The Science Diet Adult Savory Salmon Entrée (wet) is one of the formulas in the market that offers seafood as the main source of protein. According to the manufacturer, this is a formula that will tempt your cat’s taste buds and keep it coming back for more. Is this the best seafood based formula for your feline companion? Read on to find out.
The ingredients in the formula
Water, Salmon, Pork By-Products, Pork Liver, Wheat Flour, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Starch, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Liver Flavor, Rice Flour, Brewers Dried Yeast, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Calcium Carbonate, Carrageenan, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, DL- Methionine, Taurine, Potassium Citrate, Iodized Salt, Iron Oxide, Vitamin E Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.
An overview of the first five ingredients
As you might expect, water is mostly added for moisture and cooking purposes. It does not add any nutritional value to the food.
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 is cause for concern. 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.
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.
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.
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 in the formula
Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid) – Chicken fat is a quality source of essential fatty acids and an excellent source of energy. Fat has a positive effect on the immune system and plays a beneficial role in stress response. Essential fatty acids are required for proper growth, reproduction, normal skin structure and a healthy coat. Because chicken fat contains virtually no protein, it’s use does not cause allergic reactions associated with the use of fresh chicken or chicken meal which contain high amounts of protein. Many times, mixed tocopherols, which are a natural source of Vitamin E activity, are used as a natural preservative to maintain freshness. This is considered a higher quality fat source in pet food. Citric acid, in this case, is probably used to balance the pH level of the food.
Corn Starch – This ingredient is the starch derived from the corn grain. The starch is obtained from the endosperm of the corn kernel. While not harmful in small quantities, cats obtain virtually no nutritional value from corn. This ingredient is usually used as a cheaper filler by lower priced cat foods. Unfortunately, there is a bit of an allergy risk with this ingredient. And finally, many cats will have a tough time properly digesting corn and that could lead to diarrhea, constipation, or other stomach and digestion issues. Most cats will not have any negative reaction to this ingredient, but it’s not an ingredient we are all that excited to see listed.
Ground Whole Grain Corn – Whole “grain” in referring to corn is primarily animal feed grade corn. While it is a source of protein, fiber, and carbohydrates, this is generally considered to be a very low quality ingredient, especially if it is one of the main ingredients. Corn is a known food allergen for many cats and it is also difficult for cats to digest. Unfortunately, since cats are obligate carnivores, the protein content is not adequately digested, rendering this a pretty useless and non-nutritious ingredient. Pet food companies love using corn because it is a very cheap filler ingredient and is also a very cheap way to boost the protein percentage in the food. If your cat suffers from food allergies or stomach sensitivities, you should avoid this food.
Powdered Cellulose – Powdered cellulose is a cheap filler ingredient. It is obtain as a pulp from fibrous plant material and highly refined. Once processed, it looks and feels very similar to sawdust. Cellulose is used in a wide number of ways. In addition to being added to pet food, it is used quite a bit in human foods, but can also be used for things like insulation, rope making, and textiles. Just like in humans, this ingredient is indigestible for cats. There is no hard evidence to suggest this ingredient is unhealthy, but it wouldn’t be considered a higher quality ingredient, either.
Can this formula easily trigger allergies?
This formula is unlikely to trigger allergies. While it contains allergens, they are listed lower in the formula ingredients list. Therefore, this formula can be fed to cats with mild allergies and no allergies. However, it is best to avoid feeding cats with chronic allergies on this formula as the slightest contact will allergens can trigger serious allergic reactions.
Other ingredients to avoid feeding your cat on
BHT and BHA in cat formulas
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. BHA and BHT are extremely controversial ingredients in all forms of pet food.
Judging by the ingredients used in this formula, this is an average cat formula. Apart from the inclusion of allergens, this formula contains healthy ingredients that are required fore healthy growth and development in cats.