Cat Food Reviews & Comparisons From The Cat Food Insider

Natural Balance Indoor Ultra Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal Dry Cat Food Review

Natural Balance


Are you a cat owner in search of a cat feed that offers balanced nutrition for your cat? The numerous choices available to you make it somewhat harder to pick out a cat formula for your cat.

The Indoor Ultra Chicken Meal and Salmon Meal is a cat formula that promises to satisfy all the nutritional needs of your cat. The manufacturer of this cat formula, the Natural Balance Company, claims that the cat feed is ideal for adult cats. Are these just baseless claims made by the manufacturer, or are the claims actually true? Read on to find out.




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Ingredients in contained in this cat formula

Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oats, Salmon Meal, Oat Fiber, Pea Fiber, Natural Flavor, Alfalfa Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Dried Egg, Dried Potatoes, Potato Protein, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Carrot Pomace, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Celery Pomace, Inulin, Vitamins (vitamin E supplement, niacin supplement, d-calcium pantothenate, vitamin A acetate, thiamine mononitrate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, biotin, vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid), Choline Chloride, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Beet Pomace, Lecithin, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Minerals (zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate), Parsley Pomace, Lettuce Pomace, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, L-Carnitine, Citric Acid And Mixed Tocopherols (preservatives), Kelp Meal, Cranberries, Parsley Flakes, L-Lysine, Dried Spinach, Watercress Pomace, Spinach Pomace, Rosemary Extract.

An overview of the first five ingredients

Chicken meal

Chicken meal is ground up chicken meat that has been carefully dried to a moisture level of 10%. The protein content is 65% and the fat level is 12%. Many pet owners feel that chicken is a superior ingredient to chicken meal. It would seem logical that feeding a pet a whole, non-rendered chicken would be good. However, whole chicken still contains its moisture content prior to cooking and since whole chicken consists of about 80% moisture, after the cooking process is over there isn’t much left. With chicken meal, the moisture was removed prior to cooking. That means, chicken meal actually has a much higher protein percentage and provides far more beneficial nutrients to your cats than whole chicken. Meals consist of meat and skin, with or without the bones, but exclusive of feathers/hair, heads, feet, horns, entrails etc. and have the proper calcium/phosphorus ratio required for a balanced diet. It’s also important to note the quality difference between “chicken by-product meal” and “chicken meal.” While we do take exception to chicken by-products, chicken meal is actually a very high quality and nutritious ingredient. We are happy to see this listed.

Brown rice

Brown rice and white rice have similar amounts of calories and carbohydrates. The main differences between the two forms of rice lie in processing and nutritional content. When only the outermost layer of a grain of rice (the husk) is removed, brown rice is produced. To produce white rice, the next layers underneath the husk (the bran layer and the germ) are removed, leaving mostly the starchy endosperm. While many cat owners like to stay away from grain based ingredients, rice in general is easy for cats to digest and is not likely to cause allergic reactions. The rice will expand in your cats stomach helping him or her feel more full. So while this ingredient may not be especially nutritious, it does have value in the food and is unlikely to cause major problems. You should still avoid this ingredient if your cat has suffered from grain allergies in the past, but overall, this is a very low-risk ingredient even though it is a grain.

Oats

Oats are inexpensive, readily available, and have become much more popular in pet foods. While oats provide a good source of protein, cats will not process the proteins very efficiently. However, this does provide a natural source of iron, manganese, zinc, and B vitamins. Another advantage to oats is that so far, they are not grown using GMO’s (genetically modified organisms). This ingredient has also been shown to aid in digestion and also improve the health of a cat’s fur, coat, and skin health.

Salmon meal

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.

Oat fiber

Oat fiber is produced from food-grade oat hulls and is mostly added for texture and binding purposes. It is sometimes used to help give food a lighter and browner color as well. Cats and dogs have no absolute physiologic need for this ingredient, although animals eating processed commercial foods appear to benefit from the addition of fiber.

Other ingredients of interest

Dried potatoes – Potatoes provide a lot of carbs and unfortunately, cats do not digest carbs well and it can also lead to weight gain. This ingredient is becoming more popular in “grain-free” cat foods because while potatoes are not grains, they serve much the same purpose by acting as a non-nutritious filler. The good news is potatoes are complex carbs. These complex carbs are easier to digest than whole grains and also don’t spike blood sugar levels like the simple carbs do. But, anyway you cut it… carbs are carbs and cats don’t need them. This is a rather non-nutritious ingredient.

Salmon oil – Any type of fish oil will produce some very high quality fatty acids, namely omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Even though cats do not digest many sea food ingredients in the wild, most people consider this to be a higher quality ingredient. There is some concern about the mercury levels in fish, but so far the FDA claims mercury levels in fish are safe for humans and pets.

Natural flavor – The term “natural flavor” is extremely vague and can mean just about anything. In human foods, natural flavor is usually MSG or some similar flavor enhancer. When pet food companies are asked what is in their “natural flavor ingredients, they usually refuse to answer. There are a lot of things in the world considered “natural” and they almost all have a flavor. Such generic terms can be indicative of poor quality ingredients. While that’s not always the case, the fact is, we don’t really know what this ingredient consists of and that is worrying.

Potato proteins – We find it interesting they listed potato protein here, since cats do not receive much of any benefit from potato protein. It is unlikely to cause any specific health concerns, but this appears to be an inexpensive way to boost the protein percentage of the food. Unfortunately, since cats are obligate carnivores, this added protein will mostly go to waste as cats are unable to properly utilize plant based proteins. Their protein must come from meat based sources.

Can the indoor ultra chicken meal and salmon meal cause my cat allergies?

There is no ingredient contained in this cat formula that is known to cause allergic reactions in cats. This, therefore, means it is safe to feed your cat on the indoor ultra chicken meal and salmon meal (dry) cat formula.

Harmful ingredients

There are some ingredients that are used in formulas that are known to cause allergic reactions. Examples of such ingredients include wheat, corn and soy. These three ingredients are associated with low quality cat feeds. They are used as an inferior source of protein.

Another example of an ingredient commonly found in cat formulas and is harmful is BHT and BHA. These are chemical preservatives that are made from chemical compounds. The chemicals that are used to make these preservatives can cause poisoning in cats.

Conclusion

The indoor ultra chicken meal and salmon meal is an ideal cat formula for your cat. The cat feed contains ingredients that offer all the nutritional value that your cat needs. It is protein rich and has a plethora of supporting nutrients essential to the well being of your cat.




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