • Not appropriate for cats with fish allergies or sensitivities
  • Premium prices

 orijen cat food reviews treats

Orijen Six Fish Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Just like Orijen’s Six Fish dry cat food, their Freeze-Dried Six Fish cat treats are made from flavorful and omega fatty acid-rich ingredients like monkfish and wild-caught Atlantic mackerel and herring. There are no fish meals, fillers, or any shady additives or ingredients in these cat treats.

Orijen Six Fish Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Pros

  • Treats are soft and easy for cats to eat
  • High protein and moderate fat content
  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • Easy to digest

Cons

  • Not appropriate for cats with fish allergies or sensitivities
  • Premium prices

Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

These freeze-dried treats are perfect for kitties who can’t get enough of Orijen’s Regional Red dry cat food! Much like the same name’s kibble, the Regional Red Freeze-Dried cat treats are crafted from vitamin-packed and flavorful animal proteins like whole goat, wild boar, and lamb. These easy to chew and easy to digest cat treats are good for cats of all ages.

Orijen Regional Red Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Pros

  • Treats are soft and easy for cats to eat
  • High protein and moderate fat content
  • Easy to digest
  • Fish-free recipes

Cons

  • Premium prices

Orijen Tundra Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

In keeping with Orijen’s Tundra kibble, their matching Tundra Freeze-Dried cat treats also feature uncommon and highly nutritious animal proteins and meats like venison, wild boar, mackerel, and goat. High in protein with moderate fat levels and naturally occurring vitamins, this whole-food-based treat is a great compliment to Orijen’s dry cat food.

Orijen Tundra Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Pros

  • Treats are soft and easy for cats to eat
  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • Easy to digest

Cons

  • Contains fish, so it’s not appropriate for cats with fish allergies or sensitivities
  • Premium prices

Orijen Grass-Fed Lamb Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Whole grass-fed lamb is the only ingredient in these cat treats. Lamb is a great natural source for vitamin B12 and zinc, contributing to the nervous system and immune system function. Lamb is also considered a novel protein, so this may be a viable option for cats with allergies.

Orijen Grass-Fed Lamb Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Pros

  • Treats are soft and easy for cats to eat
  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • High protein and highly digestible
  • Contains no fish ingredients

Cons

  • Lamb has a high-fat content, so cats who need low-fat diets can’t eat it
  • Premium prices

Orijen Wild-Roaming Boar Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Orijen’s Wild-Roaming Boar Freeze-Dried cat treats is another single-ingredient novel protein option for cats. Crafted from whole wild boar, including boar liver and kidney, these treats are a good source of iron, phosphorus, and vitamin B. Cats with allergies to many common animal proteins may be able to enjoy these treats.

Orijen Wild-Roaming Boar Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Pros

  • Treats are soft and easy for cats to eat
  • Appropriate for cats of all ages
  • High protein and highly digestible
  • Contains no fish ingredients

Cons

  • Premium prices

 orijen cat food reviews kittens

What are cat parents saying about Orijen cat food?

Now that we know all about Orijen’s philosophy and ingredients let’s take a minute to see what cat parents (and their feline friends) like and dislike Orijen cat food.

Positive Orijen cat food reviews

“I’ve been feeding this brand to my boys since they were babies, and I would never switch! Their fur is extremely soft, and they are at an optimal weight. Another thing I’ve noticed is neither one has ever thrown up or had a hairball. Not even one! [My] vet tells me at every visit how impressively healthy my boys are. Yes, this food is very expensive, but it’s worth every penny to make sure my babies are the healthiest and around for as long as possible.” Queen Mary on chewy.com (Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Cat Food)

“Before this brand, I had been feeding my cat an inferior bargain brand of cat food. Well, as they say, you get what you pay for. After switching to Orijen, my cat’s health has improved dramatically. People who visit my house always comment on how silky my cat’s fur is, and I attribute this to the food. My cat is over eleven years old and still going strong, and I know I will be feeding him Orijen for years to come.” TW990 on chewy.com (Orijen Regional Red Dry Cat Food)

