Smalls vs. Nom Nom Cat Food: Our 2021 In-Depth Comparison


With dozens of fresh pet food brands sweeping the industry, it’s hard to decide on which one to go with. When it comes to two fantastic companies with sterling reputations—like Smalls and Nom Nom—what determines the better of the two?

Ultimately, it will come down to your cat’s specific dietary needs and your preference. We did the work of comparing these two cat foods in a nose-to-nose competition. So, who won and why? Let’s hash out the details.

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A Sneak Peek at the Winner: Smalls

While this was a pretty tough choice considering the quality of both products, we have to choose Smalls for the win. Smalls has a major selection of fresh and freeze-dried cat foods, so the likelihood of you finding a desirable recipe is high.

Plus, we love many things about Smalls—and we think you will, too.

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About Smalls

Smalls is a cat food company that works directly for felines and felines only. We love this fact because the company specializes in cat nutrition without trying to juggle other pets’ dietary needs.

Smalls is a cat food company that began in 2017. Co-founders Matt Michaelson and Calvin Bohn started the idea in their New York apartment, thinking it would be a small operation.

However, their idea grew into a much bigger concept than they originally anticipated. Making it their mission to cater to feline diets, the two lifelong friends began working with veterinary nutritionists to create the most wholesome recipes possible.

Now, the company manufactures recipes in facilities and sources ingredients from the United States and Canada. They offer subscription-based meal plans, using a personalized system to match your cat with the best diet.

They’re a hard act to follow with their premium ingredients, excellent reliability, and meal variety.

Pros

  • Caters solely to feline nutrition
  • Personalized subscription-based meals
  • Reliable delivery
  • USDA-certified ingredients
  • Veterinary nutritionist recipes

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About Nom Nom

Nom Nom is a pet food company that specializes in both cat and dog food. In 2014, a group of pet enthusiasts discussed a widely ignored topic—pet nutrition. In recent years, it became apparent to them that no choice was really a good choice when it came to kibble or wet food.

Because of the lack of healthy varieties on the market, Nom Nom Now made it their mission to carefully formulate and craft home-cooked meals for your family members, delivered right to your door.

Nom Nom creates both cat and dog recipes for owners to offer their pets. In addition to these recipes, they also offer treats and supplements. All ingredients are sustainably sourced and made in the United States.

While they have a primary focus on canine nutrition, they haven’t forgotten our feline pals. The company’s main focus is studying the microbiome in the gut to make sure foods nourish and digest as they should.

Pros

  • Carefully crafted home-cooked meals
  • Offers treats and supplements
  • Focused majorly on gut health
  • Personal feel to the company

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3 Most Popular Smalls Cat Food Recipes

1. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Bird Recipe

Smalls Human Grade Ground Bird

The Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Ground Bird Recipe uses a protein-packed combination of chicken thigh, breast, and liver to deliver a delicious meat experience to your cats. The contents must be thawed 24 hours before serving, and you even get a storage container to put the leftovers in.

The guaranteed analysis of this product is 21.2% crude protein, 8.05% crude fat, 0.4% crude fiber, 66.1% moisture, and 2.25% ash. Ingredients like biotin and kale improve skin and coat health. Other additives, like green beans and peas, are high in calcium, vitamin K, zinc, and antioxidants.

This recipe is geared to improve and maintain overall health. It is suitable for all life stages but check with your veterinarian if your cat needs a specialized diet.

Pros

  • Comes with a storage container
  • All-natural ingredients
  • Ideal for everyday health

Cons

  • Will not work for all specialized diets

2. Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Cow

Smalls Human Grade Ground Cow

The Smalls Human-Grade Fresh Smooth Cow recipe is packed with hearty protein and antioxidants. It’s comprised of 90% lean ground beef, but also liver and heart. If you try smooth and it isn’t for you, it also comes in a ground version—depending on what your cat prefers.

