Freshpet Cat Food Review

Nutrition February 17, 2020

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Freshpet Cat Food Review

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Freshpet set out on a mission to revolutionize the way all pets are fed by making fresh, natural food. They put together a team of the best in both pet and human food and in October 2006, they were cooking nutritious, fresh meals for pets. Today over one million pet owners in North America alone, serve their fur-babies Freshpet foods.

Freshpet vows to never use meat meals, powders, preservatives, or additives in their foods. They also partner with shelters and rescues to increase their visibility and provide the pets in their care with the food and resources they need until they find their forever homes.

How We Tested:

  • We purchased Freshpet cat food recipe products
  • We spent a few weeks testing them on several cats
  • We did not receive these product in exchange for a favorable review, they were purchased with our own money

Quick Picks (Flavors)

FRESHPET SELECT TENDER CHICKEN RECIPE WITH GARDEN VEGETABLES FOR CATS: This is made mainly with Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ocean Whitefish, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Eggs, Carrots, Pea Fiber, Vinegar, Spinach, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Taurine, and Celery Powder.

FRESHPET NATURE’S FRESH GRAIN FREE CHICKEN & OCEAN WHITEFISH RECIPE: This recipe starts with Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ocean Whitefish, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Carrots, Eggs, Pea Fiber, Vinegar, Spinach, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Taurine, and Celery Powder.

VITAL GRAIN FREE CHICKEN & OCEAN WHITEFISH: This recipe is made with Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ocean Whitefish, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Carrots, Eggs, Pea Fiber, Vinegar, Spinach, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Taurine, and Celery Powder.

About Freshpet

In 2006, Freshpet set out on a mission to revolutionize the way all pets are fed. Today, 97 percent of their ingredients come from the USA and Canada and 70 percent of that number comes from local farms. All Freshpet poultry, beef and fish ingredients are sourced from USDA registered suppliers who follow all USDA regulations for safe handling. The poultry used in their Nature’s Fresh recipes are antibiotic and hormone free.

In 2013, Freshpet opened a new 25$ million manufacturing facility, the Freshpet Kitchens, located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This facility was built to with human-grade manufacturing standards in mind. In 2018, it announced an investment of $100+ million to expand its pet food production operations at its current location.

Unlike traditional shelf-stable pet foods, Freshpet ingredients are cooked only once at lower temperatures. In addition, the food does not contain any processed meat meals or by-products, and is made in small batches to preserve the natural goodness of the ingredients.

How Freshpet Works

Freshpet is the first in fresh cat food to be distributed across North America and is available in over 20,000 stores in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands as well. This makes it easy to get your hands on Fresh Pet cat food but if it is not available near you, you still have options. Fresh Pet has a website with several options for ordering your cat’s food and having it delivered to your doorstep via third party services.

If you choose to use their website, there is a handy tool called product selector. This questionnaire will take you through a series of questions about your cat, asking for name, sex, weight, energy level and dietary needs. You can then select proteins your kitty prefers, like fish and what ingredients you prefer he doesn’t eat, like grains. After answering a few more questions about shopping and meal prepping, you will be given suggestions on what Fresh Pet recipes will work best for your cat and where you can buy them.

Recipe Analysis/Review

#1 Freshpet Select Tender Chicken Recipe

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 18.0%
  • Crude Fat 10.0%
  • Crude Fiber 2.0%
  • Moisture 65.0%
  • Taurine 0.5%

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ocean Whitefish, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Eggs, Carrots, Pea Fiber, Vinegar, Spinach, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Taurine, Celery Powder, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dicalcium Phosphate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate


This chicken recipe protein is sourced from US raised chicken, as well as chicken liver and ocean whitefish.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Chicken liver, is a good source of copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc as well as high in protein, fat and vitamin A.

Ocean whitefish is a significant source of protein. It is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which cats need to remain healthy.

Natural Flavors can mean several things and qualifies as being extracted from a natural source. This might mean it came from meals or by-products.

Pea protein is a plant protein and can not replace animal protein. While it maybe high in fiber it is simply a way to increase protein levels in cat food.

Eggs are also at the top of the ingredients. Not only are eggs a great source of protein but also packed with taurine which your cat needs.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including healthy beta-carotene.

Pea Fiber has little to no nutritional value in cat food. While fiber is an important component of a cats diet, Pea Fiber is often considered a filler.

Vinegar is sometimes used as a natural preservative in pet foods. It can also promote healthy digestion in cats.

