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Need help reading label.. very confused

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I used to feed my cat Friskies dry food.. but since it is sometime classified as "junk food", I switched to a canadian cat food, which is supposed to be a premium... Here is the link: 1stChoice

So, what are your oppinion about this food? is this really a good food?

Here, we here don't have as much variety of food to choose from as in the US... and for some reason, sometime the food has different quality than the same one from the US.. for example.. the friskies I was feeding my cat was made in Thailand, and has 29% of protein, compared with 31% found in the american friskies.

So, what should I take into considerantion when reading a label? when should I qualify a food as "junk"?..... I just know that a good food should have more than 30% of protein, high fibre would be nice to release constipation and prevent hairball, low fat would be desirable for weight control....but I read the label, and it seems that there is no much difference between Friskies label, and Iams' label, for example.... just few percentage......

So, what should I really read???
post #2 of 4
Hi Kat.
When I look at cat food, I usually take a good look at the ingrediant list, along with the percentages of protein, fat, fiber, etc. In an ingrediant list, they list them in order of abundance, so the closer they are to the top, the more of the ingrediant in the food. (Just in case you didn't know. )

I checked the ingrediant list for 1st Choice, and the first couple ingrediants listed are:
Chicken meal, brewer's rice, chicken, ground yellow corn, chicken fat preserved with mixed tocopherols (a source of vitamin E), corn gluten meal, beet pulp...

Having chicken meal first is good, because it's a source of protein. Chicken meal is just chicken with the water removed. I've read (and I can't tell you how true or untrue it is) that chicken meal is better to have listed first over chicken because the weight of the water in chicken itself will bump it up higher on the list of ingrediants, and only a small % of that is the actual meat.

The other thing is that in 1st choice, I didn't see any by-products listed. By-products are things like beak, feet, etc. Ick. So it's good they don't use them in their food.

I think overall, the 1st Choice food is a decent, even good food, and definitely better than Friskies.

Just to compare if you wanted to see the difference. The first part of the ingrediant list for Friskies:
Ground Yellow Corn, Poultry By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Digest of Chicken By-Products, Meat and Bone Meal, Fish Meal, Soybean Meal, Animal Fat (Preserved with BHA)...

I don't believe corn is digestable, so it's mainly used as a filler. And you can see, there's a bunch of by-products in there too. And I believe that BHA is a chemical that is a preservative, but some people don't like having that sort of thing in their cat's food. The food you chose didn't have BHA listed, so I wouldn't worry about that if you do choose that food.

Sorry for the length there, but it's hard to explain in few words. I'm sure some of the others can help you out too. And if you do a search for "cat food" on the site, there are tons of threads regarding the great cat food debate. Hope that helps!
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thank you so much for you reply, Jenn.... Your explaination was very clear

I didn't know that there were so many things to look at.. Look how silly I am!..I thought that the ingredient wasn't important, as long as it provides the necessary nutrients to the cat.... When I was looking for the cat food, I chose 1st choice because it has a light formula (my cat is overweight), it provides some hairball control (with higher fibre percentage), has more than 30% of protein, and has an affordable price .... but I haven't checked the ingredient list at all....

Thanks for your review again... now I feel better, knowing that I am not feeding another junk food to my cat.
post #4 of 4
Glad I could help.
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