The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food Review

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We’ve rated The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food on ingredient quality, species-appropriateness, recalls, and more. Read our The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. cat food review to learn how this brand stacks up.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food on What Matters

We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 9/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 10/10
  • Product Variety – 7/10
  • Price – 3/10
  • Customer Experience – 8/10
  • Recall History – 9/10

Overall Score: 7.6/10

In total, we give The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat food a 46 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.

About The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. was founded in 2016 by Jacqueline Taylor and Amber Cordero. The company launched as a small-batch brand of freeze-dried dog and cat foods, all made with ingredients that are ethically sourced, grown, and raised in New Zealand.

This company was formed “out of a desire to give pet parents a convenient and safe option to feed their pets a wholesome and complete diet, as close to raw as possible.” The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. makes pet food that is high in meat with no fillers or artificial additives.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

All pet foods from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. are made with fresh, whole ingredients and manufactured in small batches right in New Zealand. This company supports fair trade and local sourcing by working closely with farms and suppliers across New Zealand.

Their gentle freeze-drying process, according to the product label, “Protects all the natural enzymes and nutrients. None of the wholesome goodness is cooked out.”

Recall History

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. hasn’t had any pet food recalls to date.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Offer?

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. offers products for both dogs and cats. Their dog-specific product line is called WOOF and their line for cats is MEOW.

The MEOW line of cat foods includes both freeze-dried and air-dried recipes as well as treats. While The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. uses some conventional proteins like chicken and beef, many of their formulas feature novel proteins like venison, hoki, duck, and even wild brushtail.

All of The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co.’s products contain green tripe which the brand calls “a natural superfood for pets.” It contains live, naturally occurring microorganisms and prebiotics to support healthy digestion – plus, pets seem to love the flavor.

Every recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO food nutrient profiles.

What Do Customers Think Of The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food?

While The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. has been around for over half a decade, the brand is still relatively unknown in the United States. You can find over a dozen recipes for cat food and treats on Chewy and Amazon, but even their most popular products still have fewer than 200 ratings.

For the most part, customers are pleased with the quality of the brand and cats seem to enjoy the flavor of the foods. The most common complaint is related to price, though some cat owners say the texture of the food doesn’t appeal to their finicky felines.

Let’s take a look at a few reviews from some of the most popular recipes from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co.

Positive Reviews

My Picky Cat‘s Favorite

“Bought Chicken Salmon and Lamb Salmon for my girl. She is picky and l almost tried all the brands. It turns out that this is her favorite. Chicken Salmon contains high protein and excellent fat. It is the super food for cats!” – by 1225 Reviewing MEOW Chicken & King Salmon Freeze-Dried Cat Food on 2 Aug 2021

“A friend gave me a couple small bags of this food as her cat developed an allergy. We give these as treats only, but all of our cats love it. We have a 14 year old cat who is on hyperthyroid medication and has beginning stages of kidney disease, both which decreases his appetite. I am always concerned about his weight as he was undiagnosed when we adopted him last year and was very underweight.

Great For Food Topper

I have fattened him up since then, but he still doesn’t eat as much as he should. He isn’t always a huge fan of the food he is supposed to eat. When he isn’t wanting to eat, to entice him, we mix his wet food with a bit of warm water and crumble a small bit of these over his food as a topping. It usually does the trick to get him to eat a fair bit. It is quite expensive, but if you’re just using it as a food topping, it isn’t terrible.” – by June Reviewing MEOW Duck Freeze-Dried Cat Food on 11 Feb 2022

Negative Reviews

Caused My Cat Great Upset!

“Sorry to say that this meow product made my cat regurgitate her food. Thinking perhaps there might have been another cause I waited several weeks and tried a very small amount added to her food…again the regurgitation occurred not an hour later. So..I do not recommend this product!” – by Julienne Scanlon Reviewing MEOW Freeze-Dried Cat Food on August 29, 2021

I Bought This Because

“I bought this because it sounded possibly similar to Feline Natural Freeze Dried food, which is a big hit with my kitties. Unfortunately neither liked it. The pieces are pretty big (I’ll try to attach photo) – and did not soak up the warm water I placed it in very easily. I actually soaked it about 25 minutes a second time – and the pieces still were not completely softened with water. Another time I ground up the pieces with a blender – which worked to soak in water – but told me clearly that the kitties were not interested!” – by TenneSue Reviewing MEOW Wild Venison Freeze-Dried Cat Food on 12 Mar 2021

What Did Our Test Cats Think?

