Ziwi Peak Cat Food Review

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Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

According to Ziwi Peak co-founder Peter Mitchell, this brand is all about selling a little piece of New Zealand’s food products and lifestyle to the rest of the world. The taste of New Zealand is a hit among pet food consumers—Ziwi Peak is rated as one of the best cat food brands on the market, but is it a healthy, high-quality choice for your cat? Let’s find out.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Ziwi Peak on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Ziwi Peak and graded it according to the We’re All About Cats standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history.

Here’s how it rates in each of these six key areas.

Ratings

  • Species-Appropriateness – 8/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 10/10
  • Product Variety – 8/10
  • Price – 4/10
  • Customer Experience – 9/10
  • Recall History – 10/10

Overall Score: 8.2/10

We give Ziwi Peak cat food a 48 out of 60 rating or an A- grade.

As part of our review process, we’ve submitted samples to an independent lab. You can see the full report here and here.

In addition to performing our own qualitative analysis of the brands reviewed here, we submitted samples for analysis at an ISO 17025 certified food testing and analysis lab.

We bought the products at full retail price, and the entire testing process was funded by All About Cats without direct input or influence from the companies involved.

Analytical testing in a food chemistry lab gives us the exact macronutrient and micronutrient content of each recipe. The tests also look at microbial content, yeast, mold, and heavy metals, helping you ensure that you’re only putting the best in your cat’s bowl.

To access the lab reports for each food reviewed here, click the “view lab report” link in the product review.

About Ziwi Peak Cat Food

Kimberly and Peter Mitchell started developing Ziwi Peak in 2004. Before Ziwi, Peter worked in a different part of the meat business—he sold commoditized ingredients or what Ziwi Peak USA director Nigel Woodd calls “the nasty stuff”.

Their experience in the meat industry made Kimberly and Peter aware of the growing demand for all-meat pet food. The Mitchells started working with slaughterhouses to develop a system for recovering waste meat, then designed an air-drying system that would make the meat suitable for export.

The result was Ziwi Peak air-dried food. An innovative air-drying process differentiated the original Ziwi Peak products from traditional kibble and helped the company gain worldwide recognition.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Sourcing most of their ingredients from sustainable New Zealand farms, ranches, and waters gives Ziwi Peak what they call “The New Zealand Difference”.

New Zealand’s warm, temperate climate gives Ziwi Peak year-round access to free-range, grass-fed local cattle, sheep, and deer. All of their fish ingredients are caught in sustainably-managed fisheries in the southern oceans of New Zealand.

New Zealand’s strict bio-security protects livestock from infectious diseases, including BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy), West Nile virus, rabies, chronic wasting, and foot and mouth disease. All of their ingredients are sourced from export-certified facilities that meet stringent New Zealand safety requirements.

Ziwi owns and operates dry food manufacturing facilities in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch, New Zealand. Their canned foods are made by a manufacturing partner also located in New Zealand.

Has Ziwi Peak Cat Food Been Recalled?

Ziwi Peak has never been recalled.

What Kinds Of Cat Food Does Ziwi Peak Offer?

Ziwi Peak’s cat food selection includes several varieties of both dry and wet cat food.

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Cat Food

Ziwi Peak offers 5 air-dried cat food recipes. Because they’re made using a twin-stage dehydration process, Ziwi Peak foods don’t require the starches and grains present in most extruded foods. This allows their dry foods to have exceptionally low carbohydrate content compared to kibble. Listed as one of the best cat dry cat foods on the market, their air-dried foods are 96% fresh meat, organs, bone, and seafood, including 3% green-lipped mussel and 7% tripe for palatability and digestive support.

Ziwi Peak dry food is calorie-dense. Each 2 oz scoop contains at least 263 calories—that’s more than some cats need in a day. Ziwi Peak has 25% more calories per ounce than the average premium kibble and 63% more than the average hydrated freeze-dried food. Each bag comes with a scoop to make sure you don’t give your cat too little or too much.

