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Artemis Pet Food Inc is the name of the company responsible for manufacturing the Artemis Fresh Mix Feline Formula. This company was started in 1988 and is currently headquartered in Hollywood, California. Initially, the company had only a few formulas under its name. However, today the company has expanded its pet formula line to include formulas for cats and dogs. The company has enjoyed quite a bit of success owing to the fact that none of their pet formulas have been recalled. The Artemis brand is not listed on the FDA pet food recall website.
The fresh mix feline formula is a dry cat formula under the Artemis brand. According to the Artemis website, the feline fresh mix formula is formulated to support the cat’s coat and skin health. This pet formula is said to contain the essential amino acids and is naturally balanced to maintain the required PH levels. It also offers substantial proteins to sustain cats of all life stages.
Is this cat formula as effective as the makers say it is? Well, there is only one way to find out.
Ingredients in Artemis Fresh Mix Feline Formula
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Peas, Barley, Rice Bran, Fish Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Flavor Enhancer, Flaxseed, Dried Chicory Root, Sodium Bisulfate, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Kelp, Carrots, Apples, Tomatoes, Blueberries, Spinach, Cranberries, Rosemary Extract, Parsley Flake, Lactobacillus Casei, Green Tea Extract, Barley Grass Extract, L-Carnitine, Enterococcus Faecieum, Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Saccharomyces Cerevesiae Fermentation Solubles, Zinc Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Potassium Iodide, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Sodium Selenite, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (vitamin B6), Vitamin D Supplement, Folic Acid.
A Closer Look At The First Five Ingredients
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.
Chicken meal – Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Many pet owners feel that chicken is a superior ingredient to chicken meal. It would seem logical that feeding a pet a whole, non-rendered chicken would be good. However, whole chicken still contains its moisture content prior to cooking and since whole chicken consists of about 80% moisture, after the cooking process is over there isn’t much left. With chicken meal, the moisture was removed prior to cooking. That means, chicken meal actually has a much higher protein percentage and provides far more beneficial nutrients to your cats than whole chicken. Meals consist of meat and skin, with or without the bones, but exclusive of feathers/hair, heads, feet, horns, entrails etc. and have the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio required for a balanced diet. It’s also important to note the quality difference between “chicken by-product meal” and “chicken meal.” While we do take exception to chicken by-products, chicken meal is actually a very high quality and nutritious ingredient. We are happy to see this listed.
Peas – Peas are becoming more and more common in pet foods today, especially those listed as grain-free, holistic, or natural pet foods. While peas are certainly not grains, they serve much the same purpose. It mostly acts as a filler and a cheap way to increase the protein percentage of the food. However, cats receive almost no nutritional value from peas. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they require proteins from meat based ingredients. There is very little research that has been performed on the long term effects of cats consuming peas. We do know that peas can cause runny poop or digestion issues in dogs, but the full effect on cats remains a bit of an unknown. At best, this ingredient will act as a filler and will not provide much nutritional value, if any, to your cat.
Barley – With barley being a starchy carbohydrate, it supplies healthy nutrients such as fiber to the cat. Barley also gives your cat sugar level stability. Ground or pearled barley is produced from whole barley seeds that have been scoured to remove the seed hull and bran. This is a common ingredient in weight control pet foods due to its slow digestibility, starch, and soluble fibers.
Rice bran – Rice bran is what makes brown rice brown. It is the fibrous outer portion of the rice grain. Unfortunately, a study done about 10 years ago found that rice bran depletes taurine when fed to cats. The fact that rice bran specifically depletes taurine in cats is less widely known than it should be. Although rice bran or whole rice products are included in commercial cat foods at levels between 5 and 20% diet (DM), feline diets containing these materials may need a higher content of taurine than that in similar products without them. If you would like to read more about this, here is an excellent article with more detail.
Clearly, this formula is top heavy on useless fillers.
Ingredients of interest
Fish meal – When you see fish listed as “fish meal” on an ingredients list, that means almost all of the moisture was removed from the fish prior to the cooking process. That means fish meal contains a much higher amount of protein as opposed to it’s whole fish counterpart. However, we aren’t pleased that this ingredient is an unnamed fish source. Fish meal can contain almost any type of fish, including fish waste products that are not used for human consumption purposes. Whenever we see an unnamed fish source, we get a little nervous about what may (or may not) be included.
Flaxseed – Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. The seeds come from flax, one of the the oldest fiber crops in the world. It is not only a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The health risk associated with this ingredient is low and in general, flaxseed is considered to be a beneficial ingredient for cats.
Can this formula cause allergic reactions?
Barley is a known allergen, and you should, therefore, be cautious when giving this formula to a cat that is allergic. It is advisable to read through the ingredients list on the formula bag to determine whether the cat formula contains any other ingredients that your cat may be allergic to.
Other ingredients to be wary of
Artificial additives and preservatives – Artificial preservatives are a group of chemical substances added to food, sprayed on the outside of food, or added to certain medications to retard spoilage, discoloration, or contamination by bacteria and other disease organisms. These additives are man-made, though some do exist in some forms in nature. They are generally considered safe despite the fact that some are known to be carcinogenic and toxic. Many side effects and illnesses are related to their consumption. What’s even more unfortunate is that we are not given full information here. The label “artificial preservatives” could include any number of man-made chemical based preservatives. While it doesn’t necessarily mean this ingredient is harmful, it could be. We just don’t know which specific preservatives are being used here. Without adequate labeling and information for cat owners, we remain skeptical.
Fillers – Many ingredients are referred to as “fillers” or “filler ingredients.” Generally, these are ingredients that offer very little to no nutritional value. Fillers are usually in the form of grains or other non-nutritious plant based products. Filler do help to make your cat feel more full without adding many calories, but some fillers are known to cause allergies in cats, as is the case with grains.
While the fresh mix feline formula is partly grain based, the company has done a good job by using quality nutrition grains.
From the ingredients used to make this car formula, fresh mix feline cat formula can be rated as a relatively good cat formula. The client feedback is mostly positive though some clients complain that the grain causes allergic reactions in their cats.