The 5 Best Cat Food In New Zealand

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With easy access to pasture-raised meats like lamb and beef, New Zealand is quickly becoming a hub for high-quality cat foods – especially in the freeze-dried raw niche.

We’ve already taken an in-depth look at the Australian cat food market and there is a lot of overlap with the market in New Zealand. In this guide, however, we’ve chosen to focus on some of the best brands we’ve come across that are made in New Zealand with locally sourced ingredients.

Ziwi Peak wet cat food is our top pick, as is frequently the case, but we’ve also included picks for dry food and freeze-dried raw food.

At A Glance: Best Cat Food To Buy In New Zealand

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Want a quick look at the best cat foods reviewed in this article? In the comparison table below, we’ve highlighted some of the most important features of each product. You’ll find more detailed information about each product later in the article.

#1
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

  • Contains fresh muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Made with a high-quality protein source novel to many cats
  • Green mussel provides joint-supporting glucosamine
#2
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Wild Venison Freeze-Dried Cat Food

  • Packed with muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • Gently freeze-dried to preserve nutrition and flavor
#3
9.5
Picked by 25 people today!

Meat Mates Chicken Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Contains nutrient-rich chicken liver
  • New Zealand fish oil provides animal-based omega-3s
#4
9.4
Picked by 21 people today!

Feline Natural Lamb & King Salmon Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

  • Packed with animal protein and low in carbs
  • Contains nutrient-rich organ meats
  • Highly digestible with limited ingredient list
#5
9.3
Picked by 18 people today!

Zealandia Beef Pate Wet Cat Food

  • Packed with protein from fresh beef and lamb organs
  • Rich in animal-based omega-3 fatty acids
  • Slow-cooked in a moisture-rich, flavorful broth

Why You Should Trust Us?

Having reviewed over 140 of the world’s most popular cat food brands and hundreds of formulas. We spent hours researching, contacting pet food companies, and analyzing labels. With the help of our cats, we’ve also accumulated hours upon hours of hands-on experience with different cat foods.

Based on that research, we’re bringing you an updated list of the best cat food brands and products available in New Zealand. We’ve researched the brands themselves and evaluated individual recipes to bring you our top picks.

What Is Unique About Cat Food Made In New Zealand?

While the phrase “made in the USA” has become synonymous with quality in the pet food market, times are changing. New Zealand was the 7th largest importer of U.S.-made pet food in 2019, but exports are on the rise. In fact, the export of pet food from New Zealand doubled between 2015 and 2019, nearing US $129 million, and growth is expected to continue.

But what is it that makes New Zealand-made cat food such strong competition for U.S.-based brands? A lot of it has to do with the production of “exotic” meats in New Zealand.

New Zealand is the world’s largest exporter of lamb, supplying over half the world’s lamb exports. The country is also known for producing proteins novel to many cats including venison and brushtail (opossum). Many New Zealand-based pet food brands focus on single-protein and limited-ingredient diets catered to pets with food allergies and sensitivities.

Aside from the quality of ingredients, New Zealand is also a standout in areas of sustainability and ethical production of pet food. Many of the brands we’ve come across focus on humanely-raised meats, local sourcing, and eco-consciousness.

The Best Cat Foods In New Zealand: Our Top 5 Picks

#1 Ziwi Peak

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Read Our Full Brand Review

Founded in 2004, Ziwi Peak has become one of the best-known brands to come out of New Zealand. Their unique air-drying process differentiates the brand from traditional kibble companies and their protein-packed canned foods feature quality meats sustainably sourced from New Zealand farms, ranches, and waters.

Featured Recipe: Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb, Water, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver

This single-protein canned food formula features New Zealand lamb as the main ingredient. It contains nearly half a dozen lamb organs as well as lamb bone, supplemented with New Zealand green mussel as a natural source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.

Lamb tripe, frequently used in New Zealand-made cat foods, is a nutrient-rich ingredient that supports immune health and digestive function in addition to increasing the palatability of the food.

While this recipe is primarily meat-based and high in protein, it does contain moderate carbohydrate content from the addition of chickpeas.