Ziwi Peak Canned Cat Cuisine

The brand offers six canned cat food recipes. Ziwi Peak’s canned cat foods are 92% meat, organs, and bone, including 3% green-lipped mussel and 7% species-specific tripe. In addition to meat and seafood, Ziwi Peak canned cat foods contain chickpeas and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

All of their foods are grain-free and made without any artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.

Ziwi Peak Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product Name Food Type Price per Ounce Our Grade
Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food Wet $0.54 A-
Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food Wet $0.85 A-
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food Dry $1.34 A-

#1 Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food Review

ziwi cat lamb

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Lamb appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This popular recipe is primarily made from lamb meat and organs, along with chickpeas and a variety of synthetic vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

In addition to lamb muscle meat, the food contains lamb liver, lung, kidney, tripe, heart, and bone. It’s made with green-lipped mussel. This natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin  helps support joint health.

Chickpeas add significantly to the food’s carbohydrate content and are a source of plant protein. Ziwi Peak includes this legume as an alternative to traditional binders.

Overall, this is a meat-based food that’s high in protein with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.

There are 185 calories in each 6 oz can or about 30 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Lamb, Lamb Broth, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, Lamb Kidney, Chick Peas, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Bone, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 8%
Crude Fat: 5.5%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 36.4%
Fat: 25%
Fiber: 4.6%
Carbs: 20.5%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 30.94%
Fat: 51.66%
Carbs: 17.4%

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

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas

Common Allergens: Shellfish

Pros

  • Contains muscle meat and a species-appropriate variety of organs
  • Contains lamb bone
  • Contains green tripe for added palatability
  • Made with green-lipped mussel

Cons

  • Unnecessarily high carbohydrate content
  • Contains chickpeas
  • Expensive

#2 Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food Review

Ziwi-Peak-Canned-Venison-Cat

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View Lab Report

Venison appears to be the primary protein source in this wet cat food.

This venison-based food contains venison muscle meat, venison broth, and a variety of nourishing deer parts not typically found in cat food—liver, lung, heart, kidney, tripe, and bone appear on the ingredient list.

In addition to venison, the food is made with Ziwi Peak’s standard green-lipped mussel, which is a carnivore-appropriate source of glucosamine and chondroitin.

Not-so-carnivore-appropriate is the inclusion of chickpeas. Ziwi Peak adds chickpeas to their wet foods as a less-controversial alternative to traditional binders like agar-agar, but chickpeas increase the food’s carbohydrate content by 8% on a dry matter basis.

Overall, this is a meat-based food that’s high in protein with moderate fat and moderate carbohydrate content.

There are 85 calories in each 3 oz can or about 28 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Venison, Venison Broth, Venison Liver, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, Venison Tripe, Chick Peas, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement).

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 9%
Crude Fat: 4.5%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 78%
Ash: 3%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 40.91%
Fat: 20.45%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 20.45%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 36.84%
Fat: 44.74%
Carbs: 18.42%

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

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Chickpeas

Common Allergens: Shellfish

Pros

  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Relatively low carbohydrate content
  • Green-lipped mussel is added as a source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Rich in animal protein
  • No artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Contains chickpeas
  • Almost 20% carbohydrate on a dry matter basis
  • Expensive

#3 Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food Review

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Cat Food

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View Lab Report

Mackerel and lamb appear to be the primary protein sources in this air-dried cat food.

This air-dried food is made primarily from meat— wild-caught mackerel, lamb meat, lamb organs, heart, and bone constitute 93% of the recipe. Like all Ziwi Peak air-dried foods, 3% of the food’s animal content is green-lipped mussel, a natural source of glucosamine and chondroitin.

The food is supplemented with chicory, lecithin, dried kelp, and a variety of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

Overall, this is a meat-based food with high protein content, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate content. There are 273 calories in each 2 oz scoop or 137 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Mackerel, Lamb, Lamb Heart, Lamb Tripe, Lamb Liver, Lamb Lung, New Zealand Green Mussel, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Salt, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, Taurine.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 43%
Crude Fat: 25%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 14%
Ash: 12%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 50%
Fat: 29.07%
Fiber: 2.33%
Carbs: 4.65%

Caloric Weight Basis

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Protein: 39.92%
Fat: 56.37%
Carbs: 3.71%

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

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Fish, Shellfish

Pros

  • Species-appropriate macronutrient distribution
  • Primarily made from animal ingredients
  • Very low carbohydrate content
  • Contains a variety of muscle meat, organs, and bones
  • Free of artificial ingredients

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Doesn’t provide the moisture cats need

What Do Customers Think Of Ziwi Peak Cat Food?

