Cats are notoriously picky eaters, so it’s usually a roll of the dice attempting to incorporate a new food into their diet. Finding something that’s pleasing to their palates is made even more difficult by making sure that what you do serve to your finicky feline meets his or her health and nutritional needs.
Such a situation calls for samples, and that’s among the conveniences the team at Smalls offers with its food offerings, which are delivered to your door.
The Smalls approach is to focus on high protein (cats can’t metabolize carbohydrates, the company points out on its website), quality ingredients (“If it’s not good enough for us humans to eat, it’s not good enough for our feline family,” Smalls says) and natural moisture (to boost the liquid in cats’ diets).
Smalls makes wet and freeze-dried food, as well as filler-free kibble and single-source treats. The easy-to-navigate online process to determine which options make the most sense for your cat begins by selecting the “Get Started” button in the upper right corner of its homepage. A few click-through screens later, you’ll enter your email and pertinent pet information, such as how many cats, their names and genders, the types of food they eat and your budget preference.
We decided to have Milo and his 4-year-old sister Carly give the Smalls sampler a shot. After inputting the details for them, Smalls generated three options that featured a mix of fresh and dry food at discounted sampler prices. (Below that information was an option to show more plans or to speak with a person.)
The Smalls sampler we received came carefully packaged and contained four bags of kibble and two packets of frozen wet food, along with a storage container for the wet food once it’s been thawed and opened, small jars of bonito flakes and liver powder to be used as flavoring, and a 5-ounce container of Liquid Gold, which is chicken broth meant for additional moisture.
Accompanying the products was a sampler guide with portion, storage and serving advice. Taking that into consideration, we gave Milo and Carly a 50-calorie slice each of the turkey recipe (one meal is about 100 calories per eight-pound cat), along with some of their usual brand of wet food (a flaked fish option) for dinner. Resembling a roll of cookie dough, the turkey recipe from Smalls had no noticeable smell.
As is his nature whenever he gets fed, Milo dove right in, and on this night started with the Smalls food. Carly went for the flaked fish, stepped away for a few minutes, then came back and had some more of it, eyeing the other food in her bowl suspiciously. While Carly took an extended break from eating, Milo ate some of the Smalls food in her bowl (some things will never change). About 90 minutes later, roughly half of the Smalls turkey recipe remained in their bowls, and eventually it was whittled down to around 30 percent. They left no trace of the flaked fish.
For the first of their usual two shared scoops of dry food for breakfast the next day, Carly and Milo were served Smalls’ chicken kibble recipe, which in color and size resembled some of the favorite dry foods. This turned out to be an immediate hit with both of them, as they ate a typical amount in the usual amount of time, and the early sense is that the chicken kibble is poised to become a welcome addition to their morning menu rotation.
What’s good about the Smalls sampler is that it comes with plenty of food to try over a period of time in order to get a good read on what your cat likes best before continuing with the program. Even better is that Smalls offers a money-back guarantee if your cat doesn’t eat the food, so you can feel confident knowing your pet’s pickiness won’t stick you with a bill that will leave a proverbial bad taste in your mouth.