Saturday, June 3, 2017

Caturday: What is the Most Affordable Raw Cat Food?

I've been crunching some numbers to determine whether commercial premade raw cat food is cheaper than canned food. It seems plausible, cans are heavy and bulky, and feeding an all-canned diet becomes alarmingly expensive very quickly. I love collecting data, and I wanted to share my findings with you. Please keep in mind that this is not a complete list, it represents what is readily available either online or in my local stores.


The foods included on this table are those for which I could find price, serving size, and servings per package. If I was unable to find the answer to those between the manufacturer's website, and various retail sites, I didn't add it. Serving sizes were determined using Solstice, a 13-pound cat that needs to lose some weight, and the feeding charts provided on the food packaging or manufacturer website. If they had a feeding amount calculator, I used it. Food prices were the lowest price I could find for the largest package available.

Freeze-Dried or Frozen?

My experience with raw dog food has led me to believe that freeze-dried pet food is super expensive, and that frozen raw food is much more reasonable. I was therefore quite surprised to see freeze-dried food as the three least expensive options. It's very interesting how the food prices cluster, first there's three freeze-dried foods at a similar price point, then five frozen foods followed by four freeze-dried foods. I'm sure these are coincidental though, since the price points for each cluster range quite a bit.


Is premade commercial raw cat food cheaper than canned cat food? Nope. Not even close. I am currently feeding primarily 4Health grain-free canned cat food at a cost of $0.79 per can, with some other brands mixed in when I can pick them up on uber-clearance for $0.30-.60 per can. Each cat eats one 5oz can per day, so their monthly feed bill is $23.70. It costs me $47.40 to fed The Hellions each month.

On Sojo's Complete, the most affordable raw cat food I could find, it would cost $0.98 per day to feed one of my cats. That's a monthly feed bill of $29.40 per cat, or $58.80 for both. Though the price difference between the various foods is just a few cents, it adds up really fast. Feeding Grandma Lucy's exclusively to two cats would cost me $67.80.

On the other end of the spectrum, I am truly amazed at how expensive raw cat food can be. Rad Cat is available at my local pet stores. It would cost me $4.25 per day to feed one cat. That's $127.50 to feed one cat for a month, or $255 to feed both. Yikes!

While crazy-expensive raw cat food is not going to be a staple of James and Solstice's diets anytime soon, I do like to vary their diets quite a bit. They aren't allowed to have frozen raw food because they can't eat it without making the entire house smell like a slaughterhouse, but I'd like to introduce them to the concept of freeze dried cat food.

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