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Home > Cats > 10 Best Freeze-Dried Cat Foods in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

10 Best Freeze-Dried Cat Foods in 2024 – Reviews & Top Picks

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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long haired cat eating food from a cat bowl Freeze-dried cat food popularity is on the rise; however, it’s still not as widely known or understood as kibble or canned cat food. The benefit of this new type of food for your furry friend is that it’s packed with goodness and provides all the nutrition that they need. It’s raw food that has been sealed securely, with all its moisture removed through freezing, enabling it to last longer than typical raw food would.

With freeze-dried cat food, you benefit as a cat owner because you won’t have to spend time meal-prepping, worrying about bacteria, or guessing the nutritional balance. After all, it comes packed with all that is done for you.

Before changing your cat’s diet, though, consult your vet, as their age or medical concerns need to be taken into consideration. Freeze-dried cat food comes in various forms, from meals to treats. Let us look at reviews of the best options.

divider-cat A Quick Look at Our Favorite Picks in 2024

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Stella & Chewy's Yummy Lickin' Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels Stella & Chewy's Yummy Lickin' Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels
  • 98% raw meat and bones
  • Can be eaten dry or rehydrated
  • Suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Vital Essentials Chicken Entree Cat Food Mini Nibs Vital Essentials Chicken Entree Cat Food Mini Nibs
  • Affordable    
  • Beneficial ingredients    
  • High in quality and protein
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food
  • Sustainably sourced with no GMOs or fillers    
  • Resealable bag    
  • Low in carbohydrates and high in protein 
  • Instinct Raw Meals Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Freeze-Dried Kitten Food Instinct Raw Meals Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Freeze-Dried Kitten Food
  • Designed for kittens    
  • Omega-3 and -6    
  • High in protein
  • Purpose Carnivore Duck Freeze-Dried Grain-Free Raw Cat Food Purpose Carnivore Duck Freeze-Dried Grain-Free Raw Cat Food
  • 99% duck
  • Can be eaten crunchy or soft
  • Variety of flavors
  • The 10 Best Freeze-Dried Cat Foods

    1. Stella & Chewy’s Yummy Lickin’ Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food — Best Overall

    Crude Protein: 45%
    Weight: 18-oz. bag
    Flavor: Salmon and chicken
    Type: Complete and balanced diet

    Approved by both cats and cat owners is the best overall freeze-dried cat food, Stella & Chewy’s Yummy Lickin’ Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food. It’s packed full of goodness and is made up of 98% raw meat and bones—the kind of diet your furry friend would eat in the wild.

    You can feed this delicious meal to your cat dry like you would kibble or rehydrate it in a bit of cold or warm water. Allow it to soak for 5 to 15 minutes, and then your kitty can happily lap it up.

    You’ll quickly notice a change in your cat’s poop once you start this cat food. They’ll poop more regularly, and it’ll stick much less than before. Although it’s a bit pricey, it offers all the ingredients that help sensitive stomachs, and your kitty will thank you for the relief! You’ll also notice your cat shine from having a healthier coat.

    Pros
    • 98% raw meat and bones
    • Can be eaten dry or rehydrated
    • Suitable for sensitive stomachs
    • Healthier poop and coat
    Cons
    • A bit pricey

    2. Vital Essentials Chicken Entree Cat Food Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food — Best Value

    Crude Protein: 55%
    Weight: 12-oz. bag
    Flavor: Chicken
    Type: Complete and balanced diet

    The Vital Essentials Chicken Entree Cat Food Mini Nibs Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food is the best freeze-dried cat food for the money, available at a lower price than many other similar products.

    This product doesn’t try to impress with a long list of unnecessary ingredients, but rather offers the best ones that your cat will actually benefit from. This product has high-quality ingredients and is high in protein, with a crude content of 55%.

    If you find your cat playing with their chunks instead of eating them, they may be too big for them, and you may need to halve them in size.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • Offers beneficial ingredients
    • High in quality and protein
    Cons
    • Chunks can be a bit large

    3. Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food — Premium Choice

    Crude Protein: 42%
    Weight: 14-oz. bag
    Flavor: Lamb
    Type: Complete and balanced diet

    For sustainably sourced freeze-dried cat food with limited ingredients and no GMOs or fillers, take a look at our premium choice: Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food. This product is suitable for cats with poultry allergies, and the resealable bag is a bonus.

