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Just For Cats Food: At a Glance
- Quality ingredients: This human-edible food is made with wild-caught fish and USDA chicken. The ingredients come from restaurant industry suppliers, so you know your cat is getting quality food. There’s nothing artificial. No meat meals and no preservatives are used.
- Team of veterinarians: This fresh cat food is created by a large team of dedicated veterinarians, including board-certified vets specializing in nutrition, dermatology, and toxicology.
- Custom diet: If your cat has advanced dietary restrictions, the team of veterinarians can create a custom meal plan to meet the health needs of your pet.
- Transparency: JustFoodForCats wants you to know what’s in your pet’s food. All of their kitchens are open to the public and you can observe how they create their meals. In fact, we visited their Union Square location in NYC and talked to the line cooks making the food.
- One-time purchase or subscription: You can choose to make a one-time purchase or enroll in the Autoship program, which saves you 35% on your first order and 5% on each subsequent order.
- Delivery or pickup: You can always have your order shipped to your door. Or, you can order online and pick it up if you live near one of their California retail stores or partner stores nationwide.
- Satisfaction guaranteed: The JustFoodForDogs cat food company promises a full refund if you or your cat are not completely satisfied, so there’s no risk to you.
- AAFCO standards: The Just Cats Fish & Chicken recipe is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
In this review:
- Just Food For Cats review
- How does JustFoodforCats delivery work?
- What’s inside Just Cats food?
- How much does Just Food for Cats cost?
- How does Just Food For Cats compare to other fresh food brands?
- Other Just Food For Cats reviews
Just Food For Cats review
Traditional cat kibble tends to be full of poor-quality ingredients and lacking in any form of whole food. Manufacturers add animal meat meals or byproducts, additives, artificial colors, and preservatives to keep their food cheap and shelf-stable.
But your cat ultimately pays the price because they won’t be getting all of the nutrition they need to lead a healthy life. Dry kibble is so processed that it holds little of the nutritional value the ingredients originally had. Because of this, kibbles require synthetic nutrient fortification to meet AAFCO standards.
Just Food for Dogs (and Cats) exists as an alternative to these cheap foods. The company hired a team of veterinary teachers and researchers at a major university with a focus on pet nutrition. They determined that a healthy diet of minimally processed, whole foods led to pets that are significantly less prone to disease and other health problems.
As a result, Just Cats uses whole wild-caught fish, USDA chicken thighs, liver, and heart rather than processed meat powders, slaughterhouse leftovers, or extruded ingredients. Since these ingredients are whole foods and are gently cooked at low temperatures, they retain much of their original nutritional value, which can be easily absorbed by your cat and used for energy.
Finally, yuca root is added to the lightly cooked food to maintain the food’s moisture content. The finished product is then vacuum-sealed in packaging and frozen, so no preservatives are necessary to keep the food fresh.
- Experienced team of experts: The JustCats fresh food recipe was formulated by a team of 13 veterinarians whose primary focus was animal nutrition. This team is composed of veterinary nutritionists and board-certified specialists, including Certified Whole Food Formulators, Toxicologists, Dermatologists, and a vet who was residency-trained in dentistry and oral surgery. The team teaches and conducts research on animal nutrition at the Western University of Health Sciences College of Veterinary Medicine.
- Real food: For maximum nutrient absorption, USDA-certified whole food ingredients are used to create this wholesome meal. The recipe is purposefully formulated to be nutritionally complete and balanced, ensuring that your cat receives all of the essential nutrients they need.
- Proven recipe: Just Food for Cats has formulated many trial recipes, but it’s the Fish & Chicken recipe that 9 out of 10 cats prefer. So, it’s the only recipe they stuck with. And while it’s great for most cats with allergies or sensitive GI tracts, it might not be for every cat. If Fish & Chicken doesn’t work for your cat, the team of veterinarians can create a custom recipe to meet your specific needs. And if you need to get your cat in good health, there’s a supplement line that can help you do that. See supplements below.
- Carnivorous diet: The recipe is mostly composed of animal-based proteins, which is important for these obligate carnivores. The yuca root is included to provide necessary hydration, which is difficult for cats to maintain.
- Lots of organ meat: Organ meat delivers certain essential nutrients that muscle meat doesn’t contain. And organ meat provides these nutrients in their most natural state, which means they are more bioavailable than synthetic nutrient additives.
- Only one recipe: There’s only one recipe and we’d love another option.
- Food sourcing: Just Food for Cats wants pet owners to know what their pet is eating. That’s why they’ve made their kitchens open to the public. You can see the food being made. However, the ingredients aren’t traceable, as they are with Open Farm Cat Food. We want more information about how the chicken was raised and what they were fed. We’d also like to know if the fish was sourced sustainably.
