Nutrition - 8/10
Ingredients - 9/10
Orijen Cat and Kitten is a high-quality dry cat food. It has above average protein and fat content and a below average carbohydrate content. While this is not what we would consider optimal nutrition for a cat it is not too far off and is satisfactory.
It contains a very large range of high quality and nutritious poultry and fish ingredients including Chicken, Turkey, Flounder, and Mackerel. It contains small quantities of legumes such as Chickpeas and Lentils. These are not part of a cats natural diet but are considered one of the better carbohydrate sources.
The very large range of meat, fish and vegetable ingredients may make this food unsuitable for cats with significant allergies or sensitivities
High-Quality Meat Ingredients
Full Review of Cat and Kitten Cat Food by Orijen
The ideal nutrition for a cat is a high amount of protein, a medium amount of fat. Cats do not require carbohydrates in their diet. However, they can safely consume small amounts of carbohydrates with minimal effect.
Carbohydrate Content Analysis
Cats use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Cats do not require carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 21% of Orijen Cat and Kitten Cat Food calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is significantly below average for a Dry Cat Food.
Despite being significantly below average, this carbohydrate proportion is still above ideal. That being said it is a satisfactory level especially given this is an overestimate. The source of this carbohydrate content is a range of legumes such as Chickpeas and Lentils. These are considered one of the better sources of carbohydrates.
Protein Content Analysis
Cats use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 37% of Orijen Cat and Kitten Cat Food calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is significantly above average for a Dry Cat Food.
This is a very satisfactory protein proportion and should be sufficient for the majority of cats. This protein is sourced from a very wide range of poultry and fish ingredients including Chicken, Turkey, Mackerel, Herring, and Flounder. Poultry and fish such as this are considered high-quality sources.
Fat Content Analysis
Cats use Fat for a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 42% of Orijen Cat and Kitten Cat Food calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is above average for a Dry Cat Food.
This is a very satisfactory level of fat and should be more than sufficient to fulfill the energy needs of the most active of cats. This fat is from the huge range of poultry and fish ingredients. Not only does fish contain high-quality conventional fat but it also contains high levels of the Omega Fatty Acids which are known to provide a range of health benefits.
Overall Orijen Cat and Kitten Cat Food contains an average of 4060 kcal/kg or 463 kcal per 8oz. cup
Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most cat foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every cat food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.
Guaranteed Analysis – Orijen – Cat and Kitten Cat Food
Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.
- Crude Protein (Min) – 40.00%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 20.00%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 3.00%
- Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
- Calcium (Min) – 1.2%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 1.0%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 3.5%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.8%
The ingredients of a pet food are displayed as a list in descending order. Those listed at the start of the list make up the majority of a pet foods content. Therefore the quality of these core ingredients is the most important factor in determining the quality of a pet food. However, later ingredients should not be ignored, especially if they are deemed potentially dangerous or harmful.
- Chicken/Turkey Liver
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat ingredients of a cat food are probably the most important ingredients. Orijen Cat and Kitten Cat Food contains more than ten sources of meat or fish.
The primary meat source present is Chicken. Chicken is considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition to being a fantastic protein source, chicken has high levels of Niacin and Vitamin B6. Unfortunately Chicken does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Chicken. However given that Chicken is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
The secondary meat source present is Turkey. Turkey is a considered a high-quality source of protein. Some of the beneficial nutrients contained in Turkey include Vitamin B6 and Niacin. Unfortunately, Turkey does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Turkey. However given that Turkey is the second listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
Another fish source present is Flounder, Flounder is considered a high-quality source of protein. It is known for being a particularly lean source of protein in comparison to other fish. However, it does contain high levels of salt and lower levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other fish. Unfortunately, Flounder contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Flounder. Given that flounder is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will be relatively low after the cooking process.
Eggs are a highly nutritious pet food ingredient and are considered a high-quality source of protein. Eggs contain a huge variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin B2 and B12, Selenium, Phosphorus and many others. In addition to this, they contain a high proportion of protein and healthy fats such as the Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids.
Another fish source present is Mackerel. Mackerel is considered a high-quality source of protein. It contains very high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid. In addition, it contains high levels of Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, Mackerel contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Mackerel. However given that Mackerel is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will be relatively low after the cooking process.
Chicken and Turkey Giblets are considered a high or average quality source of meat depending on their ingredients. Giblets are the innards of a bird and contain organs such as the liver or heart. These can contain higher quantities of vitamins and minerals than traditional meat cuts as well as high levels of protein.
Another fish source present is Herring. Herring is considered a high-quality source of protein. The Vitamin B12 is extremely abundant in Herring. In addition to this, similar to other fish, Herring is very rich in the Omega 3 Fatty Acid. Unfortunately, Herring contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Herring. However given that Herring is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will be relatively low after the cooking process.
In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review
Lentils, Peas, and Chickpeas are members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains in grain-free pet food. While the protein and fiber of legumes may make them sound beneficial, they are not a part of a cats natural diet and contribute to high levels of unneeded carbohydrates. In addition, the protein they provide less amino acid coverage than meat-based protein and is far less digestible. Legumes in anything but low quantities should be considered a low-quality cat food ingredient.
Squash, which is closely related to Pumpkin, is a positive addition to cat food. Squash contains high levels of Vitamin A and C similar to fruit such as Apples and Pears. In addition to this, Squash also provides a plentiful supply of Beta Carotene. Comparable to Pumpkin, Squash is high in fiber which can help regulate digestion. However, it is essential to be aware that Squash needs to have its seeds and skin removed to be suitable for dogs. The removal of the skin and seeds will take place during the manufacturing process of commercial cat food.
Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to cat food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most cat food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.
Full Ingredient List – Orijen – Cat and Kitten Cat Food
Deboned chicken, deboned turkey, yellowtail ﬂounder, whole eggs, whole atlantic mackerel, chicken liver, turkey liver, whole atlantic herring, chicken heart, turkey heart, dehydrated chicken, dehydrated turkey, dehydrated mackerel, dehydrated chicken liver, dehydrated turkey liver, whole green peas, whole navy beans, red lentils, chicken necks, chicken kidney, chicken fat, pinto beans, chickpeas, green lentils, natural chicken ﬂavor, lentil fiber, herring oil, ground chicken bone, chicken cartilage, turkey cartilage, dried kelp, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, apples, pears, pumpkin seeds, sunﬂower seeds, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried biﬁdobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.