Acana Cat Food Review: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Last Updated on: January 7, 2021

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Acana Cat Food a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars.

Introduction

Acana Cat Food is a subsidiary of Champion Petfoods, the company that also makes Orijen. Both foods are made using what’s known as a “biologically appropriate” approach, with the idea being that your cat will eat a diet similar to the one that they’d follow in the wild.

Acana is a premium food and it’s priced as such. It’s not a suitable choice for bargain shoppers, but owners who are willing to spend whatever’s necessary to feed their cat a premium kibble will want to give it a long, hard look.

All of Acana’s foods are made at the company’s headquarters in Alberta, Canada. It uses, locally-sourced ingredients, and its recipes are absolutely packed with meat. Every single one of its foods has a minimum of 75% meat inclusion, which is fantastic for carnivores like your kitty.

Given the price, it’s to be expected that Acana would be one of the better foods on the market. It’s one of the best foods that we’ve found, but there are a few other, equally expensive options that may be better if your primary concern is giving your cat the absolute best.

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At a Glance: The Best Acana Cat Food Recipes:

Image Product Details
Our favorite
Winner
Acana Wild Atlantic Premium Dry Cat Food Acana Wild Atlantic Premium Dry Cat Food
  • Uses a variety of fresh fish
  • Loaded with omega fatty acids
  • Coated in cod liver to improve taste
  • Second place
    Acana Meadowlands Premium Dry Cat Food Acana Meadowlands Premium Dry Cat Food
  • Most cats love taste
  • High-quality plant ingredients
  • Plenty of internal organs inside
  • Third place
    Acana New Grasslands Premium Dry Cat Food Acana New Grasslands Premium Dry Cat Food
  • Has plenty of fiber
  • Plenty of animal meals inside
  • Pollock oil for omega fatty acids
  • Acana Indoor Entrée Premium Dry Cat Food Acana Indoor Entrée Premium Dry Cat Food
  • Made for your indoor cat
  • Supporting healthy skin & coat
  • With essential vitamins & minerals
  • Acana Bountiful Catch Premium Dry Cat Food Acana Bountiful Catch Premium Dry Cat Food
  • Boat load of flavor
  • Quality animal ingredients
  • Supporting healthy immune systems
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    Acana Cat Food Reviewed

    Who Makes Acana and Where Is It Produced?

    Acana is made by Champion Petfoods, a Canadian pet food company. All of its foods are made at its processing facility in Alberta; that facility only handles its own foods, so there’s no chance of the plant getting tainted by an inferior food.

    Which Types of Cats Is Acana Best Suited For?

    Like most premium foods, Acana is ideal for cats whose owners are willing to spend whatever it takes to make sure they’re happy and healthy.

    Also, its high-protein formulas are good for high-energy breeds or those struggling with their weight, as it will provide them with plenty of energy without expanding their waistlines.

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    Which Types of Cats Might Do Better With a Different Brand?

    Acana only makes dry kibble, so if your cat has periodontal disease or missing teeth, they may have difficulty chewing it. In that case, you’re better off going with a premium wet food like Reveal Grain-Free Wet Canned Cat Food.

    Also, if you’re a bargain shopper, you can definitely find cheaper options than Acana, although it’s unlikely that you’ll find any that pack as much meat into each serving.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients

    Any discussion of Acana’s ingredients has to begin with the meat content. Each recipe has at least six different meat sources, each of which makes up the first entries on the label.

    These aren’t low-grade meats either. You’ll find premium fish, poultry, and red meat options in each bag, almost all of which are raised and harvested as naturally as possible. This drives up the price, of course, but it’s well worth it, as the natural meat sources aren’t likely to contain a bunch of chemicals or hormones.

    Cats are carnivores, so it makes sense that Acana’s recipes would focus so heavily on its meat content. That’s not all you’ll find in each bag, though, as it also has high-quality fruits and veggies like kelp, pumpkin, cranberries, and beans.

    What you won’t find inside are cheap fillers like corn, wheat, or soy, as these are hard for cats to digest and bring down the overall quality of the food. You won’t see any unnecessary chemicals or preservatives either.

