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Smalls Cat Food Review (2022) – Pros, Cons & Verdict

Ashley Bates

By Ashley Bates

smalls cat food review2

Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We give Smalls cat food a rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars. 


As awareness and education increase among pet owners, many people transition their cats to natural, fresh selections over dry kibble. Smalls is the product of owners who were sick of no suitable cat food on the market, and they aimed to change it.

But is Smalls Cat Food a good option for your cat? We thoroughly investigated the company and reviewed its top-of-the-line products. We have to say, it should definitely be among the options you consider. Let’s expand on that—keep reading for all the details.

At a Glance: The Best Smalls Cat Food Recipes:

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Bird Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Bird
  • Ideal maintenance diet
  • Improves skin and coat
  • Excellent texture and flavor
  • Second place
    Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Cow Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Cow
  • Light but aromatic
  • Hearty protein and green veggies
  • Terrific for dental issues, kittens, and seniors
  • Third place
    Smalls Human-Grade Freeze-Dried Other Bird Smalls Human-Grade Freeze-Dried Other Bird
  • Short ingredients list
  • All benefits of a raw food diet
  • Much better than standard kibble
  • Unlike most cat foods, Smalls uses subscription boxes instead of individual ordering. You will start out by getting a sampler box, and then you can customize your subscription box with your cat’s favorite recipes.

    Once you put in all your cat’s information, you can get the sampler box that works best for you and go from there. This customization process is why we aren’t recommending specific Smalls recipes here—instead, your cat will have their very own custom-made chow.

    Smalls Cat Food Reviewed

    Smalls human grade fresh food bowl with kitten

    Smalls is strictly a cat food company specializing in the unique nutrition of felines everywhere. So, what sets Smalls apart from the rest and how did they get here? Let’s get to know this company a little better.

    Who Makes Smalls Cat Food And Where Is It Produced?

    In 2017, lifelong friends Matt Michaelson and Calvin Bohn started Smalls. Since then, the company has grown substantially with the help of veterinary nutritionists. They’re all about not cutting corners and only selecting wholesome, locally sourced ingredients.

    All Smalls recipes are sourced and made right in the United States and Canada.

    Which Types of Cats Is Smalls Best Suited For?

    Virtually any cat can benefit from the recipes Smalls has to offer. These recipes are tailored to meet the nutritional needs of felines based on the individual, which is what makes the company so unique.

    When you put in your cat’s details, it will populate the right recipe for you. If your cat has health issues that require extremely specific dietary restrictions, please check with your vet before switching to Smalls.

    Smalls food for cats

    Which Types of Cats Might Do Better with a Different Brand?

    We think that Smalls will work for most healthy cats. However, if your vet believes that Smalls isn’t right for them, based on unique health conditions, we recommend you ask your vet for a good food option to tackle your kitty’s biggest health issues. Or you could even try your hand at crafting your own homemade recipes at home under the guidance of your veterinarian, if that’s recommended.

    If you want something a little cheaper but still quality, try out FreshPet.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    Smalls prides itself on providing the healthiest ingredients possible for all recipes. They avoid using fillers, artificial flavors and dyes, and high heat during production. Instead, you have a product that is whipped up fresh and frozen to maintain nutrient effectiveness and flavor.

    Protein is always the number one ingredient in Smalls recipes. Unlike many commercial foods, you can see the meat in the food, whether it is ground or smooth. It also contains organs like the liver and heart.

    smalls cat food in plastic container

    Protein sources in Smalls fresh cat food include:
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Beef
    Protein sources in Smalls freeze-dried cat food include:
    • Chicken
    • Turkey
    • Duck

    smalls cat enjoying freeze dried raw food

    Fruits and veggies are just as important in composition, and Smalls offers real plant material in its recipes. Rather than getting unrecognizable portions, you can actually see these components.

    Fruit and vegetable sources in Smalls fresh cat food include:
    • Green beans
    • Peas
    • Kale
    • Spinach
    Fruit and vegetable sources in Smalls freeze-dried raw cat food include:
    • None

    Of course, we just listed the most important ingredients. Smalls also puts tons of necessary vitamins and minerals into their foods.

    Other useful ingredients in Smalls cat food include:
    • Herring oil
    • Goat’s milk
    • Egg
    • Eggshell membrane
    • Custom supplement mix

    All recipes are gently cooked, meaning they do not undergo hot heat during processing.

    What to Expect When You Order

    The ordering process for Smalls is a cinch. When you hop onto the website, the menu easily navigates you to the cat food selections, where you can choose from their fresh or freeze-dried meal options.

    Once you find a recipe that sounds like a winning ticket, you start the process of filling in all the details. Smalls will ask you much-needed details about your cat so they can tailor a diet specifically for your feline.

    When you receive your box of Smalls cat food, it comes nicely packaged with bubble packing and dry ice. All fresh dinners are completely frozen to avoid spoiling. Freeze-dried contents are on top.

    The box comes with an informational pamphlet explaining Smalls and telling you how to serve your cat best. With fresh food, Smalls sends a plastic container with a silicone top that seals up the leftovers if you don’t use it all at one—perfect for storage.

    Frozen fresh food comes in plastic wrap, cow meals come in a tube, and freeze-dried food comes in resealable pouches. You must allow all fresh food to thaw for 24 hours before serving.

    Variety of Subscription Boxes

    Smalls has highly customizable subscription boxes that you can specially tailor as you wish. You start out with a sampler so that your cat can try out all the flavors Smalls has to offer before making your next purchase. The trial box is 50% off the actual price, just to make your investment worth it.

