Primal Cat Food Review 2024

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4.5

Written by Wag! Staff

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 05/31/2024, edited: 06/04/2024

Primal 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


Primal Pet Foods is a premium pet food brand that was established in 2001. It specializes in raw frozen and freeze-dried foods for cats and dogs, plus it also offers 2 gently cooked recipes alongside a range of meal toppers, hydrators, and treats.

If you’re considering adding raw food to your dog’s diet, you might be wondering whether Primal cat food is the right choice for your fur-baby. To help you decide, we’ve put together this detailed review of Primal’s product lines, pros and cons, recall history, and customer reviews.



Primal product ranges and flavors

There’s quite an extensive variety of foods to choose from in the Primal range, so let’s break it down into the separate product lines to take a closer look at what’s available.


Primal Frozen Raw Cat Food

Primal Frozen Raw Cat Food

Frozen Raw

The Frozen Raw range is designed to make it easier and more convenient to feed your cat a raw diet. The range comes in 2 forms: Raw Frozen Nuggets and Raw Frozen Pronto. Raw Frozen Nuggets provide a complete and balanced diet for your cat. They’re made with high-quality protein sources such as beef, pork, and turkey, and they don’t feature common allergens such as corn, wheat, or soy. Raw Frozen Pronto products are designed to provide bite-sized nutrition for your fur-baby. They’re made with high-quality protein sources and organic produce, with 5 different formulas to choose from.

Raw Frozen Nuggets

  • Beef & Salmon
  • Chicken & Salmon
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Turkey
  • Venison

Raw Frozen Pronto

  • Chicken & Salmon
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Turkey
  • Venison


Primal Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Primal Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Food

Freeze-Dried Raw

The Freeze-Dried range from Primal combines the convenience of a shelf-stable product with the nutrition of a raw diet. These meal bases are easy to portion out and rehydrate, and they feature high-quality animal protein sources and no corn, wheat, soy, lentils, or legumes. Available as Freeze-Dried Nuggets, the 6 recipes in this range come in in 5.5oz and 14oz resealable bags.

Freeze-Dried Nuggets

  • Beef & Salmon
  • Chicken & Salmon
  • Pork
  • Rabbit
  • Turkey
  • Venison


Primal Gently Cooked Cat Food

Primal Gently Cooked Cat Food

Gently Cooked

The Gently Cooked range offers another way to add fresh food to your cat’s diet. These recipes are prepared sous vide style to lock in their moisture and nutrients, while they’re also designed with easy digestibility in mind. Formulas come in ready-to-serve pouches and there are 2 flavors to choose from:

  • Chicken Recipe
  • Fish & Beef Recipe


Primal Cat Food Toppers

Primal Cat Food Toppers

Toppers and Hydrators

Primal’s range of toppers and hydrators are suitable for both dogs and cats. They add a boost of flavor to each meal, provide important hydration for your cat, and feature nutrients important for promoting things like strong joints and healthy digestion.

Bone Broth

The first option to consider is Primal’s range of bone broths, which help your pet stay hydrated and include ingredients like gelatin for gut health and anti-inflammatory turmeric. The 4 flavors are:

  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Turkey
  • Beef

Raw Goat Milk

The Raw Goat Milk range from Primal provides moisture as well as important vitamins and minerals for your pet. They’re also a good source of probiotics for gut health and can be used to rehydrate your cat’s freeze-dried food. The 4 flavors are:

  • Original
  • Green Goddess
  • Pumpkin Spice
  • Cranberry Blast

Fresh Toppers

The 3 toppers in the Fresh Toppers range make meals more palatable to your fur-baby and are targeted at specific health needs. For example, the Omega Mussels topper features mussel meat, glucosamine, and chondroitin to promote joint health, while the Awesome Squash topper features the prebiotic fiber of squash for good gut health. The 3 flavors are:

  • Omega Mussels
  • Awesome Squash
  • Power Greens

Raw Toppers: Market Mix

These quick-thaw toppers are made with raw meat and organic produce. They provide a boost of nutrients for your pet, including essential amino acids from protein and omega fatty acids for skin and coat health. The flavors are:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Pork

Raw Toppers: Butcher’s Blend

These raw meat toppers are made from high-quality animal protein sources to provide extra nutrition for your cat. There are 4 flavors to choose from:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Pork

Freeze-Dried Raw Toppers: Cupboard Cuts

The Cupboard Cuts range of freeze-dried raw toppers offers shelf-stable products that come in 3.5oz and 18oz resealable bags.

