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The By Nature brand produces both dog and cat food and is also known to be one of the better pet food brands on the market. These foods are manufactured in a manufacturing plant situated in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Many pet owners are hesitant to purchase pet food produced outside of the United States due to an influx of recalls for food coming from other countries (especially China). The By Nature Chicken Olio Cat food formula is one of the many formulas under the By Nature brand.
According to the By Nature Company, chicken olio is a cat formula that is 100% grain free and acceptable for all life stages in cats. Many cat food brands are beginning to produce grain free blends. Dog and cat food containing grains and other “filler ingredients” are now considered lower quality pet food blends by a growing number of pet owners. By Nature isn’t just getting in on the trend. They have been producing grain free formulas for quite some time now.
As a cat owner, it is always ideal to learn as much as you can about a pet formula before you can decide on whether it is the best choice for your pet. Below, you will find a full list of ingredients in By Nature Chicken Olio Cat Food along with an explanation of the top ingredients. The top 5 ingredients make up about 90% of the nutrition in this cat food.
Ingredients in By Nature Chicken Olio Cat Food
Chicken, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Pea Flour, Dicalcium Phosphate, Carrots, Salt, Spinach, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Cranberries, Guar Gum, Flaxseed, Potassium Chloride, Carrageenan, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Iron Proteinate, Calcium Carbonate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Calcium Iodate, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin D2 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9).
All the ingredients in this formula have been formulated to meet the AAFCO cat food nutritional guidelines.
Top 5 Ingredients Overview
The first five ingredients of any pet formula are an indication of the nutritional composition of the formula. It is, therefore, very important to pay attention to these five ingredients. We will now briefly cover some basic nutritional info for these first 5 ingredients.
Chicken – Chicken is a very popular ingredient for pet food and in this case, they are referring to whole chicken. This is a very high quality meat source and we are pleased to see it listed. However, whole chicken loses about 80% of its content during the cooking process since the majority of whole chicken is water. After the cooking process is complete, the amount of whole chicken remaining is substantially reduced. Therefor, while whole chicken is a great source of meat protein, this ingredient alone is not enough to provide sufficient levels of meat protein in a cats diet.
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.
Chicken broth – This ingredient is used to enhance the flavor of the food and provide moisture. It is considered a better alternative to water. While it is not especially nutritious to your cat, there is nothing especially harmful about this ingredient.
Pea flour – 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. Since the peas in this case are added as a flour, the ingredient is probably added to help with the consistency of the food and the cooking process.
Dicalcium phosphate – Dicalcium phosphate (DCP) is a dibasic calcium phosphate formed by a reactive combination of calcium oxide and phosphoric acid. As a dietary supplement, it is commonly used as a source of calcium and phosphorus for both humans and animals. This ingredient is also frequently used as a firming agent and binder to help give the food more structure. While not an especially nutritious ingredient, the risk of adverse health effects due to cats consuming this ingredient appears to be very low.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
Guar gum – This ingredient is also sometimes called guaran. It is primarily the ground endosperm of guar beans. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, off-white powder. This ingredient is mostly used to thicken the food and give it more texture. It is an FDA-approved, all natural GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredient used by the food and cosmetic industries. It also is used to improve the shelf life of the food and helps lower the glycemic index of food. Many cat food companies claim this ingredient also aids in digestion and weight loss. There is some minor debate about the benefits of this ingredient with some claiming negative impacts, but in general, this is thought to be a relatively non-nutritious yet safe ingredient.
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.
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.
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.
Allergy Risk From By Nature Chicken Olio Cat Food
By Nature Chicken Olio is a grain free formula and it doesn’t contain any of the main allergy causing ingredients. This cat formula is not supposed to cause allergic reactions, and there have been no widespread complaints related to allergic reactions in cats. In most cases, this is an acceptable food for cats with sensitive stomachs or food allergies. However, some cats suffer from very specific and uncommon food allergies. When switching to this cat food blend, keep an eye on your cat for any signs of allergic reaction.
Common Ingredients To Avoid In Cat Food
Animal by product – One of the worst meat ingredients found in pet food today is animal by product. It’s true that this ingredient provides a very high amount of meat protein that cats need to thrive. However, animal by products are considered to be the lowest form of meat and it isn’t even approved for human consumption. Animal by-products are carcasses and parts of carcasses from slaughterhouses, animal shelters, zoos and veterinarians, and products of animal origin not intended for human consumption, including catering waste. Legally, this ingredient can even contain roadkill or euthanized animals. This ingredient may also contain what is called “4D meat” which is what the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) calls cattle that is dead, dying, disabled or diseased. This meat is considered unfit for human consumption, but is typically found in many pet food products. This is not something we recommend you feed your cat or any other pet.
Corn – 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.
Soy – Soy is another common food allergen for cats and is also known to cause gastric upset. This ingredient is considered a very low priced filler ingredient. While it will certainly help make your cat food more full, the full nutritional benefit in this ingredient is questionable at best. Many cat food brands will tell you the allergy risk is very low with soy, but it is one of the most well known food allergens that cats deal with in commercial pet food. Overall, this is a pretty low quality ingredient.
Gluten meal – 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.
Fortunately, none of these harmful ingredients are found in the By Nature Chicken Olio cat food formula.
Overall, the By Nature Chicken Olio cat food formula is a good formula for cats. The ingredients are natural, and it is grain free. Most pet owners seem pleased with this formula as is evident from the positive reviews found online and elsewhere. Are you currently feeding By Nature Chicken Olio cat food to your cat? Let us know what you think about it below.