7 Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treats With Our 2019 Editor’s Pick

Admit it – you love seeing your cat’s eyes light up when you bust out that bag of treats. There’s something so pure about waiting for your carnivorous cat to react to the delectable taste of that protein bite. One of the latest treat trends is cat parents turning to a safer alternative than raw meat or artificially flavored rewards to give their kitty some daily excitement – freeze-dried cat treats.

Freeze-dried cat treats are gaining traction in the pet space because they are delicious, nutritious, and offer guilt-free rewarding. The ingredients list is often extremely limited, and the treats are generally low in calories. In this article we’ll discuss other benefits of giving your kitty these unique cat treats, as well as share our 7 favorite freeze-dried treat selections with you!

6 Benefits of Using Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Freeze-dried treats are an exceptional choice for rewarding your cat or adding excitement to their daily meals. Choosing to use freeze-dried cat treats is a smart, healthy choice for a variety of reasons:

  1. The protein retains its flavor: Freeze-dried treats are made with some variation of animal protein. The freeze drying process ensures that the meat retains its original flavor, so the final product will be as delicious as raw meat for your kitty’s carnivorous appetite.
  2. Texture is preserved: Another benefit of the freeze drying process is the texture of the meat is also preserved. Since texture is retained, the snacks will be crunchy, yet easy to tear and bite into.
  3. Nutrients aren’t cooked out of the meat: When meats are cooked, they lose some of their original nutrients. Freeze-dried cat treats still contain all of the nutrients from the raw meat source.
  4. Easy to eat: Freeze-dried treats are incredible easy for cats to eat, even if they have sensitive teeth.
  5. Make a great food topper or reward: Freeze-dried cat treats can be crumbled on top of food to make it extra delicious, or you can use them as a daily treat and training reward.
  6. Often suitable for dogs: Many freeze-dried cat treats are made with just one ingredient, making them appropriate for our canine companions as well.

The Difference Between Freeze-Dried and Dehydrated Cat Treats

There is often confusion about what makes freeze-dried and dehydrated pet treats different. The two types of treats go through unique manufacturing processes. When treats are freeze-dried, the original texture of the meat is preserved. Natural nutrients of the meat are also maintained during the freeze drying process.

When cat treats are dehydrated, low high is used for an extended period of time. This process removes moisture from the meat via evaporation. Freeze-dried treats, however, are created using lower temperatures and a pressure process to remove moisture.

All of the flavor and wholesome benefits are preserved when treats are freeze-dried.

When heat is used to create treats, essential nutrients are often cooked away.
Since freeze-dried cat treats retain all of their original nutritional value, they can be a better option over dehydrated treats.

5 Components to Look for in Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Believe it or not, freeze-dried cat treats can be different in a multitude of ways. Not all treats are made in the USA with one ingredient. So, consider these features when picking out the appropriate treat for your cat:

  1. Protein type: Freeze-dried cat treats are most often available in popular proteins such as chicken or beef. Some other cat treat proteins that we see are turkey, salmon, shrimp, minnows, duck and more.
  2. Other ingredients: Some of the freeze-dried cat treats on our list are made with only one ingredient. However others also have a few additional ingredients such as vegetables, salt or preservatives. Always read the ingredients list if you want to know exactly what you’re feeding your cat.
  3. Source of the meat: Just because treats are made in the USA doesn’t mean the meat itself comes from the USA. If this is important to you but the package does not clearly state where the meat is sourced, you can call the brand’s phone number on the labeling to find out.
  4. Caloric intake: Most freeze-dried cat treats hover around the 2 calorie mark. There is a recommendation on our list which comes in at 3 calories per snack. If your cat is overweight or diabetic, you will want to more carefully consider the calories per treat.
  5. Packaging size and type: Nothing’s worse than grabbing for a bag of cat treats only to find that they are stale. It’s helpful when freeze-dried treats come in a resealable bag or container. Also, if you have more than one kitty friend at home, you may want to see if the treats you like offer a value-size treat package.

Overall Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treats in 2019

Life Essentials Chicken Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Only ingredient is USDA-approved white meat chicken
  • Doubles as an enticing meal topper
  • Also appropriate for dogs
  • No chemicals, additives or preservatives

Overall Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treats – Life Essentials has several flavors of freeze-dried cat treats, but we chose chicken as our top pick since it seems to be the most popular among our feline friends. These freeze-dried cat treats make an excellent treat, snack or food topper for those picky eaters. Life Essentials are also appropriate for dogs, as they are made with one pure ingredient – all white meat chicken!

These cat treats are freeze-dried to perfection without compromising texture, taste or freshness. They don’t have any preservatives, chemicals or fillers. Life Essentials freeze-dried cat treats are safely made in the USA with USDA-approve chicken. This low calorie, high protein snack is sure to be a big hit with all of the feline and canine friends in your home!

Pros:

  • Suitable for cats and dogs at any life stages
  • Doubles as a meal topper for finicky eaters
  • Made in the USA with USDA-approved white meat chicken
  • Available in two bag sizes

Cons:

  • Life Essentials freeze-dried cat treats are the most expensive option on our list.

Halo Liv-a-Littles Grain-Free 100% Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Key Benefits:

  • High protein, low calorie treats
  • No wheat, sugar, tapioca or molasses
  • Jar packaging helps treats stay fresh
  • Works as a meal incentive or tasty reward

Runner-Up Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treats – Halo Liv-a-Littles are similar to the Life Essentials freeze-dried cat treats in the fact that they are both made with chicken as the main ingredient. These freeze-dried chicken cat treats do also contain water, sodium phosphate, salt and carrageenan. The additional ingredients may cause a dusty sort of residue to be left on your hands, but it doesn’t change the fact that these snacks are delicious, high in protein and low in calories.

