Ziwi Peak Cat Food Review

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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.

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.

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Ziwi Peak Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat FoodWet$0.54A-
Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat FoodWet$0.85A-
Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat FoodDry$1.34A-

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food Review

ziwi cat lamb

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

Crude Protein8% min
Crude Fat5.5% min
Fiber1% max
Moisture78% max
Ash3%

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ziwi Peak Lamb Recipe Canned Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

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

Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food Review

Ziwi-Peak-Canned-Venison-Cat

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

Crude Protein9% min
Crude Fat4.5% min
Fiber1% max
Moisture78% min
Ash3% min

Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

Ziwi Peak Venison Recipe Canned Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

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

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

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Cat Food

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

Crude Protein43% min
Crude Fat25% min
Fiber2% max
Moisture14% max
Ash12% max

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient BreakdownZiwi Peak Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe Cat Food Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Breakdown

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. Dry food is notoriously high in plant content, from plant protein fillers to starchy binders. Ziwi Peak out-classes the competition with an innovative dry food that’s low in carbohydrates and made primarily from fresh, minimally-processed meat.

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.

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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 the author


Mallory Crusta is a writer and adventurecat enthusiast on a mission to make cats’ lives extraordinary. She’s one of the founders of Wildernesscat – a site for happy, healthy, and adventurous cats who are fueled by nature. Visit Wildernesscat for radically natural cat nutrition, home remedies, and lifestyle inspiration.