Smalls vs Cat Person: Which Fresh Cat Food is Better? (2021)


Cat food subscriptions and delivery services are becoming more and more popular because they conveniently provide customized meal plans. With new companies getting founded rapidly, it can be difficult to keep track of each one.

Because it can get challenging navigating the world of pet food subscription companies, we’ve compared two cat food companies: Smalls and Cat Person. These companies share many similarities, but they also have several factors that really differentiate them from each other.

Your cat deserves a healthy and high-quality diet. This guide is here to help you decide which company may be worth your time.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Smalls

At the end of the day, Smalls has better recipes for both wet and dry foods. This company uses human-grade ingredients, and each formula is low-carb and has limited ingredients. We appreciate the simple and straightforward ingredient list that doesn’t contain any unnecessary fillers.

We were particularly impressed with the Human-Grade Fresh Cow wet food recipe. It has a very low percentage of carbohydrates (only 3.2%), and only uses beef, so it’s a great option for cats with poultry allergies.

We’ve completed extensive research on both Smalls and Cat Person, and each company will cater to different needs. Keep reading to see which one is best for you.

About Smalls

Founded in 2017, Smalls began as a fresh cat food company. As the company grew over time, it added freeze-dried food and kibble to its product lineup. It also manufactures and sells treats and chicken broth.

Food Quality

Smalls prides itself in using fresh, human-grade cat food. This company uses sustainably sourced ingredients, and its formulas are protein-rich and don’t contain grains and fillers. It’s also free of artificial additives. Smalls prepares meals in facilities located in the US and Canada. All the recipes meet or exceed American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards.

Smalls partnered with Susan Lauten, Ph.D., a pet nutrition consultant, to develop its recipes. This partnership differentiates Smalls’ recipes from Cat Person’s recipes as Cat Person doesn’t have any mentioned partnerships with nutrition consultants.

All of Smalls’ recipes also contain taurine, and the amount exceeds AAFCO standards. Smalls also does its best to choose natural ingredients that contain taurine whenever it can, such as chicken hearts.

Smalls offers wet food and dry food options. Both sealed and unsealed wet food can last in the fridge for 5-7 days. You can also store them in the freezer for up to 12 months.

The dry food can remain in unopened bags for up to 18 months. Once you open a new bag, it’s best to finish the food within 30 days.

Shipping and Delivery

The meal plan begins with a trial week. After you fill out Smalls’ quick questionnaire, you’ll have about a week to have your cat try out the new food. Smalls’ Cat Concierge will reach out to you to make any notes or adjustments in preparation for your first full order.

In the second week, Smalls will have your first full order prepared by Tuesday. If you’re not ready for a full order, you can request a delay as long as it’s before the Thursday of that week.

After that, you can determine your delivery schedule through the online portal and have fresh cat food delivered every 2-8 weeks.

Smalls can ship anywhere within the continental US. All the deliveries get Packed with 10-15 pounds of dry ice. The trial food has free shipping. After that, there’s a flat shipping fee of $10 for each meal delivery.

Packaging

Since the deliveries contain dry ice, it’s alright if you miss the delivery person. You can still serve the cat food as long as it’s still frozen or at a temperature of 40°F or lower. If you have warm food packets, the packets look puffed up, or the food smells funny, you can always contact the Cat Concierge for a new shipment.

All of the Smalls packaging is recyclable. They use completely biodegradable corn-based insulators. You can remove the insulators and place them in the sink one at a time and pour water on them. The foam will safely melt away. The green bags and cardboard delivery boxes can go into regular recycling receptacles.

Refunds and Cancellations

Since the food needs to be cold, Smalls won’t accept unopened cat food. However, the company has a money-back guarantee, so there are particular circumstances where you can receive a refund. You can receive a full refund within 30 days of purchasing your trial cat food. For new customers, Smalls will only honor a full refund after the two-week trial is over.

Keep in mind that Smalls will automatically charge your next delivery, so customers have to make sure to cancel on time in order to avoid charges and unwanted deliveries.

Pros

  • Developed with pet nutrition consultant
  • Grain-free and no fillers
  • Contains taurine from natural sources
  • Biodegradable and recyclable packing
  • Easy modify and halt deliveries
  • For all life stages

Cons

  • No free shipping
  • Doesn’t provide custom portions
  • Some customers were charged after canceling

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About Cat Person

Cat Person came into existence during the pandemic. Since it’s a fairly new company, it’s still ironing out some logistics, particularly with improving the customer experience. However, for how new it is, it’s quickly becoming a prominent contender in the subscription fresh pet food industry.

Food Quality

Cat Person uses human-grade ingredients to create high-quality, grain-free recipes. It has an impressive lineup of 19 different cat recipes that come in the form of pate or shreds in broth.

