Smalls Cat Food Review

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Our Review Process

Our reviews are based on extensive research and, when possible, hands-on testing. Each time you make a purchase through one of our independently-chosen links, we’ll receive a percentage of the proceeds. Read more about how we’re supported here.

Quick Overview

If you are looking for fresh human-grade meals for your cat, Smalls Cat Food is an great choice. They offer several types of foods to choose from and many budget options. Find out more about Smalls in this unbiased review.

 Click here to Get 25% off your first order

*Use Code: FREETOYSET and Win a Free Catnip Mouser Set

About Smalls

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 developed a partnership with Susan Lauten, Phd, who owns a Pet Nutrition Consulting firm. Each recipe went through many revisions until it was perfected for cats.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

Smalls buys all human grade ingredients without using any by products, meals or artificial flavorings. The food is gently cooked, and is all prepared in a USDA monitored environment. As business grows they plan on buying vegetables from local farms.

  • High quality ingredients- Smalls only uses the best ingredients to guarantee quality and safety. If it’s not good for us, it’s not good enough for our feline family.
  • Made fresh- Smalls is made fresh and sent straight to you. Your food never sits on a shelf, which means they can make food the way it was meant to be made.
  • Cooked gently- Smalls cooks just like you would at home to preserve all of the nutrients and moisture that cats need. No BPA, preservatives or super high heat in their kitchens.

A variety of supplements from human grade sources goes into each recipe in different ways. All food is prepared on a weekly basis then frozen right away.

Smalls food is made in a regulated human food facility in Chicago, by a small team of chefs.

Has Smalls Ever Been Recalled?

To date it does not appear Smalls cat food has ever been recalled.

What Kind of Food Does Smalls Offer?

Smalls offers 3 fresh cat food recipes in pate and minced texture varieties. The flavors are :

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

They also offer 3 recipes of kibble in the following flavors:

  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Fish

And they also have 3 flavors of freeze dried cat foods in these flavors:

  • Turkey
  • Duck
  • Chicken

All Smalls cat foods are formulated to meet AAFCO’s nutrient guidelines for all life stages. They do claim their ingredients are human grade and all food is manufactured and processed in the United States.

With no animal by-products on any of their ingredient lists, Smalls cat food appears to be made from high-quality ingredients. Their recipes feature human grade animal proteins as their primary ingredients. They’re made without controversial ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, carrageenan, and artificial colors.

How It Works

To get started with Smalls, you will need to create a profile for your cat or cats. You may add up to 5 cat profiles. You will be asked to provide their current weight, activity level and recipe selection. You can also specify if your cat suffers from any health issues like allergies, diabetes, kidney disease, dental issues and more. You will be notified via email and text when your order ships and provided a tracking number.

Each pack of food you receive is about three days worth of food so you’ll want to start defrosting a pack for each of your cats once it arrives. You can set up Smalls deliveries at a frequency that works best for you.

They ship out every Tuesday and depending on how many cats you have, can deliver anywhere from weekly to once every 6 weeks. Less frequent shipping requests are discounted as well but shipping is always free.

Smalls can be kept for up to 3 months in the freezer and once it’s thawed out, the food will stay fresh for 4-5 days. They recommend only keeping 3 days of food in the fridge at a time and keeping the rest in the freezer.

Managing your account is easy and you can email or text at (503)-487-4303 to pause your subscription (up to a week in advance) or cancel your shipments at any time. They are very responsive and quick with inquiries. In the future you will be able to manage your subscription directly on the website.


(I was sent a sample box of Smalls cat food in exchange for an unbiased review.)

  smells image

I was notified that my shipment was being prepared and would be shipped in the next few days after signing up for Smalls. Unfortunately a week went by and I heard nothing else via email or text. I did notify customer service and they were on top of it and had the issue resolved in minutes. I then was updated via text and email of when my box would arrive.

Once the adorable box arrived I noticed the foods were in brick like packaging and 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 flavorings for picky eaters. The shipment also included an instruction booklet that included recommendations on how to feed your cat the Smalls diet.

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

smells image 2

Smalls for Smalls Cat Food Review

Top Recipes Reviewed

Fresh Turkey Review


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

Guaranteed Analysis:

  • Crude Protein: 23.4% Min
  • Fat: 6.6% Min
  • Fiber: 0.3% Max
  • Moisture: 65.4% Max
  • Ash: .9% Max

To better understand the Smalls Fresh Turkey Cat Food recipe, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

  • Turkey Thigh is a high quality protein full of nutrients and is highly digestible. It is low in calories and high in Selenium and Tryptophan both of which benefit the immune system.
  • Chicken liver contains high amounts of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, trace minerals and is an amazing source of omega 3 and six fatty acids.
  • Green beans are a great source of fiber and can help with cats who are overweight.
  • Peas are often used in place of grains. They are a carbohydrates and provide sources of protein and fiber.
  • Kale is known to help build immunity. It is safe for cats but has been known to cause digestive issues.

