The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co Brand Review 2024: A Detailed Look

Lifestyle


Our Final Verdict

We give The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co brand an overall rating of 4.95 out of 5 stars.

Quality: 5/5

Variety: 5/5

Ingredients: 5/5

Value: 4.8/5

If our kitties could thrive on love and affection alone, they would all live a long, healthy life. Unfortunately, we know it takes more than cuddles and good intentions to keep felines feeling their best. A healthy, happy life starts with a quality diet packed full of the protein these obligate carnivores need.

But in a world dominated by commercial cat food filled with grains, low-quality meat, and unnatural additives, how do we make sure our cats get what they need? The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co thinks they have the answer.

Their long line of air-dried diets, freeze-dried diets, and natural cat treats are loaded with high-quality meat and a handful of superfood additions. Each recipe contains the best of what New Zealand has to offer, from free-range lamb to king salmon to wild venison.

I had a chance to sample multiple products from this company on my 11-month-old rescue cat, Makoa. He certainly had a lot of good things to say about them and I’m pretty impressed with these foods myself, but is this lineup right for your cat?

Find out that and more in my full review of The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co.

At a Glance: What We Received

Image Product Details

Best Overall

Winner
Chicken & King Salmon Air Dried Cat Food
Chicken & King Salmon Air Dried Cat Food

  • 97% meat, organs, and bones

  • Crunchy texture

  • Chicken, lamb, salmon, and green muscle
  • Second place
    Lamb & King Salmon Freeze Dried Cat Food
    Lamb & King Salmon Freeze Dried Cat Food

  • 97% meat, organs, and bones

  • Raw meat and superfoods

  • Soft morsels
  • Third place
    Wild Venison Freeze Dried Cat Bites
    Wild Venison Freeze Dried Cat Bites

  • Soft texture

  • Venison, lamb, tripe, and green muscle

  • Use as treat or topper
  • Beef Green Tripe Freeze Dried Cat Treats
    Beef Green Tripe Freeze Dried Cat Treats

  • Highly palatable

  • Soft texture

  • Prebiotics and probiotics
  • divider 2 cats

    About The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food - makoa in the box

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co was started in 2016 by friends and pet parents, Amber Cordero and Jacqueline Taylor. They wanted a way to provide beloved pets around the world with high-quality, wholesome food that could help them thrive. And they wanted to do it while also being mindful of the planet.

    The company offers two lines of pet food. Their MEOW line features food, treats, and toppers for cats, while their WOOF line offers the same for dogs.

    Where is The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co’s Products Produced?

    This natural pet food company makes all their recipes in small batches at their New Zealand facility. They source their fair trade ingredients from local farms and suppliers with an eye for sustainability and ethical practices.

    Almost all of the meat and superfoods used in their recipes are harvested in New Zealand and the surrounding waters.

    Which Types of Cats is The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co Best Suited For?

    All of the diets and treats this company makes are approved for all life stages. This means they can be fed to kittens, adults, and seniors.

    Each recipe is loaded with protein from various meat sources. The vast majority of cats will benefit from the high protein and fat content but some felines with specific health issues, such as kidney disease, may not be a good match for this food.

    This company offers a number of different recipe options, including some very novel proteins. For cats with common food allergies, there are likely to be multiple recipes they can eat without issue.

    divider 2 cats

    Key Features

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food - products lined up on counter

    There are a number of key features that set The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co’s MEOW line apart from your average cat food brand. Below we’ll take a closer look at what goes into their recipes, how they’re prepared, and the many options available.

    Whole Raw Meat Ingredients

    Every meal offering from the MEOW line features several raw meat ingredients in their recipes. These ingredients always appear at the top of the ingredient list and make up around 97% of the total recipe.

    But what really sets The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co apart from other freeze-dried pet food options is their inclusion of ground bone and organ meat.

    Not only does ground bone offer calcium, which your cat needs to thrive, but it also contains bone marrow. Bone marrow is full of important nutrients as well as collagen, glucosamine, and anti-inflammatory factors that can help keep your kitty healthy.1

    The organ meat found in these diets also brings plenty of nutrition. Liver, kidneys, and other organs provide many vitamins and minerals that muscle meat doesn’t. These cuts are also a great source of protein and contain less fat than muscle meat.2

    None of the meat ingredients in these recipes are exposed to heat or pressure. Maintaining this raw state means they offer more in terms of nutrients, amino acids, and intact enzymes. All of these factors are important to maintaining optimal kitty health.

    Added Superfoods

    In addition to the long list of meats in each recipe, these offerings from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co also contain some powerful and unique superfoods.

    Kelp is added to most recipes because it contains important amino acids. It’s also a great sustainable source of omega fatty acids. Research has shown that kelp can help boost immune system function and improve dental health in pets.

