The cat food world is rapidly expanding, and many owners are exploring the options of human-grade and subscription meal services. These services allow owners to create a personalized subscription plan with delivery to their door regularly. A fresh diet is popular for many reasons, and if money were no object is likely the choice that most purr parents would make. Though there are not as many options for human-grade kitty food as for our canine companions, there are still several excellent choices for owners to select from. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in two newer brands – Cat Person and Smalls. Owners want to know which is better: Cat Person vs. Smalls cat food.
Both brands pride themselves on offering fresh, high-quality feline nutrition, but these companies offer different products. There may be some misconception that all human-grade or subscription pet food is the same, but each brand offers its unique take on feline nutrition and differing products.
Choosing the right nutrition can be overwhelming for many purr parents. With so many selections in the market, it can be challenging to determine which is the best for your kitty. There is much to consider, from ingredients, sourcing, manufacturing, and if a brand has any recalls. Let’s jump in and look at the differences between these two brands and see what each company has to offer.
Learning about a brand’s history and what a company stands for can help consumers decide if a specific product is right for them. When it comes to pet food, owners must be aware of any recalls or other safety issues a company has had. Additionally, many companies focus on sustainability or may contribute to social causes like pet rescues. Doing a little research into a company is a great way to get to know them beyond what they offer on the shelf.
Both these companies offer high-quality, fresh ingredients and subscription services, and both brands were thought up by people who love cats.
Cat Person a relatively new brand, an endeavor started in March 2020. The idea was developed by two cat people who believed the pet food industry unfairly focuses more heavily on dogs rather than feline needs. The two set out to create a direct-to-consumer option that allowed purr parents more choices. The company sells high-quality, grain-free recipes specifically for cats using fresh ingredients. Currently, the company offers 19 recipes, including wet and dry foods. They also make treats. The brand operates under Harry’s Labs, a start-up incubator owned by Harry’s Inc, the maker of men’s razors and shaving products.
The company strives to maintain simple, straightforward, honest nutrition developed to keep cats healthy and happy. They work to create recipes that include at least 50% more quality animal protein than the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) industry standards. Recipes include only one to two animal proteins and with a design to avoid allergens, keep cats healthier overall, and make the litter box a less stinky area.
It is also worth pointing out that this brand uses resealable bags, easy-open cups, and reusable serve & store sets. The company also offers accessories and pet beds. Currently, manufacturing occurs in the United States and Thailand. Dry kibble is manufactured in the United States, and wet food is made in Thailand. The United States facility has a focus on being environmentally conscious and runs on solar power. In Thailand, the manufacturer employs sustainable fishing and ingredient sourcing. Recipes are developed to be fed to cats of all ages.
Currently, there have been no recalls, either mandatory or voluntary, on any of Cat Person’s products. The company donates meals to support foster kittens, a cause close to the founders’ hearts.
Smalls has been around since 2017 and was started by two cat-centric entrepreneurs based in New York. Their goal was to create high-quality, fresh nutrition for felines, offering something other than what is available on the big box store shelf. These owners started by cooking food in their very own kitchens and delivering it to friends around New York City. Their recipes were a hit, and eventually, the company opened a commercial kitchen and employed professional cooks.
This cat-centric brand focuses only on feline nutrition. They do not focus on or worry about any other product lines or making any products for dogs. They use only unprocessed ingredients, and after cooking, meals are frozen and delivered directly to customers’ doors. The company uses no preservatives, so fresh meals are frozen until it’s time to thaw them out and serve. All recipes are developed with the help of an in-house pet nutrition expert, and recipes are always formulated to meet AAFCO guidelines.
Ingredients are all sourced from the United States and Canada. All the company’s food products are manufactured in the United States. Dry kibble is made in Brainerd, Minnesota, and fresh meals are cooked in Chicago, Illinois. The company also offers some freeze-dried products made in Green Bay, Wisconsin. All ingredients are USDA certified and prepared in human-grade kitchens.
Smalls has experienced two recalls, one in 2019 that involved chicken liver powder provided by an outside supplier. That powder was found to have been altered. The company addressed the issue by enhancing manufacturing and packaging safety measures, increasing product testing, and adding airtight seals to powder shaker bottles. The second recall was in June 2021 and was a limited, voluntary recall due to concerns about refrigeration and storage. Only a small number of products were affected, and no illnesses or injuries were associated with the recall.
