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.

The We’re All About Cats Standard – Rating Smalls On What Matters

We’ve analyzed Smalls and graded it according to the We’re All About Cats standard, evaluating the brand on species-appropriateness, ingredient quality, product variety, price, customer experience, and recall history. Here’s how it rates in each of these six key areas.

Ratings:

  • Species-Appropriateness – 9/10
  • Ingredient Quality – 10/10
  • Product Variety – 9/10
  • Price – 5/10
  • Customer Experience – 6/10
  • Recall History – 6/10

Overall Score: 8/10

We give Smalls fresh cat food a 45 out of 60 rating or a B grade.

About Smalls

The story of Smalls begins with co-founders Matt Michaelson and Calvin Bohn in 2017. After preparing simple, homemade cat food in their East Village apartment in New York, the founders of Smalls decided to share their recipes with the world.

Smalls offers fresh, human-grade cat food made with sustainably sourced ingredients in protein-rich formulas that are free from grains, fillers, and artificial additives. Fill out a questionnaire about your cat to receive custom meal plan suggestions and start your subscription.

While there’s a lot to like about the idea of custom cat food meal plans, top-notch ingredients, and foods that honor cats’ needs as carnivores, Smalls misses the mark in a few areas. In this review, you’ll learn about the good and bad of Smalls and whether or not it’s a good choice for your cat.

Sourcing And Manufacturing

All of Smalls’ recipes are human-grade, which means they are made with USDA-certified ingredients fit for human consumption. These ingredients are sustainably-sourced from the United States and Canada.

Smalls fresh food is cooked in USDA-certified kitchens from recipes that are rich in protein and free of by-products, fillers, and artificial additives.

Their wet food formulas are prepared in Chicago, Illinois, while their freeze-dried foods are prepared in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Smalls’ kibble is produced in Brainerd, Minnesota. Every batch is thoroughly tested for foodborne pathogens. The company also performs regular spot checks to make sure the nutritional content of their recipes is up to snuff.

Smalls’ cat food formulas were developed in partnership with Susan Lauten, PhD, a pet nutrition consultant.

Has Smalls Ever Been Recalled?

In June 2021, the founder of Smalls posted a statement on the company’s website explaining that several recipes had been voluntarily recalled. This recall affects select Fresh Chicken and Fresh Turkey products labeled as:

  • Ground Bird, Chicken Recipe
  • Smooth Bird, Chicken Recipe
  • Ground Other Bird, Turkey Recipe
  • Smooth Other Bird, Turkey Recipe

The recall was issued after Smalls received feedback from several customers who received products that looked spoiled and had an unusual odor. The company has thoroughly investigated their inventory and sent out samples to an independent lab for testing. As of June 2021, we don’t have specific details on what happened or why—Smalls is still investigating.

As of yet, Smalls hasn’t received any reports of illness related to the products affected by this recall. Customers can check their batch numbers on the Smalls website and request replacement products.

What Kind of Food Does Smalls Offer?

Though Smalls started only a few years ago, the company has gone through a number of significant changes in terms of their product lineup. In the beginning, Smalls was primarily a fresh cat food company (and still is), but now they offer freeze-dried food and kibble.

Each of Smalls’ cat foods comes in several flavors. Their fresh, human-grade cat food comes in four proteins and two textures. Choose from a smooth or ground texture in chicken, turkey, beef, or fish.

Smalls’ freeze-dried raw food is a nutritious alternative to traditional extruded kibble. It comes in three protein options: chicken, turkey, and duck. These foods are freeze-dried to preserve their nutritional integrity and to give the foods a nice crunch.

If your cat prefers a more traditional-style dry food, Smalls now offers kibble made with the same human-grade ingredients as their other formulas.

All Smalls cat foods are formulated with the help of a veterinary nutritionist to meet AAFCO’s nutrient guidelines for all life stages. They’re rich in protein with meat as the main ingredient and made without controversial ingredients like corn, wheat, soy, carrageenan, and artificial colors.

Smalls Cat Food Reviews

Product NameFood TypePrice per OunceOur Grade
Smalls Fresh Bird RecipeFresh$0.78A-
Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Turkey RecipeFreeze-Dried$1.83A+
Smalls Fish Kibble RecipeDry$1.75B

#1 Smalls Fresh Bird Recipe

Click Here To Get 25% Off Your First Order

This fresh cat food formula features chicken as its primary ingredient and sole source of protein. It contains 92% chicken breast and thigh, 6% chicken liver, and 2% chicken heart.

With chicken as the main ingredient, this formula is packed with animal protein and poultry flavor. Aside from the chicken meat and organs, the food contains green beans, peas, kale, and vegetable oil. Though there are several plant-based ingredients in this formula, they aren’t included in significant amounts. The overall carbohydrate content is under 5%.