    The carbohydrate content in this product is less than 1%, and the protein content is 42%, making it an excellent option for weight maintenance. A product of premium status is going to cost more, though.

    This cat food is quick and easy to serve, as it doesn’t require water or any other liquid. Don’t worry about it being too hard—the pebbles are soft and break apart easily, making it simple for your cat to eat. This product is very high in fat, so it is not suitable for cats that need to shed some weight.

    Pros
    • Sustainably sourced with no GMOs or fillers
    • Resealable bag
    • Low in carbohydrates and high in protein
    • Quick and easy to serve
    • Pellets are soft and break easily
    Cons
    • Expensive and recently increased in price
    • Not for cats that need to lose weight

    4. Instinct Raw Meals Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Kitten Food — Best for Kittens

    Crude Protein: 39%
    Weight: 9.5-oz. bag
    Flavor: Chicken
    Type: Complete and balanced diet

    Made with kittens in mind is the Instinct Raw Meals Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Kitten Food. This cat food is ideal for developing kittens due to its high protein content that aids in the development of strong muscles. It also contains DHA for healthy brain development and healthy vision. In addition, this food will give your kitten a healthy, soft coat.

    Although expensive, this freeze-dried meal aids in digestion, provides your kitty with energy, helps them maintain a good weight, and is excellent for kittens with food sensitivities. The pieces could be a bit smaller, but they’re easy to break up. This meal can be eaten dry or rehydrated. Watch your kitten go from being an uninterested eater to an eager one!

    Pros
    • Designed for kittens
    • Balanced omega-3 and -6 ratio
    • High in protein
    • Aids in digestion and provides energy
    • Suitable for kittens with food sensitivities
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Pieces may be a bit large

    5. Purpose Carnivore Duck Freeze-Dried Grain-Free Raw Cat Food

    Crude Protein: 45%
    Weight: 9-oz. bag
    Flavor: Duck
    Type: Complete and balanced diet

    We all would like the best food for our cats, and what better food is there than that of our cat’s ancestors? Purpose Carnivore Duck Freeze-Dried Grain-Free Raw Cat Food has got its recipe right and provides your cat with the goodness that their ancestors lived on. No matter the age of your cat, you can start them on the right food that contains only 1% vitamins and minerals, and the rest is made up of duck.

    This cat food appeals to a range of cats. If they enjoy crunchy food, they can eat it dry; just don’t forget they should always have access to clean drinking water. If they’re a bit more finicky, you can soak it and give it to them soft. Either way, you’ll get the enjoyment of watching them gobble it up. These pieces are also easy to break up for added convenience. Your cat also has a variety of flavors to choose from within this range. Unfortunately, as with many freeze-dried cat foods, it’s quite expensive.

    Pros
    • 99% duck
    • Can be eaten crunchy or soft
    • Pieces are easy to break up
    • Variety of flavors
    Cons
    • Expensive

    6. Dr. Tim’s Beef Taurine Supplement Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Food Topper

    Crude Protein: 35%
    Weight: 12-oz. bag
    Flavor: Beef
    Type: Topper

    For something slightly different, we’ve got Dr. Tim’s Beef Taurine Supplement Freeze-Dried Dog & Cat Food Topper. It’s designed to supplement a cat’s dry kibble food to give them an amino acid boost. However, if your cat is already on a well-balanced freeze-dried diet, it’s unnecessary to add this topper to their meal.

    The taurine in this supplement is vital, prevents heart disease, and aids in a healthy vision and immune system. Unfortunately, cats that don’t get enough dietary amino acids can end up with some serious and irrevocable health issues. If you’re concerned your cat isn’t getting all the taurine and protein they need, this topper will give it to them—and it’s tasty too!