To test The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. cat food, I ordered two 9-ounce bags of freeze-dried food along with a 1.76-ounce bag of treats. I purchased the Wild Venison and Wild Brushtail freeze-dried recipes and the green lipped mussels freeze-dried treats.

Upon opening the bags of freeze-dried food, I was a little surprised to see how large the pieces were. They’re oblong in shape and soft enough to crumble by hand. I found that the food softened pretty well in water, though my cats had no trouble scarfing it down dry.

The MEOW Green Lipped Mussels were something of a surprise. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it wasn’t whole mussels. I assumed that the mussels would be chopped and frozen in smaller bites. My cats didn’t seem to know what to do with them and, while they had a strong aroma, none of my cats seemed particularly interested. My dog, however, was perfectly happy to polish them off.

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Main Protein Source Calories Price Per Ounce Our Grade
MEOW Chicken & King Salmon Freeze-Dried Cat Food Freeze Dried Chicken 288 kcal/cup $4.33 A
MEOW Wild Venison Air-Dried Cat Food Air Dried Venison 418 kcal/cup $3.43 A
MEOW Duck Freeze-Dried Cat Food Freeze Dried Duck 208 kcal/cup $4.33 A

#1 MEOW Chicken & King Salmon Freeze-Dried Cat Food

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This multi-protein freeze-dried food features fresh chicken and king salmon, both with ground bone. It also contains chicken organs, lamb green tripe, and green lipped mussels. The combination of muscle meat, organs, and raw bone is a species appropriate choice for cats, but there are a few other ingredients to consider here.

Honey is a somewhat controversial ingredient in cat food, though not widely considered to be harmful. Raw honey offers antibacterial and antimicrobial properties; some suggest it may even help ease symptoms of allergies. Because honey is high in sugar, however, it may not be ideal for cats.

It’s also important to note that the first source of added fat is plant based. It’s followed by hoki oil, a species-appropriate source of omega-3s, but I’d prefer to see the two ingredients swapped or the coconut oil omitted entirely.

In terms of nutritional composition, this recipe is moderate in protein content – around 44% on a dry matter basis – and very high in fat, around 42%. Overall, it’s fairly low in carbohydrates but still above my preferred maximum of 10%. Because it’s such a concentrated source of fat and calories, it may not be ideal for obese or overweight cats.

Ingredients

Chicken With Ground Bone, Chicken Heart, Lamb Green Tripe, King Salmon With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Kelp, Green Lipped Mussels, Manuka Honey, Rosemary, Organic Virgin 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: 43%
Crude Fat: 41%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 2%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 43.88%
Fat: 41.84%
Fiber: 1.02%
Carbs: 13.27%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 27.64%
Fat: 64%
Carbs: 8.36%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Chicken with Ground Bone

Chicken Heart

Lamb Green Tripe

King Salmon with Ground Bone

Chicken Liver

Green Lipped Mussels

Hoki Oil

Coconut Oil Chicken

Fish

Pros

  • Comprised primarily of muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Hoki oil provides animal-based omega-3s
  • Gently freeze-dried in small batches to preserve nutrition
  • Free from grains and artificial additives

Cons

  • May not be ideal for overweight cats
  • Very expensive
  • Contains several plant ingredients

#2 MEOW Wild Venison Air-Dried Cat Food

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Similar in formulation to The New Zealand Pet Food Co.’s freeze-dried recipes, this wild venison formula is gently air-dried which results in a slightly higher moisture content. Though the moisture content is a little higher, the product itself has a harder texture so it is closer to kibble and may be difficult to rehydrate.

Wild New Zealand venison is the first ingredient in this formula, but this isn’t a single-protein recipe. The venison is supplemented by fresh lamb as well as lamb organs and ground bone. The first seven ingredients in this recipe are all animal-based, though the primary source of added fat is plant-based (coconut oil).

This appears to be a largely meat-based formula with moderate protein and fat content and fairly low carbohydrate content. As an air-dried recipe, however, it doesn’t provide the moisture your cat needs for proper hydration.

In comparison to MEOW freeze-dried formulas, this air-dried recipe is a little cheaper by the ounce. It’s also a more concentrated source of calories, so your cat’s daily portion will be slightly smaller. Both of these factors make MEOW air-dried foods a slightly more economical option than freeze-dried recipes.

