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Are you worried about the weight of your cat? Just like humans, cats too need to maintain a healthy weight. The meals they eat have a lot to do with their current weight. If you are looking to take your cat through a weight loss process or if you want to maintain the current weight of your cat, there are formulas specifically formulated for this purpose.
AvoDerm is one of the pet food brands that have formulas for weight management. The indoor weight control formula is an AvoDerm product that is meant for controlling your cat’s weight. AvoDerm claims that this formula contains fiber, antioxidants and all other nutrients required for healthy weight management.
Is this a sales gimmick or is there substance to back the claims?
Ingredients in The AvoDerm Indoor Weight Control Dry Cat Food
Chicken Meal, Ground Whole Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Ground Whole Brown Rice, Oat Fiber, Avocado, Tomato Pomace (Source of Lycopene), Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Product, Whey, Salt, Chicory Root, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Potassium Chloride, a-Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Vitamin A Acetate, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Calcium Pantothenate, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complete, Ascorbic Acid (Source of Vitamin C), Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin B 12 Supplement, Biotin), Minerals (Copper Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Manganous Oxide, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Lecithin, Avocado Oil, Taurine, Parsley Flakes, Calcium Carbonate, Kelp Meal, Yucca Schidigera Extract, DL-Methionine, Inositol.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
The first five ingredients in the list represent a large percentage of the formula’s nutritional value.
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 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.
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.
Oat fiber is produced from food-grade oat hulls and is mostly added for texture and binding purposes. It is sometimes used to help give food a lighter and browner color as well. Cats and dogs have no absolute physiologic need for this ingredient, although animals eating processed commercial foods appear to benefit from the addition of fiber.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In Avoderm Indoor Weight Control Cat Food
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.
The term “natural flavor” is extremely vague and can mean just about anything. In human foods, natural flavor is usually MSG or some similar flavor enhancer. When pet food companies are asked what is in their “natural flavor ingredients, they usually refuse to answer. There are a lot of things in the world considered “natural” and they almost all have a flavor. Such generic terms can be indicative of poor quality ingredients. While that’s not always the case, the fact is, we don’t really know what this ingredient consists of and that is worrying.
This chemical compound sometimes goes by the name “trace minerals.” It is a “metal halide salt” composed of potassium and chlorine. It is used in medicine, scientific applications, and food processing. Since potassium is an important nutrient for cats, this is a good way to supply it. It is also commonly used as a replacement for salt and to balance the pH level of the food to meet various requirements. Not only is it used in cat food, it is frequently used in human foods and medications as well. There is some evidence to suggest small intestinal ulcers may occur in cats after prolonged exposure to this ingredient, but this has yet to be proven or disproven.
Taurine is an essential amino acid that is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision, and reproduction in cats. Since cats are unable to create proper levels of taurine in their body naturally, it must be supplemented in their food. That’s why you’ll see this ingredient listed for so many different cat food blends. For cat foods that contain enough high quality animal based proteins, a taurine supplement may not be needed. However, most cat foods will need to add in additional taurine in the form of a supplement to the food. Even when included as a supplement instead, there is very low to almost zero health risk associated with this ingredient. In fact, a lack of taurine can cause a slew of issues, so it’s very important to make sure your cat is receiving enough taurine in his or her diet.
Is this an allergy causing formula?
Unfortunately, this formula can cause allergies since it contains corn and corn extracts.
Other ingredients to avoid
BHT and BHA preservatives – Both BHA & BHT are preservatives that have been banned in human foods in many countries due to cancer risks. However, they remain approved for use in pet foods. A growing number of pet owners are becoming aware of the potential dangers these ingredients bring and are shunning all foods containing BHA and BHT. A quick internet search on these preservatives will show that the backlash is gaining steam with many cat food companies abandoning these ingredients. BHA and BHT are extremely controversial ingredients in all forms of pet food.
Artificial coloring and flavoring – Both artificial and natural flavor ingredients are considered to be lower quality ingredients. Artificial flavor is usually derived from petroleum. Most have not been studied for safety or toxicity. They are all synthesized chemicals that don’t even have common names. Most artificial flavors actually contain many chemical ingredients, not just one. Many of those chemicals are volatile. Both natural and artificial flavors are chemical based ingredients and we don’t get all that excited when we see either one of those ingredients listed. Both of these ingredients have potential allergy risks and other possible health problems in cats.
We also find it quite irresponsible to include artificial coloring in pet food since the health concerns about these added colors are so controversial. Your cat does not care what color their food is and the only reason artificial coloring is added to this product is for marketing purposes. It makes the food look better to you YOU, the human consumer. Of course, many cat food brands are very defensive about their use of food coloring. Here is an example of how the Purina brand defends their use of fool coloring. Notice how even in their explanation, there is no perceived benefit to these ingredients other than changing the color. There is also a growing amount of evidence to suggest food coloring may be linked to cancer in not just dogs and cats, but also humans. Here is an article that explains a bit further. In short, since there is some controversy surrounding this ingredient, we find it a bit strange that cat food companies would spend money adding this ingredient into a product when at best, it has zero nutritional value for your cat and only has marketing value. At worse, it could pose health risks. It just doesn’t seem like the risk of including this ingredient is worth it.
Corn, soy and gluten – All three of these ingredients are known allergens for many cats. In addition, many cats have problems digesting these grain based ingredients. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their digestive systems are designed to digest meat and not grains. All of these ingredients will help to boost the protein percentage in cat food, but not all protein is created equally. Cats do not digest plant based proteins in the same way as meat proteins and in fact, gain little to no nutritional value from these grains. Several “grocery store brand” cat foods include these products to keep the price down as it is a cheap filler to help make your cat feel full as well as a cheap way to add protein to the food.
Judging from the ingredients, this formula lacks the capacity to facilitate weight management since it contains ingredients known to cause weight gain. Therefore, this formula is not fit for consumption by cats looking to lose weight. This is another case of all hype but no substance. However, user reviews are largely positive.