Are you looking for a new cat food for your cat? With all the brand names on the market, you can easily purchase a cat food that provides poor nutrition to your cat. It happens in supermarkets everyday. This is why pet owners should take their time when choosing a pet food formula for their cats. The decision you make could be the difference between a healthy cat or a cat that forms health problems over many years.
One of the well known pet food brands is the By Nature pet food brand. By Nature is a brand company under the Blue Seal Feeds Company. Blue Seal Feeds was established in 1868 as a horse feed manufacturing company. With time, the founder saw a niche in pet formulas, and other animal feeds. Today, there are numerous different brand names and companies under the Blue Seal Feeds umbrella. These different brands are manufactured in nine manufacturing plants owned by Blue Seal and are distributed in different parts of the world. The By Nature brand is manufactured at a plant in New Hampshire.
One formula under the By Nature brand is the Ocean Whitefish Farrago Cat Food formula. This is a 100% grain free cat food formula that has been formulated for cats in all life stages. This cat formula is made in paste form and is highly palatable.
This cat food blend is touted to be of extremely high quality, but does this food really live up to the hype? Let’s take a closer look.
Ingredients in By Nature Ocean Whitefish Farrago Cat Food
Ocean Whitefish, Turkey Liver, Fish Broth, Pea Flour, Calcium Carbonate, Carrots, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sun-Cured Alfalfa, Cranberries, Spinach, Salt, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Guar Gum, Taurine, Potassium Chloride, Flaxseed, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Zinc Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin, Vitamin D2 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid.
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
The top 5 ingredients make up the vast majority of the nutritional content in any cat food. We will now analyze the first 5 ingredients in this food.
Ocean whitefish – Ocean whitefish is a species of tilefish native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. This ingredient is likely included for its protein content as well as very healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. While this ingredient probably isn’t something most cats would eat in a natural or wild environment, the ingredient does contain some very essential nutrient sources. Some cat owners worry about the mercury content in fish since all fish contains some level of mercury, but the health risk is considered to be pretty low.
Turkey liver – In the wild, cats almost always eat the liver of their prey. It is a rich source of vitamin A which cats must obtain from their food since they can’t make it in their bodies. This is also a good secondary source of protein. If cats consume too much liver, it could cause toxicity, but the amount needed for liver to become toxic to cats is very high. Liver is provided in safe quantities in this cat food blend.
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.
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.
Calcium carbonate – Calcium carbonate is a dietary supplement used when the amount of calcium taken in the diet is not enough. Calcium is needed for healthy bones, muscles, nervous system, and heart. Since many cat foods do not contain enough calcium in the food naturally, it is often added as a supplemental inclusion as seen in this food.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In By Nature Ocean Whitefish Farrago Cat Food
Choline chloride – Like humans and many other species, cats require choline. Almost all commercial pet food blends will contain supplemental choline. This ingredient mostly helps with cell function.
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.
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.
Spinach – While it certainly sounds like a healthy ingredient, the truth is, spinach doesn’t add much nutritional value to the food. It does supply some various nutrients and vitamins, but the levels are quite low. Many companies like to include this ingredient as it looks great on the ingredients list, but in general, it is not all that nutritious for cats. On the flip side, there is very little to worry about and this ingredient is considered to be very safe for most cats.
Allergy Concerns With By Nature Ocean Whitefish Farrago Cat Food
From the ingredients list, this cat formula contains no soy, wheat or corn. These three ingredients are the most common allergens in most cat formulas. This is also a grain free product and many cats form allergies to grains. There have been no widespread complaints related to allergies from feeding cats on this formula. We believe the allergy risk with By Nature Ocean Whitefish Farrago Cat Food is very low. Of course, all cats are unique and may have their own specific allergies, so not cat food is 100% safe in this regard.
Poor Quality Ingredients Commonly Found In Cat Food
BHA and 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.
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.
Artificial coloring and flavoring – 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.
Corn, soy and wheat – 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.
Fortunately, none of these ingredients are present in the ocean whitefish farrago cat food.
Most reviews on this cat food are positive. The fact that it is a grain free formula is also received well by a growing number of pet owners. This cat formula can be termed are ideal for cats in all life stages. The biggest downside to this cat food will be the price. While we believe it is worth every penny, for some cat owners it will simply be out of their budget. Based on the ingredients alone, we are extremely pleased with this cat food and feel it is significantly above average in quality.