“ Brand: Sainsbury's / Type: Milk „
* A LITTLE BACKGROUND INFO.. *
It's not very often that I shop in Sainsbury's, mainly because there are other supermarkets closer to where I live which are much more convenient for me to use. The opportunity to shop in a local branch of the well-known supermarket presented itself recently however, so I tagged along with my sister on a recent shopping trip to pick up a few essentials that I was running out of at home.
The main disadvantage when shopping in an unfamiliar supermarket is that many much-loved own branded products are of course not available, being exclusive to rival stores, so I had to take the time to seek out Sainsbury's alternatives during my recent visit there. This was not too much of an inconvenience until I came to the pet food aisle, and as my old feline has her favourite items from both Tesco and Asda, I was left to ponder over the various Sainsbury's offerings to see what I thought would appeal.
One Sainsbury's own branded item that I purchased for my girl on this occasion was two small cartons of their "Cat Milk." I regularly buy cartons and bottles of assorted cat milks to feed to my girl as she suffers with poor appetite as a result of her various health conditions, most notably renal failure, which unfortunately makes her feel quite sick at times. This results in her going off her food and she has suffered quite a dramatic weight-loss over the past year or two. For these reasons, I like to offer her cat milk a few times a week as I like to think it contains some much-needed calories that will help with her ever increasing weight-loss, but also offer her something a little different and perhaps quite appetising at times when her appetite is poor.
The Sainsbury's cat milk offered reasonable value for money, costing me only 55 pence per 200ml carton. I could easily obtain six servings from each carton, but of course this is dependent on the size of your cat - and their appetite, of course!
For reasons of comparison, I thought it would be helpful to compare the price of the Sainsbury's cat milk to my girl's usual brand which is Whiskas. This costs in the region of 90p - £1.05 for a 200ml bottle, dependant on promotions and deals that are running at the time. It is not difficult to see the saving that I made here, but the flip side of this is that three small cartons of Asda "Tiger" Cat Milk costs around the £1.50 mark. The Sainsbury's Cat Milk seems to settle somewhere between good value and average-priced, but I was impressed enough to purchase a couple of cartons for my girl.
* PRODUCT DETAILS & OUR OPINION.. *
The packaging for the milk is extremely impressive, and to be quite honest it is the first time I have bought a cat milk product that has had packaging that has ticked all the boxes and met my formidable criteria! I always, ALWAYS have some grumble or other when it comes to the packaging of various branded cat milk products, whether it's down to the packaging being harsh on the environment or the omission of a proper pouring 'spout' on the carton, there is always a flaw in the design that stands out to me from the off.
This is not the case at all with the Sainsbury's alternative, and it is not difficult to see that the company has actually put a little effort into this aspect of the product. The milk is packaged in a little carton, being oblong in shape as you can see from the picture at the top of the Dooyoo page here. Many other brands of cat milk are packaged in oblong cartons too, but these always require me to snip a corner of the carton away to produce a little 'spout'. In my experience, this causes a lot of mess and dripping of the product and I'm quite sure I'm not the only consumer who has this complaint
The Sainsbury's milk, in comparison, has the addition of a little plastic 'spout' on the front of the package, complete with plastic lid. This has allowed for easy pouring of the cat milk on each and every occasion it has been used, without so much as a droplet going to waste. Not only that, but the little plastic lid has offered a much more hygienic, near-airtight seal on the carton, allowing it to remain completely fresh between uses, which is something that is hardly ever present with any other brand of cat milk, and certainly not those that are presented in small cartons. This aspect of the product alone is probably enough to warrant me seeking it out and repurchasing it again in the future, but of course, does it pass the taste test where my girl is concerned...?
Thankfully, yes. Each and every time that the Sainsbury's cat milk was offered to my girl she enthusiastically lapped at her bowl until every last droplet was consumed. I can therefore only conclude that the milk is extremely tasty and quite delicious based on my girl's apparent opinions.
This conclusion was not difficult to reach either, and is based on the fact that whilst I make my morning coffee each day, my girl can usually be found sitting under the fridge, as she knows she gets a small droplet of milk from my carton - or hers, whichever is open at the time - if she asks politely. A purring feline curling its tail around the back of one's legs is a sure-fire way of said feline getting what it wants.. Well, where I am concerned anyway! I just can't resist my old girl's requests as she is completely precious to me and a huge part of my home and family life. Anyway, this daily ritual has been going on for several months now, and has continued whilst the Sainsbury's milk has been the feline beverage on offer. So, no change in my girl's milk-consuming requests or intake whatsoever.
The milk actually resembles a sort of 'pouring cream' product, thank to its cream-like colour and it's slightly thick consistency. It is certainly thicker than semi-skimmed cow's milk, and is without much of a smell to my (inferior..!) human nose. It doesn't appear to go off particularly quickly, which is often not the case when a little cow's milk is offered to my girl that will spoil quite quickly, particularly in the warmer summer months.
There is very little negative evidence that springs to mind when considering whether this is a worthwhile product to feed my girl. Giving the packaging a quick scan in the supermarket prior to purchase allowed for full reassurance to be achieved, and the Sainsbury's milk is right up there with some big-branded alternatives in terms of nutritional gain...
Firstly, the milk contains Taurine. I have been known to deliberately hunt down products that contain this little supplement as I am a firm believer in its beneficial properties to our feline friends - so much so, that I now feed my girl with a vitamin paste that is enriched with this nutrient, so I am less reliant on foodstuffs that contain it being introduced into her diet. Even so, I was pleased to note its presence in the Sainsbury's milk and felt somewhat reassured as a result. For those who are unfamiliar with Taurine, research has indicated that it is helpful in feline health, particularly in preventing blindness and maintaining good oral health and preventing tooth decay. Granted, I would have purchased the Sainsbury's cat milk whether there was Taurine added to it's ingredients or not, but I think it is worth mentioning in this review as it may benefit like-minded cat owners. To be quite honest, my girl has much bigger fish to fry than declining eyesight, with having had major surgery last year and a constant battle with the symptoms of renal failure to contend with. Thus, the milk would have been purchased - and served - to my girl to provide calorific value to her if nothing else. It IS relevant to have Taurine added in products such as this one, but it is not the sole reason for my purchasing the product.
Secondly, the Sainsbury's cat milk is "Lactose Reduced" which is another rather significant point when considering the health of our feline companions. Lactose is found in normal cow's milk and this can have an irritant effect to the fragile feline stomach. Whilst small amounts of cow's milk can be happily consumed by my own cat, an overly-generous helping will almost always result in an upset tummy which is presumably down to the lactose contained in the milk. In comparison, I have not known my girl to suffer with any ill-effects as a result of consuming the Sainsbury's cat milk, irrespective of how much has been consumed at the time.
The packaging provides full information on the product, such as the fact it is not suitable for young kittens (quite obvious really, given their fragility), storage & serving instructions, and full nutritional information, listing several beneficial additions such as the Taurine I mentioned previously, as well as iron and other vitamins.
To conclude, I will definitely be repurchasing the Sainsbury's Cat Milk again in the future as it has fully ticked each and every box as far as a product like this is concerned. My girl loves it, and has happily lapped at her bowl whenever it has been offered, without any unpleasant side-effects being evident afterwards. Not only that, but from a (human) consumer's point of view, it is reasonably priced, presented in impressive - and convenient - packaging, and offers peace of mind in terms of nutritional value.
Full marks from me..... And my girl - well done, Sainsbury's!!