Natural Balance Cat Food Review

Natural Balance pet foods are made with premium ingredients in healthy ratios to ensure balanced nutrition for both cats and dogs. The Natural Balance Pet Food Company selects their ingredients with care, using only high-quality meats and unique proteins as well as complex carbohydrates and fresh fruits and vegetables. At Natural Balance, the health and safety of pets is the top priority so not only is every product made with the highest quality ingredients, but every product is put through rigorous tests for quality and safety, allowing you to “Buy with Confidence”. You can even input information from your Natural Balance pet food package into the website to see lab results for that particular batch of pet food. No other pet food company allows you to do that.

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Who Manufactures Natural Balance Cat Food?

All of Natural Balance’s cat food products are produced by the Natural Balance Pet Food Company. This company was founded by Dick Van Patten in 1989 and it is based in Burbank, California. The Natural Balance Pet Food Company follows the tagline, “food for a lifetime” and they formulate their products using sound scientific principles and nutritional truths in order to ensure that each product is a high-quality source of nutrition for cats in all life stages. The Natural Balance Pet Food Company merged with Del Monte, the maker of other popular cat food brands like Meow Mix. In 2015, the company was purchased by The J.M. Smucker Company along with Big Heart Pet Brands. According to the Natural Balance website, Big Heart Pet Brands will continue to test their products as carefully as ever and they will continue to offer the “Buy with Confidence” program.

Natural Balance Cat Food Recalls 2019

Natural Balance pet foods are manufactured in the United States, though their products are available worldwide, distributed by the J.M. Smucker Company.

  • The first recall in Natural Balance history occurred on April 16th of 2007 when the company received consumer complaints of problems with one cat food product. Natural Balance issued a voluntary recall for all of its Venison products after lab results showed trace amounts of melamine.
  • On April 27, 2007 Natural Balance issued a second recall for one canned cat food product due to melamine levels in rice protein concentrates. Natural Balance blamed their canned food manufacturer, American Nutrition, Inc. (ANI) with adding the ingredient without their knowledge. Other pet food brands like Blue Buffalo and Menu Foods were also affected by this recall.
  • In July of 2007, a small lot of Natural Balance canned foods were recalled following a Botulism outbreak. No illnesses were reported with the pet food.
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In response to these recalls, Natural Balance invested over $800,000 to build a laboratory testing facility for their products. Each product is now tested for 9 known contaminants under the “Buy with Confidence” program.

Natural Balance Cat Food Coupons 2019

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Overall Natural Balance Cat Food Review

The Natural Balance website makes the following claim – “premium quality nutrition to keep your pets happy and healthy”. Natural Balance cat food formulas can be broken down into a number of special categories: grain-free, healthy weight, high protein, indoor, and limited ingredients. The Grain-Free product line includes both dry and canned food formulas made with quality proteins like salmon, chicken, and turkey as well as grain-free carbohydrates like green peas and potato. The healthy weight line of products is designed to help your cat maintain lean muscle mass with a lower calorie content to support weight loss. There is also a line of healthy weight treats available.

The high protein line of Natural Balance cat foods contains two dry food and five wet food products featuring quality animal proteins like buffalo, venison, quail, and herring as well as classics like beef, chicken, turkey, and salmon. Not only are these formulas loaded with animal protein, but they are full of natural flavor as well. The indoor line of cat foods is specifically designed to meet the energy and nutritional needs of indoor cats, plus they are formulated to reduce hairballs and to improve skin and coat health. The limited ingredients line of products was developed for cats with allergies or food sensitivities. Each product is made with a novel source of protein like duck or rabbit along with gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates like green peas and potato.

One interesting point about Natural Balance pet foods is that they do not offer puppy- or kitten-specific formulas. According to the website, in nature pets would not have the option to eat age-specific formulas – they would just follow a diet of mostly meats and some grains and they would eat more or less according to their needs. Natural Balance states that all of their products are scientifically formulated to provide pets in all life stages with complete and balanced nutrition. Following the feeding recommendations on the package should be enough to ensure that your pet’s nutritional needs are met. For puppies and kittens, simply feed a little bit more or give them the option of free feeding to ensure that they get enough calories.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Trout, Salmon Meal & Tuna Formula

The Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Trout, Salmon Meal & Tuna dry food formula belongs to the high-protein line of cat foods. According to the Natural Balance website, the Wild Pursuit line of high-protein formulas is “a grain-free diet with elevated levels of protein from multiple high-quality animal sources, including freeze-dried raw pieces to resemble what a cat’s diet would have been in the wild”. A review of the ingredients list for this product reveals that these nutritional claims are founded in truth and this formula seems to be an excellent source of nutrition for cats.

