Freeze Dried Food For Cats

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If you want to make sure your cat always gets the right amount of nutrition, you can use freeze dried food for cats!

Cats are picky eaters. They are predators. This means that when it comes to food, cats are always on the hunt for variety and flavor.

Furthermore, cats are small animals, so they don’t need a lot of food to survive. This is just another reason why a balanced diet is so important.

Freeze Dried Food For Cats

cat with food bowl

Giving your kitties the best in life is something every cat parent strives for—and making the switch to a more health-conscious diet is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your feline companions are well-nourished, strong, and happy.

Freeze-dried cat food is an excellent option for cat parents looking to provide a well-balanced diet that their cats will enjoy eating. 

Although it might sound fancy or complicated, freeze-dried cat food is quite simply a blend of meats and veggies that has gone through a freezing and drying process that sucks all of the moisture out of it.

Not only does this multi-step process allow for the safe and extended storage of fresh ingredients, it also makes it easy for pet parents to provide all-natural (and usually raw) cuts of meat and organs without any filler or preservatives—all you have to do is add a bit of water to rehydrate the shelf-stable formula. Freeze-dried cat food differs from frozen raw cat food, which is stored in the freezer and needs to be thawed before serving.

What’s more, most freeze-dried brands on the market are made with indulgent ingredients, like lamb, salmon, and even mussels and rabbit, that will make any cat feel like royalty while also benefiting their overall health and digestion in ways that kibble and most wet food simply cannot.

Best Overall Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Our pick: Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Smalls Freeze Dried Food
FlavorChickenTurkeyDuck
Life StageAllAllAll
FormFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze dried
Protein (Ingredients)Finely ground chicken with bone, chicken heart, chicken liver, chicken gizzard, chicken egg, goat’s milkFinely ground turkey with bone, turkey heart, turkey liver, turkey gizzard, goat’s milk, turkey eggFinely ground duck with bone, duck heart, duck liver, duck gizzard, duck egg, duck blood, goat’s milk
Protein Analysis45% min49% min45% min
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYes

Switching from wet food or dried kibble to a freeze-dried raw diet may be an adjustment for your cat, but Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food makes it a much easier experience all around thanks to their smaller sized packaging and an affordable price tag. You can start with a sampler box that features multiple flavors. That way you can see which ones stick without having to commit to a large amount of food that your kitties might not gravitate toward. Plus, if your cat doesn’t eat the food, the company will refund you!

Highlights

  • Convenient small sizes allow pet parents to test out flavors before investing in a large batch
  • Features USDA-certified, humanely-harvested, sustainably-sourced ingredients
  • Comes already broken up into bite-sized niblets
  • Risk-free guarantee

Things to Consider

  • Only available via subscription service
  • They only offer three freeze-dried recipes so far: turkey, chicken, and duck. However, they also sell human-grade fresh food, which comes in five flavors 

Sample buyer review: “Our cat loves Smalls so much that he basically sings Opera when it’s time to eat and he’s lost a little bit of his chonk for his previous food and is overall so spritely and happy and healthy!”

Our pick: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels

Stella & Chewy's Dinner Morsels

Buy at AmazonBuy at Only Natural Pet

FlavorRabbitDuck and GooseTurkeySalmon and CodSalmon and ChickenChicken
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
FormFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze dried
Protein (Ingredients)Rabbit with ground bone, rabbit liverDuck and turkey with ground bone, turkey liver, goose, turkey gizzard Turkey with ground bone, turkey liver, turkey gizzardSalmon and cod with ground boneSalmon and chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken gizzardChicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken gizzard
Protein Analysis44% min40% min40% min45% min45% min45% min
Calories131 kcal/oz.149 kcal/oz.208 kcal/oz.126 kcal/oz.125 kcal/oz.182 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYesYes

Looking for a well-rounded freeze-dried cat food that’s both natural and easy to serve come dinner time? Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels comes recommended by Dr. Ushi. “It’s easy to notice Stella & Chewy’s food is made with premium ingredients and most cats love it,” shares Dr. Ushi. Aside from rabbit, the food comes in a wide variety of flavors, including chicken, duck, salmon and chicken, salmon and cod, and turkey recipes. 

