The Honest Kitchen is a relatively popular cat food amongst cat owners. Of course, most cat food brands have high quality food as well as lower quality food. With our The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Cat Food review, we will first examine the top 5 ingredients, then we will dig deeper in to the ingredients list to be certain this is a high quality cat food.
Ingredients In The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Cat Food
All ingredients dehydrated: Turkey, eggs, pumpkin, potatoes, parsley, chard, 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.
Turkey - 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.
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.
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.
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.
Parsley - This ingredient is an abundant source of natural vitamins. It also provides iron, copper, potassium, calcium, fiber, and several other nutrients. While it isn't going to make up a large portion of the nutritional content in this food, it is a much better ingredient than many other "fillers" that pet food companies use like corn and other grains. The allergy risk associated with this ingredient is very low and even though this is a plant based ingredient, cats seem to digest it easily.
Additional Ingredients Of Interest
The top 5 ingredients make up the vast majority of the nutritional value of most cat foods, but we like to dig deeper. Your cat will likely be on the same diet for years and possibly a lifetime, so it is important to examine ingredients that are lower on the list as well.
Chard - Chard is a leafy green vegetable similar to lettuce. The leaves can be included in pet food to help create a balance diet and also serve as a filler. There isn't much nutritional value in chard, but this ingredient is not likely to cause any issues unless your cat has a very specific allergy.
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.
Iron Sulfate - As you might expect, this ingredient is a source of iron. A lack of iron can cause anemia and make a cat very lethargic. When a cat food does not contain enough iron naturally, it may be included as a supplement in the food. There has not been any widespread health hazards related to this ingredient.
Thiamine Mononitrate - Thiamine mononitrate is a stable nitrate salt form of thiamine (vitamin B1). This ingredient us usually added as a supplement in dog and cat foods. Thiamine is a required nutrient for cats but most thiamine is lost during the cooking process and that is why you see it added as a supplement here. If you have a cat with pre-existing kidney problems, you should avoid this ingredient. Otherwise it is considered to be relatively safe and thiamine mononitrate is generally recognized as safe (GRAS) per the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Guaranteed Analysis for The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey Cat Food
Our Overall Opinion Of This Cat Food Blend
We would consider The Honest Kitchen Grain Free Turkey cat food to be a slightly above average cat food. Based on the ingredients alone, we like that the top 5 ingredients includes a high quality meat source, but whole turkey contains about 80% moisture before cooking. That means, after the cooking process, Turkey will not be the top ingredient. Since the remaining top 5 ingredients do not include meat sources, we feel this cat food does not contain enough meat in the top 5 ingredients. With that said, the inclusion of eggs as the #2 ingredient does help to give this food some added protein to make up for the lack of meat. This would likely be a pretty good choice of cat food, but we also recommend comparing this food to other options with a higher meat content in the top 5 ingredients.