The Best Dehydrated Cat Food Choices (Air-Dried Nutrition)

Many owners are faced with the dilemma of choosing the right type of food for their pet. There are numerous kinds of cat food lining up the pet store aisles, but do you really know which one will provide the best nutrition for your cat while also being convenient to use?

This article will focus on the features and benefits of dehydrated cat food. You’ve probably already seen a few while browsing for pet food at the store. If you’re still not sure whether you should try this type of food for your pet, this guide will go through some of the best dehydrated cat food options available along with tips for buying the right ones.

Quick Look: The Top 3 Dehydrated Cat Foods​

What Exactly is Dehydrated Cat Food?

Before anything else, let’s clear something up: dehydrated cat food is not the same as freeze-dried cat food. Dehydrated food differs from freeze-dried food by their means of removing water from the ingredients. With dehydrated food, heat is used to evaporate moisture into the air. A low, continuous heat is applied to raw ingredients until they are partially cooked and have little to no moisture left.

Freeze dried cat food, on the other hand, uses very low temperatures to turn moisture into vapor rather than evaporating it. Both dehydration and freeze-drying methods result in dry cat food that can be reconstituted with water when ready for serving.

Dehydration has a moderate effect on the structure of food, but dehydrated cat food is still far better than processed kibble. Dehydrated cat food does not need any preservatives, additives, or additional flavorings. Needless to say, it’s a healthier option for your cat and is the closest thing to a convenient raw food diet.

Benefits of Dehydrated Cat Food

dehydrated cat food ingredients

There are a lot of benefits from using dehydrated cat food as a substitute for regular kibble. We highlight some of the most important advantages below:

Healthier Ingredients

Most dehydrated cat food products are made of natural, wholesome ingredients that have been rid of moisture in order to last way longer than raw food. Unlike other commercial cat food, dehydrated cat food generally uses healthier ingredients that promote good development, growth, and digestion for your pet.

Little to No Additional Ingredients

In order to last long, cat food companies add preservatives to their products to extend shelf life. Moreover, to make the food more appetizing to cats, they usually add artificial flavorings, additives, and dyes that are not beneficial to your pet. Dehydrated cat food does not contain any of these additives. Since dehydrated food contains no moisture, it does not grow bacteria easily, which naturally extends their shelf life.

Furthermore, the use of wholesome ingredients in dehydrated cat food will tend to make it retain its natural colors and flavors. There is no need for artificial flavorings or colorings to make it more appetizing for your cat.

More Convenient

If you want to feed your cat a raw food diet or home cooked meals but do not have the time or resources to do so, dehydrated cat food is the closest thing to a completely natural meal. Just simply, measure the right amount of dehydrated food and mix it with water-- your cat can then enjoy a high-quality meal that comes close to actual raw food or homemade diet.

Another good thing about dehydrated cat food is that it can come in smaller packages that are easier to transport and store than commercial kibble, which tends to be heavier and bulkier. Dehydrated cat food can swell up to about four times their original weight. This lessens your trips to the pet store as a large-sized pack can last well over a few months.

Promotes Weight Maintenance and Healthy Digestion.

Most dehydrated cat food brands are grain-free and contain ingredients that promote healthy digestion. Grain-free cat food would discourage unnecessary weight gain, which is important in avoiding obesity-related illnesses in cats. On the other hand, the natural and wholesome ingredients in dehydrated cat food can promote better digestion and absorption of nutrients as opposed to highly processed kibble.

How to Feed Dehydrated Cat Food to Your Feline

how to feed dehydrated cat food

As you can probably tell so far, dehydrated cat food is very easy to use. It offers convenience without sacrificing nutritional content, which is a great advantage for cat owners who do not have the time to prepare homemade meals for their pets.

To feed your cat dehydrated cat food, measure out a portion as instructed on the package. Then, rehydrate the food with warm water and mix well. Alternatively, you can use broth, milk, or soup instead of water in order to make it more appetizing for your pet.

Advice for Buying the Best Dehydrated Cat Food

Although many dehydrated cat foods are nutritionally complete, a responsible pet owner should still analyze labels carefully. Here are the things you need to check: nutrition facts, ingredients, and instructions.

Nutrition Facts

Just like in human food products, the nutritional label will tell you if the dehydrated cat food will be adequate for your pet. Check for the protein content, most importantly, because protein is important for cats who are natural carnivores. They need a high protein amount in order to build muscle and maintain good immunity.

Additionally, check for the presence of essential fatty acids such as Omega-6 and Omega-3; these nutrients will ensure the growth of healthy skin and fur.

Ingredient List

The first food item that appears on the ingredient list is the main component of the cat food. Ideally, dehydrated cat food will contain more high-quality protein such as poultry, meat, and fish, with little to no amounts of grains. Carbohydrate sources should also be made of low-carb foods and not wheat, soy, potatoes, or anything of the like.

Furthermore, check for any added ingredients such as artificial flavoring or coloring. Avoid brands that have too many preservatives and synthetic ingredients added to their formulation.


Some dehydrated cat foods are meant to be mixed in with other food, so make sure to read the instructions carefully. It’s also important to understand this part of the packaging so you can see the correct portion sizes for your cat, depending on their size, breed, or age. See how many servings would one package last, so you can buy enough supplies to last a long time (since dehydrated cat foods have a long shelf life).

The 3 Best Dehydrated Cat Food Reviews

Here’s a list of some of the best dehydrated cat food reviews that you can use to pick out a brand. As for criteria of judging, we used the following parameters: ingredients, benefits, quality, and nutritional value.

1. RAWZ Dehydrated Salmon, Chicken, and Whitefish Recipe

dehydrated cat food reviews

High-quality protein should come from choice meats that are fresh and unrendered. The RAWZ brand offers a dehydrated mixture of salmon, chicken, and whitefish that would contribute greatly to your pet’s protein needs. Their recipe is also meal-free, meaning that it doesn’t contain cheap carbohydrates that can affect your cat’s weight.

2. Smack Pet Organic Crunchy Raw Dehydrated Cat Food

Smack Pet Organic Crunchy Raw

For cat owners who wish to feed their cat a raw food diet but simply don't have the time to make it themselves, the Smack Raw Dehydrated cat food is an ideal option. This formulation contains raw foods such as salmon, chicken, and berries, but without any unhealthy additives or GMOs. It comes in a crunchy-type, kibble-like structure, but with warm water, it can be transformed into a delicious stew for your cat.

3. Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Recipe Dehydrated Cat Food

 Honest Kitchen Grain-Free Recipe Dehydrated Cat Food

This product is a grain-free, high-protein, and high-quality dehydrated cat food made from human grade and all natural ingredients. Honest Kitchen uses organic chicken, sweet potatoes, and spinach as their main food items without any fillers, by-products, or cheap grains, ensuring a healthy and balanced diet for your cat.

Final Thoughts

Dehydrated cat food is an amazing alternative for busy pet owners who lack the resources to make their cats' homemade food. This type of cat food is very convenient to use, can last long in storage, and provide a complete and balanced diet for your cat without sacrificing flavor or quality.

If you’re interested in trying it out we recommend the best dehydrated cat food to be Smack Pet Organic Crunchy Raw. Aside from being nutritionally complete, it is made with non-GMO and all-natural organic ingredients. Moreover, it can be reconstituted with water or served as is, making it all the more convenient.

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