- Cost: The cost of human-grade food is substantially more than the cost of average cat kibble. That’s because you’re getting real, fresh ingredients instead of factory-made dry food. If you are used to buying cheap kibble, the cost of fresh food might be surprising. However, that extra cost could be considered an investment in your pet’s long-term health.
- No resealable bag: The bags are not resealable, so once you open the vacuum-sealed packaging, you’ll need to store the leftovers in a separate storage container. Smalls Cat Food provides a high-quality storage container in your first shipment.
- Vague feeding instructions: Just Food for Cats doesn’t customize portions based on your cat’s unique caloric needs. Therefore, the feeding guide will only be approximate and you may need to adjust the amounts accordingly.
How does JustFoodforCats delivery work?
You can head directly to the Just Cats food page here. You will not be able to find any cat information in the “Get Started” button on the home page; that takes you to the Feeding Calculator, which is truly just for dogs.
Once you are on the Just Cats page, signing up is easy. Select your food quantity, delivery or pickup, and whether or not you’d like to join the Autoship service.
If you are not sure how much food to order for the AutoShip service, you can find the Feeding Instructions below the nutrition information.
According to the instructions above, a 10-lb. cat requires approximately 7 oz. per day. Since each meal pack is 18 oz., you should order six packs every two weeks, so you never run out of food. It takes a few basic calculations to figure this out, and it would be easier if there was a Cat Feeding Calculator.
This feeding guide does not take into account any specific factors of your cat, like their activity level, age, or whether or not they are an indoor or outdoor cat. These factors are likely to affect calorie requirements. Because the Feeding Instruction amounts are general guidelines, you should adjust portions as necessary to keep your cat at their target weight.
If you’d like a cat food subscription that tailors your plan to your cat’s unique needs, check out our Smalls Cat Food review.
Once you’ve decided how much food you’ll need, select if you’d like to make a one-time purchase, pick it up, or have the food automatically shipped to you on a routine schedule. If you choose Autoship, you’ll save 35% on your first order, 5% on recurring orders, and eliminate the $10 shipping fee. In addition, you’ll always be stocked with food, and it’s one more item permanently crossed off your shopping list.
If you live near a Just Food for Dogs retail kitchen, you can pick up your order as soon as it is ready. They also stock their food inside certain veterinary clinics and hospitals, at Pet Food Express (California), and at Petco locations nationwide. Choose the “Free Local Pickup” selection while ordering online. At this time, you cannot schedule an Autoship order for local pickup, but they are working on it.
If you choose to have your food delivered, the frozen meals are shipped in an insulated box on dry ice. The shipping package is designed to keep the food frozen during delivery until you arrive home to store it in the freezer. The packaging can easily be recycled after delivery.
With delivery, you can select your frequency preference from every week to every eight weeks. You can also change or cancel your subscription at any time without penalty.
While there are no Just Cats samples, the company offers a full refund if you are not satisfied with any of the products you purchased.
What’s inside Just For Cats food
The fresh food is hand-made in the company’s open-to-the-public kitchens. We visited the Union Square location in NYC and talked to the cooks as they prepared a batch of food.
The fresh ingredients are lightly cooked to retain as much of their nutritional value as possible. The cooked food is then vacuumed-sealed in clear, plastic packaging and quickly frozen. This method eliminates the need for preservatives. The food should be kept in the freezer where it can stay fresh for up to a year. Just thaw a pack in the refrigerator the day prior to use. The fish should stay fresh for up to 3 days in the refrigerator, giving you plenty of time to feed it to your cat.
Why Just Cats food is better
Minimally-processed fresh food, like Just Food for Cats, is almost always going to be the most nutritious option for your pet. This is because the food contains the most nutrients in their most natural form, other than raw food. (Psst… interested in raw food? Check out our We Feed Raw review. It’s great for both dogs and cats!)
Since fresh food contains more vitamins and minerals in their natural state, they are more biologically available during digestion. This is in contrast to kibble, which is excoriated at high temperatures, destroying many of the original nutrients.
Good nutrition can have drastic effects on the health of your pet. A healthy diet even has the potential to prevent disease and eliminate costly medication and vet bills in the future.
Just Cats Fish & Chicken recipe
This meal is ideal for adult cats—sorry kitties. If you’re feeding a kitten, Smalls Cat Food has indicated its food works for kittens. You may just need to increase the number of calories per pound to suit a growing kitten’s needs.
The Just Cats meal is free of preservatives, growth hormones, grains, and gluten. It contains 35 calories per ounce.
- Alaskan Pacific Wild-Caught Cod: An excellent source of low-calorie protein as well as omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B12 & B6, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. Incorporating easily digestible essential fatty acids, like those found in fish, into your cat’s diet can reduce inflammation and improve skin ailments and coat health.