The guaranteed analysis of this product includes 21.6% crude protein, 8.3% crude fat, 0.5% crude fiber, 66.3% moisture, and 1.9% ash. This product has green beans, peas, and spinach, creating a mean-green trio of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

The consistency of this recipe is perfect for kittens and seniors alike. Rather than being coarse, ground food, this recipe is more of a paste, making it extremely easy to eat. Also, it’s a terrific choice for cats with dental issues.

Pros

  • 90% lean ground beef
  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Soft enough for kittens, seniors, and dental issues

Cons

  • Not for cats with certain protein sensitivities

3. Smalls Human-Grade Freeze-Dried Other Bird

smalls freeze dried other bird

The Smalls Human-Grade Freeze-Dried Other Bird is a raw diet that has been dehydrated and preserved. It has all the benefits of a raw food diet, without moisture. This diet is comprised of finely ground turkey—bone included. There is heart, liver, and gizzard as well.

The guaranteed analysis of this product contains 49% crude protein, 17% crude fat, 3% crude fiber, and 8% moisture.

Rather than including veggies, this product contains turkey egg, eggshell membrane, and herring oil. This crunchy diet contains no artificial additives, and the ingredients list is incredibly short—even more so than Smalls fresh food.

This recipe meets all AAFCO nutritional profiles requirements, but it is still not as healthfully beneficial as a fresh food diet.

Pros

  • All the benefits of a raw food diet
  • No nutrients are diminished in the production
  • Short ingredients list

Cons

  • Still not as beneficial as fresh food

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Most Popular Nom Nom Cat Food Recipes

1. Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine

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Not only is this the most popular Nom Nom cat food recipe—it’s the only Nom Nom cat food recipe. Even though there is only one, Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine does have a ton to offer in terms of taste and nutrition.

In total, there are 1,194 calories in a package of this cat food. The guaranteed analysis of the product includes 18% crude protein, 3% crude fat, 0.8% crude fiber, and 73% moisture. The rest of the recipe is a combination of vitamins and minerals without the use of anything artificial.

This recipe is packed with protein, including portions of chicken thigh, chicken breast, and chicken liver. The organs really give the formula an advantage because it is so full of extra nutrients. The two main vegetables in this food are carrots and spinach—so you can expect improved eye, skin, bone, and fur health.

If your cat has any digestive issues, this might not have enough fiber to regulate them. So make sure you check with your vet before you make any changes.

Pros

  • Many protein sources
  • Improves eye, bone, skin, and fur
  • Nutrient-rich ingredients

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Recall History of Smalls and Nom Nom

Nom Nom, to the best of our knowledge, has had no recalls on any of its products.

Smalls, on the other hand, has had two recalls—one in March of 2019 and one in June of 2021. The first recall was for Diamond Dust, but it was very minor.

The second recall was totally voluntary because of potentially spoiled food. Smalls has the batch numbers posted online and will fully replace affected products.

Smalls vs Nom Nom Comparison

Primary Company Focus

Winner: Smalls

When it comes to specialization, Smalls is solely a cat food-focused company with no additional pets. This helps the company stay focused on feline nutrition only.

Nom Nom is primarily focused on dog food nutrition, offering four recipes. They only have one option at this time for cats.

So, we think that the Smalls dedication to feline nutrition wins this section.

Subscription Terms

Winner: Smalls

Both Nom Nom and Smalls offer subscription-based services. But when it comes to customization, Smalls offers portions exactly as you suggest when going through the ordering process. You can set the frequency of delivery, the items in the box and tailor the portions to meet your cat’s needs.

Even though Nom Nom makes sure to portion out food according to your cat’s overall needs, they don’t offer the same amount of options. So, our vote here goes to Smalls!

Nutritional Value

Winner: Smalls

Both Smalls and Nom Nom gently cook their fresh food selections to preserve the natural vitamins and minerals in the product. They both use locally sourced ingredients, and all protein is USDA-approved.

