Are you thinking of changing your cat’s food? This is one of the most crucial decisions you can make as a cat owner. This is an especially sensitive decision because as there are so many formulas in the market making it hard to tell apart quality formulas from mediocre ones. Nevertheless, you can rely on cat formula reviews to make the selection process easier for you.
This particular review seeks to take a closer look at the Friskies prime filets turkey dinner in gravy wet cat formula. According to the Friskies Company, this is a high quality protein formula that is nutritionally balanced, and supports the overall health of your growing cat.
Learn whether this formula lives up to the claim here.
Water sufficient for processing, turkey, liver, wheat gluten, meat by-products, soy flour, corn starch-modified, artificial and natural flavors, salt, calcium phosphate, added color, potassium chloride, taurine, choline chloride, thiamine mononitrate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, calcium pantothenate, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, manganese sulfate, 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.
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.
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.
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 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 this formula
Many pet food companies seem pretty headstrong about defending their use of soy products, even calling health concerns associated with soy to be a myth. Wysong is one of those companies and to be fair, you can read their opinion about this ingredient here. However, we tend to agree with many of those outside the pet food industry that see major problems using any form of soy in cat food. There is no doubt this ingredient has been the subject of much controversy over the years and the benefits claimed by pet food companies is questionable at best. Why would pet food companies insist on using such a controversial ingredient? They claim it’s for health benefits, but we think it’s rather convenient that soy four is so cheaply made. It’s safe to say this is not considered a high quality ingredient by most experts and at best, it is a mediocre ingredient that we, in general, do not recommend for 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.
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.
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.
Is this formula likely to trigger allergies in cats?
Judging from the ingredients used to make this cat formula, there is a chance that it could cause allergies. This is because it contains soy and wheat products, which are common allergens. This means that this formula is unsuitable for cats with food sensitivities.
Harmful ingredients to avoid feeding your cat on
Artificial flavors – 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.
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.
Soyand corn – Both of these grains are commonly found in cheaper cat foods you can normally find in the grocery store. They are cheap filler ingredients that will help to make your cat feel more full, but corn and soy provide almost no nutritional value to cats. These ingredients can also be difficult for some cats to digest, so we do not recommend this product for cats with sensitive digestion issues. And finally, these are two of the most widely known allergens for cats. Most cats are not allergic to these ingredients, but many are. Cat food companies like to use these ingredients because they are cheap and boost the protein percentage in the food. However, cats digest meat proteins and plant based proteins differently. Since they are obligate carnivores, they require meat protein to live a healthy life and do not process plant proteins very well.
Wheat – Most cat food brands that use wheat in their products will tell you that wheat is a grain used as a high-quality carbohydrate source in dry dog and cat foods and biscuits. They will tell you that it provides energy for daily activity, as well as processing characteristics for the food. And finally, they will tell you that the allergy risk associated with wheat is low. However, many experts not associated with the pet food industry will seemingly say the opposite. From them, you’ll hear that wheat and wheat by-product is a very common allergy for dogs and cats. You’ll even find sources that claim wheat has also been linked to epileptic seizures and celiac diseases. Cats are not able to digest grains nearly as well as humans or dogs, so many cats may also experience digestion issues if given too much wheat. In general, wheat is considered to be a very low priced filler ingredient with essentially no nutritional value for cats. As the debate rages on, you be the judge.
The Friskies prime filets turkey dinner in gravy canned formula contains sufficient amounts of meat based protein. However, it contains some controversial ingredients. This makes it an average formula only ideal for cats with no food sensitivities.