Category Archives: Cat Food Comparisons & Reviews

Review: N & D Grain-Free Feline Chicken & Pomegranate Adult Food

Healthy & tasty cat food logoOne day when I was shopping in my nearby holistic pet store, a clerk asked if I wanted to try a sample pack of a newer line of dry cat food they carried.  I often examine new products because my own two cats are as picky as felines can be and also because I’m always on the look-out for new products to review on this site.

Hint:  Pet stores receive free sample packages of dog and cat food from their distributors, and I assume the intention by the manufacturer is for the retail store to give them out to consumers in hopes of bringing in new buyers, although, I know of at least 2 cases where the pet store staff was taking those samples home for their own animals instead of offering them to customers. When you shop at a local pet store, always ask for samples of a dog or cat food you would like to try. If they don’t have samples and you know the store does carry the brand, ask them nicely to order some samples and call you. It doesn’t cost them a dime.  A smaller retail store should be happy to do that. Big box retailers may or may not offer such samples to customers. When I created and ran a local pet store, we kept a small container of samples of certain types of food near the checkout counter and encouraged customers to take one. This is good PR for the store, but it’s also good for pet owners who would like to try their cat or dog on a new food but don’t want to be stuck with 3/4 of an open bag if the animal refuses it.

The new product sample I took home was received excitedly by my two picky felines. I gave them a couple of pieces of the kibble as treats, and Lucy and Chico both gobbled it up. Since they had recently refused to eat their current dry cat food, I returned to Holistic for Pets the next day to purchase a bag of N & D Grain-Free Feline Chicken and Pomegranate Adult Cat Food to go along with the wet food they also eat.

This food is manufactured by Farmina Pet Foods, an English company specializing in food research and formulation. What began as a collaboration between Farmina and the Russo Mangimi Company in 1999 to develop foods based on scientific studies on the well-being of pets, is now a large company creating healthy pet foods sold in many countries of the world.

According to their website, Farmina’s mission is to develop the best all-natural, nutritious and scientifically validated food that both cats and dogs will love. If you ask my cats, they have succeeded!

Farmina’s N & D Grain-Free Chicken recipes are formulated to meet the standards of AAFCO profiles for all life stages, meaning any age cat or kitten can safely eat this product. Under their guaranteed analysis, it shows there is 44% crude protein in this product, which is a high amount of protein for commercial cat foods, and the amount of protein from animal sources is 97%, also very high.  The company advertises their food as consisting of 70% premium animal ingredients, 30% fruits, minerals and vegetables, and 0% cereals.

healthy cat food

Click on the Ingredients List to Enlarge

 

Note that there are no artificial preservatives in this food: Only natural antioxidants using tocopheral-rich extracts as a natural preservative are used.  The food is also completely free of genetically modified ingredients! Human-grade regional ingredients are used with no meals or by-products.  There is also a low glycemic index and the company uses only cruelty-free testing of their products.  All-in-all, I am very pleased with this dry cat food and so are Lucy and Chico.

Review: Comparing 4 Popular Cat Treats

We are owned by Lucy and Chico, both Siamese-mix kitties, who are only fed healthy cat treats. Yes, we spoil our fur babies with treats! But it took several years to find healthy options that appealed to our picky duo.

Cats are notoriously difficult to please. Like many humans, they prefer junk food. We know that could harm their health and shorten their lives, so it’s up to us to provide healthy alternatives. Let’s look at 3 popular cat treat brands and see how they stack up.

Fancy Feast Duos
Cheddar and Crab Souffle Flavors

cat treats

Choose healthy cat treats

This treat starts out bad and just gets worse. The product begins with a waste product from the beer brewing industry. That means the ingredient with the most weight in the treat is not healthy. Then we see chicken by-product meal. Regular readers on this site know by now how I feel about any kind of by-product. By-products are absolute no-no’s for any kind of pet food! Here is why. From by-products, we move to corn gluten meal. Too many cats are sensitive to corn-based ingredients, making any such inclusion in cat food suspect.

Glycerin is often used as a preservative in pet food. I don’t like it for my own cats. Anthony Bennie, co-founder of Clear Conscience Pet, explains why it isn’t good for yours.

Cheese powder is flavoring – no substance, mainly for show. Then we see animal digest, which is as bad as it sounds since it is the digested part of who knows what animals. Wheat starch is a poor carbohydrate choice, and wheat is often linked to allergies in pets.

