The 5 Best Fresh Cat Food Delivery Services

Cat Food August 23, 2021

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The 5 Best Fresh Cat Food Delivery Services

Here are Feline Culture, we know cats. It’s our personal mission to provide pet parents like you with the information you need to make a smart and healthy decision for your feline friend.

We’ve done the research, tested the products, and written the reviews to help you give your cat the best of the best.

If you want what’s best for your cat, it all comes down to diet. The quality of your cat’s diet is the biggest determining factor in his total health and wellness.

Compare Best Fresh Cat Food Delivery Service

Overall Best
Small Fresh Killz Fresh Ground Bird

1. Small Fresh Killz Fresh Ground Bird

Runner Up
Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine

2. Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine

Best Raw
Darwin’s Natural Selections Lamb Feline Meal

3. Darwin’s Natural Selections Lamb Feline Meal

Best Human-Grade
Raised Right Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

4. Raised Right Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

Best Non-Subscription
Freshpet Select Tender Chicken & Beef Recipe

5. Freshpet Select Tender Chicken & Beef Recipe

Ingredient Quality
10/10
Ingredient Quality
8/10
Ingredient Quality
10/10
Ingredient Quality
10/10
Ingredient Quality
8/10
Recipe Variety
9/10
Recipe Variety
8/10
Recipe Variety
9/10
Recipe Variety
8/10
Recipe Variety
10/10
Recall History
10/10
Recall History
10/10
Recall History
10/10
Recall History
10/10
Recall History
9/10
Biologically Appropriate
9/10
Biologically Appropriate
10/10
Biologically Appropriate
10/10
Biologically Appropriate
9/10
Biologically Appropriate
8/10
Weekly Price
8/10
Weekly Price
8/10
Weekly Price
9/10
Weekly Price
8/10
Weekly Price
9/10

When it comes to nutritional quality, we’re firm believers that fresh is best. The good news for you is there are plenty of fresh cat food companies out there, many of which deliver right to your door! What could be better than that?

We tested and reviewed the top fresh cat food delivery services on the market to give you the honest and unbiased information you need to choose for yourself.

Why Is Fresh Food Best For Cats?

All cat food is not created equal. When you walk down the cat food aisle at your local pet store, you’ll see dozens (maybe even hundreds) of bags filled with dry food and stacks of cans and tubs. Because you can’t see through the packages, it all looks more or less the same. All it takes is a quick review of the information on the label, however, to see that is simply not the case.

What makes a good cat food different from a bad one is the quality of the ingredients and how they’re prepared. Good ingredients only go so far – they also need to be prepared in a way that preserves their nutrition and makes it accessible to your cat. That’s where fresh cat food comes in.

Here are some of the potential benefits of fresh cat food:

  • Improved digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Reduced stool volume and odor
  • Increased energy levels
  • Healthier skin and coat, less shedding
  • Better urinary tract health
  • Improved dental health, better breath
  • Healthy weight maintenance

While the benefits of fresh cat food are certainly impressive, there are some downsides to consider. Nutritionally speaking, fresh food is great. Financially and practically speaking, however, it isn’t perfect.

Read on to learn what to expect from fresh cat food delivery in terms of cost.

How Much Does Fresh Cat Food Cost?

When it comes to cat food, price and quality are often equated. This isn’t to say that you can’t find a good cat food at an affordable price, but the higher the quality of a product the more expensive it is likely to be. Be careful about shopping by price, however, because even some of the most expensive cat food brands on the market aren’t any good.

The cost to feed your cat a fresh food diet varies depending on his calorie requirements. Calorie needs for cats vary according to age, weight, and activity level. For example, a 10-pound cat needs about 215 calories per day while an 18-pound cat may need closer to 340 calories. The younger and more active your cat is, the higher his calorie needs are likely to be.

Fresh cat food is generally priced per pound, so your cost will depend on how much your cat eats. To make things easy, fresh cat food delivery companies usually give you a per-day or per-week cost to help you with budgeting.

The fresh cat food companies we’ve tested range from about $2.50 per day to about $4 per day (based on a body weight around 8 pounds). That makes the weekly range about $18 to $28 and the monthly price range about $75 to $120.

What To Look For In Fresh Cat Food Delivery?

As pet food delivery services become increasingly more popular, cat owners like you need to step up your game. It’s your job as a responsible pet owner to make a smart and healthy choice for your cat which means taking the time to evaluate the different options to separate the good from the bad.

Here are some things to look for when shopping for fresh cat food:

  • Look for a trustworthy company that takes pride in its products. Many fresh cat food delivery services are smaller companies owned and operated by families.
  • Make sure the ingredients come from reputable sources and are of high quality. Fresh cat food is best when it comes from high-quality whole food ingredients.
  • Check for real animal protein, especially as the first ingredient in every recipe. If the recipes are made with a single source of animal protein, even better.
  • Double-check for other digestible ingredients and avoid high concentrations of carbohydrates. Your cat’s diet should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates.
  • Compare prices and ask about other convenience features like individual portions, automatic shipment, custom meal plans, etc.

