When it comes to feeding your pet, it is normal to want the pet food brand that offers the most nutritional benefit to your cat. These days, most pet food makers stuff their blends with fillers that are of low nutritional benefit to pets as a cost cutting measure. To find out which pet formula offers the most nutritional benefit, it is important to review the product ingredients in detail. The By Nature pet food brand is one of the many cat food brands in the market. You can get dry and wet cat foods under this brand. The By Nature Weight Control Cat Food blend is designed specifically for overweight cats.
By Nature Cat Food formulas are manufactured by the By Nature Company which is a company under the Blue Seal Foods Company. This is a company mostly associated with the manufacture of horse feed, but it has all sorts of pet foods under its umbrella. Today, the company has nine manufacturing plants throughout the United States with the By Nature products being manufactured in their New Hampshire plant.
The By Nature Weight Control dry cat food formula is one of the many cat formulas under the By Nature brand. According to the manufacturing company, this is an adult cat formula containing 8% less fat compared to adult life formulas. The manufacturing company also claims that this formula is rich in protein from salmon, chicken, and duck.
If you have an overweight cat, you may want to consider speaking to a veterinarian before switching your cats food as your cat may have an unrecognized health problem resulting in the weight gain.
Ingredients In By Nature Weight Control Cat Food
Chicken Meal, Ground Barley, Ground Oats, Ground Brown Rice, Salmon Meal, Duck Meal, Flaxseed Meal, Chicken Fat (Stabilized with Mixed Tocopherols), Fish Oil, Chicken Livers, Yeast Culture, Alfalfa Meal, Salt, Tomato Pomace, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, Zinc Proteinate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin A Supplement, Zinc Sulfate, Blueberries, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Sweet Potatoes, Cranberries, Dried Chicory Root, Carrots, Turmeric, Raspberries, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Niacin Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Sodium Selenite, Biotin, L-Carnitines, Dried Yeast Fermentation Solubles
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
When analyzing any cat food blend, you should always pay particular attention to the first 5 ingredients. These ingredients make up the vast majority of the nutritional content in to 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.
Ground barley – With barley being a starchy carbohydrate, it supplies healthy nutrients such as fiber to the cat. Barley also gives your cat sugar level stability. Ground or pearled barley is produced from whole barley seeds that have been scoured to remove the seed hull and bran. This is a common ingredient in weight control pet foods due to its slow digestibility, starch, and soluble fibers.
Ground oats – Oats are inexpensive, readily available, and have become much more popular in pet foods. While oats provide a good source of protein, cats will not process the proteins very efficiently. However, this does provide a natural source of iron, manganese, zinc, and B vitamins. Another advantage to oats is that so far, they are not grown using GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). This ingredient has also been shown to aid in digestion and also improve the health of a cat’s fur, coat, and skin health.
Ground brown rice – Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. While many cat owners like to stay away from grain based ingredients, rice in general is easy for cats to digest and is not likely to cause allergic reactions. The rice will expand in your cats stomach helping him or her feel more full. So while this ingredient may not be especially nutritious, it does have value in the food and is unlikely to cause major problems. You should still avoid this ingredient if your cat has suffered from grain allergies in the past, but overall, this is a very low-risk ingredient even though it is a grain.
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 Weight Control Cat Food
Tomato pomace – Tomato pomace is an inexpensive by-product of tomato manufacturing. Effectively, it is what is left over after processing tomatoes for juice, ketchup, soup, etc. Many cat owners shy away from any tomato based products because in larger quantities, tomatoes can be toxic to cats and cat owners are told to never feed tomatoes to their cats. However, pet food manufactures include tomatoes well within safe limits and it might even help provide cats with additional vitamins and other nutrients naturally. The biggest concern with this ingredient is that it is basically the left overs of the human food industry. This is probably what is cleaned up off of the floor, conveyer belts, etc.
Turmeric – a bright yellow aromatic powder obtained from the rhizome of a plant of the ginger family, used for flavoring and coloring. This ingredient is not going to add any nutrition to the food, but it might make the food more palatable for your cat.
Allergy Risks Associated With By Nature Weight Control Cat Food
The By Nature Weight Control formula for cats has not been linked to any major allergic reactions. It contains none of the common allergens found in many other cat food blends. Overall, the allergy risk in this food is pretty low.
Poor Quality Ingredients Commonly Found In Cat Food
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.
Wheat gluten – We don’t think any grain is “good” for your cat. It doesn’t mean wheat gluten is “bad” for your cat, either, but the fact it provides almost no nutritional value makes us question the quality of the ingredient. Wheat gluten can be a decent protein source for animals with digestive systems that can break it down, but as obligate carnivores, cats are not one of those animals. Their digestive systems produce only the enzymes necessary for processing animal-based proteins. There are also some allergy risks associated with wheat gluten. In addition, too much of this in a cats diet can potentially lead to weight gain and diabetes. Unfortunately, diabetes in cats is a very serious health problem, so it is important to keep a close eye on your cats weight and diabetic risk when feeding a cat food containing ingredients like wheat gluten.
Meat by-products – This is about the lowest quality meat product that can be included in any cat food. We are very disappointed to see this ingredient listed. Meat By-Products are parts of slaughtered animals including the lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, and stomach and intestines freed of their contents. In addition, meat by-products can also legally contain animals that were dead, dying, or diseased before slaughtering. Many times, animals with tumors are ground and processed, meaning, ground up cancerous tumors could legally be included in your pets food. While unlikely, it can even legally include road kill. Perhaps worst of all, this ingredient COULD include meat from euthanized cats, dogs, horses, or other animals. Meat by-product is an unnamed meat source and you never know for sure where it is coming from or what animals are being used. Also note that meat by-products are not approved for human consumption. It consists of unwanted parts only acceptable in the pet food or feed industries. This is one of the most controversial meat ingredients that could be included and there is much to be concerned about when purchasing any pet food that includes meat by-products.
Fortunately, none of the above ingredients are present in the By Nature Weight Control cat formula.
The By Nature Weight Control Cat Food Blend is specifically made for overweight cats. As such, it is devoid of some of the best ingredients. For example, there are many low quality protein sources int his food. However, we don’t see any ingredients to be especially concerned with. Based on the ingredients list alone, we believe this is an average quality cat food.