Freeze dried cat food offers cat owners the ability to tailor moisture levels in a way that regular food doesn’t allow for. It also gives a safe way to feed a raw meat diet without worrying about bacteria growth and harmful pathogens.
You can offer high-quality nutrition to your cat without having to choose between classic kibble or wet canned foods. Give your cat superior nutrition with freeze-dried food!
Although this variety of food is considered more specialized, it’s packed full of nutrition and animal protein.
Top Picks For freeze-dried cat food
Freeze-dried food is exceptionally shelf-stable, so you won’t have to worry about freshness. Take a look at these top picks for the best freeze dried cat food.
Best Overall (Recommended)
Best For Senior Cats
Best For Sensitive Stomachs
Best For Kittens
Best For Treats
What Is Freeze Dried Cat Food?
Freeze-dried raw cat food is beneficial for your cat’s health since it utilizes fresh ingredients and leads with high-quality animal protein. These diets are generally low in plant matter and fillers, making them complete meals packed with amino acids and omega fatty acids.
The process of freeze-drying something involves blasting the raw diet with frigid temperatures far below the freezing point. After drying the food, it’s placed in an air-tight package where the frozen liquid cannot melt. Since the liquid is sublimated into a gas, the food maintains its freshness until the air tight packaging is tampered with.
This preparation allows freeze-dried foods to stay fresh far longer than any other dry food or raw diet you could purchase for your cat. Upon opening these foods, they’re void of any moisture. However, they can easily be transformed back into a moist diet by adding warm water and allowing the meal to sit for a few minutes.
Types Of Freeze Dried Cat Food
Your cat will benefit from a freeze-dried diet’s essential nutrient profile with either a raw or dry formula.
There are minor differences between these types of foods to consider before deciding which freeze-dried meal is suitable for your cat.
Raw Meat Diet
Cats are obligate carnivores and a raw cat food diet closely mimics a natural wild diet for cats. Raw cat food diets offer a balanced meal without many more additives.
Your cat can get most of its nutrients from raw meat, regardless of the life stage that it’s in. This makes for an excellent option for increasing immune health and providing high-quality nutrition.
Raw meat diets are a popular option, and the benefits of freeze-dried raw diets are that you get the source of nutrition your cat needs from the meat without worrying about the contamination of the meat.
Dry Food Diet
A dry diet contains a mixture of several animal and plant ingredients that are mixed into kibble or a wetter meal. However, the main difference is that it doesn’t contain raw meat.
This can be easier to digest for sensitive cats and will make their stool firmer and less pungent.
Should You Buy Freeze Dried Cat Food?
Freeze-dried cat food offers many health benefits to the cats that consume it. However, with a high price point and some prep time required, it’s not the best option for every cat owner.
Benefits Of Freeze Dried Cat Food
Feeding a freeze-dried diet to your cat has several benefits for their health and offers you more convenience. Freeze-dried foods provide a balanced diet in a wide variety of flavors. You’re able to cater to any food allergies while still ensuring your cat is getting food with the finest ingredients.
Since these meals are dehydrated foods, the ingredients are high to ensure they maintain their nutrient density. This reduces the number of artificial ingredients you’ll find on the label and makes sure the primary ingredients are always protein sources.
If you have a cat with a sensitive stomach, these diets will benefit them since they’re generally packed with natural ingredients. This reduces the likelihood of any vomiting, diarrhea, or indigestion.
For cats that don’t consume enough water, it’s majorly beneficial that you’re able to add hot water into the diet to get more freshwater into your cat. Adjusting the water content to fit their health needs can support healthier immune function and energy levels.
Freeze-dried foods have been seen to hold up sitting on a shelf for decades at a time. The longevity you get with these meals without compromising on nutrient density makes them a convenient option for pet owners. Whether you’re traveling or simply want to stock up on cat food, freeze-dried pet food is your best option.
These meals are also beneficial for pet parents who want to give dry cat food or completely raw cat food diets without the risk of contamination. Since raw meat can harbor pathogenic bacteria, many cat lovers hesitate to buy healthy raw foods for their cats. Due to the freezing process, any harmful bacteria cannot survive on freeze-dried meals. This makes them a safe choice for all cats.
Disadvantages Of Freeze Dried Cat Foods
If you’re an on-the-go pet parent that prepares meals ahead of time with an automatic cat feeder, freeze-dried food may not be the best option. You’ll need to rehydrate freeze-dried food as it’s bone dry when it comes out of the packaging.
The process of rehydration takes a few minutes and is best when consumed right away. You may find that your cat doesn’t like the texture if the food has been sitting out for too long.
Freeze-dried food is packed with such high-quality ingredients, it’s one of the most expensive types of food on the market.
