Are you looking for a quality cat formula for your feline friend? With so many choices in the market, it is only normal to get carried away. Today there are numerous cat formula manufacturers offering low quality formulas that are advertised as quality ones. So, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff? Taking the time to learn more about a formula is a good place to start.
The Science Diet Adult Savory Seafood Entrée (wet) is one of the many formulas in the market today. According to the manufacturer, this formula contains real seafood blended in fine nutrients to ensure your cat remains healthy and strong.
Can these claims be ascertained?
The ingredients used to make this formula
Water, Pork By-Products, Fish, Pork Liver, Wheat Flour, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Starch, Ground Whole Grain Corn, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Liver Flavor, Calcium Sulfate, Guar Gum, Locust Bean Gum, Brewers Dried Yeast, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, Carrageenan, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, DL- Methionine, Calcium Carbonate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Manganous Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.
Reviewing 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.
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.
The fish used in canned pet foods usually includes parts of the fish not typically used for human consumption. It is high in phosphorus and magnesium, which can be an issue in cats with a history of urinary tract disorders or kidney disease. Most fish used in pet food is that of very low quality, including farmed fish and discarded fish that is deemed unacceptable for human consumption. There is also a risk of mercury exposure as many types of fish contain a high mercury level. Over long periods of time, this can become hazardous. It is also important to try and find a cat food with ethoxyquin free fish. Most cat food brands do not disclose if their fish is ethoxyquin free and if it isn’t, that could pose some problems. Most cats love the taste of fish and will be happy to eat it, but it isn’t part of a regular diet for wild cats. Nonetheless, this is a high protein source with essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
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 worth looking into
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.
Chicken Liver Flavor – As you might expect, this ingredient is simply the extracted flavoring of chicken liver. We usually don’t like “flavor” ingredients, but in this case, the animal is named. The sourcing of the flavor (liver) is also named. So in this case, we aren’t too worried about it. This ingredient isn’t going to add any nutritional value to the food, but it may make the food taste better.
Is this formula associated with any health complications?
This formula is likely to cause allergies. This is because it contains wheat and corn extracts, which can lead to allergy attacks. The wheat flour ingredient is linked to glucose imbalances, which can lead to the development of diabetes.
Harmful ingredients mostly used in cat formulas manufacturing
This is an antioxidant that is frequently included in both human and pet foods as a preservative. There is rising concern about the long-term health effects of this preservative in both humans and pets. A growing number of research suggests this ingredient could cause cancer. In this recent study, rats and hamsters were given BHA in their diet and developed tumors in their stomaches. Since this is such a controversial and questionable ingredient, it is considered to be somewhat risky.
Judging from the ingredients used in the manufacture of the Adult Savory Seafood Entrée (wet), this formula leaves a lot to be desired. It contains allergens, and the main source of protein is listed 3rd in the list of ingredients.