Smalls Cat Food Review

Reviews November 5, 2019


Smalls Cat Food Review

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The founders of Smalls created a simple and wholesome cat food in an East Village apartment in New York.  Matt Michaelson and Calvin Bohn wanted a basic, fresh food with whole ingredients to become their simple recipes for cats.

Smalls wet food recipes were developed with the help of Susan Lauten, Phd, who owns a Pet Nutrition Consulting firm. All of the ingredients are human grade, and meat and produce are sourced from US suppliers.

Quick Summary

My cat Genghis is very satisfied with Smalls wet cat foods and loved both recipe choices reviewed in this article. His breath did seem to improve within days of starting the Smalls cat food and he does have more energy.

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How We Tested:

  • We purchased Smalls wet cat food recipes
  • We spent a few weeks testing them on my cat Genghis
  • We did not receive these product in exchange for a favorable review, they were purchased with our own money

Why Smalls?

Smalls food for cats is prepared with 100% human grade ingredients. You can create a customized meal plan for your cats based on their age, health goal, and current food and have freshly prepared food delivered to your door.

Smalls buys all of their ingredients the same day they cook it and then freeze it right away. They also cook on a weekly basis so the food coming to you is never old. Unlike other cat foods that have been heavily processed, Smalls foods do not have 25 year shelf life.

All of Smalls ingredients are sourced from 100% USDA certified human grade suppliers. The meat comes from London Meat Co., which is in Manhattan, NY. Everything is sourced as locally as possible, and most of the time within 100 miles of New York. The vegetables come from local stores and the vitamins and minerals come from GNC.

Smalls currently offers 3 types of cat foods, as well as healthy treats. You can choose from wet (pate or minced), freeze dried or kibble cat food when building a meal plan for your cat. You can also mix and match the foods depending on your cats needs.

How It Works?

To sign up with Smalls, you will need to create a profile for your cat or cats and can add up to 5 cat profiles. You will be asked to provide each cats current age, health goal, current food type and recipe selection. You also have flexibility on your budget and what you are willing to pay. Next you will be provided with a recommended meal plan for your cat. You are able to customize your plan if you don’t agree with their selection.

Once you choose a plan you will put in your contact information and credit card information. Depending on the plan you chose you will be given a delivery schedule which is usually every 4 weeks. The first box will be a taste sampler, if you chose more than one type of food or recipe. You can then change your cats preferences once that box is done before your next delivery.

You will be notified via email that your order has been place and an estimated ship date as well as an arrival day. You will be updated throughout the process and even notified once your box has been delivered.

Each pack of food you receive is about three days worth of food so you will want to start defrosting a pack for each of your cats once your box arrives. You can skip, pause or cancel orders for the month through your account when needed as well.

Unboxing Experience

I received a box of Smalls wet cat foods in brick like packaging that were kept cold with dry ice. The box contained a smaller box with a food container to place your brick of cat food in, as well as broth and flavor toppers you can add to cat foods to entice picky eaters.

The shipment also included an instruction booklet that included recommendations on how to ease your cat into eating Smalls food.

Here is a list of what was in the box:

  • 9 meals of Turkey
  • 3 meals of Chicken
  • 1 package of Liquid Gold ( chicken broth)
  • 1 bottle of Diamond Dust ( chicken liver powder)
  • 1 bottle of Gold Leaf ( bonito flakes)
  • Instruction Booklet
  • Food container

Recipe Analysis/Review

#1 Turkey Recipe

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 23.4% Min
  • Crude Fat 6.6% Min
  • Crude Fiber 0.3% Max
  • Moisture 65.4% Max
  • Ash 0.9% Max


Turkey Thigh (Skin On), Chicken Liver, Green Beans, Peas, Kale, Vegetable Oil, Calcium carbonate, Dicalcium phosphate, Choline, L-bitartrate, Salt, Taurine, Magnesium gluconate, Potassium chloride, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Copper gluconate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, Niacin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic acid, Selenium, Dried Kelp, Biotin, Vitamin B12

This turkey recipe is made with protein sourced from turkey thigh, turkey skin and chicken liver. Turkey thigh is a meat that helps with vision and reproductive organs. Chicken liver is a good source Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Chromium and Copper.

The recipe also includes a mix of green beans, peas, and kale, which all provide a modest sum of carbohydrates and help with immunity. Kale is safe for cats but has been known to cause digestive issues. Small portions of kale will satisfy your cats’ need for green vegetables.

Here we see vegetable oil which provides some help with digestion and passing hairballs. This can also be beneficial for your cats coat and skin in small amounts.

