Are you thinking about changing your cat’s formula? Cats need some change in their meal every once in a while. With so many options available, picking an ideal cat formula can prove to be difficult.
AvoDerm is one of the many cat formula brands in the market. This is a brand that has come under heavy criticism mainly for the inclusion of avocado in the formula. The chicken and herring dry formula is one of the many pet foods under the AvoDerm brand. According to the company, this is a formula that provides vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support your cat’s immune system, and facilitate healthy growth.
With all the hype surrounding this formula, it is natural to wonder if it indeed lives up to expectations. Read on to find out.
Ingredients in Avoderm Chicken & Herring Cat Food
Chicken Meal, Ground Whole Brown Rice, Ground Whole White Rice, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Dried Tomato Pomace, Avocado Meal, Dried Egg Product, Natural Flavor, Dried Chicory Root, Whey, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (a -Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Choline Chloride, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Folic Acid, Biotin), Minerals (Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Sulfate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate), Taurine, Avocado Oil, Calcium Carbonate, Dried Kelp Meal, Parsley Flakes, Yucca Schidigera Extract, DL-Methionine, Inositol.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
The first 5 ingredients of any pet formula represent a large percentage of the nutritional value, and hence the need to take a keen look at them.
Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Many pet owners feel that chicken is a superior ingredient to chicken meal. It would seem logical that feeding a pet a whole, non-rendered chicken would be good. However, whole chicken still contains its moisture content prior to cooking and since whole chicken consists of about 80% moisture, after the cooking process is over there isn’t much left. With chicken meal, the moisture was removed prior to cooking. That means, chicken meal actually has a much higher protein percentage and provides far more beneficial nutrients to your cats than whole chicken. Meals consist of meat and skin, with or without the bones, but exclusive of feathers/hair, heads, feet, horns, entrails etc. and have the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio required for a balanced diet. It’s also important to note the quality difference between “chicken by-product meal” and “chicken meal.” While we do take exception to chicken by-products, chicken meal is actually a very high quality and nutritious ingredient. We are happy to see this listed.
Ground Whole Brown Rice
Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. While many cat owners like to stay away from grain based ingredients, rice in general is easy for cats to digest and is not likely to cause allergic reactions. The rice will expand in your cats stomach helping him or her feel more full. So while this ingredient may not be especially nutritious, it does have value in the food and is unlikely to cause major problems. You should still avoid this ingredient if your cat has suffered from grain allergies in the past, but overall, this is a very low-risk ingredient even though it is a grain.
Ground Whole White Rice
This is a grain that many cat owners are trying to avoid because it is a known allergen for many cats. The ingredient doesn’t supply much of any nutritional value, either. However, of all the grain products used in cat food, this grain has the lowest risk of causing allergies. There is also a growing risk of arsenic in rice. So far, the FDA believes the arsenic levels are low enough to be safe for humans and pets. However, you might want to read more about this, just so you are aware. Many cat food companies like to use this ingredient because it helps to make your cat feel more full and it is one of the easier grains for cats to digest.
Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
Chicken fat is a quality source of essential fatty acids and an excellent source of energy. Fat has a positive effect on the immune system and plays a beneficial role in stress response. Essential fatty acids are required for proper growth, reproduction, normal skin structure and a healthy coat. Because chicken fat contains virtually no protein, it’s use does not cause allergic reactions associated with the use of fresh chicken or chicken meal which contain high amounts of protein. Many times, mixed tocopherols, which are a natural source of Vitamin E activity, are used as a natural preservative to maintain freshness. This is considered a higher quality fat source in pet food.
Dried Tomato Pomace
Tomato pomace is an inexpensive by-product of tomato manufacturing. Effectively, it is what is left over after processing tomatoes for juice, ketchup, soup, etc. Many cat owners shy away from any tomato based products because in larger quantities, tomatoes can be toxic to cats and cat owners are told to never feed tomatoes to their cats. However, pet food manufactures include tomatoes well within safe limits and it might even help provide cats with additional vitamins and other nutrients naturally. The biggest concern with this ingredient is that it is basically the left overs of the human food industry. This is probably what is cleaned up off of the floor, conveyer belts, etc.
Additional Ingredients In Avoderm Chicken & Herring Cat Food
Dried Chicory Root
Commonly known as a soluble fiber, the inulin derived from the Chicory Root is a fructooligosaccharide added to help maintain digestive tract health and function in humans, although the full benefits in cats is not well known. Chicory root is a common coffee substitute in various cultures. It is used as a sweetener in the food industry with a sweetening power 1⁄10 that of sucrose. While the nutritional benefits of this ingredient might be a little questionable, there does not seem to be any reason for concern when feeding this ingredient to your cat.
Avocado is a pear-shaped fruit that can sometimes be dangerous to pets if the pit is consumed. Obviously when used in cat food, the pit is removed completely. While avocado is toxic to some animals, in dogs and cats, we do not expect to see serious signs of illness. Cat food manufactures will tell you that avocados are nutrient-dense and high in crude fiber. This fruit also contains vitamins A, C and E as well as vitamin B6. Avocados certainly area nutritious, but since cats are obligate carnivores, the nutritional value will be a bit limited. The good news is there doesn’t appear to be any real harm to including avocado and it may even help make the food more palatable.
Whey is the watery part of milk that remains after the formation of curds. Contrary to popular belief, milk and other dairy products typically aren’t very good for cats. In fact, as cats age, it is very common for cats to form an intolerance to lactose. If your cat suffers from lactose intolerance like so many other adult cats, it is best to avoid feeding any dairy products at all including whey.
Allergy Risks In Avoderm Chicken & Herring Cat Food
Whey can trigger allergies in some cats, but this usually only occurs in rare cases.
Poor Quality Ingredients Commonly Found In Cat Food
Soy is another common food allergen for cats and is also known to cause gastric upset. This ingredient is considered a very low priced filler ingredient. While it will certainly help make your cat food more full, the full nutritional benefit in this ingredient is questionable at best. Many cat food brands will tell you the allergy risk is very low with soy, but it is one of the most well known food allergens that cats deal with in commercial pet food. Overall, this is a pretty low quality ingredient.
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.
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.
It should go without saying that cats in the wild do not require artificial additives in their diet and they don’t require artificial additives in their diet as our pets, either. These additives are normally included in order to preserve the food and increase its shelf life, but often times have negative side-effects.
This formula could be detrimental to your cat’s health. While chances of allergic reactions to whey are minimal, the formula also contains ground whole white rice that can cause diabetes. Moreover, the formula contains several ingredients whose nutritional value to cats is unknown. There are definitely better alternatives to this formula.