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Fed up of feeding your feline friend on the same old formula? Lucky for you, there are many different formulas out there to choose from. Finding the best formula is important especially if you have adult cats as they are prone to various health-threatening conditions. Feeding your adult cat on the same formula for a lengthy duration may lead to under feeding because your cat eventually gets bored. Just like humans, cats also need variety for their taste buds hence the need to change their formula every now and then.
Party Mix California Dreamin’ Crunch is a dry formula used by many cat owners. According to the manufacturer, this formula is made using a variety of ingredients which give it a delicious flavor, enticing aroma, tantalizing color and texture, all for your cat’s exploration. This formula is also made with different flavor-coated shapes, each having a unique crunch.
All this sounds great but the question is, is all this true?
Ingredients used to make this formula
Chicken Meal, Brewers Rice, Animal Fat preserved with Mixed-Tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Liver Flavor, Fish, Malt Extract, Turkey By-Product Meal, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Brewers Dried Yeast, Bacon (preserved with Sodium Nitrite), Salt, Choline Chloride, Added Color, Taurine, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Yellow 5, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Manganese Sulfate, Citric Acid, Yellow 6, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Copper Sulfate, Riboflavin Supplement, Red 40, Vitamin B-12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Blue 2, Folic Acid, Vitamin D-3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, BHA (a preservative), Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), BHT (a preservative), Sodium Selenite. A-6197.
A closer look at the first five ingredients
Chicken Meal: 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: 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.
Animal Liver Flavor: When the ingredient “animal liver flavor” is used, what animal did this liver flavor come from? We don’t know, and either do you. The only one who really knows this answer is the manufacture. You can try calling them to ask, but most pet food companies are tight lipped about their “proprietary information.” To put things in perspective, this ingredient is so processed that it’s just the FLAVOR of an unnamed animal liver. This ingredient can even be synthetically derived to imitate liver flavor. While it probably won’t pose much harm to your cat, the fact this is a flavor coming from an unnamed animal leaves us wondering, and that doesn’t instill much confidence or imply quality.
Will my cat suffer from allergies by feeding on this formula?
From the ingredients list, you can tell that the formula contains wheat and corn extracts. Both corn and wheat are known to cause allergies in cats. It is, therefore, obvious that this cat formula could cause allergic reactions.
Ingredients you should avoid in cat formulas
Animal by-products: One of the worst meat ingredients found in pet food today is animal by product. It’s true that this ingredient provides a very high amount of meat protein that cats need to thrive. However, animal by products are considered to be the lowest form of meat and it isn’t even approved for human consumption. Animal by-products are carcasses and parts of carcasses from slaughterhouses, animal shelters, zoos and veterinarians, and products of animal origin not intended for human consumption, including catering waste. Legally, this ingredient can even contain roadkill or euthanized animals. This ingredient may also contain what is called “4D meat” which is what the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) calls cattle that is dead, dying, disabled or diseased. This meat is considered unfit for human consumption, but is typically found in many pet food products. This is not something we recommend you feed your cat or any other pet.
BHA/BHT: 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.
This cat formula can be termed as being below average. The reason is that it not only contains allergens like corn and wheat derivatives, but it also contains chemical based preservatives and animal by-products which put your cat at risk of getting infections.