JustFoodForCats Cat Food Review 2024

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Best fresh food for picky eaters

Written by Emily Bayne

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 05/31/2024, edited: 05/31/2024

JustFoodForCats Cat Food Review 2024 image

The Wag! team conducts independent research and consults pet experts to curate our recommendations. This content is supported by our affiliate pet partners and we may receive a commission on the links provided.

Overview


JustFoodForCats is a small line of cat food products produced by their parent company, JustFoodForDogs. This brand claims to offer quality, all-natural, high-protein fresh cat food, but is it really all it's cracked up to be? And more importantly, is it right for your pet? Read on for a full overview of JustFoodForCats so you to help you make the most informed decision pawsible about your pet's nutrition. 



JustFoodForCats product ranges and flavors

JustFoodForCats is a small sub-brand of the fresh pet food brand JustFoodForDogs, which, as the name suggests, mainly primarily produces fresh food and treats for canines. This brand takes pride in producing premium pet food products that are made in USDA-approved facilities and exclusively use human-grade ingredients.

Sadly, their cat food line doesn't have the variety their dog line does and features just two products: Fish & Chicken Fresh Cat Food and Salmon Bark Cat Treats.


JustFoodFor Cats Fresh Food

JustCats Fish & Chicken is their signature (and only!) nutritionally complete cat food recipe. The ingredients list is simple, whole ingredients, which we love to see! The first five ingredients are cod, chicken, chicken hearts, chicken liver, cassava root, and sardines, followed by a blend of essential vitamins and chelated minerals.

Chelated minerals are a welcome addition since some minerals do not absorb as easily in the digestive tract. When minerals are bound to another compound, they absorb more effectively. Plus, this recipe is cooked at low temperatures to help retain the nutritional integrity of the ingredients so your pet can get more of the good stuff!

The recipe contains no artificial preservatives, dyes, flavoring, or grains, and the packaging is free of BPA (a popular plastic additive and known carcinogen).

Since this food is cooked fresh and preservative-free, it must be shipped frozen and handled carefully. Caution must be taken when storing, thawing, and serving since fresh foods are at higher risk for foodborne pathogens than shelf-stable kibble and canned foods.

This food is marketed as high protein ‚ÄĒ however, the guaranteed analysis lists the protein content as 12% ‚ÄĒ which is on the lower end for most quality cat foods. This isn't a make or break for us, but it is something to be aware of if your cat is very active or accustomed to eating a higher protein food.


JustFoodForCats Salmon Bark Treats

JustFoodForCats Salmon Bark Treats

JustFoodForCats Treats

Salmon Bark Treats are JustFoodForCat's only treat offering at this time and contain just two ingredients: salmon and tapioca starch. Like their fresh cat food, these treats are free of grains, gluten, and artificial preservatives, dyes, and flavors. Unlike their food, these treats are shelf stable and have a pretty long shelf life, lasting up to a year after the production date. 

Our favorite part about these treats is that they are rich in natural omega fatty acids and contain a minimum of 34% protein per serving!




Why Wag! likes JustCats

Quality ingredients and processing practices

Fresh foods have become pretty common in the dog food industry, but they are few and far between when it comes to fresh cat food. Refreshingly, JustFoodForCats has the exact same standards for its cat food as it does for its dog products. Both its cat and dog recipes are formulated in USDA kitchens using human-grade ingredients. 

Low-calorie formula

Indoor kitties have a tendency to pack on some extra pounds, especially as they mature and become less active.  But at just 42 calories per ounce, this food is purr-fect for kitties trying to maintain their weight.

Free of common allergens

While this is by no means a hypoallergenic food, it is free of the more common pet allergens like grains and gluten. Plus, the simple ingredients list makes it easy to scan if your cat has dietary reactions. 




Concerns & considerations

It's expensive

The fresh cat food comes in two box sizes, a smaller 7.8 lb box and a medium 23.6¬†lb box. While the pricing is on par with‚ÄĒor even slightly lower than‚ÄĒother fresh, human-grade cat foods, it is still much more expensive than most commercial kibble, with their 7.8lb box retailing around $105 and the larger, 23.6 lb box retailing for $314.99. Their treats retail for $19.99 for a 5 ounce bag which is also pretty pricy. If you're in the market for more budget-friendly options, you may want to check out our budget cat food guide.

Very limited product range

Currently, this brand only offers two recipes: fresh cat food and salmon treats. We would love to see a variety of flavors and foods geared to specific lifestyles and nutritional goals, such as high-protein, weight management, and senior offerings.

Only suitable for one life stage

The current formulation only meets the standards for adult maintenance and is unsuitable for kittens and pregnant and lactating queens.

Spoils quickly if mishandled

The fresh-frozen food must be handled carefully to prevent spoilage. Make sure you thaw fresh frozen products in the fridge and take up and refrigerate any uneaten food within 2 hours when your pet is done.

Often out of stock

This food can be very difficult to find. Both Chewy and the JustForDogs website are frequently out of stock. This can be especially concerning for pet parents of picky eaters and cats who have stomach issues when switching foods. 




What pet parents say about JustCats

"My cat loves this food. The ingredients and quality are great. It has a strong smell, which is more appealing to cats than humans, so if you are very sensitive to strong smells, consider this. However, the company provides very high-quality pet foods, which is more important to me than what I think of the smell."

"This is excellent food, and my cats gobbled it up with enthusiasm. Be forewarned that it comes frozen (perfectly packed for shipping!) in 18 oz pouches. To serve it, you need to let an entire 18 oz pouch thaw. Then you need to serve it all in a couple of days or it won't be as fresh. Spooning portions out of the pouch is clumsy and messy. I would have been better off stripping the pouch off the frozen chunk, and letting it thaw in a serving dish. For the price and inconvenience, I would have been better off buying some chicken on sale and cooking it myself. If only they would make the pouches 6 or 8 ounces, so they would be easier to handle and use up while fresh.... But it is excellent food, so if you can afford it and use up 18 oz in two days, then go for it."

Read more reviews on Chewy. 




JustFoodForCats history

JustFoodForCat's parent company was launched in 2010 by founder Shawn Buckley. This business endeavor was the product of the adoption of his rescue dog, Simon, his first dog.

Upon researching dog food products and guidelines, Buckley claims he was astonished at the lack of transparency and inadequacy of the pet food industry.

With the help of a team of experts and veterinarians, Buckley set out to create a pet food brand that would prioritize nutrition and pet safety above all else.

Fast forward to now, JFFD has seven USDA-approved production facilities across the country and encourages consumers to visit their operations to see for themselves the steps they take to ensure pet safety. Their food is now available through their website, select stores, and through major online retailers like Chewy.




JustFoodForCats Recalls

Thankfully, JustFoodForCats has never had to recall any products. However, we found one recall of JustFoodForDogs, the larger parent company, back in 2018. Due to an abundance of caution, after a dog who ate this brand fell ill, JustFoodForDogs launched a full investigation into their products, and a recall followed suit.

Laboratory testing determined the culprit for the illness was green beans, which had become contaminated with listeria. Listeria is a potentially life-threatening bacteria transmitted through food that has come in contact with contaminated water, soil, or fecal matter. JustFoodForDogs pulled batches of three fresh recipes off store shelves for contamination concerns.

We will update this article should any other recalls arise.



Product images sourced from the JustFoodForDogs website. Copyright JustFoodForDogs.



FAQ

Is fresh cat food better than kibble?

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My JustCats order arrived warm. Can I still use it?

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Is JustCats formulated to meet AAFCO standards?

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