|Since I've never had a cat, and haven't had a dog in a very long time, I am confused with the whole recall thing and I don't know what to look for in the food. The breeder told me to pick something with a meat as it's main ingredient, hence the Iams Kitten, it's main ingredient is chicken.
Well, here are the ingredients off their website (i've noticed that sometimes what's on the website isn't the same as what's on the bag). I'll explain my concerns with it, and maybe Sparky will be along to further inspect the list. Actually, this seems to have been improved from the last time i looked at it, but it's still not something i'd feed if i had better choices. Of course this is all in my opinion.
|Chicken, Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Meal, Corn Grits, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Egg Product, Dried Beet Pulp (Sugar Removed), Fish Oil (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Brewers Dried Yeast, Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Rosemary Extract
OK, the first ingredient is chicken as you noted. However, you have to remember that "chicken" is mostly water. If we were to re-order the ingredient list on a dry matter basis, chicken would probably not be the first ingredient since it's approximately 70% water. The next ingredient is "chicken by-product meal". The problem with by-products is that there is a very broad range of parts that can be included in this - some of them are really no big deal for a cat that naturally eats prey whole, yucky bits and all, but it can also hide ingredients that are very low quality like feathers and eggshells. Sometimes these types of ingredients are added so that the guaranteed analysis of protein is high enough, but the protein may actually not be utilizable. The word "meal" means it has been rendered (water and fat removed) - this is usually a good thing depending on who you ask, as it concentrates the protein source, but i don't like the by-product bit. If it said "chicken meal" that would be better imho.
And now - my real beef with this formula is the corn. The third ingredient is corn meal, and the fourth is corn grits. One of the ways that manufacturer's confuse consumers is to split up an ingredient like this. If they just called it corn and lumped all the corn together that was in the recipe, it would probably look a lot less favorable, and if we allow for the water in the chicken, it may well be that corn is really the primary ingredient in this formula. I have real issues with feeding cats corn (and wheat, and soy). Some of them do just fine eating corn, but it is really not biologically appropriate (and this is true of all grains, and even of other sources of carbs - felines are true carnivores), and it often causes digestive issues (intolerance) and allergies.
The bottom line is - it's not a terrible
food, and some cats may do fine on it indefinitely, but for the premium price you pay for it you could get a much better food for a similar price. Since if it doesn't agree with your kitten, you might want to try something else. Don't be like me and let her spend her life puking unecessarily, i feel really guilty about that.
Here's a site that has great info about feline nutrition, how to read labels, how to choose foods, etc. The site does push raw feeding (and i think the arguments for raw feeding are strong, but it's not for me), but there is a lot of good information on more conventional feeding as well.http://www.catnutrition.org/clienthandout.html