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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, Tuna, Chicken, Sardines, Salmon, Wheat Gluten, Modified Tapioca Starch, Red Snapper, Sugar, Natural & Artificial Flavors, Titanium Dioxide (Color), Salt, Guar Gum, Calcium Sulfate, Tricalcium Phosphate, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Annatto Extract (Color), Iron Oxide (Color), Potassium Chloride, 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, Taurine, 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.
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.
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.
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.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
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.
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.
The red snapper is a reddish marine fish that can provide excellent levels of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. While sea food animals generally aren’t a large part of a cats diet in the wild, they do offer many beneficial nutrients. The sourcing of fish products can sometimes leave a bit to be desired since pet foods normally source fish products from farmed fish and/or parts of the fish humans do not like to eat, such as scales, ground up bones, heads, etc.
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.