This post may contain affiliate links. We are compensated for referring customers to our affiliate partners.
Have you been feeding your cat on the same formula for years without a change? It is probably because you are not keen on what you feed your pets on. Cats like humans, like variety so you need to change their food every now and then. When it comes to selecting pet food, you need to be very cautious. Pick only those that cater to the nutritional needs of your cat.
The Friskies Natural Sensation with Real Tuna is one of the formulas that you might want to try out. The manufacturers claim the product is made with real tuna with minerals and vitamins. Moreover, this formula has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives hence making it a great choice for your adult cat.
Are the above claims factual or not? Continue reading to find out.
All the ingredients in the formula
Chicken meal, brewers rice, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), corn gluten meal, natural flavor, tuna, malt extract, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, brewers dried yeast, salt, Choline chloride, dehydrated seaweed meal, sunflower meal, cranberries, dried carrots, dried peas, Vitamin E supplement, Taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, citric acid, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, Menadione sodium Bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite. B-6232
A closer look at the first five ingredients
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.
Brewers rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. It is a processed rice product that is missing many of its nutrients, but does provide a source of carbohydrates. It is a by-product of rice milling and considered a lower quality filler ingredient usually used in lower priced cat food blends. Usually, brewers rice is used to make rice flour, but if the quality is too poor for rice flour, it will then be sold to pet food or dairy feed companies. For many cats, this ingredient can cause allergies or digestion issues. Most cats will not have any problems processing this food, but it’s not one of the better ingredients, either.
Animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E)
Animal fat provides essential fatty acids, energy, and fat soluble vitamins. This ingredient can also support a healthy skin and coat. Unfortunately, when it comes to fat sources, animal fat is considered to be a lower quality ingredient. This is because it is an unnamed fat source. Usually, we like to see a named fat source (such as “chicken fat”). In this case, we are forced to guess what animal or animals this fat source comes from. Animal fat, also called tallow, is a product of rendering. In the rendering process, pieces, parts, and even whole animals are put through a gigantic grinder, then boiled in vats for 30 minutes to several hours. High heat is necessary to kill bacteria, viruses, molds, and other pathogens. The boiling process also allows the fat to separate and float to the top, where it is skimmed off for use in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, industrial lubricants, and, of course, pet food.
Tocopherol is a naturally occurring chemical element found in a variety of foods. It is commonly called vitamin E in a generic sense, as vitamin E substances are made up of tocopherol and similar elements. The main purpose of this ingredient is to provide a natural preservative for the food. Since this is a natural preservative, it is generally considered safe.
Corn gluten meal
This is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm. The expression “corn gluten” is colloquial jargon that describes corn proteins that are neither gliadin nor glutenin. Only wheat, barley, rye and oat contain true gluten. For the most part, this ingredient is normally only found in cheaper “grocery store brand” cat foods. Corn is frequently used as a filler ingredient to help make your cat feel more full, but it does not add much of anything to the nutritional value in the food. In addition, this is a common allergen for many cats and corn based ingredients can often be difficult for cats to digest. That’s why we can’t recommend this food for cats with food allergies or sensitive digestive systems.
The term “natural flavor” is extremely vague and can mean just about anything. In human foods, natural flavor is usually MSG or some similar flavor enhancer. When pet food companies are asked what is in their “natural flavor ingredients, they usually refuse to answer. There are a lot of things in the world considered “natural” and they almost all have a flavor. Such generic terms can be indicative of poor quality ingredients. While that’s not always the case, the fact is, we don’t really know what this ingredient consists of and that is worrying.
Additional ingredients in the formula
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.
Calcium carbonate is a dietary supplement used when the amount of calcium taken in the diet is not enough. Calcium is needed for healthy bones, muscles, nervous system, and heart. Since many cat foods do not contain enough calcium in the food naturally, it is often added as a supplemental inclusion as seen in this food.
Brewers dried yeast
Brewers dried yeast is made from a single-celled fungus, called Saccharomyces cerevisiae. It is a very rich source of B vitamins and supplies minerals and amino acids. It is known to support a normal healthy coat. This is also an old remedy for flea and tick protection. This ingredient is generally a by-product of alcohol production and there are no major health risks associated with this ingredient.
Is the above an allergy causing formula
The fact that Natural Sensations with Real Tuna contains several ingredients that are associated with allergies in cats is worrying. There is a possibility that it could cause allergies in cats.
Examples of foods that should not be fed to cats
Fatty foods are considered to be food full of oil and cholesterol such as burgers, pizza, French fries and other fried and oily items. Many cat owners like giving items like this to their cats as a small treat, but even in small amounts, these foods should be avoided. Since cats are so small, even a tiny amount of fatty foods can lead to weight gain, unhealthy cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, excess sodium, dehydration, and a slew of other short-term and long-term health complications.
Caffeine should never be given to cats. Some pet owners think giving caffeine to a restless or low energy cat can help, but this can become very toxic to cats, cause anxiety, and increase heart rates to unsafe levels. This ingredient should never be used in cat food and provides zero nutritional value.
Luckily, natural sensation has neither caffeine nor fatty meat.
The Natural Sensations with real Tuna is a poor quality formula. This is because it contains low quality ingredients among them brewer’s rice and derivatives of corn. This can lead to health complications especially in cats that are prone to allergies.