Do you often vary your cat’s diet? Cats can become picky at times especially when you feed them on one type of formula for a long time. To ensure your cat is always in the mood for its meals, you can try cat formulas that come in varieties in a pack.
The Felix brand is one of the many types of cat formula variety packs for your cat with sensations being one of their products. According to the company, the Sensations formula is made of deliciously blended meaty and fish flavors that look, smell and taste good.
Companies are known to make hyped claims on their products but fail to deliver on their promise. So, does the Sensations formula varieties live up to its billing?
The sensations varieties available
The fish in jelly variety – this comes in several flavors:
- Salmon dipped in shrimp flavored jelly.
- Trout dipped in a jelly containing spinach.
- Pollack dipped in a jelly containing tomatoes.
- Sardine dipped in a jelly containing carrots.
The mixed steaklets in jelly – this features the following flavors:
- Beef dipped in a jelly containing tomato.
- Duck dipped in a jelly containing spinach.
- Ocean fish dipped in a jelly containing carrots.
- Salmon dipped in a jelly that is flavored with shrimp.
The meat in jelly – this comes in the following meat varieties:
- Beef with tomatoes.
- Duck dipped in jelly containing spinach.
- Chicken with carrots.
- Lamb that has been flavored with game.
The ocean selection in jelly – this offers the following flavors:
- Mackerel dipped in a jelly containing tomato.
- Herring dipped in shrimp flavored jelly.
- Ocean fish dipped in a jelly containing carrots.
- Trout in a jelly containing spinach.
An overview of the ingredients
Salmon – Salmon is an excellent source of high quality proteins for cats and is extremely rich in healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Some people worry about mercury levels in fish. It’s true that all fish contains some degree of mercury, the level in salmon is much lower than other types of fish and the FDA doesn’t believe it is cause for concern. Most salmon in cat food is farmed salmon, but higher end cat food (especially those labeled “natural”) can often times be fished from natural lakes and streams. The biggest problem with fish ingredients, including salmon, is if the fish includes an antioxidant called ethoxyquin (EMQ). It is believe that ethoxyquin could be very harmful to cats and other animals. Always make sure you are using “Ethoxyquin free” cat food blends when they include fish ingredients. When in doubt, call the customer service number and ask.
Trout – Fish ingredients have become much more common in dog food over the years and now, this ingredient has found its way into cat food. While fish is not the typical prey for cats in the wild, they do supply a healthy amount of protein and extremely beneficial fatty acids as well as other nutrients cats can benefit from. Some cat owners worry about the mercury level that naturally occurs in fish, but the FDA continues to state that the mercury levels in fish are safe for both humans and pets. There is also some concern about where this ingredient might be sourced from. If the fish contains ethoxyquin, this is definitely something you would not want to feed to your cat, but we are unable to verify whether this ingredient contains ethoxyquin or not. Also, most of the time, fish used in pet food is the fish that has been deemed unfit for human consumption for whatever reason. Nonetheless, this ingredient does provide a fairly high amount of healthy nutritional benefit.
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.
Pollack – Pollack is a greenish-brown fish of the cod family. Like just about any other type of fish, cats gain quite a bit of protein value from this ingredient and can also make good use of the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Since all fish contains trace levels of mercury, many cat owners like to shy away from fish based products. However, to date the FDA and EPA indicate mercury levels are still within safe limits.
Tomatoes – While raw tomatoes contain an alkaloid that is poisonous to cats, this cat food is processed and heated at high temperatures. That will destroy the offending alkaloid. Unfortunately, during this heating process, much of the nutrients are lost. Many pet food companies that use this ingredient will tell you it supplies vitamin C and antioxidants and that tomatoes help support a strong immune system and a healthy heart. However, most would consider this to be just an average ingredient. While no major health risks are posed when tomatoes are processed properly (don’t feed raw tomatoes to your cat as they are poisonous), the health benefits are a bit questionable.
Sardine – A sardine is a young pilchard or other young or small herringlike fish. Some cat owners like to avoid fish in cat food because sea food is not usually a part of a cats natural diet. All fish products also contain a certain level of mercury and some cat owners fear that over time, the ingestion of mercury could be harmful (although there is very little evidence to suggest a significant risk). Overall, this ingredient does supply some extremely nutritious properties including protein and very healthy fatty acids.
