Hey Pet Parents & Pet Lovers,
Carrying on with trying to find a rotation of foods that Kalista will eat we decided to try out Natural Balance’s Ultra Premium Indoor Chicken Formula.
Something that completely slipped my mind when trying out Natural Balance… they’re actually one of the companies that paid for some of my training to learn about pet food and what a pet owner should look for in a product. Don’t worry, that’s not going to bias my review, but it will help me give you a bit more insight into their company, their beliefs and the quality of their food. Let’s get this started!
As always, the smell of the product is important to us. If the product doesn’t smell strong enough or good enough, Kalista isn’t going to go for it. As soon as I opened the can I can happily say that I really enjoyed the scent of this food. I’ve tried a number of pet foods in the past, and have smelled a whole bunch of products and while it didn’t smell as good as some other products I’ve tried in the past like Weruva’s La Isla Bonita you could tell that the product was made out of chicken as soon as you opened the can.
I’m not always a huge fan of pate’s just because they’re not as wet as stews, but that’s an easy fix with some extra water. We always do that for Beau especially because he refuses to eat pates unless they are extremely wet and his urinary food doesn’t come in stews in our area. (Odd for a cat who hated to drink, eh?) The weird thing I found about this food is how much denser it felt than other pates I have tried. This comes down to ingredients at the end of the day, which I will cover shortly, but it does also usually mean that the product has a higher meat content.
Crude Protein (Minimum) 9.0%
Crude Fat (Mimimum) 5.0%
Crude Fiber (Maximum) 2.0%
Moisture (Maximum) 78.0%
Taurine (Minimum) 0.05%
Chicken, Chicken Meal, Brown Rice, Oat Groats, Salmon Meal, Oat Hulls, Chicken Fat (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Lactic Acid), Natural Flavor, Pea Fiber, Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Dried Egg, Dried Potato Products, Potato Protein, Brewers Dried Yeast, Flaxseed, Menhaden Fish Oil (Preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Salt, Potassium Chloride, Spinach, Parsley, Carrots, Inulin, Choline Chloride, Taurine, Minerals (Zinc Proteinate, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Iron Proteinate, Copper Sulfate, Copper Proteinate, Manganese Sulfate, Manganese Proteinate, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite) Dl-Methionine, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, D-Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin), L-Carnitine, Dried Kelp, L-Lysine Monohydrochloride, Cranberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Citric Acid (Preservative), Rosemary Extract.
My thoughts on the ingredients:
It’s great to see 2 sources of meat proteins in this mix and I actually didn’t expect that much Salmon inside of the mix. As you may already know, Salmon has a load of Omega 3 & 6, which is great for fur, so for Kalista to eat something that has a good amount of it makes me a proud mama bear! (We were told she’s not a fan of Salmon, which no longer seems to be the case.)
Something that makes me sad about the new mix is that the old one used to have more full Salmon and it was 3rd on the list and not just a “meal”. WHile meal is not a bad thing (unlike bi-product) I do wish they had kept Salmon up as high instead of including more Brown Rice and Oat Groats, which are to help as a fibre filled filler! Although this is sad, I am glad Natural Balance changed this recipe as it used to contain Guar Gum. Guar gum is a thickening agent to help make pates and a lot of companies choose not to avoid it. Although Guar Gum is not deadly, it does sometimes cause upset tummies and further GI issues. We know for certain that Kalista is a regular… farter. So, when I saw they removed it I was so happy! So far Kalista hasn’t been farting as much as she did with Whiskas, but aside from the farts she also hasn’t shown any of the other signs of GI issues like loose stools, diarrhea or nausea. They also removed the Carrageenan from their product which I won’t get too into since I’m not the biggest expert on it. We personally haven’t had any issues with it, but it also can cause GI issues and intestinal inflammation.
I love the fact that this mix uses Oat Hulls because it has some great benefits like weight loss (it slows down the absorption of fat and sugars), has loads of fibre, and makes you and your pets feel full, but the next downfall is that salt is so high up on the list. The old mix used to have salt way down at the bottom, so I have to question why it’s so high up now unless it’s “to promote drinking.” The only other thing that I’m not super happy with is the amount of potato in this product. It seems fairly high for a wet food, and the old mix actually didn’t have any potato at all.
While that’s a bit of a buzz-kill I’m happy to see additions like Cranberries for extra antioxidants. Yucca Schidigera for joint health & pain (since this is an all-life stage food, it’s great for older kitties who need a bit of help), parsley for dental health, spinach for extra vitamins & nutriants, rosemary extract for overall health (now don’t jump on me, I know there are plenty of articles that say that rosemary is bad for cats, but if you do a bit more digging you’ll find that these articles are false and are speaking specifically about rosemary oil, which is actually not a part of rosemary extract) and kelp for pre and probiotics.
Extra Perks of this Product
- All Natural Balance foods are tested for Aflatoxin, Cyanuric Acid, Don (Vomitoxin), Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia Coli (STEC), Fumonisin, Melamine, Ochratoxin, Salmonella SPP and Zearalenone.
- This is amazing as most companies don’t do as rigorous tests if tests at all. So when you buy one of these bags, you’re not going to hear about hundreds of cats getting sick because they didn’t do due diligence.
- Natural Balance was developed by both vets and animal nutritionists
- There are no artificial colours or bleached ingredients
- The blends are meant to support digestive health & muscle tone
- They are all life stages
- It is a high source of protein
- No artificial preservatives or colours
Kalista’s Final Say
Kalista actually gobbles up a full 5.5 oz can in one sitting. That’s more than she usually eats, and it also kept her full for 12 hours at a time. I personally don’t mind feeding my cats 4 times a day, but it’s good to know that she’s getting full from a food. It also means that I don’t have to refrigerate it, which can also be a bit tricky for Kalista as she doesn’t like cold food. Overall I’d give this food a strong 4.5/5. There aren’t any major downfalls to it, it’s primarily for the concerns I stated above. I would be interested in talking to their nutrician team to see what caused some of the lesser favourable changes in the food, but most of the changes have been positive! So good on you Natural Balance!