I was super apprehensive to pull off preparing cooked or even raw food for my cats. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they need meat to survive.
That’s something I didn’t want to mess up, didn’t have time for but knew would be best for my four 13(+) year-old cats.
Luckily, I was contacted by Kevin Cambell, through Malroy Crusta of Wilderness Cats, to take a test drive with NomNomNow minimally processed, freshly cooked cat food.
I said yes, of course, and he generously sent over 2 weeks worth of sample foods for 3 of my cats.
I ended up using it for all 4 of my cats to try.
Just so you know, Kevin is head of marketing for NomNom and asked for a review in exchange.
It’s been 4 months since he initially contacted me and I’m now an official “Nommer”.
For me, I only opted for the chicken recipe and not the fish (only recommend fish for a treat) and not to feed solely as regular meals.
What you’ll read below is the history of NomNomNow and a review with my experiences, my cat’s verdicts, concerns and overall thoughts on this food from the company.
How NomNomNow Was Born.
It all started in February on a day out to the San Francisco 2013 Dog Fest with brothers Zach and Nate Phillips with, then, fiancees Alexandria Jerrel (now Phillips) and Megan.
That day they just wanted to look at puppies, not realizing their lives would change when falling in love with 2 Australian Shepards and half-sisters, Harlee and Min.
When you become a pet parent, just like a human parent, you want the best for them.
Just as us humans thrive on eating real whole foods, so should our pets.
They began to notice the food selections for dogs were not real food but unpronounceable ingredients that acted as fillers in both dry and canned foods.
Carbs Rule! (not.)
These are what I like to call, “Fast Food” for pets.
Actually, I was able to coordinate an email interview with Alex, with the help of Kevin, going over some questions I had and thought would help enlighten us here at Cat Veteran into the birth of NomNomNow:
Q: What was the event that led you to start creating dog food for Harlee?
A: “In 2014, Our dog Harlee began to suffer from mange a skin issue, and my fiance and I were concerned.
The veterinarian told us the symptoms were caused by a weak immune system and suggested we cook fresh food for her.
After cooking homemade food for her and she improved, our friends and family began asking about it, so we decided to cook bigger batches.
We realized there was a real market for it. From there, the reception from pet parents and their pets have been great and we have enjoyed the process.
Q: During your testing phase, how were people’s reactions to having someone walk up to them asking to feed their dogs?
A: “At first, a lot of pet parents looked at me like I was crazy and even wanted me to eat the food first which I did of course!
Q: Can you reveal where the chicken breast, thighs, liver, and fish are sourced from? (We have cats)
A: We only use ingredients that are sourced from human-grade restaurant suppliers and are Grade A USDA approved for human consumption to ensure that every piece consumed is of the highest quality and is the most beneficial for our pets.
No by-product or feed-grade here and all of our chicken and fish are hormone-free per USDA standards.
Q: Where does all the cooking take place? We know it started in your SF kitchens but where is it all cooked now? The Process?
A: “We now operate two wholly-owned and operated production kitchens, one in the San Francisco Bay Area and another in Nashville, TN.
Owning the production process from start to finish gives us total control of the process and quality of our ingredients.
Our fresh, made to order meals are formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist Dr. Justin Shmalberg portioned to meet your pet’s calorie needs, and delivered directly to your door.”
Q: Funnily enough, 2 of my cats always leave the carrot chunks behind. Why exactly are carrots (or any of the vegetables) added to both the chicken and fish recipes for cats?
A: “Great question! Our fresh cat food recipes are made up of 90%+ protein and less than 10% carbs.
Cats are obligate carnivores, but they can benefit from a small number of veggies including carrots (just as roughage would usually be present in their prey).
Dr. Shmalberg designed these recipes to feature digestible sources of high-quality protein and nutrient-rich vegetables, to match the low-carbohydrate nutrient profile of the typical natural prey of wild cats.”
I’m from San Jose, CA so I felt right at home knowing my cat’s food comes prepared from the area!
Turns out, NomNomNow is the only company that makes fresh pet food to order:
- In its own manufacturing facility
- Pre-portions every meal
- Delivers them in weekly (or monthly) to your door
NomNomNow is based in Oakland, CA and their manufacturing facilities are located in Pittsburg, CA and Nashville, TN.
