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Smalls vs Nom Nom: Pros, Cons & Facts (2024 Update)

Written by: Sarah Psaradelis

Last Updated on February 8, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

smalls vs nom nom featured image ec 2

Smalls vs Nom Nom: Pros, Cons & Facts (2024 Update)

Disclaimer: Nom Nom has discontinued its fresh cat food recipe and is no longer taking orders. Nom Nom hopes to return to providing fresh food to cats in the future when they have more readily available high-quality ingredients.

We have not changed our comparison below, though we have removed links to Nom Nom’s website since the cat food is no longer available. We do, however, highly recommend Smalls Fresh Cat Food Subscription Service, which you can read more about below.  Or, you can read our extensive review of Smalls here.

Every cat owner is searching for the highest quality cat food while still ensuring that their cat enjoys the overall texture, smell, and quantity of the food. Wet cat foods are becoming increasingly popular as many owners are realizing the health benefits and potential these foods have for their pets.

We have chosen two of the most highly recommended fresh cat foods, Smalls and Nom Nom and compared them to determine which food is better and the main reasons the food stands out against its competitor. Both foods run on a door-to-door mailing service, which adds to the convenience of these products.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Smalls Cat Food

Image Product Details
Smalls Fresh Ground Bird Cat Food Smalls Fresh Ground Bird Cat Food
  • Animal-based protein
  • Grain-free
  • High moisture content
  • Smalls Fresh Smooth Other Bird Smalls Fresh Smooth Other Bird
  • Ideal fat content
  • High metabolizable protein energy
  • Low in carbs
  • Our winning fresh cat food is Smalls, whose pros and cons outweigh Nom Noms fresh cat food. You can have your cat’s food delivered straight to your door through a subscription process and many customers have seen a great improvement in their cat’s health after switching to the Smalls fresh cat food.


    About Smalls

    smalls freeze-dried raw bird recipe on bowl with tabby cat

    Smalls is an on-demand subscription-based cat food brand that sends a box of your desired fresh cat food straight to your door. The main aim is to provide the cat and owner with higher-quality wet cat food that is not found on store shelves. This makes the food healthier, of higher quality, and fresh. The food does not have to sit on shelves or be mass-produced for the quantity of the products, which allows Smalls to direct more attention to the ingredients, preservatives, texture, and quality of the cat food that they are producing.

    The Food Quality

    The Smalls recipes are made in the United States. Each recipe has been tested for E. coli, salmonella, listeria, and mold before the food is made available for shipping. Furthermore, the nutritional content is double-checked as well.

    The fresh cat food comes in multiple flavors that include quality ingredients. Some common ingredients used in the Smalls recipes are chicken liver powder and bonito flakes. Smalls offers their customers fresh, human-grade, sustainably sourced ingredients that honor your cats’ carnivorous needs. Each formula is rich in protein and free from grains, artificial additives, and fillers.

    The food is formulated with USDA-certified ingredients that are suitable for human consumption and are sustainably sourced from the United States and Canada. The kitchens where the food is prepared are USDA-certified and the quality of the products are religiously tested. This cat food has been developed in a partnership with pet nutrition consultant, Susan Lauten, Ph.D. The food meets the AAFCO’s nutritional guidelines for both kittens and adult cats.

    What Does Smalls Have to Offer?

    The main type of food they offer is fresh, wet cat food. Their human-grade cat food comes in four different proteins (chicken, turkey, fish, or beef) and two textures (ground or smooth).

    Smalls fresh cat foods are rich in protein and meat is the main ingredient. Each recipe is grain-free and healthy for cats of all breeds and life stages.

    smalls freeze-dried raw and human-grade fresh cat food on a table

    The Subscription Box

    Smalls cat food cannot be purchased at a store, but rather, with ease through the website where you can order the food and products and start a subscription where those products will be delivered to your door. They allow you to first go through a trial so that you can test out the various cat food products to determine which one is best for your cat. You must then email Smalls to confirm which products you want to keep for your first subscription box and if you want to add in other products. From there, Smalls will send your order every 2 to 8 weeks, depending on when you require more food for your cat.

    Shipment is only available within the United States, and the food is shipped in dry ice within 2 to 3 days to ensure that the food is kept fresh during the shipment period.

    • Grain-free
    • USDA-certified
    • Sustainably sourced ingredients
    • Manufactured in the United States
    • Foodborne disease tested
    • Rich in animal protein
    • Not sold in stores
    • Runs through a subscription


    About Nom Nom

    cat eating Nom Nom now

    Nom Nom fresh cat food is controlled by a team of Ph.Ds and Board-Certified Veterinary Nutritionists who have dedicated their time to creating healthy cat food recipes. Like Smalls cat food, this company also works through a subscription box, and the foods are not available from stores or other online selling sites. Nom Nom’s main aim is to provide cat owners with healthy foods that their cats will love. The knowledge and research that goes into the food ensure that you receive cat food of high quality.

