Natural Balance Cat Food Ingredients

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Natural Balance manufactures roughly 51 different cat food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Natural Balance ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Natural Balance uses roughly 151 different ingredients.

First 5 Ingredients

Cat food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.

For Natural Balance, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 cat food ingredients.

  1. chicken
  2. chicken
  3. chicken liver
  4. chicken
  5. carrot

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Natural Balance is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken, followed by chicken liver, chicken, and carrot.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Natural Balance does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 51 Natural Balance cat foods contain artificial food dyes.

Artificial food coloring dyes are unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. In general, we not not recommend feeding any pet foods that contain artificial dyes.

In 2010, the CSPI raised serious concerns regarding the safety of many artificial dyes. Most of the studies referenced by the CSPI involved prolonged or excessive consumption. Since most cats consume the same foods throughout their lives, concerns raised by the CSPI are alarming to say the least.

To read more about Artificial Food Dyes, click here.

Animal By-Products

According to our records, Natural Balance does not contain any animal by-products.

Animal by-products are basically the leftover parts of the the carcass after its been processed for meat. AAFCO defines by-products as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals.

Although by-products are still fairly nutritious ingredients, consumers have equated them with slaughterhouse waste. Therefore, most premium brands, including Natural Balance have decided to remove by-products and instead use named organ meats (beef liver, chicken gizzards).

For further reading on the controversy over animal by-products, click here.

Anonymous Meat Ingredients

Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.

In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.

In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.

Unfortunately, we've identified 2 anonymous meat ingredients used by Natural Balance.

giblets
1 Recipes

Giblets may include the heart, liver, gizzards, and other visceral organs of an animal. These organs are very nutritious and species-appropriate for cats. However, the specific source of the giblets are not disclosed (chicken, turkey, etc) and therefore we must classify this ingredient as an anonymous meat.

The following recipes contain giblets:

poultry giblets
1 Recipes

Poultry giblets includes the heart, liver, gizzards, and other internal organs of poultry. Organs are nutritiously dense ingredients which provide high quality protein and fat. However, this particular ingredient is considered an anonymous meat ingredient because the type of poultry is not specified. In order words, "named" giblets such as chicken giblets or turkey giblets are preferred over poultry giblets.

The following recipes contain poultry giblets:

Cereal Grains

Certain Natural Balance cat food recipes contain one or more grains. The specific ingredients are listed below.

For cats, we typically recommend choosing a grain-free recipe. Cats are obligate carnivores and therefore grains are not species appropriate.

The kibble production requires a binding agent. Grains are commonly used for this purpose in cat food. When purchasing grain-free cat food, grains are often replaced with another starchy source. This is also not ideal.

To avoid grains and other starchy additions, consider feeding wet or frozen recipes.

oat bran
1 Recipes

Oat grains can be divided into three components: bran, germ, and endosperm. The bran is the outer layer of the grain. The bran is an excellent fiber source, it also provide all three macronutrients (fat, protein, and carbohydrates) and various vitamins and minerals.

The following recipes contain oat bran:

ground brown rice
2 Recipes

Ground brown rice is naturally rich in fiber and various minerals including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Relative to other grains, ground brown rice is easy to digest.

The following recipes contain ground brown rice:

rice flour
2 Recipes

Rice flour is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. As long as the bran and germ of the grain are included in the flour, rice flour can provide a notable amount of fiber and nutrition. However, because the type of rice ("brown" or "white") is not specified, we cannot make this determination.

The following recipes contain rice flour:

oat groats
3 Recipes

Oat groats are obtained by removing the inedible outer husk of oats. Unlike other ingredients derived from oats, groats are not processed further and therefore contain the whole grain.</p><p>Oat groats provide a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, and various minerals. Whats more, non-contaminated oats are gluten free; however, oats are typically processed and grown near ingredients which contain gluten and therefore contamination is not unusual. Always check the packaging to ensure the product is gluten free if your pet has allergies to gluten.

The following recipes contain oat groats:

Controversial Ingredients

In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.

Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce cat foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.

In our analysis, we've identified 5 controversial ingredients inside Natural Balance products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

dried tomato pomace
1 Recipes

Dried tomato pomace is a by-product of tomato manufacturing. It's considered a controversial ingredient because many people believe it is an inexpensive low quality filler. However, tomato pomace provides a notable amount of dietary fiber, B vitamins, Lycopene, and vitamin A. Although it is a very inexpensive ingredient, it is not nutritionally empty.

The following recipes contain dried tomato pomace:

giblets
1 Recipes

Giblets may include the heart, liver, gizzards, and other visceral organs of an animal. These organs are very nutritious and species-appropriate for cats. However, the specific source of the giblets are not disclosed (chicken, turkey, etc) and therefore we must classify this ingredient as an anonymous meat.

The following recipes contain giblets:

pea protein
22 Recipes

Pea protein is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein is considered controversial because it provides a substantial plant based protein boost. This boost is undesirable because plant based protein is typically lower in biological value when compared to meat based proteins.

The following recipes contain pea protein:

canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
14 Recipes

Canola oil is a plant-derived oil from the seeds of canola plants. Although fat is an essential component of any diet, canola oil is controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that canola oil provides a better fat profile in comparison to other plant based oils. However, opponents claim that canola oil is typically produced with genetically modified rapeseed and that rapeseed oil has multiple adverse health affects.

The following recipes contain canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols):

poultry giblets
1 Recipes

Poultry giblets includes the heart, liver, gizzards, and other internal organs of poultry. Organs are nutritiously dense ingredients which provide high quality protein and fat. However, this particular ingredient is considered an anonymous meat ingredient because the type of poultry is not specified. In order words, "named" giblets such as chicken giblets or turkey giblets are preferred over poultry giblets.

The following recipes contain poultry giblets:

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.

There are certain situations where these ingredients may be necessary. We always recommend contacting Natural Balance for further clarification regarding any harmful or controversial ingredient.

We have identified 1 harmful ingredient used in certain Natural Balance recipes. To learn more, click on the ingredient's name.

menadione sodium bisulfite complex
24 Recipes

Menadione sodium bisulfite complex is a synthetic version of vitamin K that has been linked to many health concerns. Research has suggested possible toxic reactions in liver cells and red blood cells among other serious problems. In fact, one large chemical supplier warns, "The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage."

The following recipes contain menadione sodium bisulfite complex:

Natural Balance Cat Food Ingredient Lists

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
High Protein Tuna Formula For Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Tuna Formula For Cats
First Five Ingredients
tuna
tuna meal
pea
pea protein
canola oil

Natural Balance

Original Ultra Whole Body Health
Chicken, Duck Meal, Salmon Meal Formula For Kittens
Natural Balance
Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Duck Meal, Salmon Meal Formula For Kittens
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken meal
pea protein
pea
chicken fat

Natural Balance

Indoor Ultra
Chicken & Salmon Meal Formula
Natural Balance
Indoor Ultra Chicken & Salmon Meal Formula
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken meal
brown rice
oat groats
salmon meal

Natural Balance

Original Ultra
Chicken Meal & Salmon Meal Formula
Natural Balance
Original Ultra Chicken Meal & Salmon Meal Formula
First Five Ingredients
chicken meal
brown rice
chicken
chicken fat
dried brewers yeast

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Green Pea & Venison Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Venison Formula
First Five Ingredients
green pea
venison
pea protein
venison meal
dried brewers yeast

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
High Protein Salmon Formula For Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Salmon Formula For Cats
First Five Ingredients
salmon
pea
salmon meal
pea protein
canola oil

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
High Protein Chicken Formula For Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Chicken Formula For Cats
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken meal
pea
pea protein
chicken fat

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Indoor Salmon & Chickpea Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Indoor Salmon & Chickpea Formula
First Five Ingredients
salmon
chickpea
pea
salmon meal
pea protein

