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KatKin Fresh Cat Food Review 2024: Our Vet’s Opinion

Written by: Dr. Karyn Kanowski BVSc MRCVS (Veterinarian)

Last Updated on May 23, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

CAT_SAPR_Kat kin Cat Food

KatKin Fresh Cat Food Review 2024: Our Vet’s Opinion


Dr. Karyn Kanowski Photo


Dr. Karyn Kanowski

Veterinarian, BVSc MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Our Final Verdict

We give KatKin an overall rating of 4.9 out of 5 stars.

Quality: 5/5
Variety: 5/5
Ingredients: 5/5
Value: 4.5/5

Gone are the days of cracking open a tin of budget-brand cat food and hoping for the best. In these modern times where we can be overwhelmed with choices, it gets harder and harder to make the best choices when it comes to feeding our families, let alone our beloved pets. Over the past few years, there has been a major shift away from the well-recognized ‘premium’ pet food brands, with cat owners looking for a food that not only meets their feline’s nutritional needs, but one that is also fresh and tasty.

Raw feeding and home-prepared foods have increased in popularity, and each have their place, but both have some significant drawbacks. Getting the right ingredients to ensure your cat is getting everything they need in a homemade food can be a tedious process, costing you a lot of time and more money than you might expect to pay. Even when done carefully, raw food still poses a risk of bringing foodborne pathogens into your home, which may affect your family, as well as your cat.

This is where KatKin comes in. Much like the pre-prepared meals that are cooked to perfection and delivered frozen to your door, KatKin is made from 100% human-grade fresh meat, including muscle, organ, and connective tissue to ensure a balanced mix of nutrients. The meat is gently cooked then frozen to stay fresh, and delivered to your home.

“The nutritious power of raw, minus the risks.” cat paw divider

About KatKin

KatKin Fresh Cat Food - cyril and clutch with the products

Unlike many of the most popular cat foods on the market, KatKin is an independent brand that boasts:

  • Fresh meat fit for human consumption
  • Gently cooked then frozen to stay fresh
  • Free from grains, fillers, and preservatives
  • Personalized daily portions
  • Delivery to your door

Who Makes KatKin and Where is it Produced?

KatKin is the brainchild of brother-sister team Nikki and Brett O’Farrell, who wanted to create a food for cats that removed the preservatives and additives found in most commercial cat foods and provide pet owners with an alternative to raw feeding. Founded in Clerkenwell, England in 2019, KatKin is the first producer of fresh-cooked cat food in Europe and the UK.

The KatKin recipes are created by veterinary professionals, with each box filled with fresh-frozen meals customized to the individual cat’s needs. They use only human-grade meat ingredients, which are steam-cooked and frozen fresh, before being delivered to your door. At this stage, KatKin is only available as a subscription service to UK customers.

Which Types of Pets Is KatKin Best Suited For?

KatKin is suitable for all cats over the age of weaning (approximately 8 weeks). The nutrient profile of the KatKin foods is appropriate for all feline life stages, and the absence of carbohydrates means that they would even be suitable for diabetic patients. As most of the foods in the KatKin range are based on a single protein source, they may be a perfect option for cats with food allergies or inflammatory bowel disease.

At this stage, KatKin does not have a food that is deemed suitable for cats with liver disease, kidney disease, or urinary issues, and veterinary advice is recommended for any cats with underlying health issues before starting them on any new foods.

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What’s In The Box?

KatKin Fresh Cat Food - cyril and the products

Just like many human-prepared meal providers, you can pick and choose which flavors go into your shipment from 7 options, which is perfect for cats with food allergies or intolerances.*

  • Cluck: 100% gently-cooked chicken thigh, liver, heart, and traces of whitefish – plus the KatKin Nutrient Mix.
  • Moo: 100% gently-cooked beef trim, heart and liver – plus sunflower oil, fish oil and the KatKin Nutrient Mix.
  • Baaa: 100% gently-cooked lamb heart, trim, liver, and traces of beef – plus fish oil and the KatKin Nutrient Mix.
  • Oink: 100% gently-cooked pork shoulder, trim and liver – plus fish oil and the KatKin Nutrient Mix.
  • Gobble: 100% gently-cooked turkey thigh, liver, gizzards, and traces of whitefish – plus the KatKin Nutrient Mix.
  • Splash: 100% gently-cooked whitefish, salmon and turkey liver, plus sunflower oil and the KatKin Nutrient Mix.
  • Quack: 100% gently-cooked duck meat, gizzards and liver, and chicken heart and thigh, and traces of whitefish – plus fish oil and the KatKin Nutrient Mix.

