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Do you take your cat’s feeding seriously? A lot of things can go wrong in terms of your cat’s health. This is especially so if you fail to take time to review what you feed it on. It is crucial to ensure that you feed your cat on formulas that are nutritionally balanced. If you are inexperienced when it comes to evaluating cat formulas, cat food reviews can be of great help. These reviews assess and offer detailed and impartial reports on various formula brands.
The Friskies Company is known for the manufacture of numerous pet formulas. The Friskies cat formula brands range from wet formulas to dry cat formulas. The gravy sensations with tuna in gravy (wet) formula is one of the formulas under the Friskies brand. According to the manufacturing company, this is a formula that offers your feline all the ingredients it needs to stay healthy and strong.
Does this formula live up to the claims? Read on to find out.
Water sufficient for processing, chicken, liver, tuna, wheat gluten, meat by-products, artificial and natural flavors, corn starch-modified, soy flour, soy protein concentrate, calcium phosphate, added color (Red 3 and other color), potassium chloride, taurine, salt, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate, zinc sulfate, Vitamin E supplement, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, 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
An overview of the first five ingredients
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 in this formula
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.
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.
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.
Is this an allergy causing formula?
The Friskies gravy sensations with tuna in gravy wet formula may cause allergies. This is because it contains wheat gluten, which is an allergy causing ingredient. Therefore, this formula is only ideal for cats without food sensitivities.
Harmful ingredients to avoid feeding your cat on
Gluten – This ingredient is associated with causing allergies in cats. It is also known to raise sugar levels in cats. Over time, this can lead to diabetes. Gluten refers to the proteins found in wheat endosperm which is a type of tissue produced in seeds that’s ground to make flour. Many pet food manufactures will use this ingredient to help boost the protein percentage of the food.
BHT/BHA – Both BHA & BHT are preservatives that have been banned in human foods in many countries due to cancer risks. However, they remain approved for use in pet foods. A growing number of pet owners are becoming aware of the potential dangers these ingredients bring and are shunning all foods containing BHA and BHT. A quick internet search on these preservatives will show that the backlash is gaining steam with many cat food companies abandoning these ingredients. BHA and BHT are extremely controversial ingredients in all forms of pet food.
Corn, soy and wheat – All three of these ingredients are known allergens for many cats. In addition, many cats have problems digesting these grain based ingredients. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their digestive systems are designed to digest meat and not grains. All of these ingredients will help to boost the protein percentage in cat food, but not all protein is created equally. Cats do not digest plant based proteins in the same way as meat proteins and in fact, gain little to no nutritional value from these grains. Several “grocery store brand” cat foods include these products to keep the price down as it is a cheap filler to help make your cat feel full as well as a cheap way to add protein to the food.
Artificial flavoring – While it might seem obvious, we have some concerns about the use of artificial flavoring in cat food. This ingredient is usually derived petroleum and there have not been many studies done on the effects it has on cats. Unfortunately, artificial flavor can come from a very long list of sources and there is no way we can verify how safe this ingredient is. We generally recommend not feeding your cat any “flavors” even if it is natural flavor. In the case of artificial flavor, we don’t see any benefit to having this included.
While this formula contains a plethora of healthy ingredients that provide nourishment to cats, it also contains traces of wheat, soy and corn. These are known allergens that should have been left out. Avoid feeding the formula to cats that are allergy prone.