Ziwi Peak receives primarily positive customer reviews. Happy customers praise Ziwi Peak’s ingredient quality and say that it improved their cats’ health and energy. Unhappy customers typically talk about poor palatability. Some wonder if Ziwi Peak food contains too much bone.

Whether they give the brand one, three, or five stars, reviewers agree on one thing—Ziwi Peak cat food is expensive. The food’s price comes up in almost every review, whether negative or positive.

Positive Reviews

“It is pretty expensive but so far worth it!! My kitty went bonkers for this food. I normally put in a little bit of water with her dry food and she doesn’t like the water in this food (I think it dilutes the smell too much) but she adores it dry. I love how healthy it is for her. If I feel she needs a little more fiber (since it is a little low there), I put some cat-friendly wheatgrass into it (which she also loves).” –  Willow, reviewing Ziwi Peak Mackerel and Lamb Air-Dried Cat Food

“I have researched so many cat foods but nothing comes near Ziwi cat food. It is nothing short of amazing. It is expensive but so much is packed into one can that it last as long as a large can. The quality of the food is exceptional. I have switched over all of my cat food to Ziwi. My sixteen-year-old cat has energy like he did when he was 7 or 8. And, he has not thrown up one time since eating this food. I have had problems with other good brand cat foods that has made him sick..”Memaux, reviewing Ziwi Peak Venison Canned Cat Food

Negative Reviews

“I loved the old Ziwi Peak formula. The new formula is much drier and my cat’s urine has been very concentrated and the vet feels he isn’t taking in enough water. However, my cat has IBD and he tolerates Ziwi well and I am very thankful that he does. Ziwi also has a lot of bone matter. My cat had an X-ray and his stomach lit up like a Christmas tree from all the bones. I am not particularly concerned about this but do wonder if the bones contribute to the chronic constipation my cat suffers from. Unfortunately, this food gets more and more expensive. After the new formulations were introduced, the prices jumped quite a bit. Now they have just jumped again. Since the food tends to dry out in the fridge, I prefer purchasing the 3 ounce cans but can no longer afford to. Twelve 6.5 ounce cans of venison costs $66.24 while Twenty- four 3 ounce cans cost $84.48!!! That’s $2,569 a year just to feed my kitty Ziwi Peak!! So far, I haven’t found anything else on the market that my cat likes and can tolerate but I’ll be on the lookout for a more affordable alternative.” GeiselW, reviewing Ziwi Peak Venison Canned Cat Food

“This is a very strange cat food. The pieces are tiny 3/8″ flat squares. (very dry & hard) I purchased for my special needs kitteh who only eats fish. . . She is not amused. So if you have a fussy one like mine don’t do it !”Jebijou, reviewing Ziwi Peak Mackerel and Lamb Air-Dried Cat Food

How Much Does Ziwi Peak Cat Food Cost?

If you choose Ziwi Peak’s venison canned food and follow their feeding instructions of one ounce of food per pound of bodyweight, it will cost roughly $8.28 per day to feed a 10-lb cat. If you opt for 3 oz instead of 6.5 oz cans, your daily feeding cost shoots up to $11.41 per day.

Compared to their wet food, Ziwi Peak air-dried food costs more per ounce, but it’s calorie-dense, so you’ll need to feed your cat about 2 oz or one scoop each day. This adds up to $2.68 per day.

Overall, Is Ziwi Peak A Good Choice?

If you’re willing to spend $2 to $8—or more, depending on your cat’s appetite and which size cans you choose—on cat food every day and are passionate about responsible sourcing and ingredient quality, Ziwi Peak might be a great choice.

Ziwi appears to be one of the world’s most sourcing-conscious pet food companies. The use of safe, ethically-raised meat is one of their biggest selling points.

