Looking for a healthy and nutritious formula for your feline friend? The cat food market has got a large variety of cat formulas to choose from. Unfortunately, many cat owners have no clue as to what type of formula is the best for their cats and, therefore, end up buying the first one that comes to sight. A good formula should have all the nutrients necessary for your cat’s well-being, and the ingredients used should not be associated with allergic reactions.
The Feline Health Nutrition Intense Beauty is one of the formulas advertised as being amongst the best. According to the manufacturers, Royal Canin, this cat food has been formulated with high levels of Omega fatty acids (3 and 6), vitamins, zinc and biotin, which promote your cat’s coat and skin health as well as its overall health. The manufacturers have also advertised this formula as having been formulated in such a way that it meets AAFCO’s nutritional levels requirements.
Is this formula worth a try? Find out below.
Ingredients in Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Intense Beauty
Water sufficient for processing, chicken, pork by-products, pork liver, chicken by-products, chicken liver, gelatin by-product, wheat gluten, wheat flour, vegetable oil, corn starch modified, natural flavors, powdered cellulose, fish oil, calcium sulfate, guar gum, tetrapotassium pyrophosphate, taurine, sodium tripolyphosphate, carrageenan, vitamins (niacin supplement, dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (source of vitamin E), D-calcium pantothenate, biotin, thiamine mononitrate (vitamin B1), riboflavin supplement (vitamin B2), pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, folic acid, vitamin D3 supplement), choline chloride, trace minerals (zinc proteinate, zinc oxide, iron sulfate, copper sulfate, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, calcium iodate).
A closer look at the first five ingredients
Water sufficient for processing: For canned foods, water being at the top of the ingredients list is normal. As you could probably guess, water doesn’t do anything in the way of providing nutritional value, but it does help to keep the food moist. Sometimes a broth will be used instead of water, but all canned foods will require a high amount of moisture content.
Chicken: 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.
Pork By-Products: Pork is the most widely consumed meat in the world. A 250 pound pig will only yield about 150 pounds of meat, which means there are other products, besides meat, that come from these animals. These are known as by-products. An animal product is any material derived from the body of an animal. Examples are fat, flesh, blood, milk, eggs, and lesser known products such as isinglass and rennet. Any animal by-product is typically considered to be of lower quality because it can also contain slaughterhouse waste. Slaughterhouse waste is defined as animal body parts cut off in the preparation of carcasses for use as food. This waste can come from several sources, including slaughterhouses, restaurants, stores and farms. This meat can also include what is known as 4D meat, meaning it could include slaughtered pigs that were dying, diseased, deformed, or dead before the slaughtering process. 4D meat is not approved for human consumption, so it is typically used for pet food and animal feed. The consistency and quality of this ingredient could vary over time.
Pork Liver: While beef and chicken livers are the most common liver sources in cat food, occasionally we will find pork liver. Some cat owners believe liver is toxic to cats, but this is only true in very large quantities. When provided in safe quantities, like in this food, it is completely safe. The health benefits of pork liver mostly come from its vitamin A and iron contents. Liver is said to improve eye health, balance energy levels, and improve both red and white blood cell development. Since human demand for pork liver is low, this ingredient is readily available and is a cheaper meat source.
Chicken By-Products: While this ingredient does provide a high amount of meat protein, this meat source is considered to be of lower quality than many other meat sources. Chicken By-Product is produced through a process of cooking, drying and separation of fats and proteins from animal carcasses. It contains a combination of meat (or cuts or parts) including lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, necks, undeveloped eggs and intestines. Usually, by-products are the “left overs” that can’t be used for human food consumption. The greatest fault of this ingredient is the same trait that makes it so affordable and so commonly found in pet foods. The unpredictability of what might (or might not) be included.
Other ingredients used
Chicken liver: 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.
Gelatin by-product: This ingredient is used as a gelling agent in the food. It is sourced from many different animal by-products, so this is considered a lower quality ingredient. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with support from the TSE (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy) Advisory Committee, has since 1997 been monitoring the potential risk of transmitting animal diseases, especially bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as Mad Cow disease. The FDA study concluded: “…steps such as heat, alkaline treatment, and filtration could be effective in reducing the level of contaminating TSE agents; however, scientific evidence is insufficient at this time to demonstrate that these treatments would effectively remove the BSE infectious agent if present in the source material.” You can read more about the FDA study here. Several other agencies and medical groups have expressed concerns as well.
Wheat gluten: We don’t think any grain is “good” for your cat. It doesn’t mean wheat gluten is “bad” for your cat, either, but the fact it provides almost no nutritional value makes us question the quality of the ingredient. Wheat gluten can be a decent protein source for animals with digestive systems that can break it down, but as obligate carnivores, cats are not one of those animals. Their digestive systems produce only the enzymes necessary for processing animal-based proteins. There are also some allergy risks associated with wheat gluten. In addition, too much of this in a cats diet can potentially lead to weight gain and diabetes. Unfortunately, diabetes in cats is a very serious health problem, so it is important to keep a close eye on your cats weight and diabetic risk when feeding a cat food containing ingredients like wheat gluten.
Wheat flour: 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.
Vegetable oil: On food packaging, the term “vegetable oil” is often used in ingredients lists instead of specifying the exact plant being used. But in general, vegetable oil is simply oil that has been extracted from plants. There is some evidence to suggest a small amount of vegetable oil can be used as a remedy for hairball relief and and maybe even assist in relieving constipation symptoms. This ingredient could also aid in improving your cats coat and skin. While not especially nutritious, there is some benefit to this ingredient.
Will my cat suffer from allergic reactions?
The presence of allergens like wheat and gluten may be a cause for concern especially to those who own cats that are prone to allergic reactions. There is a likelihood that your cat might suffer from allergic reactions after feeding on this formula.
Other Ingredients worth mentioning
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.
Guar Gum: This ingredient is also sometimes called guaran. It is primarily the ground endosperm of guar beans. The guar seeds are dehusked, milled and screened to obtain the guar gum. It is typically produced as a free-flowing, off-white powder. This ingredient is mostly used to thicken the food and give it more texture. It is an FDA-approved, all natural GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) ingredient used by the food and cosmetic industries. It also is used to improve the shelf life of the food and helps lower the glycemic index of food. Many cat food companies claim this ingredient also aids in digestion and weight loss. There is some minor debate about the benefits of this ingredient with some claiming negative impacts, but in general, this is thought to be a relatively non-nutritious yet safe ingredient.
Carrageenan: This is an additive extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides. It is used as a thickening or emulsifying agent in food products. There is still much research being done on this additive and while it is generally considered safe, there is room for caution as carrageenan has produced intestinal damage and ulcers in some animal studies. If you would like more information about the ongoing research of this ingredient, you may reference this research study.
The Royal Canin Feline Health Nutrition Intense Beauty is a double edged sword. It contains a blend of healthy and well balanced ingredients and at the same times contains ingredients that could cause allergic reactions in cats.