Orijen Cat Food Review

Country of originCanada
Available fromVeryPet

Orijen is an astounding “premium” Canadian brand thankfully shipped to Australian shores. Made by reputable manufacturer Champion Petfoods, Orijen touts itself as biologically appropriate and trusted by pet lovers everywhere.

For our Orijen cat food review we’ll focus on the Orijen Cat & Kitten formula, but consider the other cat food formulas on par – they’re all really good.

Orijen Cat Food Review

Orijen cat food is simply wonderful. I don’t think you’ll find another dry cat food in Australia with such an incredible list of ingredients. Not only do we find a range of meat and fish, but a whole host of inclusions which will greatly boost the health of your cat (or kitten).

Orijen Cat Food Review

Keep in mind a cat is an obligate carnivore, biologically designed to thrive on meat and organs. With this in mind, the ingredient of Orijen cat food really speak for themselves – deboned chicken, deboned turkey, eggs, flounder, whole atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, whole atlantic herring, chicken heart, turkey heart.

That’s only the start of it too, with a whole range of other meat and fish ingredients combined with a few minor inclusions to round off the food with various nutrients. We even find ground bone, kidney, cartilage, and chicken fat.

The composition of Orijen cat food is astounding, boasting 40% protein and 20% fat. It’s even more astounding given the quality of ingredients. You’ll find many cat foods ramp up protein with legumes, not meat, and even so suffer from much higher carbohydrates from fillers. Not here though, not with Orijen.

Orijen cat food contains no nasty ingredients whatsoever. No grains, no fillers, and preserved naturally. It’s simply fantastic. Yes, it’s pricey, but when you understand how much nutrition is packed into this cat food it’s easy to understand why. Our cats should be eating foods comprised of whole prey, meat, and organs, and not terrible “cat foods” made mostly of grains, peas, or potatoes, for carnivores.

Orijen cat food is highly recommended!

Orijen Cat Food Review

Has our Orijen cat food review been of use? Do you feel enlightened by this wonderful product? Do you feed your cat Orijen and have anything to say about the food? If so, let us know in the comments. Meow.

Where to buy Orijen Cat Food

Orijen cat food can be purchased in Australia from VeryPet.

Is Orijen Cat Food Irradiated by Australian Quarantine?

I’ll take the opportunity now to state Orijen pet foods are not irradiated, and this has been the case since 2009. Irradiation of pet foods was a treatment imposed by Australian Quarantine on imported products, but due to a number of cats suffering neurological impairment on irradiated pet food it was subsequently and promptly banned. Unfortunately at the time Orijen cat food took the brunt of this being a prominent import at the time, but it is important to note the product was made harmful by Australian Quarantine, and not the product itself.

As a further side note it is still legal to irradiate dog food products into Australia, but not if they amount to a significant portion of an animal’s diet. I am not aware of any main brand kibble being irradiated since 2009. Some other pet food products are still irradiated, mostly dog food treats imported from countries such as China.

Ingredients of Orijen Cat Food (Cat & Kitten)

Ingredients of Orijen Cat & Kitten dry cat food as of July 2021:

Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, eggs, flounder, whole atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, whole atlantic herring, chicken heart, turkey heart, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated egg, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, chicken fat, chicken necks, chicken kidney, whole green peas, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, whole chickpeas, natural chicken flavor, alaskan pollock oil, ground chicken bone, chicken cartilage, lentil fiber, turkey cartilage, choline chloride, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, mixed tocopherols (preservative), dried kelp, zinc proteinate, freeze-dried chicken liver, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, apples, pears, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, thiamine mononitrate, copper proteinate, 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.

Guaranteed analysis of Orijen Cat Food (Cat & Kitten)

Guaranteed analysis of Orijen Cat & Kitten dry cat food as of July 2021:

Protein(min) 40%
Fat(min) 20%
Crude Fibre(max) 3%
Carbohydrates *22% (estimated)
* May be estimated. Read how to calculate carbohydrates in a pet food.

Orijen Cat Food Quick Facts

Who manufactures Orijen cat food?

Orijen cat food is manufactured by Canadian company Champion Petfoods

Where is Orijen Cat Food made?

Orijen pet food is made in Alberta (Canada) and Kentucky (USA).

Is Orijen Cat Food Irradiated by Australian Quarantine?

No, Orijen pet foods are not irradiated by Australian Quarantine.

