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Orijen Cat and Kitten Formula Review

By: Carl Laron on July 11, 2017

Bottom Line

Among cat kibbles, Orijen Cat and Kitten Formula offers unsurpassed quality. It's made in the company's Kentucky kitchens using regionally sourced, responsibly produced ingredients that are delivered daily to be crafted into a meat-rich, grain-free food.


  • Table-quality regionally-sourced ingredients
  • Meat, cartilage and botanicals to simulate whole prey
  • No grains, fillers or artificial ingredients
  • Contains probiotics


  • Expensive
Our Analysis
Read Amazon Reviews

Breaking it down

Ingredient quality

Fresh meat and fish -- and no grain. Orijen hires farmers, ranchers and fishers (and names many of them on its website) to raise free-range, antibiotic-free chickens and fresh eggs, and catch wild and sustainably fish and deliver them fresh daily to its facility in Kentucky. Orijen also adds cartilage (to simulate whole prey), fruits and vegetables as natural sources of vitamins and minerals, along with botanicals like dandelion and chamomile to satisfy your cat's "instinct to forage for grasses and weeds." Proteinated minerals like iron and zinc are easy for cats to absorb, and probiotics (friendly bacteria) help with digestion and immunity.

Product safety

Australian recall was due to irradiation. A search of the Food and Drug Administration's online pet food recall database (which goes back to 2007) shows no recalls for Orijen pet food in the United States. In Australia in 2008, several cats were sickened after eating Orijen dry cat food that the Australian government had irradiated upon entry to the country -- but the problem was with the irradiation, not the food itself. Orijen immediately stopped selling its pet foods to Australia, and Australia has stopped irradiating pet food. Orijen itself gets high marks for safety. It makes all of its food in its own facility and it tests its food for contaminants like salmonella, heavy metals and mercury.


Orijen costs more than other grain-free dry cat foods. Pound for pound, Orijen costs more than other top-rated dry cat foods. However, most other dry cat foods include grain or have less meat. This cuts costs, but experts say cats are true carnivores that require a meat-based diet. Several cat owners also note that their cats actually eat less when they're fed grain-free foods, because the foods are more nutrient-dense. One grain-free dry cat food that costs less and gets good reviews is Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline Formula (Est. $35 for a 15-lb. bag). It contains less meat than Orijen, however, and its safety record isn't quite as strong. But it's still a good budget choice, reviewers say.

Our Sources

Susan Thixton, Not Dated

Susan Thixton researches most cat food brands, including Orijen. She rates the brands and their individual varieties of cat food, based on ingredient quality, safety and more. The reviews are only available to subscribers, however.

, Not Dated

Orijen earns a 5-star rating here. The editors say that only the best, freshest ingredients are used, and that the company makes the food in its own plant, giving it complete control of the process.

Editors of Reviews.com, Mar. 21, 2017

Reviews.com analyzes cat food ingredients to find top choices, then winnows foods further using strict criteria that looks for issues with controversial ingredients, past safety issues, and questionable manufacturing or ingredient sourcing. Orijen dry cat foods, including the Cat and Kitten formula, clear those hurdles to be included among the site's recommendations.

Contributors to Chewy.com, As of July 2017

Orijen Cat and Kitten earns a very strong 4.7-star rating here, with more than 750 reviews posted. A few owners say their cats don't like it, but most say their cats gobble it up -- and rave about their cats' health as a result. Around 94 percent say they recommend the food.

Contributors to Amazon.com, As of July 2017

There are just less than 60 reviews of this flavor of Orijen at Amazon.com. A few complain that the food is now made in the U.S. instead of Canada, and about a formula change, but most are pleased and the food earns 4 stars overall.

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