Nom Nom vs Smalls: Which is the Best Fresh Cat Food?

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Nom nom vs smalls - which is the best fresh cat food

Dawn Teh

Many cat parents have started looking for healthier alternatives to kibble after discovering it may not be the best choice for optimum nutrition. For example, dry cat food is often packed with carbohydrates.

When what cats actually need is protein, as they’re carnivores.

Switching to fresh cat food is a much better choice for your cat’s health needs as these companies ensure the meals are all nutritionally balanced for your feline friend.

But because choosing between the many brands out there can be confusing, we wanted to make the process easier by doing the research for you.

In this review, we will be looking at 2 popular fresh cat food delivery services in the market — Nom Nom and Smalls.

Keep reading to find out the pros and cons of each service to determine which is the best for your needs!

Here’s we’ll go into:

  • Why is Fresh Food Better Than Dry Cat Food?
  • Nom Nom vs Smalls: Comparison Table
  • Nom Nom vs Smalls: Price Comparison
  • In-Depth Review of Smalls
  • In-Depth Review of Nom Nom
  • Would Is The Best Fresh Cat Food, Nom Nom or Smalls?

Why is Fresh Cat Food Better Than Dry Kibble?

Too Much Carbohydrates

The fundamental issue with kibble is that it’s highly processed and doesn’t provide the best nutrients for cats.

Firstly, many are full of carbohydrates and plant-based proteins  — nutrients that aren’t ideal for cats. As carnivores, cats need more fatty acids and proteins from meat to stay healthy.

Researchers have identified that cats who are fed dry food as the majority of its diet are at greater risk of developing obesity.

Too Little Water

Another major problem is that kibble contains very little water. This can lead to dehydration as cats get most of their water from food — they don’t naturally drink much water. This can lead to urinary tract infections and issues with their kidney.

If you’re wondering if canned food is any better, it definitely beats kibble in terms of providing hydration and more protein. However, because it’s highly processed with added preservatives and hormone-disrupting chemicals like BPA , it’s still not the best for your cat’s physical health.

Fresh Food Services Use Real Ingredients to Support Cat Health

Fresh food services are a much healthier option for cats as the meals are made from whole ingredients (e.g. real meat).

Plus, they’re balanced by veterinary nutritionists so that your cat will receive the right food for their physical development.

The brands in this review also do not add any preservatives or additives that can do harm to your cat’s well-being. So you can be sure your feline friend will be getting only 100% real food.

You may see many health benefits like maintaining a good weight, better fur coat, and improved digestion.

With fewer medical issues, you’ll likely extend the lifespan of your cat and be able to spend more years with your best friend too.

Nom Nom vs Smalls: Comparison Table

Ingredient quality Human-grade ingredients Human-grade ingredients
Price $2-$6 a day
(fresh food option only)
$1-$4.30 a day
(combination of fresh, raw or cooked kibble options)
Special Offers 50% off your first box 25% off your first box
Shipping Free Free
Personalized meal options Yes Yes
Veterinary nutritionist input? Yes Yes
Meet AAFCO and USDA standards Yes Yes
Meal recipe options Chicken Cuisine Fresh food (4 recipes)
Raw food kibble (3 recipes)
Cooked kibble (3 recipes)
Protein % 18% min 21% (fresh chicken recipe)
Treat options Yes Yes
Full Review Jump to full review Jump to full review
Website Nom Nom Smalls

 

Nom Nom vs Smalls: Price Comparison

Nom Nom and Smalls ask for a few details about your cat before providing you with a quote. Each ask similar questions but set up their meals a little differently.

The main difference between the two is that Nom Nom asks for your cat’s weight while Smalls does not (they only ask for its age).

Therefore the larger your cat, the more expensive your quote from Nom Nom, while your Smalls quote would be the same.

Nom Nom offer 1 meal option which is a fresh, human grade recipe: Chicken Cuisine.

Smalls on the other hand offer a choice of 4 fresh food options. They also quote for different combinations of their food types.

