2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move?

Primal is a pet food company known for making natural raw pet food products for both cats and dogs. They offer freeze-dried raw complete meals, raw frozen product, as well as treats, broths, and food toppers.

To help guide you in picking the best raw food for your cat, we created this Primal cat food review of their top-rated cat food products available on Chewy.com.

Launched in 2001, Primal Pet Food was inspired by a dog named Luna. According to Primal’s website, founder Matt Koss’ dog Luna was displaying signs of renal failure.

At the advice of a holistic veterinarian, Matt switched Luna to a diet of raw food and bones known as BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food). This type of diet mimics an animal’s diet in the wild.

Luna’s health dramatically improved, as did her energy levels. Inspired by the overall improvement in his dog’s health and happiness, Matt decided to bring his raw pet food products to the market so other pets can enjoy the same health benefits that Luna had.

According to their website, Primal aims to provide food products as close to nature as possible. The brand offers complete meals for cats and dogs, as well as treats, bone broths, meal toppers, raw frozen product, raw bones, and even raw goat milk.

Their website lists 4 lines of products for the complete meals: Starter Pack, Raw Frozen Formula, Raw Pronto Formula, and Freeze-dried Formula.

2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 1

You love what you see? Purrfect! Rest assured that I put these products on the list specifically due to their genuine quality and not for other reasons. I would just like to be transparent with you and inform you that FelineLiving may obtain a share of sales or other monetary compensation from the links on this page. I hope your furry friends will love these reviewed products and that it will spark joy in each pair of feline eyes!

Mary Nielsen ♥

Primal Cat Food Review

IMAGE PRODUCT  
2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 2
Raw Freeze-dried Nuggets Feline Chicken & Salmon
  • Made with chicken meat and chicken organs along with real salmon
  • Freeze-dried form that’s fast and easy to serve
  • Crafted in the USA
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2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 3
Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets
  • Made with turkey meat and chicken organs, along with fresh ground bone
  • All the benefits of a raw ancestral diet
  • With certified organic minerals and unrefined vitamins
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2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 4
Primal Beef & Salmon Formula Nuggets
  • Made with beef organs and real salmon
  • Highly-palatable, freeze-dried form
  • Grain free
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2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 5
Primal Rabbit Formula Nuggets
  • Made with rabbit meat and organs
  • Highly-palatable treat
  • Freeze-dried form
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2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 6
Primal Turkey Liver Munchies
  • Wholesome treats for both dogs and cats
  • Crunchy and have an irresistible flavor
  • Made from single source protein and with no salt or preservatives
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2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 7
Primal Organic Chicken Nibs Jerky Treats
  • From single-source proteins
  • Perfect for those with food allergies
  • Treats are produced using USDA organic chicken
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Freeze-dried Food Products

  1. Primal Raw Freeze-dried Nuggets Feline Chicken & Salmon
  2. Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets
  3. Primal Beef & Salmon Formula Nuggets
  4. Primal Rabbit Formula Nuggets
  5. Primal Turkey Liver Munchies
  6. Primal Organic Chicken Nibs Jerky Treats

Primal Chicken & Salmon Formula Nuggets

Primal’s Raw Freeze-dried Nuggets offer all the health benefits of raw, natural food with the convenience of dry food. No need to grind, chop, and mix the raw ingredients.

These raw freeze-dried products are recommended for cats of all life stages. It can be served dry just like dry kibble, or mixed with a little water to rehydrate.

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
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Primal’s Raw Freeze-dried Nuggets offer all the health benefits of raw, natural food with the convenience of dry food. This fresh chicken and wild-caught salmon cat food is high in protein, amino, and essential fatty acids.

This fresh chicken and wild-caught salmon cat food is high in protein, amino, and essential fatty acids. The first of its ingredients is chicken. Finely ground chicken bones are added for a natural source of calcium.

It is rich in vitamins and minerals from organic produce such as kale, squash, carrots, and other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E (possibly mixed tocopherols) is also included to help support immune system health.

The first five ingredients of this freeze-dried cat food are chicken, chicken necks, chicken gizzards, salmon, and chicken livers.

Pros

Helps with weight control. As the Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken & Salmon Formula is high in protein, Cats do not need to gorge on food to satisfy their hunger. As a result, the cats do not overeat when served with this product. They are fuller for longer and seem satisfied until their next meal. Some chonky cats have lost their excess weights since being fed this chicken and salmon recipe.

