Purina Cat Chow Complete With Chicken Formula Review

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Review of Purina Cat Chow Complete
With Chicken Formula

This product is manufactured by Nestlé Purina Petcare.

According to our data, this Purina Cat Chow recipe provides complete & balanced nutrition for all life stages. In other words, this formula is AAFCO approved.

Purina Cat Chow Complete Formula is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for all life stages.

Ingredient Review

We'll begin this review of Purina Cat Chow Complete Formula with a detailed discussion of the ingredients.

The first ingredient is chicken by-product meal. Chicken by-product meal is produced by cooking chicken by-products using a process called rendering. By-products are defined by AAFCO as the "non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals." Thus, chicken by-products contain nearly all parts of chickens which are typically not consumed by humans. These parts include the liver, lung, spleen, kidney, stomach, blood, intestine, bone, etc.

Like other meat by-products, chicken by-products are considered controversial, mainly because they are inexpensive ingredients which consumers have equated with slaughterhouse waste. However, manufactures and many experts claim that animal by-products are unjustly criticized. Proponents state that "named" by-products, such as chicken by-products, supply many important nutrients required by cats.

The second ingredient is ground yellow corn. Ground yellow corn is a cereal grain which provides a modest amount of vitamins, minerals, and plant based protein. It also happens to be one of the most controversial ingredients in cat food.

Proponents of corn claim that corn is highly digestible and an excellent source of protein, energy, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids.

Opponents however believe that positive claims in regards to corn are either half-truths or completely false, we'll discuss a few of the opposing arguments.

In regards to digestibility, the claims of "highly digestible" are only true if corn is processed into a meal or flour and subsequently cooked. In regards to the protein contribution, we must note that corn is a plant based protein which does not contain all of the necessary amino acids required by cats to sustain life. Therefore substituting corn for meat is an unsuitable substitution and actually degrades the overall protein quality of the product.

Finally, we'll discuss the claims about vitamins and minerals in corn. Although corn does provide many vitamins and minerals, it not necessarily an exceptional ingredient in this regards. There are many other ingredients which are more complete and biologically appropriate. Therefore the usage of corn as the primary ingredient in cat food should certainly warrant further questioning.

The third ingredient is corn gluten meal. Corn gluten meal is a by-product from the production of various corn products (corn starch, corn syrup, etc). It's very high in protein (nearly 60% protein) and therefore can significant boost the protein content of the product. Because plant based proteins such as corn gluten meal are inferior to meat based proteins (lack many essential amino acids), they are not suitable substitutes.

The fourth ingredient is whole grain wheat. Whole grain wheat contains the entire grain of wheat (the germ, bran, and endosperm). Wheat is the second most-produced cereal grain in the world (corn is the first). Although wheat is a controversial ingredient, it is not necessarily undesirable because it provides dietary fiber and many other nutrients. However, wheat contains a notable amount of plant based protein, which is inferior to meat based protein and therefore an undesirable substitution.

Wheat is also one of the most common ingredients to cause food allergies or intolerance. However, grains such as wheat are typically low offenders in comparison to certain protein sources (such as beef).

The fifth ingredient is rice. Rice is a gluten-free carbohydrate source. As long as the bran and germ of the grain are intact, rice can provide a notable amount of fiber and nutrition. However, because the type of rice ("brown" or "white") is not specified, we cannot make this determination.

Because ingredients are listed in order of pre-cooked weight, the remaining ingredients in Purina Cat Chow Complete Formula are not as important as the first five ingredients.

However, collectively they still have a significant impact on the overall quality of the product. Therefore, we'll continue discussing the remaining ingredients in this Purina Cat Chow recipe.

Next we have soybean flour. Soybean flour contains more than 50% protein. Therefore, soybean can significantly boost the protein content of the product. The inclusion of non-meat protein typically degrades the overall quality of protein in the recipe. This degradation is due to the inferior amino acid profile of plant based proteins.

The next ingredient is beef fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols). Fat is an important part of your cats diet, beef fat in particular is a good source of essential fatty acids.

Then we have chicken. Chicken is the most common meat ingredient used in cat food. It provides high-quality protein and fat. However, more than 60% of chicken is water.

Moving on, we have fish meal. 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 remaining ingredients in this Purina Cat Chow Complete recipe are unlikely to affect the overall rating of the product.

Our analysis of the ingredients show that this product derives most of its protein from animal based sources. This is an excellent property because meat based protein contains all of the necessary amino acids required by cats. In our option, this is one of the most important properties to judge when reviewing pet food, therefore we believe this is an exceptional product in this regard.

Final Thoughts

In summary, we recognize that this product contains artificial colors and anonymous meat ingredients.

Although the FDA has approved the artificial colors used in this product, they are unnecessary and unhealthy additions. Long term exposure can have serious consequences. See our article on artificial food dyes for more information.

In regards to the anonymous meat ingredients, These are not necessarily always negative; however, they are typically low quality and inexpensive additions. If the particular anonymous meat ingredient is controversial or low quality, it should have been discussed earlier in this review. Otherwise, it is safe to assume the anonymous meat ingredient is an acceptable addition.

The official PawDiet rating for Purina Cat Chow Complete Formula is 1.0 out of 5.