The best freeze-dried cat food is an excellent way to provide your kitties with many of the benefits of a raw diet, without the hassle. Freeze-dried foods are packed full of animal protein, as well as quality minerals and vitamins to give your cats all the amazing nutrition they need.
Many freeze-dried products do require rehydration with water.
What’s more, unlike standard raw foods, you don’t have to deal with the headache of preparing and measuring food yourself. You can simply open up a bag and tip some tasty, freeze-dried morsels into a bowl for your feline friend. Here’s your guide to choosing the best freeze-dried cat food.
Most freeze-dried cat food formula is made with meat, organs, fish oil, and non-GMO fruits and veggies.
There is no grain, corn, wheat, soy, legumes, artificial colors, or preservatives
Best Freeze Dried Food - Our Overall Pick
We rate the Smalls freeze dried food as our overall best freeze dried food pick
It’s a quality subscription service with truly exceptional human-standard ingredients.
Plus, if your cat doesn’t like food, you can get a refund from Smalls. So, it’s one of the smartest ways to to introduce your feline friends to freeze dried food.
The 3 Top Freeze-Dried Cat Foods - Best, Value & Premium
As well as our best overall pick, we picked a varied selection of top freeze-dried cat foods based on their ingredients, nutritional value, and ease of use, among other factors.
Meats included in these types of food include cod, cage-free chicken, ground chicken, chicken heart, turkey, mussels, and chicken liver.
Of all the options available in the market today, these three options stood out as the absolute best the industry has to offer.
1. Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Bird (Best Overall Choice)
Smalls freeze-dried raw cat food is certainly one of the most impressive options on the market. Delivered in handy resealable packages, this food comes in a variety of flavors to suit different kitties, so you’re sure to find something that appeals to your cat.
Plus, it’s delivered on a subscription basis, so you don’t have to worry about restocking when you run out.
Smalls cat food promises everything from better digestion for your cats to better-smelling litter boxes in some cases.
Plus, you get ingredients sourced directly from the USA.
2. Vital Essentials Freeze Dried Cat Treats (Best Value Choice)
With absolutely no additives, grains, or extra chemicals, Vital Essentials gives your cats only the very best from their meals.
You can get freeze-dried chicken breast, giblets, or hearts, as well as tuna, duck liver, rabbit, salmon, and more. The limited-ingredient treats are gluten and grain free, and 100% USA-made, so you know you’re getting home-grown quality.
Suitable for cats at all life stages, this food is absolutely packed with amazing nutrition, and all the protein your cats could hope for.
However, you may find you prefer to use this food as an “add-on” to your cat’s diet, rather than an entire meal.
3. Stella & Chewy's Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels (Best Premium Choice)
One of the highest-rated freeze-dried cat food products on the market, Stella & Chewy’s Absolutely Rabbit dinner morsels are a real treat for your cats.
This product is made only with natural animal protein, and absolutely no added grains or soy. Each “morsel” contains 98% farm-raised rabbit, including organs, bone, taurine, and probiotics for dietary health.
Like our other top picks on this list, the product is made sustainably in the USA and comes in a helpful resealable bag for easy distribution.
You can either serve this food on its own or add it to other meals to give your cat’s food a real boost.
If the three options above aren’t suitable for your kitty, don’t worry. The popularity of the freeze-dried food market means new solutions are emerging all the time.
We also found some other fantastic options worth considering for pet parents.
4. Pet Holistic Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken & Salmon
The perfect alternative to the headache of feeding your cat raw food from scratch, the “Pet Holistic” cat food has everything your feline friend needs.
This high-protein food includes whole chicken and salmon, with no grains or additives, and absolutely no soy or wheat.
The meat is ethically sourced and antibiotic-free, and it’s packed with extra nutrition, like essential fatty acids, enzymes, vitamins, and minerals.
You even get an extra dose of calcium to keep your cat’s teeth and bones as strong as possible.
5. Feline Natural Grain-Free Freeze Dried Cat Food
The Feline Natural Grain-Free cat food is another great pick for those trying to give their kitties the best possible blend of protein and minerals.
Suitable for all life stages, this food comes in various flavors to suit any cat.
High in meat and low in carbs, this food comes with no grains or additive ingredients and includes natural superfoods.
The food meets all AAFCO requirements and is minimally processed, without fillers, GMOs, preservatives, or starch.
You can rest assured this delicious, freeze-dried food will give your cat all the vitamins, minerals, and probiotics they need to thrive.
6. Meow Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food
With a host of delectable flavors to choose from, including chicken and king salmon, duck, and beef, and Hoki, the Meow Freeze-dried cat food is sure to appeal to a range of cats.
This high-quality food combines all of the nutrition and taste of raw food with a freeze-drying process to make sure none of the wholesome nutrition is cooked out.
Ethically and sustainably sourced, the limited-ingredient recipe is high in protein, with over 97% of its contents dedicated to organs, meat, and bones.
There are also added superfoods like Manuka honey and virgin coconut oil to preserve good skin health.
What is Freeze Dried Cat Food?
