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In your search for an ideal cat food formula, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Most of formulas available in stores claim to be natural or organic, but the ingredients used are questionable. Just about any brand you look at will claim to be the best. So how do you know which cat food is right for your cat. The only way to do it is to cut through the marketing hype and examine the ingredients. the cat food reviews found on this site help you do just that.
One company known for the manufacture of natural and organic pet formulas is the By Nature Company. They offer a wide range of dry and wet pet formulas for cats and dogs manufactured in their nine manufacturing plants distributed throughout the United States. The By Nature Rabbit Stew formula is made in a plant located in New Hampshire.
By Nature is an affiliate company of the Blue Seal Foods Company. This company is mostly associated with the manufacture of horse feeds. This is because it was first opened as a horse feed manufacturer before expanding to manufacture foods for other animals. The company has been around since the late 1800’s so they have a long history.
One of the many pet formulas under the By Nature brand is the Rabbit Stew Wet Cat Food formula. According to the By Nature Company, this wet cat food provides your cat with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As a grain free formula, this blend is attractive to a growing number of cat owners who want to use a grain free product.
Ingredients In By Nature Rabbit Stew Wet Cat Food
Rabbit, Turkey Broth, Vegetable Broth, Turkey Liver, Egg, Mushrooms, Bacon, Natural Flavor, Pea Flour, Carrots, Potato Starch, Salt, Guar Gum, Alfalfa Meal, Cranberries, Tomatoes, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Thyme, Spinach, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, Iron Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Zinc Proteinate, Potassium Chloride, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), d-Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin (Vitamin B7), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Menadione Folic Acid (Vitamin B9), Vitamin D2 Supplement, Sodium Bisulfite Complex.
All the ingredients in this cat formula have been carefully formulated to meet the AAFCO cat food nutrition standards.
Top 5 Ingredients Breakdown
Whenever you examine a cat food blend, always pay particular attention to the top 5 ingredients. The top 5 ingredients comprise the vast majority of the nutritional content in the food.
Rabbit – This is a great alternative meat source that provides excellent meat protein. When listed as “rabbit” that means this is whole rabbit. It contains the flesh, meat, and skin of the rabbit without the fur, bones, or intestines. While this is considered a very high quality meat source, it loses about 80% of its volume during the cooking process in dry cat foods. That means, in reality, this ingredient would be listed lower on the ingredients list if the ingredients were weighed after the cooking process. In wet cat foods, however, this is not as big of an issue since the cooking process is much different. In either case, this is a very high quality meat source and we are pleased to see it listed here.
Turkey broth – Any type of broth is mostly used as an alternative to simply using water. It adds moisture to the food and a broth helps to make the food more appetizing and tastier for your cat. This ingredient is rather void of much nutritional value, but there is no evidence to suggest there are any problems with this ingredient. It can be commonly found in many different brands of cat food.
Vegetable broth – Broth is used to add flavor and moisture to the food, but in this case, the broth comes from an unnamed source. We usually like to see a named broth source like chicken broth or vegetable broth, but since this ingredient is unnamed, we are left guessing. While it is unlikely this ingredient is harmful to your cat, we would much rather see a named broth source here.
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.
Egg – While raw eggs can cause some skin problems in cats, cooked eggs are healthy for cats and supply quite a bit of protein. Some cat owners prefer only feeding egg whites because the yolks can add a fairly high amount of cholesterol. In addition to the protein content, eggs also supply potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and iron. In moderation, this is considered a healthy ingredient for cats.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In By Nature Rabbit Stew Cat Food
Mushrooms – Even though mushrooms will not provide much nutritional value to a cat, it seems that cats typically love the taste of mushrooms. Since cats do not show allergic reactions or negative health effects from consuming mushrooms, this is a much more desired “filler ingredient” than many of the grains and other filler ingredients cat food companies have historically used.
Cranberries – Cranberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber. This ingredient may assist with urinary tract infections and help with dental hygiene by killing certain bacteria. While cats are obligate carnivores, wild cats do consume a small amount of fruits and vegetables. Ingredients like cranberries will not provide a large amount of nutrition, but do supply some vitamins, help make the food taste better, and act as an easily digestible filler.
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.
Allergy Risk In By Nature Rabbit Stew Cat Food
The By Nature Rabbit Stew Wet Cat food is made from natural ingredients and contains none of the main allergens. This makes it ideal for cats with food sensitivities. All cats are unique and may suffer from their own unique food allergies, but we think the allergy risk in this food is quite low.
Poor Quality Ingredients For Cats
Chives, garlic and onions – For thousands of years, wild cats have made it common practice to consume the stomach contents of their prey. Foods such as these are often found and are one of the first things a cat will consume after a hunt. While they won’t provide a high degree of nutrition, these ingredients will supply some natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Raisins and grapes – These are both ingredients that are mostly added for marketing purposes. They do not add much in the way of nutrition for your cat and unless they are included in larger quantities, will not really help to make your cat feel more full, either. There is nothing particularly bad about these ingredients, but there isn’t much good about it either.
Artificial 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 colors – 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.
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 found in By Nature Rabbit Stew Cat Food.
With the By Nature rabbit stew wet cat formula being grain free, most cat owners seem pleased with the formula. This is an excellent formula for cats that are allergic to fish, beef and chicken. Judging by the ingredients list alone, we believe this cat food is above average in quality.