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The 7 Best Raw Cat Food – Healthy Picks for Your Carnivore

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updated-icon Updated by  Kate Barrington
comments-icon Medically reviewed by  Dr. Aisling O'Keeffe MVB CertSAM ISFMAdvCertFB MRCVS
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The intention is to showcase the array of Raw cat food offerings to cater to different preferences and nutritional requirements.

The best raw cat food emulates the pure, elegant simplicity of a cat’s natural whole-prey diet. Great products combine nutritional integrity with excellent ingredient quality and a reputation for consistency and safety.

That’s why we recommend Open Farm Harvest Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food as the best raw cat food you can buy. Freeze-drying ensures that this food is safer for both you and your cat while delivering the rich nutrition of fresh meat. It’s made by a company renowned for its ethical and sustainable sourcing and business practices.

Before we dive into the details of our top recommendations, let’s talk about the potential benefits of a raw food diet for your cat.

At a Glance: Best Raw Cat Food To Buy

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2748
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7
top
picks
Overall Best
10.0
Picked by 31 people today!

Open Farm Harvest Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Relies primarily on animal-based fat from salmon oil
Get 20% Off ENTER "CATS20" TO GET 20% OFF YOUR FIRST AUTO-SHIP ORDER
Runner Up
9.8
Picked by 31 people today!

Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels

  • Freeze dried food is safer to handle and store
  • Made primarily from species-appropriate rabbit
  • Rich in probiotics with 10 million colony forming units per ounce
Best for Digestive Health
9.6
Picked by 21 people today!

Wysong Archetype Raw Chicken Formula

  • Freeze-dried for safety and longevity
  • Excellent source of moisture once rehydrated
  • Probiotics to encourage digestive and immune health
Best for Senior
9.5
Picked by 18 people today!

Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb Freeze-Dried Cat Food

  • Easily-digested protein helps to support senior muscle mass
  • Controlled phosphorus is easy on aging kidneys
  • Calorie-dense to keep senior cats strong
Best Raw Frozen
9.4
Picked by 31 people today!

Smallbatch Pets Turkeybatch Sliders Raw Frozen Patties

  • Made with 97% humanely raised turkey
  • Highly digestible for cats
  • Rich in hydrating moisture
Best Raw Supplements
9.3
Picked by 31 people today!

Answers Pet Food Fermented Raw Goat Milk

  • Cardboard carton makes it easy to store leftovers
  • Use as a meal mixer, topper, or treat
  • Supports your cat’s hydration and digestion
Best for Homemade Diets
9.2
Picked by 31 people today!

Hare Today Freeze-Dried Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs

  • Carnivore-appropriate blend of muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Ideal for use in homemade raw diets
  • Finely ground texture is easy to rehydrate

Is Raw Cat Food Safe?

As with any raw food, there are some risks involved in feeding your cat a raw diet. Raw cat food is inherently prone to containing bacteria due to its uncooked nature. As obligate carnivores, however, cats have a short digestive tract designed to quickly and efficiently process raw meat. Their stomachs also have much higher levels of acidity than the human stomach.

Cats can still get sick from pathogens in food, but their physiology as carnivores may offer some protection in the case of raw diets. Foodborne pathogens simply may not spend enough time in the cat’s digestive system to make them sick.

But what about the risk to yourself or your family? It’s important to follow safe food handling practices, but research seems to suggest that the risk of pathogen transmission to humans from raw pet food diets is low.

A worldwide survey involving more than 5,600 responses from 62 countries revealed no confirmed cases of pathogen transmission or infection. The study authors concluded that potential or probable cases of transmission were likely dependent on hygiene and food safety measures. That said, it’s still important to choose high-quality products from companies that have clear sourcing guidelines and a strong reputation for safety and consistency.

Why Trust Cats.com

We’ve personally purchased and tested hundreds of the world’s most popular cat foods, including the products in this review. The entire testing process was funded by Cats.com without direct influence from the brands mentioned here. In testing the products with our cats, we make observations about the food’s appearance, texture, consistency, and smell in addition to getting our cats’ opinions on the food.

