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Primal Cat Food Review of 2023: Recalls, Pros & Cons

primal cat food
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams

Primal Cat Food Review Summary

Our Final Verdict

We gave Primal Cat Food a rating of 4 out of 5 stars

Like their wild cousins, domestic cats are also obligate carnivores. This means that they do not only crave raw meat, but they also need it for optimal health. The gastrointestinal tracts of obligate carnivores are designed to extract all the necessary nutrients from meat alone.

Unfortunately, most commercial cat food recipes today do not provide proper nutritional balance to cats because they are laden with meat by-products and filler products instead of actual meat. Needless to say, these types of foods can be detrimental to your cat’s health, which is part of the reason why chronic diseases such as feline obesity are on the rise today.

The good news is that a few brands are actively solving this problem by providing raw and free-dried diets, which are healthier and more ideal for felines. Primal Pet Food is one of those brands.

Primal Cat Food consists of several freeze-dried raw cat food recipes that aim to mimic a cat’s natural diet. The company is top-rated among pet owners owing to how their cats enjoy the recipes, in addition to the significant improvements in health they have observed after feeding their felines Primal Cat Food.

Here is everything you need to know about this brand.

Cat ball divider 1The Best Primal Cat Food Recipes

As mentioned, Primal Cat Food has several recipes. The following are five of their most popular recipes:

Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Turkey Formula Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Turkey Formula
  • Balanced Diet For All Life Stages
  • Raised Without Antibiotics Or Added Hormones
  • Naturally Derived Vitamins & Minerals
  • Second place
    Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Chicken Salmon Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Chicken Salmon
  • Complete And Balanced Diet For All Life Stages
  • Naturally Derived Vitamins And Minerals
  • Grain, Gluten, Corn, Wheat And Soy Free
  • Third place
    Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Rabbit Formula Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Rabbit Formula
  • Complete And Balanced Diet For All Life Stages
  • Grain, Gluten, Corn, Wheat And Soy Free
  • Made In The Usa
  • Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Duck Formula Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Duck Formula
  • For All Life Stages
  • Grain, Gluten, Corn, Wheat And Soy Free
  • Made In The Usa
  • Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Venison Formula Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Venison Formula
  • Made In The Usa
  • No corn or wheat
  • Complete And Balanced Diet For All Life Stages
  • 3 cat face dividerPrimal Cat Food Reviewed

    In this section, we shall take an in-depth look at the Primal Cat Food brand. While this brand is renowned for its freeze-dried raw foods that mimic a wild feline’s diet, it is crucial for you to understand its products and ingredients so you can know whether this brand is worthy of your investment.

    2Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken And Salmon Formula

    Who Makes Primal Cat Food and Where Is It Produced?

    Primal Cat Food is based in San Francisco, California, and has been in business since 2001. The company offers raw cat food as a healthier alternative to the plethora of mediocre commercial cat foods on the market today.

    Which Types of Cats is Primal Cat Foods Best Suited For?

    Primal Cat Food is ideal for all types of cats, as it mimics their natural diet in the world. Therefore, if you plan on switching your cat’s current diet to a raw diet, Primal Cat Foods would be a great brand to consider.

    Discussion of the Primary Ingredients (Good and Bad)

    According to the manufacturer, they formulate all their recipes using human-grade ingredients that are free from both steroids and antibiotics. What’s more, they even add unrefined vitamins and minerals to ensure that your cat does not miss out on any vital nutrients.

    Primal Cat Foods say that they source their ingredients from farms and ranches in the U.S. and New Zealand. Moreover, all their recipes are based on the Biologically Appropriate Raw Foods (BARF) diet and do not feature grains, gluten, rice, wheat, or other fillers.

    Nonetheless, we went ahead and evaluated their recipes to see whether the manufacturer’s claims are valid. Here is what we found:

    The Primary Ingredients of Primal Cat Food

    Primal Cat Food utilizes up to 55 different ingredients to create their various cat food recipes. However, in the United States, cat food ingredients are ranked and listed according to their weight, meaning the first 5 ingredients constitute the bulk of the meal.

    For Primal Cat Food, the most common ingredients in their top 5 include:
    • Chicken
    • Turkey neck
    • Chicken gizzard
    • Organic collard green
    • Organic squash

    Right off the bat, you can see that the bulk of Primal Cat Food’s recipes consists of high-quality sources of protein, which is something we all appreciate.

    3Primal Freeze Dried Cat Food

    Artificial Dyes

    Pet food manufacturers are notorious for using artificial dyes to enhance the color and appeal of their recipes. Artificial dyes are not only unnecessary but are also potentially harmful. This is why we recommend avoiding pet foods with artificial dyes.

    Fortunately, Primal does not use artificial food color in their recipes.

    Animal By-Products

    According to the Association of American Feed Control Officials, animal by-products are the non-rendered, non-meat parts obtained from slaughtered animals. Essentially, they are the leftovers of the carcass after it has been processed for meat.

    While animal by-products are not inherently harmful (some can even be nutritious), most consumers equate them to slaughterhouse waste. As such, premium brands avoid using animal by-products in their ingredients, using named organ meats instead.

    Primal Cat food does not use animal by-products in its formulas.

    Cereal Grains

    As mentioned, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they cannot process plant-based ingredients. As such, cat food must be grain-free. Unfortunately, most manufacturers include grains in their cat food recipes as filler products.

