The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Cat Food is one of the more popular Honest Kitchen cat food blends. In this The Honest Kitchen grain free chicken cat food review, we will explore the ingredients used in this food to determine its quality. While most cat food blends offer both good and poor quality cat food, only by looking at each ingredient and in each blend they offer can we be sure of its quality.
Ingredients In The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Cat Food
All ingredients dehydrated: Chicken, eggs, potatoes, sweet potatoes, organic flaxseed, pumpkin, spinach, cranberries, tricalcium phosphate, choline chloride, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin D3 supplement, vitamin E supplement, potassium iodide, potassium chloride, iron amino acid chelate, copper amino acid chelate, thiamine mononitrate.
Analysis Of The Top 5 Ingredients
Whenever you are reviewing a commercial cat food blend, it is good practice to pay special attention to the first 5 ingredients listed. These ingredients make up the vast majority of the nutritional content in the food. Let's take a look at the top 5 ingredients in this cat food.
Chicken - 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. In dry cat foods, whole chicken loses about 80% of its content during the cooking process. This is because chicken consists of about 80% moisture. After the cooking process is complete, the amount of whole chicken remaining is substantially reduced. However, in wet cat foods the cooking process is a bit different so this is much less of a concern.
Eggs - While raw eggs can cause some skin problems in cats, cooked eggs are healthy for cats and supply quite a bit of protein. Some cat owners prefer only feeding egg whites because the yolks can add a fairly high amount of cholesterol. In addition to the protein content, eggs also supply potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, copper, zinc, and iron. In moderation, this is considered a healthy ingredient for cats.
Potatoes - Potatoes provide a lot of carbs and unfortunately, cats do not digest carbs well and it can also lead to weight gain. Potato based ingredients are becoming more popular in "grain-free" cat foods because while potatoes are not grains, they serve much the same purpose by acting as a non-nutritious filler. In this case, since it is in the form of flour, it is probably used to aid in the cooking process. The good news is potatoes are complex carbs. These complex carbs are easier to digest than whole grains and also don't spike blood sugar levels like the simple carbs do. But, anyway you cut it... carbs are carbs and cats don't need them.
Sweet Potatoes - Sweet potatoes provide a great source of potassium, vitamin B, and beta-carotene. This ingredient also provides antioxidant agents that specifically help to fight against cancer causing agents. This is a higher quality ingredient with no known negative side-effects.
Flaxseed - Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha- linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. The seeds come from flax, one of the the oldest fiber crops in the world. It is not only a source of healthy fat, antioxidants, and fiber; modern research has found evidence to suggest that flaxseed can also help lower the risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The health risk associated with this ingredient is low and in general, flaxseed is considered to be a beneficial ingredient for cats.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
While the first 5 ingredients make up the vast majority of the food, it’s always a good idea to take a look at the remaining ingredients and have a good understanding of their quality. Here are some of the remaining ingredients in The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Cat Food:
Pumpkin - While this ingredient will not provide much nutrition to your cat, pumpkin is quite tasty to cats and seems to aid in healthy digestion. Pumpkin is often a natural remedy that dog and cat owners use to help ease stomach or digestion discomfort. This is also a filler ingredient to help make your cat feel more full after a meal. Unlike many other filler ingredients, there are very few allergy or health risks associated with this ingredient.
Spinach - While it certainly sounds like a healthy ingredient, the truth is, spinach doesn't add much nutritional value to the food. It does supply some various nutrients and vitamins, but the levels are quite low. Many companies like to include this ingredient as it looks great on the ingredients list, but in general, it is not all that nutritious for cats. On the flip side, there is very little to worry about and this ingredient is considered to be very safe for most cats.
Cranberries - Cranberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin E, and fiber. This ingredient may assist with urinary tract infections and help with dental hygiene by killing certain bacteria. While cats are obligate carnivores, wild cats do consume a small amount of fruits and vegetables. Ingredients like cranberries will not provide a large amount of nutrition, but do supply some vitamins, help make the food taste better, and act as an easily digestible filler.
Tricalcium Phosphate - Dicalcium phosphate is a compound that is present in bone. It is a calcium salt. Usually, when people break their bones, the need to enrich themselves with this compound in order to help bone regeneration. For cat food, it is mostly used as a part of the processing of the food. While this ingredient sounds scary and doesn't provide any nutrition for cats, it is considered safe and is usually included in very low levels.
Choline Chloride - Like humans and many other species, cats require choline. Almost all commercial pet food blends will contain supplemental choline. This ingredient mostly helps with cell function.
Zinc Amino Acid - This ingredient is a better source of zinc and is essential to insulin formation and immune function. There is very little danger with this ingredient and, in general, it is considered to be a healthy ingredient.
Vitamin D3 Supplement - Vitamin D3 supplement is added to some cat food as a means to increase the vitamin D3 levels if the natural ingredients do not provide enough. Vitamin D3 is important for cats, but too much can also make cats sick. For the most part, this is a safe ingredient.
Vitamin E Supplement - Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that scavenges the body's free radicals. Free radicals are thought to contribute to aging and contribute to a number of health problems. That's why vitamin E is an important tool in the battle against aging, heart disease and cancer. When a cat food does not naturally contain sufficient levels of vitamin E, the manufacture will add in additional vitamin E as a supplement. It is crucial for cats to receive an adequate amount of vitamin E so this supplement is pretty commonly found in cat food products.
Potassium Iodide - Potassium iodide is an inorganic compound that creates a white salt. Humans commonly acquire dietary iodine in foods, especially in the dairy and seafood industries. It is a standard source of potassium and balances acid/alkaline levels. While not an especially nutritious ingredient, it isn't likely to pose any short or long term health issues, either.
Additional Nutritional Information
Calories per cup: 576
Overall Quality Of The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Cat Food
After looking at the ingredients in The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Chicken Cat Food, this appears to be an average quality cat food blend. While it’s true that this is a grain free cat food, most of the grains are replaced with tomatoes which are also filler ingredients for the most part. The main protein sources in this food are chicken and eggs. These are quality protein sources, but we would like to see one additional meat based protein source in the food. We don’t see any ingredients that are alarming and your cat would probably do quite well on this food, but we think it is about average quality.