November 07, 2012
Walmart's house brand is cheap enough to delight some owners and tasty enough to delight some cats. But this wet cat food contains little protein from muscle meat, an ingredient many vets recommend.
One Walmart line of canned cat food, Special Kitty Premium, is the cheapest wet-food product we researched. And it's cheap enough that one of our poll respondents (a dog owner, himself) fed it to posse of feral cats that were hanging around his office. His review of Special Kitty Premium cat food indicates that the animals lapped it up in no time but he concedes that this wasn't really a good test because the cats were probably hungry enough to eat anything. That dig aside, Special Kitty Premium cat food reviews at Walmart give the pate version of this brand high marks for likeability (i.e., cat appeal) and affordability (i.e., human appeal); one commenter says his picky cats prefer it to a major supermarket brand.
On the other hand, a Special Kitty Premium cat food review at Pet Food Talk contends that the formula contains too many ingredients associated with cat allergies and further notes that consumer reviews express concern about the product's nutritional value. Reviews posted at Viewpoints about unspecified varieties of Special Kitty cat food raise similar doubts. Several owners report negative health consequences -- e.g., dull coat, weight loss, diarrhea, vomiting -- that seemingly result from a Special Kitty diet and one says the odor from the food reemerges in the litter box.
The Special Kitty ingredients aren't listed on the product's web page, and a question asking for details that was posted in late October hadn't been answered five days later. The label on a can of Special Kitty mixed grill we found at a Walmart store identified meat byproducts as the top ingredient, followed by water and poultry byproducts; the minimum crude protein for this variety is 10 percent and maximum moisture content is 78 percent, with minimum fat of 5 percent and maximum fiber of 1 percent. Special Kitty comes in two wet cat food formulations -- e.g., pate and sliced, each with its own assortment of flavors -- and it's also available as kibble.
Compared to the other budget cat foods we researched, this one just doesn't cut it. Some cats like it and the price is hard to beat, but you can do better by your pets for a just a few pennies more.
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