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15 Best Cat Foods From Natural Balance

The pet food sector is major business in the United States, with an estimated $30 million in sales each year. For a long time, dog food accounted for the lion's share of the industry.

While this is still true, the cat food category has seen the most significant increase in recent years, owing to new entrants and expanded product ranges.

Natural Balance is a leading premium brand pet food that was founded in 1989 after actor Dick Van Patten appeared on "The John Davidson Show."

Dick Van Patten and Joey Herrick, the show's percussionist, had lunch together and discussed their mutual love of animals, and the two soon founded Dick Van Pattern's Natural Balance Pet Foods.

The company takes pride in offering "the greatest food you can buy for your pet," and in addition to domestic pet items, has developed a line of zoological products tailored for huge carnivores in zoos.

However, these products are not available to the general population. Let's take a closer look at %product_count% of the best cat foods from Natural Balance that BestForPets (bestforpets.org) recommends.

Natural Balance Cat Food Evaluation

Who manufactures Natural Balance, and where is it manufactured?

Following the establishment of Dick Van Pattern’s Natural Balance Pet Foods in 1989, the firm initially lost money, but it was saved by Petco, who featured it in its 625 locations across the United States.

Natural Balance amalgamated with Del Monte Foods in May 2013, before being sold to the J.M. Smucker Company in 2015. Natural Balance’s headquarters are in Pacoima, Los Angeles.

Its goods are manufactured across the United States by a number of manufacturers using ingredients imported from the United States, France, India, New Zealand, and Canada.

Natural Balance Is Best For What Kinds of Pets?

Natural Balance, with a large choice of cat food products available, is likely to have a cat food that is suitable for almost all cats, with products developed to give complete and balanced nutrition for a feline’s many life phases.

To assist customers in selecting the best cat food for their pet, the firm categorizes its cat food items into five main product kinds.

L.I.D. stands for Limited Ingredient Diet

These are the most popular cat chow formulas from Natural Balance. They are suitable for most cats, are grain-free, and contain only a few ingredients, as the name implies.

Ultra Original

Natural Balance’s premium brand cat food is intended to support cat health. This also comes in a variety of formulae and a low-calorie alternative.

Delectable Snacks

This line has been taste-tested to assure that even the pickiest diners will appreciate it.

Natural Balance claims that these products are terrific on their own or as a meal topper, and they have been designed to give a complete and balanced diet for adult cats.

Platefulls

These are a variety of single-serve wet dishes with their own main ingredients and gravy. They are grain-free, come in a convenient pouch, and have been designed to appeal to picky eaters.

Cats Who Are Fat

These are low-calorie items that are developed to help cats that need to reduce weight by providing a comprehensive and balanced diet.

Which Cats Would Benefit from a Different Brand?

Given Natural Balance’s extensive choice of cat food products, you are likely to find a formula that is suitable for practically any cat.

It also has a vast carnivore range, which may be appropriate if you had your own Carol Baskin-style tiger refuge.

Of course, if you have any concerns about your cat’s nutrition, we strongly advise you to consult with your veterinarian, as they may propose a diet that is better appropriate for your cat’s unique circumstances.

Discussion of the Primary Ingredients in Natural Balance

Natural Balance was formed with the idea of providing a variety of healthy and nutritious pet foods.

Its products have been designed from the start to incorporate a variety of protein-rich meats and vitamin-rich vegetables.

Natural Balance cat meals are generally grain-free, though the company has expanded its product line to include grains.

We particularly enjoy the fact that its pet feeds contain low-calorie formulas and that it has created a product expressly designed for overweight cats.

Natural Balance Cat Food: A Quick Look

Pros

  • Ingredients of superior quality
  • Protein is obtained from real meats.
  • The majority of items do not contain grains.
  • ISO-17025 certified laboratory

Cons

  • Pricing (it is a premium brand and the price reflects this) (it is a premium brand and the price reflects this)
  • There is a history of recalls.

History of Recalls

Natural Balance was one of many pet food products affected by the melamine recalls in 2007.

The company notified the US Food and Drug Administration in April 2007 of concerns concerning its Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Food.

Some pets developed vomiting and kidney failure after taking these products, according to these complaints.

The company promptly issued a voluntary recall of all impacted products, and laboratory tests revealed that some of these products contained trace quantities of melamine, which is likely to have originated in rice concentrate.

Natural Balance announced a second limited recall later that month for four canned pet foods that were discovered to contain levels of melamine in rice protein concentrates.

In July 2007, the company recalled a small quantity of canned pet food that it suspected was contaminated in a large-scale botulism outbreak linked to one of its suppliers, Castleberry’s Food Company.