- Whole Atlantic Sardines: These whole Norwegian sardines are included since they are high in Omega-3 fatty acids; specifically, EPA, DHA, and vitamin D. They are sourced directly from the purest waters of the Atlantic.
- Dried Yuca Root: Highly digestible yuca root is used to maintain hydration in the recipe and replenish your cat. It’s a hypoallergenic, gluten-free, and grain-free ingredient.
- Chicken Thighs: As opposed to white meat, chicken thighs contain more vitamin B, iron, antioxidants, and overall nutritional value. They are an excellent source of protein, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, and niacin. Thigh meat is also a natural source of taurine, an essential nutrient only found in meat. Most cat foods include added taurine, but vitamins and minerals in their natural form are a much more biologically appropriate source than in supplement form.
- Chicken Hearts: Cats, being true carnivores, rely on organ meats to aid in the production of collagen and elastin to help build muscle, store energy, and maintain health. Compared to regular chicken meat, chicken hearts have higher amounts of protein, thiamine, folate, selenium, phosphorus, zinc, CoQ10, and several B vitamins.
- Chicken Liver: Nutrient-rich chicken liver contains the most concentrated amount of protein and vitamin A in chicken. Cats need to eat livers and other organ meats to obtain vitamin A since they are incapable of obtaining it through conversion from beta-carotene. It’s also rich in absorbable heme iron, copper, folate, riboflavin, and niacin.
- Multi-Vitamin & Mineral Blend: This blend makes this meal complete and balanced for long-term feeding. It is formulated specifically for this recipe to meet AAFCO recommendations for adult cats. The blend is composed of 100% human-grade nutraceuticals regulated by the FDA.
Custom prescription diet for Cats
Whether your pet suffers from a serious issue related to organ health, IBS or IBD in cats, a food allergy, or another type of serious illness, the team of veterinary specialists at Just Food for Cats can create a custom meal to meet the specific health needs of your cat.
For a one-time fee, Dr. Dan Su and the rest of Just Cats’ veterinary team will work with your vet to develop a recipe that works. Get started with a free consultation here.
The Salmon Bark treat is a cracker-like snack in that it is easy to break into smaller pieces. It’s made with two human-edible ingredients: 80% wild-caught salmon fillet and 20% dried yuca root. That’s it. There’s nothing artificial.
After the Salmon Bark is hand-made in their own kitchen, it is packaged in BPA-free and recyclable packaging. It’s a great mid-day snack for cats of all ages, and because it is low fat and has limited ingredients, it may also be beneficial for cats with fat restrictions or cats with food allergies or GI disease.
According to the company, your cat can enjoy any of the Just Food for Dogs treats as well. But, being carnivores, cats tend to indulge in the all-meat options: Chicken Breast Treats, Venison Treats, Beef Flank Steak, and Beef Liver Bark.
Just Food for Cats has not yet created a line of supplements specifically for cats. However, the company advises that your cat can safely take any of the Just Food for Dogs supplements except Calm, which may have the opposite effect.
Currently, they offer four supplements: Probiotic Live, Skin and Allergy Care, Omega Plus, and Joint Care.
The dosage may be different for cats, so check out this page for more information about proper dosage instructions.
Another brand that offers cat supplements is Nom Nom. Unfortunately, Nom Nom had discontinued its cat food line. However, they still sell their Full Spectrum Probiotic Support supplement for cats that need help with their digestive health. You can learn more in our NomNomNow review.
>> Read more: Does The Farmer’s Dog Make Cat Food?
How much does Just Food for Cats cost?
The Just Cats Fish & Chicken meal is $13.95 for an 18-oz. package. This comes to $0.78 an ounce. This is the only size package they offer.
The cost per day can be as low as $1.55 for kittens, but a 10-lb. cat (consuming 7-oz. per day) will cost around $5.43 per day before discounts are applied.
If you choose a one-time purchase, add a $10 shipping fee to your total. If you want to save the most, subscribe to Autoship and save 35% off your first order, 5% off recurring orders, and get free shipping.
For those on a budget, you can reduce the frequency of your shipments and mix the Just Cats fresh food with your cat’s current kibble in a 50–50 ratio. This will reduce your cost significantly while still providing your cat with a good amount of nutrition. Of course, this assumes your cat will eat both fresh ground and dry kibble textures.
Is it worth it?
When it comes down to it, it’s up to you and how you value cost versus quality. Just Cats is pricey, but not significantly more than premium canned food. When you consider how this high-quality food will impact your cat’s livelihood and possibly eliminate many preventable diseases, health issues, vet visits, and future bills, the choice becomes easier.
>> Read more: How Much Does Smalls Cat Food Cost?
How does Just Food For Cats compare to other fresh food brands?
