Every cat owner wants the best for their furry friend. You are probably no different. With all the cat food brands on the market, you can easily get overwhelmed. Some foods are known to cause allergic reactions while others are of no nutritional benefit to pets. Good or bad, they all claim to provide the best nutrition and health for your cat. One of the major pet food brands in the market today is the By Nature brand. They have been around for a while now, and you might want to try out their products. This By Nature Grain Free Chicken & Potato Cat Food review will help you make an informed decision. Compare this blend to other By Nature cat food reviews and other brands.
The By Nature pet food brand is manufactured by the By Nature Company which is part of the Blue Seal Feeds Company mostly known for manufacturing horse feeds. This parent company came into existence in the late 1800s as a horse feed manufacturer, but with time, the company expanded its production to cat and dog food production.
A popular product under the By Nature brand is the Grain Free Chicken & Potato flavor dry cat food. According to the manufacturers, this is a cat food made from the blending of salmon and chicken protein, and it is low in carbohydrates. It is said to be ideal for managing the weight of your cat. Many cat owners are now choosing to feed grain free formulas, so this blend is becoming increasingly popular.
Let’s take a look at the ingredients and see what we can find out about this cat food blend.
Ingredients in By Nature Grain Free Chicken & Potato Flavor Cat Food
Chicken Meal, Potato Meal, Chicken Fat (Stabilized with Mixed Tocopherols), Chicken, Salmon Meal, Egg Product, Tomato Pomace, Alfalfa Meal, Natural Flavor, Yeast Culture, Salt, Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Taurine, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin A Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Carrots, Blueberries, Cranberries, Turmeric, Dried Chicory Root, Raspberries, Niacin Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Betaine, Sodium Selenite, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Biotin, Brewers Dried Yeast, Bacillus Subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis.
The By Nature Grain Free Chicken & Potato Flavor Cat Food formula contains ingredients specifically formulated to meet the AAFCO nutritional requirements for cat formulas.
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
It is always important to review the top 5 ingredients specifically as these ingredients make up the vast majority of the nutritional content of the food.
Chicken meal – 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.
Potato meal – 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.
Chicken fat – 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.
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.
Salmon meal – 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.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In By Nature Grain Free Chicken & Potato Flavor Cat Food
Egg product – Derived from shell free eggs, this is a cheaper source of protein used in place of higher quality meat proteins. Normally, this ingredient is derived from waste products associated with the egg industry or egg products that have been deemed unfit for human consumption.
Carrots – 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.
Allergy Risks Associated With By Nature Grain Free Chicken & Potato Flavor Cat food
So far, there have been no widespread complaints from cat owners with regard to allergic reaction in cats after feeding this blend. The formula contains no soy, wheat or corn which are the three common allergens in many cat formulas. While all cats are unique and may suffer from their own specific food allergies, it appears the allergy risk in this food is quite low.
Poor Quality Ingredients Commonly Found In Cat Food
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.
Grains – Grains have become a staple in many pet foods. Since most grains are readily available at very low prices, cat food companies like using this ingredient as a cheap filler to help make your cat feel more full. Adding grains to a cat food is also a very cheap way to boost the listed protein percentage of a food. Unfortunately, cats do not gain much of any nutritional benefit from grain-based proteins since cats are obligate carnivores. In addition, grains are difficult to digest for many cats and are known to cause some allergic reactions in others.
Artificial Food Coloring – There is absolutely no reason to included artificial colors into any cat food, ever. It’s extremely disappointing to see this ultra-low quality ingredient included. Added artificial coloring is used for marketing purposes only. They want their product to stand out sitting on the shelf at the store, so they add coloring to their product. Essentially, the coloring is added to entice YOU (the human) to purchase the food over other brands. Your cat could care less what color the food is. Unfortunately, added color is quite controversial as there is growing evidence suggesting cancer in cats from too much food color exposure. At worse, this is a harmful ingredient and at best, it is a marketing ploy with no nutritional value or positive benefit to your cat. We usually have a tough time recommending any cat food that includes such a controversial ingredient.
Fortunately, these ingredients are absent in By Nature Grain Free Chicken & Potato Flavor Cat Food.
Since this is a grain free cat food, it is a food many cat owners consider. Most of the feedback from cat owners who use this blend has been positive, but we aren’t all that crazy about the inclusion of potatoes in this food. It may provide some nutritional value, but a high quality meat protein source would be much better. While we don’t see much to be concerned about in this cat food, we do think that based on the ingredients alone, this is a slightly below average cat food blend.