2020 ACANA Cat Food Review: Biologically Appropriate Food for Cats
Pet food choices seem to increase in number by the day. More and more pet parents demand better quality than what the traditional pet food products have to offer. ACANA is one of the brands that specializes in the more protein-centric, species appropriate dog and cat foods. To help you find the best cat food based on what the brand has to offer, we have created this comprehensive 2020 ACANA cat food review.
The brand aims to provide biologically appropriate food using high quality natural ingredients. ACANA is owned by Champion Petfoods. The company is the award-winning pet food maker based in Canada that also gave us ACANA’s sister brand, Orijen. Founded more than 30 years ago in Barrhead, Alberta, Canada, the company created pet foods with fresh regional ingredients that are made in their own kitchens. The company now serves quality pet food in more than 90 countries across the globe.
According to ACANA, their Biologically Appropriate concept means to “mirror the quantity, freshness, and variety of meat that nature evolved dogs and cats to eat.” Aside from making sure that every product is at least 60% -70% meat, ACANA cat food line does not use synthetic vitamins and minerals supplements.
The brand believes in “WholePrey” foods. Meaning all of the nutrients needed by pets are found naturally in organs, bones, and cartilage delivered in appropriate amounts included in the pet food products. This makes ACANA one of the best cat foods you can include in your cat’s diet.
Half of the meats used are supplied either fresh (refrigerated, without preservatives) or raw (flash-frozen, with no preservatives), while the rest are dried for a concentrated source of animal fats and proteins. 25% of the list of ingredients come from whole vegetables, fruits, and botanicals from regional farms.
The brand’s fresh regional ingredients include red meats raised on regional ranches; free-run poultry and cage-free eggs from Kentucky or Canadian farms; wild-caught saltwater fish from New England, as well as freshwater fish; whole fruits and vegetables delivered straight from local farms; and naturally grown botanicals grown for the company by their trusted suppliers.
- Where are ACANA cat foods made?
- ACANA Cat Food Review
- Is ACANA a good cat food brand?
- Have ACANA cat foods ever been recalled?
- Is ACANA GMO-free?
- What does biologically appropriate mean?
Where are ACANA cat foods made?
Aside from Biologically Appropriate and Fresh Regional Ingredients, the company’s third core value is Never Outsourced. The company manufactures all of their products in their DogStar kitchen in Kentucky and in their NorthStar kitchen in Canada. Only ACANA and Orijen products are made in both kitchens. Each kitchen has their own set of products that are sold in their designated markets. DogStar makes the Meadowland, Grasslands, Appalachian Ranch, and Wild Atlantic. While the NorthStar kitchen makes the Wild Prairie, Grasslands, Ranchlands, and Pacifica.
Their DogStar kitchen has 25,000 square feet of cooler space that can store over 600,000 lbs of ingredients. According to the Champion Petfoods, the kitchen itself is custom-built with fresh ingredient-processing technologies that are the first of their kind anywhere in the world.
Next to their NorthStar kitchen in Alberta, Canada is Champion Petfoods’ BAFRINO Research and Innovation Centre. It is the company’s research and development hub focused on advancing their Biologically Appropriate mission in the pet food industry.
BAFRINO means Biologically Appropriate, Fresh Regional Ingredient, and Never Outsourced. Their mandate in four core areas are biologically appropriate food development; fresh meat technologies, natural flavor development, and nutrient testing and validation.
Their kitchens house the fresh meat and produce that are sourced from specialty farmers and are delivered fresh or raw.
At this time, ACANA makes only dry food products for cats. Read the in-depth review below of some of ACANA’s top-rated cat foods on Amazon.com to find the best cat food for your cat’s diet.
ACANA Cat Food Review
ACANA Regionals Wild Atlantic Dry Cat Food
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ACANA Regionals Grasslands Dry Cat Food
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ACANA Regionals Appalachian Ranch Dry Cat Food
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ACANA Regionals Meadowland Dry Cat Food
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Acana Regionals – Wild Atlantic
Wild Atlantic is a high-protein dry cat food made with 75% wild-caught mackerel, herring, redfish, hake, and flounder. The first of its ingredients is whole mackerel. Like all ACANA products, Wild Atlantic has WholePrey ratios of fish, organs, and bone. It also has healthy produce such as whole red lentils, whole green peas, pinto beans, chicory root, pumpkin, kale, and other vegetables. All these provide a complete and balanced diet for your cat.
The first five ingredients of this ACANA cat food are whole mackerel, whole herring, whole redfish, whole silver hake, and mackerel meal.