Cat Person developed eight flavors for wet food:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Tuna
  • Chicken and duck
  • Turkey and chicken
  • Salmon and tuna
  • Mackerel and bream

The company also manufactures three dry food recipes:

  • Chicken and turkey
  • Duck and turkey
  • Salmon and tuna

All the recipes contain at least 50% more protein than the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) industry standards, and all of the seafood is Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified. Each formula also only has one or two animal proteins. So, it makes choosing food a simpler process for cat owners with cats with allergies. However, one thing to note is that some of the batches of wet cat food with shreds in broth contain a lot of broth and little solid ingredients.

Cat Person’s recipes are manufactured in Thailand and the US. The manufacturer in Thailand practices sustainable ingredient sourcing and sustainable fishing. The US facility is also environmentally conscious and is solar-powered.

Cat Person’s formula is suitable for cats of all ages. Both the wet and dry food have “best by” dates that you can refer to for shelf-life information, and all wet food can last up to 2 days in the fridge after opening.

Shipping and Delivery

Cat Person ships only within the continental US. All new customers receive a Cat Person Starter Box. You can select a Wet & Dry Starter Box, which contains one bag of dry food and two packs of wet food, or you can choose a Wet Starter Box, which has four packs of wet food.

After 3 weeks, you’ll receive your first full Meal Plan box. Then, you’ll automatically get set up to receive shipments every 4 weeks. You can make adjustments to your delivery schedule through your online account. Since delivery is automatic, you must be vigilant about schedule changes and cancellations, just like Smalls.

Unlike Smalls, a nice benefit to Cat Person’s Meal Plans is that shipping is free, and you receive 10% off every order. You can also purchase individual packs of food a la carte if you want to further customize your order. Orders of a la carte items that total up to $40 or more qualify for free shipping.

Packaging

Cat Food’s packaging and presentation both are unbeatable. Their starter boxes come with a tricolor serving set. This set includes three serving spoons, three wet food lids, and one dry food scoop that has ¼-cup and ½-cup markers on it. The box also comes with a transition guide to help your cats adjust to new cat food without getting an upset stomach.

The dry food also comes in convenient resealable bags, and you just have to store them in a cool and dry place. Another fun and thoughtful feature is that the delivery box also turns into a puzzle toy and ball for your cats.

Refunds and Cancellations

Customers can cancel their meal plan by selecting the “Cancel Meal Plan” option in their online account. Cat Person has a 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee. Therefore, if you’re not happy with your purchase, you can contact Cat Person via email within 30 days of purchase to set up a refund.

However, a common complaint from customers is that customer service may be difficult to reach, and updating delivery information can be a hassle.

Pros

  • All food meets or exceeds AAFCO standards
  • Thoughtful packaging
  • Simple formulas for cats with allergies
  • Expansive recipe collection
  • Free shipping and 10% off deliveries

Cons

  • Customer service is lacking
  • Doesn’t provide custom portions
  • Unclear if pet nutrition consultant helped develop recipes
  • Some batches of broth with shreds recipes are too watery

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3 Most Popular Smalls Cat Food Recipes

1. Human-Grade Fresh Bird

Smalls Human Grade Ground Bird

The first three ingredients of this recipe are chicken thigh, chicken breast, and chicken liver. It also contains chicken heart, which naturally contains taurine. The overall percentage of carbohydrates in this recipe is only 5%.

This recipe does contain plant-based sources of fat, but it’s not in high quantities. We also saw peas as the fifth ingredient. Many low-grade commercial cat foods use high amounts of peas as fillers. However, peas in this recipe only take up 3.77% of the ingredients, so it’s not too concerning.

We also noticed that the recipe has 203 mg of phosphorus per 100 kcal, which can be too much phosphorus for cats with severe kidney disease.

Pros

  • High in animal protein
  • Grain-free
  • No carbohydrate fillers
  • Contains natural source of taurine

Cons

  • Uses plant-based sources of fat
  • Not for cats with severe kidney disease

2. Human-Grade Fresh Cow

Smalls Human Grade Ground Cow

This is a popular recipe for cats allergic to poultry because the only animal protein it contains is natural beef. It also has 50% protein and only 3.2% carbohydrates. The first ingredient is 90% lean ground beef.

Similar to the Fresh Bird recipe, this recipe also contains peas, but the amount is not too concerning. The recipe also contains spinach, which has a lot of good nutrients, but it can also have bad side effects for some cats with pre-existing conditions, particularly urinary tract issues.

Pros

  • High protein content
  • Only 3.2% carbs
  • Safe alternative for cats with poultry allergies
  • Uses lean ground beef

Cons

  • Contains spinach (bad for cats with UTIs and other health issues)

3. Freeze-Dried Raw Bird

Smalls Freeze Dried Raw Chicken

This recipe is a suitable alternative for cats that prefer a crunch similar to kibble. This recipe has a very simple and clean ingredient list. The first five ingredients contain natural chicken protein sources. It also contains herring oil, which is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids.

The recipe does contain a small amount of goat milk. Goat milk may contain some anti-inflammatory properties, but it’s often not good for cats because cats tend to be lactose-intolerant. Therefore, this recipe may not be the best option for cats that are sensitive to dairy.

