Laura Ward

Written by Laura Ward

Georgia Jeremiah

Reviewed by Georgia Jeremiah

Updated: January 24, 2024

Orijen Dry Cat Food Review

Updated: January 24, 2024

Our Verdict

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Highly Recommended

Orijen dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 5 stars

It contains very high protein from quality meat, two thirds of those being fresh. The range includes recipes that are beneficial for immune support, digestive health, healthy skin & coat, muscle maintenance, heart health, joint health, brain & cognitive function, and eye health.

Pros
  • Very high in protein
  • High quality meat sources provide the majority of protein
  • No artificial ingredients
  • Good range to choose from
  • Low in carbohydrates versus other dry cat foods
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Past product recall

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

The Orijen dry product line includes eight cat foods.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Kitten Formula 5 G
Guardian 8 Formula 5 M
Original 5 A
Six Fish 5 A
Regional Red 5 A
Tundra 5 A
Fit & Trim 5 M
Guardian Senior 7+ Years 5 M

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Recipe and Label Analysis

Orijen Original Dry Cat Food recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

Original Recipe

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

44.4%

Protein

22.2%

Fat

25.3%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Chicken, turkey, whole mackerel, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), flounder, chicken liver, whole herring, eggs, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated egg, chicken fat, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole peas, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, natural chicken flavor, whole navy beans, pollock oil, lentil fiber, pea starch, chicken heart, choline chloride, dried kelp, mixed tocopherols (preservative), vitamin e supplement, zinc proteinate, whole cranberries, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, collard greens, whole apples, whole pears, copper proteinate, thiamine mononitrate, niacin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, dried chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, citric acid (preservative), rosemary extract, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first and second ingredients are chicken and turkey.  Both are considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken”  1 and are naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.

The third ingredient is whole mackerelMackerel is an oily saltwater fish naturally high in protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids.

The fourth ingredient is turkey giblets, an edible by-product of poultry slaughter. They include the heart, liver and gizzard of a bird’s carcass.

Though the thought of eating an animal’s internal organs may not be appealing to most humans, these items can all be considered a natural part of a feline diet.

Giblets are an acceptable and healthy meat ingredient.

The fifth ingredient is flounder, a type of marine fish describing several distantly related species.

The sixth ingredient is chicken liver.  This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.

The seventh ingredient is whole herring.  Herring is a fatty marine fish naturally high in protein as well as omega 3 fatty acids, essential oils needed by every cat to sustain life.

The eighth ingredient is eggs.  Eggs are easy to digest and have an exceptionally high biological value.

From here the list goes on to include a number of other items. But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of the product.

We note the inclusion of dried fermentation products in this recipe. Fermentation products are typically added as probiotics to aid with digestion.

Recipe star rating 5.

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Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Orijen Original Dry Cat Food recipe looks like an above-average dry product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 44.4%, a fat level of 22.2% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 25.3%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 44.8% and an above-average fat level of 21%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 26.3% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 47%.

This means Orijen dry cat food product line contains higher than average protein, near average carbohydrate and higher than average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.

Final Word

The Orijen Original Dry Cat Food is highly recommended as the protein content comes mainly from high quality meat sources.

Each recipe in the range is tailored to meet the nutritional needs of cats at different stages of life.

Has Orijen cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes. There was a recall of Orijen cat food in November 2008 that was limited to Australia. The problems had to do with irradiation treatment, required under Australian law. The company says the irradiation was never done outside of Australia, as a result the company decided to stop selling Orijen pet food in Australia.

You can view a complete list of all cat food recalls since 2021 here.

To stay on top of any cat food product recalls, sign up for our free email alerts, here.

About

Orijen is produced by Champion Petfoods, a Canadian company.  Reinhard Muhlenfeld, a German-born Canadian started the business — Champion Feed Services Ltd — in a small factory in Barrhead, Alberta, in 1975.  

In 2005, Champion Petfoods launched the Orijen brand; it is now the first and largest pet food manufacturer in Canada employing more than  500 people in  its global sales team and at facilities in Alberta, Ontario, and Kentucky.

Sources

1: Association of American Feed Control Officials

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