With many alternative types of pet products available on the market, dehydrated cat food has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Being prepared with minimal processing, it is considered to be rich in vitamins and minerals. In this definitive guide, we will find out which benefits it has compared to other foods and review the best brands.
Top 9 dehydrated cat foods of 2021
That’s a 100% natural protein-rich product made of beef and various beef organs (liver, heart, kidney, lung). The meat was slowly heated to evaporate moisture without nutrient loss. Aside from meat, the recipe contains dried kelp and the whole range of minerals and some vitamins. Lecithin, folic acid and taurine included. No chemical preservatives and fillers were added, the formula is organic.
This product can serve both as food for daily nutrition or like a topper – choose what’s appropriate for your cat’s diet. Make sure not to exceed the recommended portions, such meat is pretty high calorie content. What makes Ziwi Peak Peak the best dehydrated cat food brand is a rich choice of air-dried products and well-balanced contents. Such a cooking method allows preserving maximum nutrients without compromising flavor. The food is recommended for those who want to serve their feline pals sufficient amounts of high-quality origin protein.
- Variety of flavors available;
- High-quality protein source;
- Minerals and vitamins are added.
- Not all cats like the hard consistency.
- Flavors: Beef, chicken, lamb, venison, mackerel & lamb
- Protein: 38%
- Calories: 312 kcal/scoop
This recipe contains 70% of chicken that was raised without antibiotics and steroids. The meat was dehydrated by slow heating, which means it’s a high-nutrient product. That’s a great source of protein and calories for adult and senior cats. The manufacturer positions it as human-grade food, and it’s produced according to FDA standards. It is produced on USA facilities without anything from China, including the meat.
The food is easy to prepare – only water should be added. Aside from chicken, it contains dehydrated potatoes and eggs, pumpkin, spinach and cranberries. Also, there is a range of vitamins and minerals included (amino acids, taurine, choline, riboflavin). No preservatives and GMO were used. Please, note that this is a high-calorie recipe, so you should control the size of portions accordingly.
Related guide: Best human-grade cat foods
- High-quality meat;
- Contains vitamins;
- Easy to prepare.
- Contains vegetables, it’s not equally suitable for all cats;
- Not all cats like the formula because of whole cranberries and consistency.
- Flavors: Chicken, Turkey
- Protein: 39%
- Calories: 576 kcal/cup
If you are in search of dried food for cats without grains, this is the right option. The formula is based on deboned turkey and deboned chicken together with chickpeas. There are a few plant-based components (tomato pomace, flaxseed, cranberries, chicory root). It can be used as cat food for daily nutrition or as a topper.
The manufacturer added the whole range of vitamins and minerals (taurine, folic acid, biotin). There are no artificial preservatives and flavors added. This food can be served to cats of all ages and kittens.
- Optimal protein content;
- Contains vitamins and minerals;
- Some cats don’t like the product.
- Flavors: Turkey & Chicken
- Protein: 34%
- Calories: 419 kcal/cup
This recipe is 96% made of salmon, turkey meat and turkey organs, and also contains bamboo fiber and parsley. There’s also the whole range of vitamins and minerals. Taurine and folic acid are included, as well. It is highly recommended for cats with sensitive digestion because it features a 95% digestibility rate. Meat components (turkey meat and alaska wild salmon) are sourced from the USA, so their quality is undoubtable.
No fillers, grain, antibiotics, preservatives, artificial colours or flavours were added. The food can be served to cats of all life stages. Since the pieces contain 14% of moisture, they can be served both dry and cooked with water.
- Optimal protein amount;
- Quality-sourced meat;
- Contains vitamins and minerals.
- Some cats don’t like it raw without cooking.
- Flavors: Turkey, Salmon
- Protein: 34%
- Calories: 310 Kcal ME/level scoop
Although those are not just dried pieces of meat, Tiki Cat offers a highly palatable formula with herring, herring meal, dried eggs and salmon meal – they provide 44% of protein together with chickpeas and whole peas. Kibbles are slowly baked to preserve all nutrients. The formula also includes some vitamins and minerals (folic acid, taurine) that boost the immune system and make up for well-balanced development.
Aside from animal-sourced components, the recipe contains pumpkin, tomato pomace, tapioca flour, and ground flaxseed. No grains and fruit were added, so the product can be safely served to cats with digestion problems. It’s appropriate for kittens older than 12 months. According to dehydrated cat food reviews, this product helps cats with health issues, such as poor digestion and diabetes.
- A high protein content;
- No grains and fruit;
- Suitable for cats with diabetes.
- Tomato pomace might cause allergy in cats;
- Poor choice of flavors.
- Flavors: Salmon & herring, seafood
- Protein: 44%
- Calories: 428 kcal/cup
Like the above-mentioned recipe, Lotus kibbles are slowly baked to preserve as many nutrients as possible. The product is proudly made in Canada with locally sourced meat. The formula is based on chicken, chicken meal, lentils and dried eggs – they make up for 35% protein. All fruits and vegetables used in the formula are non-GMO, and the manufacturer did not add chemical preservatives and flavors. It contains pumpkin, apples, sweet potatoes, blueberries, spinach, and carrots.