Fresh Chicken Review


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

Guaranteed Analysis:

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

To better understand the Smalls Fresh Chicken Cat Food recipe, we analyzed the first 5 ingredients.

  • Chicken Thigh has the most muscle meat, which cats need for the taurine while chicken breast is helps in a strong immune system and muscle development.
  • Chicken Breast is a good source of protein, low in fat, low in sodium and is a low-carb food.
  • Chicken liver contains high amounts of protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, trace minerals and is an amazing source of omega 3 and six fatty acids.
  • Green beans are a great source of fiber and can help with cats who are overweight.
  • Peas are often used in place of grains. They are a carbohydrates and provide sources of protein and fiber.

Taste Test

When I first opened the packets of food, I noticed there was no strong cat food smell. It had the smells of a human pot pie, in my opinion. I received the minced texture which was mushy but not too wet.

smells cat food review

My two kitties are accustomed to more pate meals so I was worried they may not dive into this food.  They ate it all quickly and seemed to want more.

After a week of feedings, both cats know the smalls container with the yellow lid means dinner time. Both seem to be eating less kibble in the daytime, which means they are getting full off the Smalls dinner-time meals.

They seemed to enjoy both the Chicken and Turkey meals equally.

What’s Good About It?

  • The ingredients are sourced from US suppliers
  • Vitamins and minerals are human grade
  • Smells like human food
  • Customized meal plan for your cat based on your cat’s age, weight, health status, and body type
  • Good for cats with allergies and food sensitivities

What’s Not So Good?

  • The website can be confusing and unable to manage your account from there
  • The food must be kept cold until served making travelling with it hard
  • Cost is higher than wet and canned foods

What Do Customers Think About Smalls Cat Food?

Positive 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.”

“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.”

“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!”

Negative Reviews

“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.”

“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.”

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 around $1.00 to $3.50 per day, per cat.

Is Smalls Cat Food A Good Choice?

Smalls is a great choice in my opinion because my cats loved it and they give me many options when selecting a plan. With both wet, freeze dried and kibble food choices, I can build a healthy diet for my cats within a price range I can afford.

Smalls uses human grade ingredients and the top ingredients are high quality protein sources. They also include extras like broth, flakes and containers to hold the food, in your shipment.

 Click here to Get 25% off your first order

*Use Code: FREETOYSET and Win a Free Catnip Mouser Set

*FTC Disclosure: We received this sample box for review at no charge. We’re all About Cats 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.

About The Author:

Amy Brown is a lifelong cat enthusiast who enjoys writing about cats and rescuing them. She writes for various pet related websites, including her own, Cat Mania.

28 thoughts on “Smalls Cat Food Review

  1. AvatarSarah

    Hi Amy,
    I was wondering if you would give me your opinion on choosing the best cat food for my cat Maruscha.
    Maruscha is between 10-13 years old. Adopted Russian Blue. She has been eating Natural Balance Salmon and Green Pea Limited Diet for about 2-2.5 years now. Recently in the last 6 months we have started giving her Fish oil and Canna Campanion in addition to her dry food.
    She was eating Wellness for the 4 years before Natural Balance. Before that my husband was feeding her Bodega brands, as he didn’t know better and we hadn’t met yet.
    Maruscha has in the last 2.5 years developed an illness that reoccurs that no vet or ER vet has been able to tell us exactly why or what is causing her “episodes”. The first occurrence had me change from Wellness to a limited Diet brand, hence the Natural Balance.
    After more of my own research, I am concerned even the limited diet isn’t the best for her.
    I read that no carbs or starches to 2-3% in cat food is even better for their digestion.
    I am concerned with any ingredients that could lead to inflammation. I don’t actually see any inflammation but I read that sometimes inflammation can cause Epileptic seizures or “Twitchy Cat Syndrome”.
    This last info may be too much info for you since you don’t know all the details of her health issues. So don’t worry about that.

    If you had to recommend a dry food and or a delivery service of fresh food, what is best for an aging sensitive cat that is prone to “Vasel Vagal episodes” that could be anything from GI Track sensitivity, to an inflammation in her spine where there aren’t any (to very thin) disks between her bones by her tail, or something good for heart health or brain function?

    I was looking at Wysong Epigen 90 for dry and at Smalls for Smalls?
    I saw the protein content in Smalls wasn’t as high as the Wysong.
    I also want to stay away from inflammation in carbs or starches if possible.

    Please help?


    1. AvatarJeff Kittsmiller

      Want to let you know as , I had a older cat a few years ago that was sensitive and would sometimes vomit after eating , we came to find out it was our water because we were on a well , it had some kind of enzyme in the water , this same enzyme also messed with my wife’s digestive track. Both the cat and my wife for almost 2-3 years had problems. We had switch completely to bottled water for drinking and cooking. It took about 2 weeks we started notice the issues were less frequent and about 3 months were gone. Only trying to say that sometimes it might be the water depending on you area , whether you well or city, have water check.

