The Orijen pet food brand was founded in Alberta, Canada and that is where it is still produced and manufactured to this day. Although the company has only been in existence for 25 years, Orijen has quickly made a name for itself as one of the top pet food brands in the world. What makes Orijen products different from other commercially produced pet food products is the company’s commitment to their Biologically Appropriate and Whole Prey philosophies. Orijen uses only fresh, regional ingredients and they utilize steam-cooking technology to preserve the nutritional integrity of those ingredients. The Whole Prey philosophy involves incorporating fresh meats, organs, cartilage, and marrow into pet food products to ensure biologically appropriate nutrient ratios designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of cats in all life stages.

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Who Manufactures Orijen?

The Orijen cat food brand is currently owned and manufactured by the Champion Petfoods company. Orijen was founded in 1985 in Alberta, Canada but it has since spread across the globe, now being sold in more than 70 different countries. The Orijen brand is known not only for the quality of its products, but for its biologically appropriate formulations which are designed to mimic the natural diet of wild cats and dogs. All of Orijen’s products are made in the company’s privately-owned, award-winning kitchens located in Morinville, Alberta. These facilities are used exclusively for the production of the Orijen and Acana brands – the company does not outsource any of its production to other companies. The only exception to this rule is for Orijen’s freeze-dried foods which are produced exclusively in a new production facility located in Oakville, Ontario.

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Orijen Cat Food Recalls 2017

Orijen products are known worldwide for their quality and the Orijen pet food brand has won more awards than any other pet food manufacturer. As a testament to the brand’s quality, there has only been a single recall in the history of the brand. This recall occurred in November of 2008 and it only affected Orijen cat food products manufactured and sold in Australia. The recall was issued due to problems with mandatory gamma irradiation, a treatment that is never used outside of Australia.

To show their commitment to quality and safety, Orijen offers their consumers the First Alert Pet Food Recall program. This program consists of a group of responsible pet food manufacturers who agree to alert their customers right away in the event of a recall. To join this program, simply provide Orijen with your email address or other contact information. The company also agrees to post any and all information involving mandatory or voluntary recalls for their products on the brand website.

Overall Orijen Cat Food Review

The Orijen pet food company recognizes the fact that cats are carnivores and they design each and every one of their products with that fact in mind. Orijen uses only the freshest, natural ingredients in their products and they are carefully sourced from regional suppliers to ensure quality and nutritional integrity. When designing their products, Orijen follows a Biologically Appropriate philosophy which hinges on the idea that modern cats are still built like their ancestors and, as a result, they should eat like they did. This means a high-protein diet made up of fresh meats, organs, cartilage, and marrow supplemented with low-glycemic carbohydrates and fresh fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to their pet food products, Orijen follows five Biologically Appropriate principles. The first promises that every recipe will include at least 80% nourishing meats, most of which are delivered fresh to their award-winning Alberta kitchens on a daily basis. The second promise is meat diversity which ensures a variety of animal proteins including cage-free poultry, nest-laid eggs, free-range red meats, and wild-caught fish. The third promise is meat freshness which ensures natural, unprocessed animal proteins that are just as rich in natural flavor as they are in nutrients. All of Orijen’s products are guaranteed low carbohydrate and low glycemic, relying on gluten-free and grain-free carbohydrates like chickpeas and lentils for digestible sources of dietary fiber. Finally, Orijen promises to include whole fruits, vegetables, and botanicals in their products in place of cereal grains.

In terms of their cat food products, Orijen offers a limited selection but you can count on each of these products to be high in quality as well as nutritional value. Orijen offers three biologically appropriate dry food formulas: Cat & Kitten, Six Fish Cat, and Regional Red. They also offer a line of freeze-dried cat treats with includes five flavor options. Although all of Orijen’s products have been nutritionally balanced and high in quality, the company recently reformulated their recipes to make them even better. These recipes were released in 2016 and they follow the 80-20-0 formula which promises 80% animal proteins; 20% fresh fruits, vegetables, and botanicals; and 0% grains.

The three dry cat food formulas Orijen has to offer are Cat & Kitten, Six Fish Cat, and Regional Red. The Cat & Kitten formula is designed to meet the nutritional requirements of both cats and kittens in a protein-rich formula made with cage-free chicken and turkey, nest-laid eggs, and wild-caught fish. The Six Fish Cat formula is made with a variety of freshwater and saltwater fish including Pacific salmon, wild walleye, northern pike, wild herring, and more. It also contains fruits and vegetables to ensure nutritional balance. The Regional Red formula is designed around ranch-raised red meats like wild boar, Black Angus beef, bison, heritage pork, and Alberta lamb. All three of these recipes are guaranteed to be low-carbohydrate and low-glycemic, focusing instead on healthy animal proteins and fats to meet your cat’s nutritional requirements no matter what life stage he is in.