In order to choose the products for this list, we took time to evaluate the company behind the food. We looked for manufacturers with a history of safety and consistency. We also considered customer experience, reading hundreds of customer reviews, checking for complaints on Consumer Affairs, and sometimes calling the company to get a feel for its culture and trustworthiness.

Top Picks Explained

Raw cat food is sold in many forms but freeze-dried products offer shelf-stable convenience. While we’ve since updated the raw cat food products we recommend in this article, we still love the freeze-dried products Mallory talks about in this video.

The Top 7 Best Raw Cat Food Products in 2023

For its meat-focused formula and ethically sourced ingredients, Open Farm freeze-dried raw cat food is our top choice. As a freeze-dried formula, it’s also a convenient option for many cat owners. But it’s not the perfect pick for every cat. Whether you prefer a raw frozen formula or raw supplements you can add to your cat’s current diet, we’ve got you covered.

We consider a variety of factors when making our recommendations including ingredient quality, species appropriateness, price, brand reputation, and more. To help you find the right raw cat food product for your cat, we’ve broken down our recommendations into different categories.

#1 Overall Best: Open Farm Harvest Chicken Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Harvest Chicken Freeze Dried Raw Cat Food

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 47% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 149
  • Typical Cost Per Day: About $3.75

While individual preferences may vary, cats seem to enjoy the flavor of Open Farm’s freeze-dried cat food. Multiple customer reviews mention that the chicken recipe is a hit with picky eaters and the formula doubles as both a complete meal and a food topper.

This freeze-dried formula features 98% humanely raised, free-range chicken including muscle meat, organ meat, and ground bone. The crude protein content is roughly 50% measured as dry matter, making it a carnivore-appropriate diet comprised of a single source of animal protein. The only other animal ingredient is salmon oil, included as a species-appropriate source of healthy fats including skin- and coat-supporting omega-3s.

Packed with animal protein and healthy fat, the nutritional makeup of this Open Farm cat food leaves little to be desired. Where it falls short is its low moisture content. Freeze-dried cat food is processed to remove moisture without compromising the integrity of the raw ingredients but it’s still wise to rehydrate the food with water or broth before feeding.

Overall, this appears to be a high-protein, high-fat, and low-carbohydrate cat food formula made with a single source of animal protein. It can be a species-appropriate choice for your cat when reconstituted to meet your cats needs for hydration.

Ingredients

Chicken with Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Neck, Montmorillonite Clay, Organic Dandelion Greens, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Niacin Supplement, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin) Taurine, Organic Cranberries, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite) Salt, Salmon Oil, Mixed Tocopherols, Magnesium Sulfate, Rosemary Extract.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken with Ground Bone, Chicken Liver, Chicken Neck, Salmon Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 47%
Crude Fat: 40%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 49.47%
Fat: 42.11%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 3.16%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 31.94%
Fat: 66.02%
Carbs: 2.04%

What We Liked:

  • Contains muscle meat, organs, and ground bone
  • Made with a single source of animal protein
  • Relies primarily on animal-based fat from salmon oil
  • Very low carbohydrate content

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Low moisture content, should be rehydrated
  • Raw food tends to be pricey

#2 Runner Up: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels

Stella & Chewy's Freeze-Dried Raw Absolutely Rabbit Dinner Morsels Cat Food

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 44% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 132
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $6.00

Stella and Chewy’s is one of the leading companies in the raw pet food space. It has a strong reputation for consistency and a robust lineup with plenty of options to keep your cat happy. The brand offers a wide variety of freeze-dried and frozen cat foods, all of which provide an impressive macronutrient distribution and healthy micronutrient levels.

We’ve recommended this freeze-dried recipe because it’s convenient, packed with animal-sourced protein, and seems to be a hit among cats. As a freeze-dried food, this product is safer to handle and store but retains the nutritional balance of raw meat.

