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Most pet food is heavily processed to make it inexpensive, easy to mass-produce, and easy to leave on the grocery store shelf for long periods of time. Unfortunately, this usually means the food is sub-par for pets, bad for the environment, and inhumane to other animals.
Open Farm has higher standards. It creates quality pet food with sustainably-sourced meat and fresh, local produce. The brand offers dry cat food, food toppers, and even a line of fresh, human-grade food, so your cat can dine as well as you do.
Open Farm partners with Ocean Wise®, Certified Humane®, and the Global Animal Partnership® to ensure that the animals that go into its products are ethically sourced and treated humanely. We’ll dig into Open Farm’s cat food products below.
If you also have a dog and want to learn about those products, check out our Open Farm Dog Food review.
Verdict (if you’re in a hurry): Open Farms’ Rustic Blend wet food and supplements get two thumbs up from us! We appreciate the impeccable sourcing of humanely-raised meats and fresh, local produce used to create these meals. Add rich, flavorful bone broth to any recipe and your cat will be the one ringing the dinner bell. Open Farm’s dry food is solid but didn’t blow us away. Get a discount below, or check out our Smalls Cat Food review for our favorite fresh cat food option.
In this review:
- High-level overview of benefits
- Our Open Farm Cat Food review
- How Open Farm works
- How does Open Farm Cat Food compare to other options?
Open Farm Cat Food: At a glance
- Real food ingredients: All of Open Farm’s products include high-quality ingredients like whole meats and produce that’s paired with functional superfoods like non-GMO cranberries and dandelion greens for UTI health.
- Ethically sourced: Open Farm uses 100% humanely raised meat or sustainably sourced fish. The meat is audited by Certified Humane, which governs the food animals are fed and the treatment and care of the animals, such as space minimums, handling requirements, and slaughter standards. The meat is free from antibiotics and added growth hormones. The brand partners with Ocean Wise to ensure that all fish are caught using sustainable methods.
- Fresh, local & Non-GMO: That’s the mandate for Open Farm’s fruits and vegetables. To support local businesses, 90% of the produce is grown locally, either in the same town as the manufacturing facility, in the same state, or in a neighboring state. This also helps cut down on shipping pollution.
- Traceable ingredients: Each food package comes with a code you can enter into Open Farm’s website to trace the location source of the ingredients. This level of transparency and accountability is one of the top priorities of the company.
- Human-grade quality: The Rustic Blends cat food line is made entirely from human-grade ingredients that will give your cat a diet as good as your own. Healthy food can have a profound impact on your cat’s health.
- Single purchase or subscriptions: Open Farm offers both one-off purchases and subscriptions. We recommend subscribing to earn a discount and to knock one more item off your grocery list—permanently. Get 15% off your first purchase with code DOGTALE15.
- 100% recyclable: All of Open Farm’s packaging is either curb-side recyclable, compostable, or recyclable through their partnership with TerraCycle.
- Open Farm gives back: Upon reaching out to the company, they responded that they stand by their ‘Do Some Good’ mission. In 2020 they donated 75k meals to rescue animals across the US and Canada. They also advocate for causes that matter to us, including partnering with BetterHelp to shine a light on mental health awareness. Customers are encouraged to be involved as well; with each shipment to TerraCycle, points are earned and can be redeemed for a variety of charitable gifts, or a payment to the non-profit organization or school of your choice.
Open Farm Cat Food review
- We love Open Farm’s approach to ethical sourcing. Pets consume a lot of meat and have a considerably large environmental impact, so Open Farm’s commitment to sustainable sourcing makes a difference.
- We are also really impressed with its human-grade Rustic Blend wet cat food. This line of cat food is packed with natural ingredients and nutrients your cat will love, and you can feel good feeding it to them.
- Open Farm’s dry cat food, on the other hand, is slightly less impressive. Don’t get us wrong—it’s a fairly good option. But with whitefish meal and herring meal constituting a large portion of the protein content, we think there are superior options out there (we always look for whole meat, not meat meals). However, the rest of the ingredient list on Open Farm’s cat kibble is strong, so it may be worth seeing if your cat likes it.
Let’s take a closer look at Open Farm’s cat food products, so we can see what’s inside.
Rustic Blend wet food
Open Farm’s Rustic Blend wet cat food is created from human-grade ingredients that are gently kettle-cooked at 165º F for about 35 minutes. The food is finished with nutrient-rich bone broth in a pressure cooker at approximately the same temperature. The result is a thick, pourable stew that delivers moisture, texture, and excitement to your cat’s diet.
- Great for sensitive teeth: Soft, wholesome ingredients are mixed with bone broth to make the food delicious and easy to consume.
- Ditch the can: Rustic Blends are stored in BPA-free Tetra Paks, which are resealable and recyclable.
