Orijen Cat Food Reviews in 2021

Is Orijen the best cat food money can buy? Check out my review to find why it's definitely worth the buck and why thousands of cat parents agree on this.


  • Species appropriate diet: 3.5/5
  • Quailty of ingredients: 4/5
  • Variety of recipes: 2/5
  • Pricing: 4.5/5
  • Customers experience: 3.5/5
  • Recalls history: 3.5/5

What Is the Orijen Story?

In 1985, Reinhard Mühlenfeld came up with an idea to create the first Canadian pet food company, Champion Petfoods. His initial enterprise of three took care of manufacturing, packaging, and shipping. Their dedication to high quality and reliance on protein-rich, grain-free formulas helped the company gain popularity and grow to become an internationally renowned brand represented on all continents and universally loved by pet owners.

Orijen is one of the Champion Petfoods brands, along with Acana. The former is a premium brand with higher protein content and price tags, while the latter is less expensive and equally popular. If you're wondering where to buy Orijen cat food, most pet stores, online and offline, will be happy to oblige. Although Chewy stopped featuring the brand for a while, it's now back in stock. And Amazon is always an option too.


What Is the Manufacturing Facility Location?

Champion Petfoods boasts two proprietary manufacturing facilities. The NorthStar Kitchen facility is based in the Canadian province of Alberta, while the Dogstar Kitchen is located in Kentucky. Both facilities are exclusively used to produce Orijen and Acana pet food, so the company has full control over the ingredients, production, and quality control. There could be some variation in formulas and ingredient content between the two facilities, as both rely on local produce.

Most importantly, Orijen products are never outsourced. That means you will never get a bag of unknown origin or quality. There's no risk of contamination or allergen presence, as is often the case with large pet food facilities that produce kibble for various brands under the same roof.

What Is Orijen Recall History?

The sole documented Orijen cat food recall occurred in Australia at the end of 2008. The food was removed from the shelves when several cats died after eating the brand's kibble. This would be a huge red flag if not for the pet food irradiation procedures common in Australia before 2009. As the research showed, irradiation of pet food containing fresh or low-temperature treated meat destroyed vitamin A and led to the release of free radicals in cats. Considering the compelling proof, Australia rescinded the irradiation policy, and Orijen's reputation was restored.

You should also be aware of a calls-action lawsuit against Champion Petfoods claiming the company failed to disclose the presence of heavy metals and toxins in Orijen and Acana products. The plaintiffs rely on their experience with pet food and the Clean Label Project's claims that the levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic are too high compared to other products. While the lawsuit is not supported by any hard data, Champion Petfoods share the exact concentration of heavy metals in their products that's significantly lower than the FDA-approved levels. Besides, many heavy metals are present in fish and poultry in concentrations that are safe for humans and pets.

Preview 2

Orijen cat food problems, including the single recall and the class-action lawsuit, should teach us to inspect scandals closer and base our decisions on facts rather than outrageous claims.

What Kind of Cat Food Does Orijen Offer?

The five kibble options might seem too boring, but once you look at the Orijen cat food ingredients and see your cats devour it, you’ll realize why the company doesn’t bother with canned products. We’ll go over all five formulas in a minute, but first check out the common advantages and drawbacks they share:

Preview 3 Pros:
  • Increased protein content of 40% to 44%
  • Five formulas with various animal protein sources
  • Covered in freeze-dried liver
  • Beloved by cats and their owners
  • Grain-free but full of fresh veggies
  • Quite expensive
  • Soft, crumbly kibble

Orijen Cat & Kitten

Unsurprisingly, the most popular and affordable of Orijen offers is chicken-based. However, you can be sure the chickens are free-range, and the eggs are cage-free. The turkey meat, chicken liver, herring, and flounder add to the protein source variety and make the kibble much more flavorful. The freeze-dried liver coating is the first to stir the kitty's interest, and once she starts nibbling, you're unlikely to have any troubles with transitioning to the new food.

The well-balanced combination of 40% protein, 20% fat, and 20% carbohydrates is ideal for fast growth in kittens, providing energy to adult cats, and keeping the senior tabbies happy and healthy for many years. Ensure you follow the feeding guide on the bag to find the right portion size for your kitty's age and weight. Smaller cats may need as little as 35 grams of kibble per day, stretching a single 4-pound bag for over a month.

Orijen Six Fish

If your cat is allergic to chicken or ignores meat-based kibble, give this formula a try. The six fish in this recipe are pacific pilchard, pacific hake, pacific mackerel, pacific flounder, rockfish, and sole. Most are used fresh and whole and supplemented by dehydrated ingredients and a variety of veggies and legumes. The latter might seem like a potential digestive hazard, so consult the vet before you feed this kibble to a kitty with a sensitive tummy.