  2. AvatarTomoko Yonemaru

    All my cats showed allergic reactions and vomited their food about 30 seconds to few minutes after feeding Smalls Beef Pate dinner tonight. Smalls cat food isn’t a safe choice based on my own experience.

    1. AvatarLaura

      It could just be the change of food. That’s why they recommend a slow switch if they’ve only ever been on one food. Also if they loved it and Ralphws it down immediately that’ll make them puke. Source: vet professional

    2. AvatarAmy

      Our cats had the exact same response to the ground cow. One vomited about 5 minutes after eating; the other several hours later, but we could see remnants of the beef food (the small minced green vegetables were quite obvious). I was quite sad as I hoped Smalls would be a good answer for our cats.

      Also to note: our one cat had no interest in the fish and turkey; the other ate a few bites of the fish and then gave up (she did really like the freeze dried raw duck nuggets, but I can’t trust that she won’t get sick on those as well). 🙁 🙁

  3. AvatarLaila

    It’s a little pricey initially but look into just for dogs/cats they do veterinary formulated custom meals using the information provided from your vet. Good luck

    1. AvatarAmy

      We use Just Food for Dogs for our dog…we’ve had great success with her. We tried our cats on the Just Food for Cats, but they didn’t seem interested in that formula. Hopefully JFFD will come out with new formulas for cats soon!

  4. AvatarSuzanne E Lalumiere

    Natural Balance cat food has been
    recalled for a dangerous ingredient
    causing serious illness in pets.
    You shouldn’t feed your cat
    this food.

  5. AvatarJune Tousignant

    I just lost my cat right before covid.
    He had stomach issues for years.
    I had ultrasound and other tests, but all inconclusive.
    I ran out of money for more tests and a few years later found out he had a grapefruit size rumor in his belly.
    I will never get over any of it, but I adopted a rescue in March, and I’m still trying food.
    He’s having stomach problems now. He was super skinny when I got him. He put weight on right away, but I am now wondering if it’s our water also?
    It’s a condo and we all have to have softeners and I have filter’s before and after the softener, and I have an alkaline pitcher that I use for both our drinking water.
    He’s just finishing up cat person food. He’s not into the wet food, and he’s not that excited about the dry, but he eats it.
    I don’t know what to feed him. I’m so afraid… I can’t deal with another sick cat
    He’s all the family I have.
    Should I buy bottled water, or switch the food, or both?
    Please help, Jbug

    1. Mallory CrustaMallory Crusta

      Hello June, I’m sorry about the loss of your cat and understand your desire to do the best for your new cat. Can you take your new kitty in to see a veterinarian? I think their diagnosis will help to put your mind at ease and give you a better idea of what you can do to help. Otherwise, I see nothing wrong with giving your new cat bottled water and perhaps upgrading to a fresh diet like Smalls or Nom Nom—knowing that you’re giving them high-quality ingredients and well-balanced water may also give you some peace of mind.
      Wishing you all the best!

  6. AvatarCarol Brooks

    I need to cancel any further orders from you smalls. My story is sad. You say this is easy to do. Smalls does not take from calls from 503-487-4303 I need help from Smalls to cancel. Please reply

  7. AvatarL

    Thanks for such an in depth review. They must have raised their prices pretty dramatically because nowhere do I see a $1/ day. option. Lowest is $2.46.

  8. AvatarSara

    This company have gave to me so much headach.
    I purchased a sample and my cats didn’t like the food, so I cancelled my subscription with them. Three days later Small charged my bank account over $200. I texted the asking for a refund and for a subscription cancellation. They refunded me my money. Five days later they charged me again….. I texted asking for a refund again and I asked if at this time he did his job right. They confirmed that everything was cancelled. For my surprise today Small charged my account again. I don’t know what is wrong with this company but they are behaving as a scam company. I did all the steps necessary to cancel my subscription with them and also talked to the cat concieurge Ross. Don’t you know how to run a company? After all this headach I wouldn’t never buy from this company again, even if my cats had like their food. Worse experience even.

  9. AvatarJulie

    I tried the trial. It was unsuccessful for our cats. I texted to cancel and received a short text reply confirming that I would not receive more charges. I thought I was all set.

    A week later, I was surprised to receive another package. I reached out to Smalls, and they said it could not be returned or refunded. While the package shipped after I had cancelled, I looked on my charge card to learn that, $331 had been charged 10 days earlier.

    Regarding the food, my cats did not like the food even when introduced gradually. It was not just one cat who got sick, but all, each time I tried it. That was why I canceled.

    My experience with Smalls was unfortunate and costly.