Further down, we get to the color. “Added color” could be anything. Specifically named colors, such as red 40 or yellow 6, which are potentially carcinogenic, just pour chemicals into our pets. BHA is considered carninogenic. BHT is also a carcinogen that causes kidney and liver damage in rats. Both are chemicals that are added to oils to be used as preservatives in pet food.

Fancy Feast® products are part of Purina. The reviews I found on the website were glowing, citing how much their kitties loved the treats. Of course they did, since it’s junk food. It’s up to you to provide a healthy cat treat as an alternative.

Blue Kitty Yums

cat treats

If you trust Blue Buffalo products, this isn’t a horrible cat treat. It wouldn’t be my choice because of a few ingredients and because I don’t feel comfortable with this company.

healthy cat treats

It begins well with chicken. I’m not thrilled with brown rice as the second weightiest ingredient but it could be worse. Maple syrup does not belong in any kind of pet food. Then they make it worse with vegetable glycerin. (See a link above to learn about that ingredient). I question the need for potatoes as a carbohydrate when they have already added a large amount of brown rice. Salt is unnecessary and not good for pets, and then they include fish oil which could contain ethoxyquin, a bad chemical. A named fish oil would be a much better option (think Menhaden Fish Oil). That would tell us it is free of ethoxyquin. As I said, this isn’t the worst treat on the market but it surely is far from the best.

Meow Mix Irresistables® Soft with Salmon

cat treats

Not healthy cat treats

This is one poor-quality cat treat! It begins with chicken and that’s a good thing. The second weightiest ingredient is a carbohydrate, and that is followed by animal digest which was described earlier in this article. They make it worse by adding a by-product next. Further down the list, we see glycerin, also discussed above. Finally, we see the salmon that was listed in the title. Unfortunately, it’s far enough down the ingredients’ list that there can’t be much of it in these treats. Animal fat that clearly lists BHA, a carcinogen, as a preservative could be most anything since it is not a named specie. They used fish meal and say it is preserved with ethoxyquin, a known carcinogen. Pet owners today know not to feed their cats a food containing known trouble. Moving on, there is salt and known chemical colors and more BHA.

This is not a treat I would ever want my fur babies to eat!

Wellness Kittles Crunchy Natural Grain-Free Cat Treats

healthy cat treats

healthy cat treats

There isn’t much to say about this Wellness® cat treat. Any self-respecting kitty would be thrilled to eat this one! It begins with a named fish and that is followed by a list of healthy ingredients.

After reading the ingredients of all these well-known cat treats, which one would you choose?

Review: Fussie Cat® Tuna with Salmon Formula in Aspic

Cat FoodLast week, my husband was in a holistic pet store and after conversation with the clerk, he purchased several cans of Fussie Cat® Tuna with Salmon Formula In Aspic. That’s a big name for a little can of cat food, but the ingredients are interesting.

We have tried for several years to convince our kitties to eat a better canned food and settled for a time on another very good brand. But they have both stopped eating it, thus, the search for something that might appeal to their picky palates. It’s easy to please them with what I call junk food. The cheaper the brand and the more yucky the ingredients, the better they would like it. But I refuse to encourage that kind of thinking, so I keep trying to find healthier options for them.

On the surface, this food looks great.

Cat Food

There are 2 real meats in the first four ingredients, always a good beginning. Tuna and salmon are usually big cat pleasers. While there is nothing really horrible about carrageenan and guar gum, I would have preferred to see vegetables or fruits in their places. I’ll be posting an article about carrageenan soon on this blog and you will see why I don’t love it as a pet food ingredient.

The remaining ingredients are a mix of vitamins, minerals. It is grain-free, which is really good, since cats are true carnivores and don’t need grains in their diets.

One big concern for me is the source. Fussie Cat® is manufactured in Thailand. The website assures us that quality control is very important to them, that “Fussie Cat is produced in a FDA-registered manufacturing facility in Thailand that also produces canned food for human consumption.”

They emphasize that inspections and examinations begin at the top on all ingredients, raw materials received, production process to finished product. That includes pest control, food safety, heavy metal, pathogens, contamination, and pesticides.

The information continues with “The same manufacturing process for producing canned human food is applied to the manufacturing process of Fussie Cat® to ensure we deliver you a high quality product with stringent quality control that exceeds the international standard.”

The website says all the right things and my cats appear to love the food, but I am reserving judgment. The price isn’t bad and the ingredients are ok. But I won’t purchase canned (or frozen) foods for my human family that are made in the Orient, and I’m not comfortable doing so for my pets. If you can accept the fact that this food is manufactured in Thailand, then you might want to consider it for your feline friends.

