Are you looking for ways you could reward your well-mannered kitty? One of the best ways to reward your cat is to give it some treats. You can find all sorts flavored treats from different manufactures in the pet food store today. The challenge is in deciding what product is best for your cat.
One of the formulas you could opt for is the Blue Kitty Yums Tempting Tuna (dry) formula. According to the manufacturer, this formula is made using real tuna. The manufacturer also claims that this formula contains tender morsels with a unique flavor that will leave your kitty purring in utter delight.
Is this formula the right choice for your kitten?
Tuna, Whole Ground Brown Rice, Oatmeal, Maple Syrup, Vegetable Glycerine, Whole Ground Potato, Gelatin, Natural Flavor, Salt, Fish Oil, Brewer’s Yeast, Phosphoric Acid, Sorbic Acid, Ascorbic Acid, Taurine, Citric Acid, Mixed Tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), Rosemary.
The first five ingredients
Tuna: This ingredient is a well known saltwater fish. There is some debate about whether fish products should be included in cat food at all, because cats by nature do not eat much sea food. A lot of cat owners would rather see meat from other animals such as beef, chicken, turkey, or other meat sources. However, tuna does supply a good amount of protein and also contains an excellent amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
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.
Oatmeal: 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.
Maple Syrup: Maple syrup is syrup produced from the sap of certain maples, especially the sugar maple. Unfortunately, sugar is not good for cats and cats can easily develop diabetes. This ingredient is also not good for oral health and can also lead to weight gain.
Vegetable Glycerine: Also known as glycerol, this is an organic compound of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. It is produced industrially, usually as a by-product of soap manufacture, from oils and fats. It can be made from animal fat or, in the case of vegetable glycerin, vegetable oil. This ingredient is widely used in the food industry for two main reasons. Firstly, it has a sweet taste, but has fewer calories than sugar and secondly, it is hygroscopic, that is, it absorbs moisture from the air. It is therefore used both to sweeten foods and to keep them moist.
Other ingredients used
Whole Ground Potato: 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.
Gelatin: This ingredient is used as a gelling agent in the food. It is sourced from many different animal by-products, so this is considered a lower quality ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with support from the TSE (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) Advisory Committee, has since 1997 been monitoring the potential risk of transmitting animal diseases, especially bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as Mad Cow disease. The FDA study concluded: “…steps such as heat, alkaline treatment, and filtration could be effective in reducing the level of contaminating TSE agents; however, scientific evidence is insufficient at this time to demonstrate that these treatments would effectively remove the BSE infectious agent if present in the source material.” You can read more about the FDA study here. Several other agencies and medical groups have expressed concerns as well.
Natural Flavor: 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.
Salt: Salt is necessary for a cats body to function properly, but too much salt can be dangerous and even deadly. Usually, salt is added to pet food in order to meet AAFCO nutritional requirements. Salt, or sodium chloride, is indeed necessary so cat food that doesn’t contain enough will have a bit of it included. Salt helps your cats cells move nutrients and waste products where they need to go, and it helps his or her tummy make the right amount of acid to digest food properly. According to the Journal of Nutrition, average-sized cats need about 21 milligrams of salt per day. Many cat foods have higher concentrations than that. The National Research Council recommends no more than 42 milligrams per day. Most of the time, salt in commercial cat food products poses no danger and does have some nutritional benefit.
Will my cat suffer from allergic reactions?
Judging from the ingredients used to make this formula, the Blue Kitty Yuma Tempting Tuna formula is unlikely to cause allergic reactions. This is because it is free from the common allergens known to cause health complications in cats.
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.
Soy, wheat and corn: 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.
Artificial color and flavor: 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.
There is no doubt that this formula is one of the best choices for your cat. The first five ingredients (the most abundant in the formula) are highly nutritious. This formula has also been made with ingredients that prevent allergic reactions brought about by soy corn and wheat. The absence of a moisture source is, however, worrying as moisture does help with digestion. Nevertheless, this is a great formula for your cat.