    Another ingredient you’ll find in all meal recipes is New Zealand Green Mussel. This superfood is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Its omega fatty acid content and anti-inflammatory properties are well known for improving joint health.

    Manuka honey is a superfood you can only find in New Zealand and Australia. That’s because it’s made by bees that pollinate native tea tree flowers. This type of honey has powerful antibiotic and antiviral properties and is also a potent anti-inflammatory.

    Most recipes also contain organic virgin coconut oil and hoki fish oil, both of which are packed with health-supporting fats.

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food - makoa eating chicken & king salmon recipe

    Minimally Processed

    It doesn’t matter how many great ingredients you pack into a pet food, if you expose that food to heat or pressure, it’s going to be less nutritious. That’s why The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co does not heat or pressure process any of their meals or treats.

    Instead, they use freeze-drying or air-drying to finish their recipes.

    Freeze-dried raw foods are made by freezing raw ingredients, and then removing the moisture by placing them in a vacuum. This produces a product that contains very little moisture while keeping all of the nutrients and enzymes intact. While this food is still technically raw, it doesn’t contain enough moisture to support bacterial growth, making it much safer to handle.

    Air-dried raw food is made by exposing raw ingredients to circulating air until most of the moisture in it evaporates. Like freeze drying, this process leaves the nutrients and enzymes intact while reducing the moisture so that bacteria can’t grow.

    Multiple Recipe Options

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co offers a long list of freeze-dried diets and treats as well as many air-dried options.

    The air-dried foods have a crunchy texture but are much less dense than traditional kibble. They are crumbly, which means the pieces themselves come in a variety of sizes from large-kibble to fine topper consistency.

    The freeze-dried foods have a very soft texture that can be easily crumbled. They can be fed as is or soaked in water to create a sort of pate. These cylindrical pieces are fairly large but are easy to break apart, even for cats without teeth.

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co has many different recipe options, most of which are available in freeze-dried and air-dried preparations. Their current meal recipe options include:

    • Lamb and King Salmon
    • Chicken and King Salmon
    • Lamb and Hoki
    • Duck
    • Beef and Hoki
    • Wild Venison
    • Wild Brushtail

    divider 2 cats

    Reviews of the The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co Recipes We Received

    1. Chicken & King Salmon Air Dried Cat Food

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Chicken & Salmon Air Dried Cat Food

    The Chicken & King Salmon air-dried food from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co is packed with protein from three different animal sources. All the protein and the bulk of the nutrients in this food come from chicken with ground bone, chicken heart, lamb green tripe, king salmon with bone, and chicken liver.

    All those quality, biologically appropriate ingredients make up 97% of what’s in this food. The other 3% consists of superfoods like green-lipped mussel, manuka honey, kelp, and hoki oil. A short list of amino acid mineral complexes is also added to round out the nutrition profile.

    The crunchy texture and simple feeding instructions make this air-dried food a great choice for cats transitioning from kibble. It doesn’t require any special preparation and can be added to the bowl just like traditional cat food.

    The airy density of this food makes it a bit more crumbly than what most people are used to. This makes it fairly messy but also, in my experience, makes it more appealing to cats. This is especially true for older cats and those with dental problems.

    Pros

    • 40% protein and 38% fat
    • Packed with quality meats and superfoods
    • Crunchy texture
    • Easy to feed
    • No preparation needed

    Cons

    • Crumbly texture makes it a bit messy
    • Feels a little greasy

    2. Lamb & King Salmon Freeze Dried Cat Food

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Lamb​ & King Salmon Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Freeze-dried cat food brings all the benefits of raw in a package that is easier to handle and prepare. This lamb and king salmon diet from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co is no exception.

    It’s packed with quality animal ingredients that provide the macro and micronutrients your cat needs to thrive. The first six ingredients are lamb, king salmon with ground bone, lamb green tripe, lamb heart, lamb liver, and lamb kidney.

    Like the air-dried formula above, this one contains 97% animal ingredients plus a handful of superfoods. Because of this, it needs only a trace amount of added nutrients. Most of these are in amino acid complex form which greatly enhances their absorbability.

    This food comes in relatively large chunks. But these are very soft and easy to break or crumble. In fact, they are soft enough that even kitties without teeth could easily eat them.

    As with most freeze-dried pet foods, you have the option to feed these as they are or to soak them in water to rehydrate them into a pate-like consistency. They can also be crumbled onto your cat’s kibble or wet food. My cat happily gobbles this diet up in all forms.

