Carbohydrates In Australian Cat Foods

This page is a companion to our articles on homemade low carb diets for cats and the problems with commercial cat foods.

cat food analysis

Carbohydrates are the only major nutrient not to be declared on cat foods. Therefore, I’ve done three things:

  1. Created an online carbohydrate calculator for wet and dry pet foods
  2. Estimated the carbohydrate levels in a wide range of pouch or tinned foods
  3. Showed you how I worked out these figures

Pet Food Carbohydrate Calculator

[CP_CALCULATED_FIELDS id=”7″]

Note: as you will see later, these figures are only estimates. They are hopefully close to the truth but cannot be verified without analysis.

Carb Levels In Adult Cat Foods

Please Note: I have not included:

FoodCarbs as %Dry Mass
Holistic Select Chicken Pâté tin0**
Holistic Select Turkey & Salmon Pâté tin0**
PRO PLAN Adult Salmon & Rice Entrée tin0**
PRO PLAN Adult Chicken & Liver Entrée tin2.3**
PRO PLAN Ocean Whitefish & Salmon Entrée2.3**
Holistic Select Salmon & Shrimp Pâté tin4.6
Holistic Select Chicken Liver & Lamb Pâté tin6.4
Holistic Select Turkey Pâté Recipe tin6.8
Royal Canin Instinctive Adult in Jelly8.0
Fancy Feast Chicken & Giblet Pate tin9.0
Holistic Select Ocean Fish & Tuna Pâté tin9.1
PRO PLAN Adult Chicken Entrée tin9.1
Fancy Feast Cod, Sole & Shrimp tin13.6
Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers tins (2)13.9
Fancy Feast Filet tins (many)14.0
PRO PLAN Adult Chicken & Rice Entrée tin14.0
PRO PLAN Adult Tuna Entrée Tin14.0
Purina Fancy Feast pouches (many)14.0
Royal Canin Instinctive Adult in Loaf*15.5
Purina Fancy Feast Inspirations pouches*15.9
Purina Felix pouches (many)*16.8
PRO PLAN Adult Turkey & Giblets Entrée tin17.3
Fancy Feast Cheddar Delights tins (2)17.5
PRO PLAN Adult Beef Entrée with Carrots tin17.5
PRO PLAN Salmon Entrée with Wild Rice tin17.5
Veganpet Vegan Cat Food tins19.2
Ziwi Peak Tins (all varieties)20.5
Fancy Feast Roast Chicken/ Carved Beef21.8
Royal Canin Instinctive Adult in Gravy*22.3
Hill’s Hairball Control Savory Chicken24.9
Hill’s Salmon Tender Chunks in Gravy28.3
Hill’s Tender Tuna Dinner Tin28.9
Hill’s Savory Turkey Entrée Tin29.3
Hill’s Tender Chicken Dinner Tin29.8
Hill’s Ocean Fish Entrée Tin30.2
Hill’s Ocean Fish Tender Chunks in Gravy30.4
Hill’s Seared Tuna & Carrot Medley Tin31.1
Hill’s Chicken Tender Chunks in Gravy32.5
Purina Friskies pouches (many)*34.1
Hill’s Roasted Chicken & Rice Medley Tin34.4

I have avoided supermarket own-brands and ‘special’ diets like light, hairball, indoor, urinary, senior etc).
* Moisture not declared so given average value of 78%
** some numbers seem impossible; the first three have ingredients adding up to 100.7%, 100.5% & 100% respectively before carbs are considered (my guess is that actual moisture levels are lower than the ‘max’ figures supplied).

Carbs In Kitten Foods

FoodCarbs as %DM (est)
PRO PLAN Kitten Chicken & Liver Entree2.1
Fancy Feast Kitten Whitefish Feast tin4.6
Royal Canin Kitten Instinctive in Loaf*10.9
Hill’s Kitten Liver & Chicken Entrée tin15
Royal Canin Kitten Instinctive in Jelly*16.4
Royal Canin Kitten Instinctive in Gravy*17.7
Hill’s Kitten Tender Chicken Dinner tin19.2
Hill’s Kitten Roasted Chicken & Rice Medley28.9

Kitten foods are much harder. Many companies just don’t offer them.

How to find out the carbohydrate content of your cat’s food

This is the same method I used above- it may slightly overestimate the true level but should be within a few percent.

Most foods have a Guaranteed Analysis. Weirdly, it doesn’t include carbs, but that’s OK; you can work them out from everything else.

Let’s use the Grain Free Blackhawk as an example. I’m not saying it’s any better or worse than other foods.

  1. Add up the %Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Ash, Crude Fibre and Moisture (34+16+3.5+8+10=71.5)
  2. Subtract this number from 100% (100-71.5=28.5)
  3. The carbohydrate level is approximately 28.5% (It’s not going to be exact but should be close)

This is as fed. To be able to compare wet and dry foods, let’s make it as a % of dry matter.

  1. Turn the moisture percent into a fraction (10% = 0.1. A wet food would be around 80% = 0.8)
  2. Subtract this from 1 (1-0.1=0.9. With wet foods, you’ll get a number around 0.2)
  3. Divide the nutrients by this number (28.5 / 0.9 = 31.7%).Remember these numbers are only estimations.

Now go out and explore. Please leave us a comment with your findings!

Have something to add? Comments are welcome below and will appear within 24 hours of lodging.

By Andrew Spanner BVSc(Hons) MVetStud, a vet in Adelaide, Australia. These blogs are from a series regularly posted on email and Twitter. Subscribe via email here to never miss a story!

Date on this page were collected as follows:
Fancy Feast, Purina, Veganpet: from package labels at Foodland Norwood 6/8/18
Hill’s from hillspet.com.au, Royal Canin from royalcanin.com.au, Ziwipeak from ziwipets.com, PRO PLAN from proplannutrition.com.au, Holistic Select from holisticselect.com.au. All accessed 7/8/18.

Andrew

3 Replies to “Carbohydrates In Australian Cat Foods”

  1. Hi Andrew, I found your post today and wondered how current it is? An amazingly helpful list, thank you! I have a diabetic cat so have moved her off the dry food and onto FF pate. But I am concerned that you rate the Chicken/Giblet pate as 9% carbs, when other research I have done suggests it is much lower – around 2%. This makes it all very confusing! The USA has so many pate choices, yet here in Aust it is very limited, so good to see the PRO PLAN variety is ok too. I might try it. Thank you again

    1. Hi Penny. The list is less than six months old. If you have conflicting data, I would be very interested to see them, as this is information not usually supplied by the manufacturers. The numbers I report are estimates – I have explained how I arrived at these figures in the text so you can check them yourself.

      1. Hi Andrew, I was going by Dr Lisa Pierson’s chart which I have also found extremely useful – I wonder if you know it?
        It certainly is a minefield out there!
        Thanks again for your time.
        penny

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