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Friskies is a cat formula manufacturing company that is well known for the production of quality cat formulas. The Rise and Shine (dry) is one of the products under its stable. According to the manufacturer, this cat feed has 100% balanced nutrition to cater or fuel for your cats daily activities.
Is all just marketing hype or is there some truth to the claims? The only way to find out is to dig into the finer details.
Ingredients used to make this cat feed
Ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, chicken by-product meal, meat and bone meal, soybean meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), animal liver flavor, phosphoric acid, salmon meal, whole grain oats, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dried egg product, dried cheese powder, added color, taurine, natural bacon flavor, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), manganese sulfate, DL-Methionine, niacin, Red 40, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, Blue 2, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.
An overview of the first five ingredients
Ground yellow corn
As you might expect, this ingredient is simply yellow corn that has been ground into meal or flour. As with any other corn ingredient in cat food, this is a very controversial ingredient. Cats are obligate carnivores and do not receive much of any nutritional value from plant based and grain based ingredients. While it’s true that cats will eat the stomach contents of their prey in the wild, which usually includes plant based products, it is only consumed in small amounts and doesn’t really add any health benefits. Usually, this ingredient can be found in lower priced cat food because it can be used as a very cheap filler to help make your cat feel more full. However, since corn is a rather difficult to digest, many cats may have problems with this food. In addition, corn is one of the most well known food allergens for cats. While your cat may not suffer from corn allergies, it is a very common problem and one of the big reasons why this ingredient is so controversial.
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.
Chicken by-product meal
While this ingredient does provide a high amount of meat protein, this meat source is considered to be of lower quality than many other meat sources. Chicken By-Product Meal is produced through a process of cooking, drying and separation of fats and proteins from animal carcasses. It contains a dehydrated combination of meat (or cuts or parts) including lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, necks, undeveloped eggs and intestines. Usually, by-products are the “left overs” that can’t be used for human food consumption. The greatest fault of this ingredient is the same trait that makes it so affordable and so commonly found in pet foods. The unpredictability of what might (or might not) be included.
Meat and bone meal
Meat and bone meal is the dried and rendered product from mammal tissues. It does not contain horn, hair, hide trimmings, manure, stomach contents, added blood meal or poultry by-product. The calcium content should not be more than 2.2 times the phosphorus content. While this ingredient probably provides a high amount of animal based proteins, it is generally considered to be a very low form of animal proteins. With such generic labeling, we are unable to tell where the meat and bones are coming from. It could be coming from almost any animal. As with other unnamed meat sources, we remain very skeptical about this ingredient.
This ingredient is created after grinding the soybean to extract soybean oil. In addition to being used in dog and cat food, it is widely used as a filler and source of protein in other animal diets including pig, chicken, cattle, horse, sheep, and fish feed. This ingredient can often be found in “hairball relief” cat foods as it is believed to help eliminate hairballs. While some cats are allergic to soy based ingredients, the pet food industry is pretty defensive of this ingredient claiming that despite the attempts of researchers to prove a link between soy and bloat, no studies to date show this link. Rather, breed, body type, weight and stress level are significant risk factors. The pet food industry also claims that soy products are a superb source of bodybuilding protein, coat-nourishing vegetable oil and healthful fiber for cats. As long as your cat isn’t allergic to soy based ingredients, this ingredient shouldn’t pose any problems, but it isn’t included without controversy.
Other ingredients of interest
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.
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.
Does this cat formula cause allergies in cats?
This formula is loaded with allergy causing ingredients. Most worrying is the fact that they are present in abundance. In fact, the most abundant ingredient, corn is an allergen. Feeding your cat on this formula could trigger allergies.
Friskies Rise and shine (wet) contains a substantial amount of allergens. It should not be fed to cats that are susceptible to allergies. It is also short on animal protein making it unsuitable for your cat as a main dish since cats are obligate carnivores. Steer clear of this formula.