This could be fully fresh food, half fresh half dried or fully dried food options. So you get a lot of different options to choose from and different quotes for your budget.

Cat Size

Nom Nom

Smalls

Small cat (5lb) From $2.05/day For a 3 year old cat, average build:

100% fresh: approx $3.80/day
50% dry/fresh: $3.20/day
100% dry: $2.90/day

Medium cat (10lb) From $4.40/day
Large cat (25lb) From $5.50/day
Customised based on Age
Gender
Breed (optional)
Weight
Health Problems
Gender
Age
Neutered or spayed
Build
Dietary restrictions
Shipping Free for 48 contiguous US states Free within continental US
Special deals 50% off first order 25% off first order

 

*Prices are based on a young cat with no health problems. The quote you receive from each company can vary as it will depend on the individual needs of your cat.

Smalls cat food review - smalls fresh cat food review

In-Depth Review of Smalls

The co-founders of Smalls, Matt Michaelson and Calvin Bohn, initially started looking into fresh food for pets because they were appalled by the ingredient standards used by regular commercial companies.

But what surprised them even more was how there were several fresh dog food services, but not many for cats at the time.

They initially started out by home cooking fresh food for their friends with cats and the word quickly spread from there. Now, they’re delivering fresh cat meals to kitties all over the country!

What’s Great About Smalls Fresh Cat Food?

Smalls is really particular about giving cats the right nutrition. That’s why they:

  • Only use 100% real human-grade ingredients and don’t include nasty additives, preservatives, or unhealthy grain fillers — and the same goes for their dry food range!
  • They also work with veterinary nutritionists to make sure that the meals are all balanced for your cat’s needs — meaning there will be enough protein and hydration.

What’s really unique about Smalls is the variety they offer in their recipes. They have 3 main categories of food:

  • Fresh wet meals: which are made from fresh, human-grade ingredients that are gently cooked and mashed up.
  • Freeze-dried raw food kibble: raw ingredients are frozen and most of the moisture is removed to extend shelf-life. The idea is for cats to get the same type of nutrition they would receive in the wild, but with the convenience of it being dried.
  • Cooked kibble: Fresh, human-grade ingredients are still used, but they cook and dry it in a process that doesn’t remove as much of the nutrients like traditional kibble.

Smalls Fresh Cat Food Options

Smalls have a variety of recipes for their fresh cat food, all high in protein (the chicken recipe has 21%) and also high in moisture. Moisture is important for cats to keep in their diet to avoid longer term health problems.

The meals come in long, thin plastic packets with serving instructions for each. For every fresh meal recipe they have 2 consistency options:

  • Ground (meatier texture)
  • Smooth (pate texture)

This goes for all 4 of their fresh meal recipes:

Smalls Fresh Meal Options - Smalls Cat Food Review

1

1

Chicken Recipe (Ground Bird)

  • Chicken Thigh
  • Chicken Breast
  • Chicken Liver
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Chicken Heart
  • Kale
  • Smalls Supplement Blend

2

2

Turkey Recipe (Other Ground Bird)

  • Turkey Thigh
  • Chicken Liver
  • Green Beans
  • Peas
  • Kale
  • Smalls Supplement Blend

3

3

Beef Mince/Pate (Fresh Cow)

  • Beef
  • Beef Liver
  • Green Beans
  • Beef Heart
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Smalls Supplement Blend

4

4

Fish Recipe

  • Wild Alaska Pollock
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon Oil
  • Green Beans
  • Pumpkin
  • Parsley

Freeze Dried Raw Recipes

These are raw protein meals, freeze-dried to preserve freshness. They have 3 recipes:

  • Chicken or ‘Raw Bird’
  • Turkey or ‘Other Raw Bird’
  • Duck or ‘Water Bird’

Cooked Kibble

This is intended as occasional supplements to their fresher foods. They are made with high protein and free from fillers.