Calcium Carbonate is added to cat food as an inexpensive source of calcium, a preservative and a color retention agent. It aids in the building and maintaining of bones and teeth.

Dicalcium Phosphate is a debatable ingredient in pet food and used primarily as a calcium supplement and tartar control agent. It has been said to cause calcification of soft tissue and research has shown it leads to kidney stones.

#2 Chicken Recipe

Guaranteed Analysis

  • Crude Protein 21.2% Min
  • Crude Fat 8.05% Min
  • Crude Fiber 0.4% Max
  • Moisture 66.1% Max
  • Ash 2.25% Max


Chicken Thigh, Chicken Breast, Chicken Liver, Green Beans, Peas, Water sufficient for processing, Chicken Heart, Kale, Vegetable Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Choline Bitartrate, Salt, Taurine, Magnesium Gluconate, Potassium Chloride, Zinc Gluconate, Ascorbic Acid, Copper Gluconate, Vitamin E Supplement, Manganese Gluconate, Ferrous Gluconate, cNiacin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Selenium,Dried Kelp, Biotin, Vitamin B12

This chicken recipe protein is sourced from chicken thigh, as well as chicken breast, liver and heart. Chicken thighs offer a richer tasting and juicy protein with good fats for heart health.

Chicken breasts are a good source of protein, are low in fat, low in sodium and are 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. Further down is chicken heart which contains fatty acids, vitamin A, B and iron.

The recipe also includes green beans, peas and kale which provide good carbohydrates that can boost your cats immune system. These type of vegetables also help keep your cats weight down. Kale is still up for debate and has been known to cause digestive issues in some cats. In small amounts it is safe.

Again we see vegetable oil which provides some help with digestion and passing hairballs. This can also be beneficial for your cats coat and skin in small amounts.

Calcium Carbonate is added as an inexpensive source of calcium, a preservative and a color retention agent. It aids in the building and maintaining of bones and teeth.

Dicalcium Phosphate is a debatable ingredient in pet food and used primarily as a calcium supplement and tartar control agent. It has been said to cause calcification of soft tissue and research has shown it leads to kidney stones.

Taste Test

Smalls packaging is easy to open and can be placed into the container provided for easy service. This makes the process very easy and less messy.

My cat seemed to like Smalls Turkey and Chicken recipes very much. He is used to more chunky style wet food but left his bowl licked dry. I should note that my cat is not a picky eater at all and has never left anything in his bowl during meal time.

The texture of the food looks thick, moist and scoops out of the smalls container in once solid piece. It smelled less like traditional wet cat food and more like human food. It did not have a strong odor at all, either way.

I did see small pieces of vegetables mixed into the food but over all its like a loaf of wet cat food.

The Good

  • The meat and produce are sourced from local US suppliers
  • Smalls offers a 100% money back if your cat does not like the food
  • Customized meal plan for your cat based on your budget, cat’s age, health status, and current diet
  • Good for cats with allergies, health problems and food sensitivities

The Bad

  • The website is not very informative and sometimes difficult to navigate
  • The wet food must be kept cold until served which makes travel difficult
  • Cost is higher than wet and canned foods

Positive Reviews

“After learning about some really disgusting things in even “high quality” pet food I knew I needed to make a change.”

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“I found smalls and and am so happy I have! I have found their customer service team super responsive via text and all my questions are answered quickly (when I thought of a q at night and texted in the next morning it was responded to) and With tons of info.

The trial kit I was sent was so adorable with tons of extras I didn’t expect (some chicken broth, chicken powder, bonito flakes and a Tupperware) during the trial they launched their freeze-dried food and received a sample of that as well.

My cat has been a grazer his whole life and now feeding time is something that he can’t wait for! I definitely saw a lot of the expectations they set like drinking less water and more energy. The only downside is he always wants more food!

I now give him half wet food and the freeze dried (which he barely grazes, but does a tiny bit). I’m so happy with my delicious to switch to smalls. The only thing i can see being a little confusing is the website is a little hard to navigate – every time I go to my account page I can’t see any order info it just sends me to a really cute page where they highlight how to start feeding smalls to your pet.”

Joelle Carscadden, Reviewing Small Cat Food on Trustpilot

“We absolutely love this company and their food! I have two cats- one is 12 with kidney disease and the other is a 5 month old kitten.”

