Do you own a cat that shows sensitivity to certain ingredients used in some cat formulas? Such cats are quite demanding, and this means that you should be careful when choosing food for it. Generally, all cat owners should always read from the ingredients list on any formula before making a purchase. There are many formulas out there made using different ingredients, and this makes reading the ingredients list even more necessary.
The Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Duck and Potato (dry) cat food is one such formula. According to the manufacturers, this cat food has been formulated to reduce food sensitivities and at the same time maximizes on nutritional value.
Is this formula a suitable choice for your sensitive cat?
Deboned duck, pea protein, oatmeal, peas, whole ground brown rice, potatoes, canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols), flaxseed (source of Omega-3 & 6 fatty acids), natural duck flavor, whole carrots, cranberries, blueberries, barley grass, dried parsley, alfalfa meal, dried kelp, taurine, yucca schidigera extract, L-carnitine, L-lysine, turmeric, oil of rosemary, dried chicory root, beta carotene, vitamin A supplement, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), d-calcium pantothenate (vitamin B5), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), biotin (vitamin B7), folic acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12 supplement, calcium ascorbate (source of vitamin C), vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, choline chloride, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, salt, caramel, potassium chloride, calcium carbonate, dried yeast (source of saccharomyces cerevisiae), dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bacillus subtilis fermentation product, dried enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
The first five ingredients
Duck is an excellent alternative meat source and provides very high quality meat proteins for your cat. As a whole meat product, much of this ingredient is lost during the cooking process in dry foods, but in wet cat food products most of the moisture is retained. It is also less water heavy than other whole meat ingredients like chicken or beef. So, while much of this ingredient is lost during the cooking process in dry cat foods, it is still a very high quality ingredient and in wet cat foods, there are no major problems with this ingredient. In fact, it’s quite beneficial.
As grain-free cat food becomes more popular, so does the inclusion of peas and pea fiber. That’s because peas can be used as a filler ingredient in similar ways grains are used, but they can still label the food as grain-free. Unfortunately, the full effect on a cats health from pea fiber is largely unknown. There have been some studies shown to suggest pea fiber can cause many dogs to have a runny stool, there is very little research that has been done on how cats are able to digest this ingredient. Overall, it probably will not harm your cat but it will not add much nutritional value to your cats diet, either.
This ingredient will provide some fiber for your cat, but for the most part, it is simply used as a filler to help make your cat feel more full. Many cats seem to enjoy the taste of oatmeal and since there are no major health concerns associated with it, this ingredient makes for a great alternative filler ingredient instead of using corn and grains.
Peas are becoming more and more common in pet foods today, especially those listed as grain-free, holistic, or natural pet foods. While peas are certainly not grains, they serve much the same purpose. It mostly acts as a filler and a cheap way to increase the protein percentage of the food. However, cats receive almost no nutritional value from peas. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they require proteins from meat based ingredients. There is very little research that has been performed on the long term effects of cats consuming peas. We do know that peas can cause runny poop or digestion issues in dogs, but the full effect on cats remains a bit of an unknown. At best, this ingredient will act as a filler and will not provide much nutritional value, if any, to your cat.
Whole ground 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.
Other ingredients used
Potatoes provide a lot of carbs and unfortunately, cats do not digest carbs well and it can also lead to weight gain. This ingredient is becoming more popular in “grain-free” cat foods because while potatoes are not grains, they serve much the same purpose by acting as a non-nutritious filler. The good news is potatoes are complex carbs. These complex carbs are easier to digest than whole grains and also don’t spike blood sugar levels like the simple carbs do. But, anyway you cut it… carbs are carbs and cats don’t need them. This is a rather non-nutritious ingredient.
Canola oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols)
Canola oil comes from the seeds of the canola plant. Once harvested, canola seeds are crushed and the oil contained within the seed is extracted. The average canola seed is 45% oil. Some cat owners like this ingredient because of its favorable omega-3 and omega-6 content. Others claim it can cause nervous system damage, respiratory problems, anemia, constipation and blindness in both humans and animals. In smaller quantities, this ingredient is unlikely to cause health problems for your cat, but since cats are obligate carnivores it is important that the food also contains enough meat based fat. Tocopherol is a naturally occurring chemical element found in a variety of foods. It is commonly called vitamin E in a generic sense, as vitamin E substances are made up of tocopherol and similar elements. The main purpose of the mixed tocopherols is to help preserve the ingredient. Since this is a natural preservative, it is generally considered safe.
Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. The seeds come from flax, one of the the oldest fiber crops in the world. It is not only a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The health risk associated with this ingredient is low and in general, flaxseed is considered to be a beneficial ingredient for cats.
Blueberries are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. This ingredient is thought to help or prevent certain forms of cancer, dementia, heart disease, and asthma. While there are some exceptions, blueberries are usually only found in higher end cat foods.
Will my cat suffer from allergic reactions?
Judging from the ingredients list, you could tell that all the ingredients are safe and nutritionally beneficial. None of the ingredients is an allergen and the formula is therefore safe for all cats. Your cat will not suffer from allergic reactions after feeding on the Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Duck and Potato cat food.
Ingredients to avoid
Gluten: This ingredient is associated with causing allergies in cats. It is also known to raise sugar levels in cats. Over time, this can lead to diabetes. Gluten refers to the proteins found in wheat endosperm which is a type of tissue produced in seeds that’s ground to make flour. Many pet food manufactures will use this ingredient to help boost the protein percentage of the food.
Corn, soy and wheat: 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.
This formula is definitely a good choice for cats that have sensitivities towards certain foods. The Blue Buffalo Basics Adult Duck and Potato is a great addition to any cat’s diet. The only down side is that the formula does not contain the required amounts of moisture.