Carrots – A good source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals, carrots are becoming more common in pet foods. This ingredient is also known to boost the immune system and help promote healthy eyes in cats as well as providing a good source of fiber.
Beef – Beef is considered to be a higher quality ingredient. It is an excellent source of animal protein and contains many other nutrients that are very important for a cat to survive and thrive. Since this is not in “meal” form, that means this ingredient still contains all of its moisture content prior to cooking. Once fully cooked, most of this ingredient will have evaporated due to its high moisture content. That means, even when this ingredient is ranked highly, it will usually only provide a small percentage of the overall protein in the food. There is no dismissing this ingredient, though. It is high quality and we are pleased to see it listed.
Duck – Duck is an excellent alternative meat source and provides very high quality meat proteins for your cat. As a whole meat product, much of this ingredient is lost during the cooking process, but it is less water heavy than other whole meat ingredients like chicken or beef. So, while much of this ingredient is lost during the cooking process, it is still a very high quality ingredient and we are quite pleased to see it listed here.
Ocean fish – While some ocean fish may be naturally caught fish, generally this indicates farmed fish. When ocean fish are farmed, it includes the practice of growing finfish in huge, often over crowded cages out in open ocean waters. When fish are farmed, usually the higher quality fish goes to the human food industry while the fish unsuitable for human consumption is used in the pet food industry. There is some debate about how beneficial seafood is in a cats diet, including fish, but in general it is considered a safe ingredient with a high amount of protein and an excellent source of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
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.
Lamb – Lamb is a very high quality source of meat protein. Generally, this ingredient is more nutritious in canned formulas than dry formulas, but in either case, it is nice to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, about 80% of this ingredient is lost during the cooking process. That means, there actually isn’t much of this ingredient left once it has all been processed.
Herring – Herring is a silvery fish that is most abundant in coastal waters. Fish provides an excellent source of proteins as well as high amounts of healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Some people worry about mercury levels in fish. It’s true that all fish contains some degree of mercury, the level in salmon is much lower than other types of fish and the FDA doesn’t believe it causes any problems. Most herring in cat food is likely farmed herring, but higher end cat food (especially those labeled “natural”) can often times be fished from natural environments. The biggest problem with fish ingredients, including herring, is if the fish includes an antioxidant called ethoxyquin (EMQ). It is believe that ethoxyquin could be very harmful to cats and other animals. Always make sure you are using “Ethoxyquin free” cat food blends when they include fish ingredients. When in doubt, call the customer service number and ask.
Mackerel – Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of pelagic fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas, mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment. Fish based ingredients provide an excellent source of fatty acids, proteins, and very high quality nutrients. Some cat owners are worried about the increasing level of mercury in fish, but so far the FDA says it is well within’ safe limits for both humans and pets. In addition, some pet owners worry about where the fish comes from, because a lot of fish used in pet foods is obtained from farmed fish that have not passed inspections to be used in human consumption. It could also contain fish waste products that can’t be used anywhere else. So while there is some concern about this and any other fish based ingredient in cat food, in general, it is considered a higher quality nutrient source.
Other ingredients worth mentioning
Shrimp flavor – While not exactly a low quality ingredient, we typically aren’t impressed with ingredients added solely for flavor. This ingredient is not going to provide much of any nutritional value for your cat and is only added to help make the food more palatable. If your cat enjoys the flavor of shrimp, it may make the food more enjoyable.
Game flavor – In general, when an ingredient includes the word “flavor” you should take some precautions. We have absolutely no idea what “game flavor” could possibly mean. Flavor from what animal? How is it derived? Is this a natural or artificial flavoring? With so many unanswered questions, we are unable to consider this a quality ingredient. It is more like a mystery ingredient.
Can the formulas cause allergies?
These formulas do not contain any allergens and can, therefore, not cause allergies. Some of the most common allergens are soy, corn, wheat, gluten, artificial coloring and artificial preservatives. You should avoid feeding your cat on these harmful ingredients. Some of them can be poisonous.
Depending on which Felix Adult Sensations flavor pack you choose, you are likely to feed your cat on most of the nutrients required for healthy growth. However, these Felix Sensations formulas lack some important nutrients and, therefore, cannot be used as the only meals for your cat. You can use them alongside other formulas with all the nutrition required by cats for healthy growth.