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It’s no secret that buying raw meat for your cats is one of the best ways to provide them with nutrition, that includes all of their dietary requirements. But, let’s be honest, it can be a real pain to work with raw meat on a daily basis. Especially when you consider storage and the overall cost.
However, a great way to provide your cats with all of the vitamins and minerals they require, without finding yourself overwhelmed, is to opt for freeze-dried raw cat food. Below, we take a look at the best freeze-dried cat food on the market today and answer all your questions about how best to feed your pets frozen raw cat food.
Stella & Chewy have made a name for themselves by producing high quality freeze dried food and this cat food is one of many great choices from the brand. Able to provide your cats with food that is rich in meat, organs and bone, as well as being combined with taurine, antioxidants and probiotics, this is a great choice in raw food for any cat owner.
This recipe only includes pure, natural ingredients with no artificial colors, while remaining free of glutens and grains – making it ideal for those cats with sensitive stomachs.
Another great choice in the best freeze-dried food options on the market are these cat food toppers from Instinct. Designed to go on top of any food – whether that is raw, wet or even kibble – this dried cat food is perfect for keeping your cats interested in their everyday food, without spending a fortune.
Free of any grains and gluten, this is the ideal cat food for those felines with sensitive stomachs. All the while being packed with protein, and providing your pet with additional vitamins and minerals. Making it the best choice for cats who have started turning their nose up at their everyday food.
Another great choice in freeze dried raw cat food include cat foods from The Honest Kitchen, and the Turkey recipe is one of the best of the bunch. Made entirely with human grade food and safety standards, this is premium pet food that comes with an affordable price tag.
Added fruits and vegetables help to round out the diet for your raw meat-fed cats, and give them a complete nutritional profile. With no preservatives, by-products or fillers, you can be sure that every mouthful is delicious and heathy for your cat.
Primal freeze-died cat food is one of the most popular option on the market, especially for those who own outdoor cats. Part of the reason for this is the comparatively high level of protein provided, especially when compared to other cat foods on the market.
Easy to rehydrate and free of any hidden nasties like grain or corn, this option is ideal for cats who have high activity levels. At the same time, you’ll soon find that their skin and coat looks all the better, thanks to naturally derived minerals and vitamins.
Another great option in freeze dried food for your cats is from the Life Essentials collection by Cat-Man-Doo. Created to provide your pets with an extraordinary level of protein, this is not the best cat food for those with indoor cats, or cats who are in their twilight years – as this will make them a little twitchy.
Instead, if you have an outdoor or supremely active cat, this is a great choice in freeze-dried cat food, as your pet will be given ample nutrition for their adventuring needs. Want the benefit of high quality ingredients, without the concerns of protein levels – simply use these as a topper, to keep your cat interested in their dried food.
Another option from Cat-Man-Doo’s freeze dried foods collection, Life Essentials, this is a great choice in topper for cats who usually eat dried cat food and require a little enticing with raw meat. Made with wild Alaskan Salmon, your cat will be sure to enjoy every bite of these freeze-dried toppers, while getting all the nutrition they could hope for.
Again, this cat food is ideal for those pets who live mostly outdoors or who have an active lifestyle. However, if you want the benefit of great nutrition, these raw, meaty snacks are sure to give your cat that extra boost they need.
A unique option in cat food that uses absolutely no added fruits or vegetables, in order to keep to the truest carnivore diet, possible. Made up of muscle and organ meats, this freeze-dried cat food manufacturer sources their ingredient from the USA and completes it’s production entirely in America, too.
Nutrients are captured by freezing at the time of processing, in order to allow for as much goodness as possible to remain in your cats diet. Thus, this frozen cat food really is as close to nature as you could possible hope for, for your feline friend.
Containing a wide array of nutritional benefits, this freeze-dried cat food works with added prebiotics, antioxidants, probiotics and a wide range of vitamins, as well as minerals, works brilliantly to supplement a complete diet for your cat.
Consisting all-natural ingredients, this cat food will not only be incredibly tempting for any cats but will be sure to give your puss as much nutritional benefit as is possible. Using fatty acids to protect against degradation, in lieu of preservatives, this freeze-dried cat food is high in natural fats, as well as protein.
Completely free of hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, fillers and artificial ingredients, this freeze dried cat food is the premium pick for finicky felines. Fortified with raw goats milk for added calcium and to ensure the ingredients remain all-natural, this is a great choice that is easy to rehydrate and serve, as preferred.
Use smaller amounts as a dried cat food topper, or look to blend it in as a full serving. Plenty of added fruits and vegetables help to make this a complete meal for your cats, while appealing to their natural, predatorial carnivorous lifestyle.
Made up of 99% meat and meat organs, Feline Natural do a fantastic job of providing freeze-dried foods that work with your cats natural makeup. With a high level of protein, you can use this raw food as a topper or for a complete meal for your cat.
Made with ingredients from New Zealand, this is a fantastic blend of natural components that work for your cat. With no artificial colors but a supplementary level of vitamins and minerals, this is a great choice and one of the best cat food options on the market, today.
