Orijen Cat Food Review 2024

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4.5
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Vet recommended

Written by Aurus Sy

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 03/30/2024, edited: 05/08/2024

Orijen Cat Food Review 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.

Overview


Orijen is a popular pet food brand made by Canadian company Champion Petfoods. Launched in 2005, Orijen is packed with premium animal ingredients, with the first five always fresh or raw. The recipes, which are crafted by a team of experts, contain 85% to 95% animal ingredients like meat, poultry, fish, organs, and bones. Orijen is formulated to reflect the diet a cat would eat in the wild—protein-rich and without any fillers—hence the tagline, “nourish as nature intended.” 

With the high quality of its products, it’s no wonder many pet parents choose Orijen for their furbabies. But is Orijen cat food “purrfect” for your feline friend? Let’s take a look at the brand’s offerings, pros and cons, and more to find out!



Orijen product ranges and flavors

Orijen offers wet and dry foods and freeze-dried treats for cats of all ages. Let’s check out each product line! 


Orijen Dry Cat Food

Orijen Dry Cat Food

Orijen dry cat food

All dry recipes by Orijen contain 85% to 90% animal ingredients, with the first 5 being fresh or raw meat, poultry, fish, and/or organs. For example, Original Cat starts with chicken, turkey, whole herring, turkey giblets, and salmon, while Regional Red begins with beef, wild boar, beef liver, whole herring, and pork. Every recipe also contains various fruits and vegetables such as lentils, chickpeas, cranberries, kelp, pumpkin, apples, and pears. 

Orijen dry cat food comes in several variants, with options for different life stages. In addition to formulas that are suitable for all life stages, there are some that target specific needs. Orijen Kitten supports muscle and brain development in growing kittens with 16 animal ingredients and naturally occurring DHA and EPA, while Guardian 8 and Guardian Senior address 8 common health concerns in adults and older felines. Fit & Trim contains less calories and naturally occurring L-carnitine to help maintain a healthy weight.

Orijen dry cat food is available in the following flavors:

  • Kitten 
  • Guardian 8
  • Original Cat
  • Six Fish Recipe
  • Regional Red
  • Tundra
  • Fit & Trim
  • Guardian Senior


Orijen Wet Cat Food

Orijen Wet Cat Food

Orijen wet cat food

Launched in mid-2023, Orijen wet cat food is packed with 95% animal ingredients that provide the protein, nutrients, and minerals a cat needs. At least the first five ingredients in each pâté are fresh or raw animal ingredients like meat, poultry, organs, and bone. For example, the first eight ingredients in Original Entrée are raw chicken, chicken liver, whole mackerel, chicken bone broth, fish bone broth, chicken heart, whole sardine, and egg. Tuna, Salmon & Beef Entrée has 11 animal ingredients, including ​​raw tuna, chicken, salmon, whole sardine, chicken liver, fish bone broth, beef bone broth, beef, lamb, beef kidney, and shrimp.

Orijen’s wet food line consists of four recipes for adult cats and one for kittens. All recipes contain 80% moisture to keep your moggie nourished and hydrated.  

Orijen wet cat food is available in the following flavors:

  • Chicken & Salmon EntrĂ©e for Kittens 
  • Original EntrĂ©e
  • Tuna, Salmon & Beef EntrĂ©e
  • Duck & Chicken EntrĂ©e
  • Regional Red EntrĂ©e


Orijen Cat Treats

Orijen Cat Treats

Orijen freeze-dried cat treats

All Orijen freeze-dried cat treats contain 99% animal ingredients that are freeze-dried to lock in nutrients and flavor. There are five variants to choose from, including Original, which is made with chicken, turkey, turkey giblets, chicken liver, flounder, and chicken heart, and Six Fish, which is made with whole mackerel, flounder, monkfish, whole herring, Acadian redfish, and whole hake. 

Training your cat? Orijen treats are just 1 calorie each, so you can reward your feline friend without overfeeding them. Going on an adventure? These tasty treats are packable and nutritious enough to keep your cat purring while on the road.

Orijen freeze-dried cat treats are available in the following flavors:

  • Original 
  • Six Fish 
  • Regional Red
  • Tundra
  • Lamb Recipe




Why Wag! likes Orijen

Here are some reasons why Orijen is a highly rated cat food.

High in animal protein 

As obligate carnivores, cats get their nutrients from animal products. Orijen cat foods not only contain 85% to 95% animal protein, but also focus on Biologically Appropriate and WholePrey nutrition. This means that the recipes mirror a cat’s diet in the wild and incorporate meats, organs, and bone. 

Made with fresh ingredients

Orijen uses fresh or raw ingredients to ensure the highest nutritional value and flavor. Fresh ingredients use refrigeration as the only method of preservation, while raw ingredients are frozen at the peak of freshness to preserve nutrients. Champion Petfoods’ kitchens are strategically located near suppliers and so ingredients typically arrive within 48 hours of harvesting.  