Overall, this fresh cat food recipe is a species-appropriate, meat-based recipe with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

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, Niacin, Thiamine Hydrochloride, Vitamin A, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Selenium, Dried Kelp, Biotin, Vitamin B12

Ingredients We Liked: Chicken Thigh, Chicken Breast, Chicken Liver, Green Beans

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Peas

Common Allergens: Chicken

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 21.6%
Crude Fat: 8.2%
Crude Fiber: 0.4%
Moisture: 67.4%
Ash: 2.3%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 67%
Fat: 25.4%
Fiber: 1.3%
Carbs: 6.3%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 49.6%
Fat: 45.7%
Carbs: 4.7%

Pros

  • Rich in animal protein from chicken
  • Very low in carbohydrate content
  • Cats love the way this food tastes
  • High in moisture, good for digestion

Cons

  • Main source of added fat is plant-based

#2 Smalls Freeze-Dried Raw Turkey Recipe

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As an alternative to fresh food, Smalls offers an assortment of freeze-dried foods, including this turkey recipe. This formula features fresh turkey as the main ingredient. In addition to turkey meat, it includes ground bone and a variety of turkey organs, delivering a prey-inspired mix of animal-derived nutrients.

Another interesting ingredient in this formula is goat’s milk. Goat’s milk contains probiotics, which can help support your cat’s digestion. You’ll also see some turkey egg and herring oil in this formula.

One point worth noting about this recipe is that while freeze-dried foods are typically meant to be rehydrated, Smalls freeze-dried cat food is meant to be fed as-is. The food simply doesn’t absorb liquid very well, so it doesn’t provide the moisture your cat needs in his diet.

Overall, this freeze-dried recipe is a species-appropriate, high-protein cat food with moderate fat and low carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Finely Ground Turkey with Bone, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Turkey Gizzard, Goat’s Milk, Turkey Egg, Water, Egg Shell Membrane, Herring Oil, Mixed Tocopherols, D-Alpha Tocopherol

Ingredients We Liked: Turkey, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Turkey Gizzard, Goat’s Milk, Egg, Herring Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: None

Common Allergens: None

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 63.6%
Crude Fat: 22.1%
Crude Fiber: 3.9%
Moisture: 10.4%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 53.3%
Fat: 18.5%
Fiber: 3.3%
Carbs: 25%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 43.3%
Fat: 36.4%
Carbs: 20.3%

Pros

  • Packed with high-quality protein from turkey
  • Made with an animal-based source of fat
  • No by-products, fillers, or artificial additives
  • May be a good option for cats with food sensitivities

Cons

  • Low in moisture, doesn’t rehydrate well
  • May be too high in phosphorus for cats with kidney disease

#3 Smalls Fish Kibble Recipe

Click Here To Get 25% Off Your First Order

The most cost-effective meal plan Smalls has to offer is their kibble-only plan. They offer three kibble recipes, including this fish formula.

Smalls’ fish-based dry food features whitefish and whitefish meal as its first two ingredients.

Though this formula is rich in animal protein, it also contains several starches and some plant-based protein. Sweet potatoes and peas are high in carbohydrates and pea protein is a plant-based protein concentrate.

Generally speaking, dry food tends to be much higher in carbohydrates than wet food for cats. While this recipe is a little lower in carbs than the average dry food, the carb content is still higher than recommended, estimated at around 20%.

Overall, this kibble recipe is a fish-based source of nutrition with high protein and fat content and moderate carbohydrate content.

Ingredients

Whitefish, Whitefish Meal, Sweet Potatoes, Egg Product, Peas, Pea Protein, Fish Oil, Cranberry Extract, Chamomile Flower, Rosemary Extract, Smalls’ Kibble Supplement Blend

Ingredients We Liked: Whitefish, Whitefish Meal, Egg Product, Fish Oil

Ingredients We Didn’t Like: Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Pea Protein

Common Allergens: Fish

Guaranteed Analysis

Crude Protein: 56.3%
Crude Fat: 23.9%
Crude Fiber: 5.6%
Moisture: 14.1%

Dry Matter Basis

Protein: 44.4%
Fat: 18.9%
Fiber: 4.4%
Carbs: 32.2%

Caloric Weight Basis

Protein: 36.3%
Fat: 37.4%
Carbs: 26.3%

Pros

  • Rich in real, animal-based protein
  • Includes fish oil for omega-3 fatty acids
  • Relatively low in carbs compared to average dry food

Cons

  • Contains several starches and plant-based protein
  • May still be too high in carbs for cats

What Do Customers Think Of Smalls Cat Food?

