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Updated October 2021
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
The Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Turkey Recipe
The Honest Kitchen
Grain-Free Turkey Recipe
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Easy to Prepare
Bottom Line

Although this diet is an investment, its formula of real turkey and veggies is both a balanced meal and an appetizing stew that comes to life with just a little warm water.

Pros

Turkey and eggs are the first 2 ingredients. Grain-free. High-moisture. Includes healthy ingredients like pumpkin, potatoes, and chard. Just add water.

Cons

While it’s both fun and cute to prepare little stew meals for your cat every day, a 4-pound box is expensive.

Best Bang for the Buck
Ziwi Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe
Ziwi
Air-Dried Mackerel & Lamb Recipe
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96% Meat
Bottom Line

If you can get over the cost, this cat food is full of nutrient rich protein sources and its dehydration process naturally preserves both the healthy minerals and savory flavor cats love.

Pros

Mackerel, 5 cuts of lamb, and New Zealand green mussels are the first 7 ingredients. Grain, soy, sugar, and preservative-free. 96% meat. Limited ingredient diet.

Cons

Although it is an incredibly healthy high-protein diet, this New Zealand-sourced food is fairly expensive.

Primal Pet Foods Freeze Dried Cat Food
Primal Pet Foods
Freeze Dried Cat Food
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Chicken & Salmon
Bottom Line

A moderately priced, well-rounded formula that provides a balanced diet from clean ingredients. Squash, berries and pumpkin seeds round out the natural proteins.

Pros

Made with chicken and salmon that's free from antibiotics, hormones and steroids. Meat complemented by organic produce and minerals. Balanced amino acid, fatty acid and enzyme levels. High protein content. Mix with water to serve.

Cons

Food comes in large nuggets which can be challenging to re-hydrate, and some cats find the dry nuggets hard to eat.

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

This high-protein, low carb blend of chicken, lamb and mussel is recommended for all cats from kittens to senior felines. Mixing with water is recommended although some cats like it dry.

Pros

Has a 99 percent meat content, thanks to barn-raised chicken, free range lamb and green-lipped mussel from New Zealand. No gluten, wheat, soy or rice. Low carbohydrate.

Cons

Pricey. May be too chewy for some cats who are missing teeth or have other oral problems.

Ziwi Air-Dried Beef Recipe
Ziwi
Air-Dried Beef Recipe
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100% Beef
Bottom Line

While Ziwi Peak is an expensive brand of dehydrated cat food, you can expect the highest quality ingredients available in their mouthwateringly meaty recipes.

Pros

6 cuts of beef and New Zealand green mussels are the first 7 ingredients. 96% meat recipe. Made from free-range, grass-fed New Zealand beef.

Cons

This is a wholesome diet that cats can’t get enough of, but it’s also a costly brand of dehydrated food.

HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

52
Models
Considered
116
Consumers
Consulted
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Hours
Researched
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There are numerous reasons to switch your cat over to dehydrated cat food, including a high-protein diet, and a meal that was prepared in a way that innately leaves the meat’s vitamins and minerals intact while whisking away moisture, but perhaps the biggest factor is the desire for a natural source of nutrition for your kitty. For instance, while kibble-style dry cat food may include healthy ingredients, they have been kneaded, baked, and formed into a uniform shape, while most dehydrated cat food literally looks like dry chunks of all-real fish, lamb, beef, or other healthy protein sources.

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