Is your cat a fish lover? In order to ensure your cat feeds well, you might want to feed it on what it enjoys most. There are numerous fish based cat formulas making the selection process a bit daunting. You can get formulas with tuna, salmon, crab as well as mackerels. Some formulas will offer you a blend of all these fish varieties.
The Whiskas oceanfish entrEntrée is one of the many fish based formulas in the market today. According to the manufacturer, this formula contains real oceanfish chunks and flakes. It is said to include other healthy ingredients to support the overall health of your cat.
Is the Whiskas oceanfish entrEntrée as good as it is said to be? Let’s find out.
Ingredients in Whiskas Oceanfish Entree Wet Formula
Sufficient Water for Processing, Sardines, Mackerel, Soy Oil, Carrageenan, Potassium Chloride, Cassia Gum, Sodium Tripolyphosphate, Natural Flavor, Disodium EDTA, Vitamins (dlThiamine Mononitrate [Vitamin B1], -Alpha Tocopherol Acetate [Source of Vitamin E], Pyridoxine Hydrochloride [Vitamin B6], Folic Acid, Riboflavin Supplement [Vitamin B2]), Sodium Nitrite (for color retention), Iron Oxide, BHA/BHT (a preservative), Copper Sulfate.
Reviewing 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.
A sardine is a young pilchard or other young or small herringlike fish. Some cat owners like to avoid fish in cat food because sea food is not usually a part of a cats natural diet. All fish products also contain a certain level of mercury and some cat owners fear that over time, the ingestion of mercury could be harmful (although there is very little evidence to suggest a significant risk). Overall, this ingredient does supply some extremely nutritious properties including protein and very healthy fatty acids.
Mackerel is a common name applied to a number of different species of pelagic fish, mostly, but not exclusively, from the family Scombridae. They are found in both temperate and tropical seas, mostly living along the coast or offshore in the oceanic environment. Fish based ingredients provide an excellent source of fatty acids, proteins, and very high quality nutrients. Some cat owners are worried about the increasing level of mercury in fish, but so far the FDA says it is well within’ safe limits for both humans and pets. In addition, some pet owners worry about where the fish comes from, because a lot of fish used in pet foods is obtained from farmed fish that have not passed inspections to be used in human consumption. It could also contain fish waste products that can’t be used anywhere else. So while there is some concern about this and any other fish based ingredient in cat food, in general, it is considered a higher quality nutrient source.
Soybean oil is a vegetable oil extracted from the seeds of the soybean. It is one of the most widely consumed cooking oils. As you can see in this article, the health risks associated with humans and soy oil is questionable. We have no reason to believe it is any better for cats, especially since cats are obligate carnivores designed to process meat based ingredients. In addition, many cats are allergic to soy ingredients or may have problems digesting soy ingredients. If your cat has food allergies or a sensitive stomach, you might not want to feed this food.
This is an additive extracted from red and purple seaweeds, consisting of a mixture of polysaccharides. It is used as a thickening or emulsifying agent in food products. There is still much research being done on this additive and while it is generally considered safe, there is room for caution as carrageenan has produced intestinal damage and ulcers in some animal studies. If you would like more information about the ongoing research of this ingredient, you may reference this research study.
Other ingredients of importance
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.
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.
Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid, widely abbreviated as EDTA, is used in both pet foods and human foods as a preservative or stabilizer to prevent catalytic oxidative decoloration, which is catalyzed by metal ions. Calcium disodium EDTA is on the FDA priority list of food additives to be studied for mutagenic, teratogenic, subsacute, and reproductive effects.3 In other words, the FDA wants to study it further to see if it is associated with birth defects, cancer or reproductive problems. This ingredient does appear to be safe in smaller quantities, but there is still much research that needs to be done for human consumption, let alone what safe levels might be for cats.
Ingredients that should have been included but are missing
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.
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.
If you choose to go with this formul,a you might want to supplement these two ingredients.
Can this formula cause allergies?
The formula does not contain any of the common allergens. It is, therefore, unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.
Is this formula safe for cats?
The only source of concern for this formula is the inclusion of BHT/BHA preservatives. These preservatives could lead to health complications and possible death in some cases. Therefore, this formula would not be termed as safe for cats in the long run.
Overall, this is a great formula for cats. It is rich in protein which is a good thing considering cats are obligate carnivores. It also contains other necessary nutrients making it a wholesome food for your cat. The only down side is the inclusion of BHT/BHA preservatives and soy oil. You should, therefore, avoid feeding it to overly sensitive cats.