Highlights

  • Features raw farm-raised rabbit
  • Made with 98 percent rabbit, nutrient-rich organs, and bone
  • Convenient to prepare and serve
  • Does not contain peas, lentils, or potatoes
  • No added hormones or antibiotics
  • Fortified with vitamins and minerals and added probiotics

Things to Consider

  • Certain cats might not warm to the natural formula right away
  • Some reviewers find it to have an overpowering smell
  • One of the more expensive brands on the market

Sample buyer review: “My kitten loves this food. I let it rehydrate in some water for a few minutes and she gobbles it up. I would recommend breaking up the pieces if you have a young kitten and it’s too big for them to chew.”

Our pick: Feline Natural Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Feline Natural Freeze-Dried Food

Buy at AmazonBuy at Only Natural Pet

FlavorLamb and SalmonBeef and HokiChicken and Lamb
Life StageAll All All 
FormFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze dried
Protein (Ingredients)Lamb heart, salmon, lamb kidney, lamb liver, lamb blood, New Zealand green musselBeef heart, hoki, beef, beef kidney, beef liver, beef blood, New Zealand green musselChicken, lamb heart, lamb kidney, lamb liver, lamb blood, New Zealand green mussel
Protein Analysis44% min47% min48% min
Calories239 kcal/cup205 kcal/cup185 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYes

New Zealand-based Feline Natural is made with both sustainability and health at the forefront. Their recipes feature sustainably-caught and free-range ingredients, like New Zealand green lipped mussels and grass-fed lamb, to ensure both a great taste that your cats will instantly warm to and an eco-friendly approach to store-bought cat food.

Highlights

  • Consists of grass-fed, free-range meat and sustainably-caught fish
  • 99 percent meat and organs
  • Made without legumes, grain-based fillers, or GMO ingredients
  • Easy to prepare and serve, either as a complete meal or sprinkled on your cat’s food as a topper

Things to Consider

  • Considered to be one of the more expensive brands on the market
  • Some reviewers find it to be too powdery
  • Only comes in three flavors: lamb and king salmon, beef and hoki, or chicken and lamb

Sample buyer review: “Feline Natural Feast Freeze-Dried Cat Food is a winner at our house. I use it mixed with dry food for between meals, or as a meal on it’s own and sometimes add a bit of warm water to rehydrate and create a juice. The cats enjoy it however it’s served!”

Our pick: Instinct Raw Meals Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Instinct Raw Meals
FlavorChickenChicken
Life StageAdultKitten
FormFreeze driedFreeze dried
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken heartChicken with ground bone, beef liver, beef spleen, beef kidney, cod
Protein Analysis38% min39%
Calories197 kcal/cup196 kcal/cup
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYes

Crafted from a mix of 85 percent protein and 15 percent stomach-friendly veggies, the Instinct Raw Meals freeze-dried cat food was designed to help cats of all ages achieve leaner muscle, stronger bones, and healthier fur—while also being easy on digestion. In fact, the unique combination of ingredients is even said to make their visits to the litter box much less smelly.

Highlights

  • Small enough for most cats to chew without needing to be broken into smaller pieces
  • The stomach-friendly formula is made with meat, organs, and non-GMO fruits and veggies
  • No grain, corn, wheat, soy,  legumes, artificial colors or preservatives 
  • Relatively inexpensive compared to other brands of the same quality

Things to Consider

  • Some reviewers wish there was more meat as opposed to fruits and veggies
  • Only comes in the cage-free chicken recipe

Sample buyer review: “My kittens have now learned how to pull out the cloth bin I keep these in, reach in, claw out the bag, tear it open, and eat the whole thing. They go absolutely bananas for this stuff. I use this as a treat to supplement their diet. It had the side effect of making their poop smell a lot better too so I will keep it in their diet. My 12 year old girl is also becoming picky and she likes these too.”

