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Are you concerned about the weight increase in your feline companion? Just like human beings, cats too are required to maintain a healthy weight. Gaining excess weight can lead to serious health complications. The good news is that there are cat foods that are specifically formulated to aid in cat weight management.
The Iams Healthy Naturals Adult Weight Control is one of the many dry cat foods that claim to aid in weight management in your adult feline. According to the company that manufactures this formula, this cat food contains approximately 15% less fat which is meant to restore your overweight cat to its ideal weight. This cat food is a great choice for cats with a tendency of putting on weight.
Is this the most ideal cat food for your overweight cat?
The ingredients in this cat food
Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Ground Whole Grain Sorghum, Chicken, Dried Egg Product, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Beet Pulp, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bisulfate, Potassium Chloride, Fructooligosaccharides, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, DL-Methionine, Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Apple Pomace, Dried Carrots, Dried Peas, Dried Spinach, Dried Tomatoes, Vitamin E Supplement, Salt, Taurine, Vitamins (Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (source of vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Vitamin A Acetate, L-Carnitine, Citric Acid, Rosemary Extract.
An overview of the first five ingredients
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.
Considered a low quality ingredient, corn meal is usually used as a “filler ingredient” but provides almost no nutritional value to cats. This ingredient is also a known allergy causing ingredient for many cats. We aren’t all that thrilled to see this ingredient listed.
Many forms of corn are found in pet foods including corn grits. About 85% of all corn grown in the United States is genetically modified (GMO). Since cats by nature are carnivores, this ingredient does not provide much nutritional value if any, although it does add calories to the food. Corn grits can be considered a very low quality ingredient.
Ground Whole Grain Sorghum
Ground whole grain sorghum is considered to be lower quality ingredient. It is typically used in as a feed for livestock, but has found its way into the pet food industry as well. Sorghum is a grain which primarily is used as a source of carbohydrates. It contains more fiber and less fat than most other grains. It is not as digestible as rice, and as such is sometimes used to help control blood sugar. It is also referred to as milo.
Chicken is a very popular ingredient for pet food and in this case, they are referring to whole chicken. This is a very high quality meat source and we are pleased to see it listed. However, whole chicken loses about 80% of its content during the cooking process since the majority of whole chicken is water. After the cooking process is complete, the amount of whole chicken remaining is substantially reduced. Therefor, while whole chicken is a great source of meat protein, this ingredient alone is not enough to provide sufficient levels of meat protein in a cats diet.
Other ingredients in this cat food
Dried Egg Product
Derived from shell free eggs, this is a cheaper source of protein used in place of higher quality meat proteins. Normally, this ingredient is derived from waste products associated with the egg industry or egg products that have been deemed unfit for human consumption.
Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source 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.
Dried Beet Pulp
Beet pulp is a by-product from the processing of sugar beet and is a source of fiber and energy. It is popular among many pet food companies due to its high availability and low price. The most common complaint about this ingredient is that it causes digestion problems, most commonly a very hard stool or diarrhea. It has also been known to cause bloat in some dogs and cats which can be very serious if left unchecked.
Is this a suitable cat food for my allergic feline?
Unfortunately, this cat food contains grain based allergens making it unsuitable for cats with food sensitivities.
Healthy ingredients that lack in this formula
Vegetables – This is a pretty generic ingredient and it can include virtually any vegetable. Because of this, we are unable to properly analyze this ingredient. However, since cats are obligate carnivores, they do not gain much of any nutritional benefit from vegetables. That being said, in nature, cats almost always consume the stomach contents of their prey which usually includes various fruits and vegetables. It’s unfortunate this labeling is so generic as we are unable to vouch for the quality of the vegetables included.
The Iams Healthy Naturals Adult Weight Control (dry) leaves a lot to be desired nutritionally. It contains several allergy causing ingredients and is short on quality meat protein.