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Innova Cat Foods was once a private company owned by Natura Pet Products. It was founded in 1992 by John and Ann Rademakers and Peter Atkins as a way to provide higher quality ingredients in pet food. In 2010, it was acquired by Procter and Gamble who owns many other pet food brands. In 2014, Procter & Gamble sold off many of its pet food products to Mars, Inc., but it does not appear Innova Cat Food was part of this, so P&G will continue to sell Innova products. Unfortunately, Innova has had some recalls as recent as 2013 for Salmonella contamination. In their recent recalls, there were no reported deaths.
Innova carries several different cat food products that can appeal to a wide range of cat owners. They offer both wet and dry foods as well as grain-free options. They also offer treats for cats and have lines of food for dogs as well. All of the cat food products are made in a production plant located in Nebraska. Their target customer includes those who are seeking a more natural and ancestry diet for their cats, particularly those who want a high meat and low plant based or grain free diet.
Below is an ingredients analysis of their first 10 ingredients in the food. While the first 5 ingredients comprises of the vast majority of the food content, we decided to go a little deeper and analyze the top 10 ingredients. We also rely on YOUR feedback! If you see any ingredients of concern or wish to praise the below Innova cat food blend, please do so in our commenting section below and also consider rating this food above this article. You do not need to register to rate this food, simply click on whatever you rating you think this cat food deserves.
List Of Ingredients In This Cat Food
Salmon, Salmon Meal, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Peas, Tapioca Starch, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherois a Source of Vitamin E), Pork Meal, Menhaden Oil, Green Lentils, Natural Flavors, Apples, Pea Fiber, Carrots, Menhaden Meal, Cottage Cheese, Menadone Sodium Bisulfite Complex, DL-Methionine, Salt, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate), Potassium Chloride, Dried Chicory Root Extract, Taurine, Vitamins (Betaine Hydrochloride, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Beta Carontene, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid), Vitamin E Supplement, Direct Fed Microbials (Dried Enterococcus faecium, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus, Dried Lactobacllus casel), Rosemary Extract
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
Salmon is an excellent source of high quality proteins for cats and is extremely rich in healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Some people worry about mercury levels in fish. It’s true that all fish contains some degree of mercury, the level in salmon is much lower than other types of fish and the FDA doesn’t believe it is cause for concern. Most salmon in cat food is farmed salmon, but higher end cat food (especially those labeled “natural”) can often times be fished from natural lakes and streams. The biggest problem with fish ingredients, including salmon, is if the fish includes an antioxidant called ethoxyquin (EMQ). It is believe that ethoxyquin could be very harmful to cats and other animals. Always make sure you are using “Ethoxyquin free” cat food blends when they include fish ingredients. When in doubt, call the customer service number and ask.
Salmon is an excellent source of high quality proteins for cats and is extremely rich in healthy Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Some people worry about mercury levels in fish. It’s true that all fish contains some degree of mercury, the level in salmon is much lower than other types of fish and the FDA doesn’t believe it causes any problems at all. Most salmon in cat food is farmed salmon, but higher end cat food (especially those labeled “natural”) can often times be fished from natural lakes and streams. The biggest problem with fish ingredients, including salmon, is if the fish includes an antioxidant called ethoxyquin (EMQ). It is believe that ethoxyquin could be very harmful to cats and other animals. Always make sure you are using “Ethoxyquin free” cat food blends when they include fish ingredients. When in doubt, call the customer service number and ask.
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.
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.
Peas are becoming more and more common in pet foods today, especially those listed as grain-free, holistic, or natural pet foods. While peas are certainly not grains, they serve much the same purpose. It mostly acts as a filler and a cheap way to increase the protein percentage of the food. However, cats receive almost no nutritional value from peas. Since cats are obligate carnivores, they require proteins from meat based ingredients. There is very little research that has been performed on the long term effects of cats consuming peas. We do know that peas can cause runny poop or digestion issues in dogs, but the full effect on cats remains a bit of an unknown. At best, this ingredient will act as a filler and will not provide much nutritional value, if any, to your cat.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
Tapioca flour, also known as tapioca starch, is a starchy white flour that has a slight sweet flavor to it. Tapioca flour is an alternative to traditional wheat flours and has a variety of uses in baking. Tapioca is a source of carbohydrate obtained from the roots of the cassava plant (Manihot esculenta), which is indigenous to Latin America. It is not a cereal grain like corn or wheat which have links to food allergies in cats. The benefit to using tapioca in a pet food as the primary carbohydrate source instead of typical grains is tapioca’s biochemical simplicity. Grains are complex in the sense that they contain proteins and other phytonutrients in addition to carbohydrates. Tapioca is just starch – a combination of amylase and amlylopectin. There are no known canine or feline allergies to tapioca, so this is becoming a more common ingredient in many pet foods.
Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherois 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.
Since pork is one of the most consumed human food products in the United States, this ingredient also shows up in many pet foods. In this case, we find pork “meal” which means the moisture has been removed prior to the cooking process. This is beneficial as opposed to whole pork products as it contains more of it’s weight after the cooking process, meaning it provides for a superior protein source as opposed to its the whole pork counterpart. Pork is not always considered to be the highest quality meat product for cats, but nonetheless, this ingredient contains many beneficial elements and is an excellent protein source which cats need to thrive.
Menhaden is a forage fish that produces very healthy levels of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are very healthy for cats. In this case, the oil is extracted from the fish and used in the cooking process as well as to add these beneficial fat sources to the food. While some cat owners shy away from fish products due to mercury levels naturally found in fish and the amount of farmed fish used in cat food, this ingredient is unlikely to cause any issues as it is simply the oil extract.
Green lentils are considered a very healthy ingredient for humans, but cats probably don’t acquire much nutrition from this plant based product. However, even as a filler ingredient, this is a much better option than alternatives such as corn, grains, and other carbohydrates. While this ingredient is still a bit rare in cat food, we can expect to see more of it as grain free cat food becomes more main stream.