Ingredients

Lamb, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Chickpeas, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone, DL-Methionine, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex), Taurine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 9.5%
Crude Fat: 6%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 43.18%
Fat: 27.27%
Fiber: 9.09%
Carbs: 6.82%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 37.15%
Fat: 56.98%
Carbs: 5.87%

Ingredients We Liked: Lamb, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas

Common Allergens: None

What We Liked:

  • Contains fresh muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Made with a high-quality protein source novel to many cats
  • Green mussel provides joint-supporting glucosamine
  • Rich in moisture to support your cat’s hydration

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains starchy chickpeas
  • Expensive

#2 The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co.

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Read Our Full Brand Review

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. was launched in 2016 with the release of small-batch freeze-dried dog and cat foods. All ingredients used in their recipes are ethically sourced, grown, and raised in New Zealand.

Featured Recipe: The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Wild Venison Freeze-Dried Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Venison, Lamb, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver

Featuring New Zealand wild venison, this protein-packed formula is prepared in small batches and gently freeze-dried to preserve flavor and nutritional value.

This recipe contains fresh venison and lamb as the main ingredients with additional protein from lamb organs. Ground lamb bone provides an animal-based source of essential minerals and hoki oil is rich in animal-based omega-3s for healthy skin and coat support.

While largely meat-based, this formula is low in moisture as-is, but it is intended to be rehydrated before feeding.

Ingredients

Venison, Lamb, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Ground Lamb Bone, Kelp, New Zealand Green Mussel, Honey, Rosemary, Coconut Oil, Hoki Oil, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate), Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Salt.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 60%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 63.16%
Fat: 21.05%
Fiber: 2.11%
Carbs: 13.68%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 49.35%
Fat: 39.95%
Carbs: 10.69%

Ingredients We Liked: Venison, Lamb, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Liver, Lamb Kidney, Ground Lamb Bone, New Zealand Green Mussel, Hoki Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Honey, Coconut Oil

Common Allergens: None

What We Liked:

  • Packed with muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Made with a single source of novel animal protein
  • Gently freeze-dried to preserve nutrition and flavor
  • Hoki oil provides animal-based omega-3 fatty acids

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains some plant ingredients
  • Expensive

#3 Meat Mates

Buy on PetDirect

Read Our Full Brand Review

Meat Mates was first launched on Amazon in 2018 but is now sold throughout New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. Their products are made in New Zealand using grass-fed, free-range meat or cage-free chicken.

Featured Recipe: Meat Mates Chicken Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Flakes, Dried Kelp

Featuring fresh chicken and chicken liver as the main ingredients, this is a primarily meat-based recipe with high protein and fat content. It is extremely limited in carbohydrate content and free from GMOs and artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

As a freeze-dried raw food, this recipe offers high nutritional quality for cats. It is, however, low in moisture but can be rehydrated for feeding.

In addition to being a single-protein formula, this recipe contains a very limited list of ingredients. Both of these factors make it a good choice for cats with food allergies and sensitivities. If your cat is allergic to chicken, Meat Mates offers several other single-protein recipes.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Flakes, Dried Kelp, Salt, Magnesium Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 48%
Crude Fat: 30%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 8%
Ash: 12.5%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 52.17%
Fat: 32.61%
Fiber: 1.09%
Carbs: 0.54%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 39.55%
Fat: 60.04%
Carbs: 0.41%

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Flaxseed Flakes

Common Allergens: Chicken

What We Liked:

  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Contains nutrient-rich chicken liver
  • New Zealand fish oil provides animal-based omega-3s
  • Gently freeze-dried to preserve nutritional value

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains some plant ingredients
  • Expensive

#4 Feline Natural

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Read Our Full Brand Review

Feline Natural is the cat food line that falls under the K9 Natural brand name. The company was founded in 2006 as a raw dog food company but released Feline Natural in 2011. This brand formulates their recipes around whole prey models using high-quality ingredients sourced primarily from New Zealand.

