Have you come across the latest trend in cat nutrition – freeze-dried foods? Many experts now believe that these are the best way to give your kitty a complete and balanced diet. They are very close to what a cat would eat in the wild. The products are predominantly made out of meat and that meat is not processed or heat-treated. All of the nutrients are left intact. Freeze-dried cat food is also great for your pocket. They have a long shelf-life and there is very little waste because cats love them!
Now all you have to do is choose the best freeze-dried cat food for your kitty. To help you out, we’ve prepared a quick guide on how you should make your choice.
The Best Freeze Dried Cat Food
The Stella Chewy morsels provide the best raw food nutrition that is minimally processed to preserve all the nutrients that nature can provide. The freeze dried recipe is built around the primary ingredients of salmon and cod which make up 98% of the food. The wild-caught fish is used in its entirety so even the bones and organs are included. This matches the nutritional profile of the raw cat food your kitty would have in the wild.
The full range of vitamins and minerals (including taurine for a healthy heart) promote overall health. Probiotics are added to promote gut health and efficient digestion. The recipe contains no hormones or antibiotics and is grain-free.
Calorie Content: 4,460 Kcals/kg, 126 Kcals/ounce
Crude protein: 45.0%
Crude fat: 28%
Crude fiber: 5%
Maximum moisture: 5%
First three ingredients: Salmon with Ground Bone, Cod with Ground Bone, Cod Liver Oil
- BrandStella and Jewy’s
- Weight8.8 ounces
This freeze-dried cat food comprises a full 93% turkey (including the organs and bone). The turkey used in this raw food recipe has been raised without the use of hormones and antibiotics and therefore is the best option to mimic the diet of cat foods in the wild. It is suitable for all life stages and gives a balanced meal for your kitty.
It’s also packed with fresh fruits and vegetables which provide a completely natural source of vitamins and minerals. There is no corn, wheat or soy which could trigger allergies.
Calorie Content: 148 per ounce
Crude protein: 57%
Crude fat: 23%
Crude fiber: 2%
Maximum moisture: 3 %
With Organic Cranberries, Organic Blueberries
First three ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts
- BrandPrimal Pet Foods
- Weight14.4 ounces
Packed with protein and natural goodness, this freeze-dried cat food is soft and easy to chew and can be added directly to your cat’s food without cooking or preparation. All of the natural goodness is frozen inside. The raw meat content is rabbit which has been responsibly farmed. Both meat and organs are included so no nutritional value is lost.
Cat’s can’t resist the flavor thanks to the pork and pork liver in the ingredients list. Healthy fresh fruit and vegetables, including broccoli and blueberries, provide a natural source of vitamins and minerals. There are no by-product meals or artificial additives.
Calorie Content: 4,352 kcal/kg, 244 kcal/cup
Crude protein: 36%
Crude fat: 26%
Crude fiber: 15%
Maximum moisture: 6%
With dried kelp and broccoli
First three ingredients: Rabbit (including Ground Rabbit Bone), Pork, Pork Liver
- Weight6.4 ounces
Ideal for cats that have allergies, this is a single ingredient freeze-dried food that is made from delicious Wild Alaskan salmon. It delivers natural anti-inflammatories which are highly beneficial for joints. You can be confident that this cat food is completely natural – there are no artificial colors, preservatives or fillers.
Cats find the freeze-dried nuggets delicious and they can be used as a treat or they can be added to other food as a highly nutritious topper. This raw cat food is low in calories and carbohydrates so it is useful as part of a weight-management diet for cats that have problems with obesity. Then natural fish oils will make sure that your kitty’s coat is shiny and gorgeous!
Crude protein: 84%
Crude fat: 5%
Crude fiber: 1%
Maximum moisture: 4%
With natural fish oils
First three ingredients: Deboned turkey, chicken meal, salmon meal
- BrandCat Man Doo
- Weight4.8 ounces
This is the simplest freeze-dried cat food that you can buy. There is only one ingredients, Sockeye Salmon, which has been wild caught and matches perfectly what cats would choose to eat in the wild. It may only be one ingredient but it is able to provide excellent nutrition and is packed with essential amino acids.
As a raw food, it delivers the best quality arginine, leucine, lysine and many more essential protein elements. It is also rich in omega oils and cats find it utterly delicious!
