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While many store-brand cat foods are made with low-quality fillers and artificial ingredients, this is not true of 4Health cat food. Produced for the Tractor Supply Company, this store brand cat food is actually fairly high in quality. The 4Health cat food brand uses the tagline, “Optimal nutrition for optimal health” and they use meat as their number-1 ingredient. Not only does this brand use real animal proteins as the primary ingredient, but they manufacture their foods without any corn, wheat, or soy products. According to the Tractor Supply website, 4Health pet foods are made with “flavor-filled, nutritious ingredients at an affordable price”. This brand may not offer the widest selection of cat food products, but those they do offer seem to be made with quality ingredients in healthy formulas that are designed for cats in all life stages.
Who Manufactures 4Health Cat Food?
The 4Health cat food brand is owned by the Tractor Supply Company and it is produced by Diamond Pet Foods, Inc. All of 4Health cat food products are manufactured in the United States in plants located in South Carolina, California, and Missouri. Because this brand is a store brand, it is exclusively available at Tractor Supply Stores. This company was founded in 1938 as a mail order tractor parts business but it soon became a leading provider of home improvement, lawn and garden maintenance, agriculture, livestock, and pet care products. Tractor Supply Company has stores in 49 of the 50 U.S. states with nearly 1,500 individual locations. Their livestock and pet care products account for about 44% of the company’s total sales.
4Health Cat Food Recalls 2018
The 4Health cat food brand was first released in 2010, marketed as a premium but affordable line of pet food products. To this date there are no major recalls that have affected the 4Health cat food brand in particular. However, Salmonella was found on the premises of the Diamond Pet Foods production facility in Gaston, South Carolina in December of 2011. Diamond Pet Foods issued a voluntary recall for their pet food products having best-by dates of December 2012 through March 2013. The 4Health pet food brand did not test positive for Salmonella.
Overall 4Health Cat Food Review
Finding detailed information about the 4Health cat food brand is a little difficult given the fact that it is a private label brand. The Tractor Supply Company website provides limited information about the brand as well as their individual products. The website states that “pets deserve a premium food with the nutrition their bodies need and flavors they crave,” suggesting that meat is always the number-1 ingredient in their pet food products. The website goes on to say that all 4Health products are balanced with omega fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals – all t–e nutrients pets need to remain happy and healthy without any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients.
When it comes to cat food products, 4Health offers an assortment of both dry and wet food formulas. There are two traditional dry cat food recipes as well as two grain-free options. The 4Health All Life Stages dry cat food formula is made with real chicken and salmon meal as the primary sources of protein, supplemented with chicken fat and flaxseed as healthy fats. In terms of digestible carbohydrates, this recipe features ground white rice, cracked pearl barley, and potatoes. In addition to these ingredients, the recipe also contains fresh fruits and vegetables for added nutrition as well as chelated minerals. The 4Health Indoor Formula is designed to meet the nutritional needs of indoor adult cats – it has ideal levels of fiber and fat to help your cat maintain a lean body composition. It is very similar in composition to the All Life Stages recipe but has the addition of dried fermentation products to help promote healthy digestion.
In addition to their two regular dry food formulas, 4Health offers two grain-free dry food options for cats. The Grain-Free Indoor Cat Formula is made with chicken, chicken meal, turkey meal, and fish meal with chicken fat and flaxseed for fat. In terms of carbohydrates, this recipe features garbanzo beans, peas, lentils and powdered cellulose. The Grain-Free Whitefish and Potato recipe features whitefish, fish meal, salmon meal and turkey meal. It also contains whole potato, dried peas, and tapioca. Both of these recipes are supplemented with vitamins and minerals as well as fresh or dried fruits and vegetables to ensure balanced nutrition.
For wet cat food products, 4Health offers five traditional recipes as well as two grain-free options. The two grain-free option are Turkey & Giblet Dinner and Chicken & Whitefish Dinner. There is one Indoor Chicken Formula, a Turkey & Salmon recipe, a Chicken & Beef recipe, and a Chicken & Brown Rice recipe. Both of the grain-free wet foods are supplemented with chelated minerals and vitamin supplements and they are made with a limited number of additional ingredients such as chicken, turkey, poultry giblets, dried egg product, and broth. The Adult Chicken Formula is a little bit different from the Indoor Chicken Formula, though both include added antioxidants and omega fatty acids. These recipes are also made with chelated minerals and vitamin supplements.
