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Fancy Feast is owned by Nestle Purina PetCare. They introduced the Fancy Feast brand name in 1982 and only had 7 flavors of wet cat food initially. The brand name was introduced as their “gourmet line” of cat foods.
Nestle Purina PetCare has been the subject of several pet food recalls over the past several years. Be sure to frequently check the FDA pet food recalls website. You might want to sign up for their email alerts as well.
Ingredients in Fancy Feast Chunky Chicken Cat Food
Chicken broth, chicken, meat by-products, liver, fish,wheat gluten, turkey, poultry by-products, soy flour, artificial and natural flavors, soy protein concentrate, sodium tripolyphosphate, calcium phosphate, guar gum, added color, potassium chloride, salt, carrageenan, taurine, locust bean gum, zinc sulfate, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Vitamin A supplement, riboflavin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Vitamin B-12 supplement, folic acid, biotin, potassium iodide, Vitamin D-3 supplement.
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
Whenever you are reviewing a commercial cat food blend, it is good practice to pay special attention to the first 5 ingredients listed. These ingredients make up the vast majority of the nutritional content in the food. Let’s take a look at the top 5 ingredients in this cat food.
While chicken broth does not add much nutritional value to the food, it does add flavor and is considered to be a better alternative to water. The main reason for adding this ingredient is simply to add moisture.
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.
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.
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.
The fish used in canned pet foods usually includes parts of the fish not typically used for human consumption. It is high in phosphorus and magnesium, which can be an issue in cats with a history of urinary tract disorders or kidney disease. Most fish used in pet food is that of very low quality, including farmed fish and discarded fish that is deemed unacceptable for human consumption. There is also a risk of mercury exposure as many types of fish contain a high mercury level. Over long periods of time, this can become hazardous. It is also important to try and find a cat food with ethoxyquin free fish. Most cat food brands do not disclose if their fish is ethoxyquin free and if it isn’t, that could pose some problems. Most cats love the taste of fish and will be happy to eat it, but it isn’t part of a regular diet for wild cats. Nonetheless, this is a high protein source with essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In Fancy Feast Chunky Chicken Wet Cat Food
Most cat food brands that use wheat in their products will tell you that wheat is a grain used as a high-quality carbohydrate source in dry dog and cat foods and biscuits. They will tell you that it provides energy for daily activity, as well as processing characteristics for the food. And finally, they will tell you that the allergy risk associated with wheat is low. However, many experts not associated with the pet food industry will seemingly say the opposite. From them, you’ll hear that wheat and wheat by-product is a very common allergy for dogs and cats. You’ll even find sources that claim wheat has also been linked to epileptic seizures and celiac diseases. Cats are not able to digest grains nearly as well as humans or dogs, so many cats may also experience digestion issues if given too much wheat. In general, wheat is considered to be a very low priced filler ingredient with essentially no nutritional value for cats. As the debate rages on, you be the judge.
Soy is another common food allergen for cats and is also known to cause gastric upset. This ingredient is considered a very low priced filler ingredient. While it will certainly help make your cat food more full, the full nutritional benefit in this ingredient is questionable at best. Many cat food brands will tell you the allergy risk is very low with soy, but it is one of the most well known food allergens that cats deal with in commercial pet food. Overall, this is a pretty low quality ingredient.
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.
There is absolutely no reason to included added color into any cat food, ever. It’s extremely disappointing to see this ultra-low quality ingredient included. Added color 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.
Allergy Risk Associated With Fancy Feast Chunky Chicken Cat Food
This Fancy Feast Cat Food blend does contain soy, which is a known allergen for many cats. It also contains meat by-products and added color. Those ingredients can also have a negative impact on some cats.
This Fancy Feast Cat Food blend is below average compared to most other commercial cat food blends. While we like to see chicken ranked so highly in the ingredients list, we are not all that excited to see meat by-products. It is an extremely controversial ingredient. The use of artificial flavors, added color, and soy do not help. In all, we think this is a below average cat food.