Feline Natural Cat Food Review15 min read
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When shopping for pet food, it’s important to check the label to determine the quality of the product. If you see the words “Made in the USA,” you might be more inclined to think the product is good.
What you may not realize, however, is that the U.S. isn’t the only major producer of premium pet foods – New Zealand is quickly rising in the ranks.
Feline Natural is the cat product line of K9 Natural, a New Zealand-based pet food company that provides the “best blends of nature.” This company uses real meat-based protein and other wholesome ingredients to deliver premium products for your cat in both canned and freeze-dried form.
Read on to see what we think of the brand and to see our reviews for their top products.
- How We Review Cat Food Brands
- Overview of the Feline Natural Brand
- What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
- Product Recall History
- What Do Customers Think of Feline Natural Cat Food?
- How Much Does Feline Natural Cat Food Cost?
- Where Can You Buy Feline Natural Cat Food?
- Our Final Thoughts: Is Feline Natural a Good Brand?
How We Review Cat Food Brands
A good cat food does more than just fill your cat’s belly – it should also nourish his health. Like us, cats require balanced nutrition for optimal health and long-term wellness.
As a cat owner, it’s your responsibility to make sure your cat’s needs are being met.
The first thing you need to remember is cats are obligate carnivores. This means their bodies are adapted to digest and utilize nutrition more efficiently from animal than plant sources.
In other words, your cat’s diet should be made primarily of meat, poultry, and/or fish ingredients.
Aside from protein, your cat also needs essential fatty acids. These too are best from animal sources, though plant oils can sometimes help ensure proper balance of omega-3s and omega-6s.
Carbohydrates should play a limited role in your cat’s diet and any in his food should come from wholesome, digestible sources. Whole grains and fresh vegetables are good examples.
These ingredients can also provide natural sources for key nutrients to help reduce the need for synthetic supplements.
Here are some of the things we look for in a good cat food brand:
- High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
- Rich in healthy animal fats (ex: chicken fat or salmon oil)
- Few to no carbohydrate ingredients (especially within the top 5)
- Limited number of main ingredients plus supplements
- No low-quality fillers, grains, or by-products
Not only do we want to ensure that any cat food brand we recommend is made with high-quality ingredients, we also check several other factors.
We tend to prefer brands that offer a wide variety of recipes and brands that provide plenty of information about their ingredients and products. We also consider pricing and recalls as well as the availability of the brand as a whole.
Overview of the Feline Natural Brand
Though you may see the brand named Feline Natural in pet stores, that name is only applied to their cat food products. The original brand name is K9 Natural and they are based in Cristchurch, New Zealand.
K9 Natural believes in making the lives of pets “naturally better” by offering them clean, healthy nutrition made with sustainable, free-range, and grass-fed ingredients. Quality is a top priority and their recipes are made with real animal proteins and grain-free carbohydrates packed with energy and nutrients, not to mention unbelievable flavor.
Though you may not know it, New Zealand is actually one of the cleanest food suppliers in the world and K9 Natural sources all of their whole-food ingredients from local farms.
Their ingredients are human-grade and their products formulated and manufactured in keeping with the highest standards for quality. Their recipes meet AAFCO nutrition requirements and are backed by world-class research.
One feature that sets Feline Nutrition apart from the competition is that they don’t offer traditional dry food formulas. You’ll find an assortment of canned foods and single-source protein wet diets, but their three dry food options are freeze-dried instead of extruded.
What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?
Feline Natural offers a limited selection of wet food and freeze-dried cat food products. They currently offer three freeze-dried recipes, each featuring two high-quality animal proteins like beef, hoki, lamb, salmon, and chicken.
These recipes are made with 99% animal ingredients, supplemented with chelated minerals and essential vitamins for nutritional balance.
In terms of their wet food offerings, Feline Culture has three single-source protein recipes and four other cat food flavors. All seven recipes are completely grain-free and made with the highest quality ingredients available in New Zealand.
Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:
Dry Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories/Cup|
|Beef & Hoki Feast Freeze-Dried Cat Food Formula||47||32||1||8||205|
|Chicken & Lamb Feast Freeze-Dried Cat Food Formula||48||31||1||8||185|
|Lamb & King Salmon Feast Freeze-Dried Cat Food Formula||44||37||1||8||239|
Wet Food Recipes
|Recipe||Protein %||Fat %||Fiber %||Moisture %||Calories (kcal/kg)|
|Beef Feast Canned Cat Food||7.5||7.5||0.3||82||1,123|
|Chicken Feast Canned Cat Food||9.5||5.5||0.25||82||1.013|
|Lamb Feast Canned Cat Food||8||8||0.3||82||1,211|
|Beef & Hoki Feast Canned Cat Food||9.1||6.3||0.2||81||945|
|Chicken & Lamb Feast Canned Cat Food||9.6||5||0.3||82.5||895|
|Chicken & Venison Feast Canned Cat Food||9||5||0.2||82.5||862|
|Lamb & King Salmon Feast Canned Cat Food||8.5||7.5||0.2||81||1,060|
Product Recall History
The K9 Natural company was founded by Geoff Bowers in 2006. Though originally designed for dogs, the brand eventually expanded to include cat products under the Feline Natural name.
In the history of the brand, there have been no product recalls to date.
When evaluating the quality of a brand and its products, recall history is worth considering. Product recalls are issued when there is a problem with the quality, safety, or labeling of the product.
In many cases, recalls are issued for products that return positive tests for food-borne pathogens, but they can also be issued for something as simple as a labeling error.
The thing to keep in mind with Feline Natural is that the product is not manufactured in the United States and it is sold elsewhere. Not all countries have the same regulations in place for the pet food industry, so our lack of recall history here only applies to U.S. sales.
Products Included in This Review
|Name||Type||Protein %||Fat %||Top 5 Ingredients|
|Beef & Hoki Feast Freeze-Dried Cat Food Formula||Freeze-Dried||47||32||Beef heart, hoki, beef, beef kidney, beef liver|
|Chicken & Lamb Feast Freeze-Dried Cat Food Formula||Freeze-Dried||48||31||Chicken, lamb heart, lamb kidney, lamb liver, lamb blood|
|Lamb Feast Canned Cat Food||Wet||8||8||Lamb, water, lamb tripe, lamb heart, lamb kidney|
|Chicken & Venison Feast Canned Cat Food||Wet||9||5||Chicken, venison, water, venison kidney, venison liver|
|Lamb & King Salmon Feast Canned Cat Food||Wet||8.5||7.5||Lamb heart, salmon, lamb kidney, lamb liver, lamb blood|
When you pick up a bag of this beef & hoki freeze-dried cat food, you may find yourself wondering what hoki is.
Hoki is a type of white fish found primarily in New Zealand and parts of Southern Australia. Also known as blue hake, hoki is typically sustainably fished.
The first ingredient in this recipe is beef heart which is a little unusual – we’d expect to find fresh beef or beef meal rather than beef organs. Beef heart is, however, a protein-rich and nutritious ingredient, supplemented in protein by the fresh hoki as well as other beef organs.
Aside from the protein ingredients, this freeze-dried cat food only contains sunflower oil, flaxseed, and New Zealand green mussel. Sunflower oil is included to meet AAFCO nutritional requirements but wouldn’t be our top choice for a primary fat source in cat food. It’s likely, however, that a significant amount of fat comes from the beef organs and fresh fish.
We were also a little surprised to see beef blood as an ingredient. We weren’t able to find much specific information about it, but blood meal is often included as an additional source of protein.
There’s some controversy about its use in pet food but it did seem to be positive that it comes from a named source. It may also be included as a reflection of blood being part of a natural feline diet.
This multi-protein freeze-dried cat food features chicken and lamb as the main ingredients. Fresh chicken is listed first, followed by three different lamb organs, all protein- and nutrient-rich.
The only other ingredients are lamb blood, flaxseed, New Zealand green mussel, and kelp plus supplements.
Feline Natural explains that flaxseed flakes are included as a source of fiber to help digestion and stool formation.
New Zealand green mussels are most likely included as a natural source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin. It’s fairly common in higher quality pet foods.
In terms of supplementation, we’re happy to see that the mineral supplements are chelated. This simply means they have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your cat’s body to digest and absorb.
An important note about freeze-dried food like this is that it should be rehydrated in water before feeding it to your cat. Add equal parts warm water and food following the instructions on the package.
One of Feline Natural’s single-source protein recipes, this formula features real lamb. Fresh lamb is the first ingredient, supplemented with lamb tripe, heart, kidney, spleen, liver, and blood as well as ground lamb bone (an excellent source of minerals).