More active kitties. According to reviews on Chewy’s website, numerous cat owners have noticed an increase in their cat’s energy levels. They have been more active and playful since switching to this Primal freeze-dried chicken & salmon cat food. Many take this as a sign of good overall health.

Cons

Fruits and veggies. This raw freeze-dried cat food is high in protein from chicken, chicken gizzard and liver, as well as salmon. However, it does contain plant-based ingredients such as organic kale, blueberries, squash, carrots, cranberries, and other produce.

A few cat parents feel that having the said amount of plant-based ingredients defeats the purpose of a raw diet that is supposed to mimic prey food. According to such reviews, plant-based ingredients offer no nutritional value to cats.

Conclusion

Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Chicken & Salmon Formula is a high quality grain-free raw food that cats seem to thrive on. They are able to maintain healthy weights and do not overeat. The cats have shown an increase in their energy and activity levels.

However, some feel that the plant-based ingredients in this food diminish its quality, as far as health benefits are concerned. Plant products however, are usually present in preys’ stomachs.

This places the vegetables and fruits in a cat’s natural diet. Plant-based ingredients are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals that cats also benefit from.

Primal Turkey Formula Nuggets

Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Turkey Formula has fresh turkey meat as the first of its ingredients for high quality protein. This can also be served as dry food, or with some water for a rehydrated wet food.

Finely ground fresh turkey bones are included in this product for optimum levels of calcium. Sardine oil is added for omega 3 fatty acids. Other healthy ingredients of this freeze-dried raw cat food are organic apple cider vinegar, organic celery, and organic coconut oil among others.

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 9
Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Turkey Formula has fresh turkey meat as the first of its ingredients for high quality protein. Finely ground fresh turkey bones are included in this product for optimum levels of calcium. Sardine oil is added for omega 3 fatty acids.

This turkey recipe’s first five ingredients are turkey, turkey necks, turkey hearts or turkey gizzards, turkey livers, and organic collard greens.

Pros

Healthy skin and coat. Numerous cat parents have noticed significant improvements in their cats’ skin and fur quality. Their fur are softer and shinier since the cats were given Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Turkey Formula regularly.

Shedding has stopped for some cats who were previously losing clumps of their fur.

Good for sensitive tummies. Cats with sensitive stomachs have been able to keep this turkey recipe down without upsetting their tummies. This cat food contains no grains, gluten, corn, soy, or wheat. It even has no peas.

Ingredients such as grains and corn commonly found in cat food products could sometimes trigger food sensitivities. No more vomiting or diarrhea for these kitties.

Cons

Possible recipe change. According to a few reviews on Chewy’s website, the turkey recipe cat food seems to have changed from what they used to get. The nuggets appear to be tougher than before. A few cat fans of this turkey recipe seem to prefer the old formula than the new one.

Conclusion

Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Turkey Formula has given numerous cats soft, glossy coats. Not only have their skin and fur improved, cats with sensitive stomachs have also thrived on this raw turkey recipe.

They are able to keep this cat food down, and vomiting and other symptoms have been reduced or completely eliminated.

A few fans of this turkey formula have noticed some changes in the recipe. Their cats are not fans of this new formulation.

Primal Beef & Salmon Formula Nuggets

Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Beef & Salmon Formula is made of 91% real beef, salmon, organs, and bone. The first of this cat food’s ingredients is beef hearts. It is rich in omega 3 fatty acids from cold-water wild-caught salmon and salmon oil. Vitamin E is added as another source of antioxidants. This cat food also includes taurine for retinal health.

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 10
Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Beef & Salmon Formula is made of 91% real beef, salmon, organs, and bone. The first five ingredients of this beef and salmon product are beef hearts, beef livers, ground beef bones, salmon, and organic kale.

The first five ingredients of this beef and salmon product are beef hearts, beef livers, ground beef bones, salmon, and organic kale.

Pros

Beautiful, shiny coats. Many kitties who eat Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Beef & Salmon Formula regularly have grown healthy, shiny coats and their owners could not be prouder. Their fur are soft, silky, and shinier than before. Salmon oil and cod liver oil gives additional omega fatty acids that help promote healthy skin and coats.

Cats love it! This beef and salmon cat food is a hit among cats. It is rich and tasty with beef hearts and liver, and cold-water wild-caught salmon. These ingredients make this food not only tasty, but also high in protein.

Cons

Hard to crumble. A few cat owners find this particular recipe quite hard to crumble compared to other freeze dried cat food from the brand. This beef and salmon cat food takes a bit longer to rehydrate compared to other variants.