    Pros

    • Six quality meat ingredients
    • High fat for extra energy
    • Superfoods and highly absorbable nutrients
    • Soft texture
    • Multiple preparation options

    Cons

    • Can require more work to prepare
    • Larger than typical pellet size

    3. Wild Venison Freeze Dried Cat Bites

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Wild Venison Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

    In addition to food, The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co also makes a line of “bites.” These freeze-dried morsels are very similar to their meal recipes but come in smaller packages. They are meant to be used as toppers for traditional food or as a convenient meal option for travel.

    The wild venison recipe contains seven quality meat ingredients. These include wild venison, lamb, lamb green tripe, lamb kidney, and ground lamb bone. Like the full recipes, this one contains a handful of superfoods, including manuka honey, rosemary, and hoki oil.

    This recipe option is high in protein and lower in fat than most, making it a great option for less active cats.

    The pellets in this freeze-dried option resemble those in the meal recipes. They are fairly large but are easily broken up thanks to their soft texture. This makes them easy to crumble over kibble for an enticing topper that will convince even picky eaters to clean their bowl.

    Both the macro and micronutrient profiles of these bites match that of most of the meal recipes. This makes them highly versatile and a great option for travel or special occasions. If you’re considering The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co but aren’t sure if it’s right for your cat, opting for one of these smaller bags is a great way to test out their product line.

    Pros

    • 40% protein and 22% fat
    • Small bag for travel or sampling
    • Makes a great topper
    • Can be served in a variety of ways
    • Great for less active cats

    Cons

    • Price is higher per ounce
    • Larger than typical pellet size

    4. Beef Green Tripe Freeze Dried Cat Treats

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Woof Beef Green Tripe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Treats

    If you’re looking for a cat treat even your picky eater can’t deny, this is it. These beef green tripe freeze-dried treats from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co are highly palatable. And they feature the same soft, chewy texture as the other freeze-dried offerings from this company.

    This recipe contains just two simple ingredients, beef green tripe and New Zealand green mussel.

    Tripe is made from the stomach lining of ruminants. It has a naturally potent flavor and odor that most cats cannot resist. It also offers many benefits for gut health, including prebiotics and probiotics. The added green mussel provides many health benefits of its own and has a similarly enticing flavor.

    As an added benefit, these treats are packed with protein and healthy fats.

    This is just one of many freeze-dried and air-dried treat options from The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. One of my cat’s other favorites is the freeze-dried green mussels. These fun treats are made of whole green mussels that still retain their original shape and look.

    Pros

    • Highly palatable
    • 50% protein and 31% fat
    • Easy to break apart
    • Comes in a variety of flavors
    • Highly nutritious treat option

    divider 2 cats

    Our Experience With The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co

    My cat, Makoa, has had a sensitive gut since battling multiple infections as a kitten. After finally getting him off antibiotics and strengthening his gut biome with multiple supplements, he is finally at a place where he is ready for less processed, more biologically appropriate food.

    That’s why I was so excited about the opportunity to try some of The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co recipes. I got a variety of options to test out, including air-dried food, freeze-dried food, and multiple different bites and treat options.

    I started by slowly mixing in the Chicken & King Salmon air-dried food with his normal kibble. From day one, it’s been clear he prefers The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co option. He always picks it out of his bowl first.

    At the same time, I started mixing the Lamb & King Salmon freeze-dried food with his canned food at meal times. After a few days, I had transitioned him entirely over to the new food.

    It takes a bit more time to prep this raw food than standard canned food, but only because I prefer to let it soak in water. But there is no doubt that he loves it!

    In fact, the only thing he likes better than the meal recipes from this company are their treats. He is a big fan of the Wild Venison bites but definitely loves the Beef Tripe and New Zealand Green Mussel treats the best.

    After a couple of weeks of eating the new food and treats, he already seems like he has more energy than he did before. His coat seems softer, too. And, remarkably, his sensitive stomach has held up rather well during the transition.

    For my part, I am really impressed by the ingredients used in these recipes. Not only are they packed with quality animal meats and unique superfoods, but they also contain many novel ingredients you won’t see in most other cat foods. This is great for kitties with food allergies and provides a different nutrient profile that can benefit all cats.

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food - makoa eating wild venison recipe

    divider 2 cats

    Conclusion

    If you’re ready to seriously up your cat’s nutrition game, I can’t recommend The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co’s MEOW line enough.

    Both their meals and treats are packed with protein from quality raw meat sources. For owners looking for a simple dry-kibble substitute, the air-dried line is a great option. Or for those who want raw made easy, the freeze-dried recipes are a wonderful place to start.

    My cat Makoa has nothing but good things to say about everything he has tried from this company. And I feel great knowing that he is getting everything he needs to thrive thanks to these wholesome, nutrient-dense options made with sustainable, fair-trade ingredients.



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