Smalls is a fairly new option in the fresh pet food industry, having only been founded in 2017. The company was originally well-received but has had a few issues over the years, including numerous customer complaints and a recent recall.

The best place to find reviews of Smalls cat food at the moment is Trustpilot, where the company currently has 405 reviews and carries a 3.8 out of 5-star rating. Though 60% of those reviews are 5-star reviews, a full 15% give the brand a 1-star rating.

Most negative reviews talk about the company’s customer service and recurring payment system. Remember that Smalls automatically starts a subscription when you buy a sample pack, so unless you cancel the subscription before your renewal date, you will be automatically charged. Many customers are frustrated with this, saying that they were unable to cancel their subscription and had difficulty contacting the support team. Some said that, even after Smalls support said that the subscription had been canceled, charges continued to show up on their card.

Smalls only allows customers to contact them via text or email, which makes it impossible to get an instant reply.

Beginning in February 2021, we saw an uptick in complaints from commenters saying Smalls was failing to respond to emails, didn’t issue refunds, and continued to send food after a subscription has been canceled.

To get to the bottom of these issues, we contacted Smalls. The company representative explained that they had recently migrated their database which left customers with no way to manage their accounts online. Because it also made customer data difficult to access, Smalls was unable to contact customers or fulfill their requests.

While this does seem to explain some of the complaints we’ve seen, it doesn’t explain everything. It doesn’t change the fact that the Smalls site is difficult to navigate, that deliveries are often inconsistent, and that there is no way to contact this company by phone.

Positive Reviews

“I’ve switched to Smalls because I realized my pet deserves organic human-grade food. The most noticeable difference is my pet’s energy. After he eats Smalls he is ready for action and play. When he used to eat processed store-bought foods (high-end/top shelf), he used to nap afterwards, a long nap.” – Terrell

“I recently ran into some issues with Smalls. Although I was upset, their representatives are outstanding. I was assigned Mel, and this person did such a great job at resolving my problem. Thank you, Mel! My cat is a fan of Smalls, but now I am too because of how nice and accommodating their team is.” – Khoshnoor Paracha

“I have used this food for a very picky kitty and she lives all of it. We had a delivery problem and the minute I contacted Smalls they responded immediately and are reshipping replacement ASAP. Awesome products and really awesome service.” – Judith Wright

Negative Reviews

“Horrible customer service. Thought I was buying a trial run and they signed me up for repeat service of shipments of food that I didn’t authorize. Now they are charging me over $200.” – Cara

“I’d like to cancel my subscription asap. After eating an unusually watery ground turkey meal, two of my cats ended up in the ER. One had to stay overnight and receive IV fluids and assorted meds to get her eating again, she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis secondary to eating “something bad.” – KD

“At first customer service was ok but my cats hated the food. They tried to work with me and then confirmed the order was canceled. I was then charged and received an order. No phone support and getting no responses via text or email. Tried to go in and manually remove all the items in the reoccurring subscription. I also let my credit card company know. Save yourself the trouble and look elsewhere.” – SL

How Much Does Smalls Cat Food Cost?

Every customer gets a week sample pack containing 5 packages of fresh food – about 23 meals – discounted by 25%. This puts the total price at $33.75, or about $1.50 per meal.

Unlike some other fresh pet food companies, Smalls doesn’t portion out your cat’s meals according to his body weight. Instead, the company sends out a monthly shipment that they deem appropriate for your cat’s needs.

Depending on your cat’s size and calorie requirements, Smalls fresh food will cost between $1.00 and $3.50 per day.

If fresh food isn’t in your budget, Smalls offers plans that include freeze-dried food or kibble. A kibble-only plan is the most affordable, priced at about $1 per day while the most expensive plan contains freeze-dried and fresh food for about $4.90 per day.

Overall, Is Smalls A Good Choice?

Smalls is a relatively new company that offers an excellent variety of foods and meal plans that honor your cat’s needs as a carnivore.

But while this brand seems to be built on good nutritional principles, its customer experience leaves a lot to be desired. We’re told that Smalls is working to correct these issues and to recover from their recent recall, but until those problems are resolved, this is not a brand we can enthusiastically recommend.

How Do You Order Smalls Cat Food?

The process to order Smalls is similar to other fresh pet food companies like Nom Nom. You start by filling out a questionnaire to provide information about your cat. Smalls then uses that information to create a custom meal plan catered to your cat’s calorie requirements and preferences.

In addition to basic information about your cat’s name and age, Smalls asks about his or her spay/neuter status, body composition, and flavor preferences.