In response to the ongoing concerns raised by these recalls, Natural Balance established its own ISO-17025 accredited laboratory and began testing every production run of the complete pet food line for nine distinct toxins before sending it to retailers.

J.M. Smucker, Natural Balance’s parent company, issued a voluntary recall on a single batch of Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Chicken Liver Pâté Formula on July 3, 2020, after receiving complaints that many cats were ill after eating it.

Following examinations, it was discovered that the batch included high quantities of choline chloride.

Reviews

Natural Harmony L.I.D. stands for Limited Ingredient Diet. Grain-Free Dry Cat Food with Green Peas and Duck Formula
 

This high protein mix is designed for cats of all ages and is the most popular product in Natural Balance’s cat food line-up.

This product, which contains a single source of animal protein, may be beneficial to pets who are allergic to certain meals.

Green peas and actual duck are the major ingredients in this product, which is grain-free to aid digestion.

It contains 30% protein, mostly from duck, is devoid of artificial flavors, colors, and bleached substances, and has been enriched with vitamins and minerals to offer a comprehensive and well-balanced diet.

Pros

  • Animal protein from a single source
  • Grain-free
  • Artificial tastes and colors are not used.

Cons

  • Diabetic cats should avoid this product.

 

Dry Cat Food Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken Meal & Salmon Meal Formula
 

One of Natural Balance’s best-selling products is this high-protein recipe from their premium Original Ultra line.

It is designed to give adult cats and kittens with a comprehensive and balanced diet. This product, like most Natural Balance cat meals, is grain-free and free of artificial flavors and colors.

It has 35% protein, mostly from salmon and chicken, and is heavy in carbs for energy.

Pros

  • High-quality item
  • Grain-free
  • High protein content
  • Artificial tastes and colors are not used.

Cons

  • Price
  • Diabetic cats should avoid this product.

 

Natural Harmony Green Pea & Salmon Formula Grain-Free Dry Cat Food L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets
 

This Green Pea & Salmon Formula, another product in Natural Balance’s acclaimed Limited Ingredient Diet line, employs salmon as its sole source of animal protein.

The grain-free product contains no artificial flavors, colors, or bleached ingredients and may be a wonderful solution for cat owners who have food sensitivities or allergies.

It provides 30% protein, primarily from salmon, and is abundant in energy-rich carbs. It is a balanced and healthful meal for adult cats.

Pros

  • Animal protein from a single source
  • Grain-free
  • Artificial tastes and colors are not used.

Cons

  • Diabetic cats should avoid this product.

 

Green Pea & Duck Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets
 

The preceding product’s wet food counterpart is this limited ingredient canned food.

It, too, is free of major cat food allergens such as chicken and beef, depending instead on duck and pea protein as the key ingredients.

In contrast to the previous recipe, the first ingredient in this one is an animal-based source of protein.

Aside from putting an animal protein first, this formula is substantially higher in moisture than its dry food equivalent, which can help with digestion and overall health.

It’s free of artificial chemicals, like all Natural Balance pet feeds, but it’s thickened with carrageenan, which, while natural, may increase inflammation in some cats.

Overall, this is a plant-rich canned food with a moderate protein, fat, and carbohydrate content.

Pros

  • There are no common cat food allergies in this product.
  • Contains the moisture your kitty requires
  • Salmon oil is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Cons

  • Carbohydrate content is very high.
  • This product is a concentrated amount of plant protein.

 

Canned Cat Food Ultra Premium Chicken & Liver Pate Formula
 

Fresh chicken and chicken liver are two of the top three ingredients in this canned meal formula from the Ultra-Premium line of products.

It does not contain a concentrated amount of plant protein, unlike the prior formula, but it does have some extra carbs, notably brown rice and carrots.

Though brown rice and carrots aren’t the worst carbs in cat food, the recipe’s overall carbohydrate level is rather high at 25% on a dry matter basis.

This dish is high in moisture, which is beneficial for digestion and hydration, but it also contains carrageenan.

This food has a moderate protein content, a moderate fat content, and a high carbohydrate content.

Pros

  • The major ingredients are real chicken and chicken liver.
  • Moisture-rich, excellent for hydration and digestion
  • Menhaden oil is included as a source of omega-3 fatty acids.

Cons

  • Carrageenan is used as a thickener.
  • An abnormally high carbohydrate content

 

Fat Cats Low Calorie Dry Cat NATURAL BALANCE
 

  • Food Type: Dry
  • Chicken meal, salmon meal, pea protein, garbanzo beans, and peas are the first five ingredients.
  • 35% protein, 9.5% fat, 9% fiber, and 10% moisture are guaranteed.
  • Calories in a Cup: 320 kcal
  • Price per pound or ounce: $4.36

Obesity is just as unhealthy for cats as it is for humans, but because their body weight is so much smaller, it can be more difficult for them to shed weight.

