Cat Food Reviews & Comparisons From The Cat Food Insider

Fancy Feast Gourmet with Savory Chicken and Turkey Cat Food Review

Fancy Feast Cat Food


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 Gourmet With Savory Chicken And Turkey Dry Cat Food

Brewers rice, poultry by-product meal, corn gluten meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), ground yellow corn, soybean meal, animal liver flavor, chicken, turkey, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, salt, natural and artificial flavors, potassium chloride, dried yeast, choline chloride, added color (Red 40, Yellow 5, Blue 2 and other color), taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.




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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.

Brewers rice

Brewers rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. It is a processed rice product that is missing many of its nutrients, but does provide a source of carbohydrates. It is a by-product of rice milling and considered a lower quality filler ingredient usually used in lower priced cat food blends. Usually, brewers rice is used to make rice flour, but if the quality is too poor for rice flour, it will then be sold to pet food or dairy feed companies. For many cats, this ingredient can cause allergies or digestion issues. Most cats will not have any problems processing this food, but it’s not one of the better ingredients, either.

Poultry by-product meal

This ingredient is made from grinding clean, rendered parts of poultry carcasses and can contain bones, offal and undeveloped eggs, but only contains feathers that are unavoidable in the processing of the poultry parts. This ingredient is not approved for human consumption, but is used frequently in pet foods. This is because it can contain a lot of non-meat products like beaks, feet, heads and bones. Since this ingredient is dried prior to cooking, the protein percentage is quite high and that’s a good indicator. However, poultry in general can legally contain a number of birds and we aren’t able to tell exactly what bird species have been used in this ingredient. Be aware that the consistency of this ingredient may change from time to time with a variation of poultry products being used.

Corn gluten meal

This is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm. The expression “corn gluten” is colloquial jargon that describes corn proteins that are neither gliadin nor glutenin. Only wheat, barley, rye and oat contain true gluten. For the most part, this ingredient is normally only found in cheaper “grocery store brand” cat foods. Corn is frequently used as a filler ingredient to help make your cat feel more full, but it does not add much of anything to the nutritional value in the food. In addition, this is a common allergen for many cats and corn based ingredients can often be difficult for cats to digest. That’s why we can’t recommend this food for cats with food allergies or sensitive digestive systems.

Animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form 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.

Ground yellow corn

As you might expect, this ingredient is simply yellow corn that has been ground into meal or flour. As with any other corn ingredient in cat food, this is a very controversial ingredient. Cats are obligate carnivores and do not receive much of any nutritional value from plant based and grain based ingredients. While it’s true that cats will eat the stomach contents of their prey in the wild, which usually includes plant based products, it is only consumed in small amounts and doesn’t really add any health benefits. Usually, this ingredient can be found in lower priced cat food because it can be used as a very cheap filler to help make your cat feel more full. However, since corn is a rather difficult to digest, many cats may have problems with this food. In addition, corn is one of the most well known food allergens for cats. While your cat may not suffer from corn allergies, it is a very common problem and one of the big reasons why this ingredient is so controversial.

Additional Ingredients Of Interest In Fancy Feast Gourmet With Savory Chicken And Turkey Cat Food

Soybean meal

This ingredient is created after grinding the soybean to extract soybean oil. In addition to being used in dog and cat food, it is widely used as a filler and source of protein in other animal diets including pig, chicken, cattle, horse, sheep, and fish feed. This ingredient can often be found in “hairball relief” cat foods as it is believed to help eliminate hairballs. While some cats are allergic to soy based ingredients, the pet food industry is pretty defensive of this ingredient claiming that despite the attempts of researchers to prove a link between soy and bloat, no studies to date show this link. Rather, breed, body type, weight and stress level are significant risk factors. The pet food industry also claims that soy products are a superb source of bodybuilding protein, coat-nourishing vegetable oil and healthful fiber for cats. As long as your cat isn’t allergic to soy based ingredients, this ingredient shouldn’t pose any problems, but it isn’t included without controversy.

Animal liver flavor

When the ingredient “animal liver flavor” is used, what animal did this liver flavor come from? We don’t know, and either do you. The only one who really knows this answer is the manufacture. You can try calling them to ask, but most pet food companies are tight lipped about their “proprietary information.” To put things in perspective, this ingredient is so processed that it’s just the FLAVOR of an unnamed animal liver. This ingredient can even be synthetically derived to imitate liver flavor. While it probably won’t pose much harm to your cat, the fact this is a flavor coming from an unnamed animal leaves us wondering, and that doesn’t instill much confidence or imply quality.

Chicken

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.

Turkey

As a whole meat ingredient, turkey is a fantastic source of very healthy animal based proteins. We are extremely pleased to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, in dry kibbles, there is not as much of this ingredient included as you might initially think. Ingredients are listed by weight prior to the cooking process and since whole turkey is about 70% moisture, the vast majority is cooked off. So while we think this is an excellent and nutritional ingredient, it does need to be complimented by other high quality meat protein ingredients when used in dry kibbles. In wet cat foods, however, this is not nearly as much of a concern.

Allergy Risk Associated With Fancy Feast Gourmet With Savory Chicken And Turkey Cat Food

Unfortunately, this Fancy Feast Gourmet Cat Food contains some ingredients linked to allergies and other health issues in cats. While most cats will do ok on this food, you should avoid this blend if your cat has shown any allergy problems associated with corn. Usually, corn allergies show up in the way of itchiness, unhealthy skin, an unhealthy coat, or digestion problems leading to diarrhea, constipation, or upset stomach. We also not the presence of food coloring that many believe has ties to causing cancer in cats. It’s unfortunate Fancy Feast decided to include ingredients such as food coloring, which are only beneficial for marketing purposes and add zero benefit to your cats health or well-being.

Conclusion

It didn’t take us long to find our first undesirable ingredient in this food because it’s listed at the top. Seeing brewers rice listed as the #1 ingredient had us discouraged from the start. Further down the list, we can see that this food is full of corn based ingredients. We can even see corn listed several times as they split the corn ingredients. This basically means they use two different names for corn so that no single corn ingredient shows up too high on the list. Ingredient splitting is common practice in the pet food industry and we think it’s a bit unethical. We also see unnamed animal fat sources meaning it can come from just about any animal. We even see the use of food coloring which is simply appalling considering there is evidence linking food coloring to cancer in cats. The only reason food coloring is used is so it looks more appealing to cat owners at the store. That means, Fancy Feast has chosen to put their marketing tactics ahead of your cats well being. For these reasons, we believe this Fancy Feast Cat Food blend is a below average cat food.




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