Northwest Naturals Cat Food Review

Cats Reviews Nov 18, 2020
Written by | Updated Jul 5, 2021
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Northwest Naturals Cat Food Review

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The quality of your cat’s diet is directly related to his long-term health and wellness. The better you feed him, the healthier he’ll be. This is the foundation on which Northwest Naturals is built.

Northwest Naturals is a small, family-owned business that only offers premium-quality foods for pets. They offer 5 protein options for cats only in freeze-dried and raw food form to ensure your cat gets the maximum nutritional value of the raw ingredients. You may not see this brand on major pet store shelves, but we think it’s worth looking for their food products elsewhere.

Read on to see what we think of the brand and to see our reviews for their top products.

Northwest Naturals Cat Food
Brand
Overall Score
Pros
  • High in protein and low in carbs
  • Wide variety of options
  • Can be found easily in stores and online
Cons
  • Only sold through independent retailers
Pros
  • High in protein and low in carbs
  • Wide variety of options
  • Can be found easily in stores and online
Cons
  • Only sold through independent retailers
Variety of Recipes
Ingredient Quality
Price Per Pound
Recall History
Availability
Customer Reviews

How We Review Cat Food Brands

Your cat may act like a human sometimes, but he’s very different, biologically speaking. Cats are obligate carnivores which means their bodies are designed to digest and derive nutrition most efficiently from animal sources. While you may be perfectly healthy eating a diet higher in carbohydrates than protein, your cat won’t. It’s really that simple.

So, how do you go about finding a good cat food? Luckily, we’re here to help you through the process of separating the good from the bad.

The first thing you need to remember is that no cat food can be called “good” unless it meets your cat’s nutritional requirements. We look for recipes that start with a high-quality source of animal protein as the first ingredient (ideally the first two or three).

From there, we look for other healthy ingredients like animal-based fats. Carbohydrates should be limited and should only come from highly digestible and nutritious sources like whole grains and fresh vegetables. We also look for beneficial supplements to ensure proper nutritional balance for your cat.

Here are some of the things we look for in a good cat food brand:

  • High-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
  • Rich in healthy animal fats (ex: chicken fat or salmon oil)
  • Few to no carbohydrate ingredients (especially within the top 5)
  • Limited number of main ingredients plus supplements
  • No low-quality fillers, grains, or by-products

In addition to making sure any cat food brand we recommend is made with high-quality ingredients, we evaluate several other factors as well. We prefer brands that offer a wide variety of recipes and those that provide plenty of information about their ingredients and products. We also consider pricing and recalls as well as the availability of the brand as a whole.

Overview of the Northwest Naturals Brand

The Northwest Naturals brand was founded in 1956 and has remained a family-owned business since its inception. This brand is unique in that they only offer freeze-dried and raw frozen cat food products.

This brand offers their customers what they call the “Northwest Naturals Difference” which promises the highest quality ingredients and manufacturing processes. Their products are chopped with a single grinding process to ensure the proteins aren’t crushed or overworked, and the pieces are individually quick frozen to preserve product integrity.

Northwest Naturals may not be the biggest brand out there, but they are committed to the quality and safety of their products. They are also committed to independent retailers, maintaining that “long-term commodity relationships means consistency in recipes.”

What Kind of Cat Food Products Do They Offer?

When it comes to their product offerings, Northwest Naturals only has two options: freeze-dried raw and raw frozen. Both of these are very high-quality offerings, so you can expect the price to reflect that. Each option comes in five different protein choices: chicken, duck, rabbit, turkey, and whitefish.

Here is the nutritional information for some of the most popular cat food recipes:

Freeze-Dried Cat Food Recipes

RecipeProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Calories/Kg
Frozen Raw Chicken Cat Nibbles1494821,636
Frozen Raw Duck Cat Nibbles13144721,990
Frozen Raw Rabbit Cat Nibbles1454721,170
Frozen Raw Turkey Cat Nibbles1454721,672
Frozen Raw Whitefish Cat Nibbles1254741,090

Raw Food Recipes

RecipeProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Calories (kcal/kg)
Freeze-Dried Chicken Cat Nibbles4515553,807
Freeze-Dried Duck Cat Nibbles3530554,905
Freeze-Dried Rabbit Cat Nibbles4515553,875
Freeze-Dried Turkey Cat Nibbles4515553,800
Freeze-Dried Whitefish Cat Nibbles509553,455

Product Recall History

It’s your responsibility as a pet owner to do what’s best for your cat. Choosing a high-quality and nutritious cat food is one of your biggest challenges, and it isn’t always as simple as picking a product that looks good on paper. You should also evaluate the quality of the brand as a whole.