This food is appropriate for all life stages. It has a moderate amount of calories, so it’s equally good for indoor and outdoor cats. Thanks to slow baking, many nutrients and antioxidants have been preserved, but the manufacturer also added taurine, folic acid, biotin, and inulin. Salmon oil was also used to serve as the primary source of Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Well-balanced recipe with all essential vitamins and minerals;
- No grains, preservatives, or GMO.
- No choice of flavors;
- Not always available because it’s produced in small batches.
- Flavors: Chicken
- Protein: 35%
- Calories: 437.4 kcal/cup
If you are in search of 100% cat treats, consider these pure dried bonito flakes. They are equally suitable for cats and dogs of all stages and serve as a source of quality protein. The natural fish oil provides Omega-3 and -6 fatty acids improving your pet’s fur and skin. The food contains nothing but dried bonito – no GMO, grains, preservatives and vitamins were added.
Thanks to the process of slow drying, the flakes contain all natural nutrients and taurine which protects eyes. They have a fresh and strong fishy aroma, which attracts cats and makes them crave for more. If you don’t exceed the daily recommended dose, these treats would be a great additional source of nutrients for your beloved pet.
- 100% natural;
- Appealing flavor;
- Top-rated product.
- Cannot replace regular cat food;
- No vitamins and minerals added.
- Flavors: Bonito
- Protein: 76%
- Calories: 5 kcal per serving
This is a nice treat option for your cats of all ages because it has all-natural formula based on only three components: chicken breast, brown rice and potato flour. The chicken was raised without antibiotics, hormones and GMO, so this is a 100% natural product. The treats are made in the form of bones and feature an appealing smell, which attracts many cats.
The crunchy treats are low in fat and rich in protein, which makes them superb for daily serving. Note that no vitamins and minerals were added. Since there are potatoes and rice included, you should avoid giving this product to cats who have allergies to any of those.
- All-natural formula;
- Chicken is ethically raised in the USA;
- The product is crunchy and smelly, which appeals to cats.
- No vitamins and minerals;
- Relatively low amount of protein;
- Contains brown rice and potato flour.
- Flavors: Chicken
- Protein: 28%
- Calories: 3,740 kcal / kg
Although this formula is created for dogs, it can also be perfect dehydrated raw cat food! The product is made of pure turkey meat, slowly air-dried to preserve all essential nutrients and vitamins. It is based on turkey and its organs (liver, heart, lung). It also contains ground turkey bone which provides calcium and other nutrients. Aside from that, the manufacturer also added pumpkin and parsley for additional fiber.
There is a range of vitamins and minerals included together with biotin and taurine. Since this is dog food, the balance of nutrients might not be perfect – consult with a veterinarian before switching to this food. Generally, it’s safe for cats and made without chemical preservatives and flavors.
- Optimal amount of protein;
- Quality components used;
- Contains vitamins and minerals.
- Since it’s dog food, the balance of nutrients might not be appropriate;
- Sometimes, the meat is delivered stale.
- Flavors: Turkey, venison, beef
- Protein: 34%
- Calories: 451 kcal/cup
Like any other pet food, dehydrated products have a few downsides, which makes them not as commonly used as kibbles and wet foods. Here are a few disadvantages worth mentioning:
- High cost. This is the major downside of dehydrated cat food. While some medium-quality kibbles cost $0.40-0.60 a day, air-dried foods might be worth $0.80-1.60 per day, which is twice more expensive. Be prepared to increase your expenses if you have a multi-cat household.
- Poor variety. There aren’t many manufacturers producing air-dried (as opposite to freeze-dried cat food) with Ziwi Peak being the leader on the US market. The majority of lineups are limited by a couple of flavors, so finding the best one for your pet might be a true challenge.
- Consistency. When you add water to dehydrated pieces of meat, they are rather like pate-style food than kibbles – some cats hate that. When served dry, this food is not very palatable.
In a word
If you want your feline friend to enjoy an all-natural diet with the maximum amount of organic nutrients, consider serving it the best dehydrated cat food. By being slowly heated, these products preserve the majority of vitamins and minerals, not mentioning the enticing meaty flavor.
Many cats love dehydrated food when it’s cooked properly. Find a suitable product for your four-legged pal and you will see positive changes in his health and well-being pretty soon.
- What is dehydrated cat food?
- Pros of dehydrated cat food
- Top 9 dehydrated cat foods of 2021
- Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Beef Recipe Cat Food
- The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Chicken Recipe Dehydrated Cat Food
- Wellness Core Air Dried Natural Grain Free Dry Cat Food, Original Turkey & Chicken
- Zeal Canada air-Dried cat Food Turkey & Salmon recipe
- Tiki Cat Born Carnivore Grain Free Dry Food Baked with Fresh Meat
- Lotus Oven-Baked Dry Cat Food Chicken Recipe
- Cat-Man-Doo Extra Large Dried Bonito Flakes Cat & Dog Treats
- Polkadog Bakery Chicken Littles Bone Shaped Dehydrated Dog & Cat Treats
- Real Meat Company Air Dried Food (Turkey)
- Any cons?
- In a word