Has your feline friend finally grown up, and you’re stuck as to what you can feed it on? When cats reach adulthood, most cat owners prefer to start feeding them on formulas meant for adult cats. However, choosing a formula can be overwhelming especially because of the numerous choices out there. If you are keen on making the switch, then you should read a well written review before going out to get adult cat formulas.
Friskies Foods Company is a pet food company that is known for the manufacture of cat formulas for cats in different life stages. The homestyle turkey dinner is one of the adult cat formulas under this brand. According to the company, this formula is made with real turkey, nutritious rice and garden greens that make it an ideal serving for dinner for your pets. It is said to provide your cat with all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy.
Is this formula as good as it is said to be?
Water sufficient for processing, turkey, wheat gluten, rice, meat by-products, liver, corn bran, chicken, artificial and natural flavors, corn starch-modified, spinach, soy flour, added color, potassium chloride, Choline chloride, Taurine, salt, calcium phosphate, thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, Menadione sodium Bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, biotin, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, potassium iodide.
A more detailed review of 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.
As a whole meat ingredient, turkey is a fantastic source of very healthy animal based proteins. We are extremely pleased to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, in dry kibbles, there is not as much of this ingredient included as you might initially think. Ingredients are listed by weight prior to the cooking process and since whole turkey is about 70% moisture, the vast majority is cooked off. So while we think this is an excellent and nutritional ingredient, it does need to be complimented by other high quality meat protein ingredients when used in dry kibbles. In wet cat foods, however, this is not nearly as much of a concern.
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 a grain that many cat owners are trying to avoid because it is a known allergen for many cats. The ingredient doesn’t supply much of any nutritional value, either. However, of all the grain products used in cat food, this grain has the lowest risk of causing allergies. There is also a growing risk of arsenic in rice. So far, the FDA believes the arsenic levels are low enough to be safe for humans and pets. However, you might want to read more about this, just so you are aware. Many cat food companies like to use this ingredient because it helps to make your cat feel more full and it is one of the easier grains for cats to digest.
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.
Other ingredients in used in the formula
Corn Bran is made from the tough outer layer of whole kernel corn and is added to cat foods as a filler ingredient to help make your cat feel more full. Unfortunately, cats do not gain any nutritional value from this ingredient, even though it does help boost the overall protein percentage in the food. Corn is a known allergen for many cats that suffer from food allergies and can also be difficult for some cats to digest.
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.
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.
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.
Will this formula cause allergies to my cat?
The Friskies Homestyle Turkey Dinner (wet) contains traces of corn, wheat and soy. While the quantities may not be enough to trigger allergic reactions, these ingredients may cause complications in overly sensitive cats.
Ingredients to avoid pets on
Wheat and corn
Both of these ingredients are grains and unfortunately, they have links to food allergies in cats. While most cats will not form allergic reactions to these ingredients, cats with pre-existing food allergies should avoid both wheat and corn based products. In addition, wheat and corn can be very difficult for some cats to digest. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their digestive systems are designed to process meats and not grains. These ingredients boost the protein percentage of the food, but cats do not get the same nutritional benefit from plant proteins as meat proteins. Cats require meat protein to live a healthy life. Both of these ingredients are most commonly found in lower priced cat foods and include the grains as a way to help make your cat feel more full without actually adding more expensive and nutritional ingredients to the food. In smaller quantities, these ingredients shouldn’t pose any issues, but wheat and corn aren’t considered to be high quality ingredients by any means.
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.
Soy is another common food allergen for cats and is also known to cause gastric upset. This ingredient is considered a very low priced filler ingredient. While it will certainly help make your cat food more full, the full nutritional benefit in this ingredient is questionable at best. Many cat food brands will tell you the allergy risk is very low with soy, but it is one of the most well known food allergens that cats deal with in commercial pet food. Overall, this is a pretty low quality ingredient.
This formula unfortunately contains derivatives of corn, soy and wheat.
According to many of the client reviews, this formula is as good as advertised. Nevertheless, the fact that it contains traces of known allergens makes it somewhat a risk for overly sensitive cats. It can, however, be safely fed to other cats.