After filling out the questionnaire, Smalls directs you to a checkout page where you can purchase their two-week sampler pack which includes all of their fresh food recipes (unless you chose to leave one out). This sampler pack includes five packages of fresh food discounted by 25% which gives you about 23 meals for under $1.50 per meal.

Get 25% off your first order, which includes samples of all the fresh food recipes Smalls has to offer.

Click Here To Get 25% Off Your First Order

About Kate Barrington

Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.

76 thoughts on “Smalls Cat Food Review

  1. Sarah

    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?

    Thanks,
    Sarah

    Reply
    1. Jeff 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.

      Reply
  2. Tomoko 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.

    Reply
    1. Laura

      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

      Reply
    2. Amy

      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). 🙁 🙁

      Reply
      1. Carl

        My cat had similar reactions. The first shipment had a little bit of all their products. Most of them didn’t interest my cat but she did like the Ground Bird. I asked them to just send that in the next shipment… no can do. So I gave away all the things my cat didn’t like, and cancelled my subscription. Now she’s quite happy with Sheba.

        Reply
        1. Jibran from Smalls

          Hey Carl,

          Sorry to hear about your experience here. We can definitely do better when informing our customers about any food substitutions we have to make. We’re actively making more investments in our technology to make this more transparent along with plenty of other account portal improvements.

          Reply
  3. Laila

    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

    Reply
    1. Amy

      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!

      Reply
  4. Suzanne E Lalumiere

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

    Reply
      1. L

        Before Natural Balance was sold to Smuckers (red flag) I used the cat food for years and never had any issues with any of my cats, they really loved it. When it first came out on the market it did have all natural ingredients and no fillers. As soon as new brands become bigger and the original seller sells to commercial company or brands they always change the ingredients and not for the better. They start adding fillers and other cheap alternatives to cut costs and make bigger profit while our pets suffer the affects of that immediately or later on. A pet store I used for many years told me Natural Balance was sold to Smuckers and I stopped buying it immediately after checking the ingredients and indeed they were changed and had fillers now still charging the high prices for not all natural ingredients. Always check the ingredients. If the first four are chicken/meat meal, by-products, wheat, soy, barley, steer clear…those ingredients are potential inflammation, allergy and disease creators. Our pets deserve better. Check out Nom Nom for cats and dogs. Darwin’s raw cat and dog food. Felne Natural wet and freeze-dried from New Zealand. Always gradually switch out their food and always check with your vet to make sure its the right choice for your pets. Another create supplement to add to pets food to prevent future illness or get rid of present issues is checking out Dr. Gary Ritcher supplements (he’s a western and holistic vet) has many You Tube videos check him out, highly recommend and Dr. Mercola human and pet products too!!

        Reply
  5. June 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

    Reply
    1. Mallory 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!

      Reply
  6. Carol 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

    Reply
  7. L

    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.

    Reply
  8. Sara

    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.

    Reply
    1. Dolores Blasco

      Having problems with the reorder process. Can’t be reached by phone and correspondence is yes and then no. At this point, I’m not sure this is an actual bona Fidel company and will pass on it.

      Reply
  9. Julie

    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.

    Reply
    1. Mallory 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.

      Reply
  10. Mini

    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!)

    Reply
  11. Ginger

    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.

    Reply
  12. Jaime 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.

    Reply
  13. Mariann

    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.

    Reply
  14. Jen

    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.

    Reply
  15. Jade 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

    Reply
  16. Bobby

    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!!!!

    Reply
  17. Ace

    Tried the trial got two more months worth of shipments and then all of a sudden I couldn’t use the website anymore. I received and was charged for two boxes which I had originally postponed. When I contacted them they wouldn’t refund me because I didnt reach out sooner. In the most recent batch of ground or smooth cow, all three of my cats got sick an hour after eating, all over the house. They may not have recalls yet but from the sounds of it, they will soon.

    Reply
  18. Mike S

    Can you please do an updated review with analysis of Smalls to take into account the issues they appear to be having per these comments? I have had several shipments of Smalls over the past 7 months and my cats do like the food and I do believe its a very high quality product. However, I have reservations regarding their product and service consistency as they have “changed kitchens” and the packaging has also changed a few times over the past 7 months. I know they raised $9 million in venture capital last October, so perhaps there are changes being made at the company that should be investigated in light of such a glowing review it has received on this website. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Mike, yes. This review is definitely in need of an update given all of the new information we’ve gotten on Smalls, both coming from commenters and our own reviewers’ experiences. Thank you.