Daily servings are divided into a morning and an evening meal, which need to be thawed in the refrigerator before serving. Sealed portions are safe to be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days, and opened packages should be discarded after 2 days if not eaten (which would be unlikely!). KatKin can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Optional extras include freeze-dried chicken or salmon nibbles, and a tiny jar of freeze-dried chicken sprinkles, designed to tempt any suspicious or discerning felines.

*Some of the flavors do contain trace amounts of other protein ingredients, so be sure to check the label if your cat has a severe food allergy.

In Summary

  • High-quality food
  • Good for food allergy/sensitivity
  • Portioned – no risk of overfeeding
  • Benefits of raw feeding without the pathogen risks
  • Automatic delivery, no risk of running out
  • Website is a bit difficult to navigate
  • Price
  • Only available online in the UK

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KatKin Fresh Cat Food - fresh cat food selections

The concept of feeding cats a diet of 100% fresh meat is not a new one, but it has largely been limited to raw food diets. Whilst raw feeding can offer many benefits, the risk of transmitting harmful pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, Campylobacter, and even Botulism to our pets is one that continues to keep vets on the fence about its safety.

What KatKin is doing differently is taking that concept, adding the added step of cooking their pure meat recipes, and then delivering the individual portions straight to your door.

How is this different from “regular” cat food? Most commercial cat food (apart from raw) is ultra-heat or pressure-treated to eliminate harmful pathogens and prolong shelf life. The quality and benefits of commercial foods still come down to the quality of the ingredients used, with more expensive brands using a greater proportion of higher quality meat ingredients, and the more budget-friendly options relying on meat meal, carbohydrates, and other “filler” items to fill their bags or tins. Even high-quality, veterinary-formulated foods can contain as little as 40% meat.

KatKin has come up with a way to safely provide fresh cat food that is 100% meat and meets feline nutritional requirements, in a wide variety of flavors.

With the exception of a handful of health conditions, KatKin is a high-quality, fresh frozen cat food that will suit cats of any life stage, from weaning to geriatric. It is a good option for cats with food allergies or intolerances, and may even be suitable for diabetics.*

The daily portions ensure that your cat is getting the right amount each day, reducing the risk of overfeeding, obesity, and its associated health risks. The 100% meat formula mimics the natural feline diet without compromising on nutrient balance. Plus, the scheduled deliveries mean that you can avoid the late-night dash to 7/11!

*Always talk to your vet before starting your cat on a new diet if they have any known or suspected health conditions.

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KatKin Food Reviewed

1. The Fresh Food

KatKin Fresh Cat Food - fresh food selections

  • Good range of flavors, likely to find at least one your cat enjoys
  • Most are single protein, ideal for food allergies or intolerances
  • Suitable for all life stages
  • Not smelly
  • None

2. Freeze Dried Chicken Nibbles

KatKin Fresh Cat Food - cyril and freeze-dried chicken nibbles

  • Low fat
  • No additives
  • Only available in chicken and salmon flavors
  • A bit messy/dusty
  • Some cats are suspicious/uncertain of the texture

3. Freeze Dried Chicken Sprinkles

KatKin Fresh Cat Food - cyril and freeze-dried chicken sprinkles

  • Helps overcome any ‘new-flavor suspicion’
  • Great for encouraging fussy eaters
  • You only need a tiny amount
  • Only available in chicken – not ideal for cats with chicken allergy/intolerance
  • Tiny jar (but you only need a pinch or two)

What’s The Catch?

Isn’t that what we always want to know? Well, you’ll be pleased to know that, apart from a few minor pragmatic concerns, we don’t think there is a catch!

KatKin is a great idea and a great food, and the only negatives we found pertain to logistics and pricing. Whilst the automatic delivery is a huge advantage for busy lives and can be paused, altered, and canceled at any time, there is always the risk of delivery disruptions due to unforeseen circumstances. The food is delivered in insulated boxes with freezer packs, but if left in the wrong place on a hot day, could result in disaster. However, these are both issues that could readily be anticipated and avoided.

