The 7 Best Freeze-Dried Cat Foods

By Nadine Oraby | 2021 Update

Best freeze-dried food contains top-quality ingredients for your cat’s health. Many experts believe that freeze-dried cat food provides a complete and balanced diet. Cat’s also love freeze-dried food because it is similar to what they eat in the wild. So, how can you find quality freeze-dried food?

Finding the best freeze-dried cat food can be tricky. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of our top recommendations. Let’s explore!

The 7 Best Freeze-dried Cat Foods

Top PicksRatingQuantityTop 5 Ingredients
1. Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food4.718-oz bagDuck With Ground Bone, Turkey With Ground Bone, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard,
2. Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Boost Mixers4.612.5-oz bagChicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Chicken Heart, Dried Pumpkin
3. Only Natural Pet RawNibs Beef & Tripe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food4.610-oz bagBeef, Beef Tripe, Beef Lung, Ground Beef Bone, Beef Liver, Beef Heart
4. Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food
 
4.014-oz bagTurkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Livers, Organic Pumpkin Seeds
5. Wysong Archetype Chicken Formula Freeze-Dried Raw Dog & Cat Food4.47.5-oz bagChicken, Chicken Organs, Ground Chicken Bone, Natural Flavor, Taurine,

6. Whole Life Just One Ingredient Pure Salmon Fillet Freeze-Dried Cat Food
4.41.0-oz bagChicken, Potato, Pumpkin, Yogurt (Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Cream,
7. Stella & Chewy’s Yummy Lickin’ Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food4.418-oz bagSalmon With Ground Bone, Chicken With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed

1. Stella & Chewy’s Duck Duck Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Duck With Ground Bone, Turkey With Ground Bone, Turkey Liver, Goose, Turkey Gizzard

Stella & Chewy’s Cat Food contains real, freeze-dried raw food for your cat. All you have to do is add water to the recipe and serve. The popular Duck and Goose flavor contain meat, organs, and grounded bones from cage-free birds. It also has taurine and probiotics for healthy digestion and muscle function.

Additionally, this freeze-dried cat food has no added antibiotics, hormones, grains, or fillers. It contains 100% certified-organic fruits and vegetables for balanced nutrition. Give your cat all the meat it can dream of with Stella & Chewy’s bite-sized nuggets!

2. Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Turkey Formula

Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food, slide 1 of 1

Top 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Livers, Organic Pumpkin Seeds

Let your cat enjoy the Primal Pet Foods freeze-dried food in the turkey formula for amazing taste and quality protein. The freeze-dried raw food contains 93 percent turkey, organs, and grounded bone (an ideal source of calcium) and 7 percent supplements and products for a completely balanced meal.

This recipe has no added hormones or antibiotics and contains farm-raised turkey for an all-natural protein source. Additionally, this freeze-dried food is free of gluten, grain, corn, wheat, and soy. Other ingredients include organic squash, collard greens, celery, pumpkin, sunflower seeds, quinoa sprout, cilantro, and coconut oil. It also contains almonds, cranberries, and blueberries to support urinary tract function.  

3. Instinct Rawboost Mixers

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Chicken Liver, Pumpkinseeds, Chicken Heart, Dried Pumpkin

You can use the Instinct Rawboost Mixers meal from Nature’s Variety to add extra flavor and protein to your cat’s kibble. The freeze-dried raw bits contain 100% real meat in rabbit and chicken flavors. The whole-food ingredients are gently freeze-dried to remove moisture, which seals in all the flavor and health-boosting nutrients.

This all-natural, minimally-processed raw meal makes an excellent topper to kibble. It contains cage-free chicken and chicken liver. It also has non-GMO fruits and vegetables like carrots, apples, pumpkin seeds, squash, broccoli, and blueberries for extra vitamins and minerals. All the nutrient-rich ingredients ensure a healthy coat and immune system. Lastly, the bits contain no by-products or artificial colors.

4. Only Natural Pet RawNibs Cat and Dog Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Beef, Beef Tripe, Beef Lung, Ground Beef Bone, Beef Liver, Beef Heart

This freeze-dried food from the Only Natural comes in bite-sized nibbles for easy chewing and swallowing. This quality product has different flavors and varieties for your cat. It contains all-natural and healthy ingredients to help your cat thrive. This beef and tripe recipe has freeze-dried meat, which helps preserve the nutritious raw taste.

You can also use this recipe as a treat or kibble-topper for your cat. It supplies a sufficient amount of quality protein for a happier and healthy cat. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids to promote a healthy coat, skin, and joints. This cat food is suitable for all ages and breeds and contains no gluten, artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.  

