In this article, we review the best freeze-dried cat foods that you can get in the market today for your lovely kittens. Freeze-dried cat foods are different from dry food (regular kibble) and wet food (canned food) in that freeze-dried cat foods are frozen at the peak of freshness. After freezing, they are then subjected to high vacuum pressure to remove the water content while the food is still frozen.
The procedure of creating this food is distinctive a lot, compared to other cat food. The most different point is all ingredients are frozen at high temperatures rather than treated and prepared like the traditional kibble recipe. Besides, this type of pet food is objected to extreme pressure to remove the amount of water. There is a wide range of alternatives from various producers as well as brands. Therefore, to help you gain a deeper insight into it, we will show you the top five products along with a buying guide of the best freeze-dried cat food.
What is freeze-dried cat food?
Freeze-dried cat food refers to a minimally processed raw diet which water content has been extracted and is rehydrated before pouring on the bowl. Typically, freeze-dried cat food is higher in protein content and amino acids as well as, nutrient-rich with antioxidants and micronutrients. It retains a high nutritional value because unlike dry kibble and wet feline diets, they are slightly cooked.
If you are looking for a top quality feline diet that provides her with high levels of nutrition, freeze-dried cat food is the best choice.
Is freeze-dried cat food healthy?
Some people ask whether freeze-dried cat food is safe or healthy because they are concerned about the well-being of their cats. So, what is the best freeze dried raw cat food? Freeze-dried pet food topic has had lots of storms with different pet owners, vets, and fans having contradictory opinions regarding its safety or health risks on pets. While some say that raw food is healthy for our pets, including felines, others tend to disagree.
According to a nutrition publication by PetMed, there is no issued or peer-reviewed scientific proof showing that freeze-dried cat food is healthier or that it aids with disease resolution. In my opinion, however, having a higher nutritional value than processed diets makes freeze-dried cat food a better and healthier choice. Check out my review of freeze dried cat food good for cats.
Is freeze-dried raw cat food safe
While freeze-drying helps reduce the number of pathogens in freeze-dried raw cat food, says PetMed, most of these pathogens can endure the process of freeze-drying. Also, there are risks of feeding your cat a nutritionally imbalanced diet with raw foods as well as the risk of bacteria and parasites. And although the diet is healthy with lower contamination amount, freeze dried raw cat food safety is debatable.
In addition, there are inherent risks to feeding freeze-dried raw cat food which makes it unsafe even for the people in your household too. This is particularly true if there are cats and people with underlying medical issues or immunodeficiencies.
Freeze-dried cat food benefits
As stated above, there is no evidence showing that freeze-dried cat food is better than dry kibble and canned cat food, or a mixture of both. However, it does not come without its benefits despite the mentioned risks. Here are some freeze-dried cat food benefits:
- Helps lower the number of pathogens in raw diets
- Retains the food’s nutritional value
- Preserves the actual color & shape of the original raw food
- Eliminates a fraction of bacteria
- Easy to feed through rehydration
- Easy storage due to small packaging
In addition, the final result of freeze-drying is lightweight making it a food option to put in your bag when traveling with your cat. Despite this convenience and high nutritional value, however, freeze-dried cat foods can a have a high price tag.
Reviews of the Best Freeze-Dried Cat Food Reviews
1. K9 Natural by Feline Natural
Apart from the topper or entire meal, this kitten food is also a perfect wholesome meal for your lovely cats. On the other hand, it is ideal for all aged kittens a lot. Next, this version is created of 100% natural and fresh elements. Moreover, it features a savory smell and healthful advantages.
Besides, this product is produced from the entire natural recipe as well. As a result, it is enough sterile for your pet to experience the perfect meal without worrying. It could guarantee the ingredients are kept in great condition. Therefore, you should not worry about the safety and even the quality of this product.
This version is suitable for your kitten’s sensitiveness.
This pet food is tasty to attract your lovely pets.
It costs you so much.
2. Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Recipe Natural Dry
The major element in this dehydrated cat food would be the natural raw material of chicken. Next, it is derived from the high-class quality of chicken along with a mixture of protein nutrients. Likewise, other grain-free kibbles, this version is full of Omega and other essential minerals that assist the digestive system as well as enhances your kitten’s fur by offering the fancy appearance.
Besides, every pack from raw material comprises leading quality kitten food along with its toppers as well. Therefore, it offers scrumptious and yummy nourishment to your lovely buddy. Besides, some elements of this pet food are excellent for staying fit and bring a lot of advantages for your kitten’s health.