      Reply
  19. Jennifer

    These guys are thieves. They have completely shady practices and falsify information JUST so they can charge the $125+ subscription charges. You’ll see you have zero option to cancel a subscription unless you contact them and they automatically reboot your order to fulfill $125 even though that’s not even the minimum order and then they refuse to provide refunds and lie about why. There are countless (and I mean I have save hundreds of reviews off three sites alone) where people have gone through the same issue with their auto-subscription services, their cats have had severe diarrhea, have been throwing up, and they lie about their policies on all the MAIN pages, and you have to read the disclaimers and fine print to see what their actual policies were. My cat wouldn’t even eat their trial box and they said they sent out a subscription box to me before my 2-week trial ended, and when I tried to cancel it, they said it could not be canceled because they’ve already sent out the shipment and the warehouse does not do recalls. I contacted the warehouse who confirmed that they did not even receive the shipment from Smalls until the next day and that there is no such policy to cancel a shipment request prior to pickup. These guys are thieves and are just trying to keep the millions they received from investors.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Jennifer, we’re very aware of the issues, and yours is just the latest in a series of serious complaints about the Smalls customer experience. We are currently in a conversation with multiple people from Smalls and trying to get this sorted out. I’m sorry that you went through this with Smalls. Hopefully, they can sort out these issues soon. Thank you for sharing your experience.

      Reply
    2. Jibran from Smalls

      Hey Jennifer,

      I’m so very sorry to hear that this was your experience with us. That’s not okay whatsoever. We’ve had a tough time getting our technology right and are actively making investments to remedy situations as you experienced. I’ll check in with my CS team about what you experienced as you should have ample time to adjust your order before your first subscription is shipped. Definitely let me know if you never got your refund and I can follow up to make sure this is remedied.

      Reply
  20. Carla Coleman

    AVOID THIS COMPANY!!! IT IS A SCAM!!! We signed up for a sample. Cat didn’t like the food. Then we discovered that we are automatically signed up for a monthly subscription. A very expensive monthly subscription. They do not provide a way on their website to cancel the subscription. They do not answer their phone. They (so far) haven’t responded to emails or texts, except for an automated response saying they are “currently experiencing a high volume of inquiries.”

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Carla, thanks for letting us know about your experience. You are not alone in this. We’ve updated the article to provide more insight into the issues that Smalls customers have been facing recently. This is a very, very serious problem and I hope that you have it resolved soon.

      Reply
  21. Tonia

    My cats appeared to enjoy the smalls ground turkey and ground chicken which is a shame as the company still has supply/packaging issues that are frustrating as a consumer.

    I tried Smalls for approx. 4 shipments and only one of those shipments arrived as Ordered, it was the introductory box.

    One box wasn’t packaged properly only to find out after it arrived that the company was experiencing packaging issues. The entire order arrived thawed, warm and leaking. It ended up in the garbage. I had to order canned food as a backup.

    On one order, they ran out of one of my preferences. Shipped only a partial box. I had to order canned food as a backup.

    One box arrived later than reported. The ship date was reported incorrectly to me via the smalls team and thus it arrived late and thawed.

    This is human grade food so if its thawed and warm when it arrives its recommended that you throw it away.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi Tonia, thank you for sharing your disappointing experience with Smalls cat food. I’m sorry you went through this and am glad you’re making others aware of what may happen when they order from this company.

      Reply
    2. Jibran from Smalls

      Tonia,

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. It’s not okay whatsoever that your food arrived thawed that consistently. Appreciate your feedback here and I’ll flag this with my team to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

      Reply
  22. Mary

    I got my subscription and so far my concierge has been very helpful. Answers me quickly. Im able to modify my order, reschedule it and cancel it. I will update you guys when i recieve my order.

    Reply
  23. Holly

    Don’t buy from this company. They are not only very expensive, they don’t even allow you to buy anything without signing up for a subscription that automatically refills. My cat didn’t like a single flavor and my dog was kinda meh about the food too, and my dog eats everything. Not only did they not refund me a dime for the crazy expensive sampler (which they said they would on the site) they didn’t refund me the automatic second order either. They don’t have a phone service so you can’t call them, you just get copy-and-paste style emails about an unrefundable contract. So – not super surprised that millenials would sell me tasteless organic nonsense food for pets that’s overpriced and scam-y and then have zero customer service. It’s what I was expecting from people around my age group but it still makes me sad.

    Reply
  24. Kendra DeStefano

    I was really hoping my issues were just one offs, but from reading the reviews here, it doesn’t appear so.

    I ordered a sample box and it came thawed and with zero ice. I contacted smalls and they promptly sent out a new box. The same thing happened. It was thawed. Then they advised that if it’s 40 degrees it is okay to refreeze.

