Worried about your cat’s health and wellbeing? Ensuring that it stays healthy largely depends on the types of cat foods you feed it on. If the cat food has been made using high-quality and nutritious ingredients, your cat’s health will benefit greatly. However, if the food is made using low quality ingredients, you can rest assured you will be making frequent vet visits.
The Flaked with Tuna and Egg in Sauce (wet) is one of the many formulas out there that has been hyped as being amongst the best. According to Fancy Feast (the manufacturers), this cat food has been formulated to meet AAFCOs nutritional levels which ensure that your cat’s growth and health are maintained.
Is this true or just some marketing talk to get you to purchase it?
Ingredients used to make this formula
Water sufficient for processing, fish, poultry, meat by-products, wheat gluten, soy flour, tuna, egg, artificial and natural flavors, corn starch-modified, soybean oil, salt, potassium chloride, added color, whey, xanthan gum, carrageenan, sodium caseinate, calcium phosphate, egg product, taurine, choline chloride, sodium tripolyphosphate, Vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, zinc sulfate, sorbic acid (a preservative), ferrous sulfate, niacin, sodium nitrite (to promote color retention), 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. C-6071.
A closer look at the first five ingredients
Water: As you might expect, water is mostly added for moisture and cooking purposes. It does not add any nutritional value to the food.
Fish: The fish used in canned pet foods usually includes parts of the fish not typically used for human consumption. It is high in phosphorus and magnesium, which can be an issue in cats with a history of urinary tract disorders or kidney disease. Most fish used in pet food is that of very low quality, including farmed fish and discarded fish that is deemed unacceptable for human consumption. There is also a risk of mercury exposure as many types of fish contain a high mercury level. Over long periods of time, this can become hazardous. It is also important to try and find a cat food with ethoxyquin free fish. Most cat food brands do not disclose if their fish is ethoxyquin free and if it isn’t, that could pose some problems. Most cats love the taste of fish and will be happy to eat it, but it isn’t part of a regular diet for wild cats. Nonetheless, this is a high protein source with essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Poultry: Contrary to popular belief, poultry does not always consist of chicken products. Poultry can include a number of different birds including chickens, fowl, quail, turkeys, ducks, geese, and even pigeons. All of these birds must be “domesticated” birds, meaning they must be raised in a human environment like a farm. While we would feel much more comfortable knowing exactly which type of poultry is being used, generally poultry is considered to be a higher quality meat protein ingredient. Unfortunately, poultry contains quite a bit of water weight prior to the cooking process. Since all ingredients are listed by weight prior to cooking, most of this ingredient is lost during the cooking process. That means, it is important for this meat protein source to be complimented by another quality meat protein source.
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.
Wheat Gluten: 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.
Other ingredients used
Taurine: Taurine is an essential amino acid that is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision, and reproduction in cats. Since cats are unable to create proper levels of taurine in their body naturally, it must be supplemented in their food. That’s why you’ll see this ingredient listed for so many different cat food blends. For cat foods that contain enough high quality animal based proteins, a taurine supplement may not be needed. However, most cat foods will need to add in additional taurine in the form of a supplement to the food. Even when included as a supplement instead, there is very low to almost zero health risk associated with this ingredient. In fact, a lack of taurine can cause a slew of issues, so it’s very important to make sure your cat is receiving enough taurine in his or her diet.
Salt: Salt is necessary for a cats body to function properly, but too much salt can be dangerous and even deadly. Usually, salt is added to pet food in order to meet AAFCO nutritional requirements. Salt, or sodium chloride, is indeed necessary so cat food that doesn’t contain enough will have a bit of it included. Salt helps your cats cells move nutrients and waste products where they need to go, and it helps his or her tummy make the right amount of acid to digest food properly. According to the Journal of Nutrition, average-sized cats need about 21 milligrams of salt per day. Many cat foods have higher concentrations than that. The National Research Council recommends no more than 42 milligrams per day. Most of the time, salt in commercial cat food products poses no danger and does have some nutritional benefit.
Tuna: 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.
Will my cat suffer from allergic reactions?
There is likelihood that your cat will suffer from allergic reactions after consuming this formula. Reason being, some of the ingredients used have been linked to allergic reactions in cats. However, if your cat does not suffer from allergic reactions, it will definitely benefit from all the nutritional benefits that come with it.
Other ingredients worth mentioning
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.
Choline chloride: Like humans and many other species, cats require choline. Almost all commercial pet food blends will contain supplemental choline. This ingredient mostly helps with cell function.
Thiamine mononitrate: Thiamine mononitrate is a stable nitrate salt form of thiamine (vitamin B1). This ingredient us usually added as a supplement in dog and cat foods. Thiamine is a required nutrient for cats but most thiamine is lost during the cooking process and that is why you see it added as a supplement here. If you have a cat with pre-existing kidney problems, you should avoid this ingredient. Otherwise it is considered to be relatively safe and thiamine mononitrate is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
The Flaked with Tuna and Egg in Sauce (wet) does not match up to the much hype it manufacturers have made about it. Most of this can be attributed to the allergy-causing ingredients used in its manufacture.