The Best 5 Freeze-Dried Cat Treats: According to a Veterinarian

The Best 5 Freeze-Dried Cat Treats: According to a Veterinarian

Katelyn Son
By Katelyn Son
Medically reviewed by Ivana Crnec, DVM
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See our advertising disclosure.

What are the Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treats?

Vital Cat Freeze-Dried Cat Treats
  • There’s no artificial fillers, additives or preservatives in these healthy cat treats — just the tasty freeze-dried minnows your cat loves.
  • Our simple and natural treats for cats are made from real freeze-dried minnows. Just one bite, and your kitty will be meowing for more!
  • These grain free cat treats are perfect for kitties on a grain free or gluten free diet. Replace your carb-heavy baked treats with a cleaner and healthier snack for your cat.

What are Freeze-Dried Cat Treats?

Freeze-dried cat treats are a special type of treats formulated through freeze-drying technology.

Freeze-dried pet treats are made of pure animal ingredients, such as poultry or fish. The meat or fish is frozen at a very low temperature and pressure. This also freezes the water content in the meat or fish. Then, the frozen ice is turned to vapor through a process called sublimation.

So, the main aim of this process is to dehydrate meat or fish, but without heating and evaporation. Thus, the ingredient remains raw, fresh, and becomes free of moisture.

Are Freeze-Dried Treats Good for Cats?

Yes, freeze-dried cat treats are good.

Here are some of the reasons freeze-dried treats for cats are good:

  • Nutritional Profile. Because of the preparation process, freeze-dried treats lock in most of the natural nutrients. They are not complete pet food but are still nutrient-dense and protein-rich.
  • Low in Calories. Most freeze-dried cat treats are made with limited ingredients and free from fillers, thus being low in fats and calories.
  • Delicious Taste. Freeze-dried treats are packed with flavor and aroma. This is great since most cats are picky eaters. These treats resemble the cat’s natural diet.
  • Long Shelf-Life. Dehydrating the treats removes moisture, which keeps them fresh for a long time. They can be stored for a long time and are easy to serve.

The Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treats Reviewed

For your convenience, we have put together a list of the five best freeze-dried treats for cats you can easily find on Amazon and Chewy. Read before you click checkout.

Vital Cat Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Vital Cat Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

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Summary: Vital Cat Freeze-Dried cat treats come in many different flavors, which means more variety for your cat’s taste buds. You can choose from salmon, tuna, chicken, duck, and rabbit as per your cat’s preferences. These treats also have a crunchy texture, making them a perfect snack for cats to munch on. Gluten-free and rich in protein, these healthy morsels are a great nutrition source for cats.

Best For: Cats of all life stages

Flavor Options: Ahi Tuna; Chicken; Chicken Giblets; Chicken Hearts; Duck Liver; Minnows; Salmon; Rabbit

Price: $13.49/0.5 oz bag

Pros

  • Healthy and delicious snacks
  • With fresh and raw ingredients
  • Free of grains and artificial additives
  • Available in a variety of flavors
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Often out of stock on online retailers

Ingredient Analysis: 100% pure animal (fish, poultry, or rabbit) for the respective flavors.

Review: Vital Cat freeze-dried treats have a highly positive rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from almost 900 buyers.

PureBites Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

PureBites Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

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Summary: PureBites freeze-dried treats are the most budget-friendly option for your cats. The 2.3 oz pack costs less than $9, the best price per ounce among all the treats we have listed here. It is made of pure chicken breast without any additional ingredients, making it rich in protein. And less than 3% crude fat is an excellent treat for obese cats and weight issues. Overall, this chicken recipe is a wonderful combination of taste, nutrition, and value for money.

Best For: Adult cats

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $8.49

Pros

  • Single ingredient recipe
  • Low in fat and just two calories per treat
  • Excellent source of extra protein
  • Raw chicken breast is loved by most cats
  • High accessibility due to low cost

Cons

  • Available in only one flavor

Ingredient Analysis: 100% raw freeze-dried chicken breasts

Review: PureBites Freeze-Dried chicken breast cat treats have an excellent rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from more than 6000 customers on Amazon.

Orijen Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Orijen Grain-Free Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

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Summary: While most freeze-dried treats contain a single ingredient, be it poultry or fish, Orijen freeze-dried treats are unique in combining multiple pure and fresh ingredients. That means these treats are packed with flavors and contain well-balanced nutrients – proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Ingredients like liver, heart, and gizzards make it a delicious and nutritious snack for cats.