There are many factors to consider when evaluating the quality of a pet food brand, but it helps to start with the product recall history.

A pet product recall happens when the FDA receives consumer complaints or when testing (by the FDA or the manufacturer itself) reveals an issue with the product. Minor reasons for recalls include things like labeling errors and inadequate levels of certain nutrients. Major reasons include foreign objects in the food or contaminated ingredients.

Having a product recall or two isn’t necessarily an indication of a bad brand, but a long list of recalls is definitely a red flag. You need to use the information you have available to you to make a good choice.

Northwest Naturals only has one product recall in the brand’s history, and it was a voluntary recall from 2018. Issued in February of 2018, the recall was for their chicken and salmon recipe raw frozen dog food. No cat food products were affected, and no reports of illness have been reported to date.

Products Included in This Review

NameTypeProtein %Fat %Top 5 Ingredients
RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Chicken Recipe Cat FoodFreeze-Dried4515Chicken, chicken necks, chicken hearts, chicken liver, egg
RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Duck Recipe Cat FoodFreeze-Dried3530Duck with bone, duck heart, duck liver, egg, gelatin
RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Whitefish Recipe Cat FoodFreeze-Dried509Whitefish, whitefish with bone, egg, gelatin, water
Freeze-Dried Turkey Cat NibblesRaw Frozen145Turkey, turkey neck, turkey hearts, turkey liver, egg
Freeze-Dried Rabbit Cat NibblesRaw Frozen145Rabbit with bone, rabbit heart, rabbit liver, gelatin, water

Compare Northwest Naturals Cat Food

NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Chicken Recipe Cat Food

1. NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Chicken Recipe Cat Food

NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Duck Recipe Cat Food

2. NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Duck Recipe Cat Food

NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Whitefish Recipe Cat Food

3. NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Whitefish Recipe Cat Food

NORTHWEST NATURALS Frozen Turkey Cat Nibbles

4. NORTHWEST NATURALS Frozen Turkey Cat Nibbles

NORTHWEST NATURALS Frozen Rabbit Cat Nibbles

5. NORTHWEST NATURALS Frozen Rabbit Cat Nibbles

Type of Food
Freeze-Dried
Type of Food
Freeze-Dried
Type of Food
Freeze-Dried
Type of Food
Raw Frozen
Type of Food
Raw Frozen
First 5 Ingredients
Chicken, chicken necks, chicken hearts, chicken liver, egg
First 5 Ingredients
Duck with bone, duck heart, duck liver, egg, gelatin
First 5 Ingredients
Whitefish, whitefish with bone, egg, gelatin, water
First 5 Ingredients
Turkey, turkey neck, turkey hearts, turkey liver, egg
First 5 Ingredients
Rabbit with bone, rabbit heart, rabbit liver, gelatin, water
Guaranteed Analysis
45% protein, 15% fat, 5% fiber, 5% moisture
Guaranteed Analysis
35% protein, 30% fat, 5% fiber, 5% moisture
Guaranteed Analysis
50% protein, 9% fat, 5% fiber, 5% moisture
Guaranteed Analysis
14% protein, 5% fat, 4% fiber, 72% moisture
Guaranteed Analysis
14% protein, 5% fat, 4% fiber, 72% moisture
Calories per Cup
134 kcal/ounce
Calories per Cup
173 kcal/ounce
Calories per Cup
122 kcal/ounce
Calories per Cup
59 kcal/ounce
Calories per Cup
45 kcal/ounce
Price Per Pound/Ounce
$2.15/ounce
Price Per Pound/Ounce
$2.58/ounce
Price Per Pound/Ounce
$2.27/ounce
Price Per Pound/Ounce
$10.99/pound
Price Per Pound/Ounce
$10.99/pound
1.

NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Chicken Recipe Cat Food

Product Info

  • Type of Food: Freeze-Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, chicken necks, chicken hearts, chicken liver, egg
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 45% protein, 15% fat, 5% fiber, 5% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 134 kcal/ounce
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $2.15/ounce

Guaranteed Analysis

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Crude Protein: 45%
Crude Fat: 15%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%
Ash: 9%

Dry Matter Basis

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Protein: 47.37%
Fat: 15.79%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 22.11%
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 D Supplement.

When it comes to high-protein cat food with convenience, it’s hard to do better than freeze-dried. This formula from Northwest Naturals is packed with protein from real chicken and loaded with healthy animal-based fats as well. It is a single-source protein recipe which is great for cats with allergies.

This formula starts with fresh chicken, followed by chicken necks, hearts, and liver. Organ meats are highly nutritious for cats while the chicken necks are a source of fresh bone which is loaded with minerals. Compared to many extruded dry foods, this recipe doesn’t have a long list of synthetic supplements which means the ingredients themselves are more nutritious.

Overall, this formula is packed with protein and doesn’t contain any questionable ingredients. The estimated carbohydrate content is about 21%, however, which is a little higher than we’d like.
3.

NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Duck Recipe Cat Food

Product Info

  • Type of Food: Freeze-Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Duck with bone, duck heart, duck liver, egg, gelatin
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 35% protein, 30% fat, 5% fiber, 5% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 173 kcal/ounce
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $2.58/ounce

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 35%
Crude Fat: 30%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%
Ash: 9%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 36.84%
Fat: 31.58%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 16.84%
Ingredients:

Duck with Bone, Duck Heart, Duck Liver, Egg, Gelatin, Water, Dulse Powder, Dried Kelp, Ground Flaxseed, Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, Salmon Oil, Inulin, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin B Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (as preservative). Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Similar to the previous recipe, this formula is packed with real animal protein with fresh bone and organ meats. Duck is naturally higher in fat than chicken which accounts for the differences in the guaranteed analysis and the calorie content.

This recipe starts with fresh duck with bone, followed by duck heart and liver. Again, egg provides a supplemental source of protein along with gelatin. The gelatin may be added, in part, as a binder to keep the nuggets together for the quick-freezing process.

The primary source of fat in this recipe is salmon oil which provides omega-3 fatty acids to support your cat’s skin and coat. You’ll also find a similar list of synthetic supplements to ensure nutritional balance.
3.

NORTHWEST NATURALS RawNibbles Freeze-Dried Whitefish Recipe Cat Food

Product Info

  • Type of Food: Freeze-Dried
  • First 5 Ingredients: Whitefish, whitefish with bone, egg, gelatin, water
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 50% protein, 9% fat, 5% fiber, 5% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 122 kcal/ounce
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $2.27/ounce

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 50%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%
Ash: 12%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 52.63%
Fat: 9.47%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 20%
Ingredients:

Whitefish, Whitefish with Bone, Egg, Gelatin, Water, Dulse Powder, Dried Kelp, Ground Flaxseed, Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, Salmon Oil, Inulin, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin B Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (as preservative). Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Compared to the previous two recipes, this freeze-dried cat food has much higher protein and much lower fat content. Whitefish is the first ingredient, followed by whitefish with bone. The difference is probably due to the fact that fish organs are typically not kept the way they are from poultry.

Aside from the lack of organ meats, the rest of the ingredients in this recipe are extremely similar. This recipe could be a good choice if your cat needs to lose a little weight because it is low in calories and fat but very high in the protein your cat needs to maintain lean muscle mass.
4.

NORTHWEST NATURALS Frozen Turkey Cat Nibbles

Product Info

  • Type of Food: Raw Frozen
  • First 5 Ingredients: Turkey, turkey neck, turkey hearts, turkey liver, egg
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 14% protein, 5% fat, 4% fiber, 72% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 59 kcal/ounce
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $10.99/pound

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 14%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 72%
Ash: 2%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 50%
Fat: 17.86%
Fiber: 14.29%
Carbs: 10.71%
Ingredients:

Turkey, Turkey Neck, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Liver, Egg, Gelatin, Water, Dulse Powder, Dried Kelp, Ground Flaxseed, Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, Salmon Oil, Inulin, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin B Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (as preservative). Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Though freeze-dried cat food is great, raw food is definitely the best option. Northwest Naturals offers raw frozen recipes in the same five proteins as they do their freeze-dried formulas.

