General Pets

Veterinarian Review: Smalls Cat Food

Are you looking for high protein cat food 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 cat foods are high in animal protein and moisture, and very low in carbohydrates. Unfortunately, few cat food ticks all of these boxes, but Smalls does. Let’s take a look at one of the Smalls fresh cat foods in detail: Other Fresh Smooth Bird (yes, that’s really the name).

Dr. Coates' cat Minerva ready to try Smalls cat food

Minerva, my taster.

Dr. Coates Score for Food for Small Cats

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Editorial note

What we like:
High number of animal proteins and personalized recipe plans

How to compare cat food

The Smalls website provides a lot of information about each of their diets, presented in different ways, making it easy to understand their benefits.

Ingredients matter

First, take a look at the ingredient list. This is where you can see if animal protein predominates or if plant-based protein sources play an important role in food. Smalls Other Fresh Smooth Bird is made with skin-on turkey thighs (74.69%) and chicken liver (7.47%) with green beans, peas, vegetable oil and vitamins and minerals needed for complete the list of ingredients.

Smalls Cat Food Other Flavor Fresh Smooth Bird

Small fresh foods are labeled with calorie marks that make it easier to eat the right amount.

Percentages of nutrients

Perhaps the best way to compare cat food is to look at the percentage of calories (metabolizable energy) from protein, fat, and carbohydrate. 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 Smooth and Cool Bird Metabolisable 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 do not provide the nutrient breakdown of their food in this way. However, they must include a guaranteed analysis on the label, and you can use that and a guaranteed analysis converter to get a calorie breakdown.

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

Others Vs Fresh Smooth Bird. A canned turkey cat food product

Another cool and smooth bird Canned Turkey Cat Food
Crude protein (min) 23.4% 9.0%
Crude fat (min) 6.6% 5.0%
Crude fiber (max) 0.3% 1.5%
Humidity (max) 65.4% 78.0%
Ash (max) 0.9% 3.5%
Carbohydrates (calculated) 3.4% 3.0%

Some important differences like protein levels in food can already be seen, but after running the Guaranteed Analysis Converter on popular canned cat food another becomes obvious….

Canned Turkey Cat Food Metabolisable 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 the energy in this food comes from fat, not protein.

Expert analysis

The information provided on a cat food label or website will not get you far. To ensure your cats are getting all the nutrients they need in the right amounts and proportions, only offer foods formulated with the advice of animal nutrition experts according to the guidelines of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO ).

The small 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 of this nutritional information together and you can be sure your choice of Smalls Fresh cat food.

Trying Smalls is easy

It couldn’t be easier to jump on the Smalls bandwagon. First, take a short quiz on the Smalls website about your cat and your food preferences. Then choose from several recipe plans ranging from everything fresh to a combination of fresh Smalls, raw freeze-dried and / or kibble. The cost of each plan is specified.

The Smalls Sampler Box lets your cats try a variety of foods and flavors to find their favorites. Once you’ve chosen a plan, you can change your shipments at any time. All Smalls foods are backed by their money back guarantee.

Minerva the cat eating Smalls turkey croquettes from a plate

Minerva enjoys a few small turkey croquettes as a treat.

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

A complaint

My only gripe with Smalls is that some of the marketing on their website is a bit over the top. For example, he claims that “cats cannot metabolize carbohydrates”. While it is true that cats are obligate carnivores, they can still absorb and use digestible carbohydrates for energy, just at a reduced level compared to herbivores and omnivores.

At this point, the benefits of a diet high in carbohydrates and animal protein for cats are well established. There really is no reason to over-market when promoting a food as good as little ones.

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