Is Your Cat Getting More and More Chubby?

This is Raja, our overweight cat!

Raja started out a reasonably svelte 12 lbs when we got her from a local shelter at age 7. Then, barely 2 years later, she was up to a hefty 15 lbs!

Diet cat foods were no help. Then, I happened to read a book: "Your Cat, Simple New Secrets To A Longer, Stronger Life" and it changed everything.

We invite you to follow our quest for a healthy weight-loss plan for this funny, personable and very talkative cat.

Hopefully, together we can help all our cats live healthier and thinner lives!

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2011-02-02

Major Brand Lo-Carb Wet Cat Food - 2011 Update

Low or No Carb Cat FoodWell, it's a new year and of course Fancy Feast decided to "improve" their wet foods. Unfortunately, the improvements mean there are even fewer low carbohydrate choices than before for this reasonably priced brand.

(Why do company's improvements almost always inconvenience us, their customers? Hmmm, might be a good subject for another blog!)

Back in 2007, I reported 17 varieties of Fancy Feast wet cat food that contained 10% or fewer carbs (dry weight basis) and had decent ingredients.

This year, I'm sad to report, the makers of Fancy Feast have reformulated many of their flavors and now only 12 varieties meet the acceptable carbohydrate/quality criteria.

To Review, Here's a List of Healthy Canned Cat Food Criteria:

  • First two ingredients must be some form of meat, and NOT meat or fish by-products. (by-products are poor sources of protein and should not be the main ingredients in any quality cat food.)
  • No corn or corn meal in the list of ingredients. Corn has a high-glycemic index which means it is too readily converted to sugar in the body... VERY high in unnecessary and dangerous carbohydrates.
  • No rice, or other grains in the first 5 ingredients. (Same problem... too easily converted to sugar & too high in carbohydrates.)
  • No bone meal or bone phosphorous in list of ingredients. (Bone meal and bone phosphorous may contain harmful and poisonous chemicals.)
  • Actual dry-matter carbohydrates 10% or less. (To determine dry matter amounts for all important nutrients, please refer to: How to Read Cat Food Labels to Find Healthy Lo-Carb Cat Foods in this blog.)
  • Ideal Guaranteed Analysis protein: 8.8% or higher; ideal Guaranteed Analysis fat: 5.5% or higher.
    Note: It is almost impossible to get protein and fat in these exact percentages in the same canned food. That's why it's important to mix brands or flavors to be sure your cat gets adequate protein and fat in the long run.
  • Limit feeding of canned food with fish ingredients to no more than 3 days per week. (Most fish contains mercury which is poisonous to your cat.)
    NOTE: Be vigilant when reading cat food labels. I was surprised to find that some non-fish flavors of canned food contained fish somewhere in the ingredient list. This is ok, but just be sure to limit feeding of fish-containing foods to 3 times per week to be safe.

And, Here is the NEW 2011 List Of Fancy Feast Lower Carb Wet Food Flavors:


Fancy Feast Canned Cat Food
($.60 / 3 oz. can at WalMart; also at Petco and PetSmart)
Healthy Varieties: Fish = 8, Other Meat = 4

Guaranteed Analysis
Fancy Feast Canned FoodProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)
Classic Chicken1151.578398.51.57%
Classic Salmon & Shrimp1141.5783.59829%
Classic Savory Salmon1141.5783.59829%
Classic Seafood1231.5783.59829%
Classic Tender Beef1141.5783.59829%
Classic Turkey & Giblets1151.578398.51.57%
Flaked Chicken & Tuna143.51.5783.5100.500%
Flaked Fish & Shrimp17.521.578310200%
Flaked Salmon & Ocean Whitefish1431.5783.7100.200%
Flaked Trout1441.5783.7101.200%
Flaked Tuna1431.5783.510000%
Flaked Tuna & Mackerel143.51.5783.5100.500%

NOTES:
  • The above low carb flavors also have decent ingredients (meat by-products listed as #3 ingredient or no meat by-products at all.)
  • I have created a Brand New Version of my free, handy "Cheat Card" with the above information. You can take it with you to the grocery or pet food store for a quick, easy reference. Click Here if you would like to download the free Cheat Card!!

PLEASE NOTE: If you have previously downloaded the "Cheat Card", please discard it and download the New 2011 Version Of the "Cheat Card".