In addition to their dry cat food formulas, Orijen also offers a line of freeze-dried cat treats. These treats are made with 100% natural meats, poultry, or fish with no other ingredients – they are freeze-dried to lock in flavor and nutritional integrity as well. The five flavor options available are Original, Tundra, Regional Red, Ranch Raised Lamb, and Alberta Wild Boar. Orijen freeze-dried cat treats are designed with the same commitment to quality and nutrition as the rest of Orijen’s products and they are an excellent complement to their dry cat food offerings.

Individual Recipe Review (Dry) Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food Formula

This Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula is one of three dry food options that Orijen has to offer for cats. As is true for all of Orijen’s pet food products, this recipe follows the Biologically Appropriate philosophy of nutrition which is based on the idea that modern cats are still adapted to following the meat-based diet of their wild ancestors. Because cats are carnivores, their bodies are evolved to process animal products more efficiently than plant products – that is why this recipe is packed with animal meats and fats with limited low-glycemic carbohydrate for fiber and nutritional balance. This recipe is completely free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives plus it doesn’t contain any gluten or cereal grains.

Because this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula follows the Whole Prey philosophy, you can rest assured that it is rich in fresh meats, organs, cartilage, and marrow and it is supplemented with low-glycemic carbohydrates and fresh fruits and vegetables. This recipe follows Orijen’s 80-20-0 formula, made with 80% fresh meat and eggs with 20% fruits, vegetables, and botanicals, and 0% grains or gluten. A quick review of the ingredients list for this recipe reveals that these claims are founded in truth – it also reveals that this is a high-quality commercial cat food that any cat would be lucky to have. Not only is it made with quality ingredients, but it is much higher in protein than many commercial cat foods with optimal fat levels and very low carbohydrate content.

The first ingredient in this recipe is boneless chicken which, according to the Orijen website, is delivered fresh and preservative-free. This ingredient is a high-quality source of animal protein but there is one thing you should know about fresh meats like chicken – they contain up to 80% water which means that when the total product is cooked down to a moisture level of 10% (as per the guaranteed analysis), the actual volume of protein that comes from the chicken will be much lower. In traditional cat foods, this might be a problem, but in this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula it is not because chicken meal is the second ingredient (and one of several additional protein sources). Meat meals like chicken meal have already been cooked down to 10% which makes them a much more highly concentrated source of protein. In fact, this recipe includes several meat meals such as turkey meal, herring meal, and salmon meal as well as fresh meats like whole herring, boneless turkey, boneless walleye, and whole salmon. It also contains several organ meats such as chicken liver, turkey liver, chicken heart, and chicken cartilage.

In addition to the many protein sources included in this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula, there are also several sources of quality animal fats. Chicken liver oil is the first fat mentioned and it is followed by chicken fat. Neither of these ingredients probably sound appetizing to you, but animal-based fats are very important in a cat’s diet. Not only are fats the most highly concentrated source of energy available to cats, but they also help to promote skin and coat health and to support your cat’s immune system. The fresh meats, meat meals, and organ meats contain some animal fat as well.

After the protein and fat sources listed for this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula comes a number of gluten-free, grain-free carbohydrates and an assortment of fresh fruits, vegetables, and botanicals. Red lentils, green peas, and green lentils are the primary sources of carbohydrate for this recipe and because they are gluten-free and grain-free they are fairly easy for your cat’s body to digest. One thing to note, however, is that these three ingredients (as well as the sun-cured alfalfa that comes next) do contain some plant protein – this is not a problem, however, because there are so many animal sources listed previously. Fresh fruits and vegetables like spinach, carrots, apples, and cranberries are also included for additional fiber as well as natural sources for key nutrients.

In addition to the main ingredients already discussed, this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula includes a number of healthy supplemented. The fresh and freeze-dried meats provide plenty of protein as well as being a natural source of essential amino acids. These foods, along with the fresh fruits and vegetables, also provide natural sources for key vitamins and minerals. This recipe is naturally supplemented with glucosamine and chondroitin to support your cat’s healthy bones and joints, plus it receives omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from fresh fish. The guaranteed analysis for this product reveals optimal levels of key nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, taurine, and magnesium.