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: 40%
Crude Fat: 20%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 8%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 43.48%
Fat: 21.74%
Fiber: 2.17%
Carbs: 32.61%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 33.73%
Fat: 40.96%
Carbs: 25.3%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Venison

Lamb

Lamb Green Tripe

Lamb Heart

Lamb Liver

Lamb Kidney

Ground Lamb Bone

New Zealand Green Mussel

Hoki Oil

Honey

Coconut Oil

None

Pros

  • First seven ingredients are all animal-based
  • Contains fresh muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Hoki oil provides skin- and coat-supporting omega-3s
  • Free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives

Cons

  • Fairly pricey
  • Not designed to be rehydrated
  • Contains several plant ingredients

#3 MEOW Duck Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

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This freeze-dried formula is similar to the first recipe in that it is a multi-protein formula made with muscle meat, organs, and ground bone. While this formula is named for the duck that is the main ingredient, it contains lamb as well – a point worth noting for cats with food allergies or sensitivities.

Like other MEOW freeze-dried formulas, this recipe has a relatively short list of simple ingredients. It contains the same honey and coconut oil found in the other recipes as well, but the protein-to-fat ratio is a little more balanced. This recipe contains roughly 47% protein and 38% fat on a dry matter basis.

MEOW freeze-dried foods are intended to be rehydrated with water before feeding to help meet your cat’s needs for hydration. Because the pieces are fairly large, it may be best to crumble them before mixing with water. The crumbled pieces also work well as a meal mixer or food topper.

Both MEOW freeze-dried recipes are pricey (over $4 per ounce) but this duck recipe ends up being a little more expensive than the chicken and salmon formula simply because the calorie content is lower, so your cat may need a larger portion.

Overall, this duck recipe offers plenty of animal-based protein and fat with limited carbohydrate content in a small-batch freeze-dried formula.

Ingredients

Duck With Ground Bone, Lamb Green Tripe, Lamb Heart, Duck Liver, Kelp, Green Lipped Mussels, Manuka Honey, Rosemary, Organic Virgin 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: 46%
Crude Fat: 37%
Crude Fiber: 0.4%
Moisture: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 47.42%
Fat: 38.14%
Fiber: 0.41%
Carbs: 14.02%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 30.78%
Fat: 60.12%
Carbs: 9.1%
Ingredients We Liked Ingredients We Didn’t Like Common Allergens
Duck with Ground Bone

Lamb Green Tripe

Lamb Heart

Duck Liver

Green Lipped Mussels

Hoki Oil

Manuka Honey

Coconut Oil

None

Pros

  • Made with muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Mussels provide joint-supporting glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Rich in animal-based protein and balanced with animal fats
  • Gently freeze-dried in small batches to preserve nutrition

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Contains several plant ingredients

How Much Does The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food Cost?

Cat food from the The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. is very expensive. Their air-dried formulas are a little cheaper than their freeze-dried recipes, but none of their products cost less than $3 per ounce.

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. freeze-dried cat food comes in 9-ounce bags for $38.99. The cost to feed a 10-pound cat varies depending on the calorie content of the recipe, but using the formulas reviewed above your daily feeding cost would be between $5.89 and $6.27.

The brand’s air-dried formulas are more highly concentrated in calories and almost $1 cheaper per ounce. They’re sold in 3.5-ounce bags. To feed a 10-pound cat an air-dried cat food from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. it would cost about $4.88 per day.

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co.’s air-dried food is similar to Ziwi Peak’s, but significantly more expensive. It’s also more expensive than Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried recipes but similarly priced to Feline Natural.

Overall, Is The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food A Good Choice?

Cat foods from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. are formulated with significant animal content, inclusive of muscle meat, organs, and ground bone. The total carb content of their recipes is fairly low, especially in comparison to other freeze-dried raw brands like Smalls and Dr. Marty’s.

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. is a premium pet food company, both in price and quality. You’ll spend around $5 per day to feed your cat. If you have the budget for that, however, this brand is definitely worth considering.

One caveat to consider with The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co., however, is that while many of their formulas contain novel proteins, most are not single-protein recipes. All of their formulas contain lamb green tripe, so if your cat is allergic to lamb even a recipe primarily derived from other animal ingredients might not be an appropriate choice.

Where Is The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Cat Food Sold?

While The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. is based in New Zealand, their products are sold in more than 10 countries including Australia, Canada, the United States, and parts of Asia. You can find these products in specialty pet food stores or online from Amazon or Chewy.

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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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