ACANA Cat Food Review

Country of originUSA / Canada
Available fromPet Circle, VeryPet

I’ve fed ACANA to my own cat on many occasions, and it’s one of my “go to” cat foods. It’s the little sister of Orijen which is probably the best dry cat food you can buy in Australia, but ACANA is thankfully more budget friendly.

ACANA is a good choice for your cat if you want something reliable, with decent ingredients, and although isn’t the cheapest will be much healthier for your cat than most.

Champion Petfoods who make both Orijen and ACANA have an excellent reputation for quality, and this has been the case for many years.

Let’s take a closer look!

ACANA review (Meadowlands)

What the marketing says

For the sake of the review I’ll focus on ACANA Meadowlands which is based on chicken and turkey. All recipes are on par, it’s just hard to write about all of them!

It’s an All Life Stages formula which means it’s suitable for kittens and older cats as well as your regular middle-aged tabby.

On the bag we find 75% small prey animal ingredients, which will be great for your cat, with the first three ingredients (chicken, turkey, chicken liver) being fresh or raw at the time of “kibblefying”, and the top six ingredients from animal sources.

ACANA Cat Food Review

I expect in reality the 75% is what’s known as “wet weight” before cooking (meat ingredients lose a lot of moisture during cooking), so won’t be as amazing “dry weight”. Nevertheless it’s still really good, and way way better than most other cat foods in Australia.

We also find the food is biologically appropriate which is somewhat of a marketing term meaning they consider it appropriate for your cat, and it’s nice to see they’ve used free-run poultry, freshwater fish, and cage-free eggs.

Good so far, so let’s see how the ingredients back up the marketing claims!

What the ingredients really say

I’m happy to say the claims on the bag are honest and accurate, and the ingredients as a whole are really good.

It’s great to see a mix of chicken and turkey as well as liver which is highly nutritious and rarely found in cat foods (especially dry cat foods). Personally I avoid feeding liver every day, but there’s no reason you can’t offer your cat a diet of ACANA and a few other tasty options.

The fourth ingredient is chicken meal, so another species-appropriate ingredient, and it’s also great to see catfish meal and pollock meal as well.

Compare these ingredients to any cat food in the supermarkets and you’ll realise how good this food is in comparison.

ACANA Cat Food Review

All dry cat foods have a carbohydrate or starch ingredient to bind it into a kibble. Usually this is some kind of grain or potato, but in the ACANA cat foods we find a combination of lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas which I find to be better choices.

If you’ve read this far then you’re probably getting a good impression of ACANA as a good choice for your cat?

But wait, it gets better!

Usually by now the ingredients are nothing to rave about, but with the ACANA cat foods this is where they really shine.

Let me just cut & paste the next chunk of ingredients:

rainbow trout, eggs, catfish, pollock oil, natural chicken flavor, chicken heart, lentil fiber, turkey meal, turkey liver, turkey heart, chicken cartilage, turkey cartilage, freeze-dried turkey liver

I probably don’t need to explain the health benefits of the above, so I’ll simply say they’re great for your cat!

Find me another dry cat food with such a range of “whole prey” ingredients. You’ll be hard pushed.

And wait, there’s more:

dried kelp, whole cranberries, whole pumpkin, collard greens, carrots, apples

Pretty good, isn’t it?

Before you nip off to Pet Circle to buy a bag (price compare below), there’s one more clever point I’d like to make about the ACANA cat foods, and that’s the “freeze-dried turkey liver” you may’ve spotted on the ingredients.

I’ll explain…

Many cheaper cat foods use something known as a “palatant” to get your cat to eat it. This is particularly the case with cheap cat foods made of grains. It turns out cats will enthusiastically eat unhealthy kibble if it’s coated with some cheap animal tallow or glycerine. This in turn makes you as a consumer think the product is great – “My cat LOVES this stuff!”.

We know how picky cats are, and I often find cats turn their nose up at healthier foods which don’t use such palatants, which is really frustrating for us.

Coating the kibble with freeze-dried turkey liver is a great alternative to a nasty palatant, and will hopefully make ACANA a little easier to feed to your cat! In a healthy way!

ACANA cat food is recommended by me, and I hope you have success with it!

Where to buy?

ACANA cat food may be found at the following retailers:


Ingredients of ACANA dry cat food (Meadowlands All Life Stages):

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, chicken meal, catfish meal, pollock meal, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, chicken fat, pea starch, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, rainbow trout, eggs, catfish, pollock oil, natural chicken flavor, chicken heart, lentil fiber, turkey meal, turkey liver, turkey heart, chicken cartilage, turkey cartilage, freeze-dried turkey liver, choline chloride, dried kelp, whole cranberries, whole pumpkin, collard greens, carrots, apples, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, mixed tocopherols (preservative), taurine, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin A acetate, niacin, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement, biotin, copper proteinate, L-carnitine, DL-methionine, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), 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.

Guaranteed analysis

Guaranteed analysis of ACANA dry cat food (Meadowlands All Life Stages):

Protein(min) 36%
Fat(min) 18%
Crude Fibre(max) 4%
Carbohydrates *Estimated 28%
* May be estimated. Read how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food.

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9.2 Total Score
ACANA Cat Food Review

Very good for a dry cat food. If you want better then Orijen is the most "premium" from the same manufacturer.

David D'Angelo

David D'Angelo has worked as a scientist since graduating with a BSc (Hons) in 2000. In addition, David holds a CPD accredited Diploma in Pet Nutrition as well as being CPD accredited VSA (Veterinary Support Assistant). However, his experience and involvement in the pet food industry for 15+ years has given true insight into pet food, formulations, science, research, and pet food marketing. Facebook | LinkedIn | Instagram | Pinterest

  1. I find that Acana flavours have a different price point, e.g. Pacifica is much more expensive than Wild Prairie. Does this indicate there is a significant difference in the quality of these products by the same manufacturer?

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) November 3, 2023 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Rosie, with most brands the formulas are very similar, and by that I mean an emphasis more on cheaper ingredients rather than ingredients suitable for your cat.

      Meat and fish ingredients are expensive, so I expect with ACANA formulas the price variations are very much a reflection of the differing costs of meat/fish ingredients.

  2. Hi, do you know if ACANA products still contain heavy metals, or if these have been removed since the court case?

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) October 3, 2023 at 12:17 am

      Hi Lee, there’s an excellent white paper on this here which will put your mind at ease, but it’s a perfect example of why feeding a variety of foods is a good idea. We consume all manner of toxins ourselves, but because our diet is varied we’re very rarely affected. Pets on the other hand tend to be fed one brand, usually one brand of kibble, all the time – this puts complete reliance in the safety of that product, continuously.

  3. Hi, wondering why there is no score out of 10 for the Acana dry cat food? I find the scores helpful for final narrowing down of choices. Thanks

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