Every cat owner has the responsibility of making sure that their cat is well fed. It is, therefore, very important that every cat owner find a cat formula that is ideal for cats and contains ingredients that are of the highest quality. Cat owners should be keen to ensure that all the ingredients contained in a cat feed are not a threat to the good health of their cats.
Natures Variety Rabbit Meal (dry) is a cat formula that is claimed to be ideal for cats. The cat feed contains ingredient that offer the best nutrition for cats. This cat feed is a product of the Nature’s Variety Company. The company is well known for the manufacture of high quality products.
Is Natures Variety Rabbit Meal Review (dry) as good a cat feed as it is claimed to be? Read on and find out.
Ingredients that are contained in this cat formula
Rabbit Meal, Salmon Meal, Tapioca, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid), Pumpkinseeds, Tomato Pomace, Sun-Cured Alfalfa Meal, Montmorillonite Clay, Natural Pork Flavor, Potassium Chloride, Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate, Biotin, Niacin Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Beta Carotene, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide), Salt, Dried Kelp, Peas, Cranberries, Blueberries, Inulin, Yeast Culture (Saccharomyces cerevisiae), Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract, Dried Bacillus subtilis Fermentation Extract, Freeze Dried Rabbit (including Freeze Dried Ground Rabbit Bone), Freeze Dried Pork Liver, Freeze Dried Pork Heart, Rosemary Extract.
A closer look at the first five ingredients
This is a great alternative meat source that provides excellent meat protein. Since this is listed as rabbit meal, that means most of the moisture was removed prior to the cooking process. When the moisture is removed prior to the cooking process, a much higher amount of protein and nutrients remain after cooking, so this is quite beneficial. Rabbit provides an excellent source of animal proteins. We are very pleased to see this ingredient included.
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.
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 is a quality source of essential fatty acids and an excellent source of energy. Fat has a positive effect on the immune system and plays a beneficial role in stress response. Essential fatty acids are required for proper growth, reproduction, normal skin structure and a healthy coat. Because chicken fat contains virtually no protein, it’s use does not cause allergic reactions associated with the use of fresh chicken or chicken meal which contain high amounts of protein. Many times, mixed tocopherols, which are a natural source of Vitamin E activity, are used as a natural preservative to maintain freshness. This is considered a higher quality fat source in pet food.
Pumpkin seeds contain many nutrients that are good for your cat, like vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium, iron, manganese, magnesium, zinc and copper. They also contain essential fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. The essential fatty acids in pumpkin seeds are good for coat shine and heart health. This ingredient also appears to help with cats who are having digestion issues or experiencing stomach discomfort. Some cats even enjoy a pumpkin seed or two as a tasty treat. Realistically, this ingredient will not provide a large amount of nutrition for your cat, but it does appear to have some benefits without much risk of adverse health effects.
Other ingredients that are worth looking at
Natural pork flavor – This ingredient is simply the extracted flavoring of pork. This ingredient isn’t going to add any nutritional value to the food, but it may make the food taste better. Flavoring is usually added to the food after the cooking process, usually by being sprayed on, in order to make the food more appealing to your cat.
Biotin – Biotin, also known as vitamin H or coenzyme R, is a water soluble B vitamin. It is usually found in egg yolk, liver, and yeast. In addition to converting food into energy, biotin also helps the body get rid of by-products from protein. As carnivores, a cat’s diet is high in protein, and they need sufficient biotin to process and excrete it. Biotin also helps the body use other B-complex vitamins and maintains healthy skin, coat and claws. When cats do not receive enough biotin in their diet, the most noticeable issue they have is unhealthy and often times itchy skin. If you want to learn more about biotin in cats, here is an excellent article with more detail.
Peas – 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.
Does this cat feed cause allergies in cats?
This cat feed is not likely to cause allergies in cats. This is because it does not contain any controversial ingredients that can bring harm to your cat.
Ingredients to avoid
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.
Wheat – 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.
Gluten – This ingredient is associated with causing allergies in cats. It is also known to raise sugar levels in cats. Over time, this can lead to diabetes. Gluten refers to the proteins found in wheat endosperm which is a type of tissue produced in seeds that’s ground to make flour. Many pet food manufactures will use this ingredient to help boost the protein percentage of the food.
Natures Variety Rabbit Meal Review (dry) is a cat feed that contains only high quality ingredients that benefit the cat and boosts its general health.