Written by John Seeberg

Julia Ogden

Reviewed by Julia Ogden

Updated: November 24, 2023

Steve’s Real Food Freeze-Dried Raw Review

Updated: November 24, 2023

Our Verdict

star
star
star
star
star

Highly Recommended

Quest freeze-dried raw cat food by Steve’s Real Food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 5 stars.

The first three ingredients listed in this range come from animal protein which means the protein levels are very high and carbohydrates low. 

Pros
  • High in animal sourced protein
  • Low in carbohydrate
  • Freeze dried so ingredients haven't undergone any heat processing
  • Convenient to feed raw, with no freezing requirements
Cons
  • Limited range
  • More expensive than some cat foods

Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.

Quest freeze-dried cat food by Steve’s Real Food includes four recipes in the product line.

Product line Rating AAFCO
Quest Freeze-Dried Raw Beef Diet 5 A
Quest Freeze-Dried Raw Pork Diet 5 A
Quest Freeze-Dried Raw Chicken Diet 5 A
Quest Freeze-Dried Raw Whitefish Diet 5 A

Recipe and Label Analysis

Quest Freeze-Dried Raw Beef Diet recipe was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.

Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.

Quest Freeze-Dried Raw Beef Diet

Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content

48.4%

Protein

38.9%

Fat

4.6%

CarbsCarbohydrates

Ground beef, beef heart, beef kidney, beef liver, raw goat’s milk, ground beef bone, flaxseed, inulin, dried kelp, chia seeds, organic coconut oil, ground eggshell.


Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.3%

Red denotes any controversial items

Ingredients Analysis

The first ingredient is ground beef.

Beef is defined as “the clean flesh derived from slaughtered cattle” and includes skeletal muscle or the muscle tissues of the tongue, diaphragm, heart or esophagus.  1

Beef is naturally rich in all 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life. 

The second ingredient is beef heart. Although beef heart doesn’t sound very appetizing, heart tissue is pure muscle — all meat.  It’s naturally rich in quality protein, minerals and complex B vitamins, too.

The third and fourth ingredients are beef kidney and beef liver.  

Both are organ meats low in fat and rich in protein and essential minerals.

The fifth ingredient is raw goat’s milkGoat’s milk is rich in calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D.  It contains slightly less lactose and can be considered nutritionally similar to cow’s milk.

The sixth ingredient is ground beef bone, an excellent source of natural calcium.

The seventh ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant-based sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids.  Flax meal is particularly rich in soluble fiber.

However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this cat food.

The eighth ingredient is inulin, we note the inclusion of, a starch-like compound made up of repeating units of carbohydrates and typically sourced from chicory root. 

Not only is inulin a natural source of soluble dietary fiber, it’s also used to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in a cat’s digestive tract.

From here the list goes on to include a number of other items. But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of the product.

Nutrient Analysis

Based on its ingredients alone, Quest Freeze-Dried Raw Beef Diet recipe looks like an above-average freeze-dried raw product.

The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 48.4%, a fat level of 38.9% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 4.6%.

As a group, the brand features an above-average protein content of 51.4% and an above-average fat level of 27.9%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 12.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat to protein ratio of 55%.

This means that Quest ​​freeze-dried raw contains higher than average protein, lower than average carbohydrate, higher than average fat, when compared to typical freeze-dried raw cat food.

Final Word

This range of food offers very high protein levels sourced from animal proteins.  With low carbohydrate content, this food offers a well balanced diet.

Highly recommended.

Has Steve's Real Food cat food been recalled in the past?

Yes.  In September 2018, Steve’s Real Food voluntarily recalled Quest Beef Diet due to possible salmonella and l. mono contamination. You can read more about this recall on the Dog Food Advisor.

You can view a complete list of all cat food recalls since 2021 here.

To stay on top of any cat food product recalls, sign up for our free email alerts, here.

About

Steve Brown founded Steve’s Real Food in 1998 and it was the first commercial frozen-raw diet to meet AAFCO standards.  

The company has a dedicated facility in Aumsville.  All the meats come from free-range animals that are grass-fed.  The produce is fresh, pesticide-free, and triple-washed to ensure it is clean and wholesome.

Sources

1: [1. Association of American Feed Control Officials].

We uphold the highest editorial standards when creating the authoritative content pet parents rely on and trust.

Every piece of clinical content on the Cat Food Advisor is reviewed by our certified Veterinary Advisory Board, which consists of licensed veterinarians and medically certified specialists.

Our reviews are completely independent; we are not paid by any pet food company to promote their products favorably. We do not accept money, gifts, samples or other incentives in exchange for special consideration. For more information see our Disclaimer & Disclosure page.

Vet with cat