Most fresh cat food delivery brands are generally similar, but there are subtle differences among them that are worth considering:
- 21%–23.5% protein
- 3 fresh and 3 freeze-dried raw recipes
- Food available in two satisfying textures: Smooth or Ground
- Mostly muscle and organ meat and some produce
- Also offers treats, premium kibble, broth, toys, and litter
- Can be fed to kittens and pregnant or nursing cats
- Similarly priced fresh food: $0.78 per ounce
- Only makes cat food, unlike the other options whose main focus is dogs
- Read our full Smalls Cat Food review
- 7–8% protein
- 6 wet food recipes and 4 dry kibble options that contain meat along with produce
- No fresh food, but it does offer goat milk, kefir, and bone broths
- All meat comes from audited high-welfare farms
- 100% traceable ingredients
- Non-GMO produce
- Formulated for adult cats only
- Read our full Open Farm Cat Food review
Just Food For Cats
- 12% protein
- All animal ingredients, except for yuca root
- 1 treat and 1 meal are available
- Offers shipping or pickup option
- Created by 13 veterinary specialists
- Vague feeding guide with no custom amounts
- Formulated for adult cats only
Frequently asked questions
Is Just Food for Cats good for kittens?
The Just Cats Fish & Chicken meal is not formulated for the growth of a kitten. Therefore, it should only be fed routinely to adult cats. If you’d like a kitten recipe, you can contact the company for a custom diet formulated specifically for the growth needs of kittens, but you’ll have to pay a formulation fee. You can also check out Smalls Cat Food, listed above.
Has Just Food For Cats ever been recalled?
There have been no Just Food For Cats recalls to date. However, on January 22, 2018, Just Food for Dogs voluntarily recalled three of their dog food meals: Beef & Russet Potato, Fish & Sweet Potato, and Turducken. There was concern that the green beans were contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. Read more about the Just Food For Dogs recall.
Where can I buy Just Food For Cats?
Just Food For Cats is unique in that it can be shipped to your door or picked up in stores. You can purchase at their brick-and-mortar locations in California, inside participating veterinary clinics and hospitals, at Pet Food Express locations in California, and at Petco locations nationwide. When ordering online, select the “Free Local Pickup” option.
Note that you are unable to schedule an Autoship order for local pickup at this time. The company hopes to have this available in the future. For this reason, and the simplicity of receiving regular shipments, we recommend you opt for free at-home delivery.
Can Just Cats be used as a topper?
Yes. However, using Just Cats as a topper to slowly transition your cat to fresh food may not be the best idea. Cats tend to be habitual creatures and don’t easily adapt to change. Just Food for Cats suggests transitioning your cat immediately instead of gradually over a week, as you would with a dog. If your cat refuses to eat after three meals, they recommend offering their old diet and then repeating the process the next meal until they accept the new diet.
If your cat is happy to eat the two foods mixed together, then using it as a topper can be a method to upgrade your cat’s diet without spending quite as much.
Other Just Food For Cats reviews
I purchased this originally because
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)
“I purchased this originally because my kitty’s poop was unbearable and the source of many arguments. He is now stink-free. His coat is soft and he looks (and feels) so healthy. He really loves this food! It’s a little on the expensive side, so I wish there were more promos. Still a worthwhile purchase!”
Review by Kimberly E. on 18 Oct 2021 | Verified Buyer
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)
“Our cat stopped eating over a period of months. She became so finicky. She had eaten canned food all her life without complaint, sometimes going off a flavor or texture for a while, but this time she refused to eat any of it. She was still hungry – she would sit by her bowl and meow, but then turn her nose up at it. We took her to the vet, paid for expensive x-rays and cat scans, and she wasn’t blocked or ill. Just STUBBORN. We tried every kind of food at the grocery store, and then at the pet store. She would eat a little of some once and then not again. She lost 20% of her weight. Finally the pet store clerk recommended Just Food For Cats. Well, I guess we found what she likes. She gobbles it up, crawls up our legs as we prepare it, is back to her old self again. She gained back all her weight within 2 weeks. Her coat is shiny and she has more energy and is playful. This is an eleven-year-old cat who had all her teeth pulled a few years ago. We are so happy and relieved. Thanks for making this great food.”
Review by Elizabeth B. on 6 Apr 2020 | Verified Buyer
Best cat food!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 stars)
“We’re so happy to have found this food for our cats. Both have severe IBD and needed to get on a better food. One cat also has colitis and as a result she had terrible diarrhea. Since starting this food she no longer has diarrhea. And both cats are doing so much better. They are more active. I’ve noticed it has especially helped my older cat with her joints. She’s able to jump onto her cat tower, which she hadn’t done in a very long time. Anyways definitely recommend this food to anyone with cats. I do wish they had more protein choices. And it did take my male cat about a month to actually eat the food. He didn’t want to touch it at first. But we stuck with it and he loves it now”
Review by Kindra S. on 5 Jun 2019 | Verified Buyer