One thing to point out is that Smalls is dedicated to supporting animals in need and works closely with rescue organizations to provide food to shelter animals. The team is constantly working on adding new products and improving product quality based on consumer feedback. One big difference between the brands is that Smalls is a company that makes fresh, human-grade meals. Cat Person works with a third-party human-grade manufacturer to create their recipes but does not offer fresh meal products.
Meal Plan Variety
Both companies offer meal plans that owners can personalize around their pet’s needs.
This brand has fewer products, so there are fewer choices for adding extras. Owners start by filling out a questionnaire with information about their pet and are able to build a subscription from there. Recipes are not customizable; however, owners can pick a selection of products and portions that will work well for their pets.
All subscriptions start with a trial week; if owners like it, they will receive a regular delivery scheduled every two to six weeks. Owners who want to change or opt-out must contact them before shipping their first monthly box to cancel. Currently, the company offers nine options for fresh meals with four proteins: chicken, turkey, beef, and fish. They come in three textures: ground, smooth, and pulled. The brand also offers three treat options: freeze-dried, bone broth, and single-protein kitty treats.
Smalls Fresh Smooth Cow
- Beef liver.
- Green beans.
- Crude protein 16.5%.
- Crude fat 12%.
- Crude fiber 1.5%.
- 4.1 oz = 200 calories.
Smalls Fresh Smooth Fish
- Pumpkin, peas, green beans.
- Crude protein 14.5%
- Crude fat 7%.
- Crude fiber 1.5%.
- 5.5 oz = 200 calories.
Smalls Fresh Ground Bird
- Chicken liver.
- Green beans, peas, kale.
- Crude protein 15.5%.
- Crude fat 8.5%.
- Crude fiber 1.5%.
- 5 oz = 200 calories.
This brand offers more products, meaning they have more versatility when it comes to customizing subscriptions. They offer both wet and dry products.
Owners start by picking a starter box, either a wet & dry starter or a wet starter pack. The owners work through the customization plan, answering questions about what cats like to eat, if they have allergies, the textures they enjoy, and more to work through the specific subscription they want. When meal plan boxes start shipping, the starter box should last about three weeks. These will ship out every four weeks. Owners can purchase items a la carte if they are still deciding whether to commit to a subscription.
Cat Person Chicken Shreds In Broth
- Single protein.
- Crude protein 10%.
- Crude fat 4%.
- Crude fiber 1%.
- 2.75 oz = 87 calories.
Cat Person Salmon & Tuna Shreds In Broth
- Sustainably sourced seafood.
- Fish broth, salmon, tuna.
- Crude protein 10%.
- Crude fat 4%.
- Crude fiber 1%.
- 2.75 oz = 85 calories.
Cat Person Turkey & Duck Dry
- Grain-free & low-carb.
- Duck, duck meal, turkey meal, beef fat.
- Crude protein 140%.
- Crude fat 40%.
- Crude fiber 4%.
- 463 calories per cup.
Meal Plan Variety Winner: Cat Person
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet high in animal protein and low in carbohydrates. They also need certain vitamins and minerals such as taurine, vitamin A, and calcium to maintain their health. When it comes to ingredients, both brands claim to use high-quality, fresh ingredients that are free from preservatives and additives.
Cat Person’s wet options contain an average of 80% moisture, which is important for cats who do not have a strong thirst drive. Their dry options use a blend of animal proteins, vegetables, and fruits. The brand’s wet options include fresh ingredients that are gently cooked to retain their nutrients and flavor. Wet food comes in a pate or shreds in broth. Dry kibbles use fresh ingredients mixed and baked at low temperatures to preserve their nutrients. Proteins include chicken, duck, beef, salmon, tuna, mackerel, and turkey. Recipes are high in protein with limited additions of fruits and vegetables.