The flavors they offer are:

  • Chicken Kibble
  • Turkey Kibble
  • Fish Kibble

Other Interesting Products

As a dedicated cat food service, they’ve got some other interesting products just for felines!

They’ve got chicken broth packets that you can add to your cat’s meals. This is really good for picky eaters who need more flavor in their meals or if you’re concerned about your cat’s hydration and want to have more water content in her food.

There’s also chicken giblet treats which are a great addition when you want to give your cat something special. They are whole, freeze dried chunks of chicken heart and liver.

You can also purchase cat litter from Smalls, which is made from biodegradable millet and is great for absorbing odors.

Smalls cat food review - smalls fresh cat food review

Special Offer 25% Off Your First Sample Box:

Smalls 25% Off

Smalls Sign-Up Process

Signing up with Smalls was very convenient as everything can be done online through their website.

You start off by filling up a form telling them about your cat so that the meals can be recommended according to their needs.

They will need information about your cat’s usual food, gender, age, spayed or not, and body type. It will even ask about what your budget is for your cat’s food.

You’re then presented with 3 main ‘combinations’ for your first sample box with prices for each. These are:

  • 100% fresh meals
  • Some fresh and some dry meals
  • 100% dried meal options

You can also speak with their customer service if you would like to arrange a different combination.

Otherwise you will be given a selection of their recipes to try.

For example, the “balanced dry” option gives you a sample of all 6 for their dry food recipes (3 of the Freeze Dried Raw and 3 of the Cooked Kibble).

You can also add meats or fish that your can doesn’t eat and that you want excluded from the sample box by clicking on ‘Dietary Restrictions’.

Here’s a summary of the recipe options for each food category:

Recipe Options

  • Fresh food: Chicken, turkey, beef, and fish
  • Freeze-dried raw food kibble: Chicken, turkey, and duck
  • Cooked kibble: Chicken, turkey, and fish

Extras:

  • Chicken broth (to add to meals for extra hydration)
  • Chicken giblet treats
  • Cat litter

After the 2-week sample trial, you will receive your shipment every 4 weeks.

This is really convenient, especially for cat parents that may not have the time to make trips to the supermarket for cat food.

I really liked that you can easily customize delivery and recipes through your online account after the 2-week trial is over. You can pause, skip, or cancel your subscription at any time.

If your cat likes variety, you can even switch up your recipes when you want.

Smalls cat food review - smalls fresh cat food review

What’s in a Smalls Box?

Smalls meals come to your home packaged in a cardboard box that has insulation and dry ice to keep all the fresh food frozen. (For eco-friendly parents, you’ll be glad to know the insulation is biodegradable and breaks down when you place it in water!)

The frozen wet food will need to be stored in the freezer once you receive your shipment, where it can last for up to 12 months.

Sealed packets of food can last in the fridge for 5-7 days once defrosted. These meals come in a slim, soft plastic packaging that can be peeled open when you want to serve.

Because you can get a few meals out of each fresh food packet, Smalls provides a hard plastic tub with a lid to place any food that you want to reserve for later.

It’s a lot cleaner this way compared to if you have to keep getting food out of the soft plastic packaging for every meal.

Their dry food is a lot more straightforward and the storage and serving are the same as any other commercial kibble your find.

It comes in a ziplock packet which is very convenient. And when you want to serve, just pour it into a bowl for kitty.

Smalls cat food review - smalls fresh cat food review

What Did Cats and Their Parents Think of the Food?

