Vital Essentials Cat Food Ingredients
Vital Essentials manufactures roughly 24 different cat food products. Each product utilizes a unique set of ingredients to achieve a desired nutritional profile.
In this article, we'll explore Vital Essentials ingredients and answer many of the most common questions.
As of right now, our records indicate that Vital Essentials uses roughly 25 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 Vital Essentials, these are the most common ingredients found within the first 5 cat food ingredients.
- rabbit liver
- rabbit heart
- goat milk
As you can see, the most common first ingredient in Vital Essentials is rabbit. The most common 2nd ingredient is rabbit liver, followed by rabbit heart, goat milk, and water.
Artificial Food Coloring Dyes
Vital Essentials does not use any artificial food coloring dyes. According to our records, none of the 24 Vital Essentials 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, Vital Essentials 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 Vital Essentials 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 inexpensive low-quality ingredients that can come from practically any animal. These type of ingredients are often used to produce very inexpensive cat foods.
In general, we prefer ingredients which specify the animal source used to derive the ingredient. For example, ingredients such as duck fat are much better than animal fat or poultry fat.
In our analysis, we've looked through all 25 Vital Essentials ingredients. According to our data, Vital Essentials does not contain any anonymous animal-based ingredients.
For cats, we typically recommend choosing a grain-free recipe. Cats are obligate carnivores and therefore grains are not species appropriate.
According to our data, Vital Essentials cat food recipes do not contain grains. In other words, all recipes are grain-free.
Please note, 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.
Brands which do not use any controversial ingredients are typically top-of-the-line. Avoiding all controversial ingredients indicates that the brand has not sacrificed quality for cost savings.
Our research indicates that Vital Essentials is one of these top-notch brands. We've looked through all 25 Vital Essentials ingredients and none of these ingredients were classified as controversial in our system
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.
During our review, none of the Vital Essentials ingredients analyzed were classified as harmful by our system. The absence of harmful ingredients is indicative of a relatively premium cat food brand.