This version includes freeze raw bits of steak.
It supports with yummy tastes for your lovely kittens.
CONSThe pack is challenging to take out, compared to primal freeze-dried dog food.
3. The Honest Kitchen Human Grade Dehydrated Grain Free
Another superior kitten food that we would like to introduce to you is the Honest Kitchen. It comprises more than 75% free turkey steak. The water amount is decreased until the minimal level for getting dense. As a result, it is suitable for your kitty to receive the number of good nutrients for a day. This particular food is more convenient to consume. Next, this product goes with a different dimension that is convenient for chewing.
Besides, this version is produced from the high-class quality regulation and safety circumstances as well. It contains no synthetic additives and other GMO components. Next, we believe that your lovely kittens will enjoy this freeze-dried pet food a lot.
This version supports a wide range of human nutrients for your kittens.
It is produced and treated strictly in America
This product is more convenient to make and utilize when putting more water.
Some other types of cats do not enjoy this food.
4. Pet Craft Supply Naturally Wholesome Single Animal-Source Protein-Rich Treats
This version is a low-carb food that is beneficial for your kittens. It’s full of protein that is derived from outstanding and trustworthy sources or other same pets. Besides, this recipe is frozen during the treating process. This one could support the nutritional elements for your lovely kittens.
On top of it, this product brings some advantages to your lovely kittens. It comprises four amounts of calories in the substances. Next, there are no synthetic substances as well. Also, you can feed your allergic kittens with this food because it is suitable for them to use. Last but not least, no matter what you feed or train your lovely pets, we believe that this version is a good partner for your kittens.
This version is fabulous for all aged cats, compared to freeze-dried raw cat food.
It is produced from one ingredient.
In reality, some substances or raw materials are manufactured from Canada, not America
The pack is very tiny.
5. Only Natural Pet RawNibs
This food is produced from Raw Brands can go along with bite dimension which your kittens could consume and chew easily. This excellent version arrives in various tastes and forms that comprise healthful and pure substances for the furry friend. Moreover, the steak and other methods are created from frozen meat that supports keeping in-store the flavor so well.
Only Natural Pet RawNibs Freeze Dried Beef 10 oz
- REAL RAW NUTRITION in a freeze dried, bite sized nibblet format with pasture raised beef muscle & organ meat, fresh fruits & veggies, and raw goat's milk. The convenience of kibble, but the taste and nutrition of raw.
- USE AS A TOPPER OR TREAT so your pet can enjoy a healthy protein & nutrient boost to everyday meals or as a high reward treat. It also makes a complete & balanced meal - especially for smaller pets.
- MADE IN THE USA from high quality, USA sourced, pasture raised beef that is high in protein & amino acids and has the real beef taste your pet loves.
- GRAIN FREE & ALL NATURAL is healthier for your pet. RawNibs contain no grains or gluten and have no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.
Besides, this product is utilized as a topper or scrumptious meal for both kittens and puppies. It provides enough quantity of some essential ingredients or protein for keeping your pets fit. Last but not least, this one does not include any kind of synthetic substances and additives.
This product is not crumbled.
It is used as the perfect meal for your lovely pets.
The minerals or veggies are not the organic origins in this pet food.
6. Stella & Chewy’s Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food
Stella & Chewy is one of the leading freeze-dried cat food brands that is made from FDA-inspected plants here in the US. You can count on it for the highest-quality ingredients such as grass-fed beef, wild-caught fish or cage-free chicken and other seasonal fruits and veggies.
For frozen meals, you can pick from three options; chicken, duck, and rabbit. You can check its price on Amazon here or on Chewy here.
7. Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Cat Food: Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Turkey Mini Nibs Cat Food
First 5 Ingredients: Finely Ground Turkey with Bone, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Turkey Gizzard, and Raw Goat’s Milk
If your cat has crazy meaty yens, you can satisfy their hunger and crave with this freeze dried turkey cat food recipe from Vital Essentials. This all-natural raw cat diet offers every nutritional benefit your cat needs in bite-sized nibs with rich flavor and freshness. The recipe mimics your cat’s wild taste with turkey as the first ingredient and high quality protein source.
I like this turkey recipe with natural palate of pure, raw turkey is grain-free making it a good option for cats with grain intolerance. It has 4310 kcal/kg caloric content, 49% protein, 17% fat, 3% fiber, and 8% moisture.