    Luckily, all of Primal Cat Food’s recipes are grain-free.

    divider-catclaw1A Quick Look at Primal Cat Food

    • Mimics a cat’s natural diet in the wild
    • Made with human-grade ingredients
    • The meats used are free from steroids and antibiotics
    • A wide selection of recipes
    • All recipes have a “Complete Diet” status
    • High phosphorus content

    Want to see more cat food reviews? Check out our review page here!

    cat + line dividerPrimal Cat Food Recall History

    One of the best ways of determining a brand’s adherence to high-quality standards is by checking their recall history. A recall does not imply that a brand has low-quality standards. This is because product recalls occur for numerous reasons, including simple issues such as labeling errors. However, they can also result from serious issues such as contamination.

    Therefore, when evaluating a brand’s recall history, the most important thing to consider is the reason for the recalls. A long history of recalls is not a good sign either.

    Primal Cat Food has had three recalls since it was founded.

    They include:
    • May 2011 – The FDA issued a recall for Primal’s Feline Chicken & Salmon Formula due to potential salmonella contamination
    • March 2015 – The FDA issued a recall for Primal’s Feline Turkey Raw Frozen recipe due to having low levels of thiamine
    • December 2017 – The company recalled 9 of its freeze-dried formulas due to their bone grind sizes being too large

    Cat ball divider 1

    Reviews of the 3 Best Primal Cat Food Recipes

    The Primal Cat Food brand has numerous recipes. However, we found the following to be the most popular among their customers. Let us review these recipes to see why cat parents hold them in such high regard.

    1. Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Turkey Formula1Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Turkey Formula

    The Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Turkey Formula consists of 93% turkey organs and 7% supplements. To date, this formula is one of the best cat foods we have come across because it provides cats with a complete and balanced diet without including unnecessary or filler ingredients.

    Moreover, the turkeys used are raised organically, ensuring that their meat does not contain any compounds that could be harmful to a cat’s health. Like other Primal recipes, the Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Turkey Formula is grain-free and does not contain any fillers or additives. Moreover, unlike wet cat food, this recipe has a long shelf life.

    Nonetheless, this formula can take up to 15 minutes to prepare, meaning you cannot serve it in a hurry.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Primal Raw Frozen Nuggets Turkey Review

    • 93% of this formula consists of high-quality turkey organs
    • Great for cats of all life stages
    • Long shelf life
    • Does not contain any additives or fillers
    • Takes a long time to prepare

    2. Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Chicken and Salmon Formula2Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken And Salmon Formula

    The Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Chicken and Salmon Formula is a hit with cats due to its exceptional taste. Just like the turkey formula, the chickens and salmons used to make this food are reared organically.

    Additionally, it is fortified with vitamins and minerals to make it a complete and well-balanced diet that is ideal for cats of all ages.

    The Primal Pet Foods Freeze-Dried Chicken and Salmon Formula is also grain-free, does not contain any fillers or additives, and is freeze-dried to preserve the nutrients. However, since it is essentially a dry formula, you must add water before serving to make it palatable.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Primal Raw Frozen Nuggets Chicken & Salmon Review

    • Meat from organically-reared chicken and salmon
    • Great taste
    • Fortified with minerals and vitamins
    • Ideal for cats of all ages
    • Grain-free and does not contain fillers or additives
    • Requires water to be palatable

    3. Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Rabbit Formula3Primal Freeze Dried Cat Food

    If your cat has a taste for rabbit meat, the Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Rabbit Formula will more than make their day. Rabbit meat is an excellent source of protein, and it makes up the bulk of the content in this formula. Like other Primal products, the rabbit meat used in this recipe is sourced from organically reared rabbits.

    This recipe is also fortified with numerous minerals and vitamins to ensure a balanced diet for your kitty. It is also freeze-dried to ensure a long shelf life without losing any nutrients in the process.

    While the Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Rabbit Formula is an excellent product, some cats do not seem to like its taste.

    Calorie Breakdown:

    Primal Raw Frozen Pronto Rabbit Review

    • Uses organic rabbit meat as the primary ingredient
    • Provides a well-balanced meal
    • Ideal for cats of all life stages
    • High-quality protein
    • Some cats might not like it

    cat face divider 2What Other Users Are Saying About Primal Cat Food

    It is always a good idea to seek out the opinions of those who have already used a product you are considering buying, as they have first-hand experience with it.

    We scoured the internet to see what users have to say about Primal Cat Food. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Many cat owners credit Primal Cat Food for healthier coats, weight regulation, and higher energy levels in cats.

    Moreover, cats with sensitive stomachs or food allergies do not seem to have any problem with this cat food, which has been a tremendous relief for owners of such cats.

    Numerous users also praise Primal Cat Food for its lack of filler products or artificial enhancers. However, there are those who stated that their cats do not enjoy Primal Cat Food. Not all cats like raw food.

    You can check out the reviews for yourself here.

    cat paw dividerConclusion

    We genuinely believe that Primal Cat Food is one of the best cat food brands in the game today. This manufacturer does not cut any corners in the production of their various recipes.

    This is evidenced by the fact that they only use 100% USDA human-grade ingredients in their formulas while steering clear of cheap fillers, animal by-products, and artificial additives. Moreover, their meat is sourced from organically reared animals.

    Cats thrive on a diet that mimics that of their wild cousins, which is why a raw diet is arguably the best kind of diet to feed your cat. When it comes to commercial freeze-dried raw cat food, Primal Cat Food is as premium as it gets.

    About the Author

    Christian Adams
    Christian Adams
    Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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