What are the pros/cons of feeding dehydrated cat food?

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Dehydrating and freeze-drying both result in the removal of moisture. When it’s time for dinner, water is added and the food becomes rehydrated and ready to eat.

However, the processes themselves are slightly different: Dehydrating includes only one process, using high heat to remove the water, but with freeze-drying, the food is first frozen and then the moisture is extracted. That makes it a low-heat process. Many insist that freeze-drying preserves more nutrients, but that also accounts for the higher price.

So which do you choose, dehydrated or freeze-dried?


• Convenience: Dehydrated foods don’t take up much space.
• Cost: You can dehydrate foods at home, through many processes that don’t require any special equipment, such as sun or air drying. Then you can store them for up to a year.
• Long shelf life: As long as they remain in a tight package, water can’t get in, but once it’s rehydrated—feed immediately and store leftovers in the refrigerator for about 24 hours.
• Lightweight. Water is the heaviest component of food , but there isn’t any.
• Nutrient Value. Dehydrated food retains all its enzymes, vitamins, minerals and general nutritional value that would be lost or damaged by cooking.
• Appearance, taste, texture: Dehydrated foods have a wrinkled appearance so that it’s often impossible to determine what, exactly, the original food was. Then, once it is rehydrated (which can often take hours), the taste may not be close to the original food. Sometimes a dehydrated food has a tough or leathery texture.
• Nutrient value. This is both a pro and a con. While dehydrated foods do retain enzymes, vitamins and minerals, it is a high-heat process—so some say it retains fewer nutrients than its low-heat counterpart, freeze-drying.

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