Great for poultry-sensitive cats. ACANA cat food in Wild Atlantic recipe has been great for a lot of cats that are allergic to chicken or other poultry. As it is a grain-free food, you can be assured that this product will not trigger any allergies to wheat, corn, or other grains. Many kitties’ have thrived well on this food. They are able to keep it down and have also grown beautiful and healthy skin and coats.
Cats love it! Kitties cannot resist the rich fish flavor of this ACANA cat food. Made of 75% wild-caught fish of multiple varieties, this cat food is very tasty and guaranteed high in protein. It really is no wonder cats go crazy over this cat food.
Strong odor. Several buyers have noted that the smell of this product is a bit stronger than most cat foods. This is likely caused by the large amount of fish in its ingredients. Aside from the first 6 ingredients that are all fish (whole mackerel, whole herring, whole redfish, whole silver hake, mackerel meal, and herring meal), it also includes cod meal, pollock meal, and freeze-dried cod liver.
ACANA Wild Atlantic dry cat food is loved by a lot of cats because it is packed with wild-caught fish. These are good ingredients to have as they are natural rich in omega fatty acids. Some cats who are allergic to chicken and other poultry have thrived well on this product. The cats have shown a noticeable improvement in their skin and coat since being switched to a Wild Atlantic diet. This could be one of the best food for cats with chicken or poultry allergies. However, some find the smell just too strong for their liking.
Acana Regionals – Grasslands
ACANA Grasslands dry cat food is for kitties who have no protein sensitivities. Made of fresh ingredients such as grass-fed lamb, free-run duck, cage-free eggs, wild-caught fish, and quail, this dry food is packed with high-quality protein. These biologically appropriate regional ingredients make this a highly nutritious meal for your cats. This cat food is made even tastier with freeze-dried liver.
The first five ingredients of this ACANA cat food are deboned lamb, deboned duck, whole eggs, lamb meal, and catfish meal,
A little goes along way. Many cats that are fed ACANA Grasslands do not gorge on their food and appear to be quite full and satisfied till their next meal. They do not overeat and consume only enough for them to be satisfied. This is the observation of cat owners based their reviews.
Healthy skin and coats. Cat parents have noticed an improvement in the appearance of their cat’s skin and fur. Their fur are so much softer and shinier than before. They attribute this to the health benefits their cats get from eating this ACANA cat food.
Contains veggies. While higher in protein compared to majority of cat foods in the market, a few find that this cat food contains too many plant-based ingredients. Some of the vegetables included are whole red lentils, whole pinto beans, whole green peas, chickpeas, pumpkin, butternut squash, and kale among others. While nutritious, these are ingredients that some feel do not offer much to a cat’s needs.
Many cats who were fed this Grasslands recipe seem to be fuller for longer. The high protein content helps with keeping their bellies feeling full. They do not overeat and are kept satisfied until their next meal. This is especially good for cats who need to maintain their weights.
Just like all the other recipes from ACANA, Grasslands have also given numerous kitties beautiful, healthy skin and coats. However, some still find the plant-based ingredients not beneficial to a cat’s diet or nutritional needs.
Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch
ACANA Appalachian Ranch is inspired by Kentucky’s Appalachian ranching heritage. This high-quality grain-free food’s fresh regional ingredients include ranch-raised beef, Yorkshire pork, grass-fed lamb, ranch-raised bison, and freshwater catfish. It is packed with rich, meaty flavors that cats crave.
ACANAs WholePrey ratios of meat, organs, and cartilage provide nutrients required by a feline diet in their natural form. Appalachian Ranch has 2 lbs. of beef, tripe, and liver; 1 lb. pork, liver, and kidney; 1 lb. lamb, liver, and trip; ¼ lb. freshwater catfish; and ¼ lb. ranch raised bison.
The first five ingredients of Appalachian Ranch are deboned beef, deboned pork, deboned lamb, beef meal, and lamb meal.
Super tasty. This Appalachian Ranch dry cat food is loved even by many picky felines. Made with flavorful beef, pork, lamb, bison, and catfish, it is a hit among cats. The flavor is enhanced with beef fat and liver. All these not only make it extra tasty, but also rich in protein much needed by cats.
Healthy skin and coats. Some cats who were previously suffering from skin problems due to allergies have found relief in ACANA’s grain-free Appalachian Ranch recipe. Their skin cleared up. No more scabs or itchy skin and feet. Their fur have grown back and are healthier than before.
