Nutrition - 9/10
Ingredients - 9/10
Orijen Regional Red is a high-quality dry cat food. It has an above average proportion of protein and fat and a below average carbohydrate proportion. While this is not what we would consider optimal nutrition for a cat it is not too far off and is quite satisfactory.
The formula contains a very large range of high quality and nutritious red meat ingredients including Beef, Lamb, Wild Boar, and Pork. It also 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 and vegetable ingredients may make this cat food formula unsuitable for cats with significant allergies or sensitivities. But for those who do not suffer from allergies, this formula is very satisfactory.
Large Range of High-Quality Meat Ingredients
No Grains or By-products
A Small Range of Vegetable Ingredients
Full Review of Regional Red 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 19% of Orijen Regional Red 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 somewhat satisfactory level for a dry cat food 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 38% of Orijen Regional Red 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 red meat and fish ingredients including Beef, Lamb, and Mackerel. Red meat and fish such as this are considered high-quality sources. A small portion of this protein content is from the legumes present. However, this proportion is quite small and somewhat negligible.
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 43% of Orijen Regional Red 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 red meat and fish ingredients. Examples include Beef, Goat, and Mackerel. Not only does fish contain high-quality conventional fats but it also contains high levels of the Omega Fatty Acids which are known to provide a range of health benefits.
Overall Orijen Regional Red 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 – Regional Red 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) – 1.9%
- Phosphorus (Min) – 1.4%
- Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.0%
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.2%
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.
- Wild Boar
- Lamb, Beef and Wild Boar Liver
Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients
In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review
The meat ingredients of a cat food are probably the most important ingredients. Orijen Regional Red Cat Food contains more than ten sources of meat or fish.
The Primary meat source present is Beef. Beef is a considered a high-quality ingredient and source of protein. In addition, Beef contains high quantities of minerals such as Iron and Zinc. Unfortunately Beef contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Beef. However given that Beef is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
Wild Boar is considered a high-quality source of meat. Unfortunately, Boar contains a large amount of water. This moisture will be evaporated during the cooking process leaving a smaller amount of Boar.
Another meat source present is Goat. Goat is considered a high-quality ingredient and source of protein. Goat contains a range of minerals including Iron and Potassium. Unfortunately, just like Beef and Boar, Goat contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Goat. However given that Goat is the third listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
Another meat source present is Lamb. Lamb is considered a high-quality ingredient and source of protein. Just like Beef, Lamb is rich in iron. In addition to this, it has higher levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other red meats and high levels of the vitamin B12. Unfortunately, just like Beef, Lamb contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Lamb. However given that Lamb is the fourth listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.
Beef, Wild Boar, and Lamb Liver are considered high-quality ingredients. Liver contains a much higher concentration of some nutrients than traditional meat cuts. Some of the nutrients present in Liver are Vitamin A, Vitamin B, and Iron. In addition to these nutrients Liver also contains a high amount of protein.
Mutton is considered a high-quality source of meat. Unfortunately Mutton contains a large amount of water. This moisture will be evaporated during the cooking process leaving a smaller amount of Mutton.
Another fish source present is Mackerel. Mackerel is considered a high-quality ingredient and 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. Given that Mackerel is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will likely not be high after the cooking process.
Another meat source present is Pork. Pork is considered a high-quality ingredient and source of protein. Pork is particularly rich in thiamin and while it contains less iron than Beef or Lamb, its iron content is still significant. Unfortunately, just like Beef, Pork contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Pork. Given that Pork is not one of the primary ingredients, its proportion will likely not be high 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.
Pumpkin is a high-quality vegetable ingredient and a beneficial addition to a cats diet. Pumpkin contains high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium. However, Pumpkin is probably best known for the Dietary Fiber it can contribute. This fiber can improve and regulate digestion. Finally, Pumpkin does not contain significant levels of plant-based protein. This lack of protein prevents Pumpkin being used solely to inflate protein levels like other vegetables, such as Peas, often are.
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 – Regional Red Cat Food
Deboned beef, deboned wild boar, deboned goat , deboned lamb, lamb liver, beef liver, beef tripe, wild boar liver, deboned mutton, beef heart, whole atlantic mackerel, deboned pork, goat meal, wild boar meal, lamb meal, mackerel meal, whole green peas, whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, beef kidney, pork liver, beef meal, mutton meal, beef fat, herring meal, whole yellow peas, whole chickpeas, pork heart, pork kidney, natural pork ﬂavor, whole green lentils, whole navy beans, herring oil, lamb tripe, lentil ﬁber, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, whole carrots, whole apples, whole pears, dried kelp, freeze-dried beef liver, freeze-dried beef tripe, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried lamb tripe, pumpkin seeds, sunﬂower seeds, zinc 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.