Are you having trouble finding an ideal formula for your cat? Without a doubt, your cat’s health is one of the most important considerations and hence you should choose to feed it on nothing less than top quality formulas.
The Sheba Pates Salmon Entrée is one of the numerous wet cat formulas in the market today. According to the makers of this formula, this salmon entrée comes with real salmon as the main sources of protein. The company also claims that it has ensures this formula is packed with healthy ingredients for the healthy development of your cat.
Is this formula as nutritious as it is claimed to be?
The ingredients in the formula
Salmon, Meat Broth, Meat By-Products, Chicken Liver, Chicken, Poultry By-Products, Natural Flavor, Added Color, Guar Gum, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Minerals (Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Iron Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate), Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Choline Chloride, Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Vitamin E Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex [Source of Vitamin K Activity]), DL-Methionine, Salt, Taurine.
Reviewing the first five ingredients
The first five ingredients of any formula represent the higher side of the nutritional percentage and hence the need to review them.
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.
Used as a source of moisture and flavor, meat broth is normally considered a higher alternative to plain water, even though it doesn’t provide much nutritional value. It’s unfortunately this broth is from an unnamed meat source. Normally, we like to see named meat sources for the broth such as chicken broth or turkey broth. In this case, we are left guessing what meat source is used to create the broth. I can literally be from almost any animal and that is a bit concerning.
This is about the lowest quality meat product that can be included in any cat food. We are very disappointed to see this ingredient listed. Meat By-Products are parts of slaughtered animals including the lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, blood, bone, partially defatted low-temperature fatty tissue, and stomach and intestines freed of their contents. In addition, meat by-products can also legally contain animals that were dead, dying, or diseased before slaughtering. Many times, animals with tumors are ground and processed, meaning, ground up cancerous tumors could legally be included in your pets food. While unlikely, it can even legally include road kill. Perhaps worst of all, this ingredient COULD include meat from euthanized cats, dogs, horses, or other animals. Meat by-product is an unnamed meat source and you never know for sure where it is coming from or what animals are being used. Also note that meat by-products are not approved for human consumption. It consists of unwanted parts only acceptable in the pet food or feed industries. This is one of the most controversial meat ingredients that could be included and there is much to be concerned about when purchasing any pet food that includes meat by-products.
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.
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.
Other ingredients in this formula worth looking into
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.
The term “natural flavor” is extremely vague and can mean just about anything. In human foods, natural flavor is usually MSG or some similar flavor enhancer. When pet food companies are asked what is in their “natural flavor ingredients, they usually refuse to answer. There are a lot of things in the world considered “natural” and they almost all have a flavor. Such generic terms can be indicative of poor quality ingredients. While that’s not always the case, the fact is, we don’t really know what this ingredient consists of and that is worrying.
There is absolutely no reason to included added color into any cat food, ever. It’s extremely disappointing to see this ultra-low quality ingredient included. Added color is used for marketing purposes only. They want their product to stand out sitting on the shelf at the store, so they add coloring to their product. Essentially, the coloring is added to entice YOU (the human) to purchase the food over other brands. Your cat could care less what color the food is. Unfortunately, added color is quite controversial as there is growing evidence suggesting cancer in cats from too much food color exposure. At worse, this is a harmful ingredient and at best, it is a marketing ploy with no nutritional value or positive benefit to your cat. We usually have a tough time recommending any cat food that includes such a controversial ingredient.
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.
Is this an allergy causing formula?
The Premium Pates Salmon Entrée does not seem to contain any of the common allergy causing ingredients. It is highly unlikely that it can cause allergies in cats.
A notable nutrition deficiency in this formula
Carbohydrates – There are four major classes of biomolecules – carbohydrates, proteins, nucleotides, and lipids. Carbohydrates, or saccharides, are the most abundant of the four. Carbohydrates have several roles in living organisms, including energy transportation. However, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they have nutritional requirements that can only be met with a diet based on animal tissue. The macronutrient profile for cats is high in protein and fat, consistent with a meat-based diet. So while some carbs in a cats diet may be ok, a high carbohydrate diet is not ok. Further, many cats are allergic to certain forms of carbohydrates and may have problems digesting carbs as well. A diet with a high amount of carbohydrates can lead to weight gain and even diabetes in cats.
It is important to ensure the carbohydrate source is not grain but plant based. Grain based carbohydrate sources can lead to allergies and other health complications while plant based carbohydrates are completely safe for felines.
This is yet another average cat formula. It is made with nutritionally rich ingredients. The only down side would be the absence of carbohydrates and the inclusion of added color.