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“They both really like the food (we get the chicken and turkey). They weren’t too sure about the beef in the beginning but will try again. The best parts are:

  • their litter box has much less waste and does not smell like when I fed them store food
  • no “cat smell” in my house from the food
  • there’s always food for them in the house and I don’t have to keep an eye on the supply
  • they text me all the time and I don’t worry about running out. I had them send me a 2 week shipment two weeks in a row so that I always have extra in the house just in case there’s ever a glitch
  • their fur is so nice and shiny and less shedding

My only concern is they act like they’re hungry. I feel them 1 tbsp more each feeding than they recommended (based on their weight age and calories) but they still act like they’re hungry (crying, following me to kitchen waiting by their bowls). Not sure if they’re hungry or just hoping for more. Been using the food for about two months and the older cat hasn’t lost any weight so I’m assuming they just want snacks!”

Christine, Reviewing Small Cat Food on Trustpilot

Negative Reviews

“Smalls is a great example of an awesome business model but with poor operational execution. Their recipes and the quality of food are top notch and worth every penny”

Click Here Read More

“I noticed our cats having more energy and losing weight. There were a few logistical issues with the company shipping to the wrong address twice, but we were able to let that go at the time.

However, recently, we did not receive an expected shipment and were not notified from Smalls as to why. When I followed up, I learned that there was issue with the credit card, even though the card had been charged with no issues for a few months.

If I hadn’t reached out, we would have been waiting for the food to arrive indefinitely with no notification at all. Given that the food is only shipped out once a week, we now have to go a week without food. If your cats have a tough time transitioning to new foods, you can imagine the mess this will make over the course of the week.

I really hope they can overcome some of these simple business logistical issues as the food is fantastic. The multiple errors I’ve experienced with shipments, the consequence and risk of loosing an entire week of food, and lack of communication from the company however is unacceptable– and it is a risk that you must weigh very carefully when deciding to try Smalls. It also appears from these reviews that this is not an isolated case.

Mario Aceves, Reviewing Small Cat Food on Trustpilot

“The company is quick to respond to emails, initially. When I asked them for the ingredients in their “Chicken Liver Powder” and “Bonito Flakes” I received no reply – nor is this info on the website”

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“The web site is cute, but you have to click around a bit to find information.

Prices are not up-front – you have to enter your cats info before you can see what it will cost.

It is because their website is focused on “cute” rather than informational, because I couldn’t get info about the supplements, and because I can’t seem to find info about the company itself (owners, license, etc) that I couldn’t develop trust in them.

I placed one order but have been hesitant to feed it to my cats. I cancelled my subscription.”

Mary Gargano, Reviewing Small Cat Food on Trustpilot


My cat is very satisfied with Smalls wet cat foods and loved both recipe choices reviewed in this article. His breath did seem to improve within days of starting the Smalls food and he does have more energy.

Smalls Cat Food is an excellent choice for cat food delivery service if you are looking for fresh, human-grade meals. They now offer several types of foods to choose from and many budget options. While Smalls maybe more expensive than store bought cat food, it is more reasonably priced in comparison to other pet food delivery services.

*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.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Smalls Cat Food Cost?

Price depends on your cat’s needs, the recipes you choose, and your delivery schedule. With this in mind you will be paying about $2.00 to $3.50 per day per cat.

What are the Health Benefits of Feeding My Cat Smalls?

Most cats have fresher breath and less smelly poops within the first week of eating Smalls. Within two months you can expect to see a shinier coat and fewer hairballs in your cat. At the three month mark your cat will have more energy and stronger bones.

Is Smalls Food all Natural?

Smalls uses human grade ingredients and cooks them gently. Smalls food is as close to nature as it comes, the high protein and moisture content is based on what your cat would eat if hunting in the wild.

Is Smalls Cat Food Grain Free?

Smalls foods are free from preservatives, fillers, grains, and artificial flavors.

How Long Does the Food Last After Delivery?

Smalls meals are designed to be frozen. When you need another package, you can pull it out of the freezer and thaw it in the fridge for 24-hours. Each package is good for about 3 days once refrigerated.

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.
  1. Stoll

    My wife just received your first "sampler" box. It contains yellow label and orange label packs. Which color is for our over-weight cat?

  2. Cat Mania

    Smalls is a company we reviewed for this article. I suggest you contact them with any questions at (503)487-4303 or email them at [email protected]

  3. Russell

    Looking for the best cat food is a priority for most people within their budget. Smalls offers a sample pack which you have no option to modify, 2 - 4oz kibble and 4 bags of freeze dried food. Freeze dried, my cat hates that stuff. It wasn't cheap either. Worst part, I was not aware when you sign on their site, you sign on for auto order. I found out the hard way when they shipped me $183.00 frozen cat food for one small cat. I asked for refund and they refused. I would never order that much cat food and especially not at that price. Customer service was anything but genuine.

    • Cat Mania

      Hi Russel, Thank you for sharing your feedback on Smalls, do keep us updated on how this goes

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