“ Brand: Pets at Home „
About a year ago Vicky and I made the huge mistake of adjusting the diet of our cats from food in pouches to the mushy stuff that comes in tins. This was done for purely financial reasons, but when the smell from their litter tray polluted the entire house we realised that this was not a great move. On receiving some advice from a cat care specialist we decided to give our cats a trial on a diet of dry cat food with enhanced nutritional value. Following their advice we selected the Pets at Home Advanced Nutrition range and our cats have adjusted to the change wonderfully. Please note that you need to keep a regular source of water available at all times with any dry food only diet. I have never seen our pair drink so much!
- The Packaging -
The Advanced Nutrition range comes in an attractive white bag with a vibrant green 'Pets at Home' heart in the upper right corner. The 'Advanced Nutrition' label is prominently placed front and centre in a large font, thereby ensuring that you always pick up the right product. The lower half of the bag tells you about the benefits of this food for cats 1-7 years old. Again, this information is clearly displayed, but attractively designed so as not to detract from the overall appeal of the product. Finally the lower right corner will have either a brown 'Chicken' or a pink 'Salmon' label so that you always know what you are getting. On the back of the bag clear instructions are given about how much food each cat requires.
The bag itself is very strong as it is made from a relatively thick plastic. This has the drawback of making it not the easiest bag to open, but more than makes up for this with the comfort of knowing that the bag will never rip. Once empty the bag remained pliable enough to fold, and so we can dispose of the refuse without issue.
- The Food -
To date we have only ever tried the Chicken variety and find that on opening the bag the smell is surprisingly inoffensive. It doesn't actually smell of chicken, but has a very meaty smell not dissimilar to Jerky. This came as somewhat of a relief to me as I always found the smell of tinned cat food quite repulsive.
Taking some of the foods out, you find a small but crunchy biscuit with a powdery residue. It was easy enough to handle with my hands and so cleaning up any discarded biscuits was a piece of cake. To be perfectly honest I have often been able to measure the food out with my hands, and while you are left with a powdery mess it required only a light rinse to completely remove.
Obviously I cannot comment on the actual taste (I am not that dedicated to writing a useful review) but needless to say the cats haven't once complained. They hear the bags rustling and they come running. They always seem to wolf it down with abandon too. If I had to pick one drawback it would be that some people may get irritated by the rapid crunching sounds that the cats will make. To be perfectly frank we feel it sounds really cute, but we are weird like that.
The ingredients of the food are entirely natural. There are a lot less of the added cereals that most supermarket brands include to bulk out the food. This is good for the cats as the cereals are bad for their digestive system. The food also contains traces of cranberry for urinary tract health, and other vitamins designed to contribute to a healthy coat.
- The After Effects -
So you are no doubt wondering what the litter tray is like these days. The biggest bonus from this food is that the little ones smelly diarrhea has completely cleared up. All stools are now very hard and easily buried, and any residual smell clears up in minutes. Speaking purely as the one who empties the tray I wanted to thank Pets At Home heartily for adding those natural prebiotics that the site advertises, as they really have cleared up the cat's digestive system.
- Value for Money -
The biggest drawback to this food is the initial investment. We decided to start small and try the cats on the food first. This meant grabbing the smallest bag available, a mere 400 grams for £2.99. Above that there two sizes available. A 2KG bag will set you back £11.89 but can be purchased in a 2 for £20 offer. However we were so impressed that we decided to jump straight in with the big bag. 4KG costs £20.29 although this is also available in a multi buy offer of 2 for £30 in our local store.
However despite the initially expensive price tag the life span of the product more than makes up for the cost. The bag advertises that the 4KG will last for around 80 feeds. I haven't been counting but this seems about right. Most of the time I feed the cats a small handful of the food in each bowl (I should have a more accurate measuring system I know) and they will usually come back to this throughout the day. I repeat that portion at night, and the cats are happy. A £30 spend will now last us a good few months so that the cost isn't actually that excessive.
- The Cats Verdict -
Our two cats have loved the advanced nutrition range, and it seems to have had a marked impression on their health. Even our older outdoor cat can muster up the energy for a vigorous play, and our younger indoor cat has become even more mischievous. They don't seem as gassy any more, and are no longer ripping litter tray bags to shreds in order to hide their shame. They seem a lot happier overall, and so we are glad that we made the change.
If your cat has a particularly sensitive stomach there is a lighter edition available.
Ingredients list from the website
Fresh Chicken (min.25%), Poultry Meat Meal, Animal Fat, Maize Gluten Meal, Rice, Maize, Animal Fat, Maize Gluten Meal, Egg Powder, Chicken Gravy, Fish Meal Sugar Brewers Yeast, Beet Pulp, Minerals, (Includes Yucca Extract, Cranberry Extract, Citrus Extract, Rosemary Extract), Barley. Total Chicken min. 40%.
Nutritional Additives; Vitamin A:26,000µ/kg, Vitamin D3: 2,700µ/kg, Vitamin E (α-Tocopherol): 550mg/kg. Zinc (as Sulphate): 100mg/kg, Iron (as Sulphate): 70mg/kg, Manganese (as Sulphate): 50mg/kg, Zinc (as Chelate): 30mg/kg, Copper (as Sulphate): 5mg/kg, Iodine (as Iodate): 1.5mg/kg, Selenium (as Sodium Selenite): 0.07mg/kg, Selenium (as Organic Selenium): 0.03mg/kg.
Protein 32%, Crude Fibre 2 %, Oils & Fats 18%, Crude Ash 8%, Moisture 10%