    When you add all this up, you’ll find a food that has everything your cat needs to be as healthy as possible. The overall protein, fat, and fiber levels are all good but not great at 36%/18%/4%, respectively. These levels are nothing to sneeze at, but you could rightfully expect more at this price point.

    Acana Indoor Entrée Premium Dry Cat Food

    Acana Is Built Around the Idea of “Biological Appropriateness”

    The prevailing philosophy behind this food is that your cat will do best when they’re eating the kind of diet that they’d be eating out in the wild.

    This sets Acana apart from many other cat foods on the market. Whereas many foods only have one or two meat sources inside, Acana has a minimum of six. After all, most cats don’t eat the same thing every meal in the wild; they eat whatever they can catch, including birds, rodents, etc.

    Their foods are also low on carbs because wild cats don’t eat fruits or veggies. Still, those foods can offer important nutrients, which is why Acana includes them in small amounts.

    Acana Doesn’t Outsource Any of Its Food Processing

    All of Acana’s foods are made in its own kitchen in Alberta. None of the manufacturing process happens in places like China or other overseas locations with potentially shoddy safety practices.

    It doesn’t handle any other manufacturing for other companies either, so its food can’t get tainted along the way. That doesn’t guarantee the food’s safety, of course, but it is reassuring.

    It Only Uses Fresh Ingredients Available Locally

    The way that a food is manufactured is important, but it can only do so much if you start with inferior ingredients. Instead of using the cheapest animal and plant sources that it can, Acana buys foods that are available close to its plant in Canada.

    Fortunately, being situated in Alberta puts them smack dab in the middle of an incredibly fertile farming and ranching region. It has its pick of a variety of top-notch meats, fruits, and veggies, each of which makes its way into its recipes.

    Their Variety Is Lacking

    You won’t find many recipes from Acana, as it’s not as specialized as some other brands. It only has a few dry foods to choose from, and it doesn’t make wet foods at all.

    That’s not a big deal if you assume, like Acana apparently does, that its basic options are all perfectly-calibrated to meet a cat’s dietary needs. You don’t need more options if one works better than any of the others, after all.

    However, if your cat doesn’t care for one of its foods, you won’t have many backup plans available. Its food can also be hard to find in stores, so you may have to switch to another food if you can’t find Acana with any regularity.

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    A Quick Look at Acana Cat Food

    Pros
    • High in protein
    • Uses a variety of meat sources
    • Relies on fresh, locally-grown ingredients
    Cons
    • On the expensive side
    • Can be difficult to find
    • Not many options available

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    Recall History

    Acana has never been the subject of a recall, but its sister brand, Orijen, has. This is significant, as the two brands share a kitchen.

    Orijen’s only recall came in 2008, when all of its cat food that was shipped to Australia was recalled. However, there was nothing wrong with the food itself — it became tainted because the Australian government required imported food to undergo gamma radiation treatment before being admitted into the country.

    This treatment depleted the vitamin A content and released free radicals, the combination of which proved lethal for some cats. Orijen recalled the food out of an abundance of caution, although it wasn’t its fault.

    There haven’t been any incidents apart from that one, so as long as you don’t leave your cat food too close to your gamma radiation machine, you should be fine.

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    Reviews of the 3 Best Acana Cat Food Recipes

    1. Acana Wild Atlantic Premium Dry Cat Food

    Acana Wild Atlantic Premium Dry Cat Food

    As you might expect given the name, Acana Wild Atlantic is based around wild-caught fish. You’ll find fish like mackerel, herring, redfish, hake, and flounder inside.

    This means that the food is packed with omega fatty acids, which are important for coat health, immune support, and brain function. It also provides plenty of lean protein (36%, to be exact).

    The kibble is coated in freeze-dried cod liver, which makes it more appetizing to cats. However, it also gives it a strong fish odor, so you may want to hold your nose when opening the bag.