Conclusion

Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Beef & Salmon Formula offers a complete and balanced rich-tasting meal for kitties. Cat owners have noticed significant improvements in their cats’ skin and coats. Their fur are softer and shinier than before. Even cats who previously had itchy, flaky skin have found relief since being switched to this raw food.

A few buyers however, find this beef and salmon variant much tougher to crumble compared to other Primal variants. It also takes longer to rehydrate.

Primal Rabbit Formula Nuggets

Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Rabbit Formula’s ingredients is made of 93% rabbit, organs, and bone. Only 7% of this freeze-dried product is made of produce and supplements.

The first of its ingredients is rabbit. This freeze-dried raw cat food is perfect for cats with allergies to grains, chicken, fish, and any other proteins. As rabbit is the only animal protein source, it is highly recommended for cats with dietary restrictions.

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 11
Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Rabbit Formula’s ingredients is made of 93% rabbit, organs, and bone. Only 7% of this freeze-dried product is made of produce and supplements.

It contains produce such as organic celery, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, collard greens, and even apple cider vinegar as sources of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

The first five ingredients of this rabbit cat food are rabbit (with ground bone), rabbit livers, rabbit hearts, organic collard greens, and organic squash.

Pros

Good for sensitive tummies. Cats who were previously suffering from digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting, and upset stomachs are doing quite well on this Primal freeze-dried rabbit recipe. They are able to keep this food down, and other symptoms have also improved.

Goodbye allergies. Kitties with skin allergies have also thrived on the Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Rabbit Formula. Their flaky skin and scabs have been reduced or have completely cleared up. Hair have started to grow on bald patches. Their coats are much softer and shinier.

Cons

Hard nuggets. According to a handful of reviews, the nuggets are a bit too tough for some cat owners. They are hard to crumble and take a long time to rehydrate.

Conclusion

If you have a cat with food sensitivities such as allergies to fish, poultry, or grains, Primal Pet Foods Raw Freeze-Dried Feline Rabbit Formula may be the one for her. Many cats with sensitive tummies and food allergies have thrived well on this freeze-dried raw rabbit recipe.

They were able to keep the food down, and those who had skin allergies now have much healthier skin and coat. However, some find the nuggets too hard and too large to break down into small pieces. A few also find that it takes too long to rehydrate.

Treats/Toppers 

Primal Turkey Liver Munchies

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 12
Primal Treats Freeze-dried Turkey Liver Munchies are healthy, natural treats for both cats and dogs. This single-source protein product is made from turkey raised in the US without antibiotics or added hormones.

Primal Treats Freeze-dried Turkey Liver Munchies are healthy, natural treats for both cats and dogs. This single-source protein product is made from turkey raised in the US without antibiotics or added hormones. This crunchy turkey liver treat is perfect for cats with allergies as this contains no other ingredients. It is as clean as a treat can get.

Pros

A hit with the kitties! Cats go crazy for Primal Treats Freeze-dried Turkey Liver Munchies. They love the rich taste and the crunchy texture of the freeze-dried turkey liver.

Big pieces. The big liver pieces make the bag of treats last longer for kitties. Each piece can be broken into smaller bite-sized pieces for cats.

Cons

Too big pieces. Some find the pieces of this product too big for their cats. As this treat is also meant for dogs, the pieces are bigger than your average cat treat. However, the big pieces are appreciated by others mainly because they get more cat treats by breaking them into pieces.

Conclusion

Primal Treats Freeze-dried Turkey Liver Munchies are crunchy, tasty treats that you can give to both your cats and dogs. Made of only turkey liver, it has no fillers or artificial enhancers. These treats are perfect for cats with food sensitivities. The taste is quite popular with cats too.

However, some find the pieces too big for their kitties. Many find that the big pieces mean more treats per bag, as they break them into smaller pieces that are just right for their cats.

Primal Organic Chicken Nibs Jerky Treats

Primal Treats Freeze-dried Chicken Nibs are moist pieces of chicken goodness. It has no grains, gluten, corn, soy, or artificial enhancers such as colors, flavors, and preservatives. The first of its ingredients is certified organic chicken. This is a truly healthy treat that your cats will enjoy.

WHY YOU SHOULD BUY
2020 Primal Cat Food Review: Is Feeding Raw the Best Move? 13
Primal Treats Freeze-dried Chicken Nibs are moist pieces of chicken goodness. It has no grains, gluten, corn, soy, or artificial enhancers such as colors, flavors, and preservatives.

This product’s only ingredients are organic chicken, organic blackstrap molasses (unsulphered), and sea salt.

