Natural Balance Cat Food

Natural Balance Cat Food Reviewed: Pros, Cons, and Ingredient Analysis

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

Natural Balance Cat Food Summary

What is Natural Balance Cat Food?

Natural Balance Cat Food is a pet food company founded by Dick Van Patten and that, according to its website, has pioneered the limited ingredient pet food movement.

Natural Balance Cat Food relies on rigorous testing of their products before shipping to make sure they are sending quality products to store shelves and to your door.

Where is Natural Balance Cat Food Made?

Natural Balance Cat Food is made in Topeka, Kansas, USA.

How is Natural Balance Cat Food Made?

Natural Balance Cat Food sources its ingredients from all over the world including Canada, New Zealand, and India. They make their products in rigorous testing facilities that meet or exceed ISO-17025 standards.

The manufacturing process is not available online. However, Natural Balance Cat Food is transparent in its testing results for each of its products. You can even go to their website and type in the UPC code of the item you bought of theirs and see the lab results to be sure you have an idea of what is in the food.

Is Natural Balance Cat Food Good for Cats?

Yes, Natural Balance Cat Food is good.

The ingredients used in the formulas are whole and limited to reduce the risk of adverse reactions in your pet. The brand has a very strict testing system to ensure its standards are high enough to catch any potential problem before it manifests.

Natural Balance Cat Food Formulas Reviewed

Natural Balance Pet Food offers several lines and different diet formulas for cats. To help owners pick the best option, we have reviewed some of the best Natural Balance Cat Food recipes.

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet | Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet | Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food

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Summary: Natural Balance LID. Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Salmon Formula is a high-quality cat food made with carefully selected ingredients to minimize the risk of food allergies and sensitivities. It supports digestion, healthy skin, and a shiny coat. The diet comes in several package sizes from 2 to 10 pounds and is balanced using a mix of animal and plant ingredients. It has four flavors, including salmon, venison, chicken, and duck formula.

Type: Dry cat food 

Best for: Adult cats

Price: $4.00/lb

Pros

  • Grain-free, limited ingredient formula
  • Animal products as the main protein sources
  • All essential vitamins and minerals
  • Made without grains, additives, or fillers
  • Available at an affordable price

Cons

  • Often out of stock on Amazon and Chewy

Ingredient Analysis: The primary source of protein seems to be from peas and salmon meal in the salmon dry food and chicken meal in the chicken formula dry cat food. Peas make a good source of proteins and dietary fiber.

Review: Over 75% of the nearly 4,400 reviews give this 5 stars. They are pleased with the limited ingredient formula and claim it had “cured” their cat’s digestive issues. One and two-star reviews complain their cats became ill after eating this food and blamed an apparent formula change for the onset.

Natural Balance LID. Limited Ingredient Diets High-Protein Dry Cat Food

Natural Balance LID. Limited Ingredient Diets High-Protein Dry Cat Food

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Summary: This high-protein food uses chicken as the first ingredient and plant-based ingredients for fiber and micronutrients. It is free from grains or fillers and uses additional vitamin and mineral supplements to provide balanced nutrition. It is a complete, balanced dry food for adult cats of all breeds and sizes. The diet is available in three flavors – tuna, chicken, and salmon.

Type: Dry cat food 

Best for: Cats at all life stages

Price: $3.18/lb

Pros

  • Animal protein is the first ingredient
  • High-protein formula with at least 37% crude protein
  • No grains, fillers, or artificial colors and preservatives
  • Rich in omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals
  • Available in three different flavors

Cons

  • Most of the ingredients are plant-based
  • The kibble is prone to crumble

Ingredient Analysis: Animal protein is used as the first ingredient. We like this as it provides the cat with all of the protein it needs to be healthy. However, the bulk of the ingredients are plant-based and while this isn’t necessarily bad, cats are carnivores, meaning they require meat to be healthy.

Review: Reviewers at all ranges noted this product has too many crumbs, with many even calling it a powder. This hasn’t stopped consumers who rated it 4 and 5 stars from buying it again. They are happy that the ingredients are limited and seem to help their cat feel good. One-star reviews really drive home the “crumby” texture of this food.

Natural Balance Original Ultra Dry Cat Food for Kittens and Adult Cats

Natural Balance Original Ultra Dry Cat Food for Kittens and Adult Cats

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Summary: This premium formula is nutrient-dense and is made to support neural function and maintain a healthy heart and eyes. Made with meat meals, brown rice, and a blend of superfoods, the diet supports healthy growth and development in kittens. It is available in 15-pound bags at a reasonable cost but only one flavor is available on Amazon.

Type: Dry cat food 

Best for: Kittens & Adult Cats

Price: $2.66/lb

Pros

  • Easily digestible and nutrient-dense
  • Boost the immune system
  • Promotes growth and development
  • Supports healthy weight management
  • Comes at an affordable price

Cons

  • Meat meals are the main ingredients

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken meal, brown rice, and chicken are the first three ingredients. Chicken meal is a good protein source. However, it is not as good as real chicken. Brown rice adds fiber to the formula and has a rich micronutrient profile. The menhaden fish oil, cranberries, and vitamins help round up the food.

