Honest Orijen Cat Food Review

Last updated:
We may earn through links from our affiliates including Chewy, Amazon, and Pet Circle.

Disclaimer: As a Chewy and Amazon affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This does not impact our reviews and comparisons.

Orijen cat food review

Score: 8/10

Bottom Line

Meat rich and lower in carbs than most, but got mixed reviews from our cats.


  • Meat rich
  • Gluten-free
  • Small disc shape


  • Mixed taste
  • Added legumes
  • Recent formula changes?

We did this Orijen cat food review with the help of our cat taste testing team.

Testing Orijen cat food with our cats
We tested Orijen cat food with our cat Felicia and her kittens

Orijen is US based pet food company offering dry cat food high in animal products.

Review summary:

The good?

Meat rich.

I am impressed with the ingredient list stacked with a range of animal products. The first 14 ingredients in the bag – all meat based.

The bad?

Added legumes.

Whilst this product is grain-free it does use a few legumes. Lower quality protein sources, that aren’t as tasty.

The ugly?

Not much.

This dry cat food is pretty solid although it’s a tad high in carbs from the legumes (20% dry matter) and got mixed taste results with our cats.

In short:


Orijen is a convenient choice for the discerning cat owner. It comes in an easy-to-chew small round disc shape.

It’s not perfect though, but it’s a vast improvement over most dry cat food loaded with grains.

Best for:

  • Convenience
  • Occasional meal
  • All life stages

>> Check out Orijen cat food here

Orijen Original cat food
Orijen Original cat food
Orijen Original cat food review
Orijen Original cat food review

After more info on Orijen cat food?

In this short Orijen cat food review I’ll go into more detail about:

  • Nutrition
  • Ingredients
  • Taste
  • Value for money
  • Trust

This includes results after testing with our cat Felicia and her kittens.

More below!

I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet for any further questions. This article

About Orijen

Champion Pet Foods Ltd owns Orijen.

Champion Pet Foods started operations in 1985 with a goal to make the world’s best pet foods. They also own Acana.

Reinhard Mueller founded Orijen and the company is Canadian-based.

Orijen is sources food locally and internationally.


In 2008, Orijen was recalled in Australia due to a contamination issue due to Australia irradiating their cat food. This resulted in the euthanization of 4 cats due to illness.

No repeat issues have occurred.

Quick Notes:

  • Canadian based
  • Sourced locally & internationally
  • One recall in 2008

Orijen Cat Food Review



Orijen offer comprehensive nutrition information on the bag, which shows transparency.

Protein comes in at 44% which is above AAFCO’s recommendation of 30% for all cats.

Experts suggest 40% protein (dry matter) to combat muscle loss due to ageing in cats, making Orijen senior cat friendly.

Orijen Original comes in at 20% carbs (dry matter). Experts suggest limiting total daily carbs to less than 12%.


Cats can’t digest and metabolize carbs as well as humans. High carb diets in cats increase the risk of kidney disease.

Orijen is best as a sometimes choice, though it’s an improvement from many other dry cat foods (which are usually over 30% carbs dry matter).

Anything else to report?

Orijen Original offers 0.2% taurine, which meets AAFCO’s nutrition guideline for at least 0.1% in dry cat food.

Taurine is an essential amino acid for cats. A deficiency can lead to health problems related to the heart as well as reproductive issues.

Orijen meets AAFCO’s nutrition guidelines for all life stages.

In short:

  • High protein
  • Low-moderate carbs
  • Suited for all ages

Nutrition (Dry Matter Basis)

  • Protein: 44%
  • Carbs: 20%
  • Fat: 22%
  • Ash: 10%
  • Fiber: 3%
  • Moisture: 10%
  • Calcium to Phosphate Ratio: 1.4:1
  • Energy: 4,120 kcal/kg

Nutrition: 7.5/10

Orijen Original cat food as fed nutrition
Orijen Original cat food as fed nutrition
Orijen Original cat food dry matter nutrition
Orijen Original cat food dry matter nutrition
Orijen Original guaranteed analysis
Orijen Original guaranteed analysis


Mostly good.

All five of the first ingredients are meat based, and in fact the first 14 are!

The label uses the amount labelling rule, and declares 90% meat based ingredients.

Cat’s eat mice, fish, insects, and birds. The organs, meat, and bones of these foods provide all the nutrients cats need.



There’s added legumes in the bag. High carb ingredients raise blood sugar and are harder to digest.

Orijen also add cranberry, a source of Vitamin C.

Cats do not need any vitamin C in their diet, as their own body produces it, and it can increase urinary stone risk.

Short run down (first 10 ingredients):

ChickenATasty and high in essential amino acids for muscle strength
TurkeyAHigh in selenium which may reduce risk of cancer
Whole mackerelAHigh in Vitamin D, for skeletal health
Turkey gibletsARich in vitamins and minerals
FlounderALow fat and high protein fish
Chicken liverAHigh in Vitamin A, beneficial for eye health and growth
Whole herringAHigh in Omega 3 for heart, joint and digestive health
EggsAHigh in choline, to help with memory, mood, and muscle control
Dehydrated chickenATasty and high in essential amino acids for muscle strength
Dehydrated turkeyATasty and high in essential amino acids for muscle strength
A table showing the ingredients of Orijen Original cat food with any benefits

In short:

  • 90% meat ingredients
  • Gluten-free
  • Has legumes

Ingredients: 9/10

Orijen Original ingredients list
Orijen Original ingredients list



I tested Orijen Original with our cat Felicia and her kittens. The kitties enjoyed it more than the mother cat and gobbled it up when left out.

Reviews seem mostly positive with this one.

Other notes:

  • Small disc shape
  • Rich meaty smell
  • Zip locking bag

Here are the results of testing Orijen cat food with our cats:

  • Product Test: Orijen Original
  • Amount Eaten: 100% (some hesitation)
  • Time to Finish Eating: 10-30 minutes (needed time)
  • Food Appearance: Small discs
  • Smell: Rich and meaty. Inviting smell.
Our cat trying Orijen Original cat food
Our cat Felicia trying Orijen Original but having some mixed feelings at first
Orijen Original cat food close up look
Orijen Original close up look

Taste: 8/10

Value for Money


The price of Orijen is average for all dry cat foods, based on a cost per ounce basis.

Worth it?


Whilst I don’t advocate feeding your cat too much dry cat food, the quality here is a big improvement over many. A solid occasional meal for convenience.

Similar options to Orijen for price and quality:

Value: 8.5/10

Learn More:


There’s plenty of reviews for Orijen.

Checking some reviews, some report recent negative changes (e.g. more calories in the bag, less tasty), but most are positive.

There’s only one recall, but that was back in 2008. Batch numbers are clearly printed as well as a customer care line.

You also get feeding instructions on the bottom of the bag.

Is it something your cat will like?

Hard to say.

I got mixed outcomes, but my kittens enjoyed it.

Trust: 7.5/10

Feeding guidelines for Orijen cat food
Feeding guidelines for Orijen cat food


A good quality dry cat food higher in meat and lower in carbs.

Orijen is best suited as an occasional meal for cats of all life stages and offers convenience. Pricing is reasonable.

The main drawbacks are the mixed taste results and the harder-to-digest added legumes. Added cranberries increase urinary stone risk.

Best for:

  • Convenience
  • Occasional meal
  • All life stages

Where to find Orijen cat food?

Photo of author


I'm qualified dietitian that's turned their attention to cat nutrition. My goal is to help tease out the science on how best to feed your cat.