If you have multiple cats and are used to feeding your moggies by pouring from a bag or spooning from a communal tin, you might find the individual serving packs a bit fiddly and time-consuming, but we think that it’s a small price to pay, considering what’s inside.

The KatKin website contains a lot of information, but it can be a bit tricky to find what you’re after. Like many subscription-type providers, you do need to go through the process of starting a pet profile and filling in your details before you can get to the pricing details, which can be a bit annoying.

Of course, this sort of quality product is going to come at a more premium price. Based on a standard delivery schedule, KatKin estimates that their food will set you back around £1.90 ($2.40 US) per day, and there are discounts for multiple cats. That’s £53.20 ($67.80) for 4 weeks of 100% human-grade meat. It’s not cheap, but one could argue that what you spend on high-quality cat food, you may save on vet bills.

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Our Experience With KatKin

KatKin Fresh Cat Food - cats eating splash recipe

As a vet and guardian of five indoor cats, I know the importance of choosing the right food. After all, what goes in, must come out, and when your cats eat good quality, highly digestible food, the results are there in the litter box, in the form of small, well-formed feces with a minimally offensive stench. My cats have predominantly been fed a premium brand of dry food their entire lives, but I have been wanting to explore some fresher alternatives. My main worry in this venture was the fact that my office is where the litter boxes are located, which is why odor is my second highest priority after health. Of course, healthy food leads to a happy litter box, so I was hopeful about giving KatKin a go.

My two-week trial was handed directly to me in a sturdy cardboard box lined with recyclable wool insulation, and a suitably large freezer brick, ensuring that the contents remained frozen. On top was the freeze-dried chicken sprinkles and nibbles which I was sure my cats would be more than happy to try, although I didn’t think that they would need the sprinkles to get them interested in the food.

I was pleased that the food could be kept in the fridge for 5 days once thawed, because it meant that I could thaw out a few days at a time, saving me from having to remember to do this daily. The brightly colored packages don’t take up much space in the fridge or freezer, thanks to a lack of unnecessary outer packaging.

Going In – The Initial Testing Phase

Cyril had valiantly volunteered to be my primary KatKin taste tester, though there would undoubtedly be some interest from the others.

What I liked right away was that the food wasn’t stinky (with the exception of the salmon!), and despite being wet food, it had a nice flakey, crumbly consistency, suggesting that the volume hadn’t been made up with excess moisture. Indeed, most wet cat foods typically contain around 85% moisture, whereas KatKin contains about 70-74% moisture, depending on the flavor, which is quite impressive.

Unsurprisingly, Cyril was more than happy to dig into the first offering of the week – Cluck (chicken). He was slightly hesitant about Gobble (turkey) but went absolutely mad for Baaa (lamb). Pork was a fairly unfamiliar flavor for him, and at first, it looked like he wasn’t going to give it a try. However, I reached for the chicken sprinkles, and with only a very light dusting, his hesitation was over and it wasn’t long before the bowl was empty.

Coming Out – The Exit Poll

Compared with the output on the dry food, I will admit that there was a slight increase in the fecal aroma whilst Cyril was on the KatKin, but this actually reduced after the first few days. In terms of appearance and frequency, his poops continued to be small, well-formed, and just once a day.

The Verdict

As a long-time subscriber to high-quality dry cat foods, I have been hesitant about exploring the world of raw feeding, despite the many potential health benefits it may have; the risks are just too high. KatKin has very cleverly filled this gap in the market with a product that provides the benefits of a raw meat diet without compromising on safety. As a vet and pet owner, KatKin ticks a lot of my boxes, including the litter boxes! If I can work it into the budget, I will happily keep my cats on this food.

KatKin Fresh Cat Food - cyril enjoying oink recipe

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Cat food has come a long way over the years, from a tin of sardines to highly processed pellets that no longer look like food at all! Although science tells us that these foods are able to keep our felines fit and healthy, we are becoming increasingly suspicious of how far removed this kibble is from the diet of their wild counterparts.

Raw feeding has experienced a surge in popularity, but vets are on the fence about whether the potential benefits justify the inherent risks. KatKin is a refreshing departure from the ultra heat and pressure treatment of most commercial cat foods, providing a safer option for those wanting to offer their cats more meat and less filler.

You can expect to pay a premium, but if you think of it as an investment in your feline family member’s health, you might find you’ll be able to make room in your monthly budget.

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