Our pick: Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets for Cats

Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets

Buy at AmazonBuy at Only Natural Pet

FlavorTurkeyChicken and SalmonPorkVenisonBeef and SalmonRabbitDuck
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
FormFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze dried
Protein (Ingredients)Turkey with ground bone, turkey liversChicken with ground bone, chicken livers, salmonPork hearts, ground pork bones, pork livers Venison, venison hearts, ground venison bones, venison liversBeef hearts, ground beef bones, beef livers, salmon Rabbit with ground bone, rabbit liversDuck with ground bone, duck livers
Protein Analysis48% min49% min48% min54% min36% min57% min33% min
Calories123 kcal/oz205 kcal/cup128 kcal/oz125 kcal/oz138 kcal/oz111 kcal/oz126 kcal/oz
Meets AAFCO Standards?YesYesYesYesYesYesYes

Made in the USA using hormone-free meat, organs, and freshly ground bone, Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets come as an excellent option for pet parents concerned about their cats getting enough protein and calcium. The convenient nugget shape is made to be pressed and broken into bite-size pieces, which ends up looking and tasting very similar to traditional wet food—a huge plus for picky or older cats.

Highlights

  • Nugget shape makes it easy to portion
  • Crafted entirely in the USA using sustainably-sourced ingredients
  • Available in multiple formulas, including turkey, chicken and salmon, rabbit, beef and salmon, and duck
  • Free of grain, gluten, corn, wheat and soy
  • Consists of 93% meat, organs, and bones, 7% produce and supplements
  • Very affordable compared to similar brands 

Things to Consider

  • Will need to be manually broken into bite-sized pieces

Sample buyer review: “My cat loves this flavor, and because of its denser texture I’m able to cut it up to use as treats for him. Much healthier than feeding him treats that include potato or corn.”

Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treat

Our pick: PureBites Freeze Dried Cat Treats

PureBites
FlavorBeef LiverChicken and DuckChicken and LambMinnowOcean WhitefishTunaTurkey
Life StageAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdultAdult
FormFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze driedFreeze dried
Protein (Ingredients)Beef liverChicken breast, duck liverChicken breast, lamb liverMinnowOcean whitefishTunaTurkey
Protein Analysis64% min72% min70% min70% min40% min80% min75% min
Calories3 kcal/treat2 kcal/treat2 kcal/treat1 kcal/treat2 kcal/treat2 kcal/treat2 kcal/treat
Meets AAFCO Standards?Feed as a healthy treatFeed as a healthy treatFeed as a healthy treatFeed as a healthy treatFeed as a healthy treatN/AN/A

Looking to shift your cat’s diet but not sure if they’ll warm to freeze-dried cat food? Consider picking up a couple packages of the PureBites Freeze Dried Cat Treats. Like freeze-dried cat food, these healthy treats offer the same all-natural nutrients without fillers or added sugar and provide a good way to start gauging your cat’s interest in a more natural food. Start by using it as a treat replacement or sprinkling it on top of their usual kibble or wet food.

Highlights

  • Great for easing your cats into a freeze-dried diet
  • Made with one ingredient: USA-raised chicken breast
  • Completely free of preservatives and unnecessary filler
  • High in protein and on average only 2 calories per treat
  • Available in other flavors, including salmon, chicken, shrimp, and tuna

Things to Consider

  • Treats can be quite crumbled due to the thin packaging

Sample buyer review: “Our cat is a little overweight but we still wanted to give her treats. These treats are the best choice as they’re natural, low fat and easy to break into smaller pieces to control portion sizes. The best thing is that our cat loves them!”

Our pick: Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers
FlavorSkin & Coat HealthDigestive Health
Life StageAdultAdult
FormFreeze driedFreeze dried
Protein (Ingredients)Chicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken heart, codChicken with ground bone, chicken liver, chicken heart
Protein Analysis36% min36%
Calories19 kcal/tablespoon18 kcal/tablespoon
Meets AAFCO Standards?Intermittent or supplemental feeding onlyIntermittent or supplemental feeding only

These grain-free Raw Boost Mixers from Instinct pull double-duty as a tasty freeze-dried meal topper and a functional food. They have a Digestive Health recipe that is rich in fiber and live natural probiotics to help support a cat’s digestion. Ingredients include chicken, pumpkin, sweet potato, chicory root, and apple cider vinegar. There’s also a Skin & Coat Health recipe packed with omega fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat. Ingredients in this recipe include chicken, cod, flaxseed, salmon oil, chia seeds, and cranberries. These meal enhancements can help entice picky cats to eat and can also be used as a yummy treat.