Halo Liv-a-Littles freeze-dried treats are suitable for both cats and dogs. They can be given to these furry companions at any life stage. The treats make an excellent meal incentive when crumbled over the top of your cat’s dinner. They come in a convenient treat jar which preserves freshness and flavor. You can purchase Halo Liv-a-Littles in two jar sizes, and they are available also available in lamb liver or wild salmon flavors.

Pros:

  • Holistic cat treats filled with scrumptious protein and flavor
  • Come in a tightly sealed plastic jar
  • Suitable for cats and dogs
  • Available in other flavors

Cons:

  • These treats are a tad messy, as they leave a dusty residue behind.

Merrick Backcountry Grain-Free Real Chicken Recipe Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Chicken is the first ingredient
  • Safely manufactured in the USA
  • Add to your cat’s meal or use as a treat
  • Soft texture

Best Budget-Friendly Freeze – Dried Cat Treats – Merrick Backcountry freeze-dried cat treats were made with your cat’s natural instincts in mind. Cats are carnivores, and these delectable chicken morsels will surely satisfy your kitty’s cravings. Chicken is the main ingredient in these freeze-dried treats. They don’t contain any corn, wheat, soy or artificial flavors. The ingredients list includes chicken, chicken liver, dried peas, dried potatoes, gelatin, salt and mixed tocopherols (for preservation).

These freeze-dried treats have a round shape and soft texture. They can be added to your kitty’s meal or given as an additional treat. The treats are made in the USA to ensure premium quality. For convenience, Merrick Backcountry freeze-dried cat treats come in resealable bag. You can also purchase different flavors to best suit your cat’s preferences.

Pros:

  • First ingredient is chicken
  • Made in the USA
  • Soft texture make these treats easy to enjoy
  • No corn, wheat, soy or artificial flavors

Cons:

  • 3 calories per treat, which is more than the typical 2 calories that many treats possess.

PureBites Chicken Breast Freeze-Dried Raw Cat Treats

Key Benefits:

  • Made with just one ingredient
  • Available in a variety of meat options such as shrimp, salmon and duck
  • Only 2 calories per treats
  • Sourced and made in the USA

Best Freeze-Dried Cat Treats Editor’s Pick – We like PureBites freeze-dried cat treats because they are simple, nutritious and full of flavor. While cat parents can purchase PureBites in a variety of proteins, chicken is the most popular among our kitty friends. These delicious treats are made with only one ingredient – chicken. You can reward your cat with PureBites knowing that what you’re offering is a safe, quality treat.

PureBites are sourced and made in the USA. These naturally grain and gluten free treats only contain 2 calories per snack, so they’ll make a welcome addition to any daily routine. PureBites freeze-dried cat treats are available in 3 different bag sizes and a handful of flavors.

Pros:

  • Only one ingredient
  • Easy to crumble as a food topper or break into smaller pieces
  • Sourced and manufactured in the USA
  • Other proteins available are shrimp, salmon, duck and beef

Cons:

  • There aren’t any notable disadvantages of PureBites, other than they may cost more than some alternative freeze-dried cat treat options.

3 More Top Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Vital Essentials Minnows Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

For felines who enjoy feasting on fish, we suggest these freeze-dried minnows from Vital Essentials. They are a single ingredient treat with no added fillers or flavoring. These minnows from Vital Essentials might look undesirable to us, but they will surely leave your cat meowing for more. The freeze-dried minnows are sourced and made in the USA. They don’t contain any grain, gluten or synthetic ingredients. Vital Essentials also offers other freeze-dried treats, but the minnows are a top seller for the brand.

American Journey 100% Chicken Freeze-Dried Grain-Free Cat Treats

These American Journey cat treats are made with 100% freeze-dried chicken as the only ingredient. The high protein snacks are made in the USA without any corn, wheat, soy, salt, sugar or preservatives. They are naturally grain and gluten free, perfect for cats with allergies and sensitive stomachs. American Journey freeze-dried treats come in a 5oz bag, and you can purchase other proteins for your feline friend. Your carnivorous companion will absolutely love these savory snacks.

Primal Turkey Liver Munchies Freeze-Dried Cat Treats

Primal freeze-dried turkey liver munchies are made from USA-raised turkey with no added hormones or antibiotics. These high-protein treats are just one single ingredient, so they don’t contain any salt, sugar or preservatives. They are an irresistible snack for both cats and dogs in your home. Primal offers other thoughtfully sourced freeze-dried treats for your feline friend, including beef liver and pork liver. Although these treats aren’t the least expensive, they are a premium, quality reward that you’ll feel good feeding your cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between freeze-dried and dehydrated treats? Freeze-dried treats are made via a low temperature, high pressure process. The low temperatures ensure that the meat retains its texture, flavor and nutritional value. Dehydrated treats are cooked at higher temperatures for an extended period of time. The dehydration process can potentially remove some flavor and nutrients from the treats.
  • Are freeze-dried cat treats healthy? Generally, yes! Freeze-dried cat treats are made from one or limited ingredients. They are typically low in calories and don’t have any artificial ingredients. Freeze-dried cat treats are healthy if they are made and sourced responsibly, and if you don’t overfeed your cat. Overfeeding any sort of food or treat can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Are freeze-dried cat treats raw? The freeze-drying process removes water from the meat. It also reduces the weight and size, while preserving flavor, aroma and texture. Removing the water from meat will kill bacteria and microorganisms, making them a safer option than untouched raw meat.

Conclusion

We highly recommend checking out some of the freeze-dried cat treats on our list to see what your kitty likes best. Perhaps start with some chicken and minnows! Remember that freeze-dried treats are a nutritious treat and reward, and they also make a great food topper for finicky eaters. However you feed them, your cats will be purring for more!

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