Nutritionally, Ziwi’s air-dried foods are where the company shines. Ziwi Peak out-classes the competition with an innovative dry food that’s low in carbohydrates and made primarily from fresh, minimally-processed meat. In a category dominated by plant-based kibble, these air-dried recipes are among the best you can buy.

Their wet food is also good, representing a variety of organ and muscle meats typically found in vaguely-named, potentially low-value animal by-products. Ziwi Peak wet food is higher in carbohydrate content and isn’t as innovative or exciting as their dry foods.

Where Is Ziwi Peak Cat Food Sold?

Ziwi Peak is sold in independent pet specialty stores and holistic veterinary offices around the world. Online, you can buy it through Amazon, Chewy, and other pet product retailers.

Click here to shop for Ziwi Peak cat food on Chewy

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at All About Cats. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on All About Cats is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

18 thoughts on “Ziwi Peak Cat Food Review

  1. Brad

    Any information or opinion regarding the recent news of Chinese group buying Ziwi?? I hope the brand sticks to what they offer and that this is just a business decision to get more money to distribute more. But I’m also hesitant that the quality may suffer and what we know as a great option for pet food will go to waste. (I Hope the link I attached copies)

    https://inf.news/en/pet/13361480fdeec43047a4f2e6d89e85db.html

    Reply
    1. Kate Barrington

      Thanks for bringing that to our attention, Brad! The link you shared is really helpful, others I’ve found only make general comments that “This investment will build on the current team’s successful strategy and plan to meet strong global demand for ZIWI’s product range.” It sounds like the company is purchasing Ziwi’s manufacturing plant but keeping on the original development team. I didn’t get the sense that operations were moving entirely to China, so I would imagine the current quality standards will continue to apply. Things could certainly change in the future, but hopefully the new owners will keep the quality the same and just expand distribution. We’ll certainly be keeping an eye on it and will update the article if anything major changes!

      Reply
    2. Marina Lalbeharry

      Brad, I had the same concerns and reached out to the company directly. They assured me all manufacturing process are the same as before, including existing staff, product source and will remain of high quality and standards.
      I hope this is true and will continue to be this way. At the price it is, this better be a true statement. I personally love the brand and what it stands for, most importantly my fur baby loves it. Let’s hope the investment is solely for growth and expansion.

      Reply
  2. Lola

    The recent price hike here in Australia is crazy. Almost a 30% price increase. I want to always give my two cats the best but it’s getting hard. And I can forget about rescuing anymore cats if I want to keep them on this diet.

    Reply
  3. Catherine Dalwood

    Hi there,
    My older rescue loves ZiwiPeak wet food, but I’m concerned the new China owners will reduce the quality of the food (cheaper and lower levels of meat, more carbs, intro of binders etc). Can you please do similar research on the same products in a years time, so we can monitor the ingredients and quality? Thanks for all your work, it really helps to understand what’s in cat food given the ambiguity in the label information.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Catherine! It’s good having you here. We update these reviews on a regular basis, so you can expect to see an update noting any changes as a consequence of the acquisition. Cheers, Mallory

      Reply
  4. Marina

    My kitten now 4 months old have gotten a bit picky with food, this brand cane recommended by the pet store.
    I tried a can and haven’t seen a happier cat in my life, the energy level is unbelievable today and he cleaned his bowl. The only thing is it’s expensive, might have to do one can per day and try another for mornings.
    Glad he’s happy.

    Reply
  5. Daphanal

    if the wet foods are so high on carbohydrates, why do they still get A-?
    Do the quality of the ingredients and the benefits they provide outweigh the carbs?

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      We felt that the foods’ concentration of animal components and ingredient quality compensated for the carbohydrate content to an extent, but we may re-evaluate and change this rating in the future. Thanks for commenting.

      Reply
  6. Valerie

    Hi Mallory, do you have a recommendation of a similar food to Ziwi Peak but perhaps less bone content? Everything else checks out here for me but I think the bone content would upset my cats sensitive stomach. Otherwise super helpful and well written review just wanted to get your thoughts. Thanks!