8. Wellness Freeze-Dried Cat Food: Wellness CORE RawRev Turkey Liver Dry Cat Food
First 5 Ingredients: Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Turkey Meal, Chicken Meal, and Peas
Yet another top freeze dried cat food, this RawRev recipe from Wellness CORE has freeze-dried turkey liver as the first ingredient and is grain-free. The source of protein for this formula is deboned turkey and deboned chicken which is both palatable and nutrient-rich. It is a meal that she will enjoy eating.
In addition to great taste, this recipe is packed with natural enzymes and minerals, calories, and fiber content making it complete and balanced for her every day’s meal. It has 3871 kcal/kg caloric content, 46% protein, 18% fat, 3.5% fiber, and 10% moisture.
9. Affordable Freeze-Dried Cat Food: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels for Cats
First 5 Ingredients: Duck with Ground Bone, Turkey with Ground Bone, Turkey Liver, Goose, and Turkey Gizzard
This Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried cat food duck recipe is a fantastic choice for cats that love the great taste of duck meat. Made with responsibly-sourced ingredients, this formula features duck with ground bone as the first ingredient and turkey with ground bone as the second. I pick this formula for the high protein content and it is packed with taurine for heart health.
The raw nutrition mimics your cat’s wild diet, has probiotics for dietary health and promotes enhanced cat health with enriched appetite and digestion. It also supports dental health, skin and coat health, and healthy immune. It has 4420 kcal/kg caloric content, 45% protein, 25% fat, 1% fiber, and 5% moisture.
10. Freeze-Dried Cat Food Dr. Marty: Dr. Marty Nature’s Feast
First 5 Ingredients: Salmon, Turkey, Whitefish, Chicken Liver, and Chicken Heart
Dr. Marty Nature’s Feast is among the best quality freeze dried cat food on the market that offers everything your adult cat needs to stay happier and in good health. It has premium mixed protein from salmon, turkey, whitefish, and chicken which makes your cat stronger and active.
I loved the cat-friendly fruits and veggies in this all-natural freeze-dried cat food that aid in digestion and overall health. Salmon also contains omegas that support a shiny coat and healthy skin. This nutrient-rich formula has 4734 kcal/kg caloric content, 37% protein, 23% fat, 3% fiber, and 5% moisture.
Buy on Amazon or Chewy
11. Primal Freeze-Dried Cat Food: Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken & Salmon Formula
First 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Gizzards, Salmon, and Chicken Livers
Primal freeze-dried feline chicken & salmon formula ranks highly in my primal freeze-dried cat food reviews in the market today. It contains proteins from real salmon and real chicken that provides her with all the strength she needs to thrive in a delicious meal. Salmon also gives your cat a healthy skin and lustrous coat.
This nutritious freeze-dried primal diet is packed with vitamins and minerals that are naturally derived to maintain a good weight and promote overall body health. It contains 128 kcal/oz. caloric content, 49% protein, 26% fat, 2% fiber, and 8% moisture.
Buyer Guide for the Best Freeze-Dried Cat Food
1. Assessing the raw materials
As soon as searching for your kitten’s meal, the crucial stuff to check it out is the quality of ingredients. As usual, these ones can camouflage from your eyes. Therefore, we will help you examine the best freeze-dried cat food with some useful tips below.
1. Guarantee, the key ingredient is steak. On the other hand, freeze raw steak is the priority
2. The origin of carbohydrates must not be wheat or soy as well.
3. It has no synthetic substances or additives because the frozen process can not be carried out due to these substances.
4. The origin is a bit crucial. Keep your eyes on the labels because somebody can fake it in America.
2. You should be careful about the vague regulations
You should be cautious with some words such as natural and premium recommendations in which your food isn’t FDA certification. On the other hand, some substances that are derived from nature could consist of synthetic substances. The exact same is true for phrases such as”human quality” at this time. Thus, we highly recommend that you need to search for free-range or other phrases as well.
Apart from the freeze-dried cat food reviews, the origin of these substances is also essential. On the other hand, some nations could fake the source into America to attract more revenue from customers. Therefore, you should be careful regulations in the areas because it could change from one place to another.
4. The cost and famous brands
A well-known brand is not totally great. In reality, consumers will be more confident when they pick up the famous ones because they can ensure quality so well. Besides, this kitten food is not pricey or even cheaper, compared to other types of pet food.