    I haven’t tried to cancel my subscription yet…so nothing to report about that yet. :/

    Reply
    1. Brittany Fuller

      That happened to my sample too, though the thawed food was still quite cold, so after a sniff test I fed it to my cat, who seemed quite happy.

      I scoured their website, and realized that they will only send that amount of fresh food at one time as the sample – all other orders of fresh food have a minimum amount. (I think the usual minimum is 8 items of fresh food, and my sample had 5). They claim one reason for this minimum is to keep the food frozen during shipping. I was skeptical, but my actual order of 8 items arrived completely frozen, with dry ice still in the box.

      I think they’re right, that smaller amounts of frozen food cannot stay cold as long as is needed. (If you think about it, one ice cube in a cooler will not stay frozen as long as many ice cubes in a cooler will.) Perhaps a smaller box and more dry ice with the samples than with the normal orders would solve the problem.

      Reply
  25. kitsun

    DON’T ORDER FROM SMALLS; IT’S A SCAM!!
    My cats didn’t like it & I canceled after the initial sample, but they keep billing me monthly.
    They acknowledge each time (by text) that its an error, but keep doing it. You can’t reach them by phone or email, only text. On their website there’s no way to delete your credit card or cancel an account. I urge anyone with similar experience to report them to the better business bureau & consumer frauds bureau of attorney generals office. Also notify your credit card to block them.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Thank you for sharing your experience, Kitsun. I passed your comment along to one of our contacts at Smalls and they said that your issue was related to a technical issue they encountered in May. Many people have had their accounts renewed after they’d been canceled. Troubling. Have you tried again to cancel your account? You should be able to cancel now, and if not, this is an even more serious issue.

      Reply
      1. Rebekah

        The same thing happened to me yesterday, June 8th, so they have not fixed this problem. I tried to cancel and they still charged me $150 for a lot of unwanted food and have yet to answer my e-mail. Sure, I was aware it was a subscription service, but they claimed I would be able to cancel at any time. As it turns out, I couldn’t. There are no clear directions on how to cancel on the website, no customer service phone number, and when you try to decrease your order down to just a few items they automatically charge you $150 minimum. From the comments here, it seems this problem has been happening for over a year now and they keep claiming they will fix it and don’t. This is no longer a small, new company without a lot of money, so why has it taken over a month, much less an entire year (!), to address very serious customer concerns? That’s something that should be fixed within days. Where is all of their money going if not to website design (with a clearly marked cancellation button!) and a customer service phone line? Those are the absolute basics. Charging people this much money for unwanted, huge, shipments this many times, for this long, is outright fraud. Just as someone else said in these comments, Smalls should be reported to the Better Business Bureau. And I’m a bit disappointed that All About Cats STILL has not made a firm warning in their review to their readers about this company’s repeated issues. I made the decision to try Smalls mostly because of this site, and very much regret it. Please save future readers for making the same mistake. It really hurts the credibility of All About Cats to pretend as if this isn’t happening, and to still highly recommend this company without warning readers of these very serious concerns.

        Reply
        1. Mallory Crusta

          Hi Rebekah, apologies for the late reply. As you mentioned, the problems that were supposed to have been solved either have not been solved or have turned into new problems. And now we have the recall. Overall, this is extremely concerning. We recently updated the Smalls review to mention the serious complaints continuing to come from you and other people who’ve bought from Smalls. I’ve also added snippets about the June 2021 recall to our articles on the best cat food and best wet cat food. Between the mountain of complaints related to customer service, inconsistent deliveries, and now this recall, Smalls needs to make significant improvements in order to remain at the top of the lists where you’ve seen it. We are taking this into consideration for our next round of updates and currently looking into potential replacements if things don’t improve.

          Reply
  26. Francis Son

    Be Prepared for garbage customer service! They delayed my orders after signing up for a subscription so I stopped ordering their food completely because they left me with no food supply for 4 days and I had to figure out a new diet for my cat. I only order their giblets and just recently they sent me the COMPLETELY WRONG item and have not provided a solution to resolve the situation and its been 48 hours. Their customer service is absolute garbage and they seem to care if your cat runs out of food. What good is good quality food if the company is absolute garbage about sending it to you.

    Reply
    1. Jibran from Smalls

      Hey Francis,

      Thanks for the note and so sorry that you had this experience with us. We’ll typically send a heads-up email to our customers before the order is placed. This heads-up email also includes any substitutions we need to make because of inventory so you have enough time to adjust your order.

      Definitely reach out to our CS team if these issues persist and I can ping them to keep an eye out on your request.

      – Jibran

      Reply
  27. Brittany Fuller

    My cat likes Smalls wet food very much, and I think I have noticed her fur getting softer.