However, Smalls also has raw freeze-dried options to mix with fresh food or use as standalone snacks. So, you can give your cat more nutritional options to cater to different aspects of health.

Texture

Winner: Smalls

We all know how picky cats can be. In our experience, the large cut textures of Nom Nom were a hit or miss. Some picky cats tend to pick out the meat chunks while leaving the veggies to sit.

Smalls, on the other hand, has smooth and ground textures for their meat selections. Plus, they also have a freeze-dried raw “non” kibble that gives the food that crunch.

So, when it comes to variety in texture, Smalls wins.

Affordability

Winner: Smalls

Nom Nom prices are determined based on your cat’s weight. Each portion is tailored to meet the dietary needs of your individual feline, making mealtime a cinch. For trial pricing, Nom Nom offers 50% off your order.

Smalls offers nine custom plans that vary in price based on the contents. When you receive the subscription box, it will have what you chose during your box compilation. In addition, they also offer 50% off your first subscription box.

Since Nom Nom only has one cat food selection, you get the food strictly. Based on our calculations, you get a bigger bang for your buck with Smalls.

Variety

Winner: Smalls

Smalls has an awesome variety of flavors and textures. Their smooth, fresh foods offer a paste-like texture for cats, which is awesome for seniors and kittens who have trouble chewing. The ground texture requires more chewing, offering thicker and rougher pieces for shredding.

Smalls also offers similar and exact recipes in freeze-dried form. We love the choices, but even Smalls agrees that fresh food is the best food.

In the past, it looks like Nom Nom offered two varieties—one with fish and one with chicken. However, at the present time, they offer only one cat food recipe. Even though this might work for many house cats, there is no guarantee your feline will like it, or that it will work with dietary restrictions.

Shipment

Winner: Smalls

Nom Nom offers both weekly and biweekly delivery options, with 2-week shipments costing less.

Smalls offers a highly customizable meal plan where you can choose anywhere from a week to four weeks per shipment.

Related Read: Smalls Cat Food Review

Quality

Winner: It’s a tie!

Both Smalls and Nom Nom have excellent quality foods. Each one uses quality ingredients sourced from the US and Canada, meaning you can trace everything without wondering where it came from.

Both brands have excellent packaging, delicious recipes, and thoughtful crafting. When it comes to quality, we have to say that they’re so close, we have to give it to both.

Reputation

Winner: Nom Nom

Now granted, our verdict could come from the fact that Nom Nom has an advantage. They have been in business longer than Smalls, so they’ve had a chance to prove themselves to their customer base.

But after scouring the web to find any details we could on how users feel about the brands, we have to say Nom Nom is in the lead.

We found that a majority of Smalls might fall behind in this regard due to a lack of communication options for their customer base. Also, they have experienced recalls, whereas Nom Nom has not.

Related Read: Nom Nom Cat Food Review

Customer Support

Winner: Nom Nom

Nom Nom’s customer support is substantially better than Smalls. They have an entire page dedicated to contact info and an additional help center that answers frequently asked questions.

Nom Nom can be contacted by phone, email, or chat. They have hours and options listed plainly for customers to take advantage of when needed.

Smalls, on the other hand, only have email and text options. While they advertise a number on the website, it is merely a prerecorded message about offering no phone service, directing customers to text the number instead.

Even though this isn’t a deal-breaker, it can make communication challenging.

You might also be interested in: Smalls vs Cat Person: Which Fresh Cat Food is Better?

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Conclusion

Even though Smalls wins the overall tally up, Nom Nom is still a very excellent option for your cats over dry kibble or canned cat food. Plus, let’s not forget that Nom Nom has a wonderful customer service base and a sterling reputation among reviewers.

The processes to order both cat foods are similar—but Smalls has more to choose from when selecting products and delivery frequency. Plus, Smalls has a sampler so you can see which recipes your cat likes best.

Ultimately, both cat foods are incredibly healthy and well-made. So, both are worth your consideration.

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