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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 Steamed Tilapia Appetizer Wet Cat Food
Tilapia, water, guar gum, xantham gum, sodium nitrite.
This is an African freshwater cichlid fish that has been widely introduced to many areas for food. It provides a good amount of protein as well as providing an excellent source of fatty acids and other essential nutrients. Overall, this is a high quality ingredient. However, there is a growing concern about the mercury level of fish and most fish used in cat food is discarded fish from commercial fish farms. Many cat owners also don’t feed sea food products because for wild cats, fish is not a large part of their diet. Others, however, regard fish as some of the best quality ingredients found in cat food.
As you might expect, water is mostly added for moisture and cooking purposes. It does not add any nutritional value to the food.
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.
This is a substance produced by bacterial fermentation or created synthetically and is used in cat foods as a gelling agent and thickener. It is composed of glucose, mannose, and glucuronic acid. It is what causes the black rot on veggies that have been in the fridge too long. Once the bacteria has fermented, it is pasteurized (killed) and filtered. The resulting xanthan gum is then treated with isopropyl alcohol, dried, ground, and diluted to desired consistency. The finished product is a loose, whitish-colored powder. The behavior of xanthan gum makes it ideal for food processing purposes and is used in human food frequently. Nutritionally speaking, it is a carbohydrate with about seven grams of fiber per tablespoon. Xanthan gum is made using carbohydrates from corn, wheat, dairy, or soy which are all common food allergens for many cats.
Nitrates are used in curing, which is a broad category of techniques for preserving foods, mainly meat and fish, that involves the use of salt, sugar, or some form of dehydration. In each case, the goal is to make the food unattractive to the bacteria that cause food spoilage. This works because bacteria are tiny organisms that require, among other things, moisture, oxygen and food. Take away one of these things and they die. So basically, that’s a fancy way of saying this ingredient is used as a preservative. In addition, it also gives cat food that red, meaty look. While unsubstantiated, there are claims that sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate can cause chemically induced cancer in cats. In rare circumstances, pets have died due to to receiving too much of this ingredient in their food.
Allergy Risk Associated With Fancy Feast Steamed Tilapia Appetizer 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 only ingredient of concern here is the preservative sodium nitrate. If your cat has especially sensitive food allergies or digestion problems, this ingredient could pose a risk.
This cat food isn’t really meant as a regular daily meal, but more as an occasional treat or supplement to your cats regular food. We are quite pleased to see tilapia listed as the top ingredient and that is the only main protein source we see. We aren’t all that happy about the inclusion of sodium nitrate, but in reality, it probably will not post much of a risk to your cat. Reviews from other cat owners seem to be pretty positive which is encouraging. Overall, we think this cat food is about average in quality. Do you agree? Let us know in the commenting area below.