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Nutro ultra cat food is a product of Nutro Products, Inc., a subsidiary of Mars Incorporated. The company was originally founded by John Saleen in 1926, making this one of the first commercial pet food products in the United States. Since that time, Nutro cat food products have grown into one of the largest brands available and can be found in most grocery and pet stores.
Unfortunately, Nutro products have a mixed reputation. Perhaps the most damaging allegation occurred in 1998 when trace levels of pentobarbital were found in two separate sampling of Nutro pet food products. Pentobarbital is the chemical used to euthanize pets, raising questions about where their meat by-products are sourced. Issues continued in 2007 as Nutro was included in the deadly melamine recalls that killed thousands of pets, then again in 2008 when a flood of illnesses were reported and linked to Nutro pet foods. Additional recalls were issued in 2009.
In spite of their shaky reputation, this brand continues to be a top player in the pet food industry. Below, you’ll find our analysis of the top 10 ingredients in this food. Please let us know what you think by using the rating system above this article and leave a comment below.
List Of Ingredients In This Cat Food
Chicken Broth, Chicken, Cod, Chicken Liver, Ground Rice, Lamb Liver, Lamb, Peas, Rice Gluten, Peppers, Calcium Carbonate, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, DL-Methionine, Sodium Ascorbate (source of Vitamin C), Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Ferrous Sulfate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Zinc Oxide, Copper Proteinate, Vitamin E Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Sulfate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Potassium Iodide, Niacin, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement.
Top 5 Ingredients Analysis
While chicken broth does not add much nutritional value to the food, it does add flavor and is considered to be a better alternative to water. The main reason for adding this ingredient is simply to add moisture.
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.
Cod is a well known type of fish generally found in colder and deeper waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. In their natural habitat, cod (and other types of fish) are not part of a regular diet for cats. However, many cat food blends have begun including fish ingredients such as cod into their blends for the high protein percentage. This ingredient is also high in healthy fatty acids. Some debate suggests a diet high in fish ingredients could have longer term health implications when fed over time, but in general, cod is considered to be a healthy ingredient.
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.
This is a grain that many cat owners are trying to avoid because it is a known allergen for many cats. The ingredient doesn’t supply much of any nutritional value, either. However, of all the grain products used in cat food, this grain has the lowest risk of causing allergies. There is also a growing risk of arsenic in rice. So far, the FDA believes the arsenic levels are low enough to be safe for humans and pets. However, you might want to read more about this, just so you are aware. Many cat food companies like to use this ingredient because it helps to make your cat feel more full and it is one of the easier grains for cats to digest.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
Lamb liver is a very high quality source of meat protein. Cats in the wild always consume the organs of their prey and in fact, the organs are one of the most nutritious parts of their kill. So while we humans might not be real excited to eat lamb liver off of our plates, cats are sure to enjoy this ingredient and will receive lots of nutrition from it as well.
Lamb is a very high quality source of meat protein. Generally, this ingredient is more nutritious in canned formulas than dry formulas, but in either case, it is nice to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, about 80% of this ingredient is lost during the cooking process. That means, there actually isn’t much of this ingredient left once it has all been processed.
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.
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 or rice 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.
Peppers are not all that nutritious for cats, but it may help make the food more palatable for your cat. Unless your cat suffers from a unique food allergy, this ingredient should not pose any problems even though hit doesn’t provide nutrition for your cat.