Freeze Dried Cat Food Buying Guide
Follow these purchasing considerations to ensure you’re choosing the proper meal for your cat.
One of the most important things to look at when purchasing cat food is the nutritional analysis. Taking a look at the crude fiber, protein, and fat percentage will tell you exactly what your cat is getting from the meal. If you come across a diet with a protein percentage below 30%, your cat isn’t getting the high-quality animal protein it needs.
Read Related: Best High Fiber Cat Foods
When you’re looking at these percentages, keep in mind that portion sizes. This will help you to adjust the real nutrition percentages your cat is getting based on their meal size.
For cats with sensitive stomachs, it’s vital to keep ingredients in mind. Many sources of fats, proteins, and fiber can irritate the gut. If your cat has any food allergies or intolerances, be sure to take a long look at the ingredient list.
If your cat is sensitive, protein sources like chicken hearts/turkey hearts, chicken gizzards, or turkey liver may cause intolerances. While meats like chicken liver are high in protein, they can be harder to settle in the digestive tract. These are also more likely to upset a cat with allergies. Instead, look for meals that list chicken with bone or rabbit as the protein source. The more common muscle meat is easier to digest for your feline.
Some common ingredients to look for in your meal to add nutrition include:
- Riboflavin supplement
- Vitamin E supplement
- Dried kelp
With added vitamin supplementation and digestive health agents, you’ll be sure to feed your cat a balanced meal with quality nutrients.
These meals can be high in price for those on a tight budget. However, you can still benefit from a freeze-dried raw, high-protein diet at a more reasonable price point.
This is simply a matter of managing the budget with quality. If you’re opting for the highest quality meal, it’s likely to be at a higher price point. If your cat isn’t sensitive to specific ingredients and can eat a meal with more plant matter, you’ll be able to find food at a lower budget.
If you’re unable to find a wide variety of freeze-dried foods at your local pet store, try natural food stores and online platforms for additional availability. This will give you more price points to consider before making your final purchase.
Allergies And Intolerances
Just like humans can suffer from food and cat allergies, cats can too. Before switching to new cat food, be sure to get your cat allergy tested. This will give you peace of mind when checking the ingredient list on potential foods for your feline. If they do have an intolerance to a particular grain or meat product, you can avoid any discomfort in your cat.
If your cat has no known allergies but is sensitive to new diets, take the transition slow. Purchasing food that doesn’t have any grains or meat byproducts will help you avoid an upset stomach.
Consider the amount of water each diet tells you to add when making your purchase. Every diet will require a different amount of water to get to the perfect consistency. If your cat needs a certain amount of water per day, it’s better to opt for a diet that takes a higher water content to be sure your cat is staying hydrated.
The water content can easily be adjusted to your cat’s liking but will require a certain amount to get the food started.
How To Feed Freeze Dried Meals
The preparation of these meals isn’t complex but does require some time. If you’re unable to store and prepare these meals correctly, you’ll find that they go bad faster and are less appreciated by your feline.
Break The Seal Of The Packaging
These meals maintain their freshness due to the way they’re packaged. Therefore, you’re at higher risk of the food starting to go bad once opened.
Once you open a package, keep it stored in a cool and dry environment. You absolutely don’t want to expose the food to any water, or it will turn into wet food quickly. This won’t stay fresh and is likely to start building up bacterial contamination.
Add Hot Water
Add warm water to the feed to start increasing the water content in the food. Keep in mind you can play with the ratio of food to water to see what your cat prefers.
The more water you add, the softer the food will get. If your cat doesn’t like soft food, they may dislike the texture when too much water is added. This also risks making the food feel soggy.
Keep this in mind while increasing and decreasing the water content when you first start with this food. If your cat requires more hydration, try to slowly increase the water content every day to make the transition to a wetter meal.
Allow To Absorb Before Feeding
You must wait a few minutes after adding the hot water to allow it to absorb. If you don’t, your cat will likely be eating frozen morsels from a pool of water rather than the meal mixed with water.
By waiting, you can also adjust the water quantity to see how much is getting absorbed into the food.
The 7 Best Freeze Dried Cat Foods
Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels
Stella & Chewy’s recipe for raw cat food contains two essential proteins: salmon and chicken. There are also other protein options available from this manufacturer.
Besides organs and bones, your cat will also find pumpkin seeds and probiotics in this freeze-dried food.
This food can be served as-is or rehydrated by adding water. When rehydrating it, use cool water. If you use hot water, the food will be cooked, defeating the purpose of serving raw food.
Starla & Chewy’s food is made in the United States. It contains no artificial preservatives, coloring, grain, gluten, or fillers.
