10 Best Freeze-Dried Cat Foods

If you’re considering freeze-dried cat food as an option but don’t know where to start, we’re here to help. Compare the recommendations below to find the recipe that best fits your cat’s needs and preferences.

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Freeze-dried food offers a shelf-stable convenience to fresh raw food. It’s packed with the protein your carnivorous cat needs and generally contains lower concentrations of carbohydrate than traditional dry food.

Because this food is freeze-dried to remove moisture, it generally doesn’t require the addition of artificial preservatives and it can last as long as two years unopened.

Though freeze-dried food provides a convenient alternative to raw food without compromising on quality, it doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs for optimal hydration. We recommend rehydrating the product with water or nutrient-rich bone broth before feeding it to your cat.

Best Freeze-Dried Cat Food Formulas in 2022

Now that you’ve been introduced to the basics about freeze-dried cat food , take a look at some of the options we recommend.

1

Ziwi Peak Air-Dried Chicken Recipe Cat Food

Rating

Price 62%
Quality of Ingredients 90%
Customer Experience 64%
Nutrient Value 68%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 90%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$0.66

Company info

Company HQMt. Maunganui, New Zealand Parent companyZiwi Ltd

Overview

Though technically not a freeze-dried formula, this air-dried recipe from Ziwi Peak offers species-appropriate nutrition and shelf-stable convenience. Chicken, chicken organs, and New Zealand green mussels make up the primary ingredients, making this recipe rich in animal protein and very low in carbohydrates. It is designed to be fed as-is and may not rehydrate as well as freeze-dried food.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, New Zealand Green Mussel, Chicken Bone, Lecithin, Inulin from Chicory, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Dipotassium Phosphate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Sodium Selenite), Salt, Preservative (Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), DL-Methionine, Taurine.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 38%

Fat: 30%

Fiber: 2%

Moisture: 14%

Ash: 12%

Carb: 4%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 44.19%

Fat: 34.88%

Fiber: 2.33%

Ash: 13.95%

Carb: 4.65%

What We Like

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • To our knowledge, Ziwi has never had a product recall
  • Gently air-dried to preserve nutrition
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Green-lipped mussel is added as a source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein

What We Did Not Like

  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Doesn’t receive consistently positive customer reviews
2

The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. Meow Wild Venison Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Rating

Price 25%
Quality of Ingredients 94%
Customer Experience 61%
Nutrient Value 100%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$2.64

Company info

Company HQPauanui Beach, New Zealand Parent companyThe New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co.

Overview

Made with wild venison, this freeze-dried cat food is a great option for cats with food allergies and sensitivities. Not only is venison a novel protein for most cats, but this recipe contains a limited list of digestible animal-based ingredients. While olive oil is the primary source of added fat, hoki oil provides an animal source of essential fatty acids and omega-3s.

Ingredients

Wild Venison , Lamb , Lamb Green Tripe , Lamb Heart , Lamb Liver , Lamb Kidney , Ground Lamb Bone , Kelp , Green Lipped Mussels , Manuka Honey , Rosemary , Organic Virgin Coconut Oil , Hoki Oil , Taurine , Choline Chloride , Zinc Amino Acid Complex , Iron Amino Acid Complex , Copper Amino Acid Complex , Vitamin B1 (Thiamine Mononitrate) , Manganese Amino Acid Complex , Salt

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 60%

Fat: 20%

Fiber: 2%

Moisture: 5%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 13%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 63.16%

Fat: 21.05%

Fiber: 2.11%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 13.68%

What We Like

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • To our knowledge, The New Zealand Natural Pet Food Co. has never had a product recall
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Contains kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Did Not Like

  • Expensive
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
3

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

Rating

Price 32%
Quality of Ingredients 95%
Customer Experience 79%
Nutrient Value 84%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$1.62

Company info

Company HQNew Zealand Parent companyK9 Natural

Overview

Formulated with 99% chicken, lamb, and organs, this freeze-dried recipe provides complete and balanced nutrition for your cat. It is completely free from grains, additives, and other fillers. In fact, it only contains one added plant ingredient, flaxseed flakes. Overall, it is a protein-rich freeze-dried formula relatively low in carbohydrates.

Ingredients

Chicken, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood, Flaxseed Flakes, New Zealand Green Mussel, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 48%

Fat: 31%

Fiber: 1%

Moisture: 8%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 12%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 52.17%

Fat: 33.7%

Fiber: 1.09%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 13.04%

What We Like

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • To our knowledge, Feline Natural has never had a product recall
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Green-lipped mussel is added as a source of glucosamine and chondroitin
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein

What We Did Not Like

  • Expensive
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
4

Zeal Canada Salmon & Turkey Recipe Grain-Free Gently Air-Dried Cat Food

Rating

Price 25%
Quality of Ingredients 87%
Customer Experience 58%
Nutrient Value 59%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 90%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$0.99

Company info

Company HQBritish Columbia, Canada Parent companyCanadian Jerky Company Ltd.