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Pork


Primal Cat Treats

Primal Cat Treats

Treats

If you want to reward your fur-baby for good behavior, Primal offers 3 cat treat products made with no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives:

  • The G.O.A.T. Freeze-Dried Chicken & Goat Milk Treats
  • Liver Laugh Love Freeze-Dried Pork Treats
  • Give Pieces a Chance Chicken Jerky Treats




Why Wag! likes Primal

High-quality proteins

Primal cat food features high-quality animal protein sources. The manufacturer uses antibiotic- and steroid-free USDA proteins which don’t feature any added hormones, providing the essential nutrition your cat needs.

Wholefood ingredients

Primal uses whole food ingredients and doesn’t add any synthetic vitamins and minerals to its food. It also uses USDA certified organic fruits and vegetables and is committed to sourcing humanely raised and sustainably grown ingredients.

Extensive range

There’s a wide range of Primal cat food products to choose from. From frozen raw food to freeze-dried and gently cooked options, not to mention the variety of toppers and broths, there’s something in the range to suit even the pickiest of cats.

Made in the USA

Primal cat food is made in the USA, providing added peace of mind for pet parents who care about how their cat’s food is made.




Concerns & considerations

Risks of raw diets

The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Center for Disease Control (CDC), and US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) all warn of the dangers of raw diets due to harmful bacteria. Check out our guide to raw diets for cats for more information.

FDA criticism

In response to a voluntary recall issued by Primal in July 2022, the FDA carried out an inspection of Primal Pet Foods’ production facility in Fairfield, California. In a subsequent warning letter, the FDA informed Primal that its inspection “revealed evidence of significant violations of FDA’s Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals regulation, Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 507 (21 CFR Part 507), which cause your products to be adulterated.”

You can visit the Primal website for details of the brand’s response to the FDA Warning Letter.

Not cheap

Primal Pet Foods products aren’t the most affordable options on the market. So if you’re on a tight budget, you may want to consider other options.




What pet parents say about Primal

“I am transitioning my cats to a freeze-dried raw food diet and this has been the favorite so far! They both go nuts for it!! They’ll eat it dry or rehydrated. I give them dry pieces as treats then rehydrate it for meals with water or bone broth. We have already noticed a difference in the softness and shine of their coats. Primal is a good brand offering very high quality foods so I am glad my kitties enjoy it! We’re excited to try other flavors!”

“My cats really like this food - even the first time they tried it, they ate it up. Really easy to mix with water and doesn't require refrigeration. Highly recommend if you want to give your cats some raw food every now and then.”

“Primal has been so good for our oldest chubby cat, Janos. He weighed 23 pounds and he has arthritis. We are now feeding him 3 oz. of canned food in the morning (with CBD drops for arthritis) and 2 squares of Primal for dinner. He is slowly losing weight and he is playing again! He is 15 years old and he is a wonderful, sweet companion. Our other 2 cats also love Primal, which is a miracle. We feed it to them dry, just broken up a little and they are all wild for it!!! Our youngest cat, Foxworth, starts purring loudly as soon as he sees the bag of Primal.”

Read more reviews on Chewy.




Primal Pet Foods history

The history of Primal Pet Foods can be traced back to the year 2000, when the brand’s founder, Matt Koss, discovered that his pup, Luna, was showing the early signs of renal failure. A holistic veterinarian recommended switching Luna to a bones and raw food diet, so Matt set about creating his own pet food. When Luna soon started signs of an improved appetite and increased energy levels, Matt decided to share his dog food with other pet parents by launching Primal Pet Foods.




Primal Pet Foods recalls

In July 2022, Primal recalled a single lot of Raw Frozen Primal Patties for Dogs Beef Formula due to potential contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Following the recall, the FDA conducted an inspection of Primal Pet Foods’ production facility in Fairfield, California, which resulted in the issuing of the FDA Warning Letter mentioned in the “Concerns & Considerations” section.



Product images sourced from Chewy. Copyright Primal Pet Foods.



FAQ

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