    My main issue is it is much more calorie dense than all the other wet food I have tried (including a wide range of brands of mid to high end canned cat food – I went a little crazy there for a while). She usually eats 200 calories of food a day, and is content with that. But if I only give her 200 calories of Smalls food in a day, she is hungry. She already has behavioral issues, and being hungry doesn’t help.

    I have been combining it with other food instead, which has worked okay.

    Reply
  28. 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.

    Reply
    1. Jibran from Smalls

      Hey Russell,

      Thanks for your note here and deeply appreciate the feedback.

      Our sampler order is specifically curated to ensure that your cat has a proper “tasting” of all of our flavors before you commit to a subscription where you can order the flavors your furry friend most enjoys!

      With regards to the subscription: we make sure that customers know they’re signing up for a subscription upon purchase of our trial. This is in our terms of service as well as under the checkout button on the sampler. However, I totally understand the frustration here and we’re working on making this a lot more clear as we make updates to our checkout flow.

      Best,
      – Jibran

      Reply
  29. Barbara Nelson

    If I order on a trial basis, I do not automatically want to be sent more food in a few weeks. I do not want to be put on a list that I need to cancel.

    Can I order on a trial basis without being automatically put on a list where you will send me more food?

    Reply
  30. Karen

    I just sent this email to Smalls. They definitely are having some serious quality control issues:

    I’d like to cancel my subscription asap. After eating an unusually watery ground turkey meal, two of my cats ended up in the ER. One had to stay overnight and receive IV fluids and assorted meds to get her eating again, she was diagnosed with gastroenteritis secondary to eating “something bad.” She had an ultrasound which didn’t show any blockages, just inflammation consistent with gastroenteritis. The other one was released after getting subcutaneous fluids and some take-home meds to help him recover his appetite. Both cats are just 2 years old and in otherwise great health.

    They’re indoor-only cats, I don’t keep any toxic plants in the house (no toxic cleaners, etc.), and there’s nothing they ingested together — at the same time — other than the shared packet of Smalls ground turkey, which, as I mentioned above, was unusually watery. It didn’t smell bad, so we thought it was okay, and it clearly was not.

    This is just a couple of weeks after I contacted customer support about 5 packets of fish I received that were absolutely rancid. The smell was so bad that we had to open all of the windows and turn on an air purifier. All five packets were rancid! That’s a very serious quality control issue. Customer support apologized, that’s all. I had to request reimbursement for the 5 fish packets. I shouldn’t have had to ask, it should have been offered to me as a subscriber since May 2019. I’m happy to pay for high quality food for my cats, but not if it’s rancid. Who would?

    I had also contacted customer support (at the time of reporting the rancid fish) about several packages of food that were cracked and opened when we took them out of the box (I sent photos). The CSR said it was okay, and the food was safe to feed my cats. She said that Smalls is experimenting with packaging and trying to figure it out.

    After the rancid fish and the cracked packaging, I should have cancelled my subscription, those are two big red flags, but I thought I’d give Smalls another chance since I appreciate any company that offers high-quality, fresh diets for cats. But this food poisoning episode is egregious. It’s obvious that Smalls has some serious quality control issues. I’ve had cats for over 20 years, and I’ve never had to take any of them to the ER for food poisoning. This is a new one for me. So, please cancel my subscription asap and send me an email letting me know that it’s been cancelled.

    Reply
  31. tish

    Is there a phone number besides the “text” number to cancel? I texted that and it onlyresponds to “cancel” (as in cancel the texts you get, not the service itself) and start (as in start texting me) I have been traveling, and sick and haven’t been able to start my cat and I’ve run out of freezer room!

    Reply
  32. Kat

    Today I received an email from Smalls about a voluntary recall for some of its poultry-based wet food.

    I have been a subscriber since December 2020 and have been happy with the quality of food and the convenience. That is until a few months ago when I started having issues with orders that I placed through the website not matching the order that showed up on my doorstep. I have also had shipments show up on weeks I didn’t want a shipment.

    I have been grateful for the prompt customer service replies but I’m also tired of the excuses for why this is an ongoing issue. Their most recent explanation for the discrepancy was that they were upgrading their website and having some technical difficulties with orders. The solution was for me to email them my order.

    I want this to work with Smalls but it has turned into more work than I was expecting, especially for the price. I hope they figure this out soon.

