What We Like
Normally picky cat seemed to enjoy it
What We Don't Like
Pricier than other brands
Bag isn’t resealable
Each flavor of Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food is grain-free and the company claims that it can improve your cat’s overall health with single-source animal protein, fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 (for a shiny coat), and fiber (for easy digestion and more energy). In order to verify these claims—and see if a cat actually enjoys the taste of this food—we gave the Green Pea & Duck formula to one of our testers, who fed it to her cat every day for a month. What did she (and her cat) think? Read on for her thoughts on the ingredient list, health benefits, and overall value of this cat food.
Ingredients: Only the best
The main ingredients in this food are green peas, an alternative to grain, and the primary meat source (chicken, duck, salmon, or venison)—no meat by-products allowed. Also included are ingredients like canola oil, salmon oil, and flaxseed, which are great sources of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids. “I love that this food is made with real ingredients that I can read and understand,” our tester raved. “The first ingredients listed are green peas and duck, which is very different from typical brands of cat food.” She also liked that the food was grain-free: “It’s not just made out of filler and doesn’t have any artificial ingredients or colors,” she said. “It’s well-balanced in nutrition, which is just what an adult cat needs.”
Natural Balance also maintains its standards by conducting nine safety tests on every batch. Specifically, microbiologists and chemists conduct tests for potentially harmful ingredients like aflatoxin, cyanuric acid, vomitoxin (DON), Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), fumonisin, melamine, ochratoxin, Salmonella spp., and zearalenone. You can even get real-time results about the quality control test performed on each bag you purchase by going to the website and entering the information from the package.
Taste and Texture: Cat-approved
All cats are different, so the taste will come down to your pet’s preference. In the case of our tester, though, the food was well received by her cat. “My normally picky cat actually loved it and ate it right away,” she noted.
I’d definitely recommend this product due to the ingredient list alone.
Benefits: Great for digestion and overall health
The primary benefits of this limited-ingredient formula are said to be healthy digestion and a shiny coat. The minimal, premium ingredient list is also designed to lower the chances of food sensitivities in your cat, while extra taurine helps maintain normal heart function and retinal structure (good vision). This food is also hypoallergenic.
While our reviewer couldn’t provide conclusive results because the testing period was relatively short, she gave her initial thoughts after observing her cat for a month. Describing her furry friend as “a normal, healthy cat,” she explained that she hasn’t seen her cat have any digestion issues thus far but added that she’d “love to see any long-term benefits of using this food versus regular-brand foods.”
Design: Packaging could be better
This food comes in your choice of a 2-pound, 5-pound, 10-pound, or 18-pound bag. “I would love to see the 10-pound size come in a resealable bag,” our tester noted. “Considering that this food has no preservatives, which is a good thing, it could go bad without proper storage.”
Price: On the expensive side
Paying around $30 for a 10-pound bag of dry cat food definitely isn’t a bargain, but when you factor in the quality of the ingredients, it’s not outrageous, either. “I find this product to be expensive compared to your typical brands of cat food,” admitted our tester. “It seems that anything that’s healthy is always more expensive.” Still, compared to other grain-free options, Natural Balance is in a similar price range. However, if your cat has no dietary restrictions and price is one of your main concerns, there are more budget-friendly options out there.
My normally picky cat actually loved it and ate it right away.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food vs. Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ocean Whitefish and Egg Recipe
So how does Natural Balance’s formula stack up to Purina Beyond Natural Grain Free Ocean Whitefish and Egg Recipe? Well, for starters, both are grain-free options. Both companies also stress a commitment to high-quality, real ingredients with nutritional balance overseen by experts. While Natural Balance provides a way to actually track your specific bag through its website, Purina Beyond does specify a “traceability guarantee” for each of its sourced ingredients. Price-wise, the Purina Beyond option is just slightly cheaper, with an 11-pound bag priced at $30, approximately the same cost as Natural Balance’s 10-pound bag.
In terms of health benefits, the Purina Beyond option doesn’t list specifics. On the other hand, Natural Balance lists “strong muscle tone and a healthy, shiny coat” in addition to healthy digestion as health reasons for choosing its formula. A side-by-side comparison of ingredients, though, shows great similarity, so a lot of the difference between these options will come down to your cat’s personal preference and whether or not you notice a change in the health and energy of your cat.
Interested in reading more reviews? Take a look at our selection of the best premium dry cat foods available.
Definitely worth trying.
Even with the slightly high price tag, our tester said, “I’d definitely recommend this product due to the ingredient list alone.” She concluded, “Each cat has their own finicky appetites but if they love it, why not continue giving them something that’s better for them? Every cat is different but I believe that cats, just like humans, should have a diet with real ingredients and no fillers and chemicals."
- Product Name Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food
- Product Brand Natural Balance
- Price $29.99
- Weight 10 lbs.
- Product Dimensions 19.6 x 3.2 x 10.9 in.
- Model Number 52510
- Artificial Flavors or Preservatives No