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Do you own a kitten? The hardest part of owning a cat pet is nurturing it from being a kitten to an adult cat. This transition requires dedication and patience. The larger part of this transition revolves around proper nutrition. Luckily, some cat food manufacturers have formulas meant for kittens.
The Science Diet Kitten Savory Salmon Entrée (wet) is one of the many formulas specifically manufactured for kittens. According to the science diet company, your kitten is bound to love this formula. It is said to contain soft texture ingredients that offer balanced nutrition to your kitten. It is also said to boost the immune system and the digestive system too.
Read on to find out whether this formula is good for your kitten.
Ingredients in Science Diet Kitten Savory Salmon Entrée
Water, Salmon, Pork By-Products, Liver, Egg Product, Soybean Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Corn Starch, Fish Meal, Chicken Liver Flavor, L-Lysine, Soy Protein Isolate, Powdered Cellulose, Guar Gum, Brewers Dried Yeast, Wheat Flour, Locust Bean Gum, Choline Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Carrageenan, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Oxide, Iodized Salt, DL-Methionine, Potassium Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, L-Tryptophan, Ascorbic Acid (source of vitamin C), Zinc Oxide, Ferrous Sulfate, Magnesium Oxide, Niacin, Beta-Carotene, 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.
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. The quality and composition can change from one batch to another. For the most part, this ingredient contains the “non-meat” poultry products like feet, beaks, and bones. While you probably wouldn’t want to eat poultry by-products on your own dinner plate, cats tend to love this stuff. This ingredient does provide a high amount of protein, but we are unable to tell exactly what parts of the animal they are using and that is a bit troublesome.
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.
Derived from shell free eggs, this is a cheaper source of protein used in place of higher quality meat proteins. Normally, this ingredient is derived from waste products associated with the egg industry or egg products that have been deemed unfit for human consumption.
Other ingredients in the formula
This ingredient is created after grinding the soybean to extract soybean oil. In addition to being used in dog and cat food, it is widely used as a filler and source of protein in other animal diets including pig, chicken, cattle, horse, sheep, and fish feed. This ingredient can often be found in “hairball relief” cat foods as it is believed to help eliminate hairballs. While some cats are allergic to soy based ingredients, the pet food industry is pretty defensive of this ingredient claiming that despite the attempts of researchers to prove a link between soy and bloat, no studies to date show this link. Rather, breed, body type, weight and stress level are significant risk factors. The pet food industry also claims that soy products are a superb source of bodybuilding protein, coat-nourishing vegetable oil and healthful fiber for cats. As long as your cat isn’t allergic to soy based ingredients, this ingredient shouldn’t pose any problems, but it isn’t included without controversy.
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.
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.
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.
Can this formula cause allergies?
This formula is unlikely to cause allergies to your kitten. This is because it does not contain a lot of allergy causing ingredients. Wheat flour is the only ingredient likely to cause an allergies, but it is available in minimal quantities making it less harmful.
Ingredients never to feed your kitten on
Corn and soy – Both of these grains are commonly found in cheaper cat foods you can normally find in the grocery store. They are cheap filler ingredients that will help to make your cat feel more full, but corn and soy provide almost no nutritional value to cats. These ingredients can also be difficult for some cats to digest, so we do not recommend this product for cats with sensitive digestion issues. And finally, these are two of the most widely known allergens for cats. Most cats are not allergic to these ingredients, but many are. Cat food companies like to use these ingredients because they are cheap and boost the protein percentage in the food. However, cats digest meat proteins and plant based proteins differently. Since they are obligate carnivores, they require meat protein to live a healthy life and do not process plant proteins very well.
BHT/BHA – 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.
Fortunately, none of these are used in this formula.
This is an ideal formula for any kitten. Indeed, the ingredients are all natural and very essential for kitten development. The only down side is that there are some ingredients whose sources are not given.