When shopping for fresh cat food, it’s all about quality. Good brands take great care in sourcing their ingredients and they aren’t shy to tell you where they come from.

While you should always avoid ingredients from China, many pet food companies are starting to source some of their protein from Australia and New Zealand – this is common for things like pasture-raised lamb.

First and foremost, any fresh cat food you choose needs to be formulated to meet your cat’s needs.

Remember, cats are obligate carnivores which means their bodies are biologically evolved to consume meat. A biologically appropriate diet for cats is one primarily based in animal proteins, largely protein. Carbohydrates simply shouldn’t play a major role in your cat’s diet and, if they are present, they should be as nutritious and digestible as possible.

Now that you know a little more about fresh food for cats and what to expect from a fresh cat food delivery service, read on to see our top 5 picks and what we think about them.

Our Top Picks For The Best Fresh Cat Food Delivery

The only thing better than finding a high-quality fresh food for your cat to enjoy is having it delivered right to your door. Like meal kits for people, fresh cat food delivery services send high-quality meals to your home – all you have to do is thaw a few packages at a time for your cat to enjoy fresh.

There are plenty of pet food deliver services out there, but not all of them are worthy of our recommendation.

Overall Best
1.

Small Fresh Killz Fresh Ground Bird

Product Info

  • Ingredient Quality: 10/10
  • Recipe Variety: 9/10
  • Recall History: 10/10
  • Biologically Appropriate: 9/10
  • Weekly Price: 8/10
Pros
  • Made with fresh human-grade ingredients
  • Custom meal plans, delivered to your door
  • Complete and nutritionally balanced recipes
Cons
  • Food isn’t pre-portioned for cat’s needs
  • Some cats disliked the texture of the food
  • Limited protein choices, no novel proteins
One of the first fresh pet food delivery companies dedicated solely to cats, Smalls uses human-grade ingredients as well. All of their recipes are formulated by veterinary nutritionists and designed to deliver complete and balanced nutrition for cats.

Smalls offers a wide variety of product choices for cats. Not only do they have six recipes of fresh cat food (both minced and pate), but they offer an assortment of freeze-dried recipes, treats, toys, and even cat litter. Smalls has it all.

What we love about Smalls is their dedicate to cats. Not only do they use the highest quality ingredients available, but their recipes are formulated by veterinary nutritionists. You have two textures to choose from (minced or pate), so it appeals to picky eaters as well.

The main reason we didn’t make Smalls our top choice is because of their recipe selection. While there are technically six different recipes, it’s really three recipes each available in two flavors.

Cat food allergies aren’t as common as some pet food manufacturers want you to think, but when they do happen they’re most likely to be triggered by common proteins like chicken and beef. Because Smalls only uses chicken, turkey, and beef as their protein choices cats with food allergies may have issues.
Runner Up
2.

Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine

Product Info

  • Ingredient Quality: 8/10
  • Recipe Variety: 8/10
  • Recall History: 10/10
  • Biologically Appropriate: 10/10
  • Weekly Price: 8/10
Pros
  • Pre-portioned meals delivered to your door
  • Formulated by veterinary nutritionist
  • High in protein, moisture, and nutrients
Cons
  • Limited recipe variety (2 options)
  • More expensive than some options
Our top pick for the best fresh cat food delivery is Nom Nom. While this company only offers two recipe choices, we love the quality of the ingredients and the care they take to preserve the nutritional integrity of those ingredients with each and every batch.

When it comes to pricing, Nom Nom is on the higher end of the spectrum, but you get one very important benefit for paying a higher price: pre-portioned meals.

With Nom Nom, all of your cat’s meals are portioned according to his daily calorie needs. You simply thaw a day or two worth of food in the fridge and when it comes to mealtime, open the bag and pour it right in. Because they are individually packaged, you can also simply thaw a meal in water for 15 to 30 minutes instead of having to remember thaw it in the fridge overnight.

Not only does Nom Nom offer convenience, but their recipes are made with human-grade ingredients and formulated by veterinary nutritionists. You can rest assured that your cat’s diet will be packed with real animal protein and quality nutrients.
Best Raw
3.

Darwin’s Natural Selections Lamb Feline Meal

Product Info

  • Ingredient Quality: 10/10
  • Recipe Variety: 9/10
  • Recall History: 10/10
  • Biologically Appropriate: 10/10
  • Weekly Price: 9/10
Pros
  • Made with 100% real meat ingredients
  • Single-source protein recipes, grain-free
  • No fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
Cons
  • Meals aren’t portioned according to your cat’s needs
  • Requires safe food handling procedures
Though fresh food for cats is great, raw food is even better. Raw food is the closest you’ll come to recreating your cat’s natural biological diet. In the wild, cats are obligate carnivores, so they eat whole prey, including the organs and bone. That’s why Darwin’s raw cat food is made with 100% real meat.