Highlights

  • Soft and easy to chew 
  • Cage-free chicken is the first ingredient in both recipes
  • Made without grain, corn, wheat, soy, by-product meal, potato, artificial flavors or preservatives
  • Available in 0.75- and 5.5-oz bags

Things to Consider

  • Made in the USA but ingredients are globally sourced
  • This topper is intended for intermittent or supplemental feeding only
  • Reduce the calorie amount of your cat’s current food to avoid overfeeding
  • Serving size will depend on your cat’s weight and may range from 1 tbsp to 3 tbsp per day

Sample buyer review: “Definitely the best solution I have found. Our kitties tend to be a bit picky, they are 11 years old and slightly overweight. They both have some digestive issues also. Adding this to the top of their food twice a day has made their litter box trips regular (I had one kitty that definitely had more than occasional constipation issues). They also have much less frequent upset stomach/vomiting/hairballs.”

Freeze dried cat food benefits

It should really come as no surprise that just as humans do, cats also benefit from eating a healthy diet with organic, non-processed food, which is the perfect reason to change your cat to a freeze-dried diet. According to Dr. Georgina Ushi, medical director at Pet Urgent Care of Wesley Chapel, switching from wet food or dried kibble to a freeze-dried diet is beneficial to almost all cats, at any stage of life.

“Feeding your cat with freeze-dried food is arguably the most nutritional and complete diet you could get for your furry friend, as it’s rich in vitamins, nutrients, and enzymes,” she explains. “Besides, this type of food is extremely convenient for owners as well since it can be stored at room temperature for long periods and it’s easy to take on-the-go.”

Freeze-Dried Cat Food: What to Look For

When you’re shopping for the best freeze-dried cat food, there are certain things you’ll want to check before serving up dinner for your cats. Here are a few key factors to keep an eye on when selecting a new food:

Look for high-quality ingredients: Don’t assume that just because you’re going raw that you don’t have to check the ingredients list for filler products or antibiotics! Look for terms like GMO-free and sustainably sourced—and avoid anything that has unnecessary legumes, corn, or grain.

Consider ease of use: Committing to a freeze-dried diet requires a bit more work than kibble or wet food since you may need to soak it in warm water or broth before serving—but there are certain brands that can also be fed dry or that come broken into small niblets, requiring less prep on your end. 

Check out other pet parents’ reviews: Some formulas and brands work better for different cats. If you’re curious to see how other pet parents have fared while making the switch to freeze-dried food, consider checking out some verified customer reviews.

The 6 Best Frozen and Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food of 2022

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

The 6 Best Frozen and Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food of 2022
The Spruce / Chloe Jeong

If you want your cat to have a dietary experience that mimics feline food hunted in the wild, you might consider serving up raw food in your pet’s dish.

While you can make raw food on your own, if you would rather leave the nutritional requirements1 and sanitization procedures for serving raw foods to the experts, you might consider opting for commercially prepared foods.

Here are the best frozen and freeze-dried raw cat food options.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall:

 Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Yummy Lickin’ Cat Food at Chewy

Best Overall: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Yummy Lickin’ Cat Food

Stella & Chew's Salmon and Chicken Cat food

Courtesy of Amazon

This raw cat food recipe from Stella & Chewy’s mixes two proteins: salmon and chicken. This manufacturer offers other protein options, too. This freeze-dried food includes organs and bones, as well as pumpkin seeds and probiotics, which can be helpful for your cat’s digestion.

You can serve this food as-is or add water to rehydrate it. If you’re rehydrating it, use cool water, not hot. If you use hot water, you will cook the food, which defeats the purpose of serving raw food. Another con of cooking or using heat is that it dries the ground bone in the food, making it brittle. 

Stella & Chewy’s food is made in the United States, does not include grain, gluten, filler, artificial preservatives, or food coloring. Plus, this food seems to taste delicious. Even picky cats scarf it up.

