Wendyl Wants To Know
Each week, Wendyl Nissen takes a packaged food item and decodes what the label tells you about its contents.

Wendyl Nissen: Natural bikkies a cat above

6 comments
Snappy Tom Salmon with Chicken cat biscuits. $14.89 for 3kg. Photo / Supplied
Snappy Tom Salmon with Chicken cat biscuits. $14.89 for 3kg. Photo / Supplied

Last time I looked at cat food biscuits I found 33 ingredients including one which controlled stool odour.

This new product on the shelves caught my eye because it didn't have a list of ingredients as long as my arm and it didn't use artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, which I have seen in other pet foods. And it's reasonably priced.

Snappy Tom Salmon with Chicken cat biscuits. $14.89 for 3kg.

Ingredients ( in order of greatest quantity first)

Tapioca

This is a root crop, which is more commonly seen as tapioca balls that we use to make puddings.

Soybean meal

This is meal from soybeans, which is high in protein but not animal protein.

Corn

This is another starch.

Wheat bran

High in fibre, wheat bran is probably in here to aid the cat's digestion.

Poultry meal

This is material that is obtained from carcasses of poultry such as heads, feet and internal organs.

Fish meal (including salmon, tuna and sardines)

As with the poultry meal this will be obtained from fish carcasses.

Corn gluten meal

Not sure why the gluten meal is in here.

Poultry fat

This is chicken fat.

Digested animal protein

I had difficulty finding out what this is but I assume it is animal protein which has been treated in some way to break it down.

Palm stearine

A solid form of palm oil, obtained by separation.

Vitamins and minerals

The actual vitamins and minerals are not listed on the packet but this food is compliant with the Association of American Feed Control Officials as a complete and balanced food for cats.

Salt

This will be in here for flavouring.

Vegetable oil

Not sure what oil this is.

Choline Chloride

Choline is an essential nutrient similar to Vitamin B, which is found in eggs and animal meats.

Dried green pea

This may be in here for colour.

Tuna oil

This oil, along with the salmon oil, will provide omega 3 and 6, which are great for a cat's heart health and coat.

Salmon oil

As above.

Methionine

This is an essential amino acid for cats that is normally found in meat and fish. However if a cat is eating a lot of plant-based material such as the corn, tapioca, wheat bran and soybean found in this food they can miss out. So I think it is probably in here as a supplement just in case.

Taurine

Necessary for cats who do not manufacture taurine on their own, and it helps regulate the nervous system and promotes thyroid and cardiovascular health. It is found naturally in red meat and fish and other sources are brewer's yeast, eggs and other dairy products.

My recommendations

There are still too many plant-based cereals in this mix for my liking. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they are designed to get their nutritional needs from animal-based proteins such as meat rather than plant-based proteins which are grains such as corn, wheat or rice. In fact, cats lack the metabolism to digest and utilise plant proteins as efficiently as animal proteins. But many cats have been fed these biscuits since they were kittens and if they're anything like my two cats will stubbornly refuse to eat the raw meat their metabolism would thank them for.

So, if you're going to use cat biscuits, then these are a good choice because of the minimal additives and emphasis on real food in its ingredient list, even if some of that real food is plants.

Highlights

• No artificial colours, flavours or preservatives.

• A lot of plant-based cereals.

• Uses tuna and salmon oil.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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