This particular recipe centers around rabbit meat, organs, and bones. In addition to rabbit, the recipe contains prebiotics and probiotics to keep your cat’s digestive system healthy and their immune system strong. It’s a calorie-dense choice with fairly low carbohydrate content but, like the previous pick, should be rehydrated before feeding.

Ingredients

Rabbit With Ground Bone, Rabbit Liver, Olive Oil, Pumpkin Seed, Potassium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Choline Chloride, Dried Ediococcus 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.

Ingredients We Liked: Rabbit with Ground Bone, Rabbit Liver

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 44%
Crude Fat: 30%
Crude Fiber: 5%
Moisture: 5%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 46.32%
Fat: 31.58%
Fiber: 5.26%
Carbs: 16.84%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 33.12%
Fat: 54.84%
Carbs: 12.04%

What We Liked:

  • Freeze dried food is safer to handle and store
  • Made primarily from species-appropriate rabbit
  • Rich in probiotics with 10 million colony forming units per ounce
  • Grain-free without fillers or by-products
  • Low carbohydrate content

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Freeze-dried food demands a few minutes of rehydration time
  • Stella & Chewy’s doesn’t publish complete nutrient charts, making it difficult to evaluate its nutritional strengths and weaknesses

#3 Best for Digestive Health: Wysong Archetype Raw Chicken Formula

Wysong Archetype™ Raw Chicken Formula Canine/Feline Diet Review

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 44% Min
  • Age Range: Adult
  • Calories Per Ounce: NA
  • Typical Cost Per Day: About $1.50

This Wysong Archetype Raw Chicken Formula is a great option to fuel your cat’s nutrition and support their digestion. Not only is it made primarily from chicken, chicken bones, and organs which are all very species-appropriate, but it is supplemented with an assortment of nutraceuticals which support various aspects of your cat’s health.

Among the list of beneficial supplements in this formula you’ll find both prebiotics and probiotics to help improve your cat’s digestive health. Plus, having a limited list of main ingredients makes this recipe easily digestible on the whole.

Compared to the other cat foods mentioned here, this food doesn’t receive quite as many customer reviews. That said, most are positive, with many customers saying that their cats liked eating the food or saw health improvements after making the switch.

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Organs, Ground Chicken Bone, Natural Flavor, Taurine, Organic Blueberry, Organic Barley Grass, Chia Seeds, Broccoli Sprouts, Carrots, Plums, Whey, Sea Salt, Dried Kelp, Yeast Extract, Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols, Rosemary Extract, Yeast Culture, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Ascorbic Acid [Source of Vitamin C], Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid), Dried Bacillus Licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Casei Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Plantarum Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Lactis Fermentation Product.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Chicken Organs, Ground Chicken Bone

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 44%
Crude Fat: 36%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 4%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 45.83%
Fat: 37.5%
Fiber: 0.52%
Carbs: 16.15%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 29.95%
Fat: 59.5%
Carbs: 10.55%

What We Liked:

  • Freeze-dried for safety and longevity
  • After it’s rehydrated, this food is an excellent moisture source
  • Contains probiotics to encourage digestive and immune health
  • Free from grains, fillers, and by-products
  • Wysong has an outstanding reputation for food safety

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not an adequate source of moisture unless rehydrated

#4 Best for Seniors: Feline Natural Chicken & Lamb Freeze-Dried Cat Food

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

  • Made In: New Zealand
  • Guaranteed Protein: 48% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 139
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $5.40

In theory, raw cat food can be exactly what senior cats need — rich in highly digestible animal protein, helping to support lean muscle mass without stressing your senior’s body. But in reality, raw cat food tends to have too much bone and phosphorus, qualities that make it a poor choice for seniors at risk of reduced kidney function.

Unlike the other foods on this list, this Feline Natural recipe does not contain any ground bone. This helps to keep its mineral balance in check, making it a kidney-friendly alternative to more phosphorus-heavy foods. It’s not a therapeutic diet and not recommended for cats with kidney disease, but it is an appealing option for seniors.

