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- Meat is the first ingredient – 1 Star
- Uses some unnamed meats – 1 Star
- Above average protein content – 1 Star
- Less than 4 controversial ingredients – 1 Star
- Catological Discretionary Rating – 1 Star
Primal Nuggets Turkey is one of our top 3 choices for best freeze-dried cat food overall, though they are nearly all near-perfect recipes.
Here’s a few important points:
- Packed with high-quality meat ingredients, including organ meat
- Very close to a natural, wild diet – very biologically appropriate
- Minimal whole food produce ingredients for vitamins and minerals
- Healthy oils for important fatty acids
The Primal Nuggets product line includes 7 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.
- Primal Nuggets Chicken & Salmon (A)
- Primal Nuggets Turkey (A)
- Primal Nuggets Duck (A) 4 Stars
- Primal Nuggets Pork (A)
- Primal Nuggets Beef & Salmon (A)
- Primal Nuggets Rabbit (A)
- Primal Nuggets Venison (A)
Primal Nuggets Turkey was selected to represent the other products in the line for this review.
Ziwi Peak Venison
Wet Cat Food
|Estimated Nutrient Content|
|Dry Matter Basis||41%||20%||20%|
|Calorie Weighted Basis||37%||45%||18%|
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Fiber (guaranteed analysis)
Is real, named meat the first ingredient?
Venison, Venison Broth, Venison Liver, Venison Lung, Venison Heart, Venison Kidney, Venison Tripe, Chick Peas, New Zealand Green Mussel, Venison Bone, Dried Kelp, Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Complex, Copper Amino Acid Complex, Manganese Amino Acid Complex), Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B1 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement)
Ingredients in red are controversial or of questionable quality.
Primal Nuggets Turkey
Freeze-Dried Cat Food
Estimated Nutrient Content
Dry Matter Basis
Calorie Weighted Basis
The first ingredient in this cat food is turkey. Good.
While quality of the individual ingredient can vary, turkey is a good protein source for cats.
It’s also important to note that turkey 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 turkey necks. Good.
Turkey necks are a natural part of what your cat might eat in the wild.
They are very protein-rich, and biologically appropriate for your kitty.
The third ingredient is turkey liver. Good.
Liver is an important organ meat that your cat would eat in the wild to get extra protein, vitamins, and minerals.
This is usually a sign of a high quality food.
The fourth ingredient is organic collard greens. Good.
A leafy green vegetable, they are full of fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, and some B6.
Rather than add synthetic vitamins and minerals, Primal has opted to use whole foods.
The fifth ingredient is organic squash. Good.
A whole food source of fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin B6.
The sixth ingredient is organic celery. Good.
Celery is high in vitamin K, folate, and vitamin A.
The seventh ingredient is organic blueberries. Good.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C and fiber.
The eighth ingredient is organic pumpkin seeds. Good.
Pumpkin seeds are high in healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
They are also a great source of iron and magnesium.
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, though most are added as whole food vitamin and mineral options, as well as fats.
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 Primal Nuggets
From top to bottom, this is an above average freeze-dried product.
From the numerous cuts of meat, to the lack of fillers, to the addition of whole food sources of vitamins and minerals, this just ticks all of the boxes.
This is a fantastic example of the type of food you should be feeding your cat.
Since this food is almost exclusively meat. we can assume that this is a meat-based cat food.
To review, on a dry matter basis, this food is 59% protein, 24% fat, and 7% carbs.
As a group, the brand has an average protein content of 56%, and average fat content of 28%, and an average carb content of 4%.
Compared to the other 2000+ foods in our database, this food has:
- Above average protein.
- Above average fat.
- Below average carbs.
Because it contains almost exclusively quality meat products, our rating for this brand is 5 stars.
Primal 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 Primal brand in the past:
- December 2017 – Bone grind size too large – 9 recipes affected
- March 2015 – Low thiamine levels – 1 recipe affected
- May 2011 – Potential for salmonella – 1 recipe 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 Primal Freeze-Dried 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.