    The Food Quality

    Nom Nom only includes human-grade ingredients in their pet food. Each ingredient is cooked separately to ensure that the optimal nutrient capacity is maintained. The company does not prepare food and store it for a month before it is eligible for shipment, but rather each recipe is freshly prepared and then sent to your door through the subscription box.

    Only whole food ingredients are used in the food and processed in the USA. The nutrient mix has been developed by veterinary nutritionists to ensure the quality of each food. The recipe contains a custom mixture of Vitamins (such as Vitamin A, D, E, Bs,) and minerals (iron, iodine, and zinc).

    Each recipe meets the standards set by the AAFCO’s cat food nutrient profile for all breeds and life stages.

    The food is prepared in fresh kitchen facilities in Nashville, Tennessee, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Each ingredient is carefully inspected as it is prepared, which furthers the quality of the cat food you are receiving. The batches are tested for your pet’s safety and the food is prepared in small batches that are sent out to the customer after it’s prepared to preserve the freshness of the food.

    The meals are prepared in a unique way that uses a machine to measure the food according to the calorie content. This makes it more convenient to food your cat without having to first measure out your cats’ portions. The facilities are FDA-inspected, and only fresh, USDA-certified ingredients are used.

    Nom Noms cat food contains no artificial colors, flavors, preservatives, or harmful additives. The ingredients are kept short and only added if they are beneficial to cats.

    What Does Nom Nom Have to Offer?

    Nom Nom only has one fresh cat food available for sale, whereas Smalls has a variety of different food types to choose from. The food has a good mixture of ingredients that are ideal for cats, with the main noticeable ingredient being chicken. This is beneficial for cats as they require a diet high in protein. Chicken is the main flavor of this cat food, and it is ideal for cats who are not picky about the flavor of their food. The researchers are focused on producing cat foods that are good for their microbiome (gut health), which is better for your cat’s digestion and poop.

    Aside from food, Nom Nom also ships two types of treats for cats. This includes beef and chicken jerky formulated with healthy ingredients. The food and treats are never frozen or stored to ensure that they are fresh on arrival.

    The Subscription Box


    Nom Nom ships its packages across 48 different states. Each meal is prepared after you place your order and sent right to your door. The food is shipped regularly so that your cat always has access to this food. The packaging is environmentally friendly to reduce the company’s carbon footprint and yours. The boxes, meal packs, and insulating liners are either recyclable or made from recycled materials, which have been designed to keep your cat’s food fresh during shipment.

    The excellent customer service provided by this company allows you to easily manage your subscription and make any rescheduled changes or cancellations to your order.

    In addition, when you create an account with Nom Nom, you are assigned to an account manager and then given access to the company’s team of pet nutritionists, who are willing to answer any questions you have.

    • Excellent customer service
    • USDA-certified
    • Environmentally friendly packaging
    • Good for cat’s microbiome
    • Free from harmful additives
    • Only one cat food is available
    • Two cat foods have been discontinued
    • Runs through a subscription


    The 3 Most Popular Smalls Cat Food Recipes

    Let’s take a look at the three most popular cat food recipes available through Smalls’ subscription box:

    1. Smalls Fresh Ground Bird – Chicken Flavor

    smalls ground bird chicken recipe

    This recipe has ground chicken with bone, chicken liver, and green beans as the main ingredients. This reassures us that the food is primarily protein-based, as cats are strict carnivores. There are minimal vegetables included and no artificial flavors, grains, or harmful additives.

    This recipe from Smalls has a high amount of protein (13%), a decent amount of fat (8.5%), and a standard fiber content (1.5%). Some interesting ingredients found in the food include dandelion greens, dried kelp, and cod liver oil, which are uncommon in many other cat foods yet still of high quality.

    • Animal-based protein
    • Grain-free
    • High moisture content
    • Chicken is a potential allergen

    2. Smalls Smooth Other Bird – Turkey Flavor

    Smalls human grade fresh food bowl with kitten with logo

    The Other Bird recipe contains turkey, turkey liver, green beans, and kale. This is an optimal choice for cats as animal-based protein is the main focus of this recipe. The overall ingredients are excellent in terms of quality and health for your cat.

    The crude protein is a maximum of 14.5%, while the fat is quite high at 10%, and the fiber is standard at 1.5%.

    • Animal-based protein
    • True carnivore-based ingredients
    • Unique ingredients
    • Excellent moisture content
    • High-fat content

    3. Smalls Fresh Smooth Cow – Beef Flavor

    smalls fresh beef with logo

    Ground lean beef (90%), beef liver, and beef heart are the main ingredients that this food is composed of. In comparison to other foods by this brand, the human-grade beef recipe contains green beans and peas as a large portion of the food, which may be a downside for a carnivorous cat.

