4health Special Care dry cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 3.5-stars.
It is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO cat food nutrient profiles for the maintenance of cats.
- Chicken is primary ingredient
- Contains taurine
- Good value for money
- Free from artificial colors
- Limited choice
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
4health Special Care dry product line has two dry cat foods.
|Special Care Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula||3.5||M|
|Special Care Adult Weight Management Formula||3.5||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
4health Special Care Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula was selected to represent the other products in the line for a detailed recipe and nutrient analysis.
Label and nutrient data below are calculated using dry matter basis.
4health Special Care Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Chicken meal, brown rice, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), natural flavor, flaxseed, sodium bisulfate, potassium chloride, salmon oil, DL-methionine, calcium sulfate, taurine, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride, vitamin B12 supplement, sodium selenite, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 2%
Red denotes any controversial items
The first ingredient is chicken meal. Chicken meal is considered a meat concentrate and contains nearly 300% more protein than fresh chicken.
The second ingredient is brown rice, a complex carbohydrate that (once cooked) can be fairly easy to digest. However, aside from its natural energy content, rice is of only modest nutritional value to a cat.
The third ingredient is brewers rice. Brewers rice is a cereal grain by-product consisting of the small fragments left over after milling whole rice. Aside from the caloric energy it contains, this item is of only modest nutritional value to a cat.
The fourth ingredient is corn gluten meal. Gluten is the rubbery residue remaining once corn has had most of its starchy carbohydrate washed out of it. Although corn gluten meal contains 60% protein, this ingredient would be expected to have a lower biological value than meat.
And less costly plant-based products like this can notably boost the total protein reported on the label — a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this cat food.
The fifth ingredient is chicken fat. Chicken fat is obtained from rendering chicken, a process similar to making soup in which the fat itself is skimmed from the surface of the liquid. Chicken fat is high in linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid essential for life. Although it doesn’t sound very appetizing, chicken fat is actually a quality ingredient.
The sixth ingredient is natural flavors and doesn’t give us much information about the particular ingredients included in this cat food for flavoring purposes.
We’re pleased that the flavorings used are natural, but more details are required to give any further information about these natural flavoring ingredients. Flavorings are used to make the foods more appealing and tasty for our cats.
The seventh ingredient is flaxseed, one of the best plant sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Provided they’ve first been ground into a meal, flax seeds are also rich in soluble fiber.
However, flaxseed contains about 19% protein, a factor that must be considered when judging the actual meat content of this cat food.
The eighth ingredient is sodium bisulfate. Sodium bisulfate is an acid which is used to lower the pH of pet food, lower the cat’s urinary pH, and even enhance palatability.
Lowering the pH is a preservative method. Sodium bisulfate is shown to reduce the contamination of the surface of dry extruded cat foods with Salmonella.
Manipulation of a cat’s urinary pH is a measure to promote the dissolution of urinary stones, and to create the urinary environment where stones are unable to form.
Sodium bisulfate also enhances the flavor and palatability of foods for cats. The presence of phosphoric acid within this food is seen as positive.
From here the list goes on to include a number of other items. But to be realistic, ingredients located this far down the list (other than nutritional supplements) are not likely to affect the overall rating of the product.
However, this recipe contains sodium selenite, a controversial form of the mineral selenium. Sodium selenite appears to be nutritionally inferior to the more natural source of selenium found in selenium yeast.
We view the presence of taurine in this recipe as a positive addition.
This recipe receives a 3.5–star rating.
Based on its ingredients alone, 4health Special Care Adult Urinary Tract Health Formula recipe looks like an above-average dry product.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 33.3%, a fat level of 16.7% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 42%, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 50%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 34.4% and a mean fat level of 13.3%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 44.2% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 39%.
This means the 4Health Special Care dry product line contains below-average protein, above-average carbs and near-average fat when compared to typical dry cat food.
4health Special Care dry product range has a limited choice of products however developed specifically to meet the health needs of fully developed adult cats.
Has 4health cat food been recalled in the past?
Yes, 4health has had two recalls.
In 2012, Diamond Pet Foods, which makes 4health, recalled all 4health foods manufactured in Gaston, South Carolina, due to potential salmonella contamination.
In 2013, Diamond recalled several cat food brands, including 4health, due to potentially insufficient thiamine levels.
You can view a complete list of all cat food recalls since 2021 here.
To stay on top of any cat food product recalls, sign up for our free email alerts, here.
4health is a pet food company owned by Tractor Supply Company, a home and ranch company based in Tennessee.
This company was founded in 1938 as a mail-order tractor part supplier. However, it has now grown to sell a wide variety of products including pet food and supplies. 4health brand is one of its biggest selling products made by Diamond Pet Foods.
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