“ Manufacturer: Claude / Type: Cat Food „
Claude Cat Crunchies
As you may have gathered from a previous review of mine, we have recently adopted a lovely two year old cat who we have names Merlin. We have never had a cat before so are complete novices, though Merlin is quickly teaching us a lot about what he likes and doesn't like, and in turn, between the two of us, we are able to write these reviews on his chosen food. I do admit that I have tried cat biscuits in the past when I was young an innocent, though I have no real desire to try them again, so I have to go on what Merlin 'tells' me. Perhaps I should sign his name to the end of this review - it will take 'cats with thumbs' on to a whole new level that's for sure!
Having not much input from his previous owners, it was hit and miss with what food to give him. We have tried a number of different foods, and it seems that Merlin can be quite picky with certain flavours. Having tried a few biscuits before, we decided to try a cheaper version which was much better for our pockets, and hopefully better for Merlin's stomach.
Claude Cat Crunchies can be found in Tescos for just under £1.00 for a 1kg box which is a bargain. There were a couple of different flavours on the shelf which included both this particular one with poultry as well as an Ocean fish flavour. To be honest, I did not pick one over the other for any particular reason, and only realised which one I had picked once I had got home! Perhaps I should send Merlin shopping and he may be more observant!
For those cats who may be reading this, or their owners (or should I say their pets as it seems humans do not own cats, but rather cats own their humans!) who may be interested, the following is a brief composition of these biscuits;
Cereals, meat and animal derivatives (minimum 4% poultry), derivatives of vegetable origin, oils and fats, minerals, yeast.
There is a 28% crude protein in this pack as well as a 9.5% fat content, an 8.5% inorganic matter and a 3.5 crude fibre.
I do not weigh the biscuits out before given them to Merlin as I have learnt how much he seems to need/want. I also give him these biscuits with his other food as a side alternative, though if you do want to weigh the amounts, there is a guideline on the side of the pack for all types of cats from a kitten to a nursing cat. This shows that these biscuits are perfect for all cats of all ages and stages of life, though do check with the vet if your cat has any allergies or is on a special diet. The guide on the side of the box is also only a guideline as all cats differ in exercise and activity level, though I have learnt that cats seldom over eat which is why I let Merlin tell me how much to give him.
Like many cheaper alternatives, the box is not overly eye-catching in its dull brown colour with a picture of a cute cat on the front. It also shows you an idea of what the biscuits look like which is very apt both in appearance and size.
The biscuits are of average size (approximately the size of my small finger nail) and almost match the colours on the box with browns and golden browns. They are very rough to the touch, though I believe I am right in saying that this helps cats with their teeth. I am able to break one in two though it does take a little strength so if your cat has any problems with the strength of their teeth, they may find eating these difficult. The odour of the biscuits is pretty much the same as all the biscuits we have bought Merlin, no matter what their flavouring.
Now as mentioned above, I have no real desire to taste these biscuits myself, though Merlin has now eaten quite a few meals with these biscuits and seems to love them. He crunches loudly through them and always polishes off his biscuits and regularly asks for more. He does not go as mad for these biscuits as he does for his treats, though like a child, what creature would prefer dinner food over deserts? Merlin is very much like a child in that way!
One thing I have noticed is that Merlin often has hiccups after eating these. Perhaps due to the fact he scoffs them down as though he has a time limit, though I have not noticed this with other types of food. I have never seen a cat have hiccups before, and so I find it quite amusing, especially when he makes himself jump!
A/N: If you are a cat owner then you probably know this already, though please do leave some fresh water near your cat when they are eating these. I find that Merlin drinks more water after he has eaten biscuits.
Overall, I would certainly recommend these biscuits, and so would Merlin it seems (which is who matter more!). They are cheap and obviously tasty for cats and can be given to cats of all ages and stages. A 1kg box lasts quite a while, and the price is brilliant.
Cats are notoriously fickle creatures and when it comes to feeding time they always know what they want. I'd love to say that all of my felines like the same food but I'd be lying as three will eat anything you put in front of them and the forth despite being an adult cat will only eat kitten food. Now I don't mind trying different variety of foods but I don't like paying a ridiculous amount of money for something they will turn their noses up in a matter of weeks.
A few months ago whilst browsing down the pet aisle in Tesco I spotted the Cat Crunchies by Claude (whoever Claude is!). At just under £1.00 per box (1 kg) I thought it was a bargain and put a box of each variety in my trolley hoping that these will impress my cats without breaking the bank!
