Fresh Pet Select cat food

I don’t usually accept food and treats for review here on The Conscious Cat, unless it’s something I’ve already thoroughly researched and/or tried. I won’t use Allegra and Ruby as product testers for diets whose claims I can’t verify. For those reasons, I was hesitant to try Freshpet Select, but after taking a look at their information, I agreed to a test.

Freshpet Select is a line of freshly prepared meals. According to the company, each recipe only includes select ingredients like high protein meats and eggs, and vegetables. The cat food contains no grains, although it does contain some pea fiber. As Freshpet Select states on their website, the recipe is much like a meal you would prepare for your family with simple ingredients you are familiar with and can pronounce.

The nutritional composition closely resembles raw food when it comes to protein and moisture content. The food is minimally processed, batch-cooked and quickly cooled to eliminate any harmful bacteria or parasites. The products undergo pasteurization just like milk or cold cuts. The company states that their food is mostly sourced from the US and Canada, and that their poultry is USDA inspected.

The texture of the food is a little odd. It’s shaped like dry kibble, but it’s softer. It actually almost looks and feels like stuffing! (Apparently, I’m already in a Thanksgiving state of mind.)

I gave Allegra and Ruby a small amount of the Real Chicken Recipe with Carrots and Spinach. Ruby dove right in and finished her portion without coming up for air. Allegra was hesitant at first, but eventually ate most of her portion. I gave a second bag of the food to a friend who wanted to try it with one of her cats, and it was extremely well received. The little cat purred while eating!

This may be a better choice than grain-free canned food since it is less processed. It could be a good option for rotational feeding, alternating with raw and grain-free canned food, and it may be a good solution for finicky eaters.

Freshpet Select is available in select grocery stores and pet stores. For more information about Freshpet, and a store locator, please visit their website.

FTC disclosure: This food was sent to me for review by the manufacturer. I received no compensation for this review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest opinion, or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest opinion. 

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177 Comments on Product Review: Freshpet Select – Fresh, Refrigerated Cat Food

  1. Just tried giving my kitty some Freshpet Tender Chicken this morning for the first time, and she backed away from her dish like it was going to attack. ??? She’s usually not finicky about anything, but so far, she just ain’t havin’ it. Anyone else get this reaction?

    • I usually add a bit of hot water, then mash with a fork. This makes it a bit more recognizable. The initial smell of a freshly opened bag is kinda nasty, that may also be what it’s reacting to.

    • Same exact reaction. Both cats are acting like there is something poisonous in the food. I was so excited about it because I had a cat with gallstones blockage in bile duct and she finally healed. I researched enough to know grain is very bad for gallstone reduction. So i was excited when I found grain free fresh food that won’t be as messy as canned. I thought it would be so great for them so I bought 3 bags. But both cats, even the one that will eat ANYTHING and even roots through the trash and eats human food, neither of those cats will TOUCH fresh pet vital. I am so frustrated, but I am hesitant to only give them that to see if they would eat it if starved because maybe they kniw something I don’t know. I mean, there was just a jenny o turkey recall this week and a chicken recall last week for humans. So maybe the cats can tell something is up? Any ideas of whether I should keep trying to make them eat it or if I should trust my cat to know best?

  2. Hi,I was going to feed my cats this food,but noticed it contains garlic powder.I know that garlic is not good for cats (or dogs for that matter)I’ve sent an email to Freshpet but had no response.Anyone got advice on this please ?

    • It’s unusual for garlic powder to be used in a cat food formula. This review was written six years ago, and my guess is they’ve changed their formulas since then. I’d steer clear of this food if it truly contains garlic powder.

  3. Before we made the switch to Freshpet, our cat was vomiting all the time. The vet diagnosed her with a digestive disorder and recommended change in diet. We did. And it was the best decision for our beloved cat.

  4. I sure am glad I found this website a few days ago. One of the posts read that it’s important to check the expiration date on the bags, as well as select the bags from the back of the cooler. Well tonight I stopped at my local Safeway store because I just found out that they carry this food, and I was going to buy the larger bags when I realized that the expiration date was a month and a half ago! Obviously somebody is not doing their job rotating the food. So I grabbed all the bags of expired food and took it to the service counter so someone else wouldn’t possibly feed spoiled food to their cats. I appreciate that the Safeway in my rural Colorado town carries this item but they do need to pay as much attention to expiration dates here as they do the milk.

  5. I have the most finicky kitten. I have tried every brand of wet and raw cat food on the market, price is not an issue. Freshpet is the only food my kitten will eat other then Origen dry food and my kitten is being weened from all dry food.

  6. My two housecats became sick after eating Freshpet. The feral cat I feed ate it in the evening and in the morning would not touch it in his moist food bowl – leaving all his moist food for the first time in three years. I cannot prove it was the Freshpet as it was joined to some Friskies, but I strongly feel it was and that the food may not have been properly handled at the between the factory and the grocery. My house cats had food poisoning. I have fed them Freshpet before with no problem, always adding it to their regular moist food brands. I won’t risk it again. Maybe another customer took it, then left it on a shelf, and it was returned to the refrigerator later!