Review: A whopping 84% of consumers rate this product 5-stars. They are happy to have found a healthy, limited ingredient cat food their cat will actually eat and enjoy. However, critics of this food are quick to point out how their cat became ill after eating and some even noticed weight gain in their cat.

Natural Balance LID. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Cat Food

Natural Balance LID. Limited Ingredient Diets Wet Cat Food

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Summary: This cat food line uses only one source of animal protein and green peas for fiber and carbohydrates. The formula is complete and balanced, meaning it can be used for cats of all breeds and life stages. It comes in a case of 24 5.5-ounce cans at a reasonable price. Plus, it is available in four different flavor versions (Duck & Green Pea, Chicken & Green Pea, Salmon & Green Pea, and Duck for kittens).

Type: Wet cat food 

Best for: Cats at all life stages

Price: $1.78/can

Pros

  • Animal-sourced protein as main ingredient
  • Simple ingredients mean simple nutrition
  • Supports healthy skin and coat
  • Promotes smooth and easy digestion
  • Affordable price for wet cat food

Cons

  • The new cans are a half-ounce smaller

Ingredient Analysis: We like that the first three ingredients are animal-based. This is indicative of high-quality cat food. The formula has added supplements to balance out the vitamin and mineral profile. The added taurine and antioxidants complete the ingredient list.

Review: Only 65% of customers give this food 5-stars. This is a little low compared to some of the brand’s other products. Satisfied customers state their cat is like the food and eat it eagerly. On the other hand, cat owners rating this diet as a 2-star product note the decrease in can size and a 30% increase in price.

Natural Balance Kittens to Adults Ultra Premium Wet Cat Food

Natural Balance Kittens to Adults Ultra Premium Wet Cat Food

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Summary: This wet canned cat food is made of chicken, chicken broth, and brown rice. It features a high moisture content that supports healthy hydration. It is rich in antioxidants and vitamins. The food promotes digestive, skin, and urinary health. Featuring premium-quality ingredients and cat-approved taste, the diet comes with a money-back guarantee. There are six flavor options.

Type: Wet cat food 

Best for: Cats at all life stages

Price: $1.57/can

Pros

  • Meat as the first ingredient
  • Supports hydration, skin & urinary health
  • Dietary fiber for hairball control and digestion
  • Suitable for cats of all breeds and life stages
  • Has a 100% money-back guarantee

Cons

Ingredient Analysis: Animal products are the primary ingredients, which is great considering wet cat foods are generally lower in protein than dry. Chicken broth is used for moisture content and vitamins while brown rice is used as a source of fiber. The vitamin and mineral content is balanced although carrageenan is added into the formula and this has some pet owners turning away from the food altogether.

Review: Most of the five-star reviews say their cat is very picky about what they eat yet they enjoy this food. Cats of all ages seem to enjoy the taste and the owners like the way their cat looks and feels when eating this food. While this food had many 5-star reviews, it also had 8% 1-star reviews, which is high. Several noted the food had caused severe reactions in their cat and some expressed concerns over the use of carrageenan in the formula.

What Cat Food Formulas does Natural Balance Make?

  • Natural Balance Original Ultra Whole Body Health
  • Natural Balance LID. Limited Ingredients Diets
  • Natural Balance Fat Cats
  • Natural Balance Delectable Delights
  • Natural Balance Platefulls
    • Chicken & Giblets Formula in Gravy
    • Chicken & Pumpkin Formula in Gravy
    • Cod, Chicken, Sole & Shrimp Formula in Gravy
    • Chicken & Salmon Formula in Gravy
    • Mackerel & Sardine in Gravy Formula
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet | Adult Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
  • Grain-free, limited ingredient diet with a single animal protein source
  • Complete, balanced nutrition for adult cats
  • Real chicken is a high-quality protein that helps maintain strong muscles

Has Natural Balance Cat Food Been Recalled?

Yes, Natural Balance Cat Food has been recalled.

In 2007 the company informed the FDA it had received complaints about its Venison & Brown Rice Dry Dog Food and Venison & Green Pea Dry Cat Food. The complaints revolved around vomiting and kidney issues. They immediately and voluntarily recalled the products afterward.

In July 2007, Natural Balance recalled a small batch of canned pet food because one of its makers, Castleberry’s Food Company, was associated with a large-scale botulism outbreak.

They have since built their own ISO-17025 accredited laboratory and have tested every production run of the entire product lineup for toxins before shipping.

In July 2020 Natural Balance’s parent company, J.M. Smucker, issued a voluntary recall on a single batch of Natural Balance Ultra Premium Chicken & Chicken Liver Pate recipe due to elevated levels of choline chloride.

Is Natural Balance Cat Food Worth it?

Yes, Natural Balance Cat Food is worth it.

Natural Balance Cat Food offers a rich specter of lines and products suitable for cats of different breeds, ages, and sizes. The formulas are complete and balanced. Plus, they feature quality ingredients that promote overall health and wellbeing. Also, the prices are affordable.