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10 Best Raw Cat Foods in 2021 – Reviews & Top Picks

smalls premium human grade fresh cat food with kittens

More and more pet parents are turning to raw foods for their pets to avoid the questionable ingredients that are found in many traditional foods. The benefits of raw cat food include higher water content, more nutritional value, and better digestibility. However, just like dry kibble and other commercially available foods, all raw foods for your cat aren’t created equal. We’ve put together our reviews of the best options out there for your needs and your cat’s health.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2021

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Smalls Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food Smalls Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food
  • Freeze dried small pellets
  • No synthetic supplements
  • High-quality source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Cat Food Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Cat Food
  • High-quality protein
  • Uses organic fruits and vegetables
  • Easy-to-digest formula
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Raw Cat Food Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Raw Cat Food
  • Human-grade ingredients
  • High quality protein content
  • No preservatives
  • Best Frozen Cat Food
    CountryPet Naturals Pasteurized Raw Cat Food CountryPet Naturals Pasteurized Raw Cat Food
  • All-natural ingredients
  • No fillers or preservatives
  • Cats love the texture
  • Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb Feast Raw Cat Food Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb Feast Raw Cat Food
  • High in protein and other nutrients
  • GMO-free ingredients
  • Can be fed for all life stages from kitten to senior
  • The 10 Best Raw Cat Foods

    1. Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food – Best Overall

    smalls cat enjoying freeze dried raw food with logo

    Food type Freeze-dried
    Package size 3 ounces
    Main ingredients Turkey, duck, chicken

    Our pick for overall best raw cat food is the Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Recipe. These nutritious packs come in three different flavors that cats love: turkey, duck, and chicken. The packs provide cats with all the important proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals they require to function well and live long, and they love the taste too! Our cats couldn’t get enough. Smalls is a fairly new company that puts cats first, making sure the ingredients are fresh and beneficial to the cat before any other bottom line. They encourage cat owners with a 25% discount for first-time buyers that is applied at checkout so their cats can test it out.

    To conclude, we think this freeze-dried raw cat food brand is the best raw cat food available this year. It’s delivered right to your door, so you will love the ease of ordering, and your cat will love the food.

    Pros
    • High-quality protein
    • Source of omega-3 fatty acids
    • Low-carb formula
    Cons
    • Takes time to prepare with water

    2. Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food – Best Value

    Stella & Chewy's Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

    Food type Freeze-dried
    Package size 18 ounces
    Main ingredients Duck, turkey, goose

    Our best value raw cat food is Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels. These nutritious morsels are packed with flavors that cats enjoy as well as plenty of nutrients. They have a high amount of protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals to keep your cat healthy and strong. Their formula is free from ingredients that tend to cause stomach upset in cats and they are easy to digest. There are no fillers or preservatives either so you can rest assured that your cat is only getting what they need.

    Pros
    • High-quality protein
    • Uses organic fruits and vegetables
    • Easy-to-digest formula
    Cons
    • A little pricey

    3. Smalls Fresh Raw Cat Food – Premium Choice

    Smalls human grade fresh food bowl with kitten with logo

    Food type Fresh raw
    Package size 11.5 ounces
    Main ingredients Chicken, turkey, beef

    Our premium choice for best raw cat food also goes to Smalls, but this time to their Fresh Raw Cat Food Recipes. These all-natural, human-grade raw food packages come with not just the flavors that cats love, but also include all the nutritional requirements for the obligate carnivores. Although the company is just a few years old, they are not afraid to take on the big players in the market by offering much better ingredients at just a slight price premium. They offer a 25% discount for first-time buyers for their fresh raw recipes too, which is applied at checkout.

    Smalls offers a subscription service tailored specifically to your kitten based on his dietary needs and preferences, and they make it nice and easy for you – everything is delivered right to your door with no middle man, you order direct from their website. When our cats tried the Smalls fresh raw food recipes, they loved them, and many customers report the same. Even our in-house veterinarians love this brand for cats of all ages.

    So, it’s a no brainer that Smalls human-grade fresh cat food is our top premium pick for best raw cat food.

    Pros
    • High-quality protein
    • Human-grade ingredients
    • No preservatives
    Cons
    • Pricier than freeze-dried
    • Uses vegetable oil

    4. CountryPet Naturals Pasteurized Frozen Cat Food – Best Frozen Cat Food

    CountryPet Naturals Pasteurized Frozen Cat Food

    Food type Frozen
    Package size 24 pounds (16 rolls, 1.5 pounds each)
    Main ingredients Chicken, lamb

    Our pick for the best frozen raw cat food is CountryPet Naturals Pasteurized Frozen Cat Food. This food comes in frozen tubes, instead of freeze-dried kibble like many of the others on our list. If your kitty has a tough time with freeze-dried foods or simply prefers wet food, then you may want to try this one. Even though it comes in rather large rolls, they’ll keep in your refrigerator for up to 6 weeks once defrosted so you shouldn’t have a problem getting through the food in that time.

