4 Expert Tips for Choosing the Best Cat Food

With so many cat food options, it can be hard to know what food is best for your cat’s nutritional needs. To help, here is some expert advice from Champion Senior Veterinarian, Dr. Darcia Kostiuk, on choosing a healthy diet for your cat:

  1. Who should I ask about my cat’s nutritional needs?
    Speaking to your trusted veterinarian is essential. However, I would encourage people to start their own research from reputable websites such as veterinarian school websites, veterinary nutritionists, and animal nutritionists. I would also encourage cat owners to speak with their friends, family and pet food store associates, and to look at pet food websites.

    The reason why there are so many nutritional feeding philosophies is that we are all still learning about companion animal nutrition, and every cat has individual variations in their needs and preferences. Doing some nutritional research before speaking with your veterinarian and their staff is a great way to build your partnership so you can give your cat the best care possible.

  2. What should I look for on the ingredients panel?
    You should look for food with a high animal protein content. This is because your cat is an obligate carnivore, and taurine (an essential amino acid for cats) is only naturally found in animal proteins.  

  3. Why are nutritional guarantees important?
    Nutritional guarantees let you know that the food is complete and balanced. That means that the food is formulated to meet all the essential nutrients your cat requires, and the diet can be fed as a sole source of food to them.

  4. Why should I feed according to my cat’s life stage? How does age affect nutritional needs?  
    You should feed according to your cat’s life stages including kitten, adult, and senior /geriatric diets because there are different requirements needed by cats at different stages. 

    For example, an aging cat needs an animal protein source that is more easily digestible because as they age, their body’s ability to digest their food and utilize it is decreased. It is also very important to support healthy aging and maintain a lean body mass. Feeding a highly digestible protein that helps support health benefits is the best way to do so.


Based on Dr. Kostiuk’s insights, here are some ORIJEN® cat food diets that are perfect for cats at different life stages:

For Kittens: ORIJEN® Kitten diet

ORIJEN® Kitten diet is specially formulated to nurture your growing kitten. Packed with 90%* premium animal ingredients like chicken, turkey and salmon, it also helps support your kitten’s muscle development. When it comes to switching kitten to cat food, wait until your kitten is about 90% of their adult weight (~10-12 months).

For Adult Cats: ORIJEN® Original Cat

ORIJEN® Original Cat diet is made with fresh or raw** chicken and turkey, wild-caught fish or sustainably farmed fish and eggs. Packed with WholePrey animal ingredients like organs and bone, ORIJEN® food is made with the most nutrient-dense, succulent parts of the prey to deliver the nutrition cats need. 

For Adult Cats or Senior Cats: ORIJEN® Guardian 8

ORIJEN® Guardian 8™ is a great choice for adult cat and senior cat nutrition, since it helps support 8 amazing health benefits including

  • Immune Support | Supports immune function with EPA and DHA from wild-caught fish, and antioxidant nutrients from ingredients including fruit and vegetables.
  • Digestive Health | Helps support digestion with prebiotics such as dried chicory root & fiber from fruits and vegetables.
  • Healthy Skin & Coat | Supports a shiny coat and healthy skin with Omega-3-rich oils from wild-caught pollock.
  • Heart Health | Helps support heart health with naturally-occurring Taurine found in animal protein sources like poultry, fish and eggs.
  • Muscle Maintenance | Formulated with 90% animal ingredients* such as chicken, salmon and turkey to help support muscle maintenance in your cat.
  • Joint Health | Supports joint health for adult and senior cats with oil rich in Omega-3 fatty acids from wild-caught pollock.
  • Aids Brain Function | Helps support cognitive function with oil rich in DHA and EPA from wild-caught pollock, and naturally-occurring Arginine from poultry and fish.
  • Eye Health | Supports retinal function with naturally-occurring Taurine and Vitamin A from animal sources such as chicken and turkey liver.
ORIJEN Kitten Formula
ORIJEN Cat Formula
ORIJEN Guardian 8 Cat Formula

*Approximate and derived from the unprocessed state of the ingredients

** Our fresh ingredients use refrigeration as the sole method of preservation. Our raw ingredients are the same as our fresh, but are frozen at the peak of freshness to preserve nutrients.