One approach is to simply feed your cat less, but another is to switch to a lower-calorie diet, such as this Fat Cats formula.

The first component in this recipe is chicken meal, followed by salmon meal, which is fairly surprising.

A plant protein concentrate appears as the third option, although we’d rather see it there than in the second. The crude protein content is also slightly higher than in the previous recipe.

The primary carbs here are legumes like peas and garbanzo beans, but you’ll also find oat groats and oat hulls, which give fiber as well as nutrients.

This recipe’s estimated carb load is also around 30%, but the fiber content is far too high – we don’t recommend more than 3% for most cats. Fiber intake greater than 5% is likely to induce gastric distress in cats.

 

BALANCE IN NATURE Canned Ultra Turkey & Giblets Formula
 

  • Food Type: Wet
  • Turkey, turkey broth, poultry giblets, dried carrots, and brown rice are the first five ingredients.
  • Analysis guaranteed: 9% protein, 5% fat, 1.5% fiber, 78% moisture
  • 170 kcal/can = 170 calories per cup (5.5 oz.)
  • Price per pound/ounce: $0.34

Even when we don’t love a brand’s dry food formulae, we often prefer its wet food recipes.

The major ingredients and primary sources of animal protein in this Original Ultra recipe are fresh turkey and fowl giblets. We enjoy that the first ingredient is fresh turkey.

Unfortunately, we dislike poultry giblets. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giblets; we just don’t like the fact that they come from an unknown source.

Aside from that, there’s not much else to say about this formula. Salmon meal is included as a protein supplement, and the sole carbohydrate ingredients are brown rice and dried carrots.

Overall, the carb content is believed to be less than 5%.

 

BALANCE IN NATURE Catatouille Cat Stew Formula by Delectable Delights
 

  • Food Type: Wet
  • Chicken broth, chicken, chicken liver, carrots, and dried egg are the first five ingredients.
  • Analysis guaranteed: 10% protein, 1.5% fat, 1% fiber, 83% moisture
  • Caloric content per cup: 60 kcal/tub (2.5 oz.)
  • Price per pound/ounce: $0.52

This Delectable Delights formula, which is somewhat more expensive than the previous recipe, uses chicken as the sole source of animal protein.

However, you’ll see that it does contain pea protein on the list. Sunflower oil is the first source of fat, followed by tuna oil.

Fresh vegetables such as carrots and green beans are also included for nutritional support, while the diet still makes extensive use of synthetic additives to guarantee nutritional balance.

What Other Users Have to Say

As pet owners, we understand the importance of reading consumer reviews when it comes to selecting the best items for your cat.

You may also read more reviews from Amazon consumers regarding Natural Balance cat meals by clicking here.

FAQs

What is the price of Natural Balance Cat Food?

Natural Balance is a mid-priced and high-quality cuisine.

Feeding your cat one of their Limited Ingredient dry meals will cost about $0.90 per day and feeding Natural Balance wet food will cost about $1.68 per day.

Canned foods are available in 3-ounce and 5.5-ounce cans, and L.I.D. dry food is available in 5-pound and 10-pound bags. Original Ultra dry food is available in 6-pound and 15-pound quantities.

Is Natural Balance a Good Option in General?

Natural Balance, with its wide variety of limited-ingredient diets, may be a smart alternative for certain cats that struggle to digest practically everything they’re given.

The Buy With Confidence® pledge gives people worried about food safety a sense of security, but no amount of lab findings can change the fact that Natural Balance foods are plant-laden and not particularly species-appropriate.

This company uses a lot of plant ingredients (including plant-based proteins), hence their foods are usually quite heavy in carbs and have a lot of protein from plants.

People who want to feed their cat a carnivorous diet may choose a different brand.

Where Can I Buy Natural Balance Cat Food?

Natural Balance is available in the US, Canada, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Kuwait, the UAE, and Israel. Use their store locator to find a retailer near you.

Natural Balance products are also available on websites such as Amazon, Chewy, and others.

Conclusion

Natural Balance cat meals offers a diverse selection of cat feeds ideal for practically any cat.

BestForPets (bestforpets.org) has focused on a few of its best cat foods from Natural Balance in this piece, but a quick search on Chewy or Amazon will reveal many more.

From our extensive research and firsthand experience with all of the products listed above, we have narrowed our top picks down to two: Natural Balance Grain-Free Dry Cat Food with Green Peas and Duck Formula and Natural Balance Green Pea & Duck Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food.

The majority of the evaluations we’ve seen have been really positive toward Natural Balance, particularly their proactive attitude to dealing with the few recalls that have plagued the company over the years.

Natural Balance pet meals are highly recommended by us to every cat owner.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher

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