 

Review: Go Fish® Cat Treats and Ocean Explosion®

This Go Fish® is not the card game we play with children.  It’s a Meow Mix cat treat by Del Monte Foods.  I wish I could say it’s a healthy treat, but that fish won’t bite.

My cats love treats, but they are extremely picky about their choices.  They prefer junk food and if given the opportunity, I’m sure they would love this one.

In my quest to find treats that my spoiled felines will approve, I’ve encountered some with truly bad ingredients.  This review of Go Fish® treats covers some of those bad ingredients.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

 

The item with the most weight in this cat treat is wheat flour.  That’s a concern for several reasons.  Instead of meat, this product offers a carbohydrate as the main ingredient.  Many cats are allergic to wheat.  The second item listed is chicken meal, which is high in protein and acceptable, but that is followed by another carb in rice flour.  Corn syrup, yet another carbohydrate, is a sugar and cats do not need sugar added to their diets.  It contributes to weight gain and raises blood sugar.   Corn in any form can be an allergen for felines.  Glycerin is also a sweetener and humectant and has no nutritional value.  Brewer’s yeast is used for flavoring and can be toxic to a cat’s liver in large amounts. Calcium sulfate is a firming agent.  Of course, the addition of tuna and ocean fish are good, but they are so far down the ingredients list, that they carry little weight.

Further down the list, the addition of animal fat and animal digest just make it worse.   Both are products of the rendering industry, and there is no telling what is in them.  Compounding this already poor list of ingredients are all the artificial colors, which are potentially carcinogenic, and BHA and BHT, known carcinogens.

Cats may love the taste of Go Fish®, but I sure wouldn’t feed it to my pets!

Ocean Explosion®

Also made by Meow Mix, this treat isn’t a whole lot better than the previous option. It does begin with chicken meal, which is ok. But that is followed by 3 carbohydrates and then animal fat and animal digest.

Click here to enlarge

Click here to enlarge

 

Animal digest is used to flavor the food and is just nasty!  As defined by the Association of American Feed Control Officials, digest is produced by the chemical or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean animal tissue that has not undergone decomposition.

Purina says that it is merely a “myth” that animal digest is thought to be contents of the digestive tract, that the name refers to the process rather than what’s in it.  Click here to read more of Purina’s words. http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com/healthandnutrition/myths/detail.aspx?name=Digest

Read this quote from Truth About Pet Food and decide for yourself:   “ Notice the wording in the second sentence above.  Key words are “such as”.  The process of manufacturing the pet food ingredient animal digest starts with animal protein “such as” muscle meat supplied by USDA-inspected facilities…but (and this is key) it is not ‘limited to’ muscle meat supplied by USDA-inspected facilities.  In other words, the ingredients that are cooked down to a slurry (digested) that become the pet food ingredient ‘animal digest’ can be sourced from horrendous sources.  In fact, FDA testing determined that the pet food ingredient ‘animal digest’ to be a likely source of pentobarbital – the drug used to euthanize animals.  Thus, the pet food ingredient ‘animal digest’ can start with animal protein “such as” euthanized animals – any euthanized animal.”

Animal digest comes from the rendering industry.  Click here to read more about that subject.

While Ocean Explosion® does add 2 more fish sources, they aren’t enough to make up for the inclusion of artificial colors with carcinogenic potential, and BHA and BHT used as preservatives and again, known carcinogens.

Cat treats just don’t get much worse than these two.  Cats may love the taste of both products but just as with children, we don’t have to give in to their desire for junk food.

Keep shopping!  Message me in the comments section, if you would like my personal suggestions for pet treats or pet food.

 

 

Review: Wellness® Divine Duos™ with Chicken Pate & Diced Turkey Cat Food

WELLNESSRecently, a marketing rep for Wellness® asked me to review their new Divine Duos™ Cat Food. I asked a few questions about the product, as I usually do when a company approaches me. Because I would be offering the food to my own pets, it was important to know this cat food was safe. Once I was satisfied that neither the food itself nor the ingredients are sourced in or made in China, we were good to go.

The Duos combine two layers of food in one container. The bottom layer is pate, and the top layer is cut up meat in gravy.

When I opened the first can, I really expected my two felines to turn up their noses, because they usually eat a more solid pate type of cat food. Plus, cats generally take a long time to switch to a new food. Surprise! My two finicky eaters gobbled that food like they hadn’t eaten in days!