Crumbly. Some find this cat food a bit too crumbly. It leaves a good amount of food dust at the bottom of the bag. This usually goes to waste as cats do not eat it.
ACANA Appalachian Ranch is a rich and meaty kibble that numerous cats love. This cat food is packed with high-quality protein from fresh regional ingredients such as beef, pork, lamb, bison, and catfish.
Just as with other ACANA recipes, Appalachian Ranch cat food is credited by cat owners for giving their kitties tremendous improvement in their skin and fur. Skin problems have been alleviated since being switched to this cat food. Some customers however, find this product too crumbly as it leaves food dust at the bottom of the bag.
Acana Regionals – Meadowland
Inspired by Kentucky’s own fertile meadows and cold American waters, ACANA’s Meadowland dry cat food is made of fresh regional ingredients such as free-range turkey and chicken, and wild caught fish. Additional protein for your cat’s diet comes from cage-free whole eggs. This cat food includes ACANA’s WholePrey ratios of meat, organs, cartilage and bone as well as nutritious vegetables for naturally present nutrients for a complete and balanced diet for your cat.
This grain-free cat food’s first five ingredients are deboned chicken, deboned turkey, chicken liver, chicken meal, catfish meal, and turkey giblets.
Good for sensitive tummies. This ACANA cat food is easy to digest. It has fiber from whole green lentils. It has even helped tummy issues that several cats were having, according to their owners. The cats have stopped vomiting since being switched to a Meadowland diet. As a result, the cats are feeling much better and many of them have shown more energy and playfulness.
Shiny, healthy coats. Cat owners have marveled over their kitties ‘visibly healthier skin and coats since being fed this ACANA cat food. Their fur as so much shinier and softer.
Expensive. Some cat parents find this dry food a bit too expensive to feed daily. This could be especially true for multiple cat households.
ACANA’s Meadowlands has been great for cats with sensitive tummies. Vomiting has been significantly reduced or even resolved in many cases. The cats also thrived on this food, showing signs of good overall health such as soft, shiny coats; healthy weight, and more energy.
However, all the high-quality fresh ingredients and health benefits it gives do come at a much higher price compared to the average cat food. Some feel that it is just too expensive, especially for a household with a lot of kitties to feed. Many find that the benefits that their cats get are well worth the additional cost.
Champion Petfoods has been in the pet product industry for 30 years, and is one of the most trusted names of pet lovers. ACANA is definitely a brand known for high quality pet nutrition.
Did it live up to expectations? In terms of ingredient quality, we think they did. Their use of fresh regional ingredients is enough to make discerning pet parents pay attention. The first five ingredients of all of their dry cat food are animal protein. They are all grain free and do not have corn and wheat fillers in the ingredients list.
Even the carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals sources are of good quality vegetables and fruits. No artificial supplements are included in all of their foods. All nutrients required by a cat’s diet are naturally sourced from their WholePrey superfoods that include meat, organs, bone, and cartilage. The products are also free from artificial enhancers such as favors, colors, or preservatives.
However, some cat owners feel that ingredients such as peas, whole green lentils, chicory root, pumpkin, kale, chickpeas, etc. do not need to be in a cat’s diet. They prefer that the ingredients list be simpler with more protein that carnivorous felines need in their diet. All ACANA foods however, contain 60% – 70% meat.
As far the results are concerned, ACANA has delivered excellently. Many cats have personally experienced the health benefits from ACANA products. Their cat foods have received rave reviews saying that their cats’ tummy issues have been resolved or improved. Most of the good reviews received are for the healthy skin and beautiful shiny coats that their cats have grown since being regularly fed ACANA kibbles.
While some find ACANA products too expensive, cat parents who swear by their food find that the quality is worth the extra cost. Their cats are healthier and they can rest assured that only fresh regional ingredients go into every bag of ACANA cat foods.
Is ACANA a good cat food brand?
We find that ACANA is a very good brand of dry cat foods. It definitely fares better in quality compared to your average commercially available cat food. However, it could be a bit expensive to feed multiple cats on a daily basis. Overall, you can definitely be assured that you are feeding one of the best cat foods in the dry category if your cat does decide that she likes it.
Have ACANA cat foods ever been recalled?
No. There has not been any recall of cat food products from ACANA to date. Though some products from sister brand Orijen were recalled in 2008.
Is ACANA GMO-free?
Yes. The company stated that they do not use GMO ingredients.
What does biologically appropriate mean?
The Biologically Appropriate concept is simple: mirror the freshness and variety of meats that dogs and cats are evolved to eat.