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Is your cat gluten and corn intolerant? Feeding an allergy prone cat is one of the most demanding practices for any cat owner. Nevertheless, the cat has to be fed. Luckily, there are corn and gluten free formulas available. The only challenge is picking the right one.
The Sheba premium pates turkey entrée is one of the many formulas you will find in the market. According to the manufacturer, this is a corn and gluten free formula that is suitable for cats with food allergies. They also claim that real turkey is used in this formula and is the main source of protein
Does this formula live up the hype?
Ingredients in Sheba Premium Pates Turkey Entrée (Wet) Cat Food
Turkey, Turkey Broth, Meat By-Products, Poultry Giblets, Chicken, Natural Flavor, Poultry By-Products, Guar Gum, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Added Color, Minerals (Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Magnesium Sulfate, Zinc Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Iron Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate), Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Vitamins (Thiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Folic Acid, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex [Source of Vitamin K Activity]), Salt, DL-Methionine, Taurine.
An overview of the first five ingredients
As a whole meat ingredient, turkey is a fantastic source of very healthy animal based proteins. We are extremely pleased to see this ingredient listed. Unfortunately, in dry kibbles, there is not as much of this ingredient included as you might initially think. Ingredients are listed by weight prior to the cooking process and since whole turkey is about 70% moisture, the vast majority is cooked off. So while we think this is an excellent and nutritional ingredient, it does need to be complimented by other high quality meat protein ingredients when used in dry kibbles. In wet cat foods, however, this is not nearly as much of a concern.
Any type of broth is mostly used as an alternative to simply using water. It adds moisture to the food and a broth helps to make the food more appetizing and tastier for your cat. This ingredient is rather void of much nutritional value, but there is no evidence to suggest there are any problems with this ingredient. It can be commonly found in many different brands of cat food.
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.
This ingredient typically includes the heart, gizzard, liver, and other visceral organs of various types of birds, most commonly the foul. Often times, the neck is included in the giblets. This is not an ingredient generally used for human consumption, but there is nothing especially harmful about this ingredient for cats since they thrive on organ meat. This provides a healthy amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, iron, and other essential nutrients cats require for a healthy life.
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 of interest
Only two vitamins (A and C) and two minerals (calcium and iron) are required on the food label. Cat food companies can voluntarily list other vitamins and minerals in the food. So, in this case, they have simply listed “minerals” but we’re not exactly sure what is included here. This ingredient is very unlikely to cause harm to your cat, but it would be nice if they would voluntarily list the minerals being used here.
Salt is necessary for a cats body to function properly, but too much salt can be dangerous and even deadly. Usually, salt is added to pet food in order to meet AAFCO nutritional requirements. Salt, or sodium chloride, is indeed necessary so cat food that doesn’t contain enough will have a bit of it included. Salt helps your cats cells move nutrients and waste products where they need to go, and it helps his or her tummy make the right amount of acid to digest food properly. According to the Journal of Nutrition, average-sized cats need about 21 milligrams of salt per day. Many cat foods have higher concentrations than that. The National Research Council recommends no more than 42 milligrams per day. Most of the time, salt in commercial cat food products poses no danger and does have some nutritional benefit.
Taurine is an essential amino acid that is critical for normal heart muscle function, vision, and reproduction in cats. Since cats are unable to create proper levels of taurine in their body naturally, it must be supplemented in their food. That’s why you’ll see this ingredient listed for so many different cat food blends. For cat foods that contain enough high quality animal based proteins, a taurine supplement may not be needed. However, most cat foods will need to add in additional taurine in the form of a supplement to the food. Even when included as a supplement instead, there is very low to almost zero health risk associated with this ingredient. In fact, a lack of taurine can cause a slew of issues, so it’s very important to make sure your cat is receiving enough taurine in his or her diet.
Is this an allergy causing formula?
It is highly unlikely that the Sheba premium pates turkey entrée would lead to an allergic reaction. This is because it is devoid of any harmful allergens like corn, soy and wheat. This makes it ideal for cats with food sensitivities.
Does this formula lack any important ingredients?
Looking at it from an expert’s perspective, it is easy to note that the formula is thin on carbohydrates. These are nutrients common in first class formulas because manufacturers have realized their worth in cats. Carbohydrates are required if the formula is to meet the cat’s daily energy needs.
The formula also lacks in adequate fiber based ingredients. The inclusion of healthy vegetables or other fiber based ingredients would have been commendable. Fibers are great for digestion.
The Sheba premium pates turkey entrée is a wet cat formula that contains all the essential nutrients. This is most notable because they have tried to squeeze them into the prime ingredients category (first five). This formula is, therefore, a great formula for cats with food sensitivities. The only down side is the inclusion of meat by-products whose source is unknown.