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The first ingredient for this Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Trout, Salmon Meal & Tuna formula is fresh trout. Trout is not only an excellent source of quality protein, but it also provides omega-3 fatty acids which are very good for your cat’s skin and coat. It is important to note that fresh meats like trout contain high levels of moisture, up to 80% in some cases, so the actual volume of protein for this ingredient could be much lower once it is cooked. This is why it is great to see a named meat meal like whitefish meal as the next ingredient. Meat meals have already been cooked down to a moisture level around 10% which means that they contain up to 300% more protein by volume than fresh meats. This is not the only meat meal included in this recipe, either – you will find salmon meal as the fifth ingredient. Salmon is rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids as well as being a quality source of animal protein.

Amy @ Amazon.com says…

After a month of my cat being fed the food his coat got very greasy and was shedding much more than when he was on Acana. Not very pleased with Natural Balance since first getting bought by Del Monte and now Smuckers. They lost a little integrity however I am glad it helps many dogs and cats who have allergies, etc.

After the trout and whitefish meal comes dried peas and dried garbanzo beans – both gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates. Not only are peas a good source of dietary fiber and rich in Vitamins A, B, C and K but they also contain some vegetable protein. The inclusion of this ingredient might lead some to question whether it was being used as a means of increasing the protein content of this product without adding more meat, but the fact that there are multiple named sources of meat and several meat meals makes this very unlikely. Dried garbanzo beans, or chickpeas, are also rich in dietary fiber in addition to being a good source of iron, magnesium, and vitamin B-6. This formula also contains alfalfa meal a little further down the ingredients list. Like dried peas, alfalfa meal is primarily a source of vegetable protein though it also contains calcium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.

In addition to the ingredients already discussed, this Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Trout, Salmon Meal & Tuna formula also contains pea protein, canola oil, dried egg, chicken, tapioca starch, tuna, brewers dried yeast, chicken liver and menhaden oil in addition to some valuable supplements. The fact that this product contains another four sources of animal protein in addition to the trout and whitefish meal just adds further proof to the claim that it is a high-protein formula. Chicken liver is not just a source of protein, either – it also provides plenty of iron and vitamin A. Pea protein is another source of protein but because it comes from a plant source it is less biologically valuable for your cat than named animal sources of protein.

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The canola oil in this recipe provides fatty acids, though it would be more beneficial if it were a named animal source of fat – the menhaden oil that appears further down the list is an excellent ingredient because it contains plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Brewers dried yeast contains a number of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that are valuable for your cat. This formula also contains chelated minerals – these are minerals that have been chemically bonded to protein molecules, making them easier for your cat’s body to absorb and digest.

Overall, this Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Trout, Salmon Meal & Tuna formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 40%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 18%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3.5%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Calorie Content – 365 kcal/cup

This Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Trout, Salmon Meal & Tuna meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for cats in all life stages. With 40% crude protein, this product definitely lives up to the “high protein” claim and it has plenty of fat with a moderate amount of fiber. For being a high-protein formula and fairly high in fat, it is somewhat surprising to see that this food only contains 365 calories per cup. To determine how much to feed your cat, just follow the feeding recommendations according to your cat’s weight. Remember, you may need to feed kittens a little bit more until they reach 6 months of age.

Final Thoughts

All in all, this Natural Balance Wild Pursuit Trout, Salmon Meal & Tuna formula provides excellent nutritional value for cats in all life stages. Not only is this formula high in protein, but that protein comes from a number of different sources which helps to ensure that your cat receives a good balance of nutrients. In addition to being loaded with high-quality protein, this formula provides both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids plus digestible carbohydrates for dietary fiber. There are a few ingredients included in this formula which could probably be omitted or swapped out for ingredients of higher quality but there are no major red flags for this product.

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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