This turkey recipe is unsurprisingly identical to the freeze-dried version, in terms of the recipe list. We say this is unsurprising because it only makes sense that the difference between the two products is that one would be frozen after cooking and the other freeze-dried to make it shelf stable.

With fresh turkey as the first ingredient, this recipe also contains turkey neck, hearts, and liver. Again, the organ meats provide rich sources of nutrients while the necks provide minerals from the bone.
5.

NORTHWEST NATURALS Frozen Rabbit Cat Nibbles

Product Info

  • Type of Food: Raw Frozen
  • First 5 Ingredients: Rabbit with bone, rabbit heart, rabbit liver, gelatin, water
  • Guaranteed Analysis: 14% protein, 5% fat, 4% fiber, 72% moisture
  • Calories per Cup: 45 kcal/ounce
  • Price Per Pound/Ounce: $10.99/pound

Guaranteed Analysis

loader
Crude Protein: 14%
Crude Fat: 5%
Crude Fiber: 4%
Moisture: 72%
Ash: 3.5%

Dry Matter Basis

loader
Protein: 50%
Fat: 17.86%
Fiber: 14.29%
Carbs: 5.36%
Ingredients:

Rabbit with Bone, Rabbit Heart, Rabbit Liver, Gelatin, Water, Dulse Powder, Dried Kelp, Ground Flaxseed, Organic Psyllium Husk Powder, Salmon Oil, Inulin, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamin B Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (as preservative). Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Similar to the previous recipe, this raw frozen rabbit formula is identical to the freeze-dried version in all but form. Let’s take a closer look at the guaranteed analysis to see what the differences are.

The most important thing to consider when comparing freeze-dried and frozen food is the moisture content. Freeze-dried food has very low moisture content (about 5% for these recipes) while frozen food is closer to that of wet food, between 70% and 80%.

The protein content for this recipe is only 14% compared to 45% in the freeze-dried version but, again, that comes down to moisture. Calculated as dry matter, the raw food is actually a littler higher, around 50% protein versus 47%. The estimated carb content of this frozen food is under 2%.

What Do Customers Think of Northwest Naturals Cat Food?

Because Northwest Naturals is a fairly small company, it’s not as easy to find customer reviews than it is with some brands. Chewy doesn’t offer this brand, though you can find some products on Amazon.

Using Amazon customer reviews for reference, however, the brand does seem to perform well. The freeze-dried chicken recipe (their most popular formula) has over 130 customer reviews and a 4-star rating. Customers love the unquestionable quality though some cats didn’t like the texture.

How Much Does Northwest Naturals Cat Food Cost?

The cost of cat food is often equated with the quality of the ingredients. Northwest Naturals only offers freeze-dried and raw frozen cat food, so the quality is much higher than what you’d expect from a grocery store brand. But how much does it cost?

The freeze-dried recipes from Northwest Naturals average about $2.15 to $2.60 per ounce. Converted to pounds, that’s over $17 per pound. The raw frozen food is priced at about $11 per pound.

To give you a better idea how Northwest Naturals stacks up against other cat food brands, here is a quick chart to show you some average prices:

Where Can You Buy Northwest Naturals Cat Food?

Because Northwest Naturals is a fairly small brand, you may not be able to find them in every pet store. You’re most likely to find this brand in smaller regional and local chains as well as specialty pet food stores. Online, you can find Northwest Naturals freeze-dried raw cat food at Amazon.com.

Our Final Thoughts: Is Northwest Naturals a Good Brand?

Overall, we’re big fans of Northwest Naturals. The quality of their products isn’t up for debate, though you’ll definitely see it reflected in the price.

We respect a company that only sells through independent retailers as well, though it might make it challenging for you to find the products. If you’re looking for a high-protein, low-carb recipe for your cat, however, Northwest Naturals is worth a peak.

Personally, we’d rate Northwest Naturals higher than a 3.5/5 based on quality alone. Our rating system takes many factors into account, however, including product availability, pricing, and variety.

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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