Fancy trying out some of the 9Lives cat food formulas? Manufactured by the world renowned Del Monte Company, the Long Life Formula is rated as the company’s best cat food for mature cats. So, is this formula ideal for your cat? Find out below.
Ingredients in 9Lives Long Life Formula
Whole ground corn, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, soybean meal, whole wheat, meat & bone meal, animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), turkey, chicken, caramel color, animal digest, phosphoric acid, salt, titanium dioxide, choline chloride, vitamins (vitamin A supplement, vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, thiamine mononitrate, D-calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, folic acid, vitamin B12 supplement), minerals (ferrous sulfate, manganous oxide, zinc oxide, copper sulfate, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), potassium chloride, red 40, taurine, potassium sorbate (used as a preservative), yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 1, BHA (used as a preservative), rosemary extract.
Long Life Formula Top 5 Ingredients
The best way to evaluate the nutritional value of a pet formula is to look at the first 5 ingredients. Below is an overview of the first 5 ingredients in the Long Life formula:
Whole ground corn – Unfortunately, corn is one of the most widely known food allergens for cats. If your cat does not have a pre-existing allergy to this ingredient, he or she should not experience any allergic reactions. However, this ingredient is also difficult for many cats to digest, so you should keep an eye on your cat for any digestion problems or stomach upset. And finally, this ingredient is normally used in cheaper cat food products as a filler ingredient. It will help make your cat feel more full and will also boost the protein percentage of the food. Since cats are obligate carnivores, however, they do not digest plant based proteins like they do animal based proteins. Overall, this ingredient is pretty lousy unless it is only included in smaller quantities. If your cat suffers from digestion issues or food allergies, do not feed this food to your cat.
Corn gluten meal – This is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm. The expression “corn gluten” is colloquial jargon that describes corn proteins that are neither gliadin nor glutenin. Only wheat, barley, rye and oat contain true gluten. For the most part, this ingredient is normally only found in cheaper “grocery store brand” cat foods. Corn is frequently used as a filler ingredient to help make your cat feel more full, but it does not add much of anything to the nutritional value in the food. In addition, this is a common allergen for many cats and corn based ingredients can often be difficult for cats to digest. That’s why we can’t recommend this food for cats with food allergies or sensitive digestive systems.
Soybean meal – This ingredient is created after grinding the soybean to extract soybean oil. In addition to being used in dog and cat food, it is widely used as a filler and source of protein in other animal diets including pig, chicken, cattle, horse, sheep, and fish feed. This ingredient can often be found in “hairball relief” cat foods as it is believed to help eliminate hairballs. While some cats are allergic to soy based ingredients, the pet food industry is pretty defensive of this ingredient claiming that despite the attempts of researchers to prove a link between soy and bloat, no studies to date show this link. Rather, breed, body type, weight and stress level are significant risk factors. The pet food industry also claims that soy products are a superb source of bodybuilding protein, coat-nourishing vegetable oil and healthful fiber for cats. As long as your cat isn’t allergic to soy based ingredients, this ingredient shouldn’t pose any problems, but it isn’t included without controversy.
Whole wheat – Most cat food brands that use wheat in their products will tell you that wheat is a grain used as a high-quality carbohydrate source in dry dog and cat foods and biscuits. They will tell you that it provides energy for daily activity, as well as processing characteristics for the food. And finally, they will tell you that the allergy risk associated with wheat is low. However, many experts not associated with the pet food industry will seemingly say the opposite. From them, you’ll hear that wheat and wheat by-product is a very common allergy for dogs and cats. You’ll even find sources that claim wheat has also been linked to epileptic seizures and celiac diseases. Cats are not able to digest grains nearly as well as humans or dogs, so many cats may also experience digestion issues if given too much wheat. In general, wheat is considered to be a very low priced filler ingredient with essentially no nutritional value for cats. As the debate rages on, you be the judge.
Poultry by-product meal – This is a source of protein albeit of questionable quality. It is derived from slaughterhouse waste. This is what is left over after all the prime cuts of poultry have been removed. They could include beaks, feet, underdeveloped eggs etc. The only positive to this ingredient is that it contains considerably more protein than fresh poultry.
Other ingredients of Interest
Meat & Bone Meal
Meat and bone meal is the dried and rendered product from mammal tissues. It does not contain horn, hair, hide trimmings, manure, stomach contents, added blood meal or poultry by-product. The calcium content should not be more than 2.2 times the phosphorus content. While this ingredient probably provides a high amount of animal based proteins, it is generally considered to be a very low form of animal proteins. With such generic labeling, we are unable to tell where the meat and bones are coming from. It could be coming from almost any animal. As with other unnamed meat sources, we remain very skeptical about this ingredient.
Animal fat provides essential fatty acids, energy, and fat soluble vitamins. This ingredient can also support a healthy skin and coat. Unfortunately, when it comes to fat sources, animal fat is considered to be a lower quality ingredient. This is because it is an unnamed fat source. Usually, we like to see a named fat source (such as “chicken fat”). In this case, we are forced to guess what animal or animals this fat source comes from. Animal fat, also called tallow, is a product of rendering. In the rendering process, pieces, parts, and even whole animals are put through a gigantic grinder, then boiled in vats for 30 minutes to several hours. High heat is necessary to kill bacteria, viruses, molds, and other pathogens. The boiling process also allows the fat to separate and float to the top, where it is skimmed off for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, industrial lubricants, and, of course, pet food.
Can long Life Formula cause allergies?
The presence of corn and wheat in the formula is a red flag for those whose cats are prone to allergies. Corn and wheat are known allergens that could cause digestion problems in cats.
Cats may react differently to some of the ingredients of long Life Formula. For instance, there are some cats that are likely to gain weight after consuming this food for a long time, thanks to the crude oil ingredients. There are similarly other cats that are allergic to foods which are highly rich in proteins, particularly crude protein. Such cats should nevertheless avoid Life Long Formula and turn to other foods, which have a low concentration of proteins.
Based on the ingredients, there is no doubt that Long Life Formula cat food and is meant for feeding aging cats. Nevertheless, cat owners are reminded to feed their cats in accordance to the guidelines provided on the packaging. They are further reminded that this cat food is not ideal for kittens and relatively small cats since it can negatively impact on their health. Should one suspect that their cat may react with some of the ingredients contained in Long Life Formula such as crude fiber and proteins, they should refrain from feeding it to their cats.
The Long Life Formula though meant for aging cats is simply not a safe option due to the presence of allergens and other low quality ingredients. It leaves a lot to be desired.