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Science Diet is (1) considered as one of the best “premium” foods, and (2) recommended and sold by vets.
Let’s take a look at Adult Optimal Care Original and I’ll explain why this is a complete falacy.
The first ingredient is Chicken, weighed prior to 70% (approx) moisture is cooked off during the kibble making process. That’s okay, but not ideal given what comes next.
The second ingredient is Wheat. Cats have no requirement for wheat whatsoever. It’s a well-established fact they are obligate carnivores, which means they have no requirement for grains. It’s also the #1 most problematic grain found in pet foods.
Hills know this, so why do they pump their products full of it? It’s not about the health of your cat, it’s about profit. Wheat is one of the cheapest, most readily available “fillers”, which means they can greatly reduce the cost of production yet still charge a very “premium” price. They have a huge turnover and seemingly endless funds for marketing and infiltration of universities, providing training material to train our vets into being their best salespeople. It’s surprisingly easy to teach people to believe a cat with kidney disease should be fed Hills Prescription Diet k/d (for Kidney Care), when the absolute worst thing you can feed a cat with kidney disease is a processed dry food made of rice, corn, and wheat.
It’s not often considered, but cats generally eat to satiate. They don’t over eat. So why do we see so many Fat Cats (like the guy in the pic)? If you give a cat a meat diet they’ll never be fat, but if you force them to churn through a food full of grains to get the nutrition they need from the sparse meat content, then they’re forced to over eat. They can’t process grains, so the carbohydrates turn to sugar causing weight gain, diabetes, organ failure, and so on.
Corn Gluten Meal is the third ingredient, used to bulk up the protein percentage as a cheaper and less nutritious alternative to meat.
Thankfully we have pork fat and chicken fat, which are more in line with a feline diet. The rest of the ingredients are okay, with a range of essential vitamins and minerals, and trace amounts of fruits and veggies.
All I can say is this – cats are carnivores, feed them meat. It’s not a hard concept to grasp.
This food gets 2 stars as it’s better than some brands you find in the supermarkets, but it’s also ridiculously priced for what is essentially a bag of wheat and corn targeted at a carnivorous animal.
If this has helped you please take the time to share it to other Australian pet owners. Thank you 🙂
Where to buy?
Chicken, fat, and a relatively okay composition of 34.7% protein to (estimated) 25.4% carbs.
If Hill’s really cared about the health of our cats they would substitute wheat for something healthier, and increase the chicken in favour of corn gluten meal (CGM).
* Carbohydrates aren’t listed on pet food labels. This value is calculated based on levels of protein, fat, moisture, and ash. Estimated values for moisture and ash have been used where these values haven’t been given (moisture of 10%, and ash of 8%).
Chicken, Whole Grain Wheat, Corn Gluten Meal, Pork Fat, Chicken Meal, Dried Beet Pulp, Brown Rice, Chicken Liver Flavor, Calcium Sulfate, Lactic Acid, Potassium Chloride, Fish Oil, Soybean Oil, Iodized Salt, Choline Chloride, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Niacin Supplement, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), Oat Fiber, Mixed Tocopherols for freshness, Natural Flavors, Beta-Carotene, Apples, Broccoli, Carrots, Cranberries, Green Peas.