4health Special Care wet cat food receives the Cat Food Advisor rating, 3.5-stars.
This wet product range has meat or fish as its first ingredient however each recipe contains the controversial ingredient carrageenan.
- Meat or fish are the primary ingredients
- Contains omega fatty acids
- Contains taurine
- Limited choice
- Contains carrageenan
Each recipe includes its AAFCO nutrient profile: Growth (kitten), Maintenance (adult), All Life Stages, Supplemental or Unspecified.
4health Special Care wet product line has three wet cat foods.
|Special Care Adult Sensitive Stomach Formula||3.5||M|
|Special Care Adult Skin & Coat Formula||3.5||M|
|Special Care Adult Weight Management Whitefish & Chicken Recipe||3.5||M|
Recipe and Label Analysis
4health Special Care Adult Sensitive Stomach 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 Sensitive Stomach Formula
Estimated Dry Matter Nutrient Content
Deboned turkey, chicken broth, turkey liver (source of vitamin A), quinoa, carrageenan, locust bean gum, calcium carbonate, flaxseed flour, dried egg product (source of vitamin B12), sodium tripolyphosphate, salt, magnesium carbonate, vitamin E supplement, canola oil, zinc amino acid chelate, thiamine hydrochloride, taurine, pyridoxine hydrochloride, niacin, calcium pantothenate, choline chloride, xanthan gum, riboflavin supplement, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, calcium iodate, folic acid, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement
Fiber (estimated dry matter content) = 1.5%
Red denotes any controversial items
The first ingredient is deboned turkey. Turkey is considered “the clean combination of flesh and skin… derived from the parts or whole carcasses of turkey”. 1
Turkey is naturally rich in the 11 essential amino acids required by a cat to sustain life.
The second ingredient is chicken broth. Broths are of only modest nutritional value. Yet because they add both flavor and moisture to a cat food, they are a common component in many wet products.
The third ingredient is turkey liver. This is an organ meat sourced from a named animal and thus considered a beneficial component.
The fourth ingredient is quinoa. Quinoa is not a true cereal grain but a plant prized for its gluten-free seeds. Compared to most other grain-type ingredients, it is high in protein (about 12-18%), dietary fiber and other healthy nutrients.
The fifth ingredient is carrageenan. This is a gelatin-like thickening agent extracted from seaweed. Although carrageenan has been used as a food additive for hundreds of years, there appears to be some recent controversy regarding its long term biological safety.
The article, The Carrageenan Controversy, published in Scientific American, does a good job of addressing this topic.
The sixth ingredient is locust bean gum, a gelling or thickening agent found in some wet pet foods. Extracted from the seeds of the carob tree, locust bean gum can add a notable amount of dietary fiber to a cat food.
The seventh ingredient is calcium carbonate, likely used here as a dietary mineral supplement.
The eighth ingredient is flaxseed flour, 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.
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.
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 Sensitive Stomach Formula recipe looks like an above-average wet product.
The dashboard displays a dry matter protein reading of 47.5%, a fat level of 22.5% and an estimated carbohydrate level of 22%, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 47%.
As a group, the brand features an average protein content of 44.2% and a mean fat level of 24.2%. Together these figures suggest a carbohydrate content of 23.7% for the overall product line, alongside a fat-to-protein ratio of 54%.
This means the 4Health, Special Care wet product line contains above-average protein, below-average carbs and above-average fat when compared to typical wet cat food.
4health Special Care product range has a limited choice of products however each recipe offers premium ingredients.
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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