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Smalls vs Nom Nom: Which Fresh Cat Food is Right for Your Cat? (2023)

Brooke Billingsley

By Brooke Billingsley


Please note: Nom Nom has discontinued their fresh cat food service, and is no longer taking orders. They hope to return to providing fresh food to cats in the future when specific ingredients like quality organ meats that meet their high-quality standards become more readily available. 

We have not altered our comparison below, though we have removed links to Nom Nom’s website, where cat food is no longer available. Instead, we highly recommend Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription Service. Please read on to find out more, or read our extensive review of Smalls here.

Should you be interested in Nom Nom Dog Food, you can read more about it here.


It can be difficult to choose the best food for your cat. Fresh food delivery brands are a rapidly growing subsection of the pet food industry, though, which doesn’t just provide you with a convenient way to get your cat’s food, but also a convenient way to get exceptionally healthy, nutritionally balanced food for your cat. We’ve put together this comparison of two of the top cat food delivery brands, Smalls and Nom Nom, to help you make an educated decision on which brand will work best for your budget and your cat. If you’ve been interested in learning more about fresh pet food delivery options, or you’re having trouble choosing between Smalls and Nom Nom, keep reading for a full comparison of the two.

A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Smalls

Rating Image Product Details
Best Overall
Smalls Human Grade Fresh Cat Food Smalls Human Grade Fresh Cat Food
  • High protein content
  • Added taurine supports heart, eye, and skin health
  • Chicken protein accounts for the first three ingredients
  • Runner-Up
    Second place
    Nom Nom Fresh Cat Food Nom Nom Fresh Cat Food
  • High protein content
  • Carrots and spinach add necessary nutrients
  • Chicken proteins account for first two ingredients
  • It’s a close call between these two great cat food brands, but Smalls comes out on top. Their user-friendly website has thorough nutrition information to help you make the best choices for your cat’s diet. Smalls also offers three wet food diets, three freeze-dried kibble diets, and plenty of add-ons. Even though Smalls comes out on top in this competition, Nom Nom is also a fantastic company that puts out a high-quality product. Let’s talk about what makes Smalls and Nom Nom such great options for fresh food delivery.

    About Smalls

    Smalls food for cats

    Their Mission

    Smalls notes that many things in the pet food industry take precedence over creating healthy food for cats, including creating dog food, following fads, and putting price over quality. They are working toward changing this, though. Smalls aims to set aside large profit margins and marketing gimmicks to create high-quality food that meets all AAFCO guidelines to improve health and increase longevity in cats. They also aim to create as little negative impact on the planet as possible, so all of their shipping materials are either recyclable or biodegradable.

    Their Food

    All of the ingredients that Smalls uses in their food are sustainably sourced, humanely harvested, and USDA certified, so it doesn’t just improve your cat’s health, but it also creates less impact on the planet than most commercial cat foods. They offer multiple recipes and types of food, as well as treats and toppers, ensuring there is something there for every cat.

    smalls cat food in a plastic container

    Their Extras

    When you place an order with Smalls, you have the option to choose items from their add-on section as well. They offer silica cat litter with minimal additives and fragrances, providing great odor control without all the extra junk. You can also purchase chicken broth made specifically for cats, freeze-dried chicken giblet treats, and even crocheted cat toys. Add-ons cannot be easily purchased outside of an order, but the Cat Concierge team may be able to assist you in ordering if you run out of something between food shipments. Details about these items are difficult to access without attempting to place an order.

    • Focuses specifically on food for cats
    • High-quality food is their top goal over profits and fads
    • All foods meet AAFCO guidelines
    • Shipping materials are recyclable or biodegradable
    • Ingredients are sourced via sustainable, humane methods
    • Multiple recipes and food types available
    • Add-ons include treats, toys, and cat litter
    • Add-ons are difficult to purchase between orders
    • Add-on details may not be accessible without placing an order

    About Nom Nom

    nom box

    Their Mission

    Nom Nom focuses on holistic nutrition, which means they take the link between nutrition and health seriously. They look out for the planet by using fully recyclable packaging and, when possible, functioning as a zero-waste facility. They take pride in supporting their local community by hiring people from a diverse background, including those from marginalized groups. Nom Nom is not just working toward becoming a force in the cat food world, though. They also research and have created the world’s largest pet microbiome database in the world.