5. Nulo FreeStyle Turkey & Duck Recipe Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Liver, Duck, Duck Liver

This top-rated cat food contains up to 98% cage-free turkey and duck meat. It has minimal water content to make it nutritionally. It is calorie-dense to ensure that your cat gets the optimal nutrition from every meal. In addition to being rich in protein, this cat food is easy to digest. It comes in a compact size that is easy to chew and swallow.

The Nulo FreeStyle has the best kitchen conditions and follows strict food quality standards. This food contains no artificial preservatives and GMO ingredients. It undergoes minimal processing to ensure the most nutritious food quality.

6. Vital Essentials Chicken Mini Patties Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Finely Ground Chicken With Bone, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Egg

This low-calorie, high-protein food is a perfectly healthy meal for your cat. It has farm-raised and pasture-run protein from a single animal. Vital Essentials uses an exclusive freeze-drying process to retain all the active nutritional ingredients. It locks in all the wholesome flavors that your cat needs and will love.

Additionally, this meal contains no additives, animal by-products, fillers, or grains. It’s an ideal treat if your cat is sensitive or suffers from food allergies. Plus, this brand only uses USDA certified and inspected animal protein. It’s an excellent freeze-dried food choice for your furry friend.

7. Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb Feast Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood

This freeze-dried cat food is a natural meal for your pet. You can offer it as a meal topper or a complete meal for balanced nutrition. It is suitable for cats of all ages and breeds. This raw cat food has fresh and natural ingredients. It offers the delicious benefits of a meaty flavor boost.

Additionally, this freeze-dried food uses a completely natural grain-free recipe. It is also hypoallergenic, so your cat can enjoy fresh meals without having an allergic reaction. Its freeze-drying process preserves all the ingredients in pristine quality. This way, you can meet all the nutritional requirements of your pet conveniently.

8. Stella & Chewy’s Yummy Lickin’ Salmon & Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Salmon With Ground Bone, Chicken With Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed

This freeze-dried cat food contains raw chicken and wild-caught pacific sockeye salmon. It is protein-dense and rich in omega 3 fatty acids for optimal health. It serves as an excellent supplement you can trust for your cat.

This cat food also includes organs, pumpkin seeds, and grounded bones for extra flavor. It offers the benefits of raw, nutritious food with the convenience of freeze-dried preparation. 

Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried salmon and chicken morsels use high-quality ingredients with immense nutritional benefits.

In addition to their health benefits, they also have a mouthwatering flavor for your cats. If you want cat food for growth and vitality, Stella & Chewy’s freeze-fried dinner morsels are perfect.

9. Whole Life Just One Ingredient Pure Salmon Fillet Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Whole Life Just One Ingredient Pure Salmon Fillet Freeze-Dried Cat Treats, slide 1 of 1

Top 5 Ingredients: 100% Pure Wild Alaskan Salmon.

This recipe serves as a quality supplement you can trust for your feline friend. It has pure salmon fillet and high-quality ingredients. All of which offer immense nutritional benefits for your cat. In addition, this cat treat also has a mouthwatering flavor. It makes feeding your feline a breeze!

These fillets use meat sourced from freeze-dried Wild Pacific Sockeye Salmon. The freeze-drying process locks in the rich omega 3 content and other important ingredients needed for health, growth, and vitality.

10. Wysong Archetype Raw Canine/Feline Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Organs, Ground Chicken Bone, Natural Flavor, Taurine,

The Wysong Archetype is a True Non-Thermal (TNT) cat food that has never been processed above 116 degrees F during processing. All the nutritional ingredients remain intact, and your cat consumes a healthy diet. The primary ingredient is chicken, and it also includes grounded bones for extra calcium. Additionally, it contains small quantities of micronutrients to support your cat’s health. These include broccoli and carrots to provide antioxidants for immunity and Lactobacillus for healthy digestion.  

This freeze-dried raw food replicates a wild cat’s diet. It follows established regulatory standards to provide a complete and balanced meal.  

11. Whole-Life Pet Chicken Recipe Healthy Cat Treats            

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Potato, Pumpkin, Yogurt (Cultured Pasteurized Nonfat Milk, Cream

Here’s another budget-friendly choice by Whole Life. The freeze-dried chicken treats ensure minimal processing. They don’t contain additives, artificial flavors, animal by-products, and preservatives. The precise freeze-drying process retains all the natural flavors and keeps the food fresh.

Additionally, this recipe only contains pure chicken as a part of recipe. It’s a good recipe for kittens and adult cats. You can also serve it to cats with gastrointestinal problems. It is high in proteins and low in fats. So, it will keep your cats’ health and weight in check.