How much to feed freeze-dried cat food
Feeding guidelines by AAFCO about the portions of freeze-dried cat food depends on a number of factors including age, weight, activity level, and breed. For an average cat of 6.6 to 8.8 lbs, you can expect to feed an average of 30 grams of freeze-dried cat food per day but use the table below to determine the exact amounts ideal for your cat:
The graph above shows an early recommendation and you should feed your cat the amount he needs to achieve the desired weight goal. Kittens should consume 2 – 3 times what adult felines eat. If you have a pregnant or nursing cat, make sure that you consult your vet first as how much freeze-dried cat food they eat depends on how many kittens they have and the lactation stage.
My cat weighs about 9 lbs. and I feed him 40 to 45 grams of Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Turkey Mini Nibs Cat Food freeze-dried cat food and think my cat loves it.
How to rehydrate freeze-dried cat food
Unlike with freeze-dried, raw-coated kibble that does not require rehydration when feeding, freeze-dried cat food must be rehydrated before feeding. This ensures that your cat gets enough amounts of moisture while eating. You can use water, the most common fluid, to rehydrate freeze-dried cat food.
Alternatively, you can rehydrate using something that offers extra benefits like calcium or protein. Such include bone broth (protein, fiber & calcium source), goat’s milk (natural probiotic), or high quality wet foods (enhances appetite).
Caution: Do not microwave freeze-dried cat food as it makes it less healthy and less tasty.
Most cat owners will ask: is freeze-dried cat food better than dry or canned/wet food? There is no ‘“wonder diet’ that stands out as the best for all cats. I took the effort of doing research and will provide some ideas I learnt hoping that they will help or enlighten you. Check out this comparison below:
Freeze-dried cat food vs. canned or wet cat food
Both freeze-dried and canned cat foods are good options for cats with unique benefits and risks in each choice, but there is that which is ideal for your cat.
Freeze-dried cat food contains cooked fresh foods that are dehydrated which prevent bacteria growth. It retains its nutritional value and gets back 70% of the original moisture. Unfortunately, the food poses a possible risk of germs formation when water is added.
Canned or wet cat foods are rich in protein, contain extra moisture to keep your cat hydrated and have an excellent taste mimicking your cat’s natural diet. Unfortunately, feeding a wet or canned diet only causes periodontal disease and has less nutrition compared to freeze-dried cat food.
Verdict: Freeze-dried cat food is nutrient-rich with 70% moisture after rehydration but costly, while canned or wet cat food is high in crude protein with 100% moisture but affordable.
Freeze-dried vs. raw cat food
Both freeze-dried and raw cat foods offer optimal nutrition to your cat as they are nutrient-rich. Although raw cat food comes frozen, it contains moisture that could allow germs to grow when heated before serving which can harm your feline friend. Unlike tamed cats, those in the wild have a strong digestive and immune systems that can handle microorganisms.
Verdict: Both freeze-dried and raw cat foods can be harmful to your cat when rehydrated or heated.
Freeze-dried cat food Canada, Australia, UK
Do you live in Canada, the U.K. or Australia? You can find the best freeze-dried cat food on Chewy or Amazon. You can purchase online using this online Amazon link.
Freeze-dried cat food brands/companies
Some of the 10 top freeze-dried cat foods brands or companies I know in the pet food market include:
- Vital Essentials
- Wellness CORE
- Stella & Chewy’s
- Dr. Marty
- Blue Buffalo
- The Honest Kitchen
- Instinct Raw Boost
- K9 Natural
Freeze-dried cat food with low phosphorous
Low-phosphorous cat foods are prepared to lessen kidney workload while improving health. According to research, cats with chronic kidney disease fed on a low-phosphorous diet have a longer life expectancy (twice that of cats without dietary changes).
Check out Blue Buffalo Natural Veterinary Diet Kidney and Mobility Support for Cats for the best freeze dried cat food kidney disease soother that is low phosphorous.
The best freeze-dried cat food is an excellent option for pet owners at this moment. On the other hand, it brings some beneficial and great advantages for your lovely pets. The most special thing about this type of food is that it does not include synthetic additives. Last but not least, we hope you could pick up the best alternative from our typical products above.
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Hi there! My name is Ben Domb, an owner of two pets and I am one of the co-founders of OurPets HQ. I have several years of experience as a pet care professional in the New England region having spent time in various roles including a stint at a veterinary hospital in Upstate New York, Syracuse area. I am a certified pet care professional and mostly spend my time researching pet nutrition and sharing my thoughts in various blogs and columns. With quarantine and COVID restrictions, I have been spending a lot of time a lot with my dogs and cat and loving it! I also run a small consulting business providing advice to parents on pet nutrition, and especially safe homemade options to try. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org