Overview

Another air-dried formula, this salmon and turkey recipe from Zeal Canada offers the simplicity of dry cat food with the nutritional benefits of raw food. It features fresh salmon and turkey as the top two ingredients with turkey organs and krill meal for supplemental protein and essential nutrients. This recipe is designed to be fed as-is and has a jerky-like texture many cats find appealing.

Ingredients

Salmon, Turkey, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Bamboo fiber, Sunflower lecithin, Krill meal, Parsley, Taurine, Vitamin A, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Pyridoxine, Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Calcium iodate, Zinc proteinate, Magnesium Sulphate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper proteinate, Potassium chloride, Rosemary extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 34%

Fat: 22%

Fiber: 4%

Moisture: 14%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 18%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 39.53%

Fat: 25.58%

Fiber: 4.65%

Ash: 9.3%

Carb: 20.93%

What We Like

  • To our knowledge, Zeal Canada has never had a product recall
  • Gently air-dried to preserve nutrition
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein

What We Did Not Like

  • Expensive
  • Low protein content
  • High in carbohydrates
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
5

BIXBI Rawbble Beef Recipe Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Dog Food

Rating

Price 51%
Size Variety 100%
Quality of Ingredients 90%
Customer Experience 76%
Nutrient Value 88%
Recall History 25%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$1.07

Company info

Company HQBoulder, Colorado Parent companyBoulder Organics LLC

Overview

This freeze-dried formula is made with 97% pasture-fed beef, organs, and bone. It is grain-free and gluten-free in addition to being free from added hormones and antibiotics. Pumpkin and coconut oil are the only plant ingredients, making this a fairly species-appropriate choice that is low in carbohydrates.

Ingredients

Beef, Beef Liver, Beef Kidney, Beef Bone, Pumpkin, Coconut Oil, Salmon Oil, Selenium Yeast, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 50%

Fat: 34%

Fiber: 4%

Moisture: 7%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 5%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 53.76%

Fat: 36.56%

Fiber: 4.3%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 5.38%

What We Like

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Did Not Like

  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried dog food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
  • Some dogs may be allergic to fish
6

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

Rating

Price 30%
Quality of Ingredients 89%
Customer Experience 72%
Nutrient Value 77%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$1.66

Company info

Company HQAustin, Texas Parent companyNulo Pet Food

Overview

Featuring chicken and salmon as the primary ingredients, this freeze-dried formula is packed with species-appropriate animal protein. Chicken necks provide a nutritious source of ground bone with chicken liver and chicken hearts to follow. While the primary source of added fat is plant-based (ground flaxseed), this recipe also contains salmon oil as a rich source of animal-based omega-3s.

Ingredients

Chicken, Salmon, Chicken Necks, Chicken Liver, Chicken Hearts, Ground Flaxseed, Spinach, Salmon Oil, Cranberries, Coconut Oil, Inulin, Dried Kelp, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyriodoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Mixed Tocopherols (as preservative), Vitamin D3 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 46%

Fat: 23%

Fiber: 2%

Moisture: 5%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 24%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 48.42%

Fat: 24.21%

Fiber: 2.11%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 25.26%

What We Like

  • To our knowledge, Nulo has never had a product recall
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains health promoting ground flaxseed for fiber
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Did Not Like

  • Expensive
  • High in carbohydrates
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
7

Stella & Chewy's Chick Chick Chicken Dinner Morsels Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Rating

Price 50%
Size Variety 95%
Quality of Ingredients 89%
Customer Experience 82%
Nutrient Value 75%
Recall History 25%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$1.38

Company info

Company HQMilwaukee, Wisconsin Parent companyStella and Chewy’s LLC

Overview

Freeze-dried in small morsels, this cat food from Stella & Chewy’s can be fed as-is or rehydrated with warm water. It features cage-free chicken as the primary ingredient, including ground bone, chicken liver, and chicken gizzard. You’ll also find probiotics in this recipe to support your cat’s digestion.

