Feline Natural Grain-Free Cat Food (Freeze-Dried) Review And Nutritional Analysis

Rating

4.5 Star

  • Meat is the first ingredient - 1 Star
  • Does not use unnamed meats - 1 Star
  • Above average protein content - 1 Star
  • Less than 4 controversial ingredients - 1 Star
  • Catological Discretionary Rating - 0.5 Star

Feline Natural Grain-Free New Zealand Chicken & Venison is one of our top 5 choices for best wet cat foods overall.

We believe this Freeze-Dried offering from Feline Natural is also very high quality.

Here’s a few important points:

  • Packed with meat
  • Uses organ meat for a more natural, vitamin-rich meal
  • Almost no carbohydrates
  • Added vitamins and high quality, proteinate forms of minerals for better digestibility
  • Very good macronutrient profile, though we’d like a little bit higher protein, and a little bit lower fat

The Feline Natural Grain-Free New Zealand product line includes 3 freeze-dried recipes/flavors.

Each recipe below includes its related AAFCO nutrient profile when available on the product’s official webpage or packaging: Growth (G), Maintenance (M), All Life Stages (A), Supplemental (S) or Unspecified (U).

The star rating is a rough average of all of the flavors in a single line of food. If an individual recipe scored lower or higher, we will mark that below, next to the flavor.

feline natural freeze dried cat food bag

Feline Natural Raw Grain-Free Chicken & Lamb was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.

Feline Natural Raw Grain-Free Chicken & Lamb

Freeze-Dried Cat Food

Estimated Nutrient Content

Method

Protein

Fat

Carbs

Guaranteed Analysis

48%

31%

NA

Dry Matter Basis

52%

34%

7%

Calorie Weighted Basis

40%

54%

6%

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

52%
Protein
34%
Fat
7%
Carbs

Fiber (guaranteed analysis):

1%

Calories/100g:

355

Is real, named meat the first ingredient?

Yes

INGREDIENTS: Chicken, Lamb Heart, Lamb Kidney, Lamb Liver, Lamb Blood, Flaxseed Flakes, New Zealand Green Mussel, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Magnesium Oxide, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid.

Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.

Ingredient Breakdown

The first ingredient in this cat food is chicken. Good.

While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, chicken is a good protein source for cats.

It’s also important to note that chicken contains about 70% water, so when it is processed and cooked for use in cat food, it will become a smaller part of the total recipe.

The second ingredient is lamb heart. Good.

You may not love the sound of it, but your cat sure does.

Organ meat has vital nutrients your kitty needs.

It is pure muscle, which means it’s full of protein. It also has minerals and important vitamins that white meat does not have.

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

The third ingredient is lamb kidney. Good.

While lamb is not something cats would eat in the wild, it is fairly lean and may be good for cats who are allergic to other main proteins.

Kidney is a great source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. 

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

The fourth ingredient is lamb liver. Good.

Liver is another quality organ meat that delivers a high amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals.

This is usually a sign of a high quality food.

The fifth ingredient is lamb blood. Good.

Blood can help to thicken a recipe, and is a normal part of a biologically appropriate diet for your carnivorous cat.

It may not sound appetizing to you, but it is a healthy, important part of a kitty’s meal in the wild.

The sixth ingredient is flaxseed flakes. Good.

Flaxseed provides a quality omega-3 fatty acid source, and nutritive fiber to the recipe. 

It can only be digested when the outer shell is removed or destroyed, so flaked ensures that it is digestible and bioavailable.

The seventh ingredient is New Zealand green mussel. Good.

These mussels come from the New Zealand coast, and are added to a number of high quality New Zealand-made recipes.

They contain properties that help reduce inflammation, and support the repair of cartilage. Therefore, they are beneficial to your kitty’s joint health.

The eighth ingredient is dried kelp. Good. 

Kelp is added as an industry standard source of iodine.

Iodine is an essential nutrient for cats, containing two hormones which are responsible for regulation of the thyroid gland.

This recipe includes a number of other ingredients, but once you get down this far, none of them will be in large enough quantities to make a real difference, except for the added vitamins and minerals. 

However, there are still a few things you should know about. 

This recipe uses the proteinate form of minerals, which means that they should be easier to digest for your cat, and be more readily available for her body to use to maintain her health. This is usually a sign of a quality food.

To read a more in depth article about any of the ingredients listed here, check out our Cat Food Ingredient Wiki (currently under development).

The Catological Verdict on Feline Natural Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Food

From top to bottom, this is an above average product.

It is literally 99% meat.

Great cuts of meat, including organ meat, almost no added carbs, high quality minerals…plus, freeze-dried formulas tend to keep nutrients locked in, as if they were eating the raw ingredients. Overall this is a fantastic recipe.

There might be a little bit too much fat for our liking, but it’s not major.

In the wild, studies have shown that about 50% of calories should come from fat and 50% should come from protein.

Still, this is a perfect example of the type of food you should be feeding your cat.

Since meat shows up frequently, and right at the top of the ingredient list, we can assume that this is a meat-based cat food, with enough meat to make it biologically appropriate for a cat’s dietary needs.

To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 52% protein, 34% fat, and 7% carbs.

As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 50%, and average fat content of 36%, and an average carb content of 7%.

Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:

  • Above average protein.
  • Above average fat.
  • Below average carbs.

Because it is full of quality meat products and biologically appropriate, our rating for this brand is 4.5 stars.

Highly recommended.

Feline Natural Cat Food Recall History

We do not believe that a recall indicates a low quality food or company, and we respect the fact that sometimes things happen that cause a manufacturer to recall a food.

Usually these things are non-life-threatening, and we think it’s important to take a moment to be thankful about just how few recalls there really are in the industry, considering the enormous volume of food produced.

However, we do believe that a history of recalls may point to a larger issue with a company, and that discerning consumers want to know who they’re buying from, especially when it comes to something as important as the food you feed your beloved cat. 

Here is a list of recalls that have affected the Crave brand in the past:

  • April 2018 – Possibility of Listeria Monocytogenes – Only dog foods affected

If you want to stay up to date on the latest recall information affecting your cat’s food, sign up to our email list and receive an email every time a recall is announced. We’ll also let you know about any updated ratings, recipe changes, or new cat foods on the market. (Our alert system will be launched shortly, check back soon.)

Where To Buy Feline Natural Grain-Free Cat Food

We recommend purchasing your pet products from Chewy.com. They continually prove that they walk the walk while talking the talk, and I’ve never dealt with a more dedicated pet-parent base of people than those who work at Chewy. 

Plus, they offer 20% off and free shipping on lots of orders. 

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Emily Parker
 

Emily Parker is the Content Manager at Catological. She's passionate about helping cat parents love their cats better by providing the best information and recommendations about everything you'll need to know about your cat, from kitten to senior years. She believes natural, biologically-appropriate products are best...why wouldn't you provide the best for a member of your family?!

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