    Reply
    1. Jibran from Smalls

      Hey Kat,

      I’m so sorry that this has been your Smalls experience as of late. We definitely don’t want us to be extra work for you.
      When we’re out of stock on certain products, we’ll send a heads-up email detailing what we’ll be replacing that product with.
      Beyond that, we’ve been actively making investments in staffing and customer service to mitigate and eliminate these issues

      If these difficulties persist, don’t hesitate to send me a note at jibran [at] smalls.com

      Reply
  33. Hannah Roberts

    This recall has been a nightmare. I’ve been dealing with it for the last few weeks and had no idea why my cats were vomiting. After they sent out their email I was so relieved and threw out the fresh batches. But now even the freeze-dried food that isn’t in the affected batches made my cat vomit. Today it was my brand new bag of freeze-dried duck kibble that came with the bad fresh batches. My cat threw up an hour afterward. I think I’m going to have to cancel. I wanted to give them another chance because this is supposed to be the best thing out there, and it genuinely helped my cats lose weight. But this is horrible. I’m now worried that they will ignore my requests to cancel after reading the all horror stories in these comments.

    Reply
  34. Abigail Shry

    Don’t buy from this company… they will charge you when you least expect it… they charged me for 2 weeks straight… haven’t even got the $85 order from last week & they charged again bc THEY RECALLED FOOD THAT WAS BAD & wouldn’t let me put it in the shipping from 6/15 & apparently if they owe you bc they screwed up, you’ll get charged bc they won’t ship less than 6 pks of fresh food… they say its bc it needs that many to stay cold but you can’t even get dry without 6 pks of wet @ $9 reach… then they say they actually refunded you on 6/11 so if you refunded me why are you blaming me for asking to get my refund on a wk I’m not scheduled for… they blamed me all day but when i asked for my $ back & told them i had no reason to think anything wld ship since there was a $27 credit last week.

    Reply
  35. SV

    Listen to all the bad reviews about this company. It’s true they are deceptive. First of all, while their customer service is responsive, it has to be because their website is so terrible. Most of the time, it doesn’t work properly and you have to ask customer service to do it. It took me a while to figure out the right amount for my kitten so I spent more than I expected month to month. When I finally did, I made sure to have an extra 2 bags as they recommended. But they decided, without giving notice to me, to switch out my cats food from chicken to turkey. This was such a risky move because I had no supply left to transition and I was leaving on vacation by the time I noticed the ingredients were turkey. When I emailed them, they said it was my fault for not reading the email, but it was buried in an email that I always get each time my email ships. They expect me to open the same email with the same subject title I get every month my order ships — when they should’ve changed the subject title to tell customers that the change is happening. This is deceptive and extremely inconsiderate to a cat’s health. They refused to provide me a refund upon request or ship me replacement.

    My cat has a very sensitive stomach and can’t just switch off like that. I’m still figuring out her food allergies and some cats are allergic to turkeys. I thought they were honest about their ingredients but I can’t trust a company with dishonest practices like this. Prior to this, I had Nom Nom Now and they were soo much better at measuring how much food your cat needed and obviously way better quality.

    Taste-wise, one of my other cats refused to eat Smalls food after about 2 months out of no where so I had to switch out it, and I was willing to stay with their company for my one other cat but not anymore with deceptive practices like this. I can’t trust their ingredients or the disrespectful way they go about switching out products without consent.

    Reply
    1. Mallory Crusta

      Hi there. Thank you for sharing your experience. It sounds ridiculously frustrating and, as you’ll know if you’ve read comments on this article, the concerns you’ve mentioned are nothing new. We’ve forwarded your comment to the Smalls customer support team and are discussing these issues with them directly. After multiple conversations with people in several parts of the organization, including the company’s founder, it is clear to me that Smalls is very aware of the issues you’ve described. Whether or not these plans will be effective remains unclear, but I have been told that their focus is on cleaning up these problems in the near future. With this in mind, I will remain cautiously hopeful about things improving. Again, I’m sorry you had such a bad experience with Smalls and hope that you can find something more reliable for your cat soon.

      Reply
  36. Deborah

    I got my first shipment of Smalls and was horrified The shipment had no dry ice in it, and hasn’t for sometime. Food was hot. Worse, 3 of the 4 packages of wet food were ripped, which had allowed the dry ice to leak inside the food. They advice not to touch the wet dry ice, yet it is inside the food! Worse, by the no refrigeration, you are getting contaminated “bird” that likely has salmonella.

    Great concept, poorly and dangerously executed. I asked for refund of the first shipment and cancellation of the account. There is no way to put faith that more shipments won’t arrive in this condition. I will not put my cat at risk feeding him food that could harm him.

    Reply
    1. Kate Barrington Post author

      That’s really frustrating, Deborah! I’m glad you were able to get a refund. Did you also talk to Smalls about the problem? They’ve been working through some issues over the last year, so I’m sure they’d appreciate the feedback. Hope you find a better option for your cat!

      Reply

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