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Green Pea & Chicken Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Chicken Formula
First Five Ingredients
green pea
chicken meal
chicken
chicken fat
pea protein

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Indoor Turkey & Chickpea Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Indoor Turkey & Chickpea Formula
First Five Ingredients
turkey
chickpea
turkey meal
pea
pea protein

Natural Balance

Ultra Premium Cat Food
Fat Cats
Natural Balance
Ultra Premium Cat Food Fat Cats
First Five Ingredients
chicken meal
salmon meal
pea protein
garbanzo bean
pea

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Green Pea & Salmon Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Salmon Formula
First Five Ingredients
green pea
salmon meal
salmon
pea protein
canola oil

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Green Pea & Duck Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Duck Formula
First Five Ingredients
green pea
duck
duck meal
pea protein
canola oil

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Turkey & Turkey Liver Formula For Indoor Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Turkey & Turkey Liver Formula For Indoor Cats
First Five Ingredients
turkey broth
turkey
turkey liver
chickpea
pea

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Grain Free Tuna & Pumpkin Formula In Broth
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Grain Free Tuna & Pumpkin Formula In Broth
First Five Ingredients
tuna
tuna broth
pumpkin
canola oil
guar gum

Natural Balance

Original Ultra Whole Body Health
Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula For Kittens
Natural Balance
Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula For Kittens
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken liver
chicken broth
salmon
duck

Natural Balance

Original Ultra Whole Body Health
Reduced Calorie - Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula
Natural Balance
Original Ultra Whole Body Health Reduced Calorie - Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
chicken
chicken liver
salmon
duck

Natural Balance

Delectable Delights
O'Fishally Scampi Stew
Natural Balance
Delectable Delights O'Fishally Scampi Stew
First Five Ingredients
tuna broth
tuna
salmon
chicken
carrot

Natural Balance

Original Ultra Whole Body Health
Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula
Natural Balance
Original Ultra Whole Body Health Chicken, Salmon & Duck Formula
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
chicken
chicken liver
salmon
duck

Natural Balance

Delectable Delights
Land 'n Sea Cats-serole Pate
Natural Balance
Delectable Delights Land 'n Sea Cats-serole Pate
First Five Ingredients
tuna broth
tuna
chicken
whitefish
pea protein

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Grain Free Chicken & Pumpkin Formula In Broth
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Grain Free Chicken & Pumpkin Formula In Broth
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken broth
pumpkin
canola oil
guar gum

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Chicken & Pumpkin Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Chicken & Pumpkin Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
chicken
chicken liver
pumpkin
pea

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Cod, Chicken, Sole & Shrimp Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Cod, Chicken, Sole & Shrimp Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
fish broth
cod
chicken liver
chicken
carrot

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Indoor Formula - Duck, Chicken & Pumpkin Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Indoor Formula - Duck, Chicken & Pumpkin Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
duck
chicken
chicken liver
carrot

Natural Balance

Ultra Premium Cat Food
Turkey & Giblets Formula
Natural Balance
Ultra Premium Cat Food Turkey & Giblets Formula
First Five Ingredients
turkey
turkey broth
poultry giblets
dried carrot
brown rice

Natural Balance

Delectable Delights
Catatouille Stew
Natural Balance
Delectable Delights Catatouille Stew
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
chicken
chicken liver
carrot
dried egg

Natural Balance

Delectable Delights
Life's a Beach Pate
Natural Balance
Delectable Delights Life's a Beach Pate
First Five Ingredients
tuna broth
tuna
sardine
whitefish
carrot

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
High Protein Chicken Formula In Broth For Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Chicken Formula In Broth For Cats
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken broth
pumpkin
sunflower oil
tapioca starch

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
High Protein Tuna Formula In Broth For Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Tuna Formula In Broth For Cats
First Five Ingredients
tuna
tuna broth
carrot
sunflower oil
tapioca starch

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
High Protein Whitefish Formula In Broth For Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets High Protein Whitefish Formula In Broth For Cats
First Five Ingredients
whitefish
fish broth
sunflower oil
carrot
tapioca starch