Darwin’s Natural Pet Products offers a single line of raw cat food, Natural Selections. This product line includes three different protein options, all of which are pasture-raised and free-roaming without any added antibiotics, steroids, or artificial hormones.

Every one of Darwin’s three raw cat food recipes contains fresh meat or poultry along with raw bone and organ meats. The only other ingredients are vitamin/mineral supplements for nutritional balance.

While you might expect raw cat food to be more expensive than other fresh cat food recipes, that isn’t true with Darwin. In fact, Darwin’s costs almost $10 less per week than Nom Nom. What’s better, Darwin’s offers a special promotion where you get your first 10 pounds for just $14.95. Their recipes are packaged in 1-pound patties, so they aren’t portioned out for your cat but they are easy enough to feed.
Best Human-Grade
4.

Raised Right Turkey Adult Cat Recipe

Product Info

  • Ingredient Quality: 10/10
  • Recipe Variety: 8/10
  • Recall History: 10/10
  • Biologically Appropriate: 9/10
  • Weekly Price: 8/10
Pros
  • Made with all human-grade ingredients
  • Recipes high in protein, less than 2% carbs
  • Formulated by veterinary nutritionists
Cons
  • Some cats disliked the texture
  • Very expensive, even for a fresh food
If you’re going to feed your cat fresh food, you should go for the gold with human-grade ingredients. Raised Right takes every precaution possible to keep the quality of their pet food products high.

Raised Right believes your pet deserves the safety pet food possible which is why they worked with veterinarian Dr. Karen Becker to formulate their limited ingredient recipes. Every recipe is packed with premium animal protein and low in carbohydrates. Their recipes are free from fillers and additives too.

In addition to being made with human-grade ingredients, Raised Right is the only pet food company to voluntarily submit to a third-party testing company that shows the guaranteed analysis for their products matches what’s on the label and meets AAFCO standards. Raised Right stands firmly by their products and they offer excellent customer support to make sure you love it as much as they do.

Each one of Raised Right’s recipes is lightly cooked then frozen at the peak of freshness to lock in nutrition. Their food comes in larger bags than most fresh cat food, so you’ll need to thaw several days at a time, and it is a bit pricey. If you want quality ingredients, however, Raised Right has them.
Best Non-Subscription
5.

Freshpet Select Tender Chicken & Beef Recipe

Product Info

  • Ingredient Quality: 8/10
  • Recipe Variety: 10/10
  • Recall History: 9/10
  • Biologically Appropriate: 8/10
  • Weekly Price: 9/10
Pros
  • Wide variety of product lines and flavors
  • Available online and in retail pet stores
  • Made with 100% natural poultry, beef, and fish
Cons
  • Retailers are responsible for storage/handling
  • Produced in larger quantities than some fresh foods
The trouble with fresh cat food is that you typically have to subscribe to a delivery service to get it. If you’re looking for convenience, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you prefer to change things up, however, or if you want to be able to grab something at your local pet store, it might not be the perfect fit for you. In that case, consider FreshPet.

FreshPet was one of the first commercial fresh pet foods on the market and they continue to sell in retail pet stores around the country. You can order FreshPet from various online groceries, but you can also find their products in grocery stores and big box stores, not to mention pet stores.

What makes FreshPet a good option is the fact that they offer a larger variety than many brands. Choose from several product lines and fresh food in rolls, stews, and fresh bites.

The trouble with FreshPet is that because they sell their products nationwide in retail stores, they produce their food in larger batches than many companies. This means they often need to use certain additives to ensure consistency and food safety, plus it means a higher risk for mistakes and recalls. While FreshPet hasn’t had any product recalls, there are customer complaints online.

Perhaps what makes FreshPet so prone to complaints is the fact that they don’t control distribution. FreshPet sells their products to other retailers who are then responsible for how the product is stored and handled. This can lead to issues with freshness which may be part of the problem.

In terms of pricing for fresh cat food recipes, the quality and type of ingredients play a role, but it really comes down to the differences between companies.

Here’s a quick cat food cost comparison chart for reference:

Premium Cat Food Price Comparison

Food Type Brand Average Price Price Per Month (approx.)
(
Based on 6-8 lbs. Cat)
Dry Food Orijen About $5.10/pound About $38
Wet Food Newman’s Own Organic About $1.60/can About $48
Raw Frozen Stella & Chewy’s About $6.00/pound About $27
Freeze-Dried Primal Pet Foods, Inc. About $2.40/pound About $62
Dehydrated The Honest Kitchen About $11.25/pound About $45

The Final Word

Overall, we can’t recommend fresh food for cats enough. Compared to the average kibble, it tends to be much higher in protein, moisture, and nutritional quality.

If that’s not enough of an argument, consider that many of the fresh cat food delivery companies out there take great pride in their products, cooking them in small batches to ensure nutritional integrity.

All of this being said, we understand that fresh food isn’t in everyone’s budget. If you’re looking for a convenient way to upgrade your cat’s diet, however, and you are willing to spend a little more for it, consider one of the fresh cat food brands we’ve reviewed above.

Good luck!

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.
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