Freeze-dried cat food isn’t as complex as it sounds. It’s simply raw cat food recipes, usually made with high amounts of animal protein, blended, mixed, and freeze-dried for preservation.
The freeze-drying process sucks out all the moisture without harming the nutritional value of the food.
Freeze-dried cat food is usually a good choice for pet owners who want to serve their kitties raw food, but don’t have the time to make fresh meat meals from scratch.
These recipes make it simpler to provide your pets with all-natural cuts of meat and organs without any preservatives or fillers.
Some freeze-dried foods can be re-hydrated with water, while others are served as-is to provide your kitty with a delightful crunch in each bite.
These recipes are also available in a range of different formats. For instance, some are designed to be full and complete meals, while others are simply toppers or cat treats to enhance your cat’s diet.
Read this next: 16 Best Limited Ingredient Cat Food Picks
How to Choose the Best Freeze-Dried Cat Foods
There are no one-size-fits-all feeding guidelines for the best food for any cat.
You’ll need to think about the dietary requirements of your feline friends, whether they have any specific health issues to consider, and what their preferences are for flavor.
However, some of the most important things you’ll need to look at include:
Cats are obligate carnivores in need of a diet with plenty of animal protein. Most freeze-dried cat foods include animal bones, organs, and meat as their number one ingredient.
In general, you should ensure that at least 90% of the cat food you’re feeding your feline friend from a freeze-dried provider is all meat. However, you can also look at other ingredients too.
Some foods also come with added supplements for things like taurine and Vitamin E, as well as probiotics to improve digestion.
Stay away from any cat foods which include high levels of fillers, additives, preservatives, and grains. Grains and other fillers can often lead to issues with food sensitivities or allergies and don’t provide your furry pal with the extra nutrition they need.
Because freeze-dried cat foods are often made with high-quality animal-based products, they tend to be a little more expensive than most basic cat foods.
The quality of the ingredients, combined with the freeze-drying process, means manufacturers do need to charge a decent amount more.
With this in mind, it’s worth thinking about how much you’re willing to pay for your cat’s food before you start searching.
You can also look into ways of potentially saving money. For instance, a subscription to a cat food service will save you the expense involved in traveling to the store.
Ease of use
One of the biggest benefits of freeze-dried cat foods is they’re much easier to serve to your kitty friends than the average raw diet. You should be able to skip the process of mixing and chopping up meats with this food.
However, there may still be a little work involved on your part.
Some freeze-dried cat foods need to be rehydrated before you serve them to your cat, which means mixing them with a little bit of water and giving the ingredients a few minutes to settle.
You’ll also need to ensure you’re storing the food correctly – in an airtight container.
How to Store Freeze Dried Cat Food
Knowing how to store freeze-dried cat food is important because it will determine how long your recipes will last. Most of the best products on the market come with instructions on how to store them correctly.
Some will simply require you to reseal the bag and place it in an area outside of direct sunlight. Others may need to be kept in the fridge or freezer.
Usually, it will be important to keep your freeze-dried cat food away from any moisture. One of the benefits of freeze-drying is it removes moisture from the food so it’s less likely to grow bacteria.
If the food gets wet, it will no longer be protected from germs.
Follow the instructions provided by your freeze-dried cat food manufacturer carefully. Make sure you keep an eye on the food as you serve it. If anything seems off, like the color or smell, you may need to reach out to the company to determine whether it’s still safe to feed to your cat.
How long can freeze-dried cat food last?
Freeze-dried cat food can usually last up to 30 days after opening. However, the lifespan of your specific food will depend on the manufacturer you choose, and how well you store the product. Keep an eye on the “best before” dates on your packaging.
How do you feed cats freeze-dried food?
The way you serve freeze-dried cat food to your kitties will depend on the type of food you get. Some can be simply tipped into a bowl or added to existing meals.
Others may need to be rehydrated with a small amount of warm water. If you need to rehydrate the food, leave it for a few minutes before you serve.
Is freeze-dried cat food the same as raw?
Freeze-dried cat food is a product usually taken from raw meals. However, it’s not exactly the same as feeding your cat food directly from a raw cut of meat.
The freeze-drying process removes the moisture your cat would otherwise get from raw meat.
Is freeze-dried food good for your cat?
Outside of giving your kitties raw food directly, freeze-dried cat food could be the best way to contribute to the health of your cat, especially if they have galleries. These foods come with plenty of animal protein, and are rich in vitamins and minerals, just like a raw diet.
Read this next: Can Cats Eat Cucumbers? (Cats and Cucumbers!)
Best Freeze Dried Cat Food: Summary
If you’re planning on feeding your kitty the best freeze-dried cat food, we’d recommend giving Smalls freeze-dried raw bird a go.
It’s an excellent subscription service with truly phenomenal human-grade ingredients.
Plus, if your cat doesn’t like the flavor, you can get a refund from Smalls.
It’s one of the easiest ways to introduce your kitty to the benefits of raw feeding. If you have any more detailed questions we always advise you to speak with your veterinarian.