it is very important to feed your cat on cat formulas that contain all the nutritional benefits that your cat needs to lead a healthy life. There are very many cat feeds in the market today, making it very hard for you to pick out one cat formula as the ideal feed for your cat.
Focus Adult Hairball Management Chicken and Rice Review (dry) is a product of the Purina Pet Care Company. It is an ideal cat feed for adult cats. Read through this review and learn more about this cat feed.
Ingredients contained in this cat formula
Chicken, corn gluten meal, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal, soy protein concentrate, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), dried egg product, soybean meal, wheat flour, soy protein isolate, powdered cellulose, fish meal, animal liver flavor, inulin, gelatin, soy lecithin, phosphoric acid, salt, calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, L-Lysine monohydrochloride, choline chloride, Vitamin E supplement, taurine, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, copper sulfate, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.
An overview of the first five ingredients
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.
Corn gluten meal
This is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm. The expression “corn gluten” is colloquial jargon that describes corn proteins that are neither gliadin nor glutenin. Only wheat, barley, rye and oat contain true gluten. For the most part, this ingredient is normally only found in cheaper “grocery store brand” cat foods. Corn is frequently used as a filler ingredient to help make your cat feel more full, but it does not add much of anything to the nutritional value in the food. In addition, this is a common allergen for many cats and corn based ingredients can often be difficult for cats to digest. That’s why we can’t recommend this food for cats with food allergies or sensitive digestive systems.
Brewers rice is the small milled fragments of rice kernels that have been separated from the larger kernels of milled rice. It is a processed rice product that is missing many of its nutrients, but does provide a source of carbohydrates. It is a by-product of rice milling and considered a lower quality filler ingredient usually used in lower priced cat food blends. Usually, brewers rice is used to make rice flour, but if the quality is too poor for rice flour, it will then be sold to pet food or dairy feed companies. For many cats, this ingredient can cause allergies or digestion issues. Most cats will not have any problems processing this food, but it’s not one of the better ingredients, either.
Poultry by-product meal
This ingredient is made from grinding clean, rendered parts of poultry carcasses and can contain bones, offal and undeveloped eggs, but only contains feathers that are unavoidable in the processing of the poultry parts. This ingredient is not approved for human consumption, but is used frequently in pet foods. This is because it can contain a lot of non-meat products like beaks, feet, heads and bones. Since this ingredient is dried prior to cooking, the protein percentage is quite high and that’s a good indicator. However, poultry in general can legally contain a number of birds and we aren’t able to tell exactly what bird species have been used in this ingredient. Be aware that the consistency of this ingredient may change from time to time with a variation of poultry products being used.
Soy protein concentrate
This is a protein ingredient derived from defatted soy flakes. It contains 70 percent protein and retains some of the soybean’s dietary fiber. Dehulled and defatted soybeans are processed into three kinds of high protein commercial products including soy flour, concentrates, and isolates. This ingredient is usually only included as an inexpensive way to boost the protein percentage, but unfortunately, not all proteins are created equal. Since cats are carnivores, their bodies are designed to digest meat protein and not plant based proteins. Additionally, soy is a known allergen for many cats and could possibly cause digestion issues. While most cats will not have any problem with soy protein concentrait, we consider this to be a rather non-nutritious and low quality ingredient.
Other ingredients that are worth looking at
Soybean meal – This ingredient is created after grinding the soybean to extract soybean oil. In addition to being used in dog and cat food, it is widely used as a filler and source of protein in other animal diets including pig, chicken, cattle, horse, sheep, and fish feed. This ingredient can often be found in “hairball relief” cat foods as it is believed to help eliminate hairballs. While some cats are allergic to soy based ingredients, the pet food industry is pretty defensive of this ingredient claiming that despite the attempts of researchers to prove a link between soy and bloat, no studies to date show this link. Rather, breed, body type, weight and stress level are significant risk factors. The pet food industry also claims that soy products are a superb source of bodybuilding protein, coat-nourishing vegetable oil and healthful fiber for cats. As long as your cat isn’t allergic to soy based ingredients, this ingredient shouldn’t pose any problems, but it isn’t included without controversy.
Fish meal – When you see fish listed as “fish meal” on an ingredients list, that means almost all of the moisture was removed from the fish prior to the cooking process. That means fish meal contains a much higher amount of protein as opposed to it’s whole fish counterpart. However, we aren’t pleased that this ingredient is an unnamed fish source. Fish meal can contain almost any type of fish, including fish waste products that are not used for human consumption purposes. Whenever we see an unnamed fish source, we get a little nervous about what may (or may not) be included.
Taurine – Taurine is an essential amino acid that is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision, and reproduction in cats. Since cats are unable to create proper levels of taurine in their body naturally, it must be supplemented in their food. That’s why you’ll see this ingredient listed for so many different cat food blends. For cat foods that contain enough high quality animal based proteins, a taurine supplement may not be needed. However, most cat foods will need to add in additional taurine in the form of a supplement to the food. Even when included as a supplement instead, there is very low to almost zero health risk associated with this ingredient. In fact, a lack of taurine can cause a slew of issues, so it’s very important to make sure your cat is receiving enough taurine in his or her diet.
Can this cat formula cause allergies in cats?
Judging from the list of ingredients, it is very likely that this cat feed will cause allergic reactions in your cat. This is because of the presence of common allergens like soy and corn.
Ingredients that you should avoid
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.
Artificial flavoring – While it might seem obvious, we have some concerns about the use of artificial flavoring in cat food. This ingredient is usually derived petroleum and there have not been many studies done on the effects it has on cats. Unfortunately, artificial flavor can come from a very long list of sources and there is no way we can verify how safe this ingredient is. We generally recommend not feeding your cat any “flavors” even if it is natural flavor. In the case of artificial flavor, we don’t see any benefit to having this included.
This cat formula contains both good and bad ingredients. For this reason, it would be best to avoid it if you have an overly sensitive cat. Nevertheless it contains all the nutrients necessary required by cats for life sustenance.