Pros

  • Good for cats who like kibble
  • Simple ingredient list
  • Contains mostly chicken
  • Contains herring oil

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3 Most Popular Cat Person Cat Food Recipes

Out of Cat Person’s 19 recipes, we’ve selected the three most popular options to review.

1. Wet Food Chicken Shreds in Broth

cat person wet food chicken shreds

Chicken is the number one ingredient in this recipe. The types of animal protein in this recipe are just chicken and fish oil. It’s also grain-free and has a low amount of carbs.

This recipe contains tapioca, which is used as a binder for many wet cat foods. It provides a more palatable texture for picky cats. However, it contains very little nutritional value and is just a carbohydrate. We also noticed that this recipe contains more sunflower oil than fish oil. Since cats are obligate carnivores, it’s preferable to use fish-based fats over plant-based fats.

Pros

  • Caters to picky eaters
  • Grain-free and low-carb
  • Chicken and chicken broth are main ingredients

Cons

  • Uses tapioca
  • More sunflower oil than fish oil

2. Wet Food Tuna Shreds in Broth

cat person wet food tuna recipe

This recipe only uses sustainably sourced seafood. It’s grain-free and doesn’t contain any potatoes, corn, rice, or wheat. It also contains over twice as much protein as the industry standard for cat food.

This wet food also meets most of a cat’s daily water requirements. It also only contains fish protein, so it’s great for cats with poultry allergies.

Just like the Wet Food Chicken Shreds in Broth recipe, this recipe also contains tapioca and sunflower oil.

Pros

  • No potatoes, corn, rice, or wheat
  • Protein content exceeds industry standards
  • Sustainably sourced seafood

Cons

  • Uses tapioca and sunflower oil

3. Dry Food Chicken and Turkey

cat person dry food chicken & turkey

The first three ingredients of this recipe are natural chicken and turkey. It also contains some salmon oil. This recipe has a high protein content, but it also has a significant amount of carbohydrates—10%, to be exact. It uses both peas and pea protein.

This recipe also contains cane molasses. Although sugar isn’t toxic to cats, it’s not natural to their diet, so it’s not an ideal component.

Overall, we’ve found that the ingredients in this recipe aren’t very different from the grain-free or high-protein recipes of commercial cat food, so you can find more affordable alternatives for the same quality.

Pros

  • High in protein
  • Uses natural chicken and turkey

Cons

  • Contains peas and pea protein
  • Contains cane molasses
  • Relatively expensive for what it offers

Recall History of Smalls and Cat Person

Both Smalls and Cat Person are relatively new cat food companies. Cat Person currently doesn’t have any recalls. Smalls recently had a recall in June 2021 for select chicken and turkey products, including the following:

  • Human-Grade Fresh Bird (Ground and Smooth)
  • Human-Grade Fresh Other Bird (Ground and Smooth)

Smalls recalled these products because some of the packs contained recipes that appeared spoiled or had a strange odor. Smalls is currently investigating the reason behind these abnormalities.

Smalls vs Cat Person

Both Smalls and Cat Person use similar business models and processes. However, there are some differences worth mentioning. Here’s how they compare side by side.

Ingredients

Smalls and Cat Person have recipes with a high protein content composed of at least 45% protein. Both companies use human-grade ingredients and ensure that their formulas are all grain-free.

When it comes to the formulas, we were more impressed by Smalls products. Smalls’ recipes consistently had carbohydrate contents of less than 10%. They also contained some plant-based fats and proteins, but they were in much smaller quantities than Cat Person.

Smalls’ dry food also had a simpler ingredient list compared to Cat Person. Cat Person’s dry cat food contained more carbohydrates and didn’t look very different from commercial cat food brands’ premium lines.

Price

The benefit of Cat Person is that shipping is free, and you receive 10% off every order. Smalls requires a flat shipping fee of $10 per order.

When it comes to the actual cat food, Smalls’ dry food and wet food don’t have too much of a price difference. Cat Person’s dry food is significantly cheaper than its wet food. However, the wet food has a comparable price to Smalls’ wet food.

With this in mind, if you’re looking for the most affordable option, Cat Person’s dry food is the most cost-saving option.

Customer Service

Both Smalls and Cat Person offer customer support by text and email only. Since they’re both fairly new companies, their customer service can use improvement. Customers of both companies have reported that it can be difficult reaching a customer service representative. There have also been mishaps with charges and delivery changes with both companies.

However, when it comes to the customer experience, Cat Person does an excellent and exceptionally creative job branding and packaging its products. It’s very easy to properly portion cat food and store it away for later use.

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Conclusion

Both Smalls and Cat Person are popular fresh cat food subscription and delivery services. They both provide grain-free, high-protein recipes that cater to picky cats. However, Smalls’ recipes are of higher quality at the end of the day. When it uses plant-based fats and vegetables, they’re used in small quantities. The dry food is also consistently low in carbohydrates.

Cat Person has the better packaging, but when it comes to a cat’s nutritional health, we’ve found that Smalls’ provides more dependable recipes. However, if you’re looking for an affordable option, you can consider subscribing to Cat Person’s dry food line.

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