Besides its conservative bone content, this food honors feline nutritional needs with a heavy concentration of easy-to-digest chicken muscle meat, lamb organs, heart, and blood. Finally, the food contains New Zealand green mussels, a source of omega-3 fatty acids that could help to fight inflammation associated with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

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.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood, New Zealand Green Mussel

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 48%
Crude Fat: 31%
Crude Fiber: 1%
Moisture: 8%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 52.17%
Fat: 33.7%
Fiber: 1.09%
Carbs: 13.04%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 35.48%
Fat: 55.65%
Carbs: 8.87%

What We Liked:

  • Easily-digested protein helps to support senior muscle mass
  • Controlled phosphorus is easy on aging kidneys
  • Calorie-dense to keep senior cats strong
  • Low carbohydrate content
  • Contains green lipped mussel, a good source of anti-inflammatory omega-3s

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Very expensive

#5 Best Raw Frozen: Smallbatch Pets Turkeybatch Sliders Raw Frozen Patties

Smallbatch Pets Turkeybatch Sliders

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 17.9%
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 34
  • Typical Cost Per Day: $2.50

Made with 97% humanely raised turkey, these raw frozen sliders are a protein-rich choice for cats of all ages. The formula contains little more than turkey muscle meat and organs with salmon oil as a species-appropriate source of omega-3 fatty acids. There are a few organic plant ingredients, but the carbohydrate content of the food is negligible.

Unlike freeze-dried raw food, these turkey sliders are intended to be fed as-is. You’ll need to thaw them, of course, but they’re rich in moisture without needing to be rehydrated. Each slider contains about 1 ounce of food and roughly 34 calories.

The challenge with Smallbatch Pets frozen raw cat food is that availability varies. Smallbatch Pets doesn’t sell its products on their website and you may only find it in specialty pet food stores. Check the store locator here.

Ingredients

Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Livers, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Gizzards, Salmon Oil, Organic Dandelion Greens, Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Organic Kelp, Organic Bee Pollen, Organic Barley Grass, Organic Cranberries, Vitamin E Supplement.

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Turkey Necks, Turkey Livers, Turkey Hearts, Turkey Gizzards, Salmon Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 17.9%
Crude Fat: 6.9%
Crude Fiber: 0.2%
Moisture: 73%
Ash: 3.1%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 66.3%
Fat: 25.56%
Fiber: 0.74%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 51.65%
Fat: 48.35%

What We Liked:

  • Made with 97% humanely raised turkey
  • Species-appropriate blend of muscle meat, organs, and bone
  • Portioned in convenient 1-ounce sliders
  • High in protein with negligible carbohydrate content

What We Didn’t Like:

  • May be hard to find in stores
  • Pretty expensive

#6 Best Raw Supplements: Answers Pet Food Fermented Raw Goat Milk

Answers Additional Fermented Raw Goat Milk

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 2.7% Min
  • Age Range: All Life Stages
  • Calories Per Ounce: 19
  • Typical Cost Per Day: NA

Based in Eastern Pennsylvania, Answers is a small, family-owned business that offers a variety of raw pet food products. In addition to complete and balanced raw meals, Answers sells probiotic-rich raw supplements like raw goat’s milk, fermented bone broth, and raw cheese bites. These supplements are full of digestion-boosting probiotics and enzymes.

Whether you’re feeding your cat freeze-dried or fresh raw food, Answers makes it easy to incorporate variety into their diet. Using fermented bone broth to rehydrate freeze-dried raw food enhances the flavor and moisture content. Raw goat’s milk or raw cow milk kefir can be served as a treat or used as a wet food topper.

Answers Fermented Raw Goat Milk is sold by the pint, quart, or half-gallon in cardboard cartons. It’s easy to mix with various types of cat food. Keep in mind, however, that once it’s thawed it should be used within 14 days.