The Founders & Vital Team Of NomNomNow
BIO: Alex Phillips, CEO, and co-founder of NomNomNow is an expert in customer experience management and is a true caretaker at heart.
Growing up on a farm in Tennessee as the daughter of a veterinarian, Alex’s love of animals blossomed early in life and has shaped who she is today.
After witnessing dramatic health improvements in her own dog, Harlee, as a result of a fresh diet, Alex was determined to help pet parents everywhere experience the powerful benefits of nourishing their pets with fresh food.
Dr. Justin Shmalberg, DVM – formulates all the recipes for cats (or dogs)
My NomNomNow Review: 4 Months And Counting!
In the video below, I pieced together my journey from receiving my first box until 4 months later to present day.
You’ll see how my cats reacted to it and how it helped clear an allergy for my queen bee girl, Tanta.
It’s a bit out of order but hopefully, overall, you can see that this is my genuine review for this food.
Something we put in the budget from now on.
If you don’t want to watch the video (you can always speed up the playback to 1.5x) I’ll give you a brief rundown of what comes in your first box, how my cats adjusted to the new food and my overall thoughts.
At minute 5:50 the video will speed through the unboxing of my FIRST trial box.
It starts with a quick look at what’s inside:
- Inside the box flap – will show numbers that will correlate to your cat to tell you which portions go with each cat (if you have multiple cats)
- 2 ice packs (by the time this posts, NomNom will be using dry ice and not the ice packs you see in the video)
- 1 Flavor flake – your first box will have a small packet included to help with the transition (you can also buy a bigger container or Fortiflora, see the very beginning of the video)
- 1 Beef Broth – again your first order you’ll get a small container to add to the food. (my cats didn’t like it!)
- 1 Chicken Jerky (there’s also a beef jerky)
- 1 Booklet
- 1 week of emergency meals
- Chicken Chow Meow
- Fancy Fish Feast
The first box I received had a pouch version that the food came in.
This version you were able to tear from the top to get the food out. (just see in the video I used scissors to cut it open)
Honestly, I prefer this to the current way the pouches open. The current way, as shown in the video, is a peelable version.
To me, this is messy and harder to open. Once, I splattered juice all over myself!
But, either way, food gets eaten 🙂
Next, was introducing my cats to this new food, with its new texture and smells.
I had 1 picky eater, 1 dry food addict (at the time) and 2 that’ll eat whatever.
Turns out these cats, after the initial introduction and enticement, love this food.
The only thing that was left behind was the carrot chunks!
My dry food addict took a few weeks to start eating.
I followed a plan that I learned from Catinfo.org to get her to transition easier.
Within my own family, my wife cooks whole food type meals, so I love the idea of freshly cooked food for my cats.
The portion sized pouches and home delivery are so convenient as well.
I just feel using NomNomNow is a great option for cat parents who want fresh wholesome food without the anxiety of having to cook it themselves.
NomNomNow Protein-Rich Recipes For Cats: The Ingredients
I love how the recipes are made with whole foods, therefore, not processed the same as regular cat food.
They’re also cooked fresh in small batches with pre-portioned packs.
Since this food is minimally processed, it retains more:
What Are The Benefits Of Feeding Fresh Cooked Food For Cats?
Same benefits as if it were for us humans, especially if the recipe is already formulated for you.
This is why I stayed away from doing this for myself.
I’ve seen people making raw or cooked cat food without making sure the recipe is balanced. That’s probably why vets recommend against homemade diets.
With that said, below are 5 benefits cat get from a freshly cooked diet:
- Better digestion with less waste – since nomnom is nutrient dense with no fillers (or grains), it’s absorbed into the body producing less poop and less odor.
- Weight loss – if your cat is obese, the portion sizes with nom will help.
- Healthy coat and skin – with the natural, non-synthetic vitamins (B vitamins and fatty acids) and minerals your cat will shed less and have fewer hairballs. (Again, from the video above, Tanta’s allergy was cleared up within months of eating nomnom.)
- Increased energy with brighter eyes – easily absorbable food makes for better digestion. More play time!
- Improved dental health – less of that bad “kitty breath”.