    After you offer all these recipes to your cat, you can choose their favorites when you reorder. You can set a schedule for delivery that works for you with as many products as you want to fit your budget.

    You can change, pause, or cancel your subscription anytime with their Cat Concierge team.

    Lack of Appropriate Customer Service

    Even though Smalls products are fantastic, they have some work to do in the customer service department. Many complaints about the brand come from limited communication with the company. They offer a phone number on the website, but it isn’t a traditional customer service line.

    When you call, they explain that Smalls does not offer phone support, requesting that you text them with all inquiries. You can also email. While most of your concerns may be addressed this way, some issues require person-to-person voice conversation.

    It can prove really challenging to make corrections or changes to your order with limited communication.

    A Quick Look at Smalls Cat Food

    • Human-grade ingredients
    • Terrific protein sources
    • All-natural protein
    • Gently cooked
    • No preservatives
    • Poor customer service options

    Recall History

    Smalls has undergone two recalls on their products.

    June 2021

    Cause: Potentially spoiled food

    Affected Products:

    • Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Bird Chicken Recipe (lot numbers 21109-21136)
    • Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Bird Chicken Recipe (lot numbers 21109-21136)
    • Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Other Bird Turkey Recipe (lot numbers 21109-21136)
    • Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Other Bird Turkey Recipe (lot numbers 21109-21136)
    March 2019

    Cause: Possible inconsistencies

    Affected Products:

    • Diamond Dust

    The 3 Best Smalls Cat Food Recipes – Reviews

    1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Bird

    Smalls fresh ground chicken

    The Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Bird Recipe is a poultry-focused meal, offering thigh, breast, and liver chicken parts. This protein delight gives a clean protein experience to your cat, with textures they can’t say no to.

    To serve the product, you must let the package thaw for 24 hours before serving. Make sure that it is unfrozen all the way through to avoid ice chunks and hard spots in the meal. Smalls makes it easy to appropriately measure out the contents and even gives you a dish with a sealable silicone lid for storage.

    The guaranteed analysis of this product is 21.2% crude protein, 8.05% crude fat, 0.4% crude fiber, 66.1% moisture, and 2.25% ash. It contains healthy veggies like kale that improve skin and coat—being one of the most nutritional greens of all time.

    If you’re looking for an everyday recipe that serves the purpose of health maintenance, this is an excellent choice. However, if your cat needs a specialized diet, they might find another option more beneficial instead. Always check with your vet before switching.

    • Ideal maintenance diet
    • Improves skin and coat
    • Excellent texture and flavor
    • Will not work for all specialized diets

    2. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Cow

    Smalls fresh ground beef cow

    Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Cow Recipe is full of hearty protein with a light flavor your cat will love. The smooth texture works amazingly well for cats of any age—but it can also be extra beneficial to seniors, kittens, or any cat with dental issues. It’s incredibly soft and easy to chew.

    This food comes in a tube that you thaw for 24 hours before serving. It has measurement marks on the side so you can see what portions of food to offer your cat. It’s easy to cut open, if you wish, you appropriately dish out the contents.

    The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 21.6% crude protein, 8.3% crude fat, 0.5% crude fiber, 66.3% moisture, and 1.9% ash. It has tons of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals from ingredients like green beans, peas, and spinach. It contains 90% lean beef, liver, and heart also for top-notch protein.

    If your cat is the type that prefers chunky food to smooth, you might want to try the ground version instead. But it could be trial and error to figure that out.

    • Terrific for dental issues, kittens, and seniors
    • Light but aromatic
    • Hearty protein and green veggies
    • Your cat might prefer the chunky version instead

    3. Smalls Human-Grade Freeze-Dried Other Bird

    Smalls Fresh Cat Food Freeze Dried with cute kitten

    Smalls Human-Grade Freeze-Dried Other Bird is a raw-based diet that is a terrific alternative to dry kibble. Instead of processed pieces, the raw meat has been dehydrated for preservation rather than cooked on high heat.

    This product is incredibly lightweight, the individual pieces are nearly weightless—comparable to a Cheerio. Cats might be a little unfamiliar with this concept, as it barely has a smell. We had best results when we mixed the fresh and freeze-dried food together.

    The guaranteed analysis of this product contains 49% crude protein, 17% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 8% moisture. It’s made of finely ground turkey meat, bone, heart, liver, and gizzard. The ingredients list is concise, so you can easily scour to see if each one is compatible.

    Even though this is an exceptional amount better than dry kibble, it still isn’t as fabulous as fresh food.

    • All benefits of a raw food diet
    • Much better than standard kibble
    • Short ingredients list
    • Still not as good as fresh food

    What Other Users Are Saying

    Smalls probably sounds pretty great, but how can you be sure it’s worth it? We think the best way to tell is to see what real-life users have to say about it.

    Here are a few things we learned when we scoured the net for Smalls customer reviews.
    • Smalls did an exceptional job at getting many cats to a healthy weight
    • Customers noticed a huge improvement in their skin and coat
    • Many said their cats seem much more satisfied after meals
    • Vets have recommended this natural fresh food to cat owners


    Smalls has some solid selling points if you’re considering fresh cat food. Even though they are still relatively new, they have a feline’s best interest at heart, trying to create diets with essential ingredients like whole protein, organ meat, and veggies with high nutrient content.

    Plus, we think you’ll love the convenience of the product coming straight to your door. Don’t forget, since this is a recurring subscription-based food, Smalls offers the first trial for free.

    Featured image credit: Smalls.com

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