Smalls uses fresh, minimally processed ingredients free from preservatives and additives. Recipes are around 72% moisture. Their feline options use various animal proteins such as chicken, turkey, beef, duck, fish, fresh vegetables, and fruits. Each recipe includes fresh vegetables. Some commonly used ones are peas, green beans, kale, spinach, and pumpkin. The brand adds other components like canola oil, nutritional yeast, cod liver oil, taurine, folic acid, dried parsley, and plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Both companies make grain-free recipes. One significant notable difference is that Smalls is certified by the USDA as human grade. This means that their meals, while intended for felines, are safe for humans to eat. Cat Person uses high-quality ingredients and cooks in human-certified kitchens but is not USDA certified as human-grade.
Ingredient Winner: Smalls
Both brands offer high nutritional value in their products. However, Smalls’ recipes offer higher protein and higher levels of healthy fats. Neither company uses high levels of fillers or any artificial ingredients. Cat Person’s recipes have a slightly higher carbohydrate level and some preservatives, while Smalls uses simpler, fresh elements and no preservatives.
Both brands offer a higher-than-average nutritional choice for pets. Both use top-quality, gently cooked ingredients to retain as much nutritional value as possible. Recipes include a blend of healthy fats, quality proteins, fresh fruits, and vegetables. Free from grain, wheat, soy, and corn. This means that both offer above-the-standard nutrition for pets.
Nutritional Value Winner: Smalls
Both brands are slightly more expensive than many other commercial pet food options. This is due to the higher quality of ingredients. Prices with both options vary and will depend specifically on the products included in the subscription boxes, the frequency of delivery, and the number of cats being fed. We also consider the ingredients used, the freshness of the food, and nutritional quality.
- Sample pack $30
- Fresh can cost $110 per month at minimum.
- Dry & Fresh $125 to $150 includes fresh meals and kibble.
- Freeze-Dried, only about $75 to $150 per month.
- The starter box costs $33.50.
- Plans start at $2 daily for one cat. A mixed wet and dry box for two cats is an estimated $141.75.
- 10% off every order and free shipping.
Price Winner: Smalls
Customer Service & Reputation
Both companies conduct most of their customer service through e-mail or text. Both offer websites customers can navigate to find information and manage their subscriptions. Additionally, both companies offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
It is important to note that owners must read the terms of service before purchasing, even if simply purchasing a sampler box. For Smalls, when owners agree to terms of service even when buying a sampler box, they agree to regular shipments and charges. If they do not contact customer service to change this, they will be automatically charged, which has caused some confusion and complaints from some customers who did not realize they would be charged automatically. Smalls primarily handles customer service through text and email. Currently, owners are unable to call or chat directly with customer support. The brand is responsive online to comments and questions posted on its site and others.
Cat Person also does most of their customer service through text and email. They do have a chat option on the website that owners can use to receive assistance immediately. It is essential that owners read the fine print when ordering a sample pack, as they set up arrangements for their regular subscription and charges at the same time.
We do not have a clear winner when it comes to customer service, as both companies have several satisfied customers and those who have had less than satisfactory customer service experiences.
What’s Our Verdict?
Overall Winner: Smalls
Overall, our choice for the winner between the two brands is Smalls as it provides a better product and uses fresher ingredients. Their foods use only fresh, USDA-certified human-grade ingredients. All meals are cooked fresh and shipped out frozen to ensure top quality. Their ingredient sourcing comes primarily from the United States, with some in Canada. Manufacturing of all food products takes place in-house in the United States. While Cat Person offers high-quality food, the price is high for what they offer, which some customers have commented on in reviews.
Considering ingredients, company history, manufacturing, nutritional value, availability, subscription plans, customer service, and more, we pick Smalls as the winner. Both brands are very high-grade in nutrition and quality and will surely please your cat’s palate. These are more expensive options than traditional commercial foods in pet stores and most online retailers. However, that extra dollar is worth it, as either of these choices will provide your purr baby with top-quality, above-average nutrition.
Choosing the right kitty food can be intimidating, but with brands like Cat Person and Smalls, it has become easier to provide your pet with fresh, high-quality, and nutritious food that meets their nourishment needs. By evaluating the brand’s ingredients, freshness, quality, pricing, meal plan variety, customer service, and customer feedback of both brands, you can decide which pet food brand is better for your sweet purr baby. Your kitty will be happy with either of these choices, and you can customize subscriptions on each. , even if you are only able to offer these as supplementary nutrition. If you have any concerns about your pets’ specific dietary needs, growth, digestion, or health, it is best to consult your veterinarian before making significant changes to their diet.