    Their Food

    Nom Nom uses a team of PhDs, Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists, and Veterinarians to formulate healthy, nutritionally sound food for cats that is based on science and a holistic approach to nutrition. They currently only offer one wet food recipe for cats, but that recipe meets AAFCO guidelines for cat food and is high in protein and grain free. All of their ingredients are sourced from US growers and suppliers.

    Their Extras

    The extras that Nom Nom offers are unique in the world of pet food delivery because they related to their microbiome database and research. They sell a cat-specific probiotic that is designed not just to enhance digestive health, but also to boost your cat’s immune system. They also sell a home microbiome kit that gives you insight into the health of your cat’s beneficial bacteria colonies within 3–6 weeks.

    • Focuses on holistic nutrition
    • Shipping materials are recyclable, and they work to function as a zero-waste company
    • Food meets AAFCO requirements
    • Supports marginalized groups
    • Focuses on microbiome research
    • Sources ingredients from US growers and suppliers
    • Sells a cat-specific probiotic and a home microbiome kit
    • Only offers one recipe and type of cat food at this time
    • Microbiome kit results can take up to 6 weeks to get back

    The 3 Most Popular Smalls Cat Food Recipes

    1. Smalls Human Grade Fresh: Bird

    Smalls human grade fresh food bowl with kitten

    The Smalls Human Grade Fresh: Bird recipe is a grain-free food with chicken thigh, chicken breast, and chicken liver as the first three ingredients. This recipe comes in at 62.5% protein on a dry matter basis, making it higher in protein than most commercial wet foods. It contains other healthy ingredients, like chicken heart, peas, green beans, and kale. It has added taurine, which supports heart, eye, and skin health. It contains just over 1% fiber, and the combination of high protein and low fiber may make it a good option for cats with diabetes.

    This recipe has a fat content of 23.7% on a dry matter basis, which is on the high end of recommended fat allowances for most cats. This means that this recipe may not be a good option for obese cats or those requiring a low-fat diet. However, when fed in proper portions, this food can help with healthy weight loss under the direction of a veterinarian. Chicken is a top allergen for many cats, so this isn’t a good recipe option for cats with chicken allergies.

    • Grain-free food
    • Chicken protein accounts for the first three ingredients
    • 5% protein
    • Peas, green beans, and kale all add necessary nutrients
    • Added taurine supports heart, eye, and skin health
    • May be a good food option for diabetic cats
    • May help with weight loss in some cats under veterinary direction
    • May be too high in fat for some cats
    • Chicken is a common allergen

    2. Smalls Human Grade Fresh: Cow

    smalls fresh beef with logo

    For cats that like beef, the Smalls Human Grade Fresh: Cow recipe is a good pick. It contains 90% lean ground beef and beef liver as the first two ingredients and contains no grains. It also contains spinach, green beans, peas, and beef heart, which all provide additional nutrients. Added taurine means this recipe can support heart, skin, and eye health. This recipe contains 63.7% protein and 1.5% fiber on a dry matter basis, making this a good food option for some diabetic cats.

    Spinach does contain oxalates, which can lead to urinary crystal and bladder stone formation in susceptible cats. This diet is not a good option for cats with kidney disease due to this and the high protein content. Beef is a less common allergen than chicken is, but it is still one of the four most common food allergens for cats, so this may not be a good pick for cats with certain food allergies. On a dry matter basis, this recipe contains 24.5% fat, while the recommended high level of dietary fat for a cat is 24%, so it may not be a good pick for obese cats, although it may assist with weight loss when fed properly under veterinary supervision.

    • Beef protein accounts for the first two ingredients
    • Grain-free food
    • Spinach, green beans, and peas all add necessary nutrients
    • Added taurine supports eye, skin, and heart health
    • 7% protein
    • May be a good food option for diabetic cats
    • May help with weight loss in some cats under veterinary direction
    • Not a good option for cats with urinary or kidney diseases
    • Beef is a common allergen
    • May be too high in fat for some cats

    3. Smalls Human Grade Fresh: Other Bird

    smalls fresh smooth other bird recipe on a bowl

    The Smalls Fresh Other Bird recipe is a great recipe for cats who prefer turkey. This recipe contains 16% protein, 8.5% fat, and 1.5% fiber. Skin-on turkey thigh, turkey liver, green beans, peas, and kale make up the first five ingredients. This recipe also meets AAFCO nutritional profiles for all life stages and contains taurine.

