Orijen Cat Food – Full Review


Orijen is a company located in Alberta, Canada.  This brand is part of our healthiest cat food list because they use mostly fresh meat in their recipes.

The Orijen cat food  formula is made with local ingredients, free-run chicken, turkey, with whole eggs and local caught fish. These ingredients are fresh every day and free of preservative and never frozen.

Orijen recipe is full in proteins (80%) and gives to cats a very natural food as they would get it in the nature.

NOTE: Orijen opened new facility in Kentucky creating a new recipe. Check here the review of the new Orijen Cat & Kitten formula made in Kentucky.



Orijen Cat and Kitten FormulaThis formula is made with 80% of meat from free-run chicken and turkey, fresh eggs and wild-caught fish. This recipe containing high meats level is equal to a 42% of protein level which replicates the natural diet of your cat.
The formula also contains 20% of animal fats. Over the 90% of the fats in this recipe occur naturally from high levels of fresh meats from chicken, turkey, fish and eggs.

DHA and EPA is also on this cat food formula. The essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that helps your cat’s immune and nervous system as well as skin and hair coat.

The formula is also grain-free and contains very few amounts of carbohydrates. This cat food contains also taurine, glucosamine and chondroitin, and veterinarian selected botanicals.

Note: Check here the 2016 new formula made at Kentucky.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein (min.) 42 %
Crude fat (min.) 20 %
Crude fiber (max.) 3 %
Moisture (max.) 10 %
Calcium (min./max)1.4 / 1.7 %
Phosphorus (min./max)1.1 / 1.4 %
Omega-6 (min.)3.5 %
Omega-3 (min.)1.2 %
DHA (min.)0.7 %
EPA (min.)0.4 %
Taurine (min.)0.25 %
Magnesium (max.)0.09 %
pH 5
Ash (max.) 8%


Boneless chicken,* chicken meal, chicken liver,* whole herring,* boneless turkey,* turkey meal, turkey liver,* whole eggs,* boneless walleye,* whole salmon,* chicken heart,* chicken cartilage,* herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, chicken fat, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, 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 chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, freeze-dried chicken, freeze-dried turkey, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product + vitamins and minerals.

*delivered fresh and preservative-free


Choline Chloride, Vitamin A, vitamin D3, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, Sodium Selenite.



(3.0/5) Boneless chicken: Boneless chicken contains higher weight in water, though, it is well complemented with high concentrated protein in chicken meal. 3 stars

(5.0/5) Chicken meal: Excellent concentrated source of protein for cats. Water weight has been extracted. 5 stars

(3.0/5) Chicken liver: Good source of iron, essential for production of red cell in blood. Too much it is not good. 3 stars

(3.0/5) Whole herring: Excellent source of fatty acids. It is not herring meal so it may add some water on weight and includes all parts of fish. 3 stars

(2.0/5) Boneless Turkey: This meat includes water in weight so adds less nutrition in protein. 2 stars.

What are the Pros and Cons of Orijen Cat and Kitten Formula?


  • It contains all the 11 essential aminoacids that cat’s body can’t produce.
  • Contains natural fresh local ingredients
  • No by-products
  • Excellent amount of magnesium (0,09%), preventing urinary tract disease
  • 90% of recipe contains fresh meat
  • Formula gives to your cat 42% of proteins
  • No preservatives on meats
  • No frozen meats.
  • Healthy fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6.
  • Natural botanicals
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Very nutrient dense
  • GMO free ingredients


  • It is pricey
  • Ingredients are subject to local environment, depending on the country.
  • Too much iron in Chicken liver may not be good for cats with sensitive stomach.
  • Maximum guaranteed Phosphorus of 1.4% is too high.
  • First ingredient Boneless Chicken includes water on weight.


This is a good meat based cat formula, considering that all dry cat food formulas on the market mix ingredients that are high quality with regular quality.

The average rating based on the first 3 ingredients (which add the most weight over the total formula) is: 3.6 Stars which is a good rate for a dry cat food.