12. Stella & Chewy’s Digestive Boost Solution Freeze-dried Raw Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Chicken, Chicken Liver, Pumpkin, Chicken Heart, Chicken Gizzard

This delicious raw-food recipe has cage-free chicken for protein and pineapple for a natural fiber source. It is perfect for your pet and also contains the taurine your cat needs. Additionally, it has probiotics to help promote intestinal health. You can serve this freeze-dried food on its own or as a kibble topper. Simply add to your cat’s dry food and let them enjoy! Alternatively, you can rehydrate this food by adding cool or warm water.

This raw, freeze-dried food contains no grains, lentils, peas, and potatoes. It uses responsibly-sourced raw ingredients for maximum nutrition. It’s an ideal food for your furry friend!

13. Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets Grain-Free Raw Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Top 5 Ingredients: Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Livers, Organic Pumpkin Seeds

Introduce your cat to the power of raw food with Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets. This grain-free, raw, freeze-dried food for cats contains pure protein and natural enzymes to promote body health. It is has advanced natural nutrition to support lean body mass, muscle tone, and healthy skin and coat. This raw cat food features crunchy nuggets and meaty, freeze-dried bites.

It contains omega fatty acids, antioxidants, glucosamine, probiotics, and taurine to create a savory flavor that cats love. Plus, it’s a breeze to serve. It’s an excellent food to maintain a proper weight and boost overall health.

Buyer’s Guide – Things to Consider

What is Freeze-Dried Cat Food?

When you hear the word “freeze-dried,” you might imagine dehydrated astronaut food. But that’s not true, and freeze-dried cat food is one of the market’s healthiest options. Freeze-dying helps retain food freshness by removing its water content. You have to rehydrate freeze-dried food before serving it to your cat. It is different from commercial pet foods and has a higher nutritional value.  

Freeze-dried foods are higher in proteins and amino-acids and richer in natural micronutrients. They also have a longer shelf-life because bacteria need water to spoil food. A helpful analogy to understand this is the comparison of fresh apricots and dried apricots. Dried apricots can live in your kitchen without going rotten for months. They deliver delicious sweet chewiness after months because they don’t have any water. Freeze-dried foods avoid heat damage caused by cooking and preserve the real nutritional value for ingredients.

Here are some things to consider when buying raw cat food:

Freeze-dried

Most raw cat foods come freeze-dried. It’s a low-temperature drying process that doesn’t interfere with the natural nutrition of raw food. You can rehydrate freeze-dried food before serving.

Fully raw vs. semi-raw

Fully raw cat food contains raw meat and raw produce. It also has vitamins and minerals for a complete and balanced meal. Semi-raw cat food is a mixture of regular kibble and freeze-dried raw pieces. Semi-raw options are cheap but don’t offer the complete benefits of a fully raw diet.

Raw food toppers

In addition to complete raw meals, you can find raw food mixers or toppers. You can add these supplements to a regular cooked kibble or wet cat food. Raw food toppers don’t have to be entirely nutritionally balanced because they are supplements.

High-quality, natural ingredients

Look for high-quality, whole-food ingredients. Natural ingredients are the most nutritious ingredients for your cat.

Real animal protein

Cats are strict carnivores, so they need high-quality protein from animal sources like meat, poultry, and fish. Avoid buying products with labels that say “meat by-products” and “meat derivatives.”

Healthy fats

 Fat provides a powerful source of energy for your cats and support for healthy skin and coat. Look for animal-based fats like salmon oil and chicken fat.

Fresh fruits and vegetables

 Real fruits and vegetables offer a natural source of key vitamins and minerals in a digestible and biologically valuable way than synthetic supplements. You can still add unnatural supplements to ensure optimal nutritional balance.  

Complete and balanced nutrition

Check the food label for an AAFCO statement of nutritional adequacy – this will tell you whether the food is a staple diet or a supplementary meal.

Freeze-Dried vs. Traditional Kibble

Cat owners and nutritionists agree that high-quality freeze-dried proteins like turkey, salmon, or chicken deliver excellent nutrition. Protein is essential for the growth and maintenance of all the tissues in a cat’s body. Dietary protein supplies the amino acids needed for the body to build hair, skin, cartilage, muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Freeze-dried cat food provides minimally processed nutrition for cats. It appeals to cat owners seeking an alternative to traditional kibble. Freeze-dried cat food has excellent taste and is perfect for fussy eaters. You can also use it as a topper for plain kibble to add variety to your cat’s meals.

Freeze-drying is a unique form of drying that removes moisture at low temperatures. Raw ingredients are initially frozen and placed in a strong vacuum that turns the water in the food into vapor. You may purchase freeze-dried foods for yourself, including instant coffee or cereal with freeze-dried blueberries.

The main difference between the freeze-dried and the traditional kibble is the use of heat. Traditional kibble diets go through a 4-hour extrusion process at high temperatures to create a shelf-stable product. According to pet nutritionists, cooking food to a temperature of 180°F can destroy essential vitamins. Imagine the harsh effects of cooking food to 400°F! But the extrusion process uses half the maximum cooking temperature to increase the bio-availability of nutrients.