Individual Recipe Review (Dry) 4Health Grain-Free Indoor Cat Formula
The 4Health Grain-Free Indoor Cat formula features chicken as the number-1 ingredient with chicken meal, turkey meal, and fish meal as supplementary sources of protein. According to the Tractor Supply Company website, this recipe “provides optimal nutrition for indoor adult cats with a formulation that helps maintain a healthy digestive system”. It is unclear why these things are more valuable for indoor cats than outdoor cats, but they are valuable additions nonetheless. The website also states that this formula is balanced with omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and shiny coats in indoor adult cats.
It has already been stated that chicken is the number-1 ingredient in this recipe. It is important to remember, however, that fresh meats like chicken contain up to 80% moisture. Once the cohesive product is cooked down to a moisture level around 10%, the actual volume of protein from this ingredient will be much lower. This is not a problem for this 4Health Grain-Free Indoor formula, however, because chicken meal is the second ingredient. Chicken meal has already been cooked down so it is a much more highly concentrated source of protein than fresh chicken. The fact that it comes second on the ingredients list points to the high protein content of this recipe.
Following the first two ingredients are two sources of grain-free, digestible carbohydrate – garbanzo beans and peas. Not only do these ingredients provide dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, but they also provide some vegetarian protein. More protein is always good, though plant-based proteins are less biologically valuable for cats than animal-based proteins. Because there are two more supplementary sources of animal protein contained in this product, however, there is no reason to worry about the protein content. There are also three additional sources of carbohydrate and/or dietary fiber – powdered cellulose, lentils, and flaxseed.
In terms of healthy fats, this 4Health Grain-Free Indoor formula contains chicken fat preserved with mixed tocopherols. This may not sound like an appetizing addition to you, but chicken fat is a very valuable source of concentrated energy for cats and it is good that it comes from an animal source. Flaxseed also provides dietary fat but it is a little less biologically valuable since it comes from a plant source. In addition to these ingredients, this recipe contains several fresh fruits and vegetables as well as vitamin supplements, chelated minerals, and dried fermentation products. Chelated minerals have been chemically bound to protein molecules which makes them easier for your cat’s body to digest and absorb. Dried fermentation products act as probiotics, helping to support your cat’s healthy digestion.
Overall, this 4Health Grain-Free Indoor formula has a guaranteed analysis as follows:
- Crude Protein (Min) – 32%
- Crude Fat (Min) – 13%
- Crude Fiber (Max) – 8%
- Moisture (Max) – 10%
- Zinc (Min) – 150 mg/kg
- Selenium (Min) – 0.3 mg/kg
- Vitamin E (Min) – 150 IU/kg
- Taurine (Min) – 0.10%
- L-Carnitine (Min) – 30 mg/kg
- Omega-6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 2.4%
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.4%
- Calorie Content – 313 kcal/cup
This formula meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for cats in all life stages. Based on the guaranteed analysis for this product it seems to offer a decent amount of protein and fat, though the fiber content is a little higher than necessary. The guaranteed analysis also makes note that the product contains total microorganisms at a minimum of 1,000,000 CFU/lbs., including both Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium animalis strains. It is recommended that you feed cats weighing 5 to 10 pounds between ½ and ¾ cups of this dry food daily but you should always monitor your cat’s weight to make sure you are not feeding him too little or too much.
Overall, this 4Health Grain-Free Indoor formula seems to provide adequate nutrition for adult cats and it does include some beneficial additives such as chelated minerals and dried fermentation products. It is always good to see more than one source of animal protein at the beginning of the ingredients list with additional sources appearing further down the line. This product lives up to its grain-free name, relying on garbanzo beans, peas, and lentils for gluten- and grain-free carbohydrate as well as dietary fiber. It is worth noting that this recipe does not include any corn, wheat, or soy ingredients and it is also free from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. Overall, this recipe seems to provide above-average nutrition and value for adult cats.