Ingredients

Chicken (Ground With Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Gizzard, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Fenugreek Seed, Dried Pediococcus Acidilactici Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Coagulans Fermentation Product, Taurine, Tocopherols (Preservative), Dandelion, Dried Kelp, Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Copper Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12 Supplement.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 45%

Fat: 25%

Fiber: 5%

Moisture: 5%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 20%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 47.37%

Fat: 26.32%

Fiber: 5.26%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 21.05%

What We Like

  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains dried kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein

What We Did Not Like

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
  • The brand has had multiple recalls over recent years
8

Instinct Freeze-Dried Raw Meals Grain-Free Cage-Free Chicken Recipe Cat Food

Rating

Price 71%
Quality of Ingredients 73%
Customer Experience 86%
Nutrient Value 61%
Recall History 100%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$1.12

Company info

Company HQLincoln, Nebraska Parent companyM.I. Industries

Overview

This freeze-dried formula from Instinct claims to contain three times more real chicken and organs than kibble. Cage-free chicken (including ground chicken bone) is the first ingredient, followed by chicken liver and chicken heart. Salmon oil provides a rich, animal-based source of omega-3s with small amounts of ground flaxseed, fruits, and veggies to provide supplemental nutrition.

Ingredients

Chicken (including Ground Chicken Bone), Chicken Liver, Chicken Heart, Montmorillonite Clay, Ground Flaxseed, Salmon Oil, Carrots, Apples, Butternut Squash, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Potassium Chloride, Tricalcium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Yeast Culture, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), DL-Methionine, Mixed Tocopherols (for freshness), Blueberries, Spinach, Rosemary Extract.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 38%

Fat: 34%

Fiber: 3%

Moisture: 6%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 19%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 40.43%

Fat: 36.17%

Fiber: 3.19%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 20.21%

What We Like

  • To our knowledge, Instinct has never had a product recall
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Supplemented with chelated minerals for optimal nutrient absorption
  • Contains health promoting ground flaxseed for fiber
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • Affordable
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Did Not Like

  • High in carbohydrates
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
9

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

Rating

Price 60%
Size Variety 95%
Quality of Ingredients 69%
Customer Experience 77%
Nutrient Value 87%
Recall History 25%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$1.25

Company info

Company HQFairfield, California Parent companyPrimal Pet Foods Inc.

Overview

One of Primal’s many freeze-dried recipes, this formula contains 90% chicken, salmon, organs, and bone. It’s rich in species-appropriate animal protein, but it still contains a variety of unnecessary plant ingredients. Even so, it is much lower in carbohydrates than the average dry cat food and it can be rehydrated to support your cat’s hydration.

Ingredients

Chicken (with ground bone), Chicken Livers, Salmon, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Cranberries, Organic Blueberries, Organic Kale, Organic Squash, Organic Carrots, Organic Apples, Organic Broccoli, Organic Rosemary Extract, Organic Parsley, Organic Quinoa, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Fish Oil, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Coconut Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Organic Ground Alfalfa, Dried Organic Kelp.

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 49%

Fat: 26%

Fiber: 2%

Moisture: 8%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 15%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 53.26%

Fat: 28.26%

Fiber: 2.17%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 16.3%

What We Like

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Contains kelp as a natural source of essential nutrients
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • A good source of omega-3 fatty acids

What We Did Not Like

  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
  • The brand has had multiple recalls over recent years
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish
10

Vital Essentials Pork Dinner Patties Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Rating

Price 78%
Size Variety 64%
Quality of Ingredients 100%
Customer Experience 58%
Nutrient Value 25%
Recall History 25%
Manufacturing Method 0%

Product info

Age Range:Adult Cost per day:$0.94

Company info

Company HQGreen Bay, Wisconsin Parent companyCarnivore Meat Company

Overview

Simple to serve, these Vital Essentials freeze-dried pork dinner patties are packed with animal protein. In addition to fresh pork, this recipe features pork liver and pork spleen. Aside from herring oil as an animal-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, this recipe contains very few ingredients. Overall, it’s a species-appropriate choice that is rich in protein with no added carbohydrates.

Ingredients

Pork, Pork Liver, Pork Spleen, Herring Oil, Mixed Tocopherols (Preservative), Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Amino Acid Complex, Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex

Guaranteed Analysis

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Protein: 7%

Fat: 40%

Fiber: 45%

Moisture: 8%

Ash: 0%

Carb: 0%

Dry Matter Analysis

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Protein: 7.61%

Fat: 43.48%

Fiber: 48.91%

Ash: 8%

Carb: 0%

What We Like

  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Freeze-dried food retains the nutritional value of raw meat
  • Doesn’t contain fillers, by-products, or artificial additives
  • Rich in species-appropriate animal protein
  • Affordable

What We Did Not Like

  • Low protein content
  • Low in moisture
  • Contains a small amount of plant-based proteins
  • Freeze dried cat food requires rehydration, which is time-consuming
  • For supplemental feeding only: this food is not nutritionally complete and balanced according to AAFCO guidelines
  • The brand has had multiple recalls over recent years
  • Some cats may be allergic to fish

Why Should You Trust Us

As dog parents ourselves, we understand how hard it is to choose the right wet dog food with so many recipes available in 2022. So how do you navigate past marketing claims to get real facts?