    Pros
    • All-natural ingredients
    • No fillers or preservatives
    • Cats love the texture
    Cons
    • Only available in large quantities
    • Expensive

    5. Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Food type Freeze-dried
    Package size 11 ounces
    Main ingredients Chicken, lamb

    The Feline Naturals line of raw cat food products scores high ratings for the quality of the ingredients and the range of available flavors. These freeze-dried bits are appropriate for cats of all ages from kitten to senior. They do not contain any fillers or artificial ingredients. They are high in protein, vitamins, and minerals for optimal cat health. However, they are quite pricey and come in a smaller bag than many of the other options we have reviewed here.

    Pros
    • High in protein and other nutrients
    • GMO-free ingredients
    • Can be fed for all life stages from kitten to senior
    Cons
    • High price for a small bag

    6. Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Nibs Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Nibs Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Food type Freeze-dried
    Package size 12 ounces
    Main ingredients Chicken, egg, goat milk

    Our best raw cat food for the money is Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Nibs Freeze-Dried Cat Food. These small kibble-sized bits are a great choice for the picky cat. You can introduce a new product to your cat without spending a bunch of money. The bits are small, which makes them easier for your cat to eat. They can be served dry or re-hydrated with a little bit of water. They are high in protein and other essential nutrients without any artificial ingredients or preservatives.

    Pros
    • Affordable price
    • High in protein
    • Easy to use
    Cons
    • Some cats don’t like the texture

    7. Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Diet for Cats

    Northwest Naturals Freeze Dried Diet for Cats

    Food type Freeze-dried
    Package size 11 ounces
    Main ingredients Chicken, eggs

    Northwest Naturals Freeze-Dried foods are available in three different flavors: chicken, turkey, and duck. They are high in protein and free from additives, hormones, and preservatives. These bits are low in carbohydrates, focusing instead on what your cat needs. They have a decent shelf-life for raw food as well. Some cats struggle with the texture, although rehydrating these bits before serving may help with that.

    Pros
    • Can be used as the main food source or as a supplement
    • No hormones or antibiotics
    • Available in three different flavors
    Cons
    • A little expensive
    • Some cats prefer wet food texture

    8. Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Cat Food

    Instinct Frozen Raw Bites Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Cat Food

    Food type Frozen
    Package size 25 pounds
    Main ingredients Chicken

    Instinct Frozen Raw Bites are small frozen bits instead of a tube, like some other frozen foods. They need to remain frozen until right before feeding time so you cannot defrost the entire bag in your refrigerator at once. They contain high-quality, natural ingredients and are high in protein. They are also grain-free so they can be fed to cats with grain sensitivities. The small bits formula also makes it easy to gradually incorporate into your cat’s feeding routine as a topper for their other food first.

    Pros
    • Cats enjoy the texture
    • High-quality ingredients
    • No fillers or preservatives
    Cons
    • A little expensive for the amount of food
    • Require thawing before feeding

    9. The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Beef & Hoki Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Beef & Hoki Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Food type Freeze-dried
    Package size 9 ounces
    Main ingredients Hoki (fish), beef

    This freeze-dried raw food contains different flavors than many of the others on our list. The two primary ingredients are Hoki, a white fish usually found in Australia and New Zealand, and beef. If you have a cat that doesn’t like chicken products or is sensitive to poultry, this might be a good option. It is expensive, especially for a small bag but can be used as a supplemental topper to other foods if needed.

    Pros
    • High in essential protein
    • Limited ingredients
    • No preservatives
    Cons
    • Expensive for a small bag
    • Some cats might not like the flavor

    10. Wysong Archetype Chicken Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Dog & Cat Food

    Wysong Archetype Chicken Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Dog & Cat Food

    Food type Freeze-dried
    Package size 5 ounces
    Main ingredients Chicken, chicken organs

    These chicken morsels are packed with the nutrition your cat needs. They’re also suitable for dogs, although the small package size might not last very long if you’re feeding larger dogs. For cats, however, these freeze-dried pieces provide a good amount of protein and healthy fats. They are made by a family-owned and operated company as well, so the quality is highly monitored.

    Pros
    • Starch-free formula
    • High in animal proteins
    • No additives
    Cons
    • Small bag for the price
    • Cats might not like the texture

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    Buyer’s Guide

    When you are searching for a new food for your cat, you want to make sure you are selecting the best one for their needs. A few things we recommend you keep in mind when deciding on the best raw food choice for your cat include:

    • The food should be free from preservatives and fillers.
    • Real meat should make up the majority of the ingredients.
    • The food should be high in protein.
    • The shelf life of raw food is relatively short. Don’t buy more than your cat can eat in that timeframe.
    • Try rehydrating the freeze-dried versions for easier chewing and digestion.
    • Frozen raw foods will have specific defrosting instructions. Make sure you follow them to avoid spoilage.
    • Always wash your hands after handling raw cat food to prevent the spread of bacteria.

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    Conclusion

    Now that you’ve read our reviews, you know a little more about raw foods for your cat. Our best overall pick, Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Recipe is a good value and is packed with nutrients your cat needs. For the cat parent on a budget, Stella & Chewy’s Duck, Duck, Goose food won’t break the bank while still giving your cat a tasty, healthy meal. And if you’re looking for a premium option, you can’t go wrong with the Small’s Fresh Raw Cat Food Recipes. If you’re ready to switch your cat to a raw food diet, or just want to include more raw foods in their current diet, we’re sure you can find one to fit your needs here.


    Featued Image Credit: Smalls.com