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Primal Pet Foods: Setting The Standards For Raw Diets

Primal Pet Foods

Photo credit: Primal Pet Foods

The idea of feeding a raw diet for my cats seemed crazy years ago.  Back then I was brainwashed to think that feeding my cats dry food out of a bag twice a day for their entire lives was all they needed.  Boy am I glad I woke up!  One of the first raw diet companies I was introduced to was Primal Pet Food.  They came into the pet market back in 2001 and have been setting the benchmark ever since. Today you will understand why!

How did Primal Pet Food get started?

Like so many natural pet food companies, the journey began with a sick dog and a dedicated owner who wouldn’t give up.

In early 2000, our founder Matt Koss discovered that his dog, Luna, was displaying early signs of renal failure. After exhausting all other methods, Matt took the advice of a holistic veterinarian who recommended switching Luna to a diet based on bones and raw food (also known as BARF or Biologically Appropriate Raw Food), which mimics how an animal would consume food in the wild.

With a renewed sense of hope, Matt created his own species appropriate pet food for Luna. After a short time on the new raw diet, not only did her appetite drastically improve, but she also showed an increase in energy and overall happiness. After seeing the powerful results of raw feeding firsthand, Matt set out to bring Primal to market so that other pets could enjoy a happier, healthier, more vibrant life.



Not just a popular buzz word, species appropriate nutrition allows our pets’ bodies to easily absorb and assimilate nutrients.  It is full of living enzymes that are not destroyed through the heating or cooking process.  Furthermore, raw diets for pets mimic what they would eat in the wild.  

Primal formulas use human-grade, USDA inspected meats and organic fruits and vegetables which provide food-based vitamins and minerals. They care about now only where the ingredients are sourced but how the animals are raised.  Furthermore, they are completely transparent about their ingredients.  Check out these impressive, high standards:

  • USDA inspected foods
  • Certified organic
  • Humanely sourced
  • Ethically raised animals
  • Wild caught seafood
  • Vegetarian fed 
  • No corn, wheat or soy
  • Manufactured in the USA
  • Grass fed
  • Crate free (pork)
  • Cage free 
  • No antibiotics
  • Grain free
  • No hormones
  • No steroids
  • Gluten free
  • No synthetic vitamins
  • No ingredients from China

Primal raw diets for cats

Being obligate carnivores, cats must eat meat.  Their bodies require certain amino acids and taurine, and they must get these nutrients in their diet.  “Primal cat formulas start with no less than 90% meat. We believe in real food, so instead of a multivitamin we add a variety of omega oils, organic produce, and whole food supplements for essential fiber and to balance the diet for your carnivore.”

Primal makes several raw/frozen as well as freeze-dried recipes for cats and dogs.  Bone broth, raw goat’s milk, meaty and recreational bones and treats round out their product line.  Did you know that many cats enjoy chewing on turkey and chicken necks and chicken backs?  Not only are they tasty, but gnawing the bones help keep tartar and plaque from forming on their teeth.  You may need to cut them in smaller pieces in the beginning until your cat gets used to them.  Many local, natural pet stores that carry Primal will special order these products for you if they’re not part of their regular inventory. 

To help transition your cat, start with adding the freeze-dried food crumbled onto their regular food.  Secondly, offer the freeze dried pieces as treats.  Finally, add a little water to rehydrate the nuggets and begin to mix small portions into their regular wet or dry food.  The frozen nuggets can be quickly thawed and added in to your cat’s wet food.  Some cats take to the fresh, raw recipes right away and need little to no transition at all.  Be sure to rotate proteins so your cat doesn’t grow tired of the same food.  This also helps to avoid developing food sensitivities.  Most importantly, be patient!  Cats will set the pace in which they adapt to changes to their diet.  

Additional benefits of feeding a raw diet to cats

One of the biggest complaints of cat parents is that their cat’s poop smells so awful.  Did you know this is due to biologically inappropriate ingredients in their food?  It’s true!  When you feed a raw diet your cat will poop less, and it’s not as smelly.  You will also notice improved dental health, less shedding, softer fur, and healthier skin.  Don’t be surprised if your cat appears to have more energy and a happier disposition, too!  

Primal Pet Food testimonial

Source: Primal Pet Foods

Testimonial from a Primal Customer

I just love sharing success stories about real life cats.  One cat owner submitted her own cat’s success story after trying Primal, and I think there are many aspects of it that will resonate with so many cat owners.  


When we first adopted Link from a cat rescue group at 6 months old, he was on a steady diet of name brand dry food. He was also throwing up several times a week and having irregular, smelly bowel movements. After several doses of antibiotics, it became clear that the problem was something diet related. The vet suggested a diet change to rule out food allergies.

I did some research, and was horrified to discover how unhealthy the food I’d been feeding him was! No wonder he was sick all the time! What he’d been eating was far from being species appropriate! I decided then and there to switch him to a healthier food. I tried several brands of high-end limited ingredient wet food, but he turned his nose up at all of them. I tried several brands of raw food with the same result. He sat there next to his bowl full of raw bits, refusing to touch a bite as he cried for his unhealthy kibble.

“He was a dry food addict.”

I thought I’d have to go back to feeding him dry just so he wouldn’t starve, but then I received a free sample of Primal Freeze-Dried Beef & Salmon Formula. I cut it up and re-hydrated it, then doubtfully set down the bowl. He scarfed it down immediately and meowed for a second helping.

The vomiting and diarrhea cleared up immediately, and I would have been thrilled with just that, but it got even better: Link used to routinely get eye infections, but since starting Primal, he hasn’t gotten a single one! His stools don’t smell at all now, and there are a lot less of them, and he doesn’t have awful kitty breath like he used to. He also used to shed like crazy! I’d only have to hold him for a few seconds to get covered in a layer of hair. But since starting Primal, he hardly sheds at all, and his fur is shiny and silky-soft to the touch. He feels like a baby bunny. Thank you for making my fur son so much healthier!

 Posted by Elis Fisk of Ann Arbor, MI

Has your cat tried Primal?  If so, share your experience in the comments below!

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