Cooked in award-winning kitchens

Orijen dry cat foods are made in Champion’s own custom-built, modern kitchens. In 2017, the Global Food Safety Initiative awarded Champion’s Kentucky kitchen the first-ever Global Markets Award, one of the highest food safety achievements in both the human and animal food industries. 

Vet recommended

Orijen is formulated by a team of pet nutrition experts that includes nutritionists, food scientists, and in-house and external veterinarians. Dr. Georgia Jeremiah, pet nutrition expert and one of Wag!’s veterinary consultants, personally recommends Orijen to her clients as well. 

Dr. Jeremiah says, “Orijen is known for its high protein content, incorporating meat, organs, and bones from multiple animal sources. Recipes are made with fresh ingredients and avoids fillers, artificial additives, and grains. Additionally, they include a probiotic blend for digestive health. One potential drawback is that these diets are expensive, however, overall this is a high-quality, convenient diet option.”

Helps pets in need

Champion Petfoods has partnerships with animal shelters, rescues, and other charitable organizations. Every year, the company donates more than 3.5 million meals to cats and dogs in need at local animal welfare organizations near its kitchens and to national shelter networks, including the Best Friends Animal Society and Edmonton Humane Society.




Concerns & considerations

Here are a few things to consider before buying Orijen cat food.

Expensive 

Because Orijen uses premium ingredients, it comes with a higher price tag. For example, a 12-pound bag of Original Cat costs $69.99 ($5.84 per pound) and a 12-pound bag of Six Fish Recipe costs $72 ($6 per pound).

Limited options for seniors and kittens

While Orijen does have a few life stage-specific offerings, you can find a broader range of choices for kitten and senior cat diets from other brands.  

Mislabeling lawsuits

In 2020, Animal Equality and Organic Consumers Association filed consumer protection lawsuits against Champion Petfoods. AE alleged that Champion marketed farm-raised trout as “wild-caught,” while OCA claimed that the company used the term “free-run” for some products containing chicken without properly defining it. Champion resolved both lawsuits by agreeing to provide better clarity on future packaging and marketing materials.




What pet parents say about Orijen

“I had been wanting to find a higher quality alternative for one of my picky, dry-food insistent cats. I was afraid he would turn his nose away from it because he seemed adamant on sticking with his current food thus far, but to my surprise he scarfed this down quickly and refuses to eat anything else (I did as the instructions suggested and mixed his previous food with this one and he actually ate around the older food and consumed only the ORIJEN). Additionally, my wet-food only cat even enjoys this food and she will eat some out of his bowl. The price is incredibly worth knowing I’m feeding my cats high-quality food that they enjoy immensely. I highly recommend this, even for folks with picky eaters. Thanks!”

“If you have to feed dry food, this is one of the best. All of my cats absolutely love it, but only one of them gets kibble daily, because she’s on the thin side and kibble is high calorie. My other cat gets it like treats; it’s that good! The ingredients are great, my IBD kitty tolerates it really well, and her fur is healthy and shiny. Overall, it’s better to feed wet food but if you need to feed kibble, highly recommend this one.”

“I moved where there are many feral cats. Many die and it is very sad. I started feeding them grocery store cat food. It was when I decided to try a quality brand that I saw a big difference. They love the Orijen Original Cat cat food and I’ve seen a change in their stamina, strength and coats. The quality of the food matters, even for neglected strays.”

Read more reviews on Chewy.




Orijen brand history

Orijen is manufactured by Champion Petfoods, a Canadian company founded by Reinhard MĂĽhlenfeld. Reinhard recognized that there was an opportunity for him to become the first pet food manufacturer in Alberta. He started producing dog food for local farmers and ranchers and launched Acana in 1985.

With its first premium branded pet food, Champion Petfoods quickly grew to serve pet parents across Canada and the US. Many years later, Reinhard’s son Peter wanted to feed his Dachshund Lucky the most Biologically Appropriate food possible, and so Orijen was born in 2005. 

In 2016, Champion opened its state-of-the-art DogStar Kitchen in Auburn, Kentucky and Research and Innovation Center. In 2020, it opened one of the most advanced pet food kitchens in the world, its NorthStar Kitchen in Acheson, Alberta. Today, the company has over 700 employees and distributes Orijen and Acana to more than 90 countries worldwide. 

In February 2023, Mars Petcare, which owns Royal Canin, Whiskas, and Temptations, acquired Champion Petfoods. Champion currently operates as an independent business unit within Mars Pet Nutrition. 




Orijen recall history

Orijen cat food has been recalled once. On November 20, 2008, Champion Petfoods announced a voluntary recall of Orijen cat food sold in Australia, following numerous reports of cats getting sick after eating the food. 

Prior to 2009, gamma irradiation was one of the quarantine treatment options for imported pet foods made with fresh or lightly cooked ingredients entering the Australian market. According to Champion, the irradiation treatment depleted the vitamin A and increased the presence of oxidative by-products in Orijen cat food. Champion not only removed Orijen cat food from Australian store shelves but also did the same with Orijen dog food as an extra precautionary step.

Orijen cat food has never been recalled in the US or Canada. 



All product images sourced from Chewy. Copyright Mars Petcare US, Inc.



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