Quick Review
  • Nutrition - 8/10
    8/10
  • Ingredients - 9/10
    9/10

Review Summary

Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch is a high-quality dry cat food. Its nutrient profile is above average and provides more protein and fat than average dry cat foods. Despite this, the carbohydrate levels in this dry cat food are far too high.

It contains a particularly high variety of named meats such as Beef, Pork, Lamb and more. Unfortunately, it does contain some Legumes such as Peas, Lentils, and Chickpeas which are not part of a cats natural diet. While they are not ideal they still provide a modest nutritional contribution.

The huge range of meat and vegetable ingredients might make this product unsuitable for cats with allergies or sensitivities.

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Pros

High-Quality Meat Ingredients

No Grains or By-products

Cons

Excessive Carbohydrate Proportion

Full review of Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats by Acana

Acana Regionals Appalachian Ranch for Cats Packaging

Nutritional Analysis

The ideal nutrition for a cat is a high amount of protein, a medium amount of fat. Cats do not require carbohydrates in their diet. However, they can safely consume small amounts of carbohydrates with minimal effect.

Acana Regionals Appalachian Ranch for Cats Calorie Breakdown Chart

Carbohydrate Content Analysis

Cats use carbohydrates as a simple energy source. Cats do not require carbohydrates in their diet and they are commonly added to reduce cost and increase shelf life. As the chart above displays, a maximum of 25% of Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats calories are derived from carbohydrates. Please note that this is the maximum amount of carbohydrates as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of carbohydrates is likely to be a lot lower. This is below average for a Dry Cat Food.

This carbohydrate content appears to be from the wide range of legumes present in this food, which will be discussed later. By adding multiple varieties they appear quite far down the ingredient list. However, when their proportion is combined it would likely be much higher. Unless the guaranteed analysis is very inaccurate the proportion of carbohydrates is too high and far from ideal.

Protein Content Analysis

Cats use Protein for growth, development, and maintenance. Excess protein can be burned as calories. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 33% of Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats calories are derived from protein. Please note that this is the minimum amount of protein as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of protein is likely to be higher. This is above average for a Dry Cat Food.

This protein content appears to be from the large selection of meat and meat meal ingredients, although some may be from vegetable matter. Some of the meat sources present are Beef, Lamb, and Pork. These are all considered high-quality protein sources and contain a complete amino acid profile. Meat meals are especially potent protein sources and are highly concentrated. Unless the guaranteed analysis is vastly underestimating the protein content, this cat food is somewhat below ideal protein levels.

Fat Content Analysis

Cats use Fat for a concentrated energy source. In addition, fats also play a role in development and maintenance. As the chart above displays, a minimum of 42% of Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats calories are derived from Fat. Please note that this is the minimum amount of fat as calculated by the guaranteed analysis. In reality, this value of fat is likely to be a lot higher. This is above average for a Dry Cat Food.

The animal fats present are sourced from named meats which are a cat’s natural source of fat. This is certainly a sufficient quantity of fat to satisfy a cats needs. While it would be ideal to replace some of the carbohydrates of this cat food with additional fat, the current proportion of fat is satisfactory.

Calorie Density

Overall Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats contains an average of 3980 kcal/kg or 454 kcal per 8 oz. cup.

Disclaimer

Once again please note that the values in this section are calculated using the products guaranteed analysis. The guaranteed analysis only lists the minimum and maximum values and as a consequence, these can sometimes be an inaccurate representation. As a rule of thumb, most cat foods will contain slightly more protein and considerably more fat than their guaranteed analysis. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing the relative amount of carbohydrates present. However also note that every cat food is different and some will be considerably closer to the guaranteed analysis than others.

Guaranteed Analysis – Acana – Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats

Pet foods in the United States are legally required by the AAFCO to have a guaranteed analysis on their packaging. A guaranteed analysis must display certain nutritional information. This is similar to how nutritional values are now commonly displayed on food for human consumption. The information that must be displayed includes Crude Protein, Crude Fat, Crude Fiber, and Moisture. Some guaranteed analysis will contain additional information. The guaranteed analysis for this product is listed below.

  • Crude Protein (Min) – 35.00%
  • Crude Fat (Min) – 20.00%
  • Crude Fiber (Max) – 4.00%
  • Moisture (Max) – 10.00%
  • Calcium (Min) – 1.8%
  • Phosphorus (Min) – 1.3%
  • Omega 6 Fatty Acids (Min) – 1.8%
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Min) – 0.6%

 

Ingredient Analysis

The ingredients of a pet food are displayed as a list in descending order. Those listed at the start of the list make up the majority of a pet foods content. Therefore the quality of these core ingredients is the most important factor in determining the quality of a pet food. However, later ingredients should not be ignored, especially if they are deemed potentially dangerous or harmful.