Does Orijen cat food cause DCM (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) / Heart disease

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found no evidence Orijen or other Grain Free “Boutique” pet foods cause heart disease in cats or dogs.

Orijen Cat Food Recalls (Australia)

Apart from the issues mentioned earlier in our Orijen cat food review regarding Australian Quarantine irradiation, there have been no other recalls in Australia. If you want assurance that Orijen is a high quality cat food, then rest assured as Orijen has had no recalls in United States or Canada either!

Orijen was one of the brands associated with the 2019 heart disease / DCM investigations of Grain Free “Boutique” pet foods by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of America, but the investigation was subsequently dropped as no conclusive evidence was found. We see the DCM “scare” very likely to be a marketing strategy from large corporate brand manufacturers (who manufacture grain foods) against their smaller (and growing) rivals who produce pet foods absent of grains.

Calling Aussie pet lovers – join the mailing list!

9.5 Total Score

  • Whole prey ingredients
  • No fillers

  1. If Orijen was ‘bad’ should I bother with Acana, which I believe is made by the same US/Canadian company??

  2. My cat fell in love with Orijen last year, then come November I couldn’t buy it for love nor money. Now I read this… Who knows whats for the best?

  3. I feed my cat both dry food and wet food every day. With the wet food I can rotate the brand / flavours around a lot so that he’s getting variety, but with the dry, I simply get a bag and stick with that until he’s got through most of it, then try and get a different one next time.

    One thing I really try to do is not feed him fish every day, which can be tricky because so many flavours have it in them. But I’ve read multiple times that too much fish can be bad.

    So, my question is, how does ‘don’t feed your cat too much fish’ align with a dry food that I’d be giving him every day containing 4 different types of fish? Does that mean that a high quality brand is likely to be sourcing fish that’s not full of baddies, or that if I get this, I should get another, non fish, dry food too?

    Thank you, by the way, for all the amazing time and effort you put into this site, it’s my go to every time I’m buying new food for the little monster and a real sanity saver. Now if only I ensured my own diet was as high quality!

  4. so disappointing that they changed their recipe to now contain peas and lentils. i’ll have to look for another alternative now.

    • Firstly, your cat food review site has helped me keep my feline friend Frodo happy & well nourished for going on 5 years now so thanks! He loved Healthy Everyday Pets cat bics & after they went ‘belly-up’ it was onto the Orijen .. another big hit! I’m hoping that you might have some intel on what’s happening with Orijen & why everybody online is sold out??? It’s been that way for months now.

      • Reply
        Pet Food Reviews (Australia) November 22, 2023 at 8:11 pm

        Orijen has definitely been plagued with supply issues this year unfortunately. ACANA is another good option – not quite as good as Orijen, but it’s made by the same manufacturer Champion (now actually owned by Mars).

    • Peas, worldwide, have been found to be high in pesticides.

    • They have been taken over by Mars. So this is not surprising unfortunately.

  5. Orijen is really expensive for what it is. Only 40% protein, and it contains beans/legumes to bring up the protein content. I consider the legumes as a “filler” ingredient and like in ZiwiPeak by using beans it ups the carbohydrate content, which isn’t ideal for diabetic cats or cats trying to lose weight.

    There’s also a number of veggies in the ingredients list.

    Is it really as good as people say, or are people swayed by the “whole prey” marketing ploy and expensive price tag? Jackson Galaxy mentions that it doesn’t matter much what goes into kibble, because the heating/cooking process kills most of the nutritional value of raw ingredients.

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) September 8, 2022 at 6:02 pm

      Hi Avocato, the real question is how much of those ingredients and are they in moderation? Most ingredients such as veggies/legumes have nutritional value, but this becomes debatable with many foods which use them in excess. That isn’t the case with either of these two dog foods as they both state percentage of meat (I believe 85% to 90% with Orijen and a minimum of 91% in ZIWI Peak).

      There are other factors as well, as percentages can refer to wet weight or dry weight, and moisture content in air-dried is often higher than a kibble.

  6. Help! Looking for great food available in Australia for my cat with IBD. Found an American site with good independent reviews but most of it is not available here

    • I was the owner of 2 cats that suffered the devastating neurological damage caused by Orijen dry food in 2008 and I was heavily involved in getting the irradiation of cat food banned in this country and everything that happened in between.

      To blame ASIC is simply unfair.

