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, Tuna, Chicken, Beef, Chicken Liver, Modified Tapioca Starch, Wheat Gluten, Calcium Sulfate, Vegetable Oil, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Guar Gum, Salt, Dried Egg Product, Carrageenan, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Caramel Color, 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), Tricalcium Phosphate, 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.
This ingredient is a well known saltwater fish. There is some debate about whether fish products should be included in cat food at all, because cats by nature do not eat much sea food. A lot of cat owners would rather see meat from other animals such as beef, chicken, turkey, or other meat sources. However, tuna does supply a good amount of protein and also contains an excellent amount of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
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.
Beef is considered to be a higher quality ingredient. It is an excellent source of animal protein and contains many other nutrients that are very important for a cat to survive and thrive. Since this is not in “meal” form, that means this ingredient still contains all of its moisture content prior to cooking. Once fully cooked, most of this ingredient will have evaporated due to its high moisture content. That means, even when this ingredient is ranked highly, it will usually only provide a small percentage of the overall protein in the food. There is no dismissing this ingredient, though. It is high quality and we are pleased to see it listed.
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
Modified Tapioca Starch
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.
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.
Calcium sulfate is used mostly as a firming agent, buffer and acidity regulator, or flour treatment additive. It is a natural source of elemental calcium and a good option for calcium supplementation in foods. It is also inexpensive and readily available. While this ingredient may carry a slight allergy risk, in general, it is considered safe with some nutritional benefits in cats.
On food packaging, the term “vegetable oil” is often used in ingredients lists instead of specifying the exact plant being used. But in general, vegetable oil is simply oil that has been extracted from plants. There is some evidence to suggest a small amount of vegetable oil can be used as a remedy for hairball relief and and maybe even assist in relieving constipation symptoms. This ingredient could also aid in improving your cats coat and skin. While not especially nutritious, there is some benefit to this ingredient.
Natural and 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.