Northwest Naturals Cat Food Review

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Could this raw food company earn a place on your shopping list? Find out in our Northwest Naturals cat food review.

The We’re All About Cats Standard—Rating Northwest Naturals on What Matters

We’ve analyzed Northwest Naturals 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 – 9/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 9/10
  • Product Variety – 5/10
  • Price – 7/10
  • Customer Experience – 9/10
  • Recall History – 6/10

Overall Score: 7.5/10

We give Northwest Naturals cat food a 45 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.

About Northwest Naturals

Northwest Naturals began in 2004 as Morasch Meats’ entrance into the world of raw frozen pet food. Today, the brand’s lineup includes a small variety of frozen and freeze-dried food for dogs and cats. Northwest Naturals describes their food as a “true carnivore diet”, emphasizing the nutritional elegance of raw prey.

Sourcing and Manufacturing

Northwest Naturals cat food is manufactured in the company’s facility in Portland, Oregon. Their ingredients are sourced from the United States, France, and New Zealand.

Has Northwest Naturals cat food been recalled?

In early 2018, Northwest Naturals issued a recall of their 5lb frozen dog food chubs due to potential listeria contamination. The raw food passed the company’s laboratory tests before distribution. Later, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development bought a chub for sampling and it tested positive for Listeria moncytogenes. There were no reports of illness associated with this possibly contaminated food.

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What kinds of cat food does Northwest Naturals offer?

Northwest Naturals offers two types of cat food—frozen and freeze-dried. These low-temperature processes extend the foods’ longevity, and reduce the risk of pathogen contamination. Compared to high-temperature processing, leave more nutrients intact.

Additionally, Northwest Naturals uses HPP (high-pressure processing) to break the cell walls of foodborne pathogens without damaging amino acids, fibers, enzymes, and other beneficial components.

Both their freeze-dried and frozen recipes are made from muscle meat, organs, and raw ground bone with no vegetables or fruits. They’re broken down into what the company calls “nibbles”—bite sized pieces that are easy for cats to eat.

While some other brands go overboard with bone and have excessive mineral content, Northwest Naturals foods have moderate phosphorus, making them an acceptable option for seniors and those concerned about kidney health. Along with controlled bone content, the food’s use of fiber supplements makes Northwest Naturals food less likely to cause constipation.

Northwest Naturals Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Chicken RecipeFreeze-Dried$2.18A-
Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Turkey RecipeFreeze-Dried$2.18A-
Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Rabbit RecipeFreeze-Dried$3.63A-

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Chicken Recipe Review

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Chicken Recipe

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Chicken appears to be the primary protein source in this freeze-dried cat food. 

This freeze-dried food is primarily made from chicken, with chicken muscle meat, bone-inclusive chicken necks, chicken hearts, and liver heading up the ingredient list. It also contains egg as an additional source of species-appropriate protein.

Notably, this food is high in fiber compared to other raw or freeze-dried foods. All Northwest Naturals foods are pretty fibrous, containing a mix of ground flaxseed and psyllium husk powder. This particular recipe is up to 5.8% fiber on a dry matter basis.

The food contains fish oil as a nourishing source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Overall, this food has high protein, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate content. 

This freeze-dried food harnesses the nutritional value of raw muscle meat, organs, and bones, then layers on the supplements and fiber that those animal ingredients fail to provide. With several sources of fiber and not too much bone, it’s a good option for cats who tend to get constipated on other raw or freeze-dried foods.

The food contains 134 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Hearts, Chicken Liver, Egg, Ground Flaxseed, Kelp, Organic Dulse Powder, Gelatin, Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin B Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (as preservative), Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein45% min
Crude Fat15% min
Fiber5% max
Moisture5% max
Ash9%

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Chicken Recipe Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Chicken Recipe Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Hearts, Chicken Liver, Egg, Gelatin, Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Chicken, Eggs

Pros

  • Rich in minimally-processed animal ingredients
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Contains some sources of fiber to prevent constipation
  • Cats seem to like the way this food tastes

Cons

  • Contains generous amounts of plant-sourced fiber

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Turkey Recipe Review

organic cat food

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Turkey appears to be the primary protein source in this freeze-dried cat food. 

