We’ve rated KatKin on ingredient quality, species-appropriateness, recalls, and more. Read our KatKin cat food review to learn how this brand stacks up.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating KatKin on What Matters
We’ve rated the brand on six key criteria for quality. Here’s how it rates in each of these six crucial areas.
- Species-Appropriateness – 9/10
- Ingredient Quality – 9/10
- Product Variety – 7/10
- Price – 7/10
- Customer Experience – 4/10
- Recall History – 7/10
Overall Score: 7.2/10
In total, we give KatKin cat food a 43 out of 60 rating or a B grade. This rating is based on our hands-on testing that took place in July of 2023. We ordered several KatKin cat foods for our test cats and recorded how they like each food. Read on to learn about the ordering process, how our test cats reacted, and more.
- July 26th, 2023 – Jo Plumridge tested KatKin food with her test cats, Sorrella and Dolly Anastasia.
- June 6th, 2023 – Updated details about funding and changes to product formulation after communicating with the brand about changes in the food and packaging.
- April 14th, 2023 – Addressed recent customer and reader complaints about changes to packaging, cooking method, and customer experience.
KatKin is a UK-based fresh cat food company that was founded in 2019 by siblings Brett and Nikki O’Farrell. Their recipes are formulated by a Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionist using human-grade meat. The foods are gently steam-cooked and frozen fresh then sent to your door via monthly subscription.
At its founding, KatKin was Europe’s first fresh-cooked cat food company. Their proprietary algorithm enables customers to personalize their cat’s food based on various factors including weight, age, activity level, and medical conditions. KatKin quickly gained a following and has continued to grow. In December of 2021, KatKin closed a $22M round in Series A funding led by Verlinvest and Perwyn.
Let’s delve into the details of KatKin and explore the recent customer concerns surrounding the changes to its products and customer experience.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
KatKin uses exclusively human-quality meats, and their recipes are gently cooked to eliminate the threat of food-borne pathogens without destroying the nutritional integrity of the food. All of KatKin’s foods are made in company-owned kitchens and tested for food safety before being shipped out to customers. Customers can look up food safety test results by batch number in the customer portal.
The original recipes are steam-cooked in individual plastic pouches and frozen to retain freshness. In March 2023, KatKin introduced a new tray packaging format, which uses a different cooking process. Instead of being cooked in the package, they are steam-cooked in small batches before being transferred to the trays.
In the FAQ section of their website, KatKin comments that the introduction of the trays was motivated by repeated customer requests for more sustainable packaging.
KatKin also notes that the new cooking method used for the food in trays improves fat incorporation in the beef, lamb, and pork recipes.
Ordering and Account Management
Like many cat food subscription services, the process of ordering KatKin foods starts with a questionnaire about your cat. You’ll be asked to provide details about their current diet, food allergies, and health.
After inputting information, KatKin will provide recipe recommendations. Its portions are personalized according to your cat’s weight, activity level, and body condition. You can customize as needed.
KatKin meals stay fresh in the fridge for seven days unopened and three days open, although they will keep for six months in the fridge. KatKin recommends leaving five trays in the fridge and freezing the rest—just remember you’ll need to defrost new trays overnight when you want them for the next day.
The trays are conveniently small and stacked neatly in the freeze. There have been some issues with the new packaging—some customers received packages that were torn open or only partially frozen. KatKin has been working to correct these issues. While there were no visible leaks in the trays during testing, the fish flavor left a strong smell on our hands, which was probably due to a small leak that we didn’t catch.
KatKin has never been recalled.
What Kinds of Cat Food Does KatKin Offer?
As of June 2023, KatKin offers seven fresh cat food recipes:
- Cluck Recipe: Chicken thigh, liver, and heart
- Mooo Recipe: Beef trim, heart, and liver
- Gobble Recipe: Turkey thigh, liver, and gizzards
- Splash Recipe: Salmon, whitefish, and liver
- Quack Recipe: Duck meat, gizzards, and liver
- Baaa Recipe: Lamb trim, heart, and liver
- Oink Recipe: Pork shoulder, trim, and liver
Each recipe is made with 100% human-quality meat and supplemented with KatKin Nutrient Mix. The fresh foods are shipped frozen in insulated boxes and must be refrigerated or frozen at home.
KatKin’s original line of products was packaged in individual pouches and steam-cooked prior to being frozen. Since early 2023, KatKin has transitioned into a new cooking method and recyclable tray-style packaging so the product can be offered to cats directly. In response to some consumer complaints about the change from pouches to trays, KatKin also announced the re-release of three pouch-style recipes: Cluck, Gobble, and Mooo.
The food in the trays has a finer texture than the food in the pouches, which is chunkier and meatier. This is due to the slightly different cooking process that is required to get the meals into the tray packaging.
We also discovered some pieces of gristle in the trays. While Katkin acknowledges that gristle is perfectly safe for cats, older cats and a cat with only a few teeth might find it challenging to eat.
What Did Our Test Cats Think?
Our test cats had a mix of options, including Mooo, Baaa, Splash, Oink, and Gobble.
Sorrella, a 20-year-old cat with multiple health conditions, including IBD, really enjoyed KatKin. The litter box began to smell better after a couple of days of eating. However, because constipation can be an issue with older cats, KatKin may not agree with Sorrella long-term due to its lack of fiber.
