Ask Smalls: What are the benefits of switching my cat to Smalls?

It can be hard to change your cat’s diet, but switching your cat’s food to Smalls is worth it. Better food means longer lives, and our cats deserve the best. Eating more fresh, natural food will immediately improve your cat’s digestion, energy levels, stool, and even the glossiness of its coat, not to mention the impact a good diet has on long-term health.

The biggest differences between Smalls and other cat foods are the sourcing and preparation of protein. Commercial manufacturers use a process called rendering where “meat” is heated to remove moisture and fat, leaving behind a more uniform meal. Before meat gets rendered into kibble or canned food, it often gets mixed with other raw animal material whose sources are unknown — waste from slaughterhouses and restaurants or euthanized livestock (and even pet) remnants are used in many commercial cat foods. These meats contain trace amounts of chemicals from euthanization or sterilization before additional artificial ingredients are added.

Despite the large pet food market today, the industry is relatively new and its products haven’t changed that much from when it started. Commercial pet food companies have always prioritized convenience and cost over providing a nutritious food for your pets. Historically, many pet food manufacturers recycled waste — decreased livestock, slaughterhouse remains, and even leftovers from restaurants — from the human food industry and this practice still hasn’t changed. Most of the advancements in the manufacturing industry have increased the artificial nutrients found in pet foods and can’t compare to the nutrients from fresh meat. This isn’t an ideal diet for pets, but the effects of a cheap, processed food aren’t immediate enough for most owners to realize the problem.

One common category of additives to cat foods is carrageenans, which are used as thickeners and binders. Carrageenans are a known cancer-causing ingredient and can also create lesions, ulcerations, and other problems in your cat’s digestive system. Other thickeners include gum or guar gum, which decreases the digestibility of protein in your cat’s food. Though these binding agents have been proven to be bad for your cat, they’re difficult to avoid in cat foods — especially canned cat foods.

Smalls, on the other hand, uses meat like humans eat: we buy whole chicken breasts and thighs, turkey breasts, and ground beef, cook it either by roasting or sauteeing, and the only processing we do is grinding the meat in order to make for easy bite-sized pieces. Higher quality proteins lead directly to better digestion and nutrient intake, wasting less food and also improving stool quality.

While commercial cat foods technically meet your cat’s nutritional needs, they often utilize synthetic ingredients, low quality meats, and animal by-products to get there. The high amounts of processing and unnatural ingredients in commercial cat foods are similar to those found in human junk foods. And just like humans can fill up on junk food, cats can be satiated by kibble and low-quality canned foods. However, being full is not the same as getting the right fuel to be energetic and happy.

Using minimally processed real meat gives our food a higher water content and one similar to the normal moisture content of a cat’s natural prey. Consuming more water helps to fight off urinary tract and kidney problems in the long run. You’ll be able to see the effect of a healthier, more hydrating diet through cat shinier coats, less shedding, and fewer hairballs. Overtime, it will also improve your cat’s overall vitality and help your cat live a longer, healthier life.

TLDR: Most cat food companies focus on keeping the costs of cat food down, which forces them rely on artificial ingredients and low quality, rendered meat for nutrients. The higher quality ingredients used in our food will quickly improve your cat’s coat and energy and contribute to your cat’s long-term vitality. Our higher moisture content will also help your cat’s digestive system and reduce the risk of urinary or kidney problems.

Shameless Plug: We’re the Smalls team. We make really good food for cats from human grade ingredients. Check us out at