    I have had success with Dr. Marty and Stella & Chewy and several brands available at Boulder Natural Pet and Chewy. I’ve found their practices transparent and reliable.

    1. Mallory CrustaMallory Crusta

      Hi Julie, thank you for sharing your experience. That sounds incredibly frustrating and you’re not alone in having these types of issues with Smalls; we’ll keep your experience and those of others in mind when updating our reviews.

  10. AvatarMini

    Just found an ad for this on FB. Been trying with zero success for my six month old new kitten to switch over to something that isn’t junk Friskies, which she loves. The only cat I ever met that doesn’t like fish flavor! Tried chicken, salmon flavor (Whole Earth Farms), then tuna and crab (Avoderm). She barely liked the chicken, but not love it. Didn’t gobble it down like with the Friskies. I’d hate to (almost) waste more money on something the little spoiled brat isn’t going to eat. Our older cat ate everything, but he loves fish flavors and has gotten a bit less picky over the years, so at least one of them ate it.

    Jetta (kitten) hasn’t been too well trained, so if she doesn’t like what’s “on offer” she continuously jumps on me, asking for something different. No matter how long I leave the food out, she refuses, but I know she needs better nutrition than filler. I have never been horribly concerned with my pets food as I’m only 35 (still live at home) and haven’t always been the one picking it out, but one reddit post just got me thinking and here I am, realizing Friskies is the equivalent of letting a human child eat potato chips and chocolate for every meal. Might taste good, but it has no nutritional value for the poor cat. Haven’t really mixed the two yet (just too little to make a difference once), but might give it a shot today and see if it works. Lastly, I was originally thinking of doing a raw diet with Jetta when she’s old enough, but if this is her reaction to new food, then I know it’s going to go over like a fart in church! (Raw does seem to make the coat super soft. I had a friend with a beautiful cat who was on raw and the coat was as feather down soft as the rabbit I had at the time!)

  11. AvatarGinger

    Poor customer service without refunds should your cat not like it. Also this diet dried out my cats skin so be warned as noted by the doctor above.

  12. AvatarJaime Haak

    I just ordered Smalls and, similar to the overview, a week went by with no communication. Last Friday, I finally received an email saying my “shipment was being prepared” (not even that it had shipped yet!). That was fine, because I was traveling! 36 minutes later, I got another email that the food had arrived! Well, I was already traveling and was unable to get to the food until Monday, by which time the food had already thawed and spoiled. This wouldn’t be horrible, except they REFUSE to refund or replace the order after spending hours texting with them today. (They also REFUSE to call.) Don’t waste your time or money. There are other/better companies out there who stand by their service and product and are more transparent with what’s in the food.

  13. AvatarMariann

    Ordered the sampler and my cat would not eat the food. I’m hoping they will cancel my account without any hassles. If I had known they do not have anyway to get in contact with an actual person I would not have even tried the product. Only contact is via email or text and if you text them you get a “canned” response that they are experiencing a high volume of inquiries and response may be delayed.

  14. AvatarJen

    I would actually put a disclosure on this cat food brand, Smalls — they are a startup company and they have a lot of fine print regarding their practices. On site banners they will advertise money back guarantees, but what they won’t say unless you search in their FAQ’s and terms of policy (who does that?) is that refunds are only for samples.

    They also will lie about shipments and while their customer service is excellent when you PURCHASE food, they are very opposite that when trying to cancel or get refunded for orders. The ONLY way to cancel the subscription is to call them. You cannot do it on your own. You cannot change quantities to zero or they will automatically return the quantity to the original quantities after you save it as 0. So while this review lowballs the cost as something like $1 — in total, you are actually paying $125 per month.

    And actually, I’ve yet to receive a refund on even the samples that my cat wouldn’t eat.

  15. AvatarJade Marshall

    I just ordered the trial… My cats hate the food but the company hasn’t responded to me cancelling my account… I have no desire to give this to my cats… They don’t like the food yet… I can even log in to cancel my subscription before I get charged $240

  16. AvatarBobby

    They were so helpful when I was trying out feeding my cat the samples, but the actual boxes are so heavy and UPS REFUSES to deliver it to my door, and instead takes it to the parcel locker in our complex (which is NOT MADE for large packages, it has no car access and I’m disabled!!!). After repeated fighting with UPS and no progress, I have to cancel the service. If it can’t be delivered to my door, it’s useless to me. They were extremely responsive when I needed questions answered by text, but the moment they reached out to say my next order is being prepared, I asked her to cancel it instead and explained my situation. NO RESPONSE. I log on and find I’m about to be charged for the next order. Can’t cancel. No one answers the phone. I’m at the point I will have to cancel my entire debit card in order to cancel the subscription. It’s lunacy! My cat enjoyed the food a lot, but the customer service for cancelation is ATROCIOUS AND UNPROFESSIONAL!!!!


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