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Chicken & Giblets Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Chicken & Giblets Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
chicken
giblets
carrot
pea

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Chicken & Salmon Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Chicken & Salmon Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
chicken
salmon
chicken liver
carrot

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Indoor Formula - Turkey & Duck Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Indoor Formula - Turkey & Duck Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
turkey broth
turkey
chicken liver
duck
carrot

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Salmon, Tuna & Crab Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Salmon, Tuna & Crab Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
salmon broth
salmon
tuna
chicken
chicken liver

Natural Balance

Delectable Delights
Purrrfect Paella Stew
Natural Balance
Delectable Delights Purrrfect Paella Stew
First Five Ingredients
tuna broth
whitefish
sardine
chicken
kale

Natural Balance

Delectable Delights
Sea Brulee Stew
Natural Balance
Delectable Delights Sea Brulee Stew
First Five Ingredients
tuna broth
whitefish
sardine
chicken
kale

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Salmon & Chickpea Formula For Indoor Cats
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Salmon & Chickpea Formula For Indoor Cats
First Five Ingredients
salmon broth
salmon
chickpea
pea
pea protein

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Indoor Formula - Chicken & Chicken Liver Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Indoor Formula - Chicken & Chicken Liver Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
chicken broth
chicken
chicken liver
dried egg whites
dried ground pea

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Indoor Formula - Salmon, Tuna, Chicken & Shrimp Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Indoor Formula - Salmon, Tuna, Chicken & Shrimp Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
fish broth
salmon
tuna
chicken liver
chicken

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Indoor Formula - Turkey, Salmon & Chicken Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Indoor Formula - Turkey, Salmon & Chicken Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
turkey broth
turkey
salmon
chicken
chicken liver

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Tuna & Beef Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Tuna & Beef Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
salmon broth
tuna
beef
chicken liver
chicken

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Turkey, Chicken & Duck Formula In Gravy
Natural Balance
Platefulls Turkey, Chicken & Duck Formula In Gravy
First Five Ingredients
turkey broth
turkey
chicken liver
chicken
duck

Natural Balance

Platefulls
Mackerel & Sardine Formula In Gravy (Indoor Formula)
Natural Balance
Platefulls Mackerel & Sardine Formula In Gravy (Indoor Formula)
First Five Ingredients
fish broth
mackerel
sardine
chicken liver
chicken

Natural Balance

Ultra Premium Cat Food
Indoor Chicken Formula
Natural Balance
Ultra Premium Cat Food Indoor Chicken Formula
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken broth
chicken liver
salmon
oat bran

Natural Balance

Ultra Premium Cat Food
Ocean Fish Formula
Natural Balance
Ultra Premium Cat Food Ocean Fish Formula
First Five Ingredients
ocean fish
fish broth
turkey
chicken liver
tuna

Natural Balance

Ultra Premium Cat Food
Tuna & Shrimp Formula
Natural Balance
Ultra Premium Cat Food Tuna & Shrimp Formula
First Five Ingredients
tuna
water sufficient for processing
chicken liver
whitefish
chicken

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Chicken & Green Pea Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Chicken & Green Pea Formula
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken broth
chicken liver
ground pea
pea protein

Natural Balance

Ultra Premium Cat Food
Salmon Formula
Natural Balance
Ultra Premium Cat Food Salmon Formula
First Five Ingredients
salmon
chicken
chicken liver
fish broth
whitefish

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Duck & Green Pea Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Green Pea Formula
First Five Ingredients
duck
duck broth
duck liver
pea protein
ground pea

Natural Balance

Limited Ingredient Diets
Salmon & Green Pea Formula
Natural Balance
Limited Ingredient Diets Salmon & Green Pea Formula
First Five Ingredients
salmon broth
salmon
ground pea
pea protein
salmon meal

Natural Balance

Ultra Premium Cat Food
Chicken & Liver Pate Formula
Natural Balance
Ultra Premium Cat Food Chicken & Liver Pate Formula
First Five Ingredients
chicken
chicken liver
chicken broth
carrot
brown rice