|Country of origin:||Australia|
|Available from:||My Pet Warehouse, Woolworths, PETstock|
The Optimum food is endorsed by TV celebrity-vet Dr Chris Brown of Bondi Vet. We’ll look beyond that for now as it has little relation to the food.
This review is for the Adult Chicken recipe, but can be used as a guideline for all cat foods by the company. I noticed their tuna recipe is labelled “with tuna”, so be aware that labelling guideliness for stating “with [meat]” simply means the ingredient is in the food, not that it’s a significant ingredient.
The food contains 41% protein, one of the highest protein percentages in all cat foods I’ve reviewed. This appears to be a good thing, but let’s dig a bit deeper…
The main ingredient is listed as chicken and chicken by-products. Personally I’m not an advocate of by-products as they’re a cheaper, yuckier ingredient than chicken meat. Arguably it’s in keeping with a cats natural diet, but processing standards for by-products are poor. It’s an ingredient high in moisture, so once cooked will be reduced to around a fifth of it’s weight, making it less significant than we’re led to believe. This makes the second ingredient more prominent, which is a collection of cereal grains.
Cat’s are carnivores, so it’s not good finding a collection of corn, rice, and barley making up the bulk of the food. Corn, and cereal protein as the 3rd ingredient will inflate the levels of protein, but in a form that cats struggle to digest. It looks good on the label, but it’s in the food because it’s cheap not because it’s nutritional. There are a number of reasons why corn shouldn’t be in a cat food.
Pilchards are a good ingredient, being very rich in protein and omega 3 which our cats need. But then we find chicken tallow as well as chicken & beef digest which are nasty ingredients produced from a rendering plant, the latter being a broth created from cooking up 4D animals (diseased and dying animals not fit for any other use, among other things). This will come from the same source as the by-products we found as the main ingredient.
There’s a number of foods worse than this, but if you can, pick something else.
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* 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 and chicken by-products; wholegrain cereals (corn, rice and barley); cereal protein; pilchards; chicken tallow; salt; chicken and beef digest; minerals (calcium carbonate, potassium chloride, zinc sulphate, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate and potassium iodide); inulin; vegetable oil; vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, B12, C, E and choline); methionine; sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP); taurine; plant extracts (marigold meal, lucerne extract, tomato powder); preservative; antioxidants and sodium caseinate.