High-Quality Ingredients

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Beef Meal
  • Pork Meal
  • Lamb Meal
  • Beef Liver

 

Low-Quality Ingredients

  • N/A

 

Dangerous / Harmful Ingredients

  • N/A

 

In-Depth Meat/Fish Ingredient Review

The most important ingredients in a cat food are the sources of meat and fish. Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats contains more than ten sources of meat or fish.

The primary meat source present is Beef. Beef is a considered a high-quality source of protein. In addition, Beef contains vitamins such as Iron and Zinc. Unfortunately Beef does contain a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Beef. However given that Beef is the first listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

The secondary meat source present is Pork. Pork is considered a high-quality source of protein. Pork is particularly rich in thiamin and while it contains less iron than Beef or Lamb, its iron content is still significant. Unfortunately, just like Beef, Pork contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Pork. However given that Pork is the second listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

Another meat source present is Lamb. Lamb is considered a high-quality source of protein. Just like Beef, lamb is rich in iron. In addition to this, it has higher levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acid than other red meats and high levels of Vitamin B12. Unfortunately, just like Beef and Pork, Lamb contains a high concentration of water. Much of this water is evaporated during the cooking process leaving a lesser proportion of Lamb. However given that Lamb is the third listed ingredient, its proportion will still be relatively high even after the cooking process.

Another meat source present is Beef Meal. Beef Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Beef Meal contains the same vitamins and minerals as Beef but in higher concentrations. This includes high levels of minerals like Iron and Zinc.

Another meat source present is Pork Meal. Pork Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Pork Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Pork but in higher concentrations. This includes Thiamin and significant levels of the Iron.

Another meat source present is Lamb Meal. Lamb Meal is considered a high-quality source of protein. Meat Meal is a concentrated form of meat that has already had the majority of its moisture removed. This means that gram for gram it is much richer in protein and other nutrients. Lamb Meal will contain the same vitamins and minerals as Lamb but in higher concentrations. This includes Vitamin B12 and high levels of the Omega 3 Fatty Acids.

Beef Fat is considered an average quality source of meat. While Beef Fat does not contain protein it has its uses. Cats are designed to use fat as their primary energy source so fat from animals such as chicken is an ideal source.

In-Depth None-Meat Ingredient Review

Acana Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats contains Peas, Lentils and Garbanzo Beans (also known as chickpeas). These are all members of the legume family of vegetables. Legumes are famous for having a relatively high amount of protein for a vegetable. Legumes also contain a high amount of fiber, which is important for healthy digestion. Pet foods often use legumes as a replacement for grains in grain-free pet food. Protein from vegetables such as legumes should not be a replacement for protein from meat. Instead, it should act as an additional protein source.

Pumpkin is a high-quality vegetable ingredient and a beneficial addition to a cats diet. Pumpkin contains high levels of a variety of vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Potassium. However, Pumpkin is probably best known for the Dietary Fiber it can contribute. This fiber can improve and regulate digestion. Finally, Pumpkin does not contain significant levels of plant-based protein. This lack of protein prevents Pumpkin being used solely to inflate protein levels like other vegetables, such as Peas, often are.

Dried Chicory Root or Chicory Root Extract is an additive or supplement to cat food. It can provide a range of health benefits including soluble fiber to enable regular passage of stool, probiotics to aid and promote digestion, as well as potentially eliminate or prevent intestinal worms. While these benefits are not fully proven, there is strong evidence behind them. The proportion of Chicory Root used in most cat food recipes is tiny and does not contribute meaningful nutrition. Find out more in Dried Chicory Root In Dog Food.

Full Ingredient List – Acana – Regionals – Appalachian Ranch for Cats

Deboned beef, deboned pork, deboned lamb, beef meal, lamb meal, pork meal, whole green peas, red lentils, pinto beans, beef liver, beef fat, catfish meal, chickpeas, green lentils, whole yellow peas, deboned bison, whole catfish, herring oil, natural pork flavor, lentil fiber, beef tripe, lamb tripe, lamb liver, pork liver, beef kidney, pork kidney, pork cartilage, dried kelp, whole pumpkin, whole butternut squash, kale, spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, turnip greens, carrots, apples, pears, freeze-dried beef liver, freeze-dried lamb liver, freeze-dried pork liver, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, choline chloride, zinc proteinate, copper proteinate, mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, turmeric, sarsaparilla root, althea root, rosehips, juniper berries, dried lactobacillus acidophilus fermentation product, dried bifidobacterium animalis fermentation product, dried lactobacillus casei fermentation product.