Smalls Cat Food Review by Dr Coates


Are you looking for a high protein cat food that’s made with healthy ingredients in a human-grade facility? If so, look no further than Smalls.

Veterinarians and other cat experts agree that the best foods for cats are high in animal protein and moisture and very low in carbohydrates. Unfortunately, few cat foods tick all these boxes, but Smalls does. Let’s take a look at one of the Smalls fresh cat foods in detail—Other Fresh Smooth Bird (yep, that’s really its name).

Minerva, my taste tester.

Dr. Coates’ Score for Smalls Cat Food



4.4

Editorial Rating

What we like:
High animal protein count and customized recipe plans

How to Compare Cat Foods

The Smalls website provides a lot of information about each of their diets, presented in a variety of ways, which makes understanding their benefits quite straightforward.

Ingredients Matter

First, look at the ingredient list. This is where you can see if animal proteins predominate or if plant-based sources of protein play a big role in the food. Smalls Other Fresh Smooth Bird is made with turkey thigh with skin on (74.69%) and chicken liver (7.47%) with green beans, peas, vegetable oil, and necessary vitamins and minerals rounding out the ingredient list.

Smalls cat food Other Fresh Smooth Bird flavor

Smalls Fresh Foods are labeled with calorie markings that make feeding the right amount easy.

Nutrient Percentages

Arguably the best way to compare cat foods is to look at the percentage of calories (metabolizable energy) that come from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Most of a cat’s calories should come from protein, followed by fat, with carbohydrates coming in a distant third. Smalls Other Fresh Smooth Bird looks like this:

Smalls Other Fresh Smooth Bird Metabolizable Energy

Calories from Protein Percentage
Calories from Fat 54.6%
Calories from Carbohydrates 37.4%
Calories from Carbohydrates 7.9%

Unfortunately, most cat food companies don’t provide their food’s nutrient breakdown in this way. They do, however, have to include a guaranteed analysis on the label, and you can use that and a guaranteed analysis converter to get a calorie breakdown.

Here’s a comparison of the guaranteed analysis for Other Fresh Smooth Bird to one for a popular turkey-based canned cat food:

Other Fresh Smooth Bird Vs. A Turkey-Based Canned Cat Food Product

  Other Fresh Smooth Bird Turkey Canned Cat Food
Crude Protein (min) 23.4% 9.0%
Crude Fat (min) 6.6% 5.0%
Crude Fiber (max) 0.3% 1.5%
Moisture (max) 65.4% 78.0%
Ash (max) 0.9% 3.5%
Carbohydrates (calculated) 3.4% 3.0%

Some important differences, like the foods’ protein levels, can already be seen, but after running the guaranteed analysis converter on the popular canned cat food one more becomes obvious….

Turkey Canned Cat Food Product Metabolizable Energy

Calories from Protein Percentage
Calories from Fat 37.28%
Calories from Carbohydrates 50.3%
Calories from Carbohydrates 12.43%

Unlike Smalls Other Fresh Smooth Bird, most of this food’s energy comes from fat, not protein.

Expert Analysis

Information provided on a cat food’s label or website will only get you so far. To ensure that your cats get all the nutrients they need in just the right amounts and proportions, only offer foods that are formulated with the guidance of animal nutrition experts in accordance with Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines.

Smalls foods are “formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages” in consultation with animal nutritionist Dr. Susan Lauten.

Put all this nutritional information together and you can be confident in your choice of Smalls Fresh Cat Food.

Trying Smalls is Easy

It couldn’t be easier to hop on the Smalls bandwagon. First, fill out a short questionnaire on the Smalls website about your cat and your feeding preferences. Then take your pick from several recipe plans ranging from all fresh to a combination of Smalls fresh, freeze dried raw, and/or kibble. The cost of each plan is made clear.

The Smalls sampler box lets your cats try a variety of foods and flavors to find their favorites. Once you pick a plan, you can make changes to your shipments at any time. All Smalls foods are covered by their money-back guarantee.

Want to see all of the delicious cat foods Smalls has to offer? Check out Smalls’ full range here.

Minerva the cat eating Smalls turkey kibble from a plate

Minerva enjoying some Smalls Turkey Kibble as a treat.

I recommend that you maximize the amount of fresh food in your cat’s diet. The Smalls dry foods are high in protein and made from quality ingredients, but there’s simply no way for them to provide the moisture and low carbohydrate levels that are best for cats.

One Complaint

My only complaint with Smalls is that some of the marketing on their website is a little over the top. For example, it claims that “cats can’t metabolize carbohydrates.” While it’s true that cats are obligate carnivores, they still can absorb and use digestible carbohydrates as an energy source, just at a reduced level in comparison to herbivores and omnivores.

At this point, the benefits of a high moisture and animal protein—low carbohydrate diet for cats are well-established. There’s really no reason for exaggerated marketing when you’re promoting a food as good as Smalls.



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