What to Consider When Buying Freeze-Dried Cat Food
The ingredients used in your pet’s food should always be considered. As well as any medical need for following a raw diet, it’s important to consider whether there are any nutritional needs that should be considered before purchasing your food. For example, some a that require you to stay away from poultry or beef, while others can be sensitive to specific fruit, vegetables or grains which can be used in all kinds of foodstuffs for cats.
Look out for where these ingredients come from, as well, as many lower-quality options are likely to get their meat and ingredients from poor quality sources. This leaves you with an overall poor diet for your cat, as it has been shown that the source of the ingredients can affect the overall taste, texture and nutritional value of all food – not just those for pets.
Terms and type
Please don’t think that the terms “rehydrated” and “freeze dried” are interchangeable. As you shop around, you might discover a few brands will use one type over the other. However, freeze-dried has a very different meaning and we discuss this, in more depth, below.
One of the biggest things to consider when choosing your freeze-dried cat food is whether you’ll be using your new purchase as a topper to their general diet, or looking to create a complete meal plan with the freeze-dried option.
Toppers are a fantastic way of getting the nutritional benefits of freeze-dried cat food into your pet’s diet, without completely overwhelming them. They can keep your cat engaged in their everyday kibble and the smell of this can help to entice new cats and kittens over, if they aren’t used to your home and their new routine, yet. For complete meal plans, you’ll need to consider further selections that provide for their personal lifestyle.
Toppers are ideal for almost any kind of cat, as they are simply used as a supplement to their usual diet. That said, since raw food has a much higher level of protein, you might find that your indoor cat can become a little skittish if they are given only freeze-dried options as a complete meal. However, for outdoor cats and cats who have high levels of activity, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Thus, for complete meals, you’ll need to be sure that the freeze-dried cat food you opt for has the ability to meet all of their nutritional needs. This means that the food should also consist of a high level of nutrients which can only be found in vegetables or from everyday fruit. The best options for freeze-dried cat food options are able to add in these, without losing any nutritive value or affecting the taste and smell.
Benefits of Feeding Your Kitty Freeze-Dried Cat Food
The biggest benefit, without a doubt, when it comes to feeding your pet freeze-dried cat food, is being able to give your cat all the added nutritional value of a raw food and meat diet. Time and again, we see how raw food diets work to provide everything the naturally carnivorous cat needs to function at to their best ability. By opting for freeze-dried food, you can give them the right meat and diet for their needs, without the worry of time.
As this meat has been frozen at the height of nutritional value, you’re given more than enough time to rehydrate the food at your own pace. This allows you to keep their food as a topper or as a complete meal, without worrying about the shelf-life of the product, in the same way you would with a traditional raw diet.
As well as this, you can be sure that all of the meat used in the ingredients aren’t packed with salts and water, in order to make them look fuller and more appealing – as you might find with traditional poultry, fish and beef on the shelf.
Freeze-Dried vs. Dehydrated Cat Food
Freeze-dried cat food is very different to dehydrated cat food in that it is thoroughly frozen at the best possible time, or order to maintain a level of freshness that holds all the nutrients for your cat, once rehydrated. Rehydrated cat food options, however, lose about 50% of their nutritional value, as the process requires heating the food, leaving them with a chewier texture and less taste.
Despite the name, freeze-drying actually removes up to 98% of the water present in food, while rehydrating only removes around 80%. This means that freeze-dried cat food will actually have a greater longevity and shelf-life, allowing you more time to get around to rehydrating the food, as well as giving you the opportunity to buy in bulk – safe in the knowledge that the food will last for a greater length of time.
Finally, freeze-dried foods will usually rehydrate at a much faster rate, with smaller chunks being hydrated almost instantaneously. This can help to cut down the time it takes to get your cats food ready for their next meal, and can be helpful if you’re in a hurry or only use the food on occasion.
Best Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food Brands
The best meat brands for cat foods center around those who use the best quality ingredients, from the best sources and are still able to provide these to you and your cats at the best price. It also depends on whether you’re looking for the best meat topper options for your cat foods, or if you’re looking for a complete meal.
Most of the best options are usually toppers for your cats everyday diet, since complete meals can have a much higher price range, although these do – naturally – come with the best results in your cats health and wellbeing.
Stella & Chewy repeatedly hit top marks in reviews due to meeting all of the criteria mentioned above, given their dedication to their free-range livestock and commitment to creating human-grade food for your pets. Similarly, Cat-Man-Doo has proven to be a popular choice, although some of their options can be a little pricey.
Of course, if you’re looking for premium products, you can move past the more affordable toppers and enjoy the very best the market has to offer – such as Steve’s Real Food Nuggets. Over time, you’re likely to see a big improvement in your cats, but this will of course come with a higher food bill over time.
We love this option because they have managed to create the best freeze-dried food on the market, by never compromising on quality ingredients. Each ingredient is cage-free, and caught in the wild where possible, while the natural and added antioxidants and probiotics help keep your cat in their best condition.
A freelance writer and word nerd, Wendy is a content writer with a knack for getting into the nitty-gritty of pet ownership. For the past three years, she’s been researching and writing a huge range of different topics – but always comes back to her beloved pet articles. Lover of all things four-legged and owner of Harley, Pepper and Rush, Wendy is currently completing her MNSW at Edge Hill University.