Overall, this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 42%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 20%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 3%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10%
  • Calcium (Min) – 1.4%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 1.1%
  • Taurine (Min) – 0.25%
  • Magnesium (Max) – 0.09%
  • Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.5%
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.2%
  • DHA (Min) – 0.7%
  • EPA (Min) – 0.4%
  • Calorie Content – 500 kcal/cup

This formula meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for cats in all life stages, though the feeding guide varies slightly depending on the cat’s age and size. According to the feeding guide for this product, adult cats weighing 6 to 9 pounds should be fed 3/8 to ½ cup of this food daily. This may sound like a small amount when compared to other commercial cat food products but it is important to remember that this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula contains high levels of protein and fat which makes it higher in calories than other products – one cup of this food contains 500 calories. It is also important to remember that these feeding guidelines are only meant to be used as recommendations – you need to monitor your cat’s weight and condition for a few weeks and then make adjustments as needed. If your cat gains too much weight during this time you may need to scale back his daily portion a little – if he loses weight or becomes lethargic, you may need to increase it a little bit. You can always consult your veterinarian if you have concerns about your cat or how much to feed him.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Food formula appears to offer high-quality, protein-rich nutrition for cats in all life stages. The guaranteed analysis alone is enough to confirm that this formula is very high in protein (42%) as well as fat (20%) but it is also very low in fiber (3%) – these ratios are ideal for cats because they have a limited ability to digest plant products. While the guaranteed analysis only shows the overall protein content of this formula, the ingredients list confirms that almost all of that protein comes from quality animal-based sources. This recipe is rich in quality animal fats with gluten-free, grain-free carbohydrate options instead of high-glycemic grains. It is also a bonus that this recipe is supplemented with chelated minerals for maximum nutrient absorption as well as dried fermentation products to support healthy digestion. All in all, this is a high-quality and nutritious dry cat food formula that any cat would be lucky to receive.

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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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  • I switched my cats to Orijen mostly because of my one cat is over weight. unfortuntely she has put on more weight which i don’t get because she gets less then before. Lani is 12 the other 2 are 4 months and 14 months. I do my best to hide a bowl so she can’t eat all day and have switched soft to Hills metabolic in hopes of her loosing weight. I really thought changing to Orijen it would help.

    • When i switched my cats to Orijen last year, they absolutely loved it, which is why i think their weight increased slightly. Unfortunately about 3 weeks after the switch, 1 of my cats got very sick and had a UTI. The vet said even though it is a high quality food, it might just not agree with him,so i stopped feeding it.
      Also, I’m not crazy about the fact that they put lentils (beans) in Orijen. That’s a very high-carb food, and not appropriate for cats, which can also cause weight gain.

    • It is about the very best cat food that you can purchase to feed for the Cat that you really, desire to feed, the very best to! My own 13 year old, male, Siamese, has been absolutely flourishing on it, in every imaginable way, for the entire five years, that
      I’ve been feeding him, 2/3 of a cup, of “Origin Cat and Kitten Formula”, per day; And he loves, to eat it, too. It is really great food! I hope, that he will go on to live to be about 21 years old, feeding on it. Rob, form NJ.

  • Just recently, Origen opened a plant in the United States and we Americans can no longer get the Canadian made cat food. Several people have complained online regarding the US formula. Could you do an updated review of this new product and let us know how it fares? Thank you!

    • We have fed Orijen for years. In the late summer we noticed a sudden change in the food – the kibble was covered in tiny light colored specs and there was a lot of this same debris throughout the bag and in the bottom of the bag. There have also been issues with vomiting and intestinal gas with both of our cats. I am quickly losing confidence in the food. The next bag we bought was more of the same. The pet store we buy from is concerned and checking into it for us. I was just on the Orijen website and there is no mention of the US facility. Feel like we are being lied to. I liked this food because it was further away for the all-American mega CAFO’s, now apparently it is in the heart of it in Kansas. There is NO WAY their producers are of the same quality they were before. We are searching for a new food.

      • They make it in Kentucky now for the US…

        Here is the address for the actual name of the company that makes Orijen and Acana foods:

        CHAMPION PETFOODS USA
        12871 Bowling Green Road
        Auburn, KY 42206
        United States

        Here is their Canadian address as well:

        CHAMPION PETFOODS LP
        11403-186 Street NW
        Edmonton, Alberta T5S 2W6
        Canada

        Here is the URL to their FAQ you should read it. So unless you are flat our saying they are lying in which case you should report them… I suggest maybe you have something else going on with your cats or improperly stored the food possibly. All I know is I have never had this happen and their poops are kitty perfect caterpillars and I have gotten bags with a shakiness to them like you describe. Never an issue. If I see different in the future I will post back but so far for the last few years no issues.

        Contact the company and talk with them about your concerns maybe and see what they think.