Nutrient-rich turkey parts head up this ingredient list. Turkey, turkey necks, hearts, and liver are the first few ingredients. The food also contains egg, a highly bioavailable source of protein and other nutrients.

In standard Northwest Naturals fashion, the food contains flaxseed and psyllium husk powder as sources of fiber. It’s fortified with an array of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that make each meal nutritionally complete.

Overall, this food has high protein content, moderate fat, and is low in carbohydrates.

With plenty of protein and fat from animal sources and virtually zero carbohydrate matter, this is a species-appropriate food for carnivores.

The food has 134 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Liver, Egg, Ground Flaxseed, Kelp, Organic Dulse Powder, Gelatin, Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin B Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (as preservative), Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein50% min
Crude Fat15% min
Fiber4% max
Moisture5% max
Ash9%

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Turkey Recipe Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Turkey Recipe Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Liver, Egg, Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Egg

Pros

  • Rich in highly-bioavailable nutrients from turkey
  • Contains fish oil as a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Minimally processed for maximum nutrient integrity
  • Contains sources of fiber to prevent constipation, which is common among raw-fed cats

Cons

  • May contain too much fiber for some cats

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Rabbit Recipe Review

Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Raw Diet for Cats

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Rabbit appears to be the primary protein source in this freeze-dried cat food.

Rabbit is a truly cat-appropriate food source—it’s an animal that cats might catch themselves, has less bone than poultry, and is one of the more digestible protein sources you can give your cat.

This rabbit-based food contains rabbit with bone, heart, and liver, along with egg as an additional species-appropriate protein source. The food contains several sources of fiber, including flaxseed, psyllium husk powder, and inulin. The latter is a prebiotic fiber that feeds beneficial bacteria in your cat’s body, supporting digestive health and wellbeing.

The food contains both salmon oil and fish oil. Northwest Naturals specifies that the ingredient “fish oil” refers to a combination of oils from wild-caught Alaskan salmon, pollock, and herring.

Overall, this food has high protein content with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

With species-appropriate rabbit parts making up the bulk of the recipe, a mix of fiber for digestive support, and multiple sources of omega-3 fatty acids, this food appears to be a wholesome choice for cats.

The rabbit recipe has 136 calories per ounce.

Ingredients

Rabbit with Bone, Rabbit Heart, Rabbit Liver, Egg, Dulse Powder, Kelp, Distilled Water, Gelatin, Ground Flaxseed, Psyllium Husk Powder, Salmon Oil, Inulin, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Mixed Tocopherols (as a preservative). Fish Oil*, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Thiamin Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein45% min
Crude Fat15% min
Fiber5.0% max
Moisture5% max
Ash12%

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Rabbit Recipe Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Rabbit Recipe Dry Matter Macronutrient Breakdown

Ingredients We Liked: Rabbit with Bone, Rabbit Heart, Rabbit Liver, Egg, Gelatin, Salmon Oil, Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: Egg

Pros

  • Primarily made from intensely nourishing rabbit muscle meat, bones, and organs
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Contains multiple sources of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Minimally processed for maximum nutrition

Cons

  • One of Northwest Naturals’ most expensive formulas
  • The inclusion of egg makes this a poor choice for limited-ingredient or elimination diets
  • May contain too much fiber for some cats

What do customers think of Northwest Naturals cat food?

Northwest Naturals is a well-respected cat food brand. It receives primarily positive reviews and, though it’s less well-known than similar brands like Vital Essentials, Stella & Chewy’s, and Primal, it seems to compete with them in terms of customer satisfaction. On Amazon, some reviewers say their cats didn’t like the food and one said there was plastic in it, but most had better experiences.

Positive Reviews

“I switched to Northwest Naturals after Stella & Chewy started adding Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (MSBC) in all their freezed-dried cat food. You can read my comment regarding MSB at https://www.amazon.com/review/R2YFER95FXCU0E/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm.

