This post may contain affiliate links. We are compensated for referring customers to our affiliate partners.
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
Whole Ground Corn, Chicken By-product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Soybean Meal, Whole Wheat, Animal Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Animal Digest, Corn Syrup, Glycerin, Phosphoric Acid, Calcium Carbonate, Salmon Meal, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Salt, Calcium Sulfate, Potassium Sorbate (Used as a Preservative), Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, L-lysine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, D-calcium Pantothenate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement), Dicalcium Phosphate, Carrageenan, Yellow 6, Taurine, Minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Yellow 5, Red 40, Natural White Meat Chicken Flavor, DL-methionine, BHA (Used as a Preservative), Rosemary Extract, Celery Extract.
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
Whole Ground Corn
Unfortunately, corn is one of the most widely known food allergens for cats. If your cat does not have a pre-existing allergy to this ingredient, he or she should not experience any allergic reactions. However, this ingredient is also difficult for many cats to digest, so you should keep an eye on your cat for any digestion problems or stomach upset. And finally, this ingredient is normally used in cheaper cat food products as a filler ingredient. It will help make your cat feel more full and will also boost the protein percentage of the food. Since cats are obligate carnivores, however, they do not digest plant based proteins like they do animal based proteins. Overall, this ingredient is pretty lousy unless it is only included in smaller quantities. If your cat suffers from digestion issues or food allergies, do not feed this food to your cat.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
Animal Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols)
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.
Animal digest is a common ingredient used in pet foods. As defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, digest is produced by the chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition. This is considered a very low quality ingredient. Another way this ingredient can be explained is that it is a cooked-down broth which can be made from unspecified parts of unspecified animals. Not exactly a comforting thought. To be fair, pet food companies like Purina say, “Animal digest provides protein and flavor. Animal digest is extremely palatable and is an excellent source of high-quality protein. It’s often used in small amounts to enhance the taste of dry pet foods. Spraying animal digest on kibble or mixing it with the food significantly increases palatability.” You decide.
Unfortunately, corn is a known allergen for many cats and cats do not receive much of any nutritional value at all from corn, even though corn helps to boost the overall protein percentage of the food. Syrup extracts usually aren’t harmful to cats, but they aren’t all that nutritious, either. In fact, many syrup extracts will contain quite a bit of sugar which can lead to weight gain. Since many adult cats have diabetes, it’s probably a safer bet to stay away from syrups.
Glycerin is a neutral, sweet-tasting, colorless, thick liquid which freezes to a gummy paste and which has a high boiling point. It is used both as a flavor enhancer as well as a way to give the food proper texture. While not considered a dangerous ingredient, there are some sporadic and unsubstantiated reports that this ingredient may cause constipation in some cats.
Phosphoric acid is a clear, colorless, odorless liquid with a syrupy consistency. It is is used as an acidifying agent which helps balance the acidity level of the food. While some cat owners like to stay away from this ingredient due to its acidic nature, the FDA says this is still the safest way to balance acidity levels.