Orijen Cat & Kitten New 2016 Formula Review

Orijen Kentucky formula2016 Orijen Cat & Kitten new formula from the facility located in Kentucky contains new ingredients that reduces and increases percentages to the nutritional formula in comparison to the first recipe.



  • Grain-free
  • 40% protein
  • 20% low-glycemic carbohydrates, free of grains, potatoes or tapioca
  • 1/3 of meats are from dehydrated chicken and turkey ( meats are air-dried at low temperature)
  • 2/3 of meats are fresh and refrigerated or raw flash-frozen, without preservatives.
  • Liver provides good taste for picky eaters.
  • DHA and EPA naturally from fresh fish
  • It provides a natural source of Glucosamine and Chondroitin



Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail ?ounder, whole eggs, whole atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, whole atlantic herring, chicken heart, turkey heart, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated turkey liver, whole green peas, whole navy beans, red lentils, chicken necks, chicken kidney, chicken fat, pinto beans, chickpeas, green lentils, alfalfa, natural chicken ?avor, alfalfa, herring oil, ground chicken bone, chicken cartilage, turkey cartilage, dried kelp, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, apples, pears, pumpkin seeds, sun?ower 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 bi?dobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.



Crude protein (min.) 40 % – Crude fat (min.) 20 % – Crude fibres (max.) 3% – Moisture (max.) 10 % – Calcium (min.) 1.2 % – Phosphorus (min.) 1% – Magnesium (min.) 0.1% – Taurine (min.) 0.2% – Omega-6 fatty acids (min.) 3.5 % – Omega-3 fatty acids (min.) 0.8% – DHA (min.) 0.2 % – EPA (min.) 0.2 %



(3.0/5) Deboned chicken: This meat contains water in muscles, adding less proteins in total formula. The concept of “deboned” can mislead to thinking of high in proteins. Best when used in canned food. 3 stars

(2.0/5) Deboned turkey: Same as chicken, the concept “deboned” mislead to higher in protein, but it really adds water weight to the % in the total formula. This ingredient is best if used in canned wet food. 2 stars

(3.0/5) Yellowtail Flounder: It provides a good source of fatty acids but it could be further down the list. 3 stars

(3.0/5) Whole eggs: whole eggs(3 stars) Eggs are a good source of protein, but whole eggs might include some small pieces of shell. Eggs add calcium and ash. 3 stars

(3.0/5) Whole Atlantic mackerel: Good source of cold water fish, high in fatty acids but whole fish may contain all parts of fish, including gills and fins. 3 stars

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


  • Contains natural fresh local ingredients
  • The formula contains the 11 essential amino acids
  • Not too much chicken and turkey liver
  • Low-glycemic formula, free of grains, potatoes, and tapioca
  • No by-products
  • Gluten free
  • 40% proteins
  • No preservatives in meats
  • Healthy fatty acids, Omega 3 and 6.
  • Natural source of vitamins and minerals, reducing synthetic supplements


  • 2/3 of formula adds water-weight (water from fresh meats or organs or ice from frozen meats)
  • Minimum amount of Phosphorus in the formula isn’t less than 1% (if lower than 1% avoids chances of cats developing urine crystals)
  • The maximum levels are not stated in the Guaranteed Analysis
  • Whole fish means it could include gills, scales, fins and internal organs.
  • Magnesium has been increased (min)
  • Proteins have been reduced (min)
  • Omega-3 has been reduced (min)


The new formula of Orijen Cat & Kitten made several changes:

  • It eliminated chicken meal as the second ingredient and included deboned turkey instead. Deboned meats, in general, are weighed before cooked which includes water in muscles or ice weight if frozen. This makes this proportion to increase because of the water or ice weight, reducing the actual protein of these meats proportionally in the total formula.
  • Most of the proteins of this formula come from fish and whole eggs if we consider the 5 first ingredients of the total formula. This includes all parts of the fish and some pieces of eggs shells.
  • They don’t mention the maximum levels on the Guaranteed Analysis which means we don’t know the maximum level of Phosphorus, Calcium, Ash, etc.
  • They increased the Magnesium from 0.09% to 0.1%
  • They reduced proteins from 42% to 40% (min)
  • They reduced Omega-3 from 1.2% to 0.8% (min)

The average rating based on the first 3 ingredients (which add the most weight over the total formula) is: 2.66 Stars which is not a very good rate for a dry cat food.

Very Important: As Orijen cat formula is high in protein, it’s very important to feed your cat wet canned food and provide a fresh source of water available at all times when feeding your pet this cat food.



Orijen new formula adds more fish and eggs than chicken and turkey to the formula because it eliminated “chicken meal” from the formula. Chicken and turkey meal will always be better for cats than fish, whole eggs, and whole fish.