I contacted Joslyn with Northwest Naturals who confirmed that all ingredients are sourced in the USA, are human grade and manufactured in a USDA facility. Nothing is sourced in China and there are no questionable or controversial ingredients! The switch was easy and both, the turkey & chicken, were rated A+ by my kitty.”chouchou, reviewing Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Turkey Recipe

“I bought this at my local pet store but oh gee how my cat eats this up! I hardly have a chance to rehydrate it before she’s eating it. They have excellent customer service as I contacted them to find out the carb percentage in the chicken formula and they gave me the direct contact to their nutritionist! The percentage is 1%. This matters add I feed Scottish Folds and they require a low carb diet to maintain optimal joint health. I will continue to feed this superior food to my cat and her kittens.”SeattleT, reviewing Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Chicken Recipe

Negative Reviews

“Found large (~2″) piece of partially melted plastic fused into turkey pellets. Need better quality control. Could have been quite dangerous if swallowed.” Bimbo Savant, reviewing Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Turkey Recipe

“My cats (and I have 5, kind of scary) do not like it. They are interested, lick it a bit, maybe eat one, but if given a choice between this and their regular food (IAMS) they go for their regular food. Yea, I know can’s can take a while to get used to new food but I figured they would be all over this like it was canned food (which they love). Also, it seems to make them vomit. And as others have noted, there is a lot of powder in the bag.”Joe, reviewing Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried Nibbles Chicken Recipe

How much does Northwest Naturals cat food cost?

Northwest Naturals is around the same price as—or slightly cheaper than—most raw cat foods on the market.

According to the feeding calculator on the Northwest Naturals website, a moderately-active 10-lb cat would need about 4 ounces of frozen raw and 1.3 ounces of freeze-dried raw food per day. That breaks down to about $2.24 per day if you feed frozen food and $2.83 per day if you opt for one of their freeze-dried recipes.

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It’s priced similarly to raw pet food brands Stella & Chewy’s and Primal Pet Food, but is significantly more affordable than Vital Essentials, another leading raw pet food company.

Overall, is Northwest Naturals a good choice?

From ingredient quality to bone content and macronutrient distribution, Northwest Naturals cat food appears to be one of the best raw and freeze-dried foods on the market. Their small lineup and the use of egg in every recipe may be a deterrent, particularly if your cat has food sensitivities or allergies.

Apparent sourcing transparency, long-standing relationships with suppliers, and high manufacturing safety standards make Northwest Naturals one of the most trustworthy and reliable companies in the raw cat food business.

Where to Buy Northwest Naturals Cat Food

You can buy Northwest Naturals in independent pet specialty retailers. Click here to find a store near you. If you’d rather shop online, you can find their products on Amazon, Only Natural Pet, PetGuys, and other online retailers that carry pet food.

Click here to shop for Northwest Naturals cat food on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Northwest Naturals Cat Food Review

  1. AvatarMs.Kittens

    Hi, I’m confused about phosphorous levels and perhaps you can clarify. I am feeding my two kittens Stella and Chewy freeze dried formulas but was looking to switch because of the reportedly high phosphorous content, which you list as .45% – .67% on your review. You like Northwest Naturals for their “moderate” phosphorous content, but on their website their recipes (chicken, duck, rabbit, turkey) contain between 1.26% and 1.7% phosphorous. Isn’t this higher? What am I missing? I found the AAFCO guidelines and it lists a minimum .8% for growing cats and .5% for maintenance, with no maximum listed. Thank you for your excellent reviews, they’re very helpful!

    Reply
    1. Mallory CrustaMallory Crusta

      Hi Ms. Kittens,

      Thanks for pointing that out! I know that the different percentages are confusing—they threw me a bit as well.

      The percentage discrepancy you mentioned comes from the fact that the percentages in the Stella & Chewy’s review were calculated on an as-fed basis (with added moisture), while the Northwest Naturals percentages are calculated without any water added to the equation. On a dry matter basis, Stella & Chewy’s food is between 1.4% and 2% phosphorus.

      Once we make things even by taking away water, you can see that Stella & Chewy’s has more phosphorus by weight. But these percentages still don’t tell the full story. I took another look at the phosphorus content of foods from both brands and it does appear that Northwest Naturals is the higher-phosphorus of the two. Their turkey recipe, for example, appears to have 4.5 grams of phosphorus per 1000 calories, while Stella & Chewy’s turkey food has 3.9 grams per 1000 calories. In practical terms, both brands appear to be on the higher-phosphorus side and might not be the best choice if you’re looking to control phosphorus intake.

      I apologize for the confusion. We’ll update the reviews to make sure that everything is clear and accurate.

      Thank you for reading our reviews and being a part of the community!

      Best,

      Mallory

      Reply

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