Very Important: As Orijen cat formula is highly concentrated in proteins, it is crucial to give your cat whether wet canned food or plenty of water when feeding your pet this formula.
√ This cat recipe contains 100% of all essential aminoacids for your cat’s health.

Based on this:

√ I recommend Orijen Cat and Kitten formula:

  • For all not overweight cats
  • For active cats and kittens
  • With a mix diet of dry and wet food
  • Making the cat drink lots of water because of the high protein quality of this cat food

x I don’t recommend this cat food:

  • For cats with urinary tract disease
  • Cats with no activity
  • Cats with obesity
  • Cats with sensitive stomach (if your cat usually has diarrhea)




Orijen Fish Cat FormulaThis recipe is made with 80% of fresh and wild-caught local fish that represents 42% of proteins needs of your cat. This formula contains 20% of fat that are always from animal sources, with 90% of fats occurring naturally from fresh fish ingredients.

It contains also Omega-3 (DHA, EPA) from fresh fish (1%/0.7%) that is essential for your cat immune and nervous system and also gives nutrients for its skin and hair coat.

This formula is grain-free and few carbohydrate, moderate in calcium and phosphorus, it has natural glucosamine and chondroitin and veterinarian selected botanicals.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude protein (min.) 42.0%
Crude fat (min.) 20.0%
Crude fiber (max.) 3%
Moisture (max.) 10.0%
Calcium (min./max.) 1.4%/1.7%
Phosphorus (min./max.) 1.1%/1.4%
Ash (max.) 8%
Omega 6 (min.) : 2.5%
Omega-3 (min.) 1.8%
DHA (min.) 1%
EPA (min.) 0.7%
Taurine (min.) 0.25%
Magnesium (max.) 0.09%
pH: 5


Whole salmon*, whole herring*, salmon meal, herring meal, Pollock meal, whole flounder*, boneless walleye*, boneless northern pike*, boneless lake whitefish*, salmon oil, herring oil, chickpeas, red lentils, green lentils, green peas, pea fibre, canola oil, sun-cured alfalfa, pumpkin*, butternut squash*, spinach greens*, carrots*, Red Delicious apples*, Bartlett pears*, cranberries*, mixed tocopheral.

* Delivered fresh, preservative-free and never frozen.


Choline Chloride, Vitamin A, vitamin D3, niacin, riboflavin, folic acid, biotin, vitamin B12, zinc proteinate, iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, Sodium Selenite.



(1.0/5) Whole salmon: Good source of fatty acids. It includes water on weight and it contains all part of the fish. Salmon may add more mercury to the cat diet. 1 star

(4.0/5) Whole herring: Good source of proteins and fatty acid. It contains all parts of the fish. 4 stars

(1.0/5) Salmon meal: Concentrated protein source for cats but it contains few fatty acids because the oil has been extracted to make the meal. Salmon can add mercury to the cat’s diet. 1 star

(4.0/5) Herring meal: Excellent source of proteins. Low fatty acids because has been pressed out to make the meal. 4 stars

(5.0/5) Pollock meal: Excellent source of proteins and fatty acids. 5 stars


What are the Pros and Cons of Orijen 6 Fish Formula?


  • It contains all the 11 aminoacids cats need.
  • Fresh local ingredients
  • It does not contain by-products
  • 90% fresh meat
  • Guaranteed analysis of 42% of proteins
  • No frozen fish
  • Healthy fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6.
  • With botanicals to support digestion
  • With vitamins and minerals
  • GMO free ingredients


  • Ingredients are subject to the environment where the food is manufactured.
  • Salmon adds mercury to the cat’s diet.
  • Price



Orijen 6 fish cat formula contains good source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. The first ingredient is whole salmon which, even though it is natural wild caught salmon and it contains minimum amounts of mercury, this still adds mercury to the cat’s diet.

The average rating based on the first 3 ingredients is: 2.0 Stars which is not a good rate.

The formula contains 100% of all aminoacids cats need, but salmon could not be good as a base-diet.

Based on this:

x It’s better to go for the Chicken formula since salmon is much further on the list of ingredients.




