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We’ve rated Meat Mates Cat Food on ingredient quality, species-appropriateness, recalls, and more. Read our Meat Mates Cat Food review to learn how this brand stacks up.
The Cats.com Standard—Rating Meat Mates Cat Food 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 – 6/10
- Customer Experience – 8/10
- Recall History – 8/10
Overall Score: 7.8/10
In total, we give Meat Mates Cat food a 47 out of 60 rating or a B+ grade.
About Meat Mates Cat Food
Meat Mates is a New Zealand-based pet food company dedicated to providing pet parents with simple and nutritious options for their pets. One of the company’s taglines is, “Reinventing the ordinary, so people and their pets never have to settle.”
This company was originally launched on Amazon in 2018 but is now available from multiple retailers across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.
Sourcing and Manufacturing
Meat Mates is based in New Zealand and that’s where their products are made. The company doesn’t provide much in the way of specific information about their sourcing or manufacturing practices on their website.
Their food labels do, however, note that the products are made from New Zealand grass-fed, free-range meat or cage-free chicken. As for the other ingredients, the FAQ section simply says, “Meat Mates is made in New Zealand from real ingredients, because your best mate deserves the best!”
The FAQ section of the Meat Mates website also states that all products are formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by AAFCO nutrient profiles.
To our knowledge, Meat Mates has never had a product recall.
What Kinds of Cat Food Does Meat Mates Offer?
Meat Mates offers an assortment of dry food, wet food, and freeze-dried cat food options. Their dry food lineup includes two recipes of freeze-dried coated kibble featuring protein from chicken, lamb, venison, beef, and fish. Meat Mates offers three canned food recipes, all made with a single source of animal protein including chicken, beef, or lamb.
Like their canned foods, Meat Mates’ freeze-dried foods are all made with a single source of animal protein – chicken, beef, or lamb. The same proteins are featured in their single-protein freeze-dried cat treats.
What Do Customers Think of Meat Mates Cat Food?
Customer reviews on the Meat Mates website are sparse and even reviews on Amazon and Chewy are limited. Many of the reviews that have been posted, however, are positive.
Cat owners largely agree that the quality of Meat Mates products is high but, unfortunately, so is the price. The small bags don’t last very long – especially in a multi-cat household – but the product itself is a healthy and convenient way to feed cats a raw diet.
Let’s take a look at a few reviews from some of the most popular recipes from Meat Mates.
“I like having a bag of this to feed when I forget to set out her frozen food. It is so simple to serve, and the cat loves it. I recommend this to anyone who wants to get their cat started on a raw diet but are not quite ready to make the leap. Sphinx are notorious for having delicate digestive systems, and this food leaves her litter box odor free!” – by Bob reviewing Meat Mates Beef Dinner Freeze-Dried Cat Food on March 9, 2022
“My cat’s love this…unfortunately. It’s so expensive. According to feeding guidelines I need to feed my cat 2.5 cans a day. Works out to be $5 a day. For a multiple cat household, this adds up. But my cats are 18 and it’s getting difficult to find a food that is grain-free without poultry. It actually smells pretty fishy to me, I believe from the fish oil? As other reviews have mentioned, there is a lot of liquid in the can. I’d prefer to add the water myself, but the liquid mixes with the pate and it comes out to the right consistency. This is lower in phosphorus than the other canned lamb I was feeding, so this will be their main food. Hoping they get in the larger cans soon which will bring the cost down.” – by KillerStella reviewing Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Canned Food on 21 May 2022
“Got this for my both my cats. Was really hoping they would love this food because Nala eats stella chewy freeze-dried rabbit and Ezra eats vital essentials freeze dried rabbit. But both my cats wouldn’t eat it. Its packaged really nice and great ingredients but my cats didn’t care for it. Maybe if they come out with rabbit one day I would love to try again.” – by JenA reviewing Meat Mates Chicken Dinner Freeze-Dried Cat Food on 1 Sept 2021
“My cats won’t eat it. I have 7 cats and not one of them would eat it. I also tried feeding it to the ferals I feed outside and even they wouldn’t eat it.” – by Kindle Customer reviewing Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Canned Cat Food on February 18, 2021
What Did Our Test Cats Think?
To test Meat Mates, I ordered a case of the Lamb Dinner Grain-Free Wet Food, a bag of freeze-dried beef cat treats, and both the Chicken Dinner and Lamb Dinner freeze-dried foods.
Meat Mates’ freeze-dried cat foods come in elongated pellet-like pieces. The company recommends mixing the food with water for added hydration but notes that it is completely up to you and your pet’s personal preference. I found that the products softened fairly well in water, though my cats had absolutely no problem eating the food as-is either.
The canned food was even more of a hit than the freeze-dried food. Like some customers have commented, I found that Meat Mates wet food comes with a lot of liquid. My cats are big fans of gravy-style cat food, so they’ll never complain about a little extra liquid.
Overall, my cats enjoyed Meat Mates. I found their product selection to be a little limited, but the brand has only been out for a few years so they may still be in the process of expanding. The price might be prohibitive for some cat owners, but the quality of the food is high.
Meat Mates Cat Food – Top 3 Recipes Reviewed
|Product Name||Food Type||Main Protein Source||Calories||Price||Our Grade|
|Meat Mates Chicken Dinner Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food||Freeze-Dried||Chicken||164 kcal/cup||$3.10 per oz||A|
|Meat Mates Lamb Dinner Grain-Free Canned Wet Cat Food||Wet||Lamb||31 kcal/oz.||$0.64 per oz||A|
|Meat Mates Ocean Dinner Freeze-Dried Coated Cat Kibble||Dry||Salmon||505 kcal/cup||$2.95 per oz||B-|
How Much Does Meat Mates Cat Food Cost?
Meat Mates is a pretty pricey brand, but it’s understandable. This brand focuses on high-quality animal proteins and meat-rich formulas that are free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives. The cost of Meat Mates cat food varies depending which type of product you choose.
The freeze-dried coated kibble is the most economical option at around $0.57 per ounce. To feed a 10-pound cat Meat Mates dry food, it would cost about $1.06 per day. To feed your cat Meat Mates canned food would cost about $4.65 per day. Meat Mates freeze-dried cat food is in between these two options, around $3.95 per day.
Overall, Is Meat Mates Cat Food a Good Choice?
Meat Mates has a limited selection of dry, wet, and freeze-dried cat food products. Their wet and freeze-dried foods are the most species appropriate choices, but also the most expensive.
If you have the financial flexibility to invest in a premium cat food, Meat Mates could be a good choice. Their canned and freeze-dried formulas are protein-heavy and made with a fairly limited list of high-quality ingredients. There are only three protein options to choose from, but all formulas are single-protein which could be a benefit for cats with food allergies.
Meat Mates dry food is the most affordable of their three product lines, but they’re very high in carbohydrates. If you’re looking for a moderately priced dry food, something from Orijen would be similar in price but Acana’s recipes are more meat-heavy and a little cheaper.
Where Is Meat Mates Cat Food Sold?
Meat Mates is sold by select retailers throughout New Zealand as well as in Australia and the United States. You can find their products on PetDirect, Amazon, and Chewy. Meat Mates also sells their pet foods directly through the company website but only ships to New Zealand.