This post is sponsored by Smalls

Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need meat in their diet to thrive. Their systems aren’t designed to digest carbohydrates. A raw diet is one of the best ways to fulfill cats’ nutritional requirements, but raw food, even a commercially prepared raw diet, may exceed the comfort level for some cat parents. I don’t think it’s necessary to take an “all or nothing” stand when it comes to feline nutrition, but I do believe that it is important to feed our cats a diet that is as minimally processed as possible.

Until now, you’re only option for a minimally processed cooked diet was to make it yourself. Enter Smalls. Food. For Cats.

About Smalls

The founders of Smalls believe that good food shouldn’t be rocket science. It should be simple and wholesome. It should be trustworthy and transparent. That means going back to basics. Smalls meals feature whole ingredients, simple recipes, and freshly-cooked food. Not cat food. Not kibble or ‘wet’ food. Just real food. With real nutrition.


The recipes for Smalls were developed with the assistance of Susan Lauten, Phd, owner of Pet Nutrition Consulting, which provides unbiased, evidence-based nutrition advice for pet owners and veterinarians. All of the ingredients are human grade. The meat and produce are sourced from US suppliers, the vitamins and minerals are sourced from GNC. Smalls is made in Brooklyn, NY.

Smalls will design a customized meal plan for your cat when you order, taking into account your cat’s age, weight, neutered status, health issues, and body type to recommend the amount of food you’ll need to feed.

Putting Smalls to the test

Smalls is shipped frozen in 16 ounce plastic pouches, and feeding is as simple as thaw and serve. I transferred the thawed food into a glass storage container, which made it super easy to scoop out in meal sized portions. I’m vegetarian, but the smell of the food reminded me of childhood turkey dinners when I still ate meat. It smells like real food!


I wish I could report that Allegra and Ruby were super enthusiastic about Smalls, but alas, they only nibbled at it. I’m sure it’s because the texture is very different from what they’re used to. They prefer raw and pate style canned. The texture of Smalls food is similar to what freeze-dried raw foods end up looking like when re-constituted, and so far, the girls have never accepted those diets.

I love the idea of a gently cooked food, and I’d love to eventually transition them to accepting this food. Smalls recommends a gradual transition over a period of about a week, starting with a tiny dab of Smalls on the side of your cat’s regular food, and gradually increasing the amount of Smalls and decreasing the amount of your cat’s regular food. They even include a small packet of chicken liver powder to aid with acceptance.

October 18, 2017 update: Smalls has improved the palatability and texture of their formulas since I reviewed this food.

For more information about Smalls, and to order, please visit Smalls.Food.For Cats. You’ll get 50% off your first order, discount automatically applied at checkout.

FTC Disclosure: I received these products for review at no charge. I also received a fee to feature these products. Receiving the free product and the fee did not influence my review. All reviews on The Conscious Cat will always reflect my honest and unbiased opinion, or, as the case may be, Allegra and Ruby’s honest and unbiased opinion. The Conscious Cat is an affiliate partner of Smalls. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission.

16 Comments on Review: Smalls Gently Cooked Food for Cats

  1. I received 5 packages of Smalls for my 2 cats and they immediately loved the beef, but wouldn’t touch the chicken. The second package of chicken we opened, they devoured. The third package of chicken, they didn’t like as much, but again, the second beef package they loved. The third package of chicken they loved as well. Good = 2 beef, 2 chicken; Not so good = 1 chicken

  2. Of course, like anyone, I want to give my kitty the best food possible, and since my time does not allow me to make her human-grade homemade organic food, I took the time and some leap of faith to try Smalls. There are very few actual customer testimonials available to read online, so I decided to comment. Being as they are pretty new and small, I think they are working out their kinks: their website is limited, as is their flexibility on price and schedule, and ability to make online changes after signing up. BUT the food is great quality. I’ve seen a big different in my kitten’s energy level and stool quality after two weeks, and she’d already been eating good-quality stuff, freeze-dried food (Stella&Chewy, Primal, Nature’s Variety). As for cost, it is expensive, but quality freeze-dried and wet food is also pretty expensive, honestly. I did their trial, and I will definitely keep subscribing. I feel really grateful there is an option like this for someone who wants to feed nutritionally balanced fresh food but simply doesn’t have the time to even cook for myself. I love most that it is an option available. Just my thoughts!