- Rabbit provides a nutrient-rich protein source
- Very low in carbohydrates
- No vegetable fillers
- Contains fat derived from plants
Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Turkey Formula
Made in the USA, Primal Pet Foods Freeze Dried Feline Formula is perfect for pet parents concerned about their cats getting enough protein and calcium.
Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets are a great option since they use hormone-free meat, organs, and fresh ground bone.
With an easy-to-press, bite-sized nugget shape, this food looks and tastes exactly like traditional wet food, which is excellent for picky or older cats.
- Portioning is easy with the nugget shape
- All ingredients are sustainably sourced and made in the USA
- Multiple formulas are available
- Grain, soy, corn, wheat, and gluten free
- Will need to be manually broken into bite-sized pieces
Instinct Cat Food
The chicken, organs, and bone used in making this frozen food comes from Nebraska.
There are five cups of food per bag, which are all free of fillers, artificial flavors, and preservatives. The formula includes fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots, and butternut squash.
Raw proteins are minimally processed before this protein-rich meal is frozen. Once you receive the package, you need to put it in the freezer right away. Within a short period of time, it thaws, making it a quick and convenient mealtime option.
- Contains non-GMO fruits, vegetables, and meat in a stomach-friendly formula
- It’s free of grains, corn, wheat, soy, legumes, and artificial colors and preservatives
- Low meat vs vegetable ratio
- Only comes in the cage-free chicken recipe
Feline Natural Grain-Free Freeze Dried Cat Food
Feline Natural is a New Zealand company founded in 2006 that specializes in freeze-dried foods.
The recipe includes cage-free chicken and grass-fed, free-range lamb. In addition to chicken meat, it contains lamb heart, lamb kidney, lamb liver, and even lamb blood.
Due to the lack of ground bone in the food, the use of supplements is necessary to compensate for the absence of bone-sourced minerals.
Despite being heavily mentioned on the ingredient list, flaxseed flakes makeup only a small portion of the final recipe and are used as a binder. The food is supplemented with green-lipped mussel, an omega-3 fatty acid-rich source that may support joint health.
Multiple animal proteins make this a poor choice for cats who may be sensitive to or allergic to certain foods.
- Utilizes a variety of organs, muscle meat, and blood
- Served with green-lipped mussels
- Made following strict safety regulations in New Zealand
- Not suitable for sensitive stomach cats
Northwest Naturals Pack of 3 Turkey Freeze Dried Raw Diet for Cats
Based in Oregon Northwest Naturals has been selling raw and freeze-dried pet food since 2004.
All ingredients, with the exception of lamb, are American-sourced. Portland, Oregon, is the home of Northwest Naturals’ manufacturing facility.
The food is comprised of 98% animal tissue, including turkey muscle meat, necks, and hearts. Furthermore, it includes eggs, which are the best source of animal protein for the species. Flaxseed, dulse, kelp, and fish oil are the remaining 2% of the recipe.
Despite being less well-known or more widely distributed than some other products on this list, this product seems to be enjoying great success with both human and cat consumers. There are few freeze-dried foods available that are as cheap as this.
- 98% animal ingredients
- High protein content
- Provides omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil
- Cheaper than most freeze-dried foods for cats
- Hard to find
Merrick Backcountry Grain Free Raw Infused Dry Cat Food
This poultry-based raw food will meet the nutritional requirements of your kitten. Foods with this combination of ingredients are rich in vitamins and minerals, probiotics, vegetables, DHA omega fatty acids, and poultry and turkey protein.
In addition to its chicken main ingredient, this product features no grains, artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
- It is easy to feed young kittens because the freeze-dried mixture is infused with ingredients they can easily consume
- The product is 100% made in the United States
- No artificial colors or fillers.
- Grain Free
- Raw protein pieces are freeze-dried and mixed with a dry food
- Inconsistent amounts of freeze dried food per bag
- Not suitable for sensitive stomachs
PureBites Freeze Dried Chicken Breast Cat Treats, Made in USA
These all-natural treats offer all the same nutrients as freeze-dried cat food, but without any fillers or added sugar, and serve as a good stepping stone toward a pure, healthy diet for your cat.
Try replacing their regular treats with it or adding a sprinkle to their usual kibble.
- Good starting point
- Contains no preservatives or fillers
- High Protein and only 2 calories per treat
- Thin packaging makes it easy for treats to crumble
Conclusion On Freeze Dried Cat Food
Freeze-dried cat food is an excellent option for those that can afford the investment.
It’s a high-priced meal but loaded with an impressive nutritional profile. With the freezing process, you’re also able to keep the nutrients intact for your cat’s consumption.
This increases absorption and will significantly benefit your cat’s overall health.
Last update on 2024-02-26 at 17:15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API