Spinach is high in vitamins, but should not be given to cats with kidney or urinary problems.


#2 Nature’s Fresh Grain Free Chicken & Ocean Whitefish

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 19.0%
  • Crude Fat 10.5%
  • Crude Fiber 1.5%
  • Moisture 65.0%
  • Taurine 0.05%

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ocean Whitefish, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Carrots, Eggs, Pea Fiber, Vinegar, Spinach, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Taurine, Celery Powder, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate


This grain-free chicken recipe uses protein sourced from US raised chicken, as well as ocean whitefish.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Chicken liver, is a good source of copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc as well as high in protein, fat and vitamin A.

Ocean whitefish is a significant source of protein. It is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which cats need to remain healthy.

Natural Flavors can mean several things and qualifies as being extracted from a natural source. This might mean it came from meals or by-products.

Pea protein is a plant protein and can not replace animal protein. While it maybe high in fiber it is simply a way to increase protein levels in cat food.

Eggs are also at the top of the ingredients. Not only are eggs a great source of protein but also packed with taurine which your cat needs.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including healthy beta-carotene.

Pea Fiber has little to no nutritional value in cat food. While fiber is an important component of a cats diet, Pea Fiber is often considered a filler.

Vinegar is sometimes used as a natural preservative in pet foods. It can also promote healthy digestion in cats.

Spinach is high in vitamins, but should not be given to cats with kidney or urinary problems.


#3 Vital Grain Free Chicken & Ocean Whitefish

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 19.0%
  • Crude Fat 10.5%
  • Crude Fiber 1.5%
  • Moisture 65.0%
  • Taurine 0.05%

Ingredients

Chicken, Chicken Liver, Ocean Whitefish, Natural Flavors, Pea Protein, Carrots, Eggs, Pea Fiber, Vinegar, Spinach, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Beta-Carotene, Taurine, Celery Powder, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Dicalcium Phosphate, Calcium Carbonate, Iron Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate


This grain-free chicken recipe uses protein sourced from US raised chicken sources and ocean whitefish.

Chicken is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.

Chicken liver, is a good source of copper, iron, niacin, phosphorus and zinc as well as high in protein, fat and vitamin A.

Ocean whitefish is a significant source of protein. It is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which cats need to remain healthy.

Natural Flavors can mean several things and qualifies as being extracted from a natural source. This might mean it came from meals or by-products.

Pea protein is a plant protein and can not replace animal protein. While it maybe high in fiber it is simply a way to increase protein levels in cat food.

Eggs are also at the top of the ingredients. Not only are eggs a great source of protein but also packed with taurine which your cat needs.

Carrots are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including healthy beta-carotene.

Pea Fiber has little to no nutritional value in cat food. While fiber is an important component of a cats diet, Pea Fiber is often considered a filler.

Vinegar is sometimes used as a natural preservative in pet foods. It can also promote healthy digestion in cats.

Spinach is high in vitamins, but should not be given to cats with kidney or urinary problems.


Taste Test

Freshpet packaging is easy to open and can be served right from the bag. It also seals closed making dinner time very easy and less messy.

The texture of the food looks like moist little balls with tiny pieces of vegetables. It didn’t smell like traditional wet cat food but I wouldn’t say it reminded me of human food either. It had a meaty pet food smell that was not offensive.

My cats seemed to love the smell of all the Freshpet recipes and were very excited to try a new food. Upon trying the Vital Grain Free Chicken & Ocean Whitefish Recipe with Antioxidant-Rich Vegetables & Eggs for Cats they went nuts until I put it in their bowl. They both took maybe two bites and walked away. I let it sit for about an hour and both refused it. The dog helped out and cleared their bowls.

Next was Nature’s Fresh Grain Free Chicken & Ocean Whitefish Recipe with Carrots & Spinach for Cats and unfortunately it had the same effect. Neither cat was willing to eat more than a few bites. Again the dog was very satisfied with it.

The third recipe we tried was Freshpet Select Tender Chicken Recipe with Garden Vegetables for Cats. This one showed more promise and they couldn’t wait for me to get it into the bowls. Once I poured it into the bowls, my one cat (Khan) walked away, while my other cat (Genghis) started to eat it. That didn’t last long. After about 3 bites he looked at me with frustration and headed towards his kibble. The dog was thrilled to once again help out.

What’s good about it?

  • The meat and produce are sourced from local US suppliers
  • Most recipes are low in carbohydrates
  • Available in local retailers
  • Recipe choices for cats with allergies, health problems and food sensitivities

What’s not so good?