That’s where we come in. With over 2352 recipe reviews, Pet Food Sherpa is the largest database for cat food recipe reviews overseen by a vet nutrition specialist.

Our team has analyzed over 200 Freeze-Dried Cat Foods and selected the 10 best recipes, we then used our pet food algorithm to determine the scores for each recipe.

You should keep in mind that no single Freeze-Dried food is right for all cats. Instead, use our list as a research tool to help you make a better-informed decision on your dog’s diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is freeze-dried cat food?

Freeze-dried cat food is made through a process that involves freezing the food and removing moisture. The food is frozen at very low temperatures then put into a vacuum which removes the frozen ice crystals. The result is a low-moisture, shelf-stable cat food that is then sealed in air-tight packaging.

In most cases, freeze-dried cat food is made with raw ingredients. Because the ingredients aren’t cooked before being freeze-dried, the end product is still technically raw. That being said, you generally don’t need to refrigerate the product as long as you keep it in the original resealable packaging in a cool, dry location. It’s best to use freeze-dried cat food within 30 days of opening.

2. Is freeze-dried raw food good for cats?

Freeze-dried cat food is a very nutritious option for cats. In fact, it is nutritionally equivalent to raw food. The only difference is that the moisture has been removed to make the product shelf-stable. As is true with any cat food, however, the quality depends on the ingredients and formulation.

Most freeze-dried cat foods offer higher nutritional quality than the average kibble, but it’s still important to review the ingredients list and guaranteed analysis. A freeze-dried cat food made primarily with animal ingredients like meat, organs, and ground bone will be much better for your cat than a freeze-dried food heavy in plant ingredients.

It’s also worth noting that while freeze-dried cat food can be protein-rich and species-appropriate in terms of nutritional composition, it doesn’t contain the moisture your cat needs for hydration. For this reason, it’s best to rehydrate freeze-dried cat food before feeding it to your cat.

3. How do I rehydrate freeze-dried cat food?

Freeze-dried cat food has been processed to remove all the moisture, so it contains about as much moisture as kibble – around 10%, sometimes less. Moisture is an essential part of a healthy diet for cats, so it’s recommended that you rehydrate freeze-dried cat food before feeding. Rehydrating the food also improves the texture which may make it more appealing to picky cats.

You can rehydrate freeze-dried cat food with water or broth. Most commercial freeze-dried cat foods will provide instructions for rehydrating the food, but you generally just add your cat’s portion to his bowl and add liquid. In most cases, an equal proportion of food to water works well.

It usually takes 15 to 20 minutes for freeze-dried cat food to rehydrate, though the timing may vary by recipe. Again, refer to the feeding instructions on the package. Once the food has been rehydrated it should be treated like wet cat food and not left out for more than 4 hours.

4. Is freeze-dried raw cat food safe?

Whether fresh or freeze-dried, there are inherent risks to feeding your cat a raw diet. Not only is there potential for foodborne pathogens affecting your cat, but you and others in your household could be exposed to them as well. Fortunately, basic safe food handling practices are generally enough to reduce the risk. Just be sure to wash your hands after handling raw food as well as any utensils you use.

The primary concern with freeze-dried raw cat food is bacterial contamination. E. coli, listeria, and salmonella are the most common culprits. The freeze-drying process helps decrease the number of pathogens in the raw ingredients, but some may survive freeze-drying. Commercial freeze-dried foods may have lower rates of contamination than unprocessed raw foods.

5. Can freeze-dried food cause problems for cats?

Freeze-dried cat food is generally a very nutritious choice for cats, especially when it is filled with animal-based ingredients like meat, organ, and raw bone. Aside from the potential for bacterial contamination, however, there are a few concerns. First and foremost, the lack of moisture.

The process of freeze drying removes the moisture from the raw ingredients in order to make the product shelf-stable. Cats require moisture in their diet for proper hydration and, because they don’t tend to drink a lot of water on their own, it’s important to include it in your cat’s diet. The best option is to rehydrate your cat’s freeze-dried food before feeding and provide plenty of fresh water.

Another concern with freeze-dried cat food is the potential for nutritional deficiencies. This is more common with homemade diets, however. As long as you’re feeding your cat a commercial freeze-dried food formulated by a veterinarian or veterinary nutritionist, you shouldn’t have to worry.

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