“I am happy with how healthy this food seems to be. Made with real fish and minimal other ingredients, I feel safe feeding it to my cat. She doesn’t gobble it down quickly but eats it throughout the day. It’s usually gone by dinnertime when it is time to refill again. She is a sensitive cat with allergies to a lot of things, and this food doesn’t seem to have any adverse effects on her.” Eggomeggo on chewy.com (Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Food)

Negative Orijen cat food reviews

“My girls are very picky eaters but love this food. The ingredients are high quality, and I feel good about giving them this food, [but] the only downfall is the price. ” Giffmom on chewy.com (Orijen Tundra Dry Cat Food)

“I purchased this food for my 4 cats. Upon opening the bag of food, we all took notice of a horrible smell. While the list of ingredients is impressive, I cannot live with the stench.” Nashville Nikki on chewy.com (Orijen Fit and Trim Dry Cat Food)

“My cat wouldn’t eat this at all. I thought she would because it smelled exactly like fish, and she loves tuna. But I tried for 2 weeks, and she only ate five of the kibbles. I have a picky cat, and I didn’t even know it.” Vigorousrae on chewy.com (Orijen Six Fish Dry Cat Food)

 orijen cat food reviews alternatives

Alternatives to Orijen cat food

Nulo cat food

Michael Landa founded independent Texas-based pet food company Nulo in 2009 with the belief that “nutrition is just as important to a dog’s or cat’s well-being as the love we show them.”

Landa was inspired to create Nulo when he noticed many dog foods on the market were loaded with carbs and fillers and seemed to be linked to the rising trends in diabetes and obesity in dogs.

Nulo creates high protein and grain-free species-specific foods. Up to 85% of Nulo’s cat foods are made from animal proteins. Enhanced with probiotics for digestive and immune system health and fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, Nulo’s low-carb and low-glycemic cat food is crafted for taste and nutrition.

Nulo uses family farms and sustainably sourced meats for all their ingredients. Nulo is manufactured in USDA, FDA, and AAFCO-certified factories in Kansas, North Dakota, and Nebraska. Nulo has had no recalls.

Stella & Chewy cat food

Marie Moody founded Stella & Chewy, an organic raw food dog food company, in 2003 when her two rescue dogs’ health problems inspired her to cook up wholesome, budget-friendly “best in class” nutrition.

Crafted from organic vegetables, fruits, and hormone-free meats, Stella & Chewy’s four-pronged nutrition philosophy centers on nutrition, palatability, safety, and convenience.

Taurine fortified and enhanced with probiotics for digestion, Stella & Chewy’s cat food is a balanced, complete food for cats of all ages and life stages. With both freeze-dried raw kibble and wet cat food options, all of Stella & Chewy’s cat foods are high protein and highly digestible and don’t contain any soy, wheat, corn, meat by-products, or anything artificial.

Stella & Chewy is transparent about where they source all of their ingredients, and they manufacture all of their food in a state-of-the-art facility in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

Stella & Chewy has had two significant recalls: both due to Listeria contamination.

Instinct cat food

Instinct (and its parent company Nature’s Variety) was founded in 2002 with two goals: to create powerful raw nutrition for cats at affordable prices.

Using non-GMO vegetables and fruits and freeze-dried meats, Instinct’s high protein wet and dry cat food is formulated with up to 90 percent of pure animal proteins, including nutrient and vitamin-rich organs. There are no potatoes, grains, corn, soy, or wheat in Instinct’s cat food.

Instinct cat food is manufactured in USDA-certified facilities in Nebraska and Kansas. Instinct sources many ingredients from the US, but some, like a grass-fed lamb, come from other parts of the world like New Zealand. All of Instinct’s suppliers follow rigorous safety and quality standards and sustainably source all ingredients used in each recipe.

Instinct has had three recalls: two due to Salmonella and one due to plastic shards found in some food.

Final thoughts

There’s a lot to love about Orijen’s dry cat food and cat treats. This cat food is designed to be biologically appropriate for our obligate carnivore feline friends and crafted from wholesome, high protein animal, and plant ingredients.

Orijen is a nutritious and species-appropriate choice for cats of all ages. Sustainably sourced and fortified with extra vitamins and minerals, Orijen is a complete and balanced choice and, in our opinion, is one of the best quality cat foods on the market.

Victoria Tomis

Last update on 2021-03-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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