Claude Cat Crunchies are a discount brand which Tesco stock and it is even cheaper than Tesco's own brand of cat biscuits. The packaging for the Cat Crunchies is pretty basic but it does the job. The crunchies come in a thin cardboard box similar to those of Go Cat and Whiskers. On the front of the box there is a beautiful ginger and white cat who I think is supposed to be lying on a fence. There is also a small image on the front of what the biscuits are supposed to look like. On the back there is feeding instructions and all the other information you would expect. Depending on which variety you buy the boxes are coloured coded now for the poultry it is yellow and for ocean fish it is blue.
Now, I don't measure my cat biscuits as my cats have them down all day so they can come and go as they wish so I can't advise on the feeding guidelines but common sense really should prevail. There is a small easy to open tab at the side of the box which does help when pouring the biscuits out but make sure you tear off the tab as it can fold itself back inside the box.
The biscuits compared to Go Cat and Whiskers are pretty plain to look at and there are only two variety of biscuits whereas the above mentioned brands seem to have a few different types but I can't see this affecting my cats at all. One type is dark brown and the other type is lighter brown. Now they are supposed to be a complete dry food for cats but I couldn't help feel that after a while my cats may end up getting bored with the lack of variety and possibly textures.
I purchased the Cat Crunchies in the poultry and the ocean fish varieties and despite being two different flavours they both smelt exactly the same just like cat biscuits with a slightly meaty aroma which was pleasant but nothing special and again this did make me wonder whether my cats would take notice of them as I seem to have acquired four cats who change their mind on food as quickly as you could blink. Now even though I bought the poultry variety as well as the ocean fish you couldn't tell the difference between the two whatsoever!W
When I first put these biscuits down for my cats they did amble over slowly and almost with a bit of caution and after spending what seemed like a lifetime sniffing the biscuits they eventually started to eat the crunchies but with a bit of caution as if they were waiting for something better to appear in their bowls. Eventually they relaxed, settled and tucked into the biscuits and this was how they were for a few days of having the Claude Cat Crunchies.
However, my luck was about to run out when after around two weeks of having the biscuits that all four cats stopped eating them! They would simply turn their noses up at them and wait around for something else to be put in their bowls. Over the day they picked at the biscuits but left the majority. After putting down the biscuits for a few more days they were not even touched by any of them which especially for our one cat who eats anything it signalled to us that these biscuits now had fallen out of favour.
Overall, I don't think these are the greatest cat biscuits on the market and the £0.99p price tag reflects this as the biscuits are incredibly plain. There isn't enough variety such as flavours and textures of the biscuits compared to other brands and I don't think they are meaty enough for my cats as the aroma of the biscuits isn't as strong as other makes and this seems to put my cats off. Would I recommend them? Well, yes I would as a cheap alternative should your usual cat biscuits be out of stock and at 99p per 1kg box it won't break the bank.
** Important Info **
The Claude Cat Crunchies are only available in Tesco and come in two varieties; poultry and ocean fish.
I used to think that by giving my cats dry food for their main meals I would be depriving them of the tasty, smelly meaty flavours of canned food and giving them an inferior substitute. However the more I have learned about the nutritional values of pet food the more I realise that the dry food is often better or as well balanced as wet food, and a lot less messy. I have always bough dry food from time to time as a 'treat' for the cats... now that should have told me something shouldn't it... the word treat in that sentence says it all, because they all love dry food and fall upon it as if they are half starved - which they are most certainly not, the charlatans. They have a couple of favourite brands one of which is the very reasonably priced Claude, which is made for Tesco and costs 99p per 1kg.
The instructions on the box assume that you will have trouble getting your cat to accept dry food as their primary nutrition source, and instruct you to introduce it gradually over a few days, mixing initially with canned food. Not my lot, no siree they actively prefer the dry food. The pride are pretty good and will eat most things put in front of them, apart from of course anything that has even by accident brushed lightly against any medication they may need to take (as any cat with street cred will know, it is illegal to take medication without putting up a considerable fight), or any Co-op own brand stuff which they try and bury as if it's something in the litter tray. They do get quite excited when I put the Claude crunchies down for them though, and wolf it down, with only Minette (the matriarch of the pride) remembering her cat manners and feigning indifference whilst still managing to clear her plate.
Now that I have an extra puss to feed after taking in a stray tom, which brings my brood up to five, I am relying more and more on (the cheaper) dry food. Unfortunately I'm not in the position to feed anyone in my family from children to pets quality brands on a regular basis, so although the moggies do now and then get a bag of Iams and various pricier foods including some wet food, and fresh meats thrown into the mix they are now mostly 'Claude' fed.