Calorie Content: 5000 kcal/kg
Crude protein: 63.71%
Crude fat: 33.43%
Crude fiber: 0.41%
Maximum moisture: 3.83%
With salmon essential amino acids
First three ingredients: Wild Pacific Sock Eye Salmon
- BrandZesty Paws
- Weight4.4 ounces
Simplicity is the key with this freeze-dried cat food which consists entirely of chicken and nothing else! The high quality animal protein supports healthy muscle development and keeps the skin in top condition. It’s low in calories so you can use the frozen cat food as part of a weight management diet. There are no carbohydrate fillers to cause obesity.
It’s minimally processed to retain goodness and has been produced in accordance with human grade food standards. Owners of cats with allergies like to use this freeze-dried cat food as a topper or as a tasty treat. It can be served dried or rehydrated so just choose which your cat likes best.
Calorie Content: 6200 kcal/kg, 176 kcal/ounce
Crude protein: 80%
Crude fat: 16%
Crude fiber: 1%
Maximum moisture: 4%
First three ingredients: chicken
- BrandWhole Life Pet Products
- Weight4.8 ounces
The recipe of this freeze-dried cat food replicates the diet of a wild cat as it includes both chicken muscle (meat) and organ meat. You’ll find no antibiotics or hormones and no artificial colors. The chicken has been formed into bite sized nibble and freeze dried so all you have to do is pour it from the packet. There is even natural ground bone.
Because there are no added fruits and vegetables in this food, you can be sure that it is the best food for your own kitty carnivore!
Calorie Content: 3807 kcal/kg or 134 kcal/ounce
Crude protein: 45%
Crude fat: 15%
Crude fiber: 5%
Maximum moisture: 5%
With muscle and organ meat
First three ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Necks, Chicken Hearts
- BrandNorthwest Naturals
- Weight7.8 ounces
Here we have a true non-thermal freeze-dried cat food that has never been heated to above 118 degrees F during processing. This ensures that the majority of nutritional fatty acids remain intact. The primary ingredient is chicken; many parts of the chicken carcass have been included. This is to copy what your cat would be eating in the wild.
Added to the chicken, there are small quantities of micro-nutrients to support overall health. These include Lactobacillus for a healthy digestion and broccoli and carrots to provide the best antioxidants for immunity.
Crude protein: 44 %
Crude fat: 36%
Crude fiber: 0.5%
Maximum moisture: 4%
First three ingredients: chicken, chicken organs, ground chicken bone
- Weight8 ounces
The majority of this freeze-dried cat food is made up of meat and organs to mirror the diet of cats in the wild. It is very high in meat content but has hardly any carbohydrate and no grains at all. There are also no dairy products or artificial additives and preservatives.
The meat used in the freeze-dried cat food recipe is obtained from grass-fed and free range animals to maximise the nutritional quality of the meat. It can be used as a complete meal or as a food topper.
Calorie Content: 355 calories/100 g
Crude protein: 48 %
Crude fat: 31%
Crude fiber: 1%
With vitamins and minerals
First three ingredients: Chicken, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney
- BrandFeline Natural
- Weight11.4 ounces
Best Freeze Dried Cat Food Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Consider When Buying Freeze Dried Cat Food
There are several brands supplying frozen raw cat food. They all contain some sort of raw meat but in other ways they are quite different. To help you choose which freeze-dried cat food would suit you and your cat best, here's a summary of what you should consider.
- Ingredients list: The primary ingredient of freeze-dried foods should be raw meat or fish. Cat foods do not need to have a lot of carbohydrate because cats are carnivores and best on a meat-based diet. There may be some fruits and vegetables in the recipe but these must only be there to provide additional natural vitamins and minerals. Cheap fillers are best avoided.
- Artificial additives: There should be no need for artificial additives in a freeze-dried recipe. All of the ingredients should come from the best natural sources.
- Method of production: You may want to carry out some research to find out how the raw cat foods were produced. Has there been a process to remove pathogens? There should be some information on the label about this.
- How to use the food: Products that have large calorific values are best used as toppers or treats for your cat. Others are used as the main diet. Make sure that you can spot the difference and read the label carefully. If you give your cat too many calories, they can become obese.
