California Natural Cat Food Review

California Natural Cat Food has been discontinued. We recommend Taste of the Wild Cat Food if you’re looking for a similar product.

The California Natural brand was founded in 1992 and the company was original known as Mother Nature Pet. Once owned by Natura Pet Products, the brand is now part of Procter & Gamble. What makes California Natural unique from other pet food companies is the fact that they specialize in Limited Ingredient Diets for pets with food sensitivities. Each recipe utilizes just 3 to 6 key ingredients and all of their formulas are free from potatoes, corn, soy, dairy and eggs. California Natural recognizes the importance of quality nutrition for all pets, especially those with food sensitivities, when it comes to achieving a happy and healthy life. Not only does California Natural address food sensitivities with their products but their recipes are also designed to soothe sensitive stomachs, to avoid ingredient intolerances, and to boost skin and coat health. Their products are made with fresh, natural ingredients and they are free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

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Who Manufactures California Natural Cat Food?

The California Natural brand is produced and manufactured by Procter & Gamble, Co. This company originated in the 1830s and it has grown into one of the largest multinational consumer goods company in America. Before being owned by Procter & Gamble, the California Natural company was owned by Natura but they were bought out in 2013. This move concerned a number of pet owners who were fans of the brand because P&G has been known to put profits over quality in the production of their goods. To allay some of this concern the California Natural provides information about their manufacturing process on their website. The website lists a number of certifications that the brand has received from various organization s such as ISO Quality Management, the American Institute of Baking (AIB), and the USDA APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.  

California Natural Cat Food Recalls 2021

The California Natural brand markets itself as a high-quality, natural pet food brand but it is important to note that the brand has been affected by a number of recalls. Interestingly, all of California Natural’s recalls have occurred since 2013 (the year when Procter & Gamble took over production). Here is a list of all the California Natural recalls:

  • On March 18, 2013 a recall was issued for Natura Pet Products due to contamination concerns with Salmonella bacteria. The brands affected were Innova, EVO, California Natural, and Healthwise.
  • On March 29, 2013 Natura Pet announced an expansion of its May 18, 2013 recall due to potential contamination with Salmonella bacteria.
  • In April 2013 California Natural was affected by a widening of the 3/29/13 voluntary recall affecting the Innova, EVO, California Natural, Healthwise, and Karma brands.
  • In June 2013 California Natural was part of a voluntary dog food recall involving Natura Pet Products due to potential salmonella contamination. The brands affected were Innova, Evo, California Natural, Healthwise, Karma, and Mother Nature.

Overall California Natural Cat Food Review

The California Natural pet food company is marketed as a quality brand but, unfortunately, they only offer dog food products – they do not make any products for cats. Each of their products is designed to function as a Limited Ingredient Diet in order to reduce the risk for food allergies and intolerances in dogs with sensitive stomachs and digestive systems. According to the California Natural website, the company uses high-quality ingredients from suppliers that keep the highest standards for safety and quality. They recognize that great pet food starts at the source so they design their recipes with just 3 to 6 key ingredients, using animal-based protein as the top ingredient and avoiding any artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Adult Dog Formula

The California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Adult Dog formula is one of eight classic recipes that the brand has to offer. This recipe features 4 key ingredients – chicken meal, brown rice, sunflower oil, and flaxseed. The fact that the first ingredient is chicken meal speaks to the high protein content of this recipe. Chicken meal is sometimes preferable to fresh chicken (especially when it is the only source of protein) because it has already been cooked down to a moisture level around 10% – this makes it a much more highly concentrated source of protein for pets than fresh meat.

Brown rice as the second ingredient (followed by rice) is also a decent addition to this recipe because these carbohydrates are generally considered easy to digest. The next ingredient, sunflower oil, is a source of healthy fats for pets – it is also beneficial for your pet’s skin and coat. It would be better to see an animal-based fat source but there is nothing inherently wrong with sunflower oil. Flaxseed provides additional fatty acids as well as some dietary fiber to help support your pet’s healthy digestion. Again, it would be better to see an animal source of fat but there is nothing wrong with flaxseed.

The remaining ingredients in this California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Adult Dog food are natural flavors, potassium chloride, salt, minerals, vitamins, and rosemary extract. The fact that this ingredient list is fairly short compared to many pet food brands is a good thing. The fewer ingredients that go into the product, the lower the risk for food allergies or intolerances. The minerals included in this recipe are chelated which means that they have been chemically bonded to protein molecules – this makes them easier for your dog’s body to digest and absorb. The vitamin supplements help to balance out the nutritional integrity of this recipe as well.

Overall, this California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Adult Dog formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 21%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 11%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 2.5%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Linoleic Acid (Min) – 1.5%
  • Vitamin E (Min) – 300 IU/kg
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.3%
  • Calorie Content – 430 kcal/cup

This formula meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for dogs in all life stages. Taking a look at the ingredients list and the guaranteed analysis for this product reveals that it is a fairly high-quality product. Though it is designed for dogs, all of the ingredients included can be considered safe or beneficial for cats as well. The main problem with this recipe as a potential diet for cats is the low protein and fat content. Cats are obligate carnivores so they require high protein levels in their diet with moderate amounts of fat. The fact that chicken meal is the first ingredient gives this recipe decent protein content but it should be closer to 30% (or more) than the 21% it provides. The overall calorie content of this recipe (measured per cup) is also a little high for cats.

Final Thoughts

The California Natural Chicken Meal & Rice Adult Dog recipe can be said to offer moderate nutritional value for dogs. It is made with chicken meal and brown rice as the first two ingredients – both quality additions – and there are some other beneficial ingredients like chelated minerals and healthy fats. It would be better, however, to see animal-based fat sources instead of sunflower oil and flaxseed, and the overall protein and fat content could be higher – especially if you wanted to feed this recipe to a cat. Overall, however, there are no major red flags with this product and it seems to be formulated to provide decent nutritional value.

Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington is a freelance writer specializing in the subject of pet health and wellness. An avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate has a great deal of experience writing about all kinds of pets and all aspects of pet care. Her work has been featured on a number of pet websites and she is a regular columnist for Tropical Fish Hobbyist Magazine.

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