- Perfect as a standalone meal or topper: Since Rustic Blends meet AAFCO standards for daily maintenance, they can be served as a complete meal. Or they can be used as a topper to add some extra flavor, moisture, and intrigue to dry kibble.
- Clean ingredients: Just real, human-grade, 100% traceable ingredients. No synthetic flavors, colors, or preservatives. All meat is sourced from farms audited for animal welfare.
First 5 ingredients:
- Grass-fed beef: Humanely raised beef, beef bone broth, pumpkin, carrots, spinach…
- Harvest chicken: Humanely raised chicken, chicken bone broth, pumpkin, carrots, spinach…
- Chicken & salmon: Humanely raised chicken, chicken bone broth, Wild Pacific salmon, pumpkin, carrots…
- Homestead turkey: Humanely raised turkey, turkey bone broth, pumpkin, carrots, spinach…
- Herring & mackerel: Sustainably sourced ocean herring and mackerel, water sufficient for processing, pumpkin, carrots, spinach…
- Wild-caught salmon: Sustainably sourced wild pacific salmon, water sufficient for processing, pumpkin, carrots, spinach….
Dry cat food (kibble)
We firmly hold to the belief that less-processed food is a healthier option than food that has gone through extensive morphing from whole ingredients to an extruded, dry pellet. This applies to Open Farm’s dry cat food, which does not consist of 100% human-grade ingredients.
That said, Open Farm’s kibble is better than many alternatives. We also understand it’s difficult to compete with the cost and convenience of kibble. For pet owners on a budget, consider mixing a human-grade Rustic Blend with kibble as a compromise between premium nutrition and cost.
Open Farm offers four fairly high-quality dry food recipes for cats. All recipes meet AAFCO standards for all life stages.
First 5 ingredients:
- Wild-caught salmon: Wild pacific salmon, ocean whitefish meal, ocean herring meal, chickpeas, red lentils, coconut oil…
- Catch-of-the-season whitefish: Ocean whitefish, ocean whitefish meal, herring meal, chickpeas, coconut oil…
- Homestead turkey & chicken: Turkey, chicken, ocean whitefish meal, herring meal, chickpeas…
- Pasture-raised lamb: Lamb, ocean whitefish meal, herring meal, chickpeas, red lentils…
Since cats are obligate carnivores, 85% of the protein in each recipe comes from humanely raised meat or sustainably sourced fish. All recipes feature whole meat as the first ingredient, such as whole lamb, turkey, salmon, or Ocean Whitefish. And all of the animal protein comes from Certified Humane farms.
In each recipe, whitefish meal and herring meal follow the whole meat. Although meat meals have some different vitamins and minerals that aren’t found in muscle meat, we aren’t crazy about them as a primary source of protein. The handling of the carcasses used to create meat meals can be somewhat mysterious and affect the quality of the nutrition.
At least we know that all of the fish used to make Open Farm’s fish meals meet the high standards of Ocean Wise and are sourced from the ocean, never fish farms.
The remaining ingredients feature wholesome fruits and veggies like apple, cranberries, pumpkin, and dandelion greens. The ingredients are purposeful with your cat’s nutrition in mind. Coconut oil and non-GMO pumpkin are added for improved digestion and to support healthy skin and shiny coats, which aid the prevention of hairballs. Lastly, Open Farm’s cat food includes supplemental ingredients like taurine for heart health or turmeric for inflammation and antioxidants.
Prices depend on the recipe and the size of the kibble bag. But, generally, Open Farm’s dry cat food is comparable to the price of other high-quality kibbles, like Halo cat food.
Remember that when you subscribe to regular shipments, you receive a discount.
Bone Broth, Kefir & Milk (toppers & supplements)
Try one of the following toppers to add some interest, flavor, and nutrition to your cat’s meal.
Open Farm offers three nutrient-dense bone broths to supplement your cat’s regular diet. Bone broths add rich flavor and moisture to dry food. It also adds nutrients like collagen and amino acids, and it supports healthy digestion, joint mobility, skin and coats, and immune systems.
For a boost to the immune system, Open Farm offers one cow kefir and one goat kefir. These kefirs contain 11 active cultures, which pack 12 billion live probiotics. They also contain high levels of vitamin B12, folic acid, and anti-inflammatory superfoods like organic turmeric and cinnamon. To name a few, these kefirs improve the health of the digestive tract, gut microbiome, bones, and immune system.
Open Farm also offers three blends of goat milk for cats. The calcium- and potassium-rich goat milk is blended with nutrient-dense foods like pumpkin, spinach, or chicory root. Each blend is formulated for a specific purpose like relaxation, aiding digestion, and boosting antioxidants. However, these milks and kefirs are currently not available online—only in select stores.