Claude Crunchies come in 1Kg sizes only and in fairly plain packaging, which is a rich brown, with a mustard coloured disc centre stage, (which may or may not represent the sun), and a drawing of a fence with a handsome ginger and white (my favourite colour if I had to chose one) cat draped over it, its paw possessively placed over an accurate picture of the crunchies. The crunchies come in two flavours, and on the box there are none of the breathy swooning descriptions that other brands are prone to, telling us of the freshest of fresh chicken hand reared and lightly killed by monks in Tibet, they simply state "with poultry" and "with ocean fish". I don't have a box of the ocean fish variety to hand at the moment to give more detail of that variety, although my moggies do like it. When I read the ingredient list (in more detail at the end of the review) I was surprised to note that only thirty percent is protein (and only fourteen percent minimum of this has to be poultry), so I can see why they say with poultry rather than simply poultry. Ten percent is given as ash! That conjures up visions of Tesco's own brand J.C.B.s pulling up at the back of the local crematorium and filling up their lorries.. (sorry, I know that's in bad taste but that's the image that popped into my head, and I tend to over share).
Each 'crunchie' is the same shape (vaguely eye shaped) there's very little variation in the colour of the pieces, they are all various shades of rich brown and tan, and to our eyes perhaps it looks a little unappetising, the cats however beg to differ. Other more expensive brands seem to make their product in different shapes and colours, but this I presume is for our benefit rather than our feline friends. Although as with dogs perhaps some of the shapes in other foods have the benefit of 'cleaning' the cat's teeth but I'm not sure about that. The cats of course always have water available, but I now have to be extra vigilant that the supply doesn't get too low, as they are as one would expect drinking a lot more now that they are not getting so much moisture from their food. Having several cats and a dog I make sure that there are several water bowls available at all times.
I haven't noticed any difference in the health of my moggies and their fur is still nice and shiny - except for Jed, who has 'problem' fur and always looks a bit moth eaten despite my best efforts. So in conclusion I would say that Claude is an enjoyable and quality cat food, which you could if you so wish use as the primary food source for your pets, and at 99p per kg it takes some of the pressure off keeping your pets happy and well fed, if you are on a tight budget. Most cat lovers will of course spoil their pet, and I would thoroughly recommend this attitude, your pet will always benefit from a change, and will delighted with any treats you may offer them. Healthy ones of course, Minette has an addiction to chips which I have to be very strict in curbing, she also loves melon, yellow peppers, toast, chocolate, carrots, curry, I have to watch her like a hawk... She is a peculiar little cat but like the saggy old cloth cat Bagpuss (for those of you who remember him) I love her.
Typical Values 100g contains enter the per serving data
Protein 30.0g 30.0g
Fat 10.0g 10.0g
Fibre 3.5g 3.5g
Ash 10.0g 10.0g
Vitamin E 80.0mg (800% of RDA) 80.0mg (800% of RDA)
Copper 10.0mg (222% of RDA) 10.0mg (222% of RDA)
Vitamin D3 1000.0iu/kg 1000.0iu/kg
Vitamin A 12000.0iu/kg 12000.0iu/kg
Claude Cat Crunchies With Poultry have been a surprising hit in our house. The mogs seemed to love them, and yet they don't cost a lot more than the Tesco own brand do (which our mogs despise with a passion and would rather starve than even sniff).
A 1kg box of these cat crunchies costs 99p, which is compared to £1.15 for a 1kg box of Tesco cat crunchies, or £2.40 for a 950g box of Whiskas crunchies. They are all complete dry cat foods, the only difference between them is the price and whether or not your cats will eat them. Considering these Claude crunchies are the cheapest of the bunch, I was surprised to notice that our cats really do seem to like these!
These have that same slightly dull, and not-so-tasty appearance that the Tesco own brand crunchies do. But whether that's because they are a bit on the bland side, or whether the more expensive brands just add more colourings to their foods, I'm not entirely sure.
The important thing isn't what they look like though, it's what the smell like (to the cats!) and these clearly smell very tempting. Our cats go straight for the bowl when these are put down, and wolf these down almost as quickly as they do the Whiskas.
The snob/pet lover in me isn't overly happy to feed such a cheap brand all the time, so we've been mixing these in with Whiskas. It's still cutting the cost of our dry cat food down, just not as much as it would if we made a total switch. For the price these are a real bargain. They're cheaper than Tesco and they clearly taste better in our moggy's opinions too. The only thing that puts me off slightly is that they look a little dull, but that clearly doesn't seem to be bothering our cats.