Do you own a cat that simply loves ocean fish in their formulas? Ocean fish is a highly nutritive meat source. It is actually more nutritious than other meat types commonly used in cat formulas.
The Science Diet Adult Tender Ocean Fish Dinner (wet) is one of the many ocean fish based formulas in the market today. According to the manufacturer, this formula comes with real ocean fish chunks dipped in delicious gravy for a tasty meal. It is also said to contain other nutrients that cater for the all rounded health of your feline friend.
Is this the best formula for your fish lover?
Ingredients in Science Diet Adult Tender Ocean Fish Dinner
Water, Ocean Fish, Chicken, Liver, Egg White, Wheat Gluten, Wheat Flour, Dextrose, Rice Starch, Oat Fiber, Soybean Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Glycine, Fish Oil, Natural Flavor, Choline Chloride, Dicalcium Phosphate, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Guar Gum, Calcium Chloride, Iodized Salt, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Oxide, Thiamine Mononitrate , Caramel Color, Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid (source of vitamin C), Copper Sulfate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Manganous Oxide, Riboflavin, Biotin, Beta-Carotene, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Calcium Iodate, Menadione Dimethylpyrimidinol Bisulfite (source of vitamin K).
An overview of these ingredients
As you might expect, water is mostly added for moisture and cooking purposes. It does not add any nutritional value to the food.
While some ocean fish may be naturally caught fish, generally this indicates farmed fish. When ocean fish are farmed, it includes the practice of growing finfish in huge, often over crowded cages out in open ocean waters. When fish are farmed, usually the higher quality fish goes to the human food industry while the fish unsuitable for human consumption is used in the pet food industry. There is some debate about how beneficial seafood is in a cats diet, including fish, but in general it is considered a safe ingredient with a high amount of protein and an excellent source of essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
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.
In the wild, cats almost always eat the liver of their prey. It is a rich source of vitamin A which cats must obtain from their food since they can’t make it in their bodies. This is also a good secondary source of protein. If cats consume too much liver, it could cause toxicity, but the amount needed for liver to become toxic to cats is very high. Liver is provided in safe quantities in this cat food blend.
Egg whites are eggs that have been separated from the yolk. They provide a high amount of protein while at the same time, contain low amounts of cholesterol. Egg whites also contain a number of other nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and iron. Overall this is a nutritious ingredient without much of a health risk.
Other ingredients in the formula
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 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.
Fish oil is a popular supplement used by cat and dog owners. In this case, the food is already supplemented with fish oil. This ingredient is high in very healthy Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids. This can lead to an improved coat, healthier skin, boost to the immune system, lower blood pressure, and help improving cognitive function in older pets. There are also some studies that show fish oil to help assist with certain allergies in dogs and cats. This is a higher quality ingredient.
Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean (Glycine max) and is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils. Soy is a plant protein used by pet food companies to boost protein content and add bulk. Because plant proteins are less expensive than meat proteins, pet food manufacturers use them to increase profit margins. The majority of experts on pet nutrition agree soy isn’t good nutrition for cats or dogs. It is considered a low-quality, incomplete protein well known to create food allergies in pets. Many cat food companies take a hard stance against the “negative publicity” that soy products receive and defend the use of soy strongly, claiming that soy helps add nutrients and improves a cats coat and skin. However, we do not find soy products to be reminiscent of a high quality cat food.
Can this formula cause allergies?
While this formula does contain wheat extracts, they are not sufficient to trigger serious allergies reactions. This formula is only unsuitable for cats with very severe allergy cases. Otherwise other cats can feed on this formula.
Harmful ingredients used in cat formulas
Wheat, corn and soy – All three of these ingredients are known allergens for many cats. In addition, many cats have problems digesting these grain based ingredients. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their digestive systems are designed to digest meat and not grains. All of these ingredients will help to boost the protein percentage in cat food, but not all protein is created equally. Cats do not digest plant based proteins in the same way as meat proteins and in fact, gain little to no nutritional value from these grains. Several “grocery store brand” cat foods include these products to keep the price down as it is a cheap filler to help make your cat feel full as well as a cheap way to add protein to the food.
Chemical based preservatives – Chemical food preservatives are substances which, under certain conditions, either delay the growth of microorganisms without necessarily destroying them or prevent deterioration of quality during manufacture and distribution. The former group includes some natural food constituents which, when added to foods, retard or prevent the growth of microorganisms. Sugar is used partly for this purpose. Unfortunately, the full health effects on cats for many chemical food preservatives are unknown.
The Adult Tender Ocean Fish Dinner Formula contains nutritious ingredients that are easy to digest. Aside from being an allergy causing formula for cats with severe allergy conditions, this formula is perfectly safe for cat consumption.