The prior cheat card lists the old varieties of Fancy Feast and other brands as lo-carb, but they are not lo-carb anymore! Thanks.

Remember, if in doubt use the formula I listed in the blog entry: How to Read Cat Food Labels to Find Lo-Carb Cat Foods and check the ingredient list against the criteria noted in that post. It's the only way to keep your cat trim and avoid feline diabetes or other maladies.

Hopefully, your cat will find enough food in the list above to satisfy his/her palate. But, just in case, I will definitely be checking out store brands and specialty brands to see if I can find other choices for our cats...

7 comments:

  1. Hi Tom

    I am a member of the Feline Diabetes site.

    I was just looking at your chart and appreciate you doing an update.

    The chart on FD site uses Carbs as a percentage of calories for our purposes of selecting foods. When calculating we use "as fed" values from the manufacturers input. You can easily check out our charts by going to Janet and Binky's famous food charts for dry and canned food.

    I am not the one that does the calculations as it is a bit confusing, but i do use them in identifying good foods for my cats.

    Thanks

    George

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Tom!
    I came across Fancy Feast Kitten. Can you run the numbers just to double check my carb counting ability? =) I got something very low and think it might be too good to be true.
    Thank you!
    Rachel
    Guaranteed Analysis - Turkey

    Crude Protein (Min) 11.0%
    Crude Fat (Min) 6.0%
    Crude Fiber (Max) 1.5%
    Moisture (Max) 78.0%
    Ash (Max) 3.5%
    Calcium (Min) 0.3%
    Taurine (Min) 0.07%
    Guaranteed Analysis - Ocean Whitefish

    Crude Protein (Min) 12.0%
    Crude Fat (Min) 4.0%
    Crude Fiber (Max) 1.5%
    Moisture (Max) 78.0%
    Ash (Max) 3.5%
    Calcium (Min) 0.3%
    Taurine (Min) 0.07%

    3 oz can

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous,

      Yes, these Fancy Feast Kitten foods are very low in carbs, especially the Kitten Tender Turkey.

      Here's the results of my math as described in my blog post "How to Read Cat Food Labels to Find Healthy Lo-Carb Cat Foods":

      Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Turkey Feast: 0% carbs
      Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Ocean Whitefish Feast: 4.5%

      I know the 0% carbs is hard to believe, but it's the best figures we have based on the Guaranteed Analysis figures which are manufacturer targets and not the EXACT ingredients in the can you buy.

      Still these figures give you a pretty good idea of the carb contents of cat food.

      So go for it! Just be sure not to feed the fish version more than 3 times per week (there's mercury in fish) and only feed kitten food to kittens!

      Thanks for your question. I hope this helps.

      Tom

      Delete
    2. Yes this does help! My old guy is diabetic, but he's been in remission since feeding wet low carb only. I was feeding classic chicken & pate type FF. His eyes were always reddish and just not as clear. I contributed it to the diabetes. I headed out to get the kitten turkey. He's already looking better. Eyes are clear and not red or swollen. He's 13, the kitten food does have hight fat, but vs. the two evils, I think it's better than the diabetes. I hate poking his ear, and I know he doesnt like it much either. Thank you so much for help! I wish I would have found your site sooner.... 600$$ later and my vet was still trying to get him regulated. Never metioned changing food (only to rx brand dry), or carbs! I stopped taking him in and started researching based on my own home blood sugar results. He's doing great now. Thank you again!
      Rachel

      Delete
    3. Rachel,

      So glad to hear your older cat is doing better.

      Thanks for proving once again that carbs are BAD for our cats!

      Tom

      Delete
  3. Hi Tom,

    Our cat Callie had a problem with crystals in her urine. Our vet recommended a dry food to help with the crystal formations and two weeks later she developed diabetes. My husband has diabetes so we already knew about carbs just not about low carb foods for cats. We did our own research and ran across the list of low carb wet cat food and started her on it instead of the insulin. We noticed an immediate improvement. After two months we took a urine sample in to be tested and there was no sign of diabetes. The vet said the lab must have made a mistake, but we know better! That was two years ago and she is still diabetes free at 16 years of age.

    Caroline

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Caroline. It's really a shame that many veterenarians know so little about proper nutrition for cats. I'm thrilled that Callie is better.

      So nice that the "cure" was simply changing her food!

      Tom

      Delete

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