Are you sick and tired of feeding your feline on low nutritive formulas? As a cat owner, it is natural for you to want the best for your feline. Even so, the market has very few options when it comes to quality cat formulas. Most of the formulas in the market comprises of foods made with low quality ingredients. The best way to ensure you only purchase the best formula is to take your time to learn what the formula really contains. It is also a good idea to go the extra mile and research on what ingredients are most ideal for felines. This way, you will be able to make informed decisions when shopping fr cat food. This is especially important when it comes to choosing dry formulas for your kitten.
The Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken and Brown Rice formula is one of the many dry kitten formulas available in the market. The Blue Buffalo Company claims that this kitten formula is made with ingredients that support cognitive heath, growth and development. It is said to contain high levels of protein, wholesome grain and healthy garden veggies to help your kitten to grow into a healthy adult cat.
Is this formula worth a try?
Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Whole Ground Barley, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salmon Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal (source of DHA-Docosahexaenoic Acid), Natural Chicken Flavor, Whole Potatoes, Peas, Dried Egg, Whole Carrots, Whole Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries, Blueberries, Apples, Blackberries, Pomegranate, Spinach, Pumpkin, Flaxseed (source of Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids), Barley Grass, Dried Parsley, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Kelp, Taurine, Yucca Schidigera Extract, L-Carnitine, L-Lysine, Turmeric, Fish Oil (source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids), Oil of Rosemary, 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, Dried Yeast (source of Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, Dried Bacillus subtilis fermentation product, Dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product.
An overview of the first five ingredients
Chicken is a very popular ingredient for pet food and in this case, they are referring to whole chicken with the bones removed. This is a very high quality meat source and we are pleased to see it listed. In dry cat foods, whole chicken loses about 80% of its content during the cooking process. This is because chicken consists of about 80% moisture. After the cooking process is complete, the amount of whole chicken remaining is substantially reduced. However, in wet cat foods the cooking process is a bit different so this is much less of a concern.
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.
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.
Whole Ground Barley
With barley being a starchy carbohydrate, it supplies healthy nutrients such as fiber to the cat. Barley also gives your cat sugar level stability. Ground or pearled barley is produced from whole barley seeds that have been scoured to remove the seed hull and bran. This is a common ingredient in weight control pet foods due to its slow digestibility, starch, and soluble fibers.
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.
Other ingredient in this formula
Salmon is an excellent source of high quality proteins for cats and is extremely rich in healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Some people worry about mercury levels in fish. It’s true that all fish contains some degree of mercury, the level in salmon is much lower than other types of fish and the FDA doesn’t believe it causes any problems at all. Most salmon in cat food is farmed salmon, but higher end cat food (especially those labeled “natural”) can often times be fished from natural lakes and streams. The biggest problem with fish ingredients, including salmon, is if the fish includes an antioxidant called ethoxyquin (EMQ). It is believe that ethoxyquin could be very harmful to cats and other animals. Always make sure you are using “Ethoxyquin free” cat food blends when they include fish ingredients. When in doubt, call the customer service number and ask.
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.
Is this an allergy casing formula?
No. This formula is unlikely to cause allergies. It does not contain common allergens. This makes it healthy for all cats.
Harmful ingredient to avoid
Corn, wheat and soy – 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.
BHT – 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.
The Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken and Brown Rice (dry) cat food is a healthy formula for your kitten. It is made with natural and healthy ingredients that support healthy growth and development in felines.