WELLNESS.DIV.DUO.CAT

The cat food ingredients list begins with chicken broth and water, not surprising in a canned food which is always high in moisture content. Then we see chicken and potato starch, a good protein and an acceptable carbohydrate. I would have preferred to see that carb further down the list. Next come turkey, chicken liver and eggs, all healthy protein sources. Carrots are a nice addition. The remaining ingredients include vitamins, minerals and amino acids such as taurine, which cats must have in their diets.

My only negative about this food is that I wish the guaranteed analysis showed a higher minimum protein count. There is no way to know for sure the exact percentage. But overall, this is a good cat food and I wouldn’t hesitate to feed it to my fur-babies.

Review: Petbrosia’s Grain-Free Salmon Cat Food

 

PETBROSIA.PHOTO.SALMONPetbrosia’s Grain-Free Salmon Cat Food

    Petbrosia’s Chicken Formula Cat Food proved to be popular from the beginning.  Now, the company has released a new grain-free, salmon option.  You know from the name that cats will love this one!  Along with it being a tasty food for kitties, the new variety is jam-packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  As you can see from the photo above taken from their website, salmon is the first and most important ingredient in the food and offers Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that support joints, skin and heart. This food is offered in 5, 10 and 20 lb. packages.  If you become a member of the Petbrosia Gold Club, shipping is free.  You can read more about this on their website, www.petbrosia.com/our-product/petbrosiagoldclub/. The ingredients list below is based on the profile of our Chico, a Snowshoe Siamese-mix.  Chico is now 7 years old and an average kitty when it comes to activity level.  After filling out his profile, Petbrosia gave me an assessment of what Chico needs in his diet.  The formula actually contains optimal levels of fats, proteins and calories to help him maintain a healthy weight.  It shows that because Chico is getting older, he requires a mix of optimal protein levels, lower fat, and fewer calories. Petbrosia Grain-Free Salmon Cat Food   Chico’s formula begins with two strong proteins in salmon and salmon meal.  Those are followed by sweet potato and Menhaden fish meal, making the first four ingredients a terrific beginning for my cat.  The remaining ingredients are as healthy as one can get, creating a really first-rate cat food. Petbrosia foods provide a pet with exactly what it needs and come with a guarantee.   See the website Terms and Conditions for details about this. Please remember when starting your kitty on any new food, it must be done very slowly and could take several weeks to complete the switch.  Begin by adding a very small amount of the new food in with the old.  After a few days, you can probably add a bit more and gradually increase the new food and decrease the old.  Every cat is different.  One of mine is picky and the other will switch to any new food immediately.  You can always use the CONTACT US box for help, if you have difficulty changing your pet’s diet. You will pay a bit more for Petbrosia’s Grain-Free Salmon, but it’s worth the difference in the good nutrition it gives your cat.  Our pets like junk food just as we do.  A cheap bag of what I call junk cat food will be treated by Kitty just as a bag of corn chips and a soda would be by us.  We love them and we’d prefer to eat them.  However, we know very well that they aren’t good for us.  The same is true for cheap pet food filled with grains like corn and wheat and animal flavor, by-products and other nasty ingredients.   Do your cat a favor and switch him or her to a healthier diet.   You’ll likely spend less money at the vet’s office. To order this food or obtain more information, click here.

Compare: Blue™ Multi-Cat Health Chicken & Turkey Recipe for Adult Cats and Iams® Pro-Active Health™ Adult Original with Tuna

These two cat products provide a good lesson about choosing healthy pet food, because they are quite different.  The Blue™ Multi-Cat food supposedly “meets the needs of multi-life cats, no matter their breed or weight,” according to the company website.  They use whole grains and high-quality proteins in their foods, along with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

BLUE MULTI-CAT CHICK&TURKEY.ADULT CAT

This is an overall good cat food.  Look at the protein content: 2 quality meats followed by 3 fish meals, which are also very high in protein!  Menhaden fish meal is also a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids.  If you read down the list of ingredients, you’ll see that they are all healthy options.

Now let’s look at the Iams cat food:

IAMS.PROACTIVE.CAT.ORIG.TUNA

Any pet food with by-products is not acceptable.  The second and third ingredients listed are variations of corn.  Cats are carnivores and need real meat, not a plant substitute.  The Brewers rice is a waste product from the beer industry.  Further down the list, I see fish oil. I prefer to see a named fish, not generic “fish oil,” which could be made of anything.   The remainder of the ingredients are acceptable but the fact that the item carrying the most weight in the product is a meat by-product makes this a no-no for my cats.

The difference in quality of ingredients between these two cat foods is significant.  Decide for yourself which one your kitty should eat.