A bit higher in protein than other Orijen grain-free cat food recipes, the Six Fish formula boasts 42% with a standard 20% of fat and 3% of fiber. All the goodies, like EPA and DHA, Omega acids, and taurine, are present too, which is great for adult and senior cats, along with fully weaned kittens as young as five weeks old.

Beware: this food smells strongly of fish. The cats seem to love it, but storing the kibble in an airtight container becomes a must if you're sensitive to smells.

Orijen Regional Red

As true carnivores, cats need protein from meat, cartilage, and organs, and this recipe provides the best combination thereof. Formulated around red meats, it includes beef, wild boar, goat, and lamb without any chicken or chicken by-products in sight. The only drawback of this kibble is the price tag. It's one of the highest among Orijen cat formulas, though most reviews claim it's worth every penny.

The formula is made of 90% meat and only 10% veggies and fruits, so there's no surprise crude fiber makes for barely 3% of the content. Protein is at 40%, fat is at 20%, and carbohydrates are even lower than that, under 20%. You can also expect the kibble to contain minerals and vitamins, along with Omega fatty acids and taurine, making it an ultimate solution for cats of all ages.

Orijen Tundra

Whenever your kitty gets bored of chicken or fish-based kibble, you can go with this unique blend of goat, wild boar, venison, arctic char, duck, mutton, and steelhead trout. The wide variety of animal protein sources is enough to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, and the freeze-fried liver covering every nibble is a surefire way to your kitty's heart. Still, the unusual combination of flavors can take getting used to, so give your felines a few days to get acclimated to the new food.

The protein-to-fat ratio of 40 to 20 is great for most kittens and adult cats. But if your kitty is older and less active, check out the feeding guide and adjust the portion size to prevent weight gain. Another thing you should know about this kibble is the low fiber content of merely 3%. It could cause trouble for cats with digestive issues, so be sure to consult the veterinarian before making the switch.

Orijen Fit & Trim

If your kitty is a bit overweight, and you want to make her lithe and active again, try this Orijen maintenance cat food filled to the brim with animal protein. Its increased content (44%), along with higher fiber and lower fat concentration, are perfect for trouble-free digestion and increased energy levels.

You'll notice plenty of freeze-dried and dehydrated protein sources on the ingredients list. The first five items alone are chicken meat (14%), whole eggs (6%), whole herring (6%), turkey meat (6%), and chicken liver (6%), and more goodies are to be found down the line. With no grains to speak of, the fiber and carbs come from fresh farm-grown veggies.

The feeding guide includes instructions for lean and overweight cats, and I recommend you follow it to a T if you want to promote weight loss. And don't worry about your kitty turning her nose up on the new kibble. According to Orijen dry cat food reviews, even picky eaters warm up to this kibble very soon.

Is Orijen Good For Your Cat?

I've heard about Orijen cat food before but was never curious enough to try it, and now I regret not switching to this kibble sooner, as it could have saved my ginger tabby lots of trouble. Even the most basic chicken-based formula is so much better than your average cat food. It looks and smells like real meat, and I've honestly been tempted to taste-test.

Sure, it's way more expensive than my previous brand, and it always pays to talk to the vet before making the switch. Still, I have a very good feeling about Orijen, considering a flurry of positive reviews, ingredients list, nutritional value, and the single recall in over forty years.

What Are Pet Owners Saying About Orijen??

On my search for Orijen cat food reviews, Reddit was an obligatory stop. There are plenty of discussions and arguments, some more useful than others. I've found the mentions of the toxicity claims and the class-action lawsuit, along with a rebuttal about the unreliability of the Clean Label Project. However, one review caught my attention, as it holds logical arguments and a lovely story of a rescue kitten. Even the tiny furball could feel Orijen is better than Meow Mix in every way.

review 1

The official website hosts plenty of positive reviews, but it was Chewy feedback that blew me away. I haven't seen such a high percentage of positive reviews in a long while. Most cat parents are happy with the kibble quality and taste, as even picky eaters are fast to make a switch.

Still, one negative Orijen cat food review claimed US-produced kibble was inferior to Canadian, which might be a purely subjective opinion or a valid point, considering the different ingredient sources. And there are more complaints about Kentucky-produced kibble on Amazon, though most are two to four years old.

review 2 review 3

Is Orijen Worth Trying?

Orijen might be the best food you could offer to your kitty. It's well-balanced, high-quality, and chock-full of nutrients you won't find in any other kibble. As long as you're willing to pay premium rates for cat food, it is a great option, as proven by thousands of positive Orijen freeze-dried cat food reviews and happy and energetic kitties worldwide. Once you're sure it's the right brand for your pets, go for large bags or set auto-ship to cut down the expense.

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