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Looking for a cat formula that will cater for all the nutritional needs of your cat? If so, you have your work cut out for you.
The Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Chicken and Rice Review (dry) is a cat formula touted to do exactly that. Being a product of the Purina Company, it is claimed that to be nutritionally balanced and filling. Are all these baseless claims, or are they actually true?
Read on to find out more about the Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Chicken and Rice (dry) cat formula.
Ingredients in Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Chicken and Rice
Chicken, brewers rice, poultry by-product meal (natural source of glucosamine), whole grain corn, wheat flour, corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, corn germ meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), fish meal (natural source of glucosamine), animal digest, wheat bran, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, Vitamin E supplement, calcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, L-ascorbyl-2-polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), manganese sulfate, niacin, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, garlic oil, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite.
A closer look at 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.
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.
Whole grain corn
Unfortunately, whole grain 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 flour is a powder made from the grinding of wheat. It helps with the cooking process and also helps to increase the nutrient values of the food. However, cats do not digest wheat in the same way they digest other meat based products. Wheat does not provide much nutrition to cats and is considered a lower quality ingredient. Some cats have problems digesting wheat and others may experience allergic reactions to this ingredient. In lower quantities, this is considered to be a safe ingredient for cats, but it isn’t considered to be a high quality or nutritious ingredient, either.
Other ingredients that are worth looking at
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.
Salt – Salt is necessary for a cats body to function properly, but too much salt can be dangerous and even deadly. Usually, salt is added to pet food in order to meet AAFCO nutritional requirements. Salt, or sodium chloride, is indeed necessary so cat food that doesn’t contain enough will have a bit of it included. Salt helps your cats cells move nutrients and waste products where they need to go, and it helps his or her tummy make the right amount of acid to digest food properly. According to the Journal of Nutrition, average-sized cats need about 21 milligrams of salt per day. Many cat foods have higher concentrations than that. The National Research Council recommends no more than 42 milligrams per day. Most of the time, salt in commercial cat food products poses no danger and does have some nutritional benefit.
Whole grain wheat – Whole grain wheat is a grain based product that may cause some digestion issues. In addition it is also a known food allergen for many cats. Grain based ingredients like this one are usually used by pet food companies because it is a cheap way to boost the protein percentage of the food. That said, it provides almost no nutrition for cats because cats do not have a digestive system designed for plant based proteins or nutrients. They are designed to consume and process meats. While this isn’t a bad ingredient in moderation, in higher quantities, it usually reflects a lower quality cat food.
Can this cat formula trigger allergies in cats?
From the list of ingredients, it is evident that the formula contains ingredients known to cause allergies in cats. For this reason, there are very high chances that Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Chicken and Rice (dry) will trigger allergies in cats.
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.
Wheat and soy – Both soy and wheat are known as “filler ingredients” in both cat and dog food products. Filler ingredients are used to help make your cat feel more full, but don’t offer much in the way of nutrition. These are very cheap ingredients for pet food companies to use but also boosts the protein percentage in the food. Unfortunately, cats are obligate carnivores and so they can’t actually process these plant based proteins the same way they can process meat based proteins. Some cats also have allergic reactions to these ingredients or may have a tough time digesting them. In smaller quantities, these ingredients are generally ok, but they are considered lower quality ingredients without much nutritional value and pose some health risks to cats.
BHT – Both BHA & BHT are preservatives that have been banned in human foods in many countries due to cancer risks. However, they remain approved for use in pet foods. A growing number of pet owners are becoming aware of the potential dangers these ingredients bring and are shunning all foods containing BHA and BHT. A quick internet search on these preservatives will show that the backlash is gaining steam with many cat food companies abandoning these ingredients. BHA and BHT are extremely controversial ingredients in all forms of pet food.
The Pro Plan Focus Adult Weight Management Chicken and Rice (dry) is a low quality cat feed. This is because it contains a list of harmful ingredients that can cause health complications in cats. If you do choose to feed it to your cat, make sure to seek the advice of a vet.