    • My cats would not even sample this food.
      On fact my Bengal cat literally gagged when smelling it and ran away low to the ground.

    • Ingrid, do you recommend feeding this product exclusively? It is the only product that does not give my 2 Balinese and 1 OLH kittens really stinky poop. I’ve tried the other high end brands with my other Bali cats and had the same issues with diarrhea that others have discussed previously. I am also concerned about the protein level and am currently supplementing with boiled organic chicken.

      • If this works for your cats, then I don’t see why you couldn’t feed it exclusively. If you’re open to feeding raw, you may want to consider that. One of the first things raw feeders notice is that stools become much smaller and have almost no odor, because more of the nutrients are absorbed.

      • I began feeding my female senior cat the Freshpet Vital Pate Style food a year ago. At first she wasnt going to eat it but she did and loved it. I see there is a difference between the pate and chunky style. I have to buy 7-8 at a time (lack of transportation) and i freeze them immediately. I try to buy them the day they arrive at store. There have been a couple rolls tho that she just refused to eat!! I just noticed it reads that there are grains & potatoes in it. And i just this week got a newsletter from Dr. Mercola stating cats should not have those ingreds. Trying to get decent food for us…people…is hard enough, but now finding out that our pets have been eating garbage too is ridiculous. Its no wonder half the worlds population are dying from diseases. Its sad and maddening too. We are paying to kill ourselves and pets.

    • Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need protein in their diet not just to survive, but to thrive. I’m not sure where you got the idea that protein is difficult to digest for kittens, Clint. While I consider Freshpet Select a good brand, it’s actually a little lower in protein than I like to see. Additionally, the cat formula uses pea protein in addition to meat protein. The ideal food for a carnivore will be at least 95% meat protein.

  7. Is it possible to freeze Freshpet Food without compromising it’s moisture content and texture? Since there aren’t any preservatives in the food, I don’t want it to spoil.

  8. I have been using freshpet select roasted meals (both chicken and chicken & beef recipies) for the past year for my cat with IBD. Prior to freshpet, I tried about every “high-end” dry and wet grain-free/ limited ingredient pet food out there, and all of them still gave my cat diarrhea. Within a few days of feeding freshpet, my cat no longer had runny stools. A year later, she only has occasional bouts of diarrhea. Freshpet nearly “cured” my cats IBD/IBS and im convinced its from the very simple, wholesome, limited ingredients in freshpet without all the crap and chemicals/additives in most other gain-free or otherwise cat foods. Oh, and i feed it to my 2 other cats, who also love it, and all of their coat have never been more shiny, soft and healthy. their overall health is superb as well. hope that helps. its worth giving it a try.

      • Thank you so much for sharing this. Because of your experience, we tried it for our 1 1/2 year old Devon Rex cat who has been suffering for 10 months from diarrhea resulting from IBD. This was after trying numerous prescription foods. In less than 1 week, Freshpet has changed everything and her diarrhea is resolved. It
        is unbelievable. Thank you, thank you, thank you:)

          • My vet diagnosed my 12 yr old cat with IBD and wanted me to start cortisone shots and pills. Spike has been throwing up for years and recently it has been 2x a day. I didn’t want to do cortisone so I tried this product along with raw ground turkey (raised in my state and sold by the farmers here). Both my cats chow it down and NO throwing up since I started 4 days ago! I am crossing my fingers…but I am VERY hopeful this will help my cat and keep him off meds!!!!! I found only one chain store that carries it- hoping to find more!

  9. I’ve been feeding Freshpet to my cats almost exclusively for several years now. Except for two instances when I purchased bags that had moldy food, I’m a big fan. The product has pretty long sell by dates which are clearly marked on the packages. Because it can be out of stock occasionally, I purchase extras and freeze them. This is also good for times that I’m away so my caretaker doesn’t have to go buy Freshpet. Because of the mold issue, I inspect each bag–they do have a clear section; the color should look good and I check for tears in the bags. I tried switching to grain-free canned and kibble once. The stench from the litter boxes drove me right back to Freshpet. My boys are 9 and 2-1/2 (brothers) and thriving.

  10. My cats don’t have any grain sensitivities so I’m thinking I may try Fresh Pet with some rice for them. They love their rice!

  11. Fresh pet is a god send for my diabetic cat. She’s now off medicine and her fur has never looked better. Three months ago, I was sure she didn’t have long to live. I absolutely LOVE this pet food. More importantly, so does my cat Summer.

    • Thank you so much for this comment!!! I have a diabetic kitty I’m struggling with! He’s on a lot of insulin and I feel like I’ve tried everything. I bought some of this and am starting him tomorrow so I can do a curve at the same time. I have my fingers crossed!!!!

      • My cat is diabetic and on fresh pet and his troughs are higher than his peaks on fresh pet, looking for an even better alternative he is on 6u am and pm and still in 400’s. I think my vet has given up, she stopped responding to my emails.

        • You may want to consider a raw diet, Joy, but you really need to work with your vet, or find another vet. 6 units is a lot of insulin, and your vet should be looking for causes of insulin resistance.

