Fussie Cat Causes a Fuss - Cat Food Review
Are the ingredients up to par?
Fussie Cat is a brand of premium natural canned cat food produced by Pets Global, Inc. of California. The varieties include tuna, mussels, anchovy, crab and boneless, skinless chicken meat, sweet potato, carrot, sunflower seed oil and other natural ingredients, and no by-products.
With the exception of the chicken with vegetables and brown rice formula, this cat food brand is grain-free. It’s also billed a good choice for cats that are prone to urinary tract issues.
While this seemed like a pretty good brand to us, a reader took exception to our recommendation.
So we did some more research, and the results surprised all of us.
How the Fussie Cat Fuss Started
We were taken to the woodshed (in a manner of speaking) by a reader named Lillian for recommending Fussie Cat canned cat food in a blog post.
She wrote: “Your recent product recommendation of Fussie Cat came as a complete shock. Have you read the ingredient label or even opened up a can of this stuff? I purchase Weruva and Tiki, both high-quality products. Fussie Cat contains sugar as well as E250, a food coloring or preservative agent classified as a carcinogen. The product is, in fact, cheap and misrepresents itself as being from the same facility as Weruva, a good product. Formulations will range from bad to good from all canneries, so I suggest you try this stuff before recommending it to others.”
As devout proponents of natural cat food brands, this seemed like a pretty good one to us. So we did some further investigating and came up with some interesting findings.
Just what is all this fuss about Fussie Cat?
We briefly fed this to Omar, who has since passed over the Rainbow Bridge due to developing a vaccine-associated sarcoma, on the recommendation of a natural pet store owner after he was diagnosed with urinary crystals and was not able to tolerate the prescription foods his vet placed him on. (He loved Fussie Cat, by the way.)
Although we did not feed him this brand exclusively (he also got such respected brands as Weruva, Best Feline Friend, and Tiki), he received a clean bill of health during his last checkup. We did read the label (we did not see sodium nitrite on the panel when we purchased this) and conducted a considerable amount of research into this brand, which received glowing reviews.
But Lillian’s e-mail was an eye-opener. So we consulted with Brad Kriser, a natural pet natural pet store owner who is highly knowledgeable about pet food. He said: “We don’t like the added sugar and preservatives and that is why Kriser’s does not carry the product line.”
However, according to my research, Fussie Cat may be getting a needlessly bad rap.
Just what is in Fussie Cat?
E250 is the chemical code for sodium nitrite (not to be confused with sodium nitrate), an additive commonly used in the food industry to prevent the growth of bacteria, most notably deadly botulism, in meat products.
According to some research materials we came across, this can be toxic to mammals in high concentrations.
On the other hand, studies conducted by scientists at the National Institutes of Health have concluded that sodium nitrite is safe, and may actually be beneficial in the treatment of heart attacks and sickle cell disease, among other human health issues. Plus, the benefits outweigh the risks due to the bacteria prevention properties.
As for the oligo sugar (which is different in compound from common table sugar that people use), natural health proponents claim that this acts as a prebiotic. (Chicory root and Jerusalem artichokes are high in this.) Thus, it is said by some health experts to encourage the growth of beneficial bacteria. This may explain why it’s often touted as a good choice for cats with urinary and digestive issues.
Conversely, detractors claim that this is only added to cat food in an effort to make it more palatable to cats, and render it “addictive” to them. However, we found this to be a misconception.
Straight from the horse’s or, rather, Fussie Cat’s mouth
We contacted Pets Global, Inc. in regard to Lillian’s concerns. A customer service rep got back to us and informed me that the company is constantly refining and improving the formula and that Fussie Cat is frequently recommended by vets. (For the record, Omar’s vet thinks this is a good brand.)
“Fussie Cat is a Natural Cat Food with animal welfare as our highest priority,” the rep said. The rep added that the company has stopped including E250 and oligo sugar in its recipes, although, on the basis of our research, these ingredients are actually okay.
Meanwhile, we heard back from Lillian who had come to the realization that she misinterpreted the potentially harmful effects of oligo sugar.
She wrote: “I must stand corrected; apparently oligo sugar is not sugar in the true sense of the word. It does add sweet flavor, but it is primarily used as a prebiotic, and is, therefore, great for digestive issues in humans and so far dogs. Eukanuba, Petcurean and a number of other companies use this.
So I apologize for jumping the gun and chastising you for your recommendation. However, you still might want to do some additional research on their product.”
Well, we did. We are happy to report that we stand by our recommendation of Fussie Cat!