Ingredients

Raw Goat Milk, Raw Honey, Organic Cinnamon, Dried Lactococcus lactis Fermentation Product, Dried Leuconostoc mesenteroides Fermentation Product.

Ingredients We Liked: Raw Goat Milk

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 2.7%
Crude Fat: 3%
Crude Fiber: 0.5%
Moisture: 89%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 24.55%
Fat: 27.27%
Fiber: 4.55%
Carbs: 43.64%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 18.26%
Fat: 49.28%
Carbs: 32.46%

What We Liked:

  • Simple formula with a limited list of ingredients
  • Cardboard carton makes it easy to store leftovers
  • Use as a meal mixer, topper, or treat
  • Supports your cat’s hydration and digestion

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not sold in volumes smaller than 1 pint
  • Must be used within 14 days once thawed

#7 Best for Homemade Diets: Hare Today Freeze-Dried Ground Chicken/Bones/Organs

  • Made In: United States
  • Guaranteed Protein: 17.9%
  • Age Range: NA
  • Calories Per Ounce: NA
  • Typical Cost Per Day: NA

Many people who feed their cats a raw diet choose to make the food themselves. Making your own homemade cat food enables you to cater to your cat’s preferences and unique nutritional needs. The trick is to follow a veterinarian-approved recipe or use a premix to ensure you’re giving your cat the right balance of nutrients.

Hare Today offers a wide variety of frozen and freeze-dried meats, organs, and bones for use in homemade raw diets. The brand even sells exotic proteins like alpaca, pheasant, and quail. If your cat is allergic to common proteins and you’re giving raw food a try, Hare Today has more options than many raw providers.

This particular product consists of 80% chicken muscle meat, 10% chicken organs, and 10% chicken bone. It’s freeze-dried with a finely ground texture that is easy to mix with liquid or other ingredients in a homemade cat food recipe. Keep in mind that this recipe — like many of Hare Today’s products — is not nutritionally complete. You’ll need to add supplements or a premix to ensure adequate nutrition.

Ingredients

Chicken Quarter (Bone-In, Skin-On), Boneless Chicken Breast (Skinless), Chicken Neck (Skin-On), Chicken Heart, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Liver.

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Quarter, Boneless Chicken Breast, Chicken Neck, Chicken Heart, Chicken Gizzard, Chicken Liver

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 15%
Crude Fat: 9%
Crude Fiber: 2%
Moisture: 67%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 45.45%
Fat: 27.27%
Fiber: 6.06%
Carbs: 21.21%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 34.2%
Fat: 49.84%
Carbs: 15.96%

What We Liked:

  • Single-protein recipe made with meat, organs, and bone
  • Finely ground texture is easy to rehydrate or mix
  • Freeze-dried formula is shelf-stable
  • Great foundation for homemade raw diets

What We Didn’t Like:

  • Not a nutritionally complete formula
  • Availability varies with some products

What to Look for in Raw Food for Cats

The best raw cat food is rich in animal protein with moderate levels of fat and low carbohydrate content. Raw food usually does this well when the diet is nutritionally balanced and complete, delivering plenty of animal-derived protein, species-appropriate sources of fatty acids, and not too much starch.

There are many different kinds of raw cat food on the market, so it can be tricky to find the perfect fit for your cat. Here’s what to look for when shopping for raw cat food.

Whole-Prey Inspired Distribution of Muscle Meat, Organs, and Bones

As obligate carnivores, cats thrive on a prey-inspired balance of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. It appears that the healthiest raw cat foods are composed of roughly 84% muscle meat, 6% bone, 5% liver, and 5% other organs. This mimics the composition of your cat’s prey and helps the food to deliver the right macronutrients and micronutrients with minimal supplementation.

Balanced Mineral Content

Excessive bone content is surprisingly common among raw food products. With too much bone comes too much phosphorus and other minerals. It’s well documented that high levels of phosphorus can be harmful to cats with kidney disease, so excessive bone content could spell problems for your cat’s kidneys.