  • Some plant ingredients are used as fillers and proteins
  • The food must be kept cold until served which makes travel difficult
  • Some recipes have high fat content

Freshpet Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

Here are some common questions people have asked about Freshpet Cat Food.

How much does Freshpet Cat food cost?

Most Freshpet recipes cost around $5 a bag or roll. A 10 pound cat may run you about $4 a day to feed Freshpet food if you follow their feeding guidelines.

Is Freshpet cat food grain-free?

Fresh pet offers grain-free recipes for cats. Both Vital and Natures Fresh product lines offer grain free cat food.

Where can I buy Freshpet cat food?

Freshpet does not deliver directly to your door. But depending on where you live and product availability, Freshpet can be purchased online via these retailer partners:

  • Amazon Fresh
  • Prime Now
  • Instacart
  • PeaPod
  • FreshDirect
  • SHIPT

Additionally, many local grocery and pet stores carry Freshpet food. You can search your area on the Freshpet website for retailers closest to you.

Is Freshpet cat food all natural?

Freshpet’s foods are said to be made of all-natural, high quality ingredients. Nature’s Fresh recipes only use chicken that follows the standards developed by the Global Animal Partnership. Freshpet foods are 100% complete and balanced and exceed AAFCO’s minimum standards for canine and feline nutrition.

Does Freshpet Cat Food need to be refrigerated?

Freshpet recommends serving their food fresh from the fridge for the best results, but you can choose to freeze any unused portions for later use. Be aware that you may see a slight change in color and texture when thawed, but this won’t change the nutritional value or taste of our meals. No Freshpet food is frozen before being purchased at your local store.

Positive Reviews

“My little girl weighs only 5 lbs. She is a very picky eater and only like chicken and chicken and liver. No fish for her. I saw this a few weeks ago and decided to try it. She loves it. Since she is so little I have always fed her several times a day since she can’t eat that much at one time. I honestly can’t say I have noticed any difference in her except that she never walks away from her food dish as for me…that’s a different story. I’m not away searching for the perfect food for her”

“Our geriatric cat is very picky about her food. She loves any of the fresh pet bags of food and the cups as well. So glad cat food of this type is finally available”

“Our senior cat has become very picky, missing most of teeth he no longer likes crunchy treats. He gets this now when the other two get a treat”

“Our kitty is 9 years old and has had skin sensitivity issues for the past 4 years making the poor thing miserable with itching and twitching. She was grumpy and just laid around a lot (more than a normal cat). We started her on a Freshpet diet 3 months ago and what a difference. She had very, very few twitching episodes now, it was daily, all day before. Her weight is healthier as well. And she is so playful again, acting like a kitten playing with toys and running around the house being goofy and silly. We are so thankful for the quality of life Freshpet has given back to our beloved Mouse. Thank you and God bless”

Negative Reviews

“I have six cats (I know, crazy cat lady). Only one cat liked the food. The others sniffed it and walked away. Lucky Wolfie, he gets the whole bag for himself! The dog loved it.

“I first saw this at a local grocery store I don’t normally shop at. I decided to try a bag. Two of my three cats weren’t interested but the one who was seemed to love it. I then noticed it at the closest BJs and bought two more bags. For whatever reason, the one cat who loved it seems to not care for it so much anymore.”

“I have 3 cats. At first, 2 of them liked this food and ate it. After a week or so, 1 of them dropped out. She no longer wants to eat her FreshPet. One of my cats will still eat it, but she is like a dog- she will eat anything you put in front of her. ”

Conclusion

Freshpet cat food is an average “fresh” cat food and a decent protein source. There are several product lines and recipe options for cats with health issues, allergies or just picky eaters.

What I like about Freshpet cat food is it is available in many retail stores near me and I do not need a subscription to buy the food. I did have a hard time finding a store that could keep it stocked.

While most of the recipes have a good amount of protein, there are some questionable ingredients, such as pea protein and natural flavors. Because of this and the fact my cats did not love any of the Freshpet recipes, I will not be purchasing it again.

Also Read:

*FTC Disclosure: Cat Mania is an affiliate partner of Smalls. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves. All of our reviews are unbiased, regardless of payment received, and always reflect our honest opinion or the opinion of our cats.

Amy is the founder of Cat Mania and a life long cat lover. She also writes for various other pet related websites. She is passionate about helping pet parents create a healthy and happy lifestyle for their fur-babies.
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