  3. I just went into the website and have to agree. Really inviting. But I don’t have time or want to screw around, and scroll to find out how to order/how much. So I left. However, I wll take the time to leave this comment to say I’ll never go back. I didn’t fill out anything but I has
    to leave my name and email to leave a comment on this page,so they still get your info. I already make my own food for my boys but was looking for an easier way. The price (which I found out here from Joyce..thank you for the info that Smalls didn’t give me) wasn’t bad for my 2 guys. But I’m off to do more research and can cross Smalls off my list.

  4. Why MUST you put vegetables in cat food? Cats are carnivores and do not WANT or NEED vegetables. If you find your cat in your garden, he/she is not there to eat the vegetables. He/She probably chased a mouse I there. I just don’t get it.

    • Hi Myra,

      I also don’t understand why all of the prepared “raw” or “gently cooked” food for cats contains vegetables and even fruit. I make my own food for my cat, but I am frequently ill and sometimes can’t do this labor intensive process. So I have been looking for something to tide us over until I am well enough to make Cricket’s food. My understanding is that cats don’t have the enzymes necessary to digest vegetables and fruits but veg and fruits are included in all the commercial raw or gently cooked food I have seen. Can cats really digest this? Does anyone out there have the answer? Ingrid, do you know?

      May we all have healthy, well-fed cats!

      • Some manufacturers use fruits and veggies as a natural source for some vitamins. As long as the veggie/fruit content is below 5%, it’s probably okay, as that would mirror what a cat might ingest in the wild via the stomach contents of its prey.

  5. Smalls. Food. For Cats. I was not able to find any active website w/what’s available, how to order, pricing – only the one very cute page that opens when you click the link w/in your newsletter.

    • Apparently, Smalls is having some issues with their website. The fully functional website should be available very soon. My apologies for the lack of information on their site – if I had been aware of this, I would not have posted the review.

  6. peas? spinach & beans? what happened to cats being obligate carnivores? but Ruby and Allegra knew that already, didn’t they. smart kitties.

    • Hi Patty,

      I’m Matt, a co-founder at Smalls. We use only very trace amounts of peas and spinach (and we don’t actually use beans). You’re right, cats are 1000% obligate carnivores and our recipes are all over 90% human grade meat by volume and each one is over 20% in protein on a guaranteed analysis basis. The veggies are in there to provide trace vitamins and minerals so we don’t have to rely too heavily on supplements. I’d love to talk more about our recipes and how we developed them, if you’re interested shoot me an email 🙂

  7. Food appears to be very low in protein. Website is gimmicky and why do they want your name/email addr. before letting you in? I’m not buying.

    • Well, while giving out my email first does irritate me at times, I’ll just not open these when I get them. However, I went through their questionnaire and I have 4 cats. It would run me just under $400 a month to purchase meals for my kids and that’s with the least expensive menu. If I wanted any variety at all, which my kids wouldn’t …. that’s a mortgage payment for me.
      Honestly, if I had that kind of money to spend, and WHO does lately, and IF my kids liked the food, which they wouldn’t do to texture issues not different from Ingrid’s kids … I’d do it. Wouldn’t we all, if we could still keep a roof over our heads, not be so concerned about the cost of whats good for them? I’m simply not sure what they think their market will be. Anyway …..

      • Hi Joyce,

        We hear you that it’s a bit spendy! We do our best to keep our prices as low as possible and when we get our full website up you’ll actually be able to do bulk discounting and get partial meal plans so you can feed your cat(s) some of our food without going all the way. In all honesty, our goal is to make our food as accessible as possible but our costs just add up and buying human grade ingredients is expensive 🙁

        We’ll also be offering 50% off your first week of food so you can give it a try without spending too much!

    • Hi Gloria,

      I’m Matt from Smalls! So big big apologies for the website not being fully informational yet. The full site should be going up today (fingers crossed!) Once the site is up, you won’t have to give your email address before seeing all the info..we really didn’t mean to send people to this site, so sorry the experience wasn’t quite right 🙁

    • Joyce… Check out Balanced Blends ( Their raw food for cats, I believe, is not quite as expensive.

      That being said, I may try this food, but then again, I may not because of all the veggies in it. I don’t think Balanced Blends has any of that stuff in there.

      I’m not dissing Smalls, just trying to help another person that loves their cats. When I first started feeding my cats I fed them dry food because I believed all the bull about it being helpful for their teeth (myth) and how healthy it was for them (down right lie), and a dry food only diet killed Maggie (she became diabetic and her kidney failed). Hobbes got a thyroid problem, fortunately I was working at the time and was able to pay for her to have radio-iodine treatment (over $1000.00). She is 15 years old now and strictly on Balanced Blends raw food and every now and again I give her liver…

      Good luck with your kids…

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