    Pros
    • Supplements dry kibble cat food
    • Protein boost
    • Protects your cat’s heart and brain
    • Tastes good
    Cons
    • Isn’t necessary if your cat is on a well-balanced diet
    • Not a complete and balanced formula

    7. Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Digestive Health Recipe Cat Food Topper

    Crude Protein: 36%
    Weight: 5.5-oz. bag
    Flavor: Chicken, pumpkin, sweet potato, chicory root, and apple cider vinegar
    Type: Topper

    Another topper option for you to consider is the Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Boost Mixers Grain-Free Digestive Health Recipe Cat Food Topper. It’s a cheaper option that a wider range of customers will be able to afford and add to their cat’s bowl for extra flavor and nutrition. If your cat is already on a well-balanced diet, you can use these chunks as a tasty yet healthy treat.

    Although it contains a decent amount of protein, it’s lower than many other freeze-dried products yet higher than most commercial cat food. It also has a fairly high number of fruits and vegetables, which typically isn’t what you’d like to see in a protein supplement.

    Regardless, your cat is going to love munching on these all-natural, well-sized chunks.

    Pros
    • Inexpensive
    • Can be used as both a topper or a treat
    • All-natural
    • Well-sized
    Cons
    • Less protein and more fruits and vegetables than most other options

    8. Nulo FreeStyle Chicken & Salmon Recipe Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

    Crude Protein: 46%
    Weight: 8-oz. bag
    Flavor: Chicken and salmon
    Type: Complete and balanced diet or topper

    Nulo is a cat food brand that many people love and trust, and now the company has freeze-dried cat food too! 98% of the Nulo FreeStyle Chicken & Salmon Recipe Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food is from animal ingredients and has probiotics included. Only 0.76% of carbohydrates are in your cat’s bowl of food.

    You can use this cat food as a topper on commercial kibble or as a full meal on its own. It’s excellent for picky eaters and for cats that have trouble eating because it’s so soft. After a bit of time on this cat food, you’ll notice your cats begin to slim down, no longer struggle with dry skin, and have beautiful shiny coats.

    Unfortunately, some pieces might be a bit too soft and can break into dusty remains, leaving customers disappointed.

    Pros
    • Nulo is a well-known brand
    • 98% of the food is animal ingredients
    • Contains probiotics
    • Can be added as a topper or full meal
    • Excellent for picky eaters or cats that have trouble eating
    Cons
    • Breaks apart easily

    9. Primal Chicken & Salmon Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Crude Protein: 49%
    Weight: 14-oz. bag
    Flavor: Chicken and salmon
    Type: Complete and balanced diet

    For a high-protein diet, you won’t be disappointed with the Primal Chicken & Salmon Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food, with a crude protein content of 49%. This meal has flavors of chicken and salmon but has many other options to choose from, never giving your cat the chance to get bored of their food.

    The nuggets need to be rehydrated before being served to your cat, which takes a bit of time, and not all cats accept the consistency.

    Pros
    • High 49% protein content
    • Variety of flavors
    Cons
    • Need to be rehydrated
    • Not all cats accept it

    10. Feline Natural Lamb & King Salmon Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

    Crude Protein: 44%
    Weight: 11-oz. bag
    Flavor: Lamb and salmon
    Type: Complete and balanced diet or topper

    The interesting thing about Feline Natural Lamb & King Salmon Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food is that the company is from New Zealand. Because of this, it uses grass-fed lamb. So, you’ll know that the ingredients used in this cat food are sustainably sourced.

    While this cat food is quite pricey, it doesn’t cost much more than most freeze-dried food. You’ll quickly notice an increase in your cat’s energy and playfulness.

    Unfortunately, the kibble sizes are too large for most cats, but they’re easy to break up. Of course, this adds to your preparation time. Although your cat can eat it for breakfast and dinner, it can also be used as a handy supplement to normal dry kibble.

    Pros
    • Sustainably sourced ingredients
    • Increase in energy and playfulness
    • Easy to break into smaller pieces
    • Can be used as a topper
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Kibble pieces may be too large

    divider-cat

    Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Freeze-Dried Cat Foods

    Freeze-dried cat food is one of the closest and easiest methods of attaining fresh food for your cat. However, there are a few factors to look out for when shopping around for this product.

    cat eating from modern bowl on table
    Image By: Chewy

    Ingredients

    Since cats are carnivores, they require a high protein diet with high quantities of meat for a good, nutritional diet that’ll do their bodies, muscles, and coats wonders. Freeze-dried cat food is packed with all this, including other types of fresh, raw ingredients, such as yolks, organs, and fruit and vegetables. With a well-balanced meal with these ingredients that are designed for cats, they’ll be getting everything their bodies need and will only be eating what they’d naturally be eating in the wild.

