Acana Grasslands Regional has currently two formulas: The formula that is made in Kentucky, available for the USA market, and the Acana Grassland new Canadian formula made in Western Canada, available for the Canadian market. The Canadian formula has also changed regarding the old original recipe.
This review is for the formula made in Kentucky, USA, which includes new ingredients and guaranteed analysis. In this review, I will make a comparison of the Acana Grasslands Kentucky formula vs the old original Canadian formula that is currently discontinued.
Update: Acana Grasslands changed this formula again in 2020. Visit my new review of the Acana Grassland Grain-Free Cat Food new formula 2020. If you want to buy this new grain-free cat food, check it on Chewy here.
- Acana Grasslands is a Grain-free formula
- Carbohydrates limited to 25% of the total recipe
- 75% Meat ingredients before cooking
- 35% of proteins from animal meats and fish
- Locally grown meats
- Includes locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables to support the cat’s immune system and digestive functions.
- Contains all essential amino-acids cats need to be healthy.
- Limited synthetic supplements, only Choline, Zinc, and Copper have been added.
- Omega-3 and Omega-6 support the cat’s immune system and improve skin and fur.
- The formula includes the following meats variety:
⇒ Grass-fed Kentucky Lamb: Meat, tripe, liver and cartilage.
⇒ Free-run Muscovy Duck: Fresh meat, organs, cartilage and liver.
⇒ Nest-laid eggs: Fresh and whole from local Kentucky farms.
⇒ Rainbow trout: Fresh or raw from Idaho’s Snake River aquifers.
⇒ Free-run quail: Fresh from South Carolina farms.
Acana Grasslands Kentucky Formula Ingredients:
Deboned lamb, deboned duck, whole eggs, lamb meal, catfish meal, goat meal, whole green peas, red lentils, pinto beans, rainbow trout, lamb fat, chickpeas, green lentils, whole yellow peas, herring oil, quail, duck meal, lentil fiber, natural lamb flavor, lamb tripe, lamb liver, lamb kidney, duck giblets (liver, heart, kidney), duck cartilage, dried kelp, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, carrots, apples, pears, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried duck liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), 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.
Original Acana Grasslands Canadian Ingredients (formula not available):
Boneless lamb (15%), lamb meal (13%), boneless duck (8%), pollock meal (7%), duck fat (5%), green lentils, boneless perch (5%), herring meal (5%), red lentils, salmon meal (4%), chickpeas, green peas, herring oil (3%), whole eggs (3%), lamb fat (2%), sun-cured alfalfa, dried kelp, pumpkin, butternut squash, spinach greens, carrots, apples, pears, cranberries, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, dandelion root, chamomile, peppermint leaf, ginger root, caraway seeds, turmeric, rose hips, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried duck liver, freeze-dried lamb, Enterococcus faecium fermentation product, plus premium vitamins and minerals.
Guaranteed Analysis Acana Grasslands Kentucky Formula:
Crude protein (min.), 35% – Crude fat (min.) 20% – Moisture (max.) 10% – Crude fiber (max.) 4% – Calcium (min.) 1.8% – Phosphorus (min.) 1.3% – Omega-6 fatty acids* (min.) 3% – Omega-3 fatty acids* (min.) 0.7% – DHA* (min.) 0.15% – EPA* (min.) 0.15.
Guaranteed Analysis Acana Grasslands Original Canadian Formula (not available)
Crude protein (min.) 35%, Crude fat (min.) 20%, Crude fiber (max.) 3%, Moisture (max.) 10%, Ash (max.) 8%, Calcium / Phosphorus (min.) 1.8% / 1.5%, Omega-6 / Omega-3 (min.) 2.5% / 1.0%, DHA / EPA (min.) 0.3% / 0.25%, Taurine (min.) 0.2%, Magnesium (max.) 0.1%.
Changes In The USA Formula In Comparison To The Original Canadian Formula:
- Lamb meal moved from 2nd to 4th position and was replaced by deboned duck, which is a step backward because this change means less protein. The reason is that deboned meats are weighed before being cooked which adds water weight to the proportion in the formula. In this case, since the two first ingredients are deboned meats, once they are cooked the proportion is reduced and whole eggs take most part of the ingredients. In the old formula, lamb meal was the 2nd ingredient wich was a highly concentrated-in-protein ingredient. All “meal” meats are cooked and pulverized and they are weighed after this process, which makes it an actual proportion in the formula.
- Catfish has less sodium, iron, and cholesterol than Pollock, but it has less proteins. Fewer minerals and cholesterol is good. But considering that the formula has already changed from lamb meal to deboned duck, less protein in the fish ingredient is not good.
- Catfish and Pollock have a very low mercury level. Good because the change didn’t affect Mercury levels.
- Trout replaced perch. Perch has a lower mercury level than Trout. Not good.
Guaranteed Analysis Changes:
- Phosphorus lowered from 1.8% min. to 1.3% min. Good
- It reduced EPA essential fatty acids in ratio DHA/EPA, from DHA 0.3%/ EPA 0.3% to DHA 1.15% / EPA 0.15% (min). With this change, the concentration of EPA went from representing 50% of the summary DHA+EPA to representing 11%. The EPA ratio was heavily reduced, and it could have been reduced to 20% or 30% instead. This is not a good change considering that the concentration of EPA supports the cat’s immunize system and it’s a powerful antiinflammatory. It strengths the cat’s skin, coat, eyes, heart, preventing allergies, and aiming most of the cat’s functions (source http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1400&aid=665). DHA helps the eyes and brain developing in kittens so it could be less proportionally for an adult cat’s diet.