Complete and Balanced Feline Nutrition

Whether you’re looking at the ratio of muscle meat to organs to bone or scrutinizing the food’s nutrient percentages, it’s critical to make sure that the food has the right balance of nutrients. Compared to other types of cat food, raw cat food is notorious for missing the mark in this area.

When shopping for raw cat food, read product descriptions carefully before buying. Many raw pet food manufacturers don’t formulate their products according to AAFCO nutrient profiles, so know whether you’re buying a complete and balanced product or whether you’ll need to add supplements.

Quality Ingredients and Solid Brand Reputation

Labels are important, but the label only tells you a sliver of the story. You should also know where the food and its ingredients came from. Research the brand to find out where they source their ingredients, how they formulate their foods, and what safety protocols they have in place throughout the manufacturing process.

The most trustworthy manufacturers subject their raw cat food to stringent quality control measures, making sure that every stage of production is tightly controlled to ensure consistent quality. The food may also undergo processes to reduce the risk of pathogenic contamination, including freeze-drying or high-pressure processing (HPP).

Frequently Asked Questions

Is raw food safe for cats?

Raw food always carries a risk of contamination with foodborne pathogens. Following safe food handling practices can help reduce the risk of pathogen transmission to your cat and to your family. When properly processed, handled, and stored, raw food is generally safe for cats.

Do cats live longer on raw diets?

There’s no definitive answer to this question because diet is just one factor that influences a cat’s longevity. That said, a high-quality, species-appropriate diet goes a long way in protecting your cat’s long-term health.

Why don’t vets recommend a raw diet for cats?

In many cases, it’s due to the risk that raw food might contain bacteria, parasites, and other pathogens. There are also some nutritional challenges that come with feeding your cat a diet that isn’t commercially formulated.

Do cats prefer raw or cooked meat?

Every cat is different. Whether you feed your cat cooked or raw food really comes down to a matter of personal preference — both yours and your cat’s.

Note: The values in our nutrient charts are automatically calculated based on the guaranteed analysis and may not represent typical nutrient values. This may lead to discrepancies between the charts and the values mentioned in the body of the review.
small mallory photo

About Mallory Crusta

Mallory is the Head of Content at Cats.com and an NAVC-certified Pet Nutrition Coach. Having produced and managed multimedia content across several pet-related domains, Mallory is dedicated to ensuring that the information on Cats.com is accurate, clear, and engaging. When she’s not reviewing pet products or editing content, Mallory enjoys skiing, hiking, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She has two cats, Wessie and Forest.

10 thoughts on “The 7 Best Raw Cat Food – Healthy Picks for Your Carnivore”

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  1. Deborah J. Ahonen

    I feed my cat about 3/4 of his food as re-hydrated freeze-dried raw (Stella and Chewy’s) along with free-feed Orjen dry kibble. I also add a tiny bit of a powder which helps prevent UTI’s. He’s very healthy, with a lush, shiny coat and glowing eyes. He never has hair balls though his coat is thick and medium length. He has tons of energy and is the happiest, healthiest guy ever! I wish they’d had this food available years ago for all my past kitty companions, but better late than never! I highly recommend freeze-dried raw cat food in general, and Stella and Chewy specifically. After all, cats evolved to eat raw, including contents of stomachs, hence the addition of some plant materials to the raw cat food. It works!

    Reply
  2. Lara Rose

    Please consider changing the heading to ‘Freeze-dried raw’ since that is what was evaluated. Are you planning to review frozen or refrigerated raw?

    Reply
  3. Kim

    Hello. What happened to Northwest Naturals that was noted in the video to have added fiber content? I don’t see it on the recommended list and liked that it had additional fiber which my cat needs due to constipation issues. Thanks. Kim

    Reply
    1. kateKate Barrington

      Hi Kim! We update our recommendations from time to time in order to reflect the current market. While our list of recommendations may have changed, we still like Northwest Naturals. If it works for your cat, keep up with it!

      Reply