However, there is a caveat to this:  Before you purchase the Blue Cat Food, I urge you to check out a website full of complaints about Blue Buffalo products for both cats and dogs.  Read what others have to say and then decide if this is the right food for your cat.

Review: Precise Canned Feline Foundation

If you want your cat to eat a diet of ocean fish, chicken, essential vitamins and minerals, along with healthy grains, then try the canned version of Precise Feline Foundation.  This review focuses on the Simmering Seafare variety, but they are all good.

Whether your furry feline is a kitten, adult or senior cat, she will get all the nutrients she needs with this food.

The company offers a variety of flavors from ocean fish, turkey, chicken, simmered seafare (a mixture of tuna, salmon and ocean fish) to a mixed grill.

A healthy commercial cat food

Look at those first 6 ingredients.  What cat wouldn’t love those high-quality protein sources!  Following those on the ingredients list are a couple of healthy grains and a whole lot of vitamins.

As with any cat food, you must start very slowly to switch Fluffy to a new food.  Cats have a keen sense of smell and will turn up their noses at the very hint of something different from their usual dinner.  Expect a switch in food to take weeks to accomplish.  I found with Lucy and Chico that if I place a tiny amount of a new food on my finger and offer it to them as a treat, it is often well-received.

If your budget can afford Precise Feline Foundation foods, your kitty will be a happy girl or boy.

 

Review: Two Cat Foods Designed for Sensitive Stomachs

There are several commercial foods on the market for cats with sensitive stomachs.  Eukanuba® and Blue Buffalo ® produce two of them.

Eukanuba states on their website that theirs is the only dry cat food for sensitive stomachs that begins with real meat instead of a vegetable protein.  You will see that this isn’t true.  It also states that it contains the prebiotic FOS and “patented fiber sources” to aid digestion.

EUK.ADULTCAT.SENSITIVE.STOM

This food begins with chicken, an excellent beginning.  But it loses me with the next three ingredients:  chicken by-product meal, corn grits and corn meal.  First of all, by-products in any form are a bad idea, because you don’t know what’s in them.  Could be anything from spoiled meat to euthanized animals. Don’t take the chance!  I find it strange that any form of corn would be included in a food aimed at sensitive tummies because cats don’t digest corn well.  Lamb is good, but then we see Brewer’s rice and animal fat.  Brewer’s rice comes from the brewing industry and is the leftover sweepings of rice.  Animal fat is a result of the rendering process and like by-products, it can include most anything. Fish oil could have been swapped for a named oil, such as Menhaden fish oil, and been a healthier choice. I see no problem with the remaining ingredients on the list.

Blue™ Sensitive Stomach with Life Source Bits Cat Food shows a different side of the proverbial coin.  The ingredients are much better suited for kitty’s sensitive tummy.

BLUE.CATFOOD.SENS.STOMACH

This food begins with chicken, followed by chicken meal and several healthy grains.  Reading down the list of ingredients, there isn’t much to complain about.  I would have switched the fish oil for a named fish oil, and I would have omitted the salt.  The ingredients list looks good.

However, it might be better suited for nervous stomachs with fewer ingredients.  All those fruits and vegetables make it difficult to narrow down a culprit, should a cat develop an upset stomach.

All in all, it sounds like a very good cat food for any kitty and it is far better than the Eukanuba offering above.  All that said, I would be remiss if I didn’t direct your attention to a website, www.consumeraffairs.com/pets/blue_buffalo.html and suggest you read the many complaints by other cat owners.  Then make up your own mind.

Natural Balance Pet Foods Adds Cat Treats

With all the unhealthy and scary cat treats on the market, it is refreshing to find one that I can wholeheartedly recommend.  Natural Balance Pet Foods® Perfect Bites® Chicken Formula Treats is a darned good treat for Fluffy!

A healthy cat treat

 

Notice that this cat treat contains no soy, no corn, no wheat and no artificial flavors or colors! It also contains only one calorie per treat!

Before you get too excited, it’s not a perfect cat treat, but it’s certainly acceptable.  The first ingredient is chicken, an excellent beginning.  That is followed by two decent grains and a couple of carbohydrates.  Chicken meal is another good source of protein.  The remaining ingredients are all natural.

What are the negatives?  I could have done without extra salt.  Cats don’t need this.  I would have preferred to see the two flours further down the list.  For rice flour and barley flour to be the second and third ingredients listed means that they carry a lot of weight in this cat treat.

If you want an affordable treat for your kitty that is basically good for her, this Natural Balance product may be just the ticket.