Based on 225 reviews, Smalls had an impressive score of 4.3 stars out of 5. Here’s a summary of what people were saying about it:

Pros

  • Most cats loved the taste of the food: Many cats were fans of the food and were excited about mealtime.
  • Great for picky-eaters: Several reported that their cats who usually didn’t always finish their meals gobbled down their Smalls meals.
  • Proper nutritional content for cats: Enough protein and water content for their diet.
  • Many health benefits: Several reported that they felt their cat’s fur coat was smoother, breath was fresher, and there was less smell from kitty litter.
  • Helped with health issues: Some pet parents said their cats who usually had digestive problems stopped throwing up. Another cat with autoimmune disease who had problems regulating how much she’d eat stopped eating so much.
  • Great variety of wet and dry meal recipes: All made from fresh, human-grade ingredients.
  • A lot of flexibility in ordering how much wet or dry food you want: Easy to mix and match.
  • Chicken broth was a great touch for parents who wanted more hydration for their cat.
  • Many were also impressed with the cat litter and the way it clumps the urine for easy clearing.
  • Eco-friendly packaging

Cons

  • More expensive than store-bought food but many felt it was still worth it.
  • Doesn’t ask for your cat’s weight: so meals are not customized based on this factor.
  • Website hard to navigate: Some said it was buggy for them. And while it looked really nice generally, it felt like some functions were still in beta mode.

Here are some reviews from customers:

Smalls cat food review - smalls fresh cat food review

Smalls cat food review - smalls fresh cat food review

Is Smalls Good Cat Food?

Smalls is one of the best fresh cat food delivery companies with a wide variety of recipes for every food type.

This variety means you can customize the meals to your own cat’s taste and also to your budget.

Their extra items are very helpful too and it’s a brand that is clearly based all around cats.

Try Smalls

25% Off Your First Sample Box:

Smalls 25% Off

Nom nom cat food review - nom nom fresh cat food - is nom nom good for cats

Nom Nom Cat Food Review

Many people start looking for kibble alternatives when their pet starts having health issues. And the same went for Nom Nom co-founder, Alex Jarrell. Her pup had severe immunity issues that led to many hospital visits, but no long-term solutions. Alex eventually switched her dog to a fresh food diet and was amazed at the health transformation. She and her co-founders hope to bring the same benefits to other dogs and cats through Nom Nom’s fresh food delivery service.

What’s Great About Nom Nom’s Fresh Cat Food?

Nom Nom is dedicated to providing meals with the right nutrition for your cat and here’s how they do it:

  • All ingredients are USDA-approved and human-grade. Meaning it’s even good enough for you to eat!
  • Meals are gently cooked so that maximum nutrition can be maintained.
  • There are no harmful hormones, preservatives, fillers, “meal” protein, or animal by-products that are often found in commercial cat food.
  • With the help of specialists like veterinary nutritionists, microbiologists, and geneticists Nom Nom ensures that their meals are balanced and optimal for cat health.

Other Interesting Products

What actually sets Nom Nom apart from other services is their additional products.

Firstly they’ve got a microbiome test kit to help you really understand what’s going on with your cat’s gut health.

All you need to do is collect a stool sample from your cat and mail it to their labs in a prepaid envelope.

You’ll get the full lab results for your cat in a few weeks! You can use this information to learn about how to improve her health through diet or exercise.

They also offer probiotics that you can conveniently add to your cat’s meals to ensure optimal digestive health, immunity, and more.

Nom nom cat food review - nom nom fresh cat food - is nom nom good for cats

Nom Nom Sign-Up Process

I found it really easy to sign up with Nom Nom because everything could be done online within 10 minutes. It starts off by asking you several questions about your cat so that it can give you customized suggestions about her meals.

This includes filling up information about her age, breed, sex, weight, and body condition. You can also let them know if your cat has some minor health conditions like if she’s a picky eater, has a sensitive stomach, problems with her fur, or arthritis.

You’ll be presented with the following food options for your cat:

Recipe Options:

  • Chicken Cuisine

Treat Options:

  • Chicken Jerky

After the first 2-week trial shipment, you’ll be able to select if you want shipments to come every 2 or 4 weeks. There’s a lot of flexibility in their delivery, and you can even conveniently pause or skip shipments from your online account.

I really liked that it runs on a subscription model because it means you won’t have to worry about ever running out of food for your cat. Plus, you won’t have to make trips to the pet store or supermarket for cat food. Everything comes straight to your door.

Start with Nom Nom.