    A beneficial point to freeze-dried food is that the flavor and nutritional value of most ingredients and vitamins will be locked into the food due to the freezing and sealing, without other processing and preservation factors taking away from its natural state.

    Bear in mind that some companies do use fillers, corn, or grain in their freeze-dried cat food. Always read the packaging and go through the ingredients listed, regardless of how popular the brand is or whether it claims to offer high-quality ingredients. Freeze-dried cat food is only beneficial to your cat if it contains beneficial ingredients. The best freeze-dried food for your kitty will be GMO-free, and the packaging will state that its ingredients are sourced sustainably.

    Ease of Use

    If you’re used to preparing raw food for your cat but no longer have the time for it, you’ll be happy to know that some freeze-dried cat food can be given to your cat dry or in bite-sized pieces for quick and easy consumption, giving you extra time on your hands. However, please keep in mind that your cat should always have access to fresh drinking water.

    Other freeze-dried cat food may need to be soaked before your cat can dig right in, so read the instructions before purchasing the product to get the one that suits your lifestyle. If you get freeze-dried food that is too big for your cat to eat comfortably, you may need to spend unnecessary time chopping them up into smaller pieces. There are a variety of sizes available, so determine the one that’ll work for your cat to save you time in the kitchen.

    Remember that regardless of the type of freeze-dried food you choose for your cat, you’re still dealing with raw food. Be mindful of washing your hands and any surfaces that the food has touched once you’re done preparing it or dishing it out.

    maine coon cat eating
    Image By: Fayzulin Serg, Shutterstock

    Price

    Due to the unconventional process that freeze-dried cat food undergoes along with the time it takes and the ingredients used, it is more expensive than standard cat food. Before buying this more expensive cat food, discuss it with your vet, and find out if it’ll be the best option for your specific cat. Also, start slow with less expensive options, such as toppers and treats, and see if your cat enjoys them or whether it suits your lifestyle.

    Regardless, due to its high nutritional value and natural process, we think it’s worth the price.

    Storing and Preparing

    Some types of freeze-dried cat food can be given to your cat without any preparation and can be treated the same way as kibble. However, other types require rehydration, and the food will need to be soaked in warm water, broth, or milk before being served to your cat.

    Depending on its shelf life, freeze-dried cat food should last a relevantly long time if unopened or sealed properly. You should store it at room temperature, which is a benefit because your freezer won’t be packed full of cat food, as it would be if you were preparing raw cat food.

    If you have added liquid to the cat food for consumption, it’ll only be safe to leave it out to eat for half an hour before needing to go into the fridge. The cold temperature will stop any bacteria growth, but it’ll still need to be thrown away within 2 days if not eaten before then.

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    High-quality cat food is an important part of fostering a long and healthy life for your cat but the right cat food and water dish will promote good posture, offer whisker relief, and aid in good digestion. The Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl is our favorite bowl since it offers all of the above and is beautifully crafted to meet modern home stylings. The wide tray design catches any food and water spills and the entire setup is dishwasher safe. Learn more about the Hepper NomNom Cat Bowl here.

    At Pet Keen, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

    divider-cat Conclusion

    With so much goodness among these reviews, you’ve got a wide variety of freeze-dried cat food to choose from! However, you can’t go wrong with our best overall cat food, Stella & Chewy’s Yummy Lickin’ Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels, which offers only top-quality ingredients and a species-appropriate diet for your little carnivore to thrive. Our best value option is the Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Nibs, which is a great product to start your cat with the freeze-dried diet. Our premium choice, Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food, is high in protein and great for cats with poultry allergies.

    Freeze-dried cat food is a change that your cat will love!


    Featured Image Credit: Seattle Cat Photo, Shutterstock

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