Pros: Contains chicken (5th item on ingredient list), Cat eats this
Cons: Ingredients contain too many fillers and too much corn for my cat
IAMs Proactve Health Mature Adult isn’t the high-quality cat food I used to believe that it was. While researching for a new food for our dogs, a healthier limited-ingredient food, and attempting to make healthier choices for the dogs I took a look at what we had been feeding the cat. The last two empty bags were near her feeding station and the ingredient list surprised me. We all need to read these labels more closely and not make assumptions.
True, my cats have lived healthy lives on IAMs and the success of the food and relationship to their health was monitored using a simple rubric: healthy coat, energy level, stools and litterbox habits, eye, skin condition, and does she eat the food. The results have been positive on all of points, but are our cats really meant to eat cheap fillers and corn? What would their health and energy conditions be had the food been better quality, less processed corn, and better protein?
Our cat qualifies as a mature adult, she fall between 7 and 10 years; apparently she’s not a senior. The IAMS Proactive Health dry cat food claims to be formulated for healthy joints, it contains prebiotics and beet pulp for healthy digestion, it has chicken for strong muscles and vitamins are added to support a strong immune system. The packaging provides a feeding guidelines table. An eight-pound cat should eat ½ to ¾ cup each day, a 12-pound cat should eat between 2/3 to 1 cup a day. Our ten-year old cat generally has a half cup or more in her bowl at all times – she’s a grazer rather than a gulping cat and she receives several scoops of canned (wet) food each day.
She likes this food, or at least she finds it unobjectionable.
In reading through the ingredient list I found that chicken-by-product meal was the first item. This is a low-quality filler that often consists of chicken parts. According to a variety of reliable sources this can include beaks, feet, and ground-up carcasses. It’s considered by many to be a poor quality source of protein, something I wouldn’t expect to find in IAMS. The next two ingredients are corn grits and corn meal. Both are fillers, often difficult to digest, and both are unsatisfactory sources of protein. The fourth item on the list is ground whole grain sorghum. This is a nutritious grain that’s easily digested but not necessarily valuable for your cat. Finally, fifth on the list is chicken followed by chicken fat. The chicken type is unknown and the chicken fat tends to be a good source of energy for cats. A little further down the list is dried brewer’s yeast (thought to cause arthritis, allergies and damage to liver). Without researching the vitamins and minerals on the list, I've basically lost faith and confidence in IAMS, and opted to investigate no further. Perhaps it's better than other "grocery store foods" but in my opinion it's nowhere near as good as it should be.
I guess the question is, are carnivores like cats really supposed to eat corn? If she must eat dry kibbles, must it consist of poor quality protein? Her eating habits improved when we found and supplemented all-meat wet foods into her diet. That probably should have tipped us off about her preferences.
We fed her ProActive Health Premium Cat Food with Chicken from IAMS for several years as well as this Proactve Health Mature Adult thinking we were making good choices, but for similar reasons neither will be served again. It takes her several months to finish a four-pound bag – I’ve made the decision to spend twice as much for a much better quality food for our one and only cat ($8 vs $16). The research has begun now for the cat’s new food, and although she has accepted this food, we think she should have better for the next eight or ten years of her life.
Crude protein minimum 32%
Crude fat minimum 13%
Crude fat maximum 16.5%
Moisture max 10%
Crude fiber maximum 3%
Ash maximum 7%
Magnesium maximum .1%
Ingredient lists and orders tend to change, anything in print in reviews or blogs might not reflect the current contents, what is identified on the website isn’t always the same as what is on the bag. Conduct your own research when selecting a cat food and I recommend buying the best that your budget will allow.