- It lowered Omega-3 from 1% to 0.7%. This change helped a better ratio of Omega-3/Omega-6. This ratio should be 1:5, which means, Omega-3 must represent 20% of the Omega-6. However, what it is important is the concentration of EPA which was decreased too much in this formula.
It raised Omega-6 from 2.5% to 3%, which improved the ratio of Omega-3/Omega-3. A good change regarding establishing a better ratio, but lowering Omega-3 was not pointing in the right direction.
- It lowered Taurine from 0.2% to 0.15% (min). Not good.
- The new formula doesn’t mention Ash content in the guaranteed analysis. Not good.
ANALYSIS OF FIRST 5 INGREDIENTS OF ACANA GRASSLANDS REGIONAL
Deboned Lamb: Deboned meats add water weight in muscles, lowering the proteins. However, lamb is a good source of protein for cats. 3 stars
Deboned Duck: This is a very good alternative source of protein for cats. It adds water in muscles, but not much. 4 stars
Whole Eggs: Good source of protein, but includes some pieces of shell which are not well digested by cats. 3 stars
Lamb meal: Excellent source of proteins. Lamb is less likely to cause allergies to pets. 5 stars
Catfish Meal: This is a good source of protein and fatty acids, but some of the natural oils are lost in the process. 4 stars
What are the Pros and Cons of Acana Grasslands Regional Grain-Free?
By having available a list of the good and bad things of a cat food formula, you can determine if this recipe is what you need to feed your feline friend or if you need to look for other options:
- Grain-free formula
- The limited low-glycemic carbohydrates content of 25%
- Carbs come from locally grown veggies and fruits. This type of carbs prevents peaks in the cat’s blood sugar.
- Controlling the cat’s blood sugar avoids an excess of fat’s storage in the cat’s body and prevents diabetes.
- Locally grown meats
- Formula reduced Phosphorus from 1.5% (min.) to 1.3% (min.)
- Magnesium is not high (0.1% max.)
- It informs all 11 essential amino-acids cats need to be healthy and that they need to get from food.
- Limited synthetic supplements, only 3 (Choline, Zinc, and Copper)
- Catfish has a very low mercury level. Trout has a low mercury level.
- Natural preservative (vitamin E)
- Quail could be in the first 5 ingredients (meat closer to the natural cat’s diet)
- Ash content has not been informed in the guaranteed analysis
- Taurine was reduced. Not good, this is an essential amino-acid crucial for a cat’s maintenance diet.
- EPA concentration in fatty acids ratio DHA/EPA was lowered. Not good.
- Essential fatty acids Omega-3 was lowered. Not good.
- Whole eggs take most part of the ingredients after cooked, as opposed to the original formula with lamb meal.
Acana Grasslands Regional Grain-Free Formula made in Kentucky made some crucial changes in the formula. The dominant protein source went from lamb meal to whole eggs. I explained already why the third ingredient in the new formula takes most of the real proportion after cooked. I personally don’t like eggs being the dominant ingredient since it adds some pieces of shell that cats don’t digest well and cats usually don’t like formulas with egg dominance.
The changes in fish didn’t drastically change the nutritional sources, but the amount of Omega-3 was reduced, and also the EPA concentration which is not a good modification in the formula. This essential fatty acid concentration is crucial for the cat’s immune system. Even though the lowering of Omega-3 helped to get closer to a healthy ratio of 1:5 regarding Omega-6, the total content is not what I would like to see.
The Ash content has not been informed on this formula. This is not good, all cat foods need to inform the Ash content which influences the cat’s urinary health too. However, a good thing is the lower Phosphorus content in this formula, which prevents urinary issues in cats. Also, the magnesium content is relatively low, with 0.15% which is good.
This Acana Grasslands Regional Kentucky formula informs the 11 essential amino-acid in the guaranteed analysis, which is excellent. Cats need to get the essential amino-acids from the food, they can’t produce them themselves.
The average rate of this formula considering the main 3 ingredients is 3.3 stars which is a good rate.
In my opinion, the new formula didn’t offer the main source of proteins in the first 5 ingredients I would have preferred. I definitely prefer lamb meal instead of whole eggs. The first 2 ingredients add weight before being cooked but once cooked, whole eggs are the dominant source of proteins proportionally in the formula.
Also, I believe that the lower EPA concentration makes it less attractive as a supporting formula for cats. All in all, I prefer the old original Canadian formula that unfortunately is discontinued. Still, this is a good cat dry food, since it’s grain-free, not high-glycemic, and informing the 11 essential amino-acids cats need. That’s why it’s on top of the list. I just wouldn’t consider it a Super Premium formula.
The Acana Grasslands formula made in Kentucky is the one that has the following ratios on the package: 75% 25% 0
Acana and Orijen dog foods have been subject of a class lawsuit (CA, MN and FL) for containing heavy metals and BPA in dry dog foods produced in the Kentucky, USA facility. So far no cat food has been added to this lawsuit but since the number of heavy metals in Acana Grassland cat formula made in the USA is unknown, I would wait until full disclosure to recommend this dry food formula.