Benefits of Freeze-dried Food

WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION

Shifting consumer perspectives have led more pet owners to seek nutrition from real, high-quality food sources with understandable labels. Freeze-dried foods are minimally processed and free from synthetic, artificial, and highly processed materials. They use clean ingredients and provide whole food nutrition.  

Give your cat the benefits of raw, freeze-dried foods like meat, poultry, and fish. These foods are frozen at peak freshness to retain vitamins. Freeze-dried fruits and vegetables are real and provide maximum nutritional value. Consumers’ desire for nutrition from real and reliable sources drives the appeal of freeze-dried foods. Pet owners want to provide whole food nutrition to cats, and freeze-dried whole foods make that possible.

CLOSEST TO THE FRESH FORM

Freeze-drying retains nutritional value better than traditional methods. The process also preserves the actual color and flavor of the raw food, reassuring pet owners they are introducing real food in their pets’ diets. The intense aroma of freeze-dried ingredients also closely resembles the flavor profile of the fresh, raw food.

CUSTOMIZATION

Another benefit of freeze-drying is the ability to customize to your pet’s unique needs. Freeze-dried ingredients can be ground or cut into many different sizes and shapes – everything from raw meat and vegetables down to fine powders. You can easily mix the finished product into any blend or formulation for a flavorful recipe.

PROLONGED SHELF LIFE

The shelf life of any product directly links to the water content of that product. Removing water through the freeze-drying eliminates the potential for bacterial growth. Water content varies from product, product, but an average for a freeze-dried food is around 3% moisture. The actual shelf life for any freeze-dried product depends on the storage temperature and packaging of the product.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is freeze-dried food good for indoor cats?

Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they mostly eat meat and need little carbohydrates. High meat, grain-free dry foods are a good option if you’re supplementing with plain kibble. But canned, freeze-dried, raw, and dehydrated foods are the best choices for indoor cats.

How can I rehydrate freeze-dried cat food?

Put freeze-dried food into a Ziploc bag and immerse it in water. You can rehydrate freeze-dried and dehydrated food with warm water. Never microwave frozen food because it makes it unhealthy and less palatable,

Do I need to refrigerate freeze-dried cat food?

Freeze-dried foods have a long shelf life, which makes them ideal for traveling with your cat. They don’t require additional freezing or refrigeration. You can store freeze-dried foods in any kitchen cabinet or pantry.

Are eggs good for indoor cats?

Cats benefit from eggs’ protein and amino acids being carnivores. But eggs can only be treats and can’t replace complete meals. Feed a tiny amount because you don’t want to put extra calories in your cat’s diet.

What is the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated cat food?

Dehydrated food uses low-heat to remove the water content, whereas freeze removes moisture via a low-pressure vacuum. Freeze-drying helps retain the natural flavor and original ingredients.

How to introduce freeze-dried food into the cat’s daily diet?

The transition should be deliberate and slow. Begin with a blend of regular kibble and freeze-dried food for your cat. Introduce 10-percent of the raw food and 90-percent of regular food. Continue feeding this way for at least a week. After the completion of each week, increase the raw food quantity by 10-percent.

Look out for signs such as upset tummy and loose stools. Feel free to adjust the serving size of the raw food if things don’t seem right.

Is a raw diet better for indoor cats?

Cats can digest raw foods better than humans because they have acidic digestive tracts. Many pathogens will pass through cat’s intestines without causing any issues. Most cats can also tolerate raw food, but those with the immune-mediated disease may need cooked food.

What causes neurological problems in cats?

A lack of thiamine can cause neurological problems and lead to convulsions and coma. An enzyme in spoiled raw fish destroys thiamine, which is an essential B vitamin for cats. Always give your cat balanced and nutritious meals to avoid cognitive dysfunction.

Can I feed raw meat to cats?

Raw food for cats should always be fresh. We recommend choosing human-grade raw meat and meaty bones because some raw cat products marketed as pet food (pet meat/pet rolls/pet mince and bone products) contain additives and preservatives. These can be quite detrimental to the cat’s health. Always choose high-quality raw cat food, as reviewed in this guide.

Will black pepper hurt my cat?

Black pepper is not harmful to cats, but the strong smell is unbearable for them. Never spray black pepper directly on the cat as it can cause irritation and make them sick.

How much freeze-dried food should I feed my cat?

  • Cats at their ideal weight: 2-2.5% of their current body weight per day.
  • Less active, overweight, senior cats: 1.5% of their current body weight per day.
  • Underweight, active cats: 3% of their current body weight per day.