Best Add-In: Instinct Raw Boost Mixers Freeze Dried Cat Food Toppers

Instinct Raw Boost Mixers

Courtesy of Amazon

Add something delightful to your cat’s food dish with this freeze-dried topper. This booster adds some pep to your pet’s meal. You can also give this as an occasional treat.

Rabbit is the main ingredient in this minimally processed topper, and it also includes fruits and vegetables. No grains, artificial colors, or preservatives are included in this food. Cats that are particular about their food or have digestive issues delight in this topper.

Best Treats: Vital Essentials Vital Cat Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Vital Cat Treats

Courtesy of Amazon

If you’re investing in raw food for your cat’s breakfast and dinner, you likely want to continue the trend when offering snacks. Other pet parents might only want to offer raw treats on occasion. Vital Essentials is filled with freeze-dried, wild-caught small minnow fish. 

Cats that gobble up these nutrient-rich treats will get a single source of protein, without any antibiotics, grains, fillers, flavorers, or added hormones. Warning: Your cat may love the taste of these treats so much that they’ll raid your kitty snack drawer.

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

Instinct Frozen Raw Bites

Courtesy of Chewy

This frozen food is made in Nebraska from chicken, organs, and bone. It includes fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and butternut squash. Each bag has five cups of food—all free from fillers, artificial colors, and preservatives. 

This protein-rich raw meal is minimally processed before being frozen. It ships frozen, so put it in the freezer as soon as the package arrives. It thaws within moments so that you can serve it quickly at mealtimes.

Best for Seniors: Feline Natural Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Feline Natural Chicken and Lamb Feast

Courtesy of Chewy

While this isn’t specifically designed for seniors, the manufacturer points out that the formula is appropriate for cats of all ages and stages, including seniors. 

The food is made with chicken, lamb, mussels, flaxseed flakes, vitamins, and supplements. This food has no artificial ingredients, additives, and preservatives. Cats gobble it up in its dry form and when reconstituted with some water.

Best Freeze-Dried: Vital Cat Freeze-Dried Mini Patties

Vital Essentials Freeze-Dried Mini Patties

Courtesy of Amazon

This tasty freeze-dried option is ideal for cats of all ages, breeds, and sizes. These duck patties are made with duck meat, bones, and organs. It’s also available with other foul-based ingredients, such as chicken or turkey. 

All Vital Cat freeze-dried mini patty options contain a single protein source, which is ideal for pets with allergies to particular foods. 

This freeze-dried food is made without any fillers, preservatives, artificial coloring. Each bag comes with 14 patties. Serving this food is simple: add water to crumbled up patties to reconstitute them. 

The 7 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Foods of 2022

The Final Verdict

We think most cats will adore the raw cat food from Stella & Chewy (view at Chewy), as it tastes delicious and is made with two kinds of protein. If you already have a pet food you like but want to add a raw supplement to your cat’s cuisine, we recommend Instinct Raw Boost Mixers .

FOR CATS
FREEZE-DRIED RAW CAT FOOD

The most convenient way to feed your cat a real raw diet! Our freeze-dried cat food options include complete and balanced, grain-free raw diets and delicious toppers to add the power and taste of raw to your cat’s bowl. All of the moisture is removed from the food during the freeze-drying process, making the product shelf-stable and easy to feed! All of our recipes are made in the USA with the world’s finest and safest ingredients.

BROWSE ALL FREEZE-DRIED RAW RECIPES

DINNER MORSELS

Dinner Morsels

MORSELS FORMULATED TO MIRROR A CAT’S ANCESTRAL DIET

  • 98% meat, organs, and bone
  • Responsibly sourced proteins
  • Fortified with added vitamins and minerals
  • Enhanced with probiotics and antioxidants
  • Rich in taurine
  • 100% complete and balanced nutrition for kittens and adult cats

STELLA’S SOLUTIONS

Stella's Solutions

MORSELS WITH PURPOSEFUL INGREDIENTS AT MEANINGFUL LEVELS

  • Serve as a meal or use as a topper
  • Responsibly sourced proteins
  • Purposeful ingredients to support digestion or skin/coat health
  • Safely and effectively support your cat’s overall well-being

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