Dolly Anastasia, a 15-year-old tester who also has IBD, was initially very skeptical of the KatKin and only ever grazed at the food throughout the day. After a few days, she refused the KatKin altogether, with none of the recommended tips or tricks from KatKin making any difference. It’s possible the texture of the pate wasn’t to her liking. The pouch options could be an alternative for cats that prefer a chunkier texture.
It’s fair to say that our test cats had mixed opinions of KatKin.
What Do Customers Think of KatKin Cat Food?
Overall, customers have a positive impression of KatKin. The brand has over 4,800 reviews on Trustpilot.com, about 85% of which are 5-star reviews. Positive reviews tend to mention the quality of the food and strong customer service.
About 10% of the brand’s ratings give it 1 star. Negative reviews, most of which were made by existing customers between April and June of 2023, frequently mention changes connected to the new tray packaging.
According to a KatKin survey described in an April 26th update from the company, 79% of cats accepted the food in the new packaging, and 64% of customers preferred the packaging. This meant that roughly one in every five customers was disappointed and struggled to get their cats to eat the new food.
Unhappy customers note changes in the appearance, odor, and consistency of the food as well as issues with trays arriving improperly sealed. Many customers said their cats refused the food from the trays, and others said their cats vomited or had diarrhea after eating the new product. Dissatisfied customers also describe service issues during the changeover.
In response to the concerns of unhappy customers, KatKin has since reintroduced pouch-style packaging for three recipes, allowing customers to choose between the packaging and cooking style their cat prefers.
In an update from the company, they say that “We will continue with both styles of recipes for a minimum of 6 months, before we determine if we should continue with the new trays or go back to the pouch-style recipes. We will be gathering feedback from you throughout this time to ensure we make the right decision for our cat parents.”
Note that pouch-style packaging will not show up in your trial order. Instead, it’s only available once you’ve set up a subscription.
Positive KatKin reviews:
“My cat is happy with both styles. It has been seriously wonderful to have one meal in one pouch/tray – leftover cat food hanging around in the fridge is not the best for me. One meal per pouch is a huge win for us! Sorry to hear about sad pets with the new style.” – Louise Thompson on April 21st, 2023
“I think everyone at KatKin deserves a round of applause. They may have made a mistake, but they are openly taking accountability for it. They are obviously very upset by what happened due to the changes made to the kitchen, but in reading their apology you can feel how personally they have taken this. You wouldn’t get such a genuine, heartfelt apology from a huge multi national company, and the team at KatKin have truly impressed me on how they have handled this issue. Well done to you all – I’ll definitely be a customer of yours for as long as I have cats.” – Alison Morgan, April 21st, 2023
Negative KatKin reviews:
“Changed packaging and product without warning. Many of the new packs were not fully sealed and the cat food smelt and looked bad. Cats would no longer eat the food, so contacted KatKin for support. Nothing was offered, in fact, they never responded to any of my messages via email or Facebook, even when they were responding to other positive comments. Stuck with a freezer full of cat food that will ultimately have to be binned, wasting £124 of food. Incredibly disappointed!” – Lian, May 18th, 2023
“Katkin have changed their production methods and packaging and as a result the cat food recipes are now very poor quality.Cat will no longer eat it. Runny slop or full of gristle and bone fragments. Poor quality new tray packaging- the majority of my last delivery the food trays were not sealed properly!! Trays were split or oncomplete seals. Food had to be binned. I have serious concerns regarding their quality control and production methods. AVOID.” – Suzanne Winch, June 2nd, 2023
KatKin Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Main Protein Source||Calories||Price||Our Grade|
|Cluck Chicken Recipe Fresh Cat Food||Fresh||Chicken||131 kcal/100g||£2 per meal||A|
|Baaa! Lamb Recipe Fresh Cat Food||Fresh||Lamb||158 kcal/100g||£2 per meal||A|
|Quack! Duck Recipe Fresh Cat Food||Fresh||Duck||135 kcal/100g||£2 per meal||A|
How Much Does KatKin Cat Food Cost?
As a fresh cat food subscription service, you can expect KatKin to cost more than the average kibble. Your daily cost will vary depending on your cat’s body weight and condition.
The minimum initial order is 14 trays, which provides two weeks of food. For a 5kg inactive skinny 15-year-old female cat, KatKin calculated that our cat would need 250 calories a day, and the total cost was £23.80. However, this included the introductory 20% discount.
Overall, Is KatKin Cat Food a Good Choice?
For the first few years, KatKin had an overwhelmingly positive reputation and a loyal following among UK cat owners. But recent concerns with product quality and customer experience are hard to ignore, and we’re still waiting to see how the company addresses all of them.
For now, the brand has taken ownership of what happened and begun to implement customer feedback, so we’re hopeful about its ability to continue delivering high-quality food that customers and cats love.
Again, KatKin’s nutritional philosophy is sound, built on a foundation of carnivore-appropriate fresh food formulas. We appreciate that they offer a selection of single-protein recipes as well as multi-protein formulas to appeal to a variety of cats. KatKin makes it easy to customize your cat’s meal plan and provides recommendations for managing common concerns like sensitive digestion and itchy skin.
Where Is KatKin Cat Food Sold?
Like many cat food subscription plans, KatKin is only sold online through the company’s website. Being based in the UK, KatKin only delivers to England, Scotland, and Wales, excluding the Scottish Highlands and Islands. You can start your subscription easily by clicking the “Start My Trial” button on the website.