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Meow Mix Cat Food was introduced into the pet food industry in 1974 and has since undergone many ownership changes. Most recently, in 2006, the company was purchased by Del Monte Foods for $705 million. This is one of the most popular cat food brands in the United States and can be readily found in most grocery stores and pet stores. Meow Mix cat food comprises of many products appealing to a wide range of cat owners. They produce wet cat foods, dry foods, and also sell treats for cats.
Unfortunately, Meow Mix has been under the spotlight in recent years and have accrued somewhat of a poor reputation. As this brand appeals to most cat owners due to its lower price, most of the ingredients are by-products or plant based grains that can potentially cause allergic reactions in cats. They have also been accused of using many “unnecessary” ingredients such as food coloring solely for the purpose of marketing to human consumers.
The good news about Meow Mix is that they have not had any recent recalls according to the FDA. They were not involved in the deadly melamine recalls in 2007 and have had no problems since then. While many cat owners claim Meow Mix has made their cat sick, there is no widespread substantial evidence to prove a direct correlation.
Below, you can get our full ingredients analysis for the top 10 ingredients in this food. Please feel free to rate this food above this article and leave any feedback or comments below.
List Of Ingredients In This Cat Food
Fish Broth, Chicken, Sardines, Wheat Gluten, Chicken Liver, Food Starch, Sugar, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Tricalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Salt, Dried Egg Product, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Vitamins [Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pantothenic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (Source of Vitamin K Activity)], Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate Monohydrate, Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate Monohydrate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide), Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Magnesium Oxide, Sodium Nitrite (To Promote Color Retention).
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
Fish broth is a mostly non-nutritious ingredient used to add moisture to the food. It is considered a better alternative to plain water and does provide an enhanced taste for cats. We do wish this broth came from a named fish source as the broth could have been made using almost any type of fish and almost any part of the fish. However, this is still considered a safe ingredient and we aren’t too concerned about the unnamed source this broth comes from.
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.
A sardine is a young pilchard or other young or small herringlike fish. Some cat owners like to avoid fish in cat food because sea food is not usually a part of a cats natural diet. All fish products also contain a certain level of mercury and some cat owners fear that over time, the ingestion of mercury could be harmful (although there is very little evidence to suggest a significant risk). Overall, this ingredient does supply some extremely nutritious properties including protein and very healthy fatty acids.
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.
Here is another ingredient you probably wouldn’t want to see on your own dinner plate, but most cats seem to enjoy the taste of liver. Uncooked liver, or liver in very high quantities, can actually be toxic to cats. However, in this food, it is clearly provided well within safe limits. In fact, this ingredient is a pretty high quality ingredient overall. It provides a good source of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and other nutrients your cat can benefit from.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
Starch or amylum is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as an energy store. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in such staple foods as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice, and cassava. Starch is most commonly found in dry cat food products to help bind the food together. While some cats may have trouble digesting this ingredient and it doesn’t provide a whole lot of nutritional value to a cat food, the risks associated with starch in cat food is pretty minimal. However, since it doesn’t really provide any nutritional value for your cat, many cat owners are shying away from this ingredient and are moving towards the ever increasing number of starch free cat food blends.
Cats do not require added sugars in their diet. When sugar is added to cat food, it will greatly enhance the overall taste of the food. This can even cause some “addiction” issues making it very difficult to switch from a sugar laced food to a non-sugar laced food. Sugar can have the same negative health effects on cats as we see in humans including weight gain and diabetes, which is very common in adult cats. There is no positive nutritional benefit to adding sugar into any cat food.
Natural & Artificial 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.
Titanium Dioxide (Color)
Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium. Unfortunately, this ingredient is a bit controversial as it has links to several health concerns including ulcers and inflammatory bowel diseases. There is also some concerns that this ingredient could contain lead. The toxic effect of this ingredient is a concern in both human foods and pet foods and even The American Cancer Society has listed Titanium Dioxide among the five most carcinogenic substances on the planet (more info here). This ingredient is mostly used for coloration and texture purposes. It is impossible for your cat to digest this ingredient or gain any nutritional benefit from it. We find it rather unfortunate this ingredient is included.
Dicalcium phosphate is a compound that is present in bone. It is a calcium salt. Usually, when people break their bones, the need to enrich themselves with this compound in order to help bone regeneration. For cat food, it is mostly used as a part of the processing of the food. While this ingredient sounds scary and doesn’t provide any nutrition for cats, it is considered safe and is usually included in very low levels.