Featured Recipe: Feline Natural Lamb & King Salmon Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Lamb Heart, Salmon, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood

This multi-protein freeze-dried raw food features lamb and king salmon. It includes both fresh salmon and lamb organs, supplemented with New Zealand green mussel. Mussels are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and provide a natural source of joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin.

With a 95% recommendation rating from Chewy customers, this Feline Natural recipe is very popular. It can be used as a meal mixer or topper but is also nutritionally complete as a meal in itself.

Overall, this recipe is high in protein with moderate fat content and extremely low carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Lamb Heart, Salmon, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood, Flaxseed Flakes, New Zealand Green Mussel, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 44%
Crude Fat: 37%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 8%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 47.83%
Fat: 40.22%
Fiber: 1.09%
Carbs: 10.87%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 30.59%
Fat: 62.46%
Carbs: 6.95%

Ingredients We Liked: Lamb Heart, Salmon, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood, New Zealand Green Mussel

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Flaxseed Flakes

Common Allergens: Fish

What We Liked:

  • Packed with animal protein and low in carbs
  • Contains nutrient-rich organ meats
  • Highly digestible with limited ingredient list
  • Free from fillers, grains, and artificial additives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains some plant ingredients
  • Expensive

#5 Zealandia

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Launched in 2012, Zealandia is named for the 8th continent – the oceanic area encompassing New Zealand and the surrounding oceans. Zealandia offers a variety of canned cat foods that are slow-cooked in flavorful broth, yielding a moisture-rich recipe that is both highly palatable and easily digestible for cats.

Featured Recipe: Zealandia Beef Pate Wet Cat Food

First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Beef, Water, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, Lamb Green Tripe

Featuring New Zealand grass-fed beef, this pate-style canned food is packed with animal protein and healthy fats. Fresh deboned beef is supplemented by a handful of lamb organs as well as New Zealand green mussel and salmon oil.

This recipe provides a rich source of animal-based omega-3 fatty acids from both the green mussel and the salmon oil. These omega-3s offer anti-inflammatory benefits for cats and help support healthy skin and coat.

The primary downside of this recipe is that it does contain several gum thickeners. Gums like cassia gum and guar gum may not be as inherently harmful as carrageenan for cats, but they have been linked to digestive issues like diarrhea in some cats.

Ingredients

Deboned Beef, Water Sufficient for Processing, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Dried Yeast, Cassia Gum, Carrot, Salmon Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Agar-Agar, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Glycine Complex, Niacin Supplement, Alpha-Tocopherol Acetate, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Glycine Complex, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Acetate, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Cholecalciferol.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 6.5%
Crude Fiber: 1.5%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 29.55%
Fiber: 6.82%
Carbs: 9.09%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 33.6%
Fat: 58.93%
Carbs: 7.47%

Ingredients We Liked: Deboned Beef, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, New Zealand Green Mussel, Salmon Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Cassia Gum, Agar-Agar, Guar Gum

Common Allergens: Beef

What We Liked:

  • Packed with protein from fresh beef and lamb organs
  • Rich in animal-based omega-3 fatty acids
  • Slow-cooked in a moisture-rich, flavorful broth
  • Made in New Zealand without artificial additives

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Contains several gum thickeners
  • Some plant ingredients

Final Thoughts

The rising demand for raw, freeze-dried, and ethically produced pet food has thrust New Zealand toward the forefront of the pet industry.

While it’s the responsibility of every cat owner to make an informed decision regarding their cat’s nutrition, you can rest easy knowing that pet foods made in New Zealand are held to rigorous food safety standards. In fact, in 2012 New Zealand became the first foreign country recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as comparable to the United States in food safety.

Since 2012, New Zealand has continued to raise their standards by ensuring that meat sourced from New Zealand raised on farms that adhere to legislation ensuring the human handling of livestock.

Most of the pet foods available in New Zealand also conform to the nutritional recommendations established by AAFCO nutrient profiles.

For more cat food recommendations that may be available in New Zealand, check out our guide to the best cat foods in Australia.

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About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

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