Pure Balance Cat Food Ingredients

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Pure Balance manufactures roughly 12 different cat food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.

In this article, we'll explore Pure Balance ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.

As of right now, our records indicate that Pure Balance uses roughly 97 different ingredients.

First 5 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 Pure Balance, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 cat food ingredients.

  1. turkey
  2. chicken meal
  3. pea
  4. natural flavor
  5. natural flavor

As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Pure Balance is turkey. The most common 2nd ingredient is chicken meal, followed by pea, natural flavor, and natural flavor.

Artificial Food Coloring Dyes

Pure Balance does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 12 Pure Balance 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.

Animal By-Products

According to our records, Pure Balance 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 Pure Balance 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 Meat Ingredients

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 3 anonymous meat ingredients used by Pure Balance.

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols):

Organ meats like poultry liver are an excellent source of protein, fat, and essential vitamins and minerals. Although organs may not sound appealing, organs are an important component of a carnivorous animal's diet.</p><p>Unfortunately, poultry liver is considered an anonymous meat because the specific type of poultry is not specified.

The following recipes contain poultry liver:

Poultry fat is a by-product of poultry tissue rendering. Poultry fat is a controversial ingredient because the specific protein is not specified. Such ingredients are typically low-quality in comparison to named poultry fats (e.g. chicken fat, turkey fat).

The following recipes contain poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols):

Cereal Grains

Certain Pure Balance 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.

Ground barley is a nutritious carbohydrate source, naturally rich in dietary fiber and various minerals. Unlike pearled barley, regular barley contains the entire grain.

The following recipes contain ground barley:

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 brown rice:

Grain sorghum is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. This cereal grain also provides a modest amount of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.

The following recipes contain grain sorghum:

Ground sorghum is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. This cereal grain also provides a modest amount of B vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and manganese.

The following recipes contain ground sorghum:

Controversial Ingredients

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 4 controversial ingredients inside Pure Balance products. These controversial ingredients are listed below. Click on each ingredient for more information.

Animal fat is a by-product of tissue rendering. The source animal is not specific and therefore we cannot be certain that the source does not include diseased animals or even euthanized dogs and cats.

The following recipes contain animal fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols):

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:

Pea protein concentrate is produced by removing the starchy parts of peas. Pea protein concentrate 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 concentrate:

Poultry fat is a by-product of poultry tissue rendering. Poultry fat is a controversial ingredient because the specific protein is not specified. Such ingredients are typically low-quality in comparison to named poultry fats (e.g. chicken fat, turkey fat).

The following recipes contain poultry fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols):

Potentially Harmful Ingredients

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.

There are certain situations where these ingredients may be necessary. We always recommend contacting Pure Balance for further clarification regarding any harmful or controversial ingredient.

We have identified 2 harmful ingredients used in certain Pure Balance recipes. To learn more, click on the ingredient's name.

Menadione sodium bisulfate complex is a synthetic version of vitamin K that has been linked to many health concerns. Research has suggested possible toxic reactions in liver cells and red blood cells among other serious problems. In fact, one large chemical supplier warns, "The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage."

The following recipes contain menadione sodium bisulfate complex:

Menadione sodium bisulfite complex is a synthetic version of vitamin K that has been linked to many health concerns. Research has suggested possible toxic reactions in liver cells and red blood cells among other serious problems. In fact, one large chemical supplier warns, "The substance is toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, mucous membranes. Repeated or prolonged exposure to the substance can produce target organs damage."

The following recipes contain menadione sodium bisulfite complex:

Pure Balance Cat Food Ingredient Lists