Aside from the protein ingredients, this recipe really only contains three others – New Zealand green mussel, fish oil, and flaxseed flakes. The rest are vitamin and chelated mineral supplements.
The one thing worth noting here is the primary fat ingredient is fish oil, not a named oil like salmon oil or cod liver oil. When the source isn’t named it’s difficult to judge its quality, but because New Zealand follows high standards for pet food manufacture, it isn’t likely anything worth worrying about.
If your cat suffers from food allergies, a single-source recipe from Feline Natural could be a good choice. There are three proteins to choose from: lamb, chicken, and beef.
Recently reformulated, this recipe features fresh chicken and venison as the top two ingredients. For supplemental protein, you’ll find venison kidney, liver, and blood on the list.
Like the other Feline Natural canned foods, this formula has fairly short list of ingredients that, aside from the protein sources, includes flaxseed, mussels, and dried kelp. You’ll also find the necessary vitamin and mineral supplements to ensure complete and balanced nutrition.
One thing we noticed about Feline Natural canned foods is the very low carbohydrate and fiber content. The estimated carbohydrate content for this particular recipe is about 3% or less which is a good thing.
This canned food features lamb heart as the first ingredient followed by fresh salmon. Lamb organs like kidney and liver are included as well as lamb blood. The remaining ingredients on the list are very familiar, especially if you’ve read the previous two reviews.
It’s worth noting that this recipe is higher in fat than the previous recipe, most likely due to the use of salmon as a main ingredient. Salmon is a very fatty fish while lamb tends to be leaner. To avoid overfeeding, just be sure to follow the feeding recommendations on the can.
What Do Customers Think of Feline Natural Cat Food?
Though Feline Culture isn’t one of the biggest brands on the market, it seems to be well received by customers. Of the 15 products available on Chewy at the time of review, all of them carried a 3.5-star average or higher.
The freeze-dried meals seemed to be more popular than the canned foods, though none had more than 100 customer reviews at the time and many fewer than 30.
How Much Does Feline Natural Cat Food Cost?
Cost is always a factor to consider when shopping for cat food, but it’s important to take it in context.
Higher-quality ingredients cost the manufacturer more and that cost will be transferred, to some degree, to the customer. That doesn’t mean all expensive cat foods are good, however.
When it comes to Feline Natural, their dry foods are priced over $3.00 per ounce which is very expensive. It’s important to remember, however, that these recipes are freeze-dried and need to be rehydrated for feeding.
Feline Natural canned foods range from $0.60 to $0.70/ounce.
To give you a better idea how Feline Natural stacks up against other cat food brands, here is a quick chart to show you some average prices:
|Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Food||Dry||Low||X||$0.90/pound|
|Friskies Classic Pate Mixed Grill Canned Food||Wet||Low||$0.07/ounce||$1.16/pound|
|Blue Buffalo Indoor Health Chicken & Brown Rice Adult Dry Cat Food||Dry||Moderate||X||$2.53/pound|
|Whole Earth Farms Grain-Free Real Chicken Pate Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||Moderate||$0.36/ounce||X|
|Instinct by Nature’s Variety Original Grain-Free Recipe with Real Chicken||Dry||High||X||$3.45/pound|
|Ziwi Peak New Zealand Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food||Wet||High||$1.21/ounce||X|
Where Can You Buy Feline Natural Cat Food?
As a New Zealand-based company, you shouldn’t expect to find Feline Natural cat food everywhere you’d find popular U.S. brands. This brand is sold in the United States and Canada as well as Australia, New Zealand, and online.
In the U.S., you’re most likely to find this brand in local and regional independent pet stores rather than big box stores. Online, Feline Natural products can be found at Chewy and Amazon as well as other natural pet product retailers.
Our Final Thoughts: Is Feline Natural a Good Brand?
Overall, we were very pleased with Feline Natural as a high-quality cat food brand.
We have no problem with the fact that it isn’t made in the United States, simply because New Zealand has such a good reputation for producing safe, high-quality pet food products.
We found the products we reviewed to be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the cost is reflected in the quality of the ingredients.
We like that all the canned foods are extremely low in carbohydrate inclusions and the freeze-dried foods are similarly packed with protein. We also appreciate the option to choose single-source recipes.
If you’re looking for a premium cat food brand you can trust, Feline Natural is definitely one to put on your list for consideration.