      In this case ASIC’s role was to stop potential disease entering our country as the poultry used in Orijen was not treated at a high enough temperature to kill potential diseases we do not have in our country from entering. ASIC’s role was NOT to supply our pets with the nutritional food Champion Petfoods claimed to sell us. The latter was solely up to Champion Petfoods.

      Champion petfoods had 3 options on their importation paperwork. We found this out not through Champion Petfoods being open about the process they chose to import their food but by seeing the importation paperwork through FOI laws and the importer they chose in Australia helping us find out why our cats were becoming paralysed and/or dying. Option 1 was to heat treat the food. this option would have stopped the slow death and devastation they caused our beloved pets but would have reduced the nutritional value they advertised (as did irradiating it) I wonder if they are heat treating it now to get it back into Australia and still claiming to have the same nutritional value. Option 2 was to irradiate it. The option they chose amd from what we gathered the cheapest. Option 3 was to simply not import it to our country given our quarantine laws at the time and that their product was not cooked at a high enough temperature to kill potential pathogens entering our country. It was Champion Petfoods due diligence to deliver a nutritionally balanced food as advertised. Choosing the irradiation process just to grow globally for $$$ without informing us that they will be making their food nutritionally void and full of free radicals is all their fault and not ASIC.

      I do not even want to go into the treatment myself and the other affected cat owners received from Champion Petfoods during this entire process. ASIC on the other hand would answer all our communications to help us work out what was happening.

      This company did not help us after their choice devaste and killed so many of our cats. They tried to blame ASIC when it was their choice to irradiate it. They went very quiet once we had the importation papers and found it was their choice. A company that genuinely cares for our pets? Not in my experience.

      • Reply
        Pet Food Reviews (Australia) February 2, 2023 at 4:45 pm

        Hi Jenny, thank you for adding this information and I’m very sorry to hear your cats were affected. I’ll also offer a thank you for being a part in having irradiation of cat food banned. I wish it were also the case for dog foods, and also the many pet treat products which are still irradiated.

        To add to what you’ve said, I think back in 2008 there was such a lack of understanding with the effects of irradiation that it’s hard to blame either ASIC or Orijen. Perhaps more research should have been conducted before irradiation of pet food was made optional, but often research can miss such results unless a study specifically sets out to prove an eventuality.

        From my understanding (which may or may not still be the case), a manufacturer can have their facility checked for compliance to circumvent the need for irradiation. This is the harder and more costly process, with ticking a box to irradiate an easier solution which many pet food manufacturers opted for.

        Irradiation of cat food hasn’t been the only issue of this nature in the last 15 years or so I’ve been reviewing pet foods. Megaesophagus from mycotoxins in corn, taurine deficiency in dogs due to kibbles deficient in meat ingredients, and numerous others have occurred from a lack of understanding (and perhaps profiteering or ignorance) which have caused processes and regulations to change. Standards such as AAFCO are only based on what we currently know and understand about pet nutrition, and every now and then something occurs or research is conducted to cause them to change.

        Without taking sides, I sympathise a little with Orijen’s case – the issues did not effect any of their pet foods anywhere else in the world, only Australia, due to Australian regulations, and the potential harm at the time was unknown.

  7. I bought this one during Black Friday. I’m wondering are Fussy Cat grain free mince,Regal Easy pots,Paws Fresh Dice and VIP Paws Fresh Pet Mince for cat and dog that are sold in Woolworths good?

    • Reply
      Pet Food Reviews (Australia) November 29, 2021 at 11:14 pm

      Hi Paya, Fussy Cat and Paw Fresh are made by the same company as the Woolworths homebrands, and we’ve had a lot of issues raised with numerous brands from the manufacturer. Regal is a separate manufacturer, but all are pet grade mince with preservative 220 which has shown to be problematic in the past, and ambiguous “antioxidants” are a sign of dubious quality. Many Australian wet brands these days use human grade meats and are a lot more open about ingredients, such as Proudi, Big Dog, Frontier Pets et al – unfortunately they’re not available at the supermarkets, but the first two are in most pet stores.

  8. Sorry my 1 1/2 year female Tabby will not eat this one – we all like different things.

    • My dogs loved it haha, cats are imprint feeders so likely due to never having anything like this before, she has no idea it’s food and doesn’t like it. Joining a cat group has really opened my eyes to a lot of things about cats I never knew.

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