Oh lookie, yet another food topic I've been avoiding replying to, cause I'm sure I'm going to write one whopping post! hahaha
Crazy: Thanks for explaining the meal vrs. meat. Nutritionally they are basically the same, standing alone, and for the sake of argument they are both human grade. But what it comes down to, is after the cooking/rendering process you have are left with MORE meat protien from the meal, verse the meat.
My cats are currently on Solid Gold dry, and Special Kitty in a can, (I know I know, I'm a nutrution nut and I'm feeding special kitty please don't shoot me, it's only a small treat every 3 days.) And occasionally they will get things like pork, chicken, egg yolk, beef, when I buy too many pounds more then what we can cook.
I made a tastey treat/meal out of it for them, part of our transition to the RAW/BARF diet some day.
From an incomplete list, my top fav foods are (based on nutritional facts):
Solid Gold: (Ingredients already previously discussed). My cat with a horrible coat has finally improved, my female FINALLY gained decent weight, and my already buff male Asim gained even MORE muscle mass while on this food, and no other food has done this. There is less waste in the litter box, and it doesn't smell, it even makes my ferret poohs smell like nothing. I'm lucky and ony pay $22.39 for 15 pounds of it, and $6.99 for the 5 pound bag.
Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul: Chicken, Salmon, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), oatmeal, whole grain white rice, potatoes, cracked pearled barley, millet, turkey, duck, flaxseed, natural chicken flavor, salt, choline chloride, chicory root extract, dl-methionine, potassium chloride, taurine, carrots, peas, apples, dried skim milk, kelp, cranberry powder, rosemary, parsley flake. Vitamins and minerals.
Eukanuba: While this food has better ingredients and meat then a lot of the low grade and medium grade foods, it has by-products and corn, which I do not like to feed, I think the reason has also been discussed here. But mainly because the company does things that I DON'T like, if you want to know what these things are feel free to PM me, (this also includes Iam's.) These products aren't even on my list of consideration.
Felidea: Chicken Meal, Turkey Meal, Brown Rice, Lamb Meal, Chicken Fat, ( preserved with mixed tocopherols and ascorbic acid ), Menhaden Fish Meal, Eggs, Flax Seed Meal, Sun Cured Alfalfa Meal, Sunflower Oil, Lecithin, Nutritional Yeast, Natural Flavors, Linoleic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Sage Extract, Amaranth, DL Methionine, Taurine, Kelp, Cranberry meal, Apple meal, Yeast Culture, Dried Aspergillus Niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus Oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Streptococcus Faecium Fermentation Product, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Cobalt Amino Acid Chelate, Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Vitamins A, D-Activated Animal Sterol Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, Riboflavin, Niacin, Choline Chloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Folic Acid, Pyridoxine-Hydrochloride, Thiamin, Biotin, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite, Bacillus Subtillis, Yucca Schidigera Extract.
Natural Balance: Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Duck, Lamb Meal, Potatoes, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E) Canola Oil, Oatmeal, Fish Meal, Brewers Yeast, Rosemary Extract, Dried Skim Milk, Natural Flavor, Dried Eggs, Carrots, Whole Ground Flaxseed, Kelp, Garlic, DL Methionine, Cranberry Powder, Grapeseed Oil, Lecithin, Parsley Flakes, Tomato Pomace, Taurine, Zinc Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Acetate, Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin C Supplement, Yucca Schidigera, Folic Acid, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (a source of Vitamin K activity), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Ethylene Dihydriodide, Sodium Selenite.
Timberwolf Organcis: *I have not studied this food extensively yet* Chicken meal, Fresh Chicken, Brown Rice, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract and citric acid), Barley, Fresh Potatoes, Flax Seed, Salmon Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols, rosemary extract and citric acid), Fresh Eggs, Dried Chicken Liver, Anchovy Fish Meal, Dried Whole Milk, Dried Whey Extract, Nutritional Yeast, Kelp, Casein, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Chloride, Lecithin, Choline Chloride, Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Bifidobacterium Thermophilum Fermentation, Bifidobacterium Longum Fermentation Product, Enterobacter Faecium Fermentation Product, Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Fresh Blueberries, Fresh Cranberries, Zinc Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Iron sulfate, Carnitine, Zinc proteinate, Vitamin E supplement, Creatine, Manganese sulfate, Iron proteinate, Manganese proteinate, Vitamin B12 supplement, Vitamin A supplement, Niacin, Vitamin D3 supplement, Cobalt Proteinate, d-Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Copper sulfate, Cobalt Carbonate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Ethylene Diamine Dihydriodide (Iodine supplement), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Copper Proteinate, Sodium Selenite, Papain, Yucca Schidigera Extract.
Wellness: Ingredients already discussed here.
Pinnacle: Chicken Meal, Oats, Chicken, Ocean Fish, Oat Bran, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocoperols, a Source of Natural Vitamin E and Ascorbic Acid, a Source of Vitamin C), Quinoa, Grapeseed Oil, Phosphoric Acid, Whole Dried Egg, Cottage Cheese, Cranberries, Oyster Shell (Natural Source of Calcium), Lecithin, Brewers Yeast, Monosodium Phosphate, Taurine, Choline Chloride, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Ferrous Sulfate, DL-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Source of Vitamin E), Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Cobalt Proteinate, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B Complex), Zinc Methionine, Iron Proteinate, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Niacin, Sodium Selenite, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, D-Biotin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Menadione Sodium Bisulfate (Source of Vitamin K Activity), Calcium Iodate, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Inositol, Potassium Iodate, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Papain, Bacillus Subtilis and Aspergillus Niger (Sources of Alpha Amylase Activity), Dried Whey, Dried Lactobacillus Acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium Bifidum Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Subtilis Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus Licheniformis Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus Lactis Fermentation Product.
Mazspeed: I have often noticed, and so have others, that when switching to a lot of the "holistic blends" they have trouble convincing their animals to want to eat it, either as a treat, let alone as their full meal. *This is not always the case, some animals will eagery eat these foods!* With my gang, they normally wont eat these as a meal but as a treat, and it takes about 3 days for them to warm up to the idea of eating it daily, once they do they love it.
When compairing the taste test to the other foods, ones which I consider to be low grade, like most walmart/grocery store brands. They put a lot of flavor enhancing additives into these to make them more palatiable for the animal, thusly the animals will scarf this food down as if it was us eating a candy coated apple! (The candy being the additives such as liver spray.) Now seeing an animal happily eat this food (and a lot of it) makes some owners automatically think that this is a great food (which imo it's not.)
A general rule of thumb (though not always) is feeling the food, if it feels greasy or even has a "greasy" appearance to it, then it has a lot of additives, mostly spray dried foods.
I'm not saying this is a bad thing, I'm just saying this is what they do.
Some of the holistic foods (namely Evolve) are using vegitable substances vrs chicken liver for palatability now adays.