Kirkland Signature manufactures roughly 3 different cat food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.
In this article, we'll explore Kirkland Signature ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.
As of right now, our records indicate that Kirkland Signature uses roughly 53 different ingredients.
Cat food ingredients in the United States are listed in descending order of pre-cooked weight. The first 5 ingredients typically constitute a significant portion of the recipe.
For Kirkland Signature, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 cat food ingredients.
As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Kirkland Signature is chicken. The most common 2nd ingredient is ground white rice, followed by whole grain brown rice, ground white rice, and potato protein.
Kirkland Signature does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 3 Kirkland Signature cat foods contain artificial food dyes.
Artificial food coloring dyes are unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients. In general, we not not recommend feeding any pet foods that contain artificial dyes.
In 2010, the CSPI raised serious concerns regarding the safety of many artificial dyes. Most of the studies referenced by the CSPI involved prolonged or excessive consumption. Since most cats consume the same foods throughout their lives, concerns raised by the CSPI are alarming to say the least.
To read more about Artificial Food Dyes, click here.
According to our records, Kirkland Signature does not contain any animal by-products.
Animal by-products are basically the leftover parts of the the carcass after its been processed for meat. AAFCO defines by-products as the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals.
Although by-products are still fairly nutritious ingredients, consumers have equated them with slaughterhouse waste. Therefore, most premium brands, including Kirkland Signature have decided to remove by-products and instead use named organ meats (beef liver, chicken gizzards).
For further reading on the controversy over animal by-products, click here.
Anonymous meats are animal-based ingredients which do not provide the source animal's name. These ingredients are controversial because they can come from almost any animal.
In addition, anonymous animal-based ingredients are very inexpensive and often the lowest quality meats that are still allowed to be used in pet food.
In general, we do not recommend feeding any products which contain anonymous meats. When in doubt, always contact the brand's customer service desk for further clarification.
Unfortunately, we've identified 1 anonymous meat ingredient used by Kirkland Signature.
Fish meal is defined by AAFCO as "the clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cutting, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil." Since the specific type of fish is not mentioned, we cannot discuss any specific qualities of this ingredient. In general, anonymous ingredients are low quality inclusions when compared to ingredients such as tuna meal, salmon meal, catfish meal, etc.
The following recipes contain fish meal:
Certain Kirkland Signature cat food recipes contain one or more grains. The specific ingredients are listed below.
For cats, we typically recommend choosing a grain-free recipe. Cats are obligate carnivores and therefore grains are not species appropriate.
The kibble production requires a binding agent. Grains are commonly used for this purpose in cat food. When purchasing grain-free cat food, grains are often replaced with another starchy source. This is also not ideal.
To avoid grains and other starchy additions, consider feeding wet or frozen recipes.
Whole grain brown rice is naturally rich in fiber and various minerals including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium. Relative to other grains, brown rice is easy to digest.
The following recipes contain whole grain brown rice:
Ground white rice is another name for white rice flour, which is a gluten free carbohydrate source.
The following recipes contain ground white rice:
In most cases, ingredients which are given the controversial classification can be substituted with higher-quality alternatives. You should evaluate each controversial ingredient independently to see if there is truly a valid cause for concern.
Keep in mind, certain sacrifices often must be made to produce cat foods at a reasonable price. In general, the more expensive the product, the fewer controversial ingredients you'll find.
In our analysis, we've identified 3 controversial ingredients inside Kirkland Signature products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.
Powdered cellulose is produced from minuscule pieces of wood pulp and plant fibers. Other than its fiber content, powdered cellulose lacks any nutritional contribution.
The following recipes contain powdered cellulose:
Pea protein is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein is considered controversial because it provides a substantial plant based protein boost. This boost is undesirable because plant based protein is typically lower in biological value when compared to meat based proteins.
The following recipes contain pea protein:
Canola oil is a plant-derived oil from the seeds of canola plants. Although fat is an essential component of any diet, canola oil is controversial in pet food. Proponents claim that canola oil provides a better fat profile in comparison to other plant based oils. However, opponents claim that canola oil is typically produced with genetically modified rapeseed and that rapeseed oil has multiple adverse health affects.
The following recipes contain canola oil:
Harmful ingredients are those which have been linked to adverse health effects. In general, we do not recommend feeding any product which contains any harmful ingredients.
During our review, none of the Kirkland Signature ingredients analyzed were classified as harmful by our system. The absence of harmful ingredients is indicative of a relatively premium cat food brand.