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- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
This article was produced in partnership with Raised Right, who provided free samples in exchange for an honest review.
Today’s cat parents have more options than ever when it comes to healthy nutrition. Many have adopted the principle that “fresh is best,” bringing freshly prepared cat food into the spotlight. Appealing features like limited ingredients, high protein content, and zero preservatives make fresh food especially popular with allergy sufferers and kitties with GI issues.
We’ve taken a look at some of the fresh cat foods on the market and were impressed with what we saw. We wondered—how does newcomer Raised Right compare? To find out what sets this brand apart, we took a deep dive into the company’s mission and sought honest feedback from two obliging Rover kitties.
What Raised Right Cat Food Offers
Raised Right offers cats their pick of four “home-style cooked” fresh food recipes. Every limited-ingredient recipe contains a single animal protein and zero preservatives. They keep most of their recipes under 2% carbs by leaving out high-carb ingredients like rice, oats, corn, wheat, and potatoes.
The four Raised Right cat food recipes include:
- Original Turkey Adult Recipe: Turkey Thigh, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Carrots, Blueberries, Organic Spearmint, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Shell Powder, Flaxseed Oil, Organic Dried Kelp, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate
- Original Chicken Adult Cat Recipe: Chicken Thigh, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Carrots, Organic Spearmint, Blueberries, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Shell Powder, Organic Dried Kelp, Flaxseed Oil, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate
- Turkey & Pumpkin Pate for Adult Cats: Turkey Thigh, Turkey Heart, Turkey Liver, Pumpkin, Organic Spearmint, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Shell Powder, Flaxseed Oil, Organic Dried Kelp, Taurine, Thiamine Mononitrate
- Chicken & Pumpkin Pate for Adult Cats: Chicken Thigh, Chicken Heart, Chicken Liver, Pumpkin, Organic Spearmint, Cod Liver Oil, Egg Shell Powder, Flaxseed Oil, Parsley, Organic Dried Kelp, Taurine, Sea Salt, Thiamine Mononitrate
Raised Right also carries two single-ingredient treats in the form of meat bites (beef, turkey, pork, lamb liver) and meal-topper flakes (beef, turkey, lamb). At the moment, they only offer food for adult cats, not kittens.
Each one-pound bag of food costs $9.99, and you can choose between a sample box (four bags) or a full box (16 bags). To test the waters, you can buy a single, stand-alone shipment, while regular customers have the money-saving option of signing up for a subscription. Delivery dates are customized in one-week increments, and you can create, customize, and pause shipments online.
Raised Right food is also carried at some specialty pet stores if you prefer to shop in person.
Key Differentiators: Lab-Tested, Human-Grade, Transparently Sourced
There are a growing number of fresh cat foods out there—but Raised Right is distinguishing itself on a few key fronts.
Human-grade cat food with strong safety standards
Raised Right’s cat food is “human-grade”—which means it passes two requirements set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). First, ingredients have to be safe for humans to eat. Second, processing facilities must be up to human standards as set by the USDA and FDA.
Raised Right meets these qualifications, crafting human-safe food in USDA-inspected facilities. The company develops its recipes alongside Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, an advocate for healthy pet food choices, and pet food formulation expert Steve Brown.
The company also places an unusually strong emphasis on food safety standards. Food is cooked at minimum temperatures: hot enough to kill pathogens like E.Coli and salmonella, but cool enough to maintain moisture and nutritional value. Each batch is lab-tested before it’s shipped to ensure it’s pathogen-free, and the results for every test are posted online.
Transparent ingredient sourcing and nutritional information
One standout feature of Raised Right Pet Food is the company’s candid transparency regarding ingredients and nutrition. They lay out exactly what ingredients are included, where they come from, and their nutritional content. These details are useful for cat parents curious about what’s really in their pet’s food—and where those ingredients came from.
It’s telling they were the first company to voluntarily submit a recipe to Check Your Pet Food, which provides independent testing to gather honest data for pet parents. Raised Right lets you trace where individual ingredients come from on a map.
High-quality, limited ingredient recipes
The “human-grade” designation alone doesn’t make Raised Right healthy. After all, plenty of human-grade food for humans is decidedly unhealthy.
So Raised Right has gone a step further by breaking down each recipe, offering numbers on protein, fat, fiber, carbs, and moisture. If you want to dig deeper, they also provide links to each recipe’s full AAFCO Nutrient Profile—a complete list of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fats.
Every Raised Right recipe meets AAFCO standards for a complete and balanced diet using only whole foods—no synthetic vitamins or minerals added.
Recipes also have limited, recognizable ingredients with only one animal protein per recipe, which tends to be easier on cats with sensitive stomachs or allergies.
Wasteful packaging is an oft-cited downside to food delivery services. We’re pleased that Raised Right is certified Plastic Neutral, meaning it removes as much plastic from the environment as it produces. They’ve also joined Carbonfund.org in an effort to offset their carbon emissions through reforestation. Their shipping boxes are recyclable cardboard and refrigerated liners are compostable.
Our Recommendation: Raised Right Fresh Food Is Worth Trying for Cats Who Need a Limited-Ingredient Recipe
Our testers included two feline housemates: Floyd, an affable 10-year-old male cat; and Amber, our resident “old lady” kitty. Both cats could stand to lose a few pounds, so wet food isn’t on regular rotation in our home. We do, however, like to treat them to the occasional tin of wet food.
We tested Raised Right’s Original Chicken and Turkey recipes. The food is packaged in one-pound bags and arrives frozen. To defrost, simply leave a pouch in the fridge overnight (Raised Right says to give it 24 hours, but we found it was ready much sooner).
Food stays safe to eat for six days in the refrigerator, which works if you intend to feed your cat(s) a pound of fresh food in that time. Otherwise, you’re looking at considerable waste.
Both cats were immediately interested and perked up when they got a whiff. Visually, well, let’s just say this food isn’t winning any beauty contests. One ingredient gave us pause: spearmint. Which might account for the slightly off-putting (in my human opinion) look and smell of this food.
Unfortunately, the kitties’ initial enthusiasm waned when presented with a bowl. Both took a curious sniff and decided this food wasn’t for them. That’s not to say all cats will have the same response. Neither tester eats a ton of wet food to begin with (Floyd even less so). So it could be a texture thing—or just a typical feline aversion to novelty.
In terms of ease of serving, we think Raised Right gets things right. You’ll have to measure out your own servings, which requires slightly more effort on your part. But the upside of this is the ability to customize portion sizes for your cat. You can use the company’s cat food calculator to determine serving size, based on your cat’s weight, energy level, and weight goals. For budgeting purposes, you can also see per-day costs and recommended shipping frequencies.
Price-wise, Raised Right is similar to (but slightly cheaper than) Smalls fresh cat food, which focuses on texture and sells 11.5-ounce packages for $9. Like all fresh cat foods, Raised Right will be pricier than your average kibble, but plenty of cat parents consider this an investment in their pet’s long-term health.
Every cat parent’s mileage will vary, but ultimately, we think Raised Right could be a win for:
- Cat parents interested in serving fresh food, but who lack the time and energy required to make it
- Cats with allergies who need a limited-ingredient food
- Kitties with sensitive digestive systems
- Cats who enjoy wet food
On the other hand, Raised Right might not work for:
- Picky eaters or cats who only eat dry food
- Cats who need variety (currently Raised Right has only four cat recipes)
- Cat parents with limited freezer space
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