- Improved urinary health
- Stronger Immune system – due to the nutrient mix (all-natural vitamins, such as A, C, and zinc) in the fresh nomnom recipes.
- Hydration – the cat recipes with nomnom have over %70 moisture content, makes for a healthier kitty. (water intake)
NomNom Chicken Chow Meow Recipe:
What is in the NomNomNutrient Mix?
The nutrient mix is a proprietary formula developed by Dr. Shmalberg to balance each of the recipes so that your cat is getting exactly what he/she needs nutritionally.
It is made up of the following ingredients in different proportions based on the ingredients of the whole food in the recipe:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B12
This blend has then undergone testing by the manufacturing facility as well as independent testing to ensure it compliments each recipe to create meals that are balanced and complete.
It’s made in the USA, is entirely natural, non-synthetic, and fit for human consumption.
NomNomNow Fancy Fish Feast Recipe:
Tilapia – Protein, vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids for a luxurious coat
Salmon – More omega-3s, vitamins, and minerals
Beef fat – A source of choline and unsaturated fatty acids for a healthy coat and skin
Cassava Root- Calcium, vitamin C, and minerals galore for strong bones
Carrot – Beta-carotene serves as an antioxidant
NomNomNutrient Mix with the Fancy Feast:
Dicalcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, salt, citric acid (natural preservative), taurine, choline bitartrate, zinc gluconate, ferrous sulfate, vitamin E supplement, copper gluconate, manganese gluconate, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), selenium yeast, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin B12 supplement, cholecalciferol (source of vitamin D3), sodium iodide. – NomNomNow
Very good resources for feline nutrition: Catinfo.org – Dr. Lisa Pierson’s site contains a wealth of information if you are unsure of these ingredients.
Should I choose a raw diet or a cooked diet for my cats?
While I recommend you try a homemade diet, I also know how hard it is for people (like me) to fit “the process” into your schedule.
You’ll need to buy all your tools:
- Meat and bone grinder
- Regularly buy (ethically sourced) ingredients
- You’ll likely need a chest freezer – for all the large batches you make
- Clean up
If you’d like to go raw, here is a great source.
You’d need to be sure you make a balanced recipe for each of your cats. Like all the nutrient needs, like amino acids and make sure the meat you give is from a reputable source.
Which is why vets make sure you steer clear of going the homemade route to feed your cats. It’s not worth the risk.
I’m choosing to give cooked food to my cats that come prepared fresh and delivered to my door.
As a working military mom of 2 pre-schoolers, time is scarce.
This service provided by NomNomNow is super convenient, albeit costly, and easy to give to my cats.
Let’s talk cost.
The Costs Of NomNom For Cats
Prices vary based on your pet’s size and individual nutrition needs Click here to get a quote and save 20% off your first box!
I have 4 indoor only cat’s (11 – 13 years old) that range in weight between 10 – 15 pounds.
They don’t have any health issues at the moment so that plays a part in my own personal costs:
- $353 every 4 weeks
Plus you get a discounted rate for having multiple cats in the program.
The pricing does vary depending on:
- your zip code
- your cat’s activity level
- applicable sales tax.
Here are a few sample quotes below:
A month of food for a 10-pound cat could cost you from these ranges:
- Chicken Chow-Meow: $94.08 – $143.56 ($23.52 per week – $35.89 per week)
- Flavorful Fish Feast: $94.08 – $146.92 ($23.52 per week -$36.73 per week)
Or as simple as $120 for a month of food for an 8-pound cat.
How NomNomNow Works
1 – Fill out the profile for your cats to get a quote:
You’ll need to create a profile for your cat, it’ll ask:
- Current weight
- Target weight – what you’d like them to weigh
- Which recipe you’d like
- You’ll get an email with all tracking information
2 – Choose your recipes:
For cats, there’re only 2: Chicken or Fish
3 – Choose any optional add-ons:
They have a couple add-ons you can get:
- Chicken or Beef jerky
- Emergency Meals
- Gift packs
4 – Wait for free delivery:
All meals are delivered fresh, not frozen.
You can then freeze the meals and thaw as needed.
I bought this 5 cubic foot chest freezer for my nomnom food.
- Deliver to all 48 contiguous US states.