    It’s a grain-free formula, as it uses pumpkin, lentils, beans, and peas in place of ingredients like corn. This makes it easier for your cat to tolerate while also providing fiber.

    It’s also one of Acana’s priciest formulas, but the extra nutrition makes the added cost well worth it.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Acana Wild Atlantic

    Pros
    • Uses a variety of fresh fish
    • Loaded with omega fatty acids
    • Coated in cod liver to improve taste
    • Grain-free formula
    Cons
    • Strong fish odor
    • One of its priciest recipes

    2. Acana Meadowlands Premium Dry Cat Food

    Acana Meadowlands Premium Dry Cat Food

    Acana Meadowlands is a more typical cat food recipe, as it uses ingredients like chicken, turkey, and trout rather than exotic fish. However, those ingredients are typical for a reason — they’re great for cats.

    This recipe uses several different “meals” as well, like catfish meal and chicken meal. Although it sounds gross to us, meals are mushed-up concoctions that include a variety of internal organs and bones, and they’re filled with essential nutrients that can’t be found in other parts of the animal.

    They include non-mashed-up internal organs as well, like turkey hearts and livers. Most cats love these meats, and you can’t find them in many lower-priced foods.

    The plant-based ingredients are top-notch as well, with collard greens, carrots, cranberries, and more making an appearance.

    There are quite a few eggs in the recipe; these add protein but at the risk of causing digestive issues for some cats. Also, there’s more sugar in here than we’d like, but still less than you’d find in more highly-processed foods.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Acana Meadowlands

    Pros
    • Uses ingredients most cats are familiar with
    • Plenty of internal organs inside
    • Most cats love taste
    • High-quality plant ingredients
    Cons
    • Eggs may cause digestive issues
    • More sugar than we’d like

    3. Acana New Grasslands Premium Dry Cat Food

    Acana New Grasslands Premium Dry Cat Food

    Acana New Grasslands offers a nice balance between the two options above, as it mixes traditional ingredients, like chicken and turkey, with more unusual ones, like duck and quail.

    The fact that it contains so many unusual ingredients may be off-putting if your cat is used to eating whatever you can find at your local grocery store, though. While wild cats might eat quail and duck, those foods may be new to your pet — and they may turn their nose up at them.

    This recipe uses even more eggs than Acana’s Meadowlands option, so cats with sensitive stomachs may need to eat something else. It has more animal meals, though, so your cat will get all the internal organs they need.

    You’ll find whole pinto beans, whole green lentils, whole chickpeas, and lentil fiber inside, so this should help your cat stay regular. There’s pollock oil inside for additional omega fatty acids too.

    If you want to expand your cat’s horizons without sacrificing their nutritional needs along the way, Acana New Grasslands is a smart way to do it.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Acana Grasslands

    Pros
    • Mix of unique and traditional ingredients
    • Includes pollock oil for omega fatty acids
    • Plenty of animal meals inside
    • Has plenty of fiber
    Cons
    • High egg content
    • Some cats may not care for taste

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    What Other Users Are Saying

    • All About Cats — “A commitment to fresh, regional ingredients and high-meat formulations have helped make Acana one of the most frequently-recommended pet food brands on the market.”
    • Cat Food Database — “Overall, Acana Meadowlands is an above-average cat food, earning 7 out of a possible 10 paws based on its nutritional analysis and ingredient list.”
    • Amazon — As pet owners, we always double-check with Amazon reviews from buyers before we buy something. You can read these by clicking here.

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    Conclusion

    Acana Cat Food is a premium option designed for anyone looking to feed their cats a diet that mimics what they’d eat in the wild. Its foods are filled with protein from a variety of animal sources, ensuring that your cat will get a wide selection of important nutrients and amino acids.

    It’s a pricy option, though, and the company doesn’t offer much in the way of variety. Still, you’re likely to find something that works for both you and your kitty from one of its recipes.

    If money is no object, then you won’t find many foods better for your cat than Acana in its price range. However, you may also find a few that are more expensive and are even healthier for your pet, so it’s up to you how much you’re willing to spend to give your cat the best nutritional support possible.


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