        • Personally, I’ve never found anything inside of any of my bags, that shouldn’t have been in them, or, any of the catfood pieces, (looking “funny”, light-colored specs, on the food pieces,). That sounds strange to me; (perhaps something VERY ODD, may
          have occurred, when they first began, their new operation? (Perhaps?) I DID NOTICE: 1.) That They Moved Their Entire Plants Production Location: Where They Are Producing My Cat Food From, Has Been Completely RELOCATED! FROM The VERY CLEAN and “UNSPOILED” Great North, of CANADA, To The very far more, INDUSTRIALIZED CENTER, OF KENTUCKY…which While not being the Worst Place in the World by far. BUT: NOW: — THEY ARE: NO LONGER: GETTING ALL OF MY HERRING, MACKEREL, AND FLOUNDER FISH, FROM RIGHT OUT OF ALL OF THOSE NICE CLEAN LOCAL LAKES AND RIVERS That Were Right Next Door To Them,
          Where The Local Fisherman Would Daily Deliver Their Fresh Catches, To Be Made, Right Into, MY Catfood, That Same Day! AS SOON AS THEY HAD BEEN TAKEN OUT OF THE FRESH LAKES! THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE! — NOW, THOSE FISH, MUST BE TRUCKED OVER HIGHWAYS FOR DAYS, TO GET THEM IN, AND THEY AREN’T, AS FRESH, AS THEY WERE BEFORE! ALSO, REGARDING THEIR “FREE ROAMING CHICKENS AND TURKEYS, THAT HAD FREE RUN IN CANADA….I AM CERTAIN, THAT THEY no longer HAVE THE SAME SETUP— THERE
          IN —-KENTUCKY– That They Previously Had Being Raised In CANADA….And That The EGGS Are Not As FRESH Either.
          I strongly suspect the same for all of the fruits and vegetables that are used in that feed mix. I BELIEVE, THAT THE ENTIRE OPERATION HAS CHANGED, FROM “A STATE OF THE ART”, SUPER FINE, SET UP, INTO A “MAKE THE BEST, OF WHAT WE CAN DO, AT THIS NEW KENTUCKY SITE.
          I am very certain that this change was only due to the owners of the Corporation greatly maximizing THEIR PERSONAL PROFITS through making this corporate move from Canada to Kentucky.
          Yet, I truly believe that this Orgien Cat and Kitten Feed is STILL the best Cat Food on the market. (They also changed the ingredients in this Cat Food!) *They claim, that this is to our, best advantage;
          I am uncertain, yet I do believe that it is, damn good food, and I will happily, continue to support them. in purchasing it, very happily. Rob, from NJ.

  • Why was I told by the sales person that after a bag of Cat and Kitten is opened the contents must be kept frozen?

    • This is not necessary. I have fed this at least 200lb’s of this to cats. Never any issues.

      I have one cat that will puke about 2 times a month from eating anything we give her. She does this because she goes crazy once in a while and eats to fast. I watch her do it sometimes and stop her but she gets excited runs around and sometimes will upset herself.

      It isn’t the food. You should keep it air tight after opening. I buy large bags and currently my two cats eat that at a pretty slow rate and it never has gone bad or made them sick.

      The vet comments on the quality of their coats and health each time we bring them in for check ups or shots.

      Here is what is posted on the fAQ’s at the orijen website:

      link URL:
      https://www.orijen.ca/faq/?lang=us#fresh_regional_ingredients


      Storing your ORIJEN food

      Once opened, you can safely store ORIJEN food in its packaging by rolling the top of the bag down after each use. If you live in a humid climate, consider using an airtight container and simply put the entire bag of food in the container. Remember to wash your storage bin whenever you change out your bag of food to ensure that food buildup does not occur. Remember, too, to keep the lot number handy.

      Refrigeration of ORIJEN is not required. Rather than a garage with large temperature fluctuations, the best storage is in your home in a cool, dry place with a temperature maintained between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit.

      I cannot find any reference to freezing and they plainly say how to store it.

      You all should read their words here as well. I have found a number of accounts online from pet supply shop owners asking and getting info about their facility in the USA and it sounds like the philosophy behinds these brands has not changed and will be made the same way with local products appropriate to the region.

      Get lab testing done if you don’t believe in the product or buy another. I can find no evidence except evidence of high quality and appropriate products for my cats.

  • ORIGEN PET FOOD HAS NOT BEEN MADE IN CANADA FOR A

    VERY LONG TIME NOW!!! IT IS MADE IN THE CENTRAL USA

    IN STATE OF KENTUCKY, AND THERE OCEAN FISHES MUST

    NOW TRAVEL VERY FAR TO GET TO THEIR PLANT!!!