  12. How moist is the food? You mentioned that it looks a little like stuffing so I’m assuming it’s still quite dry. Do you think I need to add something to make the food moister? My cat won’t eat his food unless it’s quite moist.

  13. It’s very difficult to find natural food for cats. And that too, something that they’ll actually like. Freshpet select seems like it may be a good natural alternative to all that processed junk out there. I’m thinking of giving it a try, although I am concerned about all these allegations of moldy food.

    • I have been using freahpet for my dog and cat for years. I have never run into moldy food. I think the issue with moldy food is where they are buying it. I get mine from Petsmart, Petco and Fred Meyer. If the store is rotating the food correctly you shouldn’t have moldy food.

  14. Fresh Pet select appears to agree with both my cats. Jasper has a really sensitive stomach and Fresh pet select seems to agree with him. Lucy hasn’t turned her nose up at it so that must mean she’s happy.

  15. My cat is probably the world’s most finicky eater. One sniff is enough for her to determine whether or not the food meets her standards. That being said, I was so nervous about giving her Freshpet Food knowing full well what could happen. To my surprise, I don’t even think she fully inhaled – she just gobbled it all down.

  16. i have to admit my cat loves this freshpet vital grain free.
    My boy cat got stones from eating dry food the vet told me. Put him on that trash prescription food which made both of my cats puke yellow foam everytime they ate it. So started feeding the wellness canned food and saw this vital freshpet grain free and decided to give it a try.

    The boy with the stones sturvite stones loves it my girl will not touch it! Thank you enjoyed the article!!

      • Hi Ingrid, as you know, I have commented on Freshpet Select previously…keeping a keen eye on this product since the company started selling stock. Anyway, a woman I buy art supplied from told me her sister’s cat was in the hospital with food poisoning. Asked her what the cat was fed, and she told me Freshpet. I don’t know any details beyond that….(the cat is expected to recover). Heads up to everyone, especially in this hot weather, get your Freshpet from the back of the case, check expiration dates, don’t leave it in the car on a hot day, and don’t leave it out all day if your cats don’t finish it! One hour sitting out is all I give my cats to eat it. Then I toss it. (fortunately, they gobble it all up most of the time!).

  17. Igrid, thank you for reminding me about your recommendations for canned (cooked) foods. Can you tell me if any of these come in a pate style? Most of my cats demand pate (sigh). I looked through all of these on your list and I can’t find a pate. In addition, I am looking for no gmo’s and no carageenan and, like you, I prefer no fish. Thank you much.

  18. Interesting new comments about FreshPet…..

    I just listened to Richard Thompson, the CEO of the company, on Mad Money last night and all he talked about was money. Nothing about quality, nothing about pet safety. As he was talking, I grew more and more confident that this will continue to be a good brand.
    That said, keeping the food fresh is on the onus of the seller once it leaves the factory. I always buy the food in the back of the refrigerator (it’s cooler back there…check the dates, etc). But now I am going to be watching this company like a hawk… I would totally move on, but I have a kitty with food sensitivities and aside from Wellness Dry, this is the ONLY food she will eat that does not give her the runs. And I don’t like an all-dry diet.

    Here is the link to the interview if you are interested

        • Bell, this is interesting; thank you for sharing. I too always go for the food in the back of the fridge… and my husband always makes fun of me. Now I can tell him that I certainly am not the only one.

          I have a kitty, Rainsong, who is super sensitive too, and she eats dry EVO mixed with dry Young Again but I never could give her ANY wet food until Fresh Pet, which she only “sort of” liked, but at least she didn’t get an allergy to it. Now I give her the Beyond Chicken and Sweet Potato pate and she seems to be okay with it (limited ingredients)… I’m thinking in Rainsong’s case it’s an allergy to carageenan, and it’s challenging to find a canned food without that ingredient. You “might” want to try the Beyond, or maybe not, but I wanted to let you know.

          • Thanks Kris…I will try that…I am always sneaking in new foods for Sasha to try…she will eat Wuruva Steak Frites and Chicken for a few days, then give it up!

            You might like to try Wuruva for your cat…lots of different varieties, some without carageenan.

            I have personally corresponded with the owners about the phosphorous level in one of their foods because I wanted to feed it to my CRF girl instead of the prescription stuff (which I did, and it did not effect her in a negative way at all!)…they seem to really care about their product and its safety. My only concern with them is the food is sourced in Thailand. They say it is human-grade and produced in a licensed, inspected human-grade food facility. I’ve been to Thailand and it is cleaner than most SE Asian countries….certainly MUCH MUCH cleaner than China. So on a par with the USA, they are probably about the same as far as trustworthiness goes. Tiki Cat does not have carageenan, so that might be an option too. Anyway, good luck! Keep all of us posted if you have any other foods to suggest for our “sensitive” kitties!

          • Weruva is one of the brands on my list of recommended brands. I’m not crazy about the fact that it’s made in Thailand, but I’ve found the owners to be forthcoming any time I, or a reader, have had questions or concerns, and that counts for a lot as far as I’m concerned. You can find all of the brands I recommend here: and my review of Weruva here:

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