ExcitedCats is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Addiction Cat Food Review 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Addiction cat food a rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars. 


Addiction cat food was founded in 2002 by a professional nutritionist to make foods using novel proteins from sources like kangaroo, brushtail, and wild game. Although the modern range of Addiction cat food has expanded to include more traditional cat food meats, you will still find these unusual sources in many of its foods.

Manufactured in New Zealand, the food uses high-quality ingredients, although the company has had one recall in the past.

Food ranges include dry kibble and wet food. It also sells cat treats and dehydrated raw food that can be reactivated by adding water. The recipes benefit from the meat-based proteins at the top of the ingredients list, but they also feature potatoes and other vegetables. This is not usually considered desirable because cats are obligate carnivores and in the wild, would get the vast majority of their nutrients from prey. The only non-meat that they would eat would be the content of their quarry’s stomachs.

3 cat divider

At a Glance: The Best Addiction Cat Food Recipes

Image Product Details
Addiction Grain-Free Salmon Bleu Dry Cat Food Addiction Grain-Free Salmon Bleu Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconSalmon is the primary ingredient
  • Feature iconContains probiotics
  • Feature iconGrain-free
  • Second place
    Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconContains probiotics
  • Feature iconNo artificial ingredients
  • Feature iconGrain-free
  • Third place
    Addiction Grain-Free Duck Royale Dry Cat Food Addiction Grain-Free Duck Royale Dry Cat Food
  • Feature iconSuitable for all life stages
  • Feature iconNo artificial ingredients
  • Feature iconDuck is the primary ingredient
  • Addiction Cat Food Reviewed

    Addiction cat food was established in 2002 when co-founder Jerel Kwek discovered that his Golden Retriever, Zack, was suffering from skin and gastrointestinal problems as a result of poor nutrition in commercially available foods at the time.

    Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food_Chewy
    Image Credit: Addiction cat food, Chewy

    Following the discovery, Jerel decided to find the best ingredients to give to Zack. His hunt took him to New Zealand: a country that offers a huge range of organic, cage-free meat.

    The company uses novel proteins from meats like buffalo and combines these with fruit and vegetables to provide a nutritious and healthy diet. The name comes from the desire that the food be so good that it is addictive.

    Addiction has expanded its range, producing cat food along with dry and wet dog food. The food is sold in 15 countries around the world and is considered premium food. Besides Addiction, the company also manufactures and sells WishBone, which is described as an artisanal pet food cooked in small batches and contains a blend of superfoods, and Awesome Pawsome, which are natural dog treats that are healthy and tasty.

    Which Types of Cats Is Addiction Cat Food Best Suited For?

    Although Addiction started as a dog food company, its foods offer the same benefits to cats and their owners. Primarily, this means the foods are grain-free and made from ingredients that are not only healthy and filling but are also friendly to sensitive stomachs. They do not contain corn or other grains or artificial ingredients.

    Although this type of food is suitable for any cat, it is especially suitable for those with allergies and sensitivities— for example, cats that might show an adverse reaction to grains.

    Addiction Ingredients

    Although the exact ingredients in Addiction cat food vary according to the recipe and flavor, most contain the following:

    • Novel Proteins: These are what a species is not usually fed. In the case of Addiction cat food, the company started with ingredients like buffalo and kangaroo. The Addiction lines that are most often available to the U.S. market are salmon, venison, and duck. Novel proteins tend to contain less fat and carbohydrates than everyday proteins on average. Also, because pets have not been exposed to these ingredients in the past, they are useful as potential food sources for cats with food allergies.
    • Potatoes: Potatoes do feature high on the list of ingredients in these cat foods. In fact, they are the second listed ingredient, which means that this is the second most common ingredient by weight. Potatoes are starchy and are used as a replacement for grains in a grain-free recipe. They are inexpensive but do not offer much nutritional benefit to cats, and they certainly aren’t considered species-appropriate.
    • Probiotics: Probiotics help gut bacteria thrive. Since most of the immune system is located in the digestive tract, feeding probiotics can support the immune system in fighting off sickness and illnesses. They can prevent your cat from getting and suffering from gastrointestinal complaints and can also help support good general health.

    Species Appropriateness

    cats eating_bollection, Pixabay
    Image Credit: bollection, Pixabay

    Although Addiction cat food is free from artificial ingredients and offers novel proteins in some of their foods, they are not considered species appropriate. Cats would not eat venison in the wild, and few species of cat would voluntarily eat fish. A duck would likely have to be small for a cat to take on. Furthermore, the food also contains many vegetables and fruit, which cats do not typically eat in the wild.