Best For: Adult cats

Flavor Options: Poultry & Flounder

Price: $6.99

Pros

  • 100% quality animal ingredients
  • Only 1 kcal per treats
  • Rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals
  • Loaded with taste and aroma
  • Grain-free and filler-free formula

Cons

  • Relatively low in crude fiber

Ingredient Analysis: Chicken, turkey, turkey giblets (liver, heart, gizzard), chicken liver, founder, chicken heart, mixed tocopherols, citric acid, and rosemary extract

Review: About 3,700 customers have purchased Orijen grain-free freeze-dried cat treats with a total average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Whole Life Pet Human Grade Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Whole Life Pet Human Grade Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

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Summary: Whole Life freeze-dried cat treats are the best choice for high protein. Out of all the treats we have reviewed here, this one has the highest amount of protein, with 89% crude protein. So if your cat requires more protein intake, this is the ideal choice. On top of that, it has just 2% crude fat, so it’s a lean, power-packed treat for cats of all sizes.

Best For: Adult cats

Flavor Options: Salmon

Price: $5.79

Pros

  • Super rich in protein
  • Extremely low in fat and kcals
  • Limited ingredient recipe
  • Human-grade and easily digestible
  • Improves immune system

Cons

  • Available in only one flavor

Ingredient Analysis: 100% pure salmon fillet

Review: These Wild Alaskan Salmon cat treats have a superb rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars from 1360 customers.

Cat-Man-Doo Life Essentials No Additives Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Cat-Man-Doo Life Essentials No Additives Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

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Summary: We did mention that freeze-dried treats are usually made of raw animal ingredients. However, this freeze-dried treat from Life Essentials is made from fully cooked chicken. Still, it is 100% pure chicken without any fillers. The treats are bite-sized cooked chicken breast strips that cats of all life stages can enjoy as a quick snack or can be added to your cat’s regular meals. Occasionally, you can even serve it as a complete meal as it does have all essential nutrients.

Best For: Cats of all life stages

Flavor Options: Chicken

Price: $23.33

Pros

  • Contain 80% crude protein
  • No preservatives and additives
  • Low fat and calories
  • Can be used as a cat food topper
  • Perfect for picky eaters

Cons

  • More expensive compared to other treats

Ingredient Analysis: 100% chicken breasts (cooked and freeze-dried)

Review: Cat-Man-Doo Life Essentials freeze-dried cat treats have an excellent rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars from almost 1400 customers.

What is the Difference Between Freeze-dried Cat Treats and Raw Cat Food?

Freeze-dried cat treats and raw cat food are completely different, even though they both contain raw animal ingredients. Here are the differences:

  • Preparation Method. Freeze-dried treats are dehydrated by special freeze-drying technology to remove moisture, preserve nutrients, and increase shelf life. On the other hand, raw food is not dehydrated.
  • Nutritional Profile. Raw cat food is a complete meal, providing cats with essential nutrients. Freeze-dried treats are not a complete meal, although they provide some vital essentials.

Do Freeze Dried Cat Treats Have Any Nutritional Value?

Yes, freeze-dried cat treats are quite rich in nutrition, especially protein.

In fact, one of the benefits of these treats is that they preserve the nutrients in raw ingredients in their natural state. Apart from protein, these treats also contain essential vitamins and minerals.

But obviously, these things only apply to high-quality treats from trusted manufacturers. Beware of low-quality freeze-dried treats containing artificial preservatives, fillers, and additives.

How do You Make Freeze-Dried Treats for Cats?

The process of manufacturing freeze-dried cat treats involves two steps. The first step is freezing raw animal ingredients, and the second is removing water through sublimation.

Of course, this is a simple explanation of a process that is complicated in reality. The ingredients, like chicken or fish, must be fresh, and many lab tests should be conducted to meet the standards.

How Do You Feed a Cat Freeze-Dried Cat Treats?

Similar to regular cat and dog treats, freeze-dried treats can be served right out of the pack.

No special preparation is needed for it. However, these treats are not meant to be fed as full meals and should be given to cats as occasional snacks from time to time.

Do Vets Recommend Freeze-Dried Cat Treats?

Yes, vets recommend freeze-dried cat treats due to the health benefits.

But even vets will recommend that you do not feed too many treats to your cats and use them sparsely, for example, during training or as a small snack to satisfy cravings.