    Reply
  7. Elle

    Will you be looking at any of Ziwi Peak’s new Provenance line? The exclusion of chickpeas seems very exciting

    Reply
  8. Davis

    Can you update your review on ziwi peak with the provenance line that does not contain the chickpeas? I would love to see your opinion on this line as i believe it out performs the other line of wet food that contains chickpeas.

    Reply
  9. Aleia Staschuk

    Hey there. Thank you for making this site available. I find it very informative and insightful. I started using Ziwi cat food about 6 to 8 months ago on a recommendation from my contact at Vitality Science, a company that specializes in helping pet owners who’s fur babies have serious health issues. My Yoshi came to me with a wicked case of IBD about 3 years ago. I have tried one thing after another to try to help him. Everything that other cat owners were saying worked to help their kitties did nothing for my Yoshi so when my contact recommended, I try Ziwi I went for it. First though, I researched the company and went over the list of ingredients with a fine-tooth comb. I was impressed with the company’s ethics in regard to animal health and welfare and how clean the list of ingredients was. Satisfied that the ingredient list was acceptable based on their whole-prey protein philosophy I started feeding all of my cats canned ZIWI.

    It took about 4 months of trial and error to see what Yoshi could tolerate. We found that the only food that did not make his diarrhea worse was the venison formula. We tried the air-dried version as well but that was a disaster, so we stuck to the 6.5 oz cans of venison for him. Our 3 other cats love a mix of chicken and mackerel as well as the Hauraki Plains formula also in cans.
    After about a month we started seeing the benefits of using Ziwi for all of our cats. Their fur became super soft, they became way more energetic and best of all while Yoshi’s diarrhea did not completely go away, he was much improved, and he started putting weight back on.

    Because of how expensive the product is, especially when feed I 4 cats, one of which can only have a diet of venison which is one of the most expensive formulas, I made a deal with a pet store that we had been dealing with when we used Farmina pet food before Farmina started playing around with their recipes. The deal was that we would get a better discount if we purchased several cases per month.

    We were shocked when our first order was much higher than before due to a substantial price hike. That was fine because I knew it was a good product. However, after about 3 weeks Yoshi’s diarrhea came back with a vengeance. I could not figure out why, but I kept using the products but just added more of the supplements I was using for his IBD and Leaky Gut.

    By the time we got our second batch from them though, things really seemed to go south. Almost all the cans in all the cases were dented in various degrees from slightly or barely noticeably dented to so severely dented that the product inside was clearly spoiled. One of the cans I opened had leaked black stick stuff at the top near the seam of the can, but what shocked me even more was the fact that I found a whole chickpea sitting on the top of the food.

    Warning bells went off, so I rechecked the ingredient list and sure enough the formula had changed. Not only did the list of ingredients change order with tripe moving up from 4th or 5th on the list to moving up so that it was now second or third ingredient on the list, but to my horror, chickpea was added to the list of ingredients. What may I ask is a plant protein doing in a cat food whose company pride’s themselves on putting out a whole-prey protein pet food? I cannot help but wonder if this had something to do with their partnership with China who has a very NASTY reputation of using very inferior ingredients. I cannot help but wonder what will happen to the immaculate “human” grade cat food that Ziwi is supposed to stand for or so they claim on their website. Since then, I have found more cans with whole chickpeas in them. This is really disturbing.

    I have already found a viable alternative for my other 3 cats that has a very short list of quality meat ingredients in a freeze-dried raw form but sadly Yoshi is not so lucky because he cannot stomach anything freeze-dried, air-dried or any other kind of raw and the only meat he can handle is venison. What will I do for him if this merger with China really goes sideways? I am already seeing the devastating results of chickpea being added to this line of products.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta Post author

      Hi Aleia, thank you for the comment. The chickpea inclusion is quite strange, though I know from having reviewed this brand years ago that they were present in the food long before the acquisition. If you’d like to get a version of Ziwi without chickpeas, try their Provenance line. We are working on an update of the article that includes this line, and you’ll find that it has all the good qualities of Ziwi without the silly garbanzo beans. Additionally, I would recommend considering Koha as an alternative—they have similar quality standards and an excellent selection of highly-digestible recipes that have a great reputation among cats with digestive issues.

      Reply

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