9 Responses to “Orijen Cat Food – Full Review”

  1. Paulina Radeva says:


    I have a male British Shorthair, almost 3 years old. I feed him with Orijen Cat&Kitten and Orijen 6 Fish since he was 9 months old. In addition I mix his meals with wet canned food (brand: Bozita) from time to time. He was castrate when he was 9-10 months old and since then has very strong appetite. Nowadays he weighs 9 kg and has very fluffy belly because he has no activity. When he passed the 8th kilos I started to measure his daily portion and gave him 80 grams per day, separated to 3 or 4 meals depending on which day of the week it is. I am worried he is overweighted and it may not be good for his health. I think I need to change his dry food because he is not an outdoor cat and doenst have that much activity. Also I’m very confused because till now I believed that Orijen was the best food that I can give him. It is made of real meet, no by- products, no grain and as I read here, has all the 11 amino acids he needs. I understand that high levels of protein in dry food is not good for inactive cats but besides proteins and good fats what do I have left- carbohydrates? – this is even worse!
    I would like to feed him with good food, price doesnt matter. Quality is the main priority for me. Can you give me any advice?

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Paulina, proteins are not bad for cats, with highly concentrated in protein cat foods such as Orijen and an inactive cat such as yours you have to make sure to feed him less amount of dry food (small amount is enough protein) and more canned food. Also, get a water fountain to encourage him to drink more water and make sure to get chew treats for his teeth. I need to mention that indoor cats always need to do some exercise, you need to play with him on a daily basis. Hope that helps!

  2. Ian says:

    I read that cats should really only eat wet food since they are constantly in need of water with their diet. Why do you recomend that no water be added to your cat & kitten dry cat food?

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hi Ian, the added water in the meats that are on first positions on lists of cat foods means the weight of the water is reflected in the weight of the meat which increases wrongly the proportion of meat in the total formula (so the % or protein) because this water is inside the meat when weighing this meat but then this meat is cooked and that water does not exist anymore consequently that proportion in the total formula (less protein). As you see, this has nothing to do with water in cat’s diet which I have been constantly recommending, providing as much water as possible, feeding wet food to add more water in the diet and dry food for protein levels and teeth. I hope I explained myself better, thanks for visiting Ian!

  3. Jessica says:

    I have three cats (two are around the two year mark and one is 14). My big tomcat (the older one) has been recently diagnosed with hyperthyroid and the vet wants me to switch his food from the orijen to their vet prescription diet. I’ve read the ingredients to the vets food and it’s nothin but fillers/grains. Any suggestion on a different brand? Keep in mind if I change his food I need to change to younger cats food too cuz tomboy will go for the orijen food if I’m still feeding it to the other two. Thanks for any help.

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hi Jessica, I am not sure if I can help you mentioning any cat food because what your cat suffers is a serious condition. What I do know is that anything containing wheat is bad for a cat with thyroid problem, but I couldn’t say anything different than a Vet advice in this sense.

  4. Kimberlee says:

    I am interested in the last cat owner, as I have 2 senior cats with hyperthyroid. And a 3rd semi-feral cat about 3 years old. I decided to try Orijen because my roommate is feeding it to her service dog formerly with bad ear infections. Problem solved! One of the senior cats has been nibbling on the dog’s food & I thought – why not try it for them? My Vet said the seniors need high protein & this has that & a more natural feline diet. I’d like to know why the vet wants you to stop the Orijen?

  5. Samantha says:

    Hi, I have a 3 year old cat who has developed a food allergy causing him to have itchy skin and excessive grooming. Since this food is grain free would it be the right food for him?

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hi Samantha, make sure to discard a flea problem with your cat. Usually cat owners think their cats have allergy to foods when in reality they have a stubborn case of fleas. If fleas are discarded you need to start feeding different formulas avoiding one single ingredient and wait for a week to see the reaction of your cat. When a cat developes a allergic reaction to food could be associated to fish or seafood, beef, corn, soy, dairy products and gluten.

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