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Looking for a great wet canned cat food alternative for your cat? There are many cat food brands all dedicated to ensuring that cats get the type of nutrition they deserve. Even so, there are those formulas that claim to be amongst the most nutritious but end up causing more harm than good to your cat. For this reason, you should make a point of evaluating the ingredients in any cat formula to ensure it caters for the nutritional needs of your furry little friend.
Friskies is one of the many cat food brands that manufacture a variety of formulas, among them the Plus with Turkey and Giblets in Gravy (wet). According to the manufacturer, this cat food has been specially formulated for kittens and adult cats and has 100% balance nutrition.
Is this formula worth a try? Read on to find out.
Water sufficient for processing, turkey, meat by-products, liver, wheat gluten, poultry giblets, soy flour, chicken, corn starch-modified, artificial and natural flavors, corn oil, potassium chloride, Taurine, calcium phosphate, added color, salt, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, 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.
A review 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.
Turkey: 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.
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.
Liver: 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.
Wheat gluten: This ingredient is obtained by removing all the starch from wheat. Wheat gluten is rich in carbohydrates and protein.
Other ingredients used
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.
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).
Niacin: Niacin is a water-soluble B vitamin also known as vitamin B3. This means that niacin is not stored naturally in a cats body. They need to eat foods rich in niacin every day in order to meet their vitamin B requirements. Niacin helps to process and utilize fat, protein and carbohydrates from foods to make energy. A vitamin B deficiency can lead to very serious health complications in cats, so for cat food blends that do not naturally contain enough vitamin B, it may be added to the food in the form of niacin.
Added color: There is absolutely no reason to included added color into any cat food, ever. It’s extremely disappointing to see this ultra-low quality ingredient included. Added color is used for marketing purposes only. They want their product to stand out sitting on the shelf at the store, so they add coloring to their product. Essentially, the coloring is added to entice YOU (the human) to purchase the food over other brands. Your cat could care less what color the food is. Unfortunately, added color is quite controversial as there is growing evidence suggesting cancer in cats from too much food color exposure. At worse, this is a harmful ingredient and at best, it is a marketing ploy with no nutritional value or positive benefit to your cat. We usually have a tough time recommending any cat food that includes such a controversial ingredient.
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 my cat suffer from allergic reactions?
There is a likelihood that your cat will suffer from allergic reactions after feeding on this formula. Despite the fact that some of the ingredients used have been linked to allergic reactions, they have not been used in their natural state, and this could mean that the allergy causing factor in these ingredients is not present. Even so, it is better to consult your vet before feeding this formula to your cat especially if there is history with allergic reactions.
The Plus with Turkey and Giblets in Gravy (wet) is a formula that guarantees nutritional balance. Despite the presence of ingredients associated with allergies, this formula is suitable for kittens and adult cats. You should avoid feeding the formula to overly sensitive cats.