    A Quick Look at Addiction Cat Food

    • Contain novel proteins
    • Grain-free diet
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Contain fillers and non-beneficial ingredients
    • Not species-appropriate

    Recall History

    The brand, Addiction, has undergone one recall in its history. More than 350 cases of its dog food were recalled in 2016 because of a discrepancy in the calcium and phosphorous ratios and because the food was too high in vitamin A. Their cat food has never been recalled, though, and there were no reported instances of illness associated with the one recall.

    Our Favorite Deal Right Now
    Chewy logo

    35% OFF at Chewy.com

    + FREE Shipping on Cat Food and Supplies

    How to redeem this offer

    thematic break

    Reviews of the 3 Best Addiction Cat Food Recipes

    Here are reviews of three of our favorite Addition Cat Food recipes.

    1. Addiction Grain-Free Salmon Bleu Dry Cat Food

    Addiction Grain-Free Salmon Bleu Dry Cat Food_Chewy

    Addiction Grain-Free Salmon Bleu Dry Cat Food is a hypoallergenic recipe that contains salmon from the Pacific ocean combined with cranberries, probiotics, and a host of other ingredients. It contains 30% protein and 15% fat. The ingredients do not contain any grains, but they do use potatoes as a grain replacement. Potatoes are starchy so they help keep the kibble in shape. But they are not species-appropriate and do not offer much nutritional value.

    The primary ingredient is salmon, and chicken fat also features high in the list of ingredients. Chicken fat is another good source of omega fatty acids.

    The inclusion of species-inappropriate ingredients, like green tea extract, means that some cats will not like the flavor or the taste of the food. The recipe does include thiamine, which is important in fish recipes. Cats should typically not be fed fish regularly because it lacks thiamine.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Addiction Salmon Bleu Review

    • Salmon is the primary ingredient
    • Contains probiotics
    • Grain-free
    • Uses potatoes
    • Not species-appropriate
    thematic break

    2. Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food

    Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food_Chewy

    Addiction Grain-Free Viva La Venison Dry Cat Food uses the novel protein venison as its main ingredient.

    This means the food is a good choice for an elimination-allergy diet or for cats that have sensitivities to other meat proteins. However, cats would not eat elk or deer in the wild, so this meat is not considered species appropriate for cats. Also, dried potatoes are the second ingredient on the list. These are used as cheap replacements for grain ingredients. They do enable the kibble to retain its shape, but they are another ingredient that is not appropriate for cats and does not offer nutritional benefit. Brewer’s dried yeast is also included and is a potential allergen.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Addiction Viva La Venison Review

    • Venison is a novel protein
    • Contains probiotics
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Grain-free
    • Not species-appropriate
    • Uses potatoes and other fruit and vegetables
    thematic break

    3. Addiction Grain-Free Duck Royale Dry Cat Food

    Addiction Grain-Free Duck Royale Dry Cat Food_Chewy

    Cats can and do kill ducks, although the bird can be quite a challenge to take down. Still, this means that the duck ingredient at the top of the ingredients list in Addiction Grain-Free Duck Royale Dry Cat Food can be considered species-appropriate.

    Unfortunately, the rest of the ingredients are not considered appropriate for feline consumption.

    This is a food that uses potatoes as the secondary ingredient. It also includes herbal botanicals that the manufacturer claims improve health and vitality, but cats would not eat these if they were living in the wild. The food is grain-free, corn-free, and gluten-free, however.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Addiction grain free Duck

    • Suitable for all life stages
    • No artificial ingredients
    • Duck is the primary ingredient
    • Most ingredients are not species-appropriate
    • Potatoes are a cheap alternative to grains
    thematic break

    What Other Users Are Saying

    We scoured the internet to see what other websites and users are saying about Addiction cat food:

    • AllAboutCats: “If you’re looking for a limited-ingredient or novel protein diet for your cat and appreciate New Zealand’s reputation for safety, you might try Addiction, but it’s not one of the best brands.”
    • We’reAllAboutPets: “Addiction’s salmon or venison formulas are reasonably priced and decent in quality. Just know that the carb content of these foods is fairly high, and you could probably find a cat food that doesn’t contain so many synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements.”
    • Amazon: We’ve also checked Amazon reviews to find out what other buyers and cat owners think of the Addiction cat food range. Read the reviews here.

    3 cat divider


    Addiction cat food is known as being hypoallergenic cat food. The products are made with novel proteins, so they are suitable for cats with allergies and food sensitivities. However, they are not species-appropriate because cats wouldn’t eat those proteins in the wild and there are ingredients like potatoes and botanical herbs.

    The company has had one recall for its dog food, and some buyers might appreciate the stringent health and safety laws that are required for New Zealand companies.

    Generally, there are equally good or even better quality cat foods on the market for around the same price or cheaper, and besides the use of novel proteins, there aren’t many reasons to consider Addiction cat food over most others.

    Want to see more cat food reviews? Check out our review page here!