Benefits of Feeding Your Kitty Freeze Dried Cat Food
You may think that freeze-dried food for cats is a new development in the pet food world but cats have, in fact, been eating this type of food ever since they evolved. Cats in the wild catch prey and eat it raw and whole. There is no processing and no treatments and they often eat the whole carcass including organs, bones, and connective tissue. Freeze-dried feline food is therefore simply imitating nature. Because it is based on a cat's natural diet, freeze-dried food has a number of benefits for your kitty.
The first benefit is that your cat will love the taste of these cat foods. The proteins in the meat content are raw and therefore have more flavor. The natural flavors are locked in and highly appealing to your pet.
A second benefit is that raw food has no artificial additives. It needs no artificial preservatives because the moisture has been removed. There is no need for artificial flavors because it tastes so great and natural food needs no artificial colors. As a cat owner, you can be confident that your furry friend is avoiding artificial chemicals that could trigger health issues.
If you like the idea of your cat having a purely carnivorous diet, this food will appeal for you. There are many freeze-dried products that contain only meat and nothing else. This stops you from having to worry which grains or plants you should avoid - there will be none at all!
Allergies in cats can often be triggered by meat by-product meals (which are highly processed) and grains. Raw food that has been freeze-dried usually contain none of these. They will therefore probably be suitable for cats with allergies. However, if you are in any doubt, it is always best to check with your vet.
Freeze-dried raw foods usually have an excellent shelf-life which cuts down on waste and makes them a cost-effective option. Bacteria, molds and other micro-organisms cannot grow because there is so little available water.
You will notice the final benefit once you come to clean out the litter tray! For a cat, raw food is highly digestible. This is what their intestines are designed to break down and they do it very well! Your cat's body will absorb most of the food and will therefore not poop so often!
Freeze-Dried vs. Dehydrated Cat Food
It is important to note that freeze-dried food is not the same as dehydrated kibble. Both foods have good shelf lives because they contain little moisture but the water content of the raw food has been removed in very different ways.
Dehydrated food, has had the water removed by heat. As the raw food warms up, the water evaporates and only the dry elements of the food are left behind. Foods that have been freeze-dried, however, are first frozen and then have moisture removed using very low pressure or a vacuum.
The process takes longer but is much better at conserving the nutrients within the food because many of them are denatured by heat. It also maintains texture and taste which cats find appealing.
Best Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food Brands
There are several brands that offer freeze-dried food but some stand out from the crowd. In particular, there are some smaller companies that have led the way with innovative processes and which are committed to providing an exceptionally high quality product. One notable example is Stella & Chewy’s who provide a line of single serving freeze-dried food in pouches or in a larger re-sealable bag.
Primal Pet Foods add organic vegetables and natural sources of vitamins to their products. These companies make a great effort to ensure that their raw product is safe for cats and for their owners.
Best Freeze Dried Cat Food FAQ:
Q: Is freeze dried cat food healthy?
A: In terms of health benefits, freeze-dried food has a lot going for it. It is a naturally balanced food because it often includes many parts of the animal carcass. The organs and bones contain special nutrients that are good for your cat's overall health.
It is also the unprocessed option and has not been heat treated. Any nutrients that would have been denatured by heat are still present. Freeze-dried food comes very close to a wild cat's diet and is therefore the healthy option. Some freeze-dried products are designed to be used as complete meals but others are toppers or treats.
Q: Do I have to add water to freeze dried cat food?
A: Some foods are designed to be eaten straight from the packet. Others need to have cold water or warm water added to them to make them more palatable. Check the manufacturer's instructions for your particular product.
Don't forget that the moisture has been removed from freeze-dried products so your cat will be getting very little water from their food. You must ensure that they have plenty of fresh water available as well as the food.
Q: Can cats eat freeze dried chicken?
A: Yes, a lot of products are based on freeze-dried chicken and contain little else. Chicken is an excellent source of high-quality protein for cats. It is important to remember that freeze-dried products are raw products. You must exercise good hygiene when you are handling them. Always wash your hands after feeding your cat or cleaning out the litter tray.
Our Top Pick
Our top pick of the best freeze-dried cat food is the delicious Stella Chewy morsels. They are minimally processed and therefore retain vitamin and mineral content from the raw ingredients. The primary ingredients are salmon and cod which make up 98% of the food. The fish is caught in the wild and the bones and organs are included so it is just like the diet of a wild cat.
The full range of vitamins and minerals (including taurine for a healthy heart) promote overall health. Probiotics are added to promote gut health and efficient digestion. The formula contains no hormones or antibiotics and is grain-free.