    If your cat doesn’t love chicken or beef, this is a great option. It has plenty of protein and nutrients, plus a reasonable amount of calories. Even better, you can choose between smooth and ground textures to find the perfect meal for your cat!

    • Made with premium turkey
    • Fortified with vitamins and vegetables
    • Contains 16% protein
    • Fresh recipe helps with hydration
    • Lower protein content

    The 1 Most Popular Nom Nom Cat Food Recipe

    1. Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine

    nom nom now cat food fresh chicken

    Currently, Nom Nom only has one cat food recipe, which is the Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine. This wet food is grain-free and has chicken and chicken liver as the first two ingredients. It contains 66.7% protein on a dry matter basis, and it also has carrots, spinach, and added taurine in the ingredients. The vegetables are added to fill nutritional gaps that the other ingredients may not meet on their own. Taurine is added to ensure heart, skin, and eye health.

    This food only has 11.1% fat by dry matter content, so it may be too low in fat to serve as the only diet for a cat. It may be used to assist with weight loss under the supervision of a veterinarian. The fiber content comes in around 3% on a dry matter basis, which may be too high for some diabetic cats, although it may be well suited to most diabetic cats. This food does contain spinach, which contains oxalates, making this a poor option for cats with a history of urinary issues. The spinach in combination with the high protein content makes this a bad food pick for cats with kidney disease.

    • Grain-free food
    • Chicken proteins account for first two ingredients
    • 7% protein
    • Carrots and spinach add necessary nutrients
    • Added taurine supports eye, heart, and skin health
    • May be used to help with weight loss in obese cats under veterinary direction
    • May be too low in fat to serve as the only food source for a cat
    • May not be a good option for diabetic cats
    • Not a good option for cats with kidney or urinary problems

    Recall History of Smalls and Nom Nom

    In July 2021, Nom Nom issued a voluntary recall of their cat food. This was done because their poultry supplier, Tyson Foods, had issued a recall for potential listeria contamination in the chicken. Nom Nom took the step to recall the food in an abundance of caution to protect the safety of cats. There were no deaths or illnesses reported in relation to this recall.

    Smalls has issued two recalls in the past. The first recall was issued in March 2019 on their “Diamond Dust” chicken liver powder, which is not a product they currently carry. This recall was issued due to discrepancies in the nutrition content of this food topper. According to Smalls, this was a supplier-related issue. The second Smalls recall was issued in June 2021 and was issued due to refrigeration issues of specific food lots. Since these foods contain no preservatives and must stay refrigerated, there were concerns that these lots may lead to illnesses in cats. Neither recall had any deaths or illnesses reported in relation to them.

    Brand Smalls vs Nom Nom Comparison


    • Smalls: Whole protein sources account for the first few ingredients in each food recipe. The recipe variety offers regular and novel proteins for different preferences and needs.
    • Nom Nom: Whole chicken proteins account for the first two ingredients in the cat food recipe. It also contains vitamins, minerals, and vegetables to ensure nutritional needs are met.


    • Smalls: The customizable plans that Smalls offers can cost between $1–5 per cat per day. For most cats, you should expect to spend $3–5 per day.
    • Nom Nom: The amount of food you receive is customizable and typically costs $3–5 per cat per day.


    • Smalls: Smalls offers three wet food recipes, three freeze-dried food recipes, three kibble recipes, and treat and broth add-ons.
    • Nom Nom: Nom Nom offers one wet food recipe for cats.

    While providing our feline companions with high-quality food is paramount, selecting the right food and water bowl is equally important. The modern yet practical design of our Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl combines cat-catered features, like whisker-friendly shallow dishes and slight elevation, with a contemporary style aimed at protecting your floors from messy eating and drinking. The NomNom is entirely dishwasher safe and was thoughtfully created with your cat’s health and well-being in mind. 

    tabby cat eating from hepper nom nom grey on counter

    Final Thoughts

    Smalls wins out over Nom Nom because of their more user-friendly website and product selection. Both companies provide AAFCO compliant recipes that support the needs of most adult cats. Both of these companies only sell their products through a membership directly from their websites, so these foods can’t be picked up last minute at the pet store. They have similar monthly costs associated with the food needed for a single cat and both are dedicated to providing sustainable and environmentally friendly products and shipping options. At the end of the day, the nutrient profiles of both Smalls and Nom Nom’s foods are similar and can support most adult cats, and both provide fresh, healthy cat food that is made in US facilities.

    Featured image credit: Smalls.com (Left) and NomNomNow.com (Right)

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