Nom nom cat food review - nom nom fresh cat food - is nom nom good for cats

What’s in a Nom Nom Box?

Once you’ve placed your first order, the food will arrive at your doorstep in a cardboard box fully lined with insulation and ice-packs to keep the meals frozen.

You’ll need to immediately transfer any food that’s not going to be consumed on that day to the freezer, and defrosted meals only last in the fridge for 8 days. When frozen, the meals can last for up to 6 months.

Each meal comes in a flat, soft plastic packaging so it’s meant to take up as little space as possible in your freezer. I thought it was great that each packet is portioned to be 1 serving so there’s no need to save any for the next meal. The packets are also easy to peel open, so you won’t have to fumble with scissors to get the food out.

Serving the meals is straightforward as well. Simply pop the frozen meals in the fridge the night before to let them defrost. And when it’s soft the next day, you can serve it straight from the pack — no need for heating up as you don’t want to destroy the great nutrients in the meals.

If your cat likes her meals a little warm, gently heat it for only 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Nom Nom warn against serving food warm as it’s meant to be served cold or cool.

Nom nom cat food review - nom nom fresh cat food - is nom nom good for cats

What Did Cats and Their Parents Think of the Food?

Nom Nom received a high 4.3 out of 5 star rating based on 1,057 reviews (note that these ratings are inclusive of their dog food). However, here is a summary of comments that were solely about their cat food:

Pros

  • Cats loved the meals and many finished their food in no time.
  • Even got the picky eaters excited which was a relief to many pet parents who usually worried if their cat was getting enough food.
  • Great food quality: Pet parents were impressed as they could actually see real chunks of food.
  • Several reported the food helped their cats stay healthy and noticed changes like a smoother fur coat.
  • Was beneficial to kitties with health problems like irritable bowel syndrome and skin problems.
  • Convenient packaging: Many liked that each packaging is customized to be 1 serving for their cat.
  • Competitive pricing: I saw a few comments saying the pricing was cheaper than other fresh pet food services that they’ve tried.

 

Cons

  • Some felt the meat pieces were too big for cats.
  • Some were disappointed by the range of meals for cats.
  • More expensive than store-bought food, but most felt it was worth the extra cost.
  • Problems with delivery: There was some negative feedback about shipment delays and the food arriving warm.
  • The peel-off seal was difficult to open: I found 1 or 2 comments saying the peel-off seal was difficult to open, but the majority didn’t have a problem with it.

Here are some reviews from customers:

Nom Nom cat food review

Nom Nom cat food review

Is Nom Nom a Good Fresh Food for Cats?

Nom Nom is an established and trusted brand of fresh dog food, and their cat meals are made to the same standard. With human-grade ingredients and created by veterinary nutritionists, they are designed to give cats the optimal nutrition they need from their food.

Try Nom Nom Cat Food

50% Off Your First Order

Nom Nom 50% Off

Which is the Best Fresh Food for Cats, Nom Nom or Smalls?

It was really difficult deciding between the 2 fresh cat food brands as both offer great healthy food options for felines. But if I had to choose one for fresh wet food, I would go with Smalls because of the variety of meals and food types it offers.

They offer a dry food option made from fresh, healthy ingredients — this is a great option for kitties that texture. And there are more wet food options too. Plus, there’s a lot of flexibility in terms of mixing different amounts of wet and dry food. So if that’s what you’re looking for, then definitely go with Smalls.

Nom Nom on the other hand are a more established brand of fresh food deliveries. As they specialize in dog foods, they would be the obvious choice if you had dogs as well as cats at home.

Whichever service you go with, you’ll be providing your kitty with food that suited to her nutritional needs and is free of the usual nasties found in store-bought meals.

As many reviewers have mentioned, the best part is knowing you’re giving your cats the right nutrition to help them stay happy and healthy.

Try Smalls

25% Off Your First Sample Box:

Smalls 25% Off

Try Nom Nom Cat Food

50% Off Your First Order

Nom Nom 50% Off

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