Lorena Avila is a Marketing Engineer, Writer, cat figures collector, cat lover and cat owner as well but above all a very passionate investigator of felines. She started investigating cat products 5 years ago when she couldn’t find reliable reviews on the internet to buy an automatic feeder for her own cat and since then she has been helping others providing honest information online.

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24 Responses to “Orijen Cat & Kitten New 2016 Formula Review”

  1. Erich Stein says:

    I use it the brand as long as it stays in Canada

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Just check the formula when you buy it. You may be able to get the Canadian formula online.

  2. Donna says:

    I will not be buying this new formula

  3. Mike says:

    They are not moving from Canada, The Canada product will stay in Canada and make for themselves and Europe. THE EU has very strict guidelines on Petfood production. The USA lets the petfood makers police themselves.

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      That’s correct. This is the review for the formula made in Kentucky. The Canadian formula has its own review as well. Thanks for comment!

    • Cynthia says:

      I went on there website and the didn’t have the yellow bag/chicken formula listed. Are you sure they are still producing the same line up as before?

  4. Holly says:

    The new US formula comes in a smaller bag (4 pound now instead of the previous 5 pounds) but the price is staying the same!

  5. Anna says:

    FYI mackerel don’t have scales. The skin is thin, fully edible, and quite tasty (not the fins, though).

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hello Anna, I was talking in general the concept of whole fish, because the formula contains 3 types of fish. Thanks for your input!

  6. Kimberly Rutledge says:

    My cat will not eat this. Trying switch him to something better since he’s getting older and Petsmart no longer carries the brand he’s been eating. I wanted to change before he completely ran out, so I attempted to switch, by following a bloggers suggestion. First when opening the bag it has a very strong fishy smell. I put it in a small dish next to his regular food, just so he could get used to the smell. He wouldn’t even come near his old food or water. Next I tried mixing about 1/8 cup with his old food, hoping he might eat, but still nothing. He went over 24 hours not eating or drinking out of his dishes. I caught him actually drinking from the toilet. I feel it is the high fish content which he is not used to. Will be returning and trying something else.

  7. Lina says:

    I was going to be purchasing this for my 2 dogs and 2 cats but now that I realized that they moved to USA and changed the formula, there is no way I’ll be purchasing this product now!!!

  8. mary says:

    my cats will not eat the new formula. i eneded up getting 2 bags of the canada formula. that formula will also change soon. it is very sad because my cats were healthy and strong and to see them not eat they even stopped eating the canned that they love. as soon as i put out the old canada formula they ate and ate and were soon feeling better

  9. Susan says:

    My cat started vomiting when I gave her the new formula. Any other choice of cat food? Thank you

    • Lorena Ávila says:

      Hello Susan, I use Petcurean with my cat and so far so good.

      • betty says:

        I have started feeding Petcurean Go Fit as a supplement to a grain free canned food rotation. My three cats readily accepted it. High in protein and cheaper than Orijen or Nature’s Variety Ultimate Protein.

        • Lorena Ávila says:

          Petcurean is one of my favorite cat foods. I try to rotate a little bit though with other proteins once in a while so my cat doesn`t develop food. If you feed your cat only one cat food all the time without switching here and there, it will develop allergy to that protein.

  10. Linda says:

    My cat has eaten the Canadian Orijen for several years, but she didn’t like the Kentucky version at all. Maybe people in Kentucky like mustard, turnip, and collard greens, but I can’t imagine cats do. There was a very large proportion of not just crumbs, but almost a powder all through the bag. I had to shake the powder to the bottom and pick out the usable pieces. I won’t buy the U.S. version again.

  11. Rivia says:

    Hey Lorena, the usa website has added the amino acid list + vitamin & mineral are measured. You can fix the pros and cons in the review now.

  12. Sara says:

    I have been trying to find the old version and cannot find it in Minnesota. My 10-month-old kitten does not like the new formula, and I can barely tolerate the fish smell. I’m looking for a new cat food to start feeding him.

  13. Susan says:

    I have been using the Canadian orijen for all my 5 cats…all have beautiful coats and are very healthy…when the new Kentucky formula came out I mixed the old with the new for several weeks…now they are on the straight new formula. .3 of my cats can not tolerate it and there is thow up all over…very frustrated. ..a good thing is not good any longer…i purchased the regional orijen…that’s still the old formula…don’t know what the results are yet

    • Alison Robertson says:

      I have have just returned from the vet after one of my cats has lost weight and has a high calcium level. Blood screening $450. They are testing for thyroid and other things that could explain the high calcium. My other cat has been throwing up his food. This is since the change in production (Kentucky). I am now discovering that other people are having problems with the formula. I am so upset. I just want the best food for my cats. Is there something we can do?

  14. betty says:

    Try Petcurean Go Fit. High protein and cheaper than Orijen.