Pros

Just the right size. Primal Treats Freeze-dried Chicken Nibs are perfectly bite-sized. They are great for training your cats. No need to break big pieces into smaller ones. Simply take out of the bag and serve.

Great for weight management. Cats who needed to shed some excess weight could benefit from these moist morsels. These chicken treats from Primal are high in protein from certified organic chicken. There are no fillers from grains, soy, corn, or other produce like potatoes or peas. You can be confident that these treats will not add to your cat’s waistline.

Cons

Short shelf life. Some cat owners find the treats’ shelf life of 14 days in the fridge too short. The treats come in 4 oz bags, and some owners, especially those who own one cat are not able to give all the treats within the 14-day shelf life.

Conclusion

Primal Treats Freeze-dried Chicken Nibs are quite a hit with cats. It is tasty and convenient to serve. The treats come in small pieces that can be great as training treats. No need to break up big pieces into bite-sized ones.

As it is high in protein, it has been great for cats who are trying to maintain healthy weights. The shelf life however is quite short. It can be stored in the fridge up to 14 days from opening.

Summary

Primal has been popular among cat owners who have switched their cat to a diet that is closer to what nature intended. The brand offers products such as freeze-dried raw meals and raw frozen products.

Their freeze-dried products can be served like dry food or with some water for wet food meals. They have many protein options, and you can be sure to find a least one suitable for your cat – even those who have special dietary requirements.

The ingredients in Primal’s cat food are all high quality freeze-dried raw meat such as chicken, rabbit, beef, quail, duck, venison, and pork that are raised without antibiotics and added hormones.

They also use cold-water wild-caught salmon. All of their complete cat food are free from grains, wheat, soy, corn, and potatoes.

The plant-based ingredients are highly-nutritious such as organic celery, kale, cranberries, blueberries, carrots, spinach, and many others.

These are the sources of vitamins and minerals instead of synthetic supplements. However, they do include vitamin E supplement (likely mixed tocopherols) in some of their products.

approved by petsThe brand does not use artificial enhancers such as flavors, colors, or preservatives. Ingredients with known multiple health benefits such as apple cider vinegar and organic coconut oil are also included in their Primal Nuggets products.

Their cat food have received great reviews regarding the health benefits they have given to numerous cats. From healthier skin and coats, to regulating weights, to higher energy levels. Many pets seemed to have thrived on their cat foods, especially those with food sensitivities.

Their single-source protein options have been great for cats who have food allergies or sensitive stomachs. They have been given relief from symptoms such as skin problems, diarrhea, and vomiting. Their conditions have significantly improved or were completely resolved.

However, just like other raw foods, Primal’s cat foods tend to have a higher phosphorus content. This is not recommended for a cat with kidney disease, as they require food with a much lower phosphorus content.

Due to the high-quality ingredients, Primal products costs more than your average cat food. It does however, save you time and effort in preparing a wholesome raw meal for your cats.

Based on ingredient quality, results delivered, reviews from cat parents, and cost, Primal is a good brand of cat food if you wish to switch your cat to a raw food diet. They offer a variety of choices even to those who have food restrictions.

It is convenient and easy to serve, and it has delivered good results to numerous cats. As these products are raw, Primal says to make sure that all work surfaces, hands, bowls be washed with hot, soapy water after handling freeze-dried raw meat products.

Have Primal cat foods ever been recalled?

Yes. In 2011, some of the chicken & salmon cat food formula have been recalled due to possible salmonella contamination. In 2015, a limited quantity of Primal’s raw frozen cat food products were recalled due to potentially low thiamine levels. Two years later, a recall of a few varieties of freeze-dried dog and cat food was issued due to not-so-ideal bone grind size.

Is primal cat food good?

Primal Raw Cat Food is a frozen diet made by Primal Pet Foods out of California. This cat food review is as unbiased as possible and is aided by our years of experience feeding Primal to our own animals and feedback from our customers. The Good. Formulated with 100% human-grade ingredients.

Where is primal pet food made?

Products are manufactured in the USA. Specifically, All of their Mixes, Grinds, Treats, Raw Meaty and Recreational Bones are manufactured at their headquarters in Fairfield, CA.

Which is better primal or Stella and Chewy?

Primal Dog Food is generally better than Stella and Chewy's in terms of nutrition because it contains higher amounts of protein and fat.

  • Updated September 23, 2020
Mary Nielsen
 

A huge animal lover, born and raised around dogs, cats, chickens... Self-educated pet care nerd. Currently parent of three adopted cats and one small mutt. Animal adoption advocate. Loves a good book (about animals) and playing the piano.

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