If you own an adult cat, you should be using an adult cat food blend. Almost all cat food companies offer adult blends specifically formulated for the needs of an adult cat. Eukanuba is no exception.
Eukanuba is owned by Procter & Gamble and uses a manufacturing plant in Leipsic, Ohio. In 1969, Paul Iams wanted to find a name to differentiate the new formula from other Iams pet food products. Iams chose to name this new formula “Eukanuba”, a term originated by jazz era personality Hoagy Carmichael, meaning “the tops” or “something supreme” (read more on Wikipedia).
Ingredients in Eukanuba Adult Chicken Formula
Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), DL-Methionine, Brewers Dried Yeast, Fructooligosaccharides, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamins (Niacin, Vitamin E Supplement, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Acetate, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Inositol, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Minerals (Manganese Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Carbonate, Potassium Iodide), Salt, Rosemary Extract.
The First Five Ingredients; An Overview
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 By-Product Meal
While this ingredient does provide a high amount of meat protein, this meat source is considered to be of lower quality than many other meat sources. Chicken By-Product Meal is produced through a process of cooking, drying and separation of fats and proteins from animal carcasses. It contains a dehydrated combination of meat (or cuts or parts) including lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, necks, undeveloped eggs and intestines. Usually, by-products are the “left overs” that can’t be used for human food consumption. The greatest fault of this ingredient is the same trait that makes it so affordable and so commonly found in pet foods. The unpredictability of what might (or might not) be included.
Considered a low quality ingredient, corn meal is usually used as a “filler ingredient” but provides almost no nutritional value to cats. This ingredient is also a known allergy causing ingredient for many cats. We aren’t all that thrilled to see this ingredient listed.
Many forms of corn are found in pet foods including corn grits. About 85% of all corn grown in the United States is genetically modified (GMO). Since cats by nature are carnivores, this ingredient does not provide much nutritional value if any, although it does add calories to the food. Corn grits can be considered a very low quality ingredient.
Animal Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E)
Animal fat provides essential fatty acids, energy, and fat soluble vitamins. This ingredient can also support a healthy skin and coat. Unfortunately, when it comes to fat sources, animal fat is considered to be a lower quality ingredient. This is because it is an unnamed fat source. Usually, we like to see a named fat source (such as “chicken fat”). In this case, we are forced to guess what animal or animals this fat source comes from. Animal fat, also called tallow, is a product of rendering. In the rendering process, pieces, parts, and even whole animals are put through a gigantic grinder, then boiled in vats for 30 minutes to several hours. High heat is necessary to kill bacteria, viruses, molds, and other pathogens. The boiling process also allows the fat to separate and float to the top, where it is skimmed off for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, industrial lubricants, and, of course, pet food.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In Eukanuba Adult Chicken Formula Cat Food
Dried Beet Pulp
Beet pulp is a by-product from the processing of sugar beet and is a source of fiber and energy. It is popular among many pet food companies due to its high availability and low price. The most common complaint about this ingredient is that it causes digestion problems, most commonly a very hard stool or diarrhea. It has also been known to cause bloat in some dogs and cats which can be very serious if left unchecked.
The term “natural flavor” is extremely vague and can mean just about anything. In human foods, natural flavor is usually MSG or some similar flavor enhancer. When pet food companies are asked what is in their “natural flavor ingredients, they usually refuse to answer. There are a lot of things in the world considered “natural” and they almost all have a flavor. Such generic terms can be indicative of poor quality ingredients. While that’s not always the case, the fact is, we don’t really know what this ingredient consists of and that is worrying.
Allergy Risks Associated With Eukanuba Adult Chicken Cat Food
Unfortunately, this formula contains corn and corn extracts which are common allergens. It is important to avoid feeding your cat on this formula if your cat suffers from corn allergies. Many cats also have difficulty digesting corn, so you should keep a close eye on your cat when switching to this formula.
While the Eukanuba Company promises great health for your cat, this formula doesn’t seem to live up to its name. It contains allergens and low quality ingredients that can potentially cause serious health issues in your cat. It is especially important to avoid this cat food if your cat suffers from corn allergies or has difficulty digesting corn. We do note that meat products are listed as the top 2 ingredients and we are pleased to see that. However, by-products are not the highest quality meat products and the fat source is also from an unnamed animal, in addition to the use of corn and corn meal. Other ingredients, such as beet pulp and natural flavor aren’t all that comforting, either. While most cats should do fine on this formula, in our opinion, it is not one of the better cat food blends available. Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comment section below.