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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 Tender Turkey Tuscany with Long Grain Rice and Garden Greens Wet Cat Food
Poultry broth, turkey, liver, wheat gluten, long grain rice, spinach, meat by-products, corn starch-modified, artificial and natural flavors, salt, calcium phosphate, soy protein concentrate, added color, potassium chloride, taurine, magnesium sulfate, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, 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.
The main purpose if this ingredient is to add moisture and taste to the food. It is not considered to be a nutritional ingredient, but it considered to be a better alternative to using plain water. Poultry broth is safe to use and cats usually love the taste of it.
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.
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.
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.
Long grain rice
Long grain rice is usually described as rice that is about four or five times as long as it is wide. While rice is one of the easier grains for cats to digest, they do not require rice in their diet and in fact, obtain no nutritional benefit from rice. This is a popular ingredient in pet foods because rice expands in your pets stomach (or your stomach when you eat it), thus helping to make dogs and cats feel more full. Fortunately, even though rice is a grain, there is very little allergic risk to rice. The biggest concern is the amount of arsenic that is naturally found in rice. The arsenic level in rice is increasing all the time and there isn’t much pet food (or human food) companies can do about that. The FDA still claims the arsenic level is so low that there are no health concerns, but you should periodically check this special FDA resource about arsenic levels in rice.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest In Fancy Feast Tender Turkey Tuscany with Long Grain Rice and Garden Greens Cat Food
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.
Spinach – While it certainly sounds like a healthy ingredient, the truth is, spinach doesn’t add much nutritional value to the food. It does supply some various nutrients and vitamins, but the levels are quite low. Many companies like to include this ingredient as it looks great on the ingredients list, but in general, it is not all that nutritious for cats. On the flip side, there is very little to worry about and this ingredient is considered to be very safe for most cats.
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.
Added color – 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 Turkey Tuscany With Long Grain Rice And Garden Greens Cat Food
Unfortunately, we see a few ingredients in this Fancy Feast Cat Food blend that may cause some issues in cats with predisposed food allergies. Of specific note is the inclusion of corn starch. Corn is one of the top allergens for cats, so we aren’t too pleased to see that ingredient included. We also not the presence of artificial flavors and even added color, which has some possible links to causing cancer in cats. While most cats will probably do ok on this food, there is a moderate risk of allergies, especially if your cat is allergic to corn based ingredients or flavor enhancers.
While many cat owners claim this is a great cat food and Fancy Feast seems to be quite proud of this blend, we notice many ingredients to be concerned about. While this food does contain some very high quality ingredients such as turkey and liver, we take exception to the inclusion of meat by-products, artificial flavoring, and added color. We don’t see any excuse to include coloring in any pet food at all and we believe it is bordering on reckless. While not scientifically proven, there are many possible links associated with added coloring in pet food to cancer. Since added coloring is only used as a marketing gimmick, we find it totally unacceptable to add this ingredient or some of the other lower quality ingredients they have included in this blend. Therefor, judging only by the ingredients list, we think this is a below average cat food. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know in the comment box below!