    The protein is slightly low at 21.6%, the crude fiber is decent at 8.3%, and the fiber is a bit low at only 0.5%. However, the moisture content is excellent at a whopping 66.3%, which is ideal for cats who are prone to dehydration.

    • Ideal fat content
    • High metabolizable protein energy
    • Low in carbs
    • High in moisture
    • Low protein content
    • Low fiber content

    The Most Popular Nom Nom Cat Food Recipe

    Nom Nom only offers its customers one type of cat food, let’s see what this food has to offer in terms of quality and nutrition:

    1. Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine Recipe

    nom nom cat food chicken cuisine

    Please note that as of March 28th, 2022, Smalls will no longer be serving fresh food for cats. Please read our disclaimer at the top of the post for more details.

    The first set of ingredients that make up the majority of the food includes chicken thigh, chicken breast, chicken liver, carrots, and spinach. With this information, we can see that animal-based protein is the main ingredient, however, vegetables closely follow in terms of percentage inclusion.

    This recipe contains a total of 1,194 calories per kilogram. The protein sits on the lower end at only 18%, the fat content is low at only 3%, and the fiber is decent in comparison to the other guaranteed analysis content at 0.8%. Furthermore, this food has a high percentage of moisture (73%), which is beneficial to cats.

    • Animal-based protein
    • Rich in vitamins and minerals
    • High moisture content
    • High-quality ingredients
    • Low in protein
    • Chicken is a potential allergen

    Recall History of Smalls and Nom Nom

    Smalls Recall History – June 2022

    Smalls has had few voluntary recalls over the years. The recall was issued after Smalls received feedback from customers who claimed that the food was in poor condition upon arrival. The food was foul and had a strong odor. Smalls then thoroughly investigated this matter and sent out samples to an independent lab for testing. Smalls has not had any complaints that a cat has fallen ill from any of the available recipes.

    These foods were recalled:

    • Smooth Turkey Recipe
    • Ground Turkey Recipe
    • Smooth Chicken Recipe
    • Ground Chicken Recipe

    Nom Noms Recall History – May 2022

    Nom Nom had its first-ever recall in 2021. The voluntary recall was issued by supplier Tyson Foods Inc. Certain chicken products produced by Tyson were potentially contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, which affects chicken sold for human consumption. Only certain bags were being recalled, primarily bags over #18700.

    Recalled Recipe as of May 2021:

    • Chicken Cuisine


    Smalls vs Nom Noms Comparison

    There are slight yet significant differences between Smalls and Nom Nom, in terms of the recipe quality, availability of the products, and the price factor. Both brands are run through a mailing subscription service, which equalizes the in-store comparison.

    Smalls Price, Products & Availability:

    The price of Smalls fresh cat food recipes is cheaper in comparison to Nom Noms Chicken Cuisine recipe. The subscription box for Smalls is slightly cheaper for the value of products and food that you get. The mailing service is fast, and the package will be delivered within 2 to 3 working days. Smalls offers more recipes suited for different cats’ requirements (obesity or allergens). The ingredients incorporated into the food are healthy and sustainably sourced, with guaranteed freshness. Smalls only ship within the United States, which reduces availability.

    Nom Noms Price, Products & Availability:

    In terms of price, Nom Noms recipes and subscription boxes are more expensive. The recipe for cats itself is typically double the price of Smalls, with only one recipe being available. They do not store or freeze your cat’s food, and it will be sent promptly to your door through the mailing service provided. The ingredients in the Nom Nom recipe are of high quality, with a bonus of vitamins and minerals included. Nom Nom ships to forty-eight states, which makes their food and subscription service available to a wider set of customers.

    At a Glance:

    • Cheaper
    • Fast shipping
    • Better value
    • Larger recall history
    • Only ships within the United States
    Nom Noms
    • Expensive
    • Guaranteed analysis
    • Few recipe options
    • One recall
    • Ships to 48 contiguous states

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    Overall, Small’s cat food is a winner in comparison to Nom Noms. This is mainly because Smalls is cheaper, has more available recipes, has better value for money, and has a fast shipping factor. Nom Noms closely follows as they have a lot to offer in terms of quality feline nutrition, but Nom Nom does not beat Smalls in terms of what they have to offer.

    If you are looking for a more ‘worldwide’ subscription cat food service, then Nom Noms may be a good option for you. If you are located in the United States and want a higher value-for-money cat food subscription service with a variety of recipes, then Smalls will be the better option for you.

    Check out our complete list of cat food reviews here

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