Chicken: The Complete Protein Source for Your Cat
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Chicken is a key ingredient in IAMS™ cat food. Its protein can help maintain healthy muscle structure, and it naturally provides each of the amino acids essential to carnivorous animals. And chicken adds great taste.
What Chicken Ingredients are Used in Cat Foods?
- Common chicken ingredients include chicken, chicken meal, chicken by-product meal, and chicken fat.
- Chicken is flesh and skin without internal organs or feathers.
- Chicken meal includes flesh, skin, and bone that have been cleaned, dried, cooked, and ground.
- Chicken by-product meal is flesh, skin, and internal organs, including intestines and bone, that has been cleaned, dried, cooked, and ground.
- Chicken fat, a high-quality energy source, provides essential fatty acids that help support skin and coat health.
What Is Natural Chicken Flavor?
Another common chicken-based ingredient is natural chicken flavor, also called chicken digest. Natural chicken flavor adds palatability and nutrients. It is high-quality protein and fat material that has been reduced to amino and fatty acids to improve taste through an enzymatic process.
Why Are Internal Organs and Bone Included in Chicken By-product Meal?
Internal organs are a rich source of protein, fats, and minerals, such as iron, that are essential to cat health and they add a taste that cats enjoy. Including some ground bone provides a good source of minerals, such as calcium. Some pet food manufacturers formulate their products without such ingredients to appeal to cat owners, rather than for the health of the cats themselves. However, the nutritional needs of cats are not the same as those of humans.
The IAMS Difference
Dried (meal) chicken protein sources contained in our chicken-based cat foods, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Adult Original with Chicken , undergo an extra refining process and contain each of the amino acids that are essential to cats.
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- adp_description_block264Understanding Kitten Food Product Codes
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Understanding and learning how to decipher kitten food product codes will help you choose the right kitten food. While selecting the right ingredients is important, making sure those ingredients are fresh is just as vital to your young cat. Learn how to read the product codes of kitten food packages and cans with our handy guide.
What Is a Product Code?
A product code is a series of numbers and letters printed on the outer package of each product a manufacturer produces. This code provides information about when and where the kitten food was made.
As part of the product code, IAMS™ products include a “Best Used By” date, or the date at which the product is no longer considered fresh and should no longer be sold. This date is expressed in “ddmmyy” and “ddmmmyy” formats.
The second line of the product code represents company internal information for use in traceability and inventory control.
Line 1: (ddmmyy) (ddmmmyy)
Example: 040220 04FEB20
Line 2: 60351111## QQQQQQQ
This product should be used before February 4, 2020.
Depending on the production line, pouch products* may have code date information in a single or double line. By recognizing and understanding these codes, customers can make sure they are receiving a fresh product.
What Is Shelf Life?
Shelf life is the duration, measured in months, during which a properly stored kitten food product maintains its freshness. This means if a product has a 16-month shelf life, it is fresh for up to 16 months from the date of manufacture.
The shelf life for IAMS dry kitten foods is 16 months. All canned formulas have a shelf life of 24 months.
How to Properly Store Dry and Wet Kitten Food
Unopened dry kitten food products are best stored off the floor in a cool, dry place. Open bags of kitten food should be stored in a clean, dry container with a tight seal. Dry kitten food products may also be frozen without loss of nutrients.
Opened wet kitten food products are best kept refrigerated in tightly sealed containers for no more than three days after the container has been opened. Wet products should not be frozen in unopened cans. However, wet kitten foods can be frozen if removed from the container, packed in freezer containers and frozen immediately.
*IAMS has no kitten pouch products at this time.
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