Just like humans, cats too need a change of diet every now and then. This is because they too get bored feeding on the same meal all year round. In order to make the right choice, you have to analyze a number of brands and formulas before making a purchase.
Friskies makes the tedious job of looking for an ideal formula easier. According to the company, the Flaked Ocean Whitefish Dinner (wet) is a nutrient rich formula to which you can introduce your cats. This is because it is made with well shredded chunks of real whitefish cooked in gravy that leave your cat yearning for more.
So, is this the most ideal formula to feed your feline friend on?
The ingredients in this formula
Water sufficient for processing, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, ocean whitefish, chicken, soy flour, tuna, corn starch-modified, artificial and natural flavors, salt, calcium phosphate, added color (Red 3 and other color), potassium chloride, Taurine, Choline chloride, thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, Menadione sodium Bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide.
A closer look at the main ingredients in the formula
Water sufficient for processing
For canned foods, water being at the top of the ingredients list is normal. As you could probably guess, water doesn’t do anything in the way of providing nutritional value, but it does help to keep the food moist. Sometimes a broth will be used instead of water, but all canned foods will require a high amount of moisture content.
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.
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.
Ocean whitefish is a species of tilefish native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. This ingredient is likely included for its protein content as well as very healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. While this ingredient probably isn’t something most cats would eat in a natural or wild environment, the ingredient does contain some very essential nutrient sources. Some cat owners worry about the mercury content in fish since all fish contains some level of mercury, but the health risk is considered to be pretty low.
Other ingredients in the formula worth mentioning
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.
Many pet food companies seem pretty headstrong about defending their use of soy products, even calling health concerns associated with soy to be a myth. Wysong is one of those companies and to be fair, you can read their opinion about this ingredient here. However, we tend to agree with many of those outside the pet food industry that see major problems using any form of soy in cat food. There is no doubt this ingredient has been the subject of much controversy over the years and the benefits claimed by pet food companies is questionable at best. Why would pet food companies insist on using such a controversial ingredient? They claim it’s for health benefits, but we think it’s rather convenient that soy four is so cheaply made. It’s safe to say this is not considered a high quality ingredient by most experts and at best, it is a mediocre ingredient that we, in general, do not recommend for cats.
This ingredient is a well known saltwater fish. There is some debate about whether fish products should be included in cat food at all, because cats by nature do not eat much sea food. A lot of cat owners would rather see meat from other animals such as beef, chicken, turkey, or other meat sources. However, tuna does supply a good amount of protein and also contains an excellent amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
This is a derivative of corn, chemically altered to dissolve quickly and serve as a thickener. People who have wheat and gluten allergies should avoid products with this ingredient. The ingredient is made by physically, enzymatically or chemically altering starch to change its inherent properties. In this instance, modified does not necessarily mean genetically modified, however some modified starches are likely made from genetically modified ingredients (most corn in the United States is genetically modified, for example). You probably won’t find very many people who claim this is a high quality ingredient.
Will this formula trigger any allergic reactions in my cat?
Looking at the ingredients, it is not likely to cause any allergic reactions in your feline friend. It is worth noting that the formula contains derivatives of wheat, corn and soy. These ingredients can trigger adverse reactions in overly sensitive cats.
Healthy ingredients that ought to be in pet foods
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.
Cranberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber. This ingredient may assist with urinary tract infections and help with dental hygiene by killing certain bacteria. While cats are obligate carnivores, wild cats do consume a small amount of fruits and vegetables. Ingredients like cranberries will not provide a large amount of nutrition, but do supply some vitamins, help make the food taste better, and act as an easily digestible filler.
Judging from the ingredients in this formula, Friskies flaked ocean whitefish is not all it is cracked up to be. This is because it contains a plethora of low quality ingredients that should have been left out. These include meat by-products, wheat gluten, soy flour, corn starch modified.