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The By Nature pet food brand is one of the many pet food brands associated with the Blue Seal Feeds Company. This company manufactures pet formulas for various animals under many different brand names.
The Blue Seal Feeds Company was started in the mid 1800s as a horse feed manufacturing company. Since then, this company has expanded its product offering to include foods for different animal types. The By Nature brand, under the Blue Seal Feeds Company, is manufactured at a Blue Seal manufacturing plant located in New Hampshire. Many pet owners are weary of purchasing pet food made in foreign countries like China due to recent pet food recalls. That makes By Nature a top choice for those who want the manufacturing plants to be located in the United States.
As its name suggests, this pet formula contains 95% protein derived from salmon, mackerel and sardines. It can be found in most pet stores and can also be purchased online.
With all the hype surrounding this product, is this cat food as nutritious and beneficial to cats as the manufacturer claims it is? Our By Nature 95% Salmon, Meckerel & Sardines cat food review will now explore the main ingredients in this cat food to find out.
Ingredients in By Nature 95% Salmon, Mackerel & Sardines Canned Cat Food Formula
Salmon, Mackerel, Sardines, Fish Broth, Chicken Liver, Flaxseed, Sun-Cured Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Guar Gum, Carrageenan, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Iron Proteinate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Magnesium Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Copper Proteinate, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Calcium Iodate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin D2 Supplement.
All ingredients in this cat formula have been blended to meet the AAFCO pet nutrition requirements.
By Nature 95% Salmon Cat Food Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
Salmon – 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 is cause for concern. 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.
Mackerel – Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of pelagic fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas, mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment. Fish based ingredients provide an excellent source of fatty acids, proteins, and very high quality nutrients. Some cat owners are worried about the increasing level of mercury in fish, but so far the FDA says it is well within’ safe limits for both humans and pets. In addition, some pet owners worry about where the fish comes from, because a lot of fish used in pet foods is obtained from farmed fish that have not passed inspections to be used in human consumption. It could also contain fish waste products that can’t be used anywhere else. So while there is some concern about this and any other fish based ingredient in cat food, in general, it is considered a higher quality nutrient source.
Sardines – A sardine is a young pilchard or other young or small herringlike fish. Some cat owners like to avoid fish in cat food because sea food is not usually a part of a cats natural diet. All fish products also contain a certain level of mercury and some cat owners fear that over time, the ingestion of mercury could be harmful (although there is very little evidence to suggest a significant risk). Overall, this ingredient does supply some extremely nutritious properties including protein and very healthy fatty acids.
Fish broth – Fish broth is a mostly non-nutritious ingredient used to add moisture to the food. It is considered a better alternative to plain water and does provide an enhanced taste for cats. We do wish this broth came from a named fish source as the broth could have been made using almost any type of fish and almost any part of the fish. However, this is still considered a safe ingredient and we aren’t too concerned about the unnamed source this broth comes from.
Chicken liver – Here is another ingredient you probably wouldn’t want to see on your own dinner plate, but most cats seem to enjoy the taste of liver. Uncooked liver, or liver in very high quantities, can actually be toxic to cats. However, in this food, it is clearly provided well within safe limits. In fact, this ingredient is a pretty high quality ingredient overall. It provides a good source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients your cat can benefit from.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In By Nature 95% Salmon Cat Food
Taurine – 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.
Potassium chloride – 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.
Flaxseed – 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.
Allergy Risk In By Nature 95% Salmon
Based on the ingredients list, there seems to be no corn, gluten, soy or wheat in this formula. These are the most common allergy causing ingredients found in cat formulas. Even though this formula is not grain free, it has complex carbohydrates that make digestion easy for most cats with digestion sensitivities. Overall, the allergy risk with this food is quite low. However, all cats are different and you should keep a close watch on your cat when switching to this or any other cat food blend. When in doubt, seek the advice of a professional.
Harmful Ingredients Commonly Found In Cat Food
Artificial food colors and preservatives – Artificial preservatives are a group of chemical substances added to food, sprayed on the outside of food, or added to certain medications to retard spoilage, discoloration, or contamination by bacteria and other disease organisms. These additives are man-made, though some do exist in some forms in nature. They are generally considered safe despite the fact that some are known to be carcinogenic and toxic. Many side effects and illnesses are related to their consumption. What’s even more unfortunate is that we are not given full information here. The label “artificial preservatives” could include any number of man-made chemical based preservatives. While it doesn’t necessarily mean this ingredient is harmful, it could be. We just don’t know which specific preservatives are being used here. Without adequate labeling and information for cat owners, we remain skeptical.
Artificial color is added to cat food for marketing purposes only. Unfortunately, there may be some evidence linking various food coloring to cancer in cats. Since this provides absolutely no nutritional benefit to your cat and can only harm your cat, we find it rather unfortunate they included it here.
Sweeteners – Sweeteners are not necessary in cat foods. Some cat food companies will use sweeteners in their products to help make their food taste better to your cat. Many sweeteners seem to have addictive qualities in cats, so if your cat gets used to the taste of sweeteners, it may become very difficult to switch to a food that doesn’t use sweeteners. This is an ingredient you should probably avoid.
Ethoxyquin and BHA – Unfortunately, both of these ingredients have become extremely controversial in both human and pet food products. These are used as preservatives to help increase the shelf life of the food and keep bacteria from forming. These ingredients are known to potentially cause some serious negative health effects, however. A growing number of cat owners are refusing to feed their cats any food with either of these ingredients listed.
Fortunately, By Nature 95% Salmon cat food does not contain any of these controversial ingredients.
By Nature 95% Salmon, Mackerel and Sardines cat formula seems to be a favorite amongst many because of its rich ingredients. This is evident from the positive reviews found online and elsewhere. So far, the formula has not been blamed for any major health issues. If your cat is allergic to fish, you should not feed this blend to your cat. Otherwise, it seems to be an extremely nutritious cat food and most cats will do very well on it. We are happy to report that this cat food is significantly above average quality.