It’s worth pointing out here that not all cats respond well to dairy. However, we strongly recommend Open Farm’s bone broths for picky eaters, since it can make dry kibble more enticing.
How Open Farm Cat Food works
To begin, you can choose to take the Build Your Own Bowl quiz to receive Open Farm’s recommendations. You’ll enter personalized information about your cat, like their life stage (kitten/adult/senior), weight, activity level, pickiness with food, weight goals, their preferred protein, food allergies, and their current diet (dry or wet food).
Note that the quiz will suggest recipes of the same food type that your cat currently eats. So, if your cat currently dines on dry kibble, but you’d like to transition them to wet food, select “wet food” when the quiz asks what type of food your cat currently eats.
Open Farm provides recommendations based on the information you entered. You can select these recommendations or choose other options. You can also adjust quantities and shipping frequency to suit your needs. You can determine the quantity of food your cat needs under the product’s feeding guide.
If you want to enroll in a subscription to reduce your cost, click “Subscribe & SAVE 5%” before adding it to your cart. This subscription earns you a permanent discount, and you can edit, skip, or cancel it at any time.
You can skip the quiz
We didn’t find the quiz all that helpful as it doesn’t provide custom portion sizes based on your cat’s size, age, or activity level. However, it may be helpful for those who need to filter for specific food sensitivities. You have the option to select your cat’s preferred proteins and dietary needs, such as gluten intolerance, no poultry, no corn/soy/wheat, and more.
The lack of customization makes the service less personal than some other subscription services, such as Smalls Cat Food. But that doesn’t bother me. It majors on the majors—impeccably sourced food, a wide range of meal options, and 100% recyclable packaging. And it offers bone broths, milks, and kefirs that are a tasty addition to any meal.
If you want to try it out, Open Farm offers a money-back guarantee within 15 days of your purchase. You also have the option to edit your subscription or cancel it at any time. And don’t forget that you can get an additional 15% off your first purchase with code DOGTALE15.
The price you pay depends on the product you choose and the size of the package. Wet food costs more than dry food, and larger purchases will be cheaper per pound/ounce than smaller bags. See the table below for price examples.
And don’t forget that while Open Farm may have a higher price than lower-quality pet food brands, you’ll be feeding your cat a more nutritious diet that could reduce health issues and vet bills in the future.
|Dry cat food||$5.12 – $5.74 per pound (large bags)|
|Rustic Stew (wet food)||$31.99 for a case of 12 (5.5 oz. ea.)|
|Bone Broth||$20.99 per 3 (12 fl. oz.) bag|
We realize that even if you want the best food for your pet, the price of the Rustic Stew can be high for some cat owners. Subscribing as well as using this food as a topper rather than a full meal can help bring down costs. Finally, don’t forget you can get 15% off your first order with code DOGTALE15.
>> Read more: How Much Does Smalls Cat Food Cost?
Is Open Farm worth it?
Personally, yes, I think Open Farm’s Rustic Stews are worth the cost. Nutrition can have an enormous impact on health, particularly, the gut microbiome. And, depending on the quality of that food, the gut can cause disease or keep things running smoothly.
But it’s up to you and how you choose to balance cost and quality. If you can afford it, feeding your cat a human-grade diet could make a significant difference to your their health—especially if your cat suffers from dietary allergies or other digestive health issues.
If the cost is a bit out of reach, upgrading just part of their diet can have a dramatic effect on their health. The more minimally processed, nutrient-rich food you can provide, the more likely your cat will feel their best and live a healthy life.
To get the lowest price, be sure to take advantage of the discounts Open Farm offers. Between the subscription and our discount code below, the cost of this upgraded food can be a little more affordable. From there, consider subscribing to less frequent deliveries of fresh food and using it as a topper on some high-quality kibble.
How does Open Farm Cat Food compare to other options?
There is one other brand that gives Open Farm a run for its money when it comes to 100% human-grade ingredients. That brand is Smalls.
Smalls offers multiple recipes of fresh, minimally processed food, and each recipe comes in two different textures to suit even the pickiest eaters. Smalls also offers a number of other products we love, including silica litter, crocheted cat-nip toys, bone broth, freeze-dried raw food, and more. You can watch us unbox it and get discount codes in our Smalls Cat Food review.
One thing we like about Smalls is that it is a company made for cats first. Most subscription-based pet food companies orient most of their products around dogs and treat cats as more of an afterthought. The attention to detail Smalls puts into its products shines through, and it was a big success when we tested it.
Another brand that makes high-quality, human-grade cat food is JustCats. However, its options are currently limited, since the company focuses primarily on dog food. You can learn more in our Just Food For Cats review.
>> Read more: Has Open Farm Ever Been Recalled?