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Fancy Feast is one of the most popular cat food brands on the market today. As such, it is readily available in many grocery stores, pet food stores, and is also available online.
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 Classic Cod Sole And Shrimp Feast Wet Cat Food
Cod, liver, meat by-products, fish, fish broth, sole, shrimp, artificial and natural flavors, guar gum, added color (Red 3 and other color), calcium phosphate, potassium chloride, salt, zinc sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide.
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.
Cod is a well known type of fish generally found in colder and deeper waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In their natural habitat, cod (and other types of fish) are not part of a regular diet for cats. However, many cat food blends have begun including fish ingredients such as cod into their blends for the high protein percentage. This ingredient is also high in healthy fatty acids. Some debate suggests a diet high in fish ingredients could have longer term health implications when fed over time, but in general, cod is considered to be a healthy ingredient.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In Fancy Feast Classic Cod, Cole, and Shrimp Feast Cat Food
Sole is a group of flatfish belonging to several fish families. There is a growing number of cat owners purchasing cat food blends containing a lot of fish ingredients and so, we are seeing more and more fish ingredients included in cat food as time goes on. Some cat owners worry about the mercury level of fish ingredients since almost all fish does contain mercury. It is still unknown what the long term exposure could do to a cats health, but most do not believe the mercury levels are high enough to pose major health risks. This ingredient provides an excellent source of meat protein as well as extremely nutritious fatty acids. As a whole, this is considered to be a safe and nutritious ingredient.
This ingredient is becoming more popular in cat food as more and more cat owners are including sea food ingredients into their cats meals. This is generally considered a quality ingredient, but it does contain quite a bit of fat. This usually isn’t a problem unless the ingredient is included in high amounts. It also isn’t considered to be a part of a cats natural diet since they rarely, if ever, eat shrimp in the wild. Nonetheless, it is an ingredient with some great nutritional value (in proper portions) and there is little evidence to suggest it could cause much harm to your cat.
Artificial and natural flavors
Both artificial and natural flavor ingredients are considered to be lower quality ingredients. Since we are looking at two different ingredients here, let’s check out what natural flavor is first. The actual definition of natural flavor is very long and confusion, but basically states that the flavor of an item can be extracted, then sprayed onto other products. Natural and artificial flavors are produced in the same factories these days. Both are considered safe, but artificial and natural flavors alike can be dangerous depending on what they are. It is actually best to avoid flavoring altogether, both natural and artificial.
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. In short, 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, let alone both together. Both of these ingredients have potential allergy risks and other possible health problems in cats.
This ingredient is also sometimes called guaran. It is primarily the ground endosperm of guar beans. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, off-white powder. This ingredient is mostly used to thicken the food and give it more texture. It is an FDA-approved, all natural GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredient used by the food and cosmetic industries. It also is used to improve the shelf life of the food and helps lower the glycemic index of food. Many cat food companies claim this ingredient also aids in digestion and weight loss. There is some minor debate about the benefits of this ingredient with some claiming negative impacts, but in general, this is thought to be a relatively non-nutritious yet safe ingredient.
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 Classic Cod Sole & Shrimp Feast Cat Food
Fortunately, this cat food is free from the main allergy causing ingredients. Every cat is unique in their own way and your cat may suffer from a rare food allergy, but in general, we believe the allergy risk associated with this food is quite low.
The Fancy Feast Classic Cod Sole and Shrimp Feast Cat Food blend is a pretty good cat food blend on the surface. After all, the first 4 ingredients are meat proteins and that means this food is filled with the meat protein your cat needs instead of containing filler ingredients like corn. No doubt, cod and liver are very high quality ingredients. Unfortunately, we then see meat by-products listed. This is very unfortunate for a cat food that was off to a good start. Meat by-products significantly hurt the quality of this food. This ingredient is very controversial and can legally include some nasty ingredients. The, we see “fish.” Unfortunately, we are not told what kind of fish this is. It could be the result of by-catch or fish that are not suitable for human consumption. We also don’t know what part of the fish is being used. If that wasn’t enough, we then see artificial flavors being used and even added color. Food coloring is another controversial ingredient. There is growing evidence that food coloring can cause cancer in cats. Since this coloring is only added as a marketing gimmick, we find it extremely unfortunate they are still using it in their cat food blends.
Based on these ingredients, we believe this Fancy Feast Cat Food blend is a bit below average in quality. We are happy to see so many meat based ingredients high on the list, but the poor quality ingredients leave too many questions. What do you think about this cat food? Have we been too hard on it? Not hard enough? Let us know in the comment area below!