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Is your cat allergic to grain based formulas? As more cat formulas are being introduced in the market, the quality of these foods seems to be deteriorating. These days, cat food manufacturers are more concerned about making money than they are about making quality cat formulas. They prefer using grain based ingredients in the place of healthy natural ingredients. Grain based formulas are of lower nutritional value and are cheaper than other formulas. The best cat foods do not contain grain.
The blue buffalo basics grain free turkey and potato (wet) cat formula is one of the many formulas available today. As the name suggests, this formula’s selling point is the fact that its grain free. It is claimed to be made from real meat as the main source of protein, and also contains potato as a source of carbohydrates.
Is this a good formula for your allergic feline?
Turkey, turkey broth, potatoes, carrots, peas, natural flavor, ground flaxseed (source of omega 3 fatty acids), sunflower oil (source of omega 6 fatty acids), blueberries, cranberries, carrageenan, cassia gum, salt, guar gum, potassium chloride, taurine, sodium phosphate, 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, vitamin d3 supplement, vitamin e supplement, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, cobalt amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, potassium iodide, choline chloride, dl-methionine.
An overview of the first five ingredients
As a whole meat ingredient, turkey is a fantastic source of very healthy animal based proteins. We are extremely pleased to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, in dry kibbles, there is not as much of this ingredient included as you might initially think. Ingredients are listed by weight prior to the cooking process and since whole turkey is about 70% moisture, the vast majority is cooked off. So while we think this is an excellent and nutritional ingredient, it does need to be complimented by other high quality meat protein ingredients when used in dry kibbles. In wet cat foods, however, this is not nearly as much of a concern.
Any type of broth is mostly used as an alternative to simply using water. It adds moisture to the food and a broth helps to make the food more appetizing and tastier for your cat. This ingredient is rather void of much nutritional value, but there is no evidence to suggest there are any problems with this ingredient. It can be commonly found in many different brands of cat food.
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.
A good source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, carrots are becoming more common in pet foods. This ingredient is also known to boost the immune system and help promote healthy eyes in cats as well as providing a good source of fiber.
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.
Other ingredients in this formula
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. In all likelihood, this is the leftovers of what is cleaned off of the floors and other areas of plants that process tomatoes for other purposes. As such, this is probably used more as a flavor enhancer than for nutritional purposes.
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.
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.
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.
Is this an allergy causing formula?
From the list of ingredients used in this formula, there seems to be no traces of allergens. Mostly, allergies are caused by grain ingredients. Since this formula does not contain grains, it is an allergy free formula.
Harmful ingredients used in cat formulas
Corn, corn gluten and corn meal – 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.
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.
The blue buffalo basics grain free turkey and potatoes wet formula a good cat food. It is made from healthy ingredients that are known to support the overall health of your feline. This formula is ideal for all cats even those with food sensitivities.