- All packaging is recyclable.
- NomNomNow uses the Auto-Ship – you can easily change anything with your subscription.
- The packages for your food will always come on a Thursday. (Thursday prior is when you’ll be charged.)
Depending on what delivery option you choose:
- weekly – 14 meal packets
- monthly – 56 meal packets
These all come packed in dry ice to preserve freshness.
Managing your account is simple and you can log in to pause your subscription up to two weeks in advance or your next two deliveries.
I put all the food in the freezer right away and take out what I need.
My cats are ok with eating the food cold but if yours aren’t, put it in the microwave to warm it up.
My Overall Verdict Of NomNom
Bubs, Foof’s, CooCoo’s and Tanta has transitioned to NomNomNow a lot easier than I had first thought.
Only the girls (Tanta and CooCoo’s) were super suspicious of the new food at first, but now in their normal feeding setting (without a camera clicking away!), they had no problem or hesitation eating it.
I don’t use the flavor flakes or mix-in’s anymore because they simply turn their noses up to it.
But I do keep a box or two of Fortiflora on hand just in case.
Also, for the feeding schedule, I feed my cats 4 times a day.
My cats tend to inhale this food, so I use smaller portions, so they can finish it and not vomit it up.
Of course, not everyone can do this, especially if you are working.
In that case, you can feed once in the morning and once at night, which is how Nom is made to do. It’s made to feed 1 packet portion twice a day.
This can be tough if your cat doesn’t eat it all at once. The food can spoil after a few hours.
What I liked about NomNomNow:
- Looks and smells good (we, the humans, can eat it too)
- Recipes contain real food
- They control how the food is made
- Pouches can be torn open, no need to use scissors (be careful not to splatter the juices everywhere, yes I did that.)
Concerns I have (had):
- Only chicken, and fish.
- Difficult to travel with – We used a Yeti Cooler when we moved from Massachusetts to Missouri and the food stayed frozen!
- Plastic in a couple packages of food – this happened once and was rectified immediately. I was compensated with a week of meals.
Can the average person afford to buy NomNomNow food? They’re priced competitive with at least 25% of the existing premium market, and likely much cheaper than home-cooking.
It’s a personal choice if you want to invest in your cat’s health and add it to your budget.
From my perspective, this is a no-brainer and the right choice for all 4 of my cats. It’s mainly a question of value.
For example, we were feeding our cats a semi-premium canned wet food that was costing us around $260 per month.
So, it was easy to switch to NomNomNow when our current cost is $100 more.
We make it work.
Plus this healthier food will totally save you on vet bills in the long run.
We are a military family, with 2 toddlers and 4 cats. Costs are important to us.
Like I said before, we pay roughly 350 per month now for this food.
At first, though, we only were giving it to 1 cat with the allergy.
Then as the debt was being paid off little by little we added another cat, and so on.
Again, asses your own personal financial situation to see if this is feasible for you.
How easy/difficult is it to cancel the subscription? It’s very easy to cancel. You can contact NomNomNow customer care to cancel, with no kickback from them. In addition, you can easily skip orders through your cat’s profiles from your account.
Where does your meat come from? Is it organic? The food comes from a “restaurant grade” / “human food” supplier.
NomNomNow ingredients are not organic, they are all USDA-certified, and the pork, chicken, and turkey are hormone-free.
They can only speak to the quality of their own food. They have in-depth visibility into the entire manufacturing process. (they own and manage their own kitchens)
So to recap…
What makes NomNomNow different than other fresh pet food products on the market?
- They’re the only pet food company that delivers fresh food ready to serve, and not frozen.
- They’re the only pet food company that makes food to order
- They operate two wholly-owned production kitchens and have total control of the process and quality of our ingredients.
- They generate zero food waste in our facilities because we only make as much food as our customers have ordered.
- They’re the only fresh pet food company that pre-portions every meal to the specific requirements of each cat’s nutrition goals, including a week of transitional portions to comfortably switch your cat to a fresh diet.
- All of our recipes were expertly formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist, Dr. Justin Shmalberg, our Chief Nutrition Officer.
Want Fresh, Homemade Food Delivered For Your Cat Every Week So You Don’t Have To Do The Cooking?