Buying Food For Cats
Most of what passes for cat food is literally garbage. Madeleine Innocent had this to say on the subject:
When you walk down the isles of the cat food section in any supermarket, you could be forgiven for thinking that all the big brand names were offering you the most nutritious cat food for a healthy cat.
Can you believe the advertising, the pretty pictures and sage words by ‘veterinarians’?
Not on your life!
Turn the packet or tin over and you’ll see what constitutes ‘quality’ ingredients – meat by-products.
Meat by-products are the net result of a rendering plant. Rendering plants take the waste from slaughter houses – typically heads, hooves, intestines (including the contents…). Many also get their ‘raw material’ from veterinary clinics (euthanised dogs and cats), road kills, euthanised or dead zoo animals, horses and the like.
This not only means the quality of meat is very low, but that you are turning your cat into a cannibal.
The chemical that is used to euthanise animals cannot be broken down in the cooking process, which means your cat is living on a diet of a fatal chemical.
Most of the top brands of cat food then bulk out this ‘meat’ with a filler. This makes the end product much more profitable for them, but much less nutritious for your cat, if you thought it was in the first place.
Fillers tend to be whatever is currently cheap in the world market. Sugar can be used. So can melamine. I’m sure you’ve heard of all the deaths of cats from cat food manufacturers importing melamine from China.
Don’t imagine that it has gone away. It’s just been buried a bit deeper.
Because the manufacturers want to keep this ‘nutritious cat food’ on the shelf indefinitely (good for marketing), preservatives are then added. Two of the worst ones are ethoxyquin (which can give factory workers symptoms similar to agent orange poisoning) and formaldehyde (which is great for preserving or embalming dead bodies).
Animal fat is a bit of a problem, as humans tend not to eat much of it. So a lot goes into pet food. Look at what your butchers sells as pet food. One butcher told me that it’s a common practice to add beetroot juice to fat and sell it as pet food. If that’s done openly, imagine what goes on behind closed doors.
What, then, SHOULD cats eat? Ideally, raw meat with some fortifiers added in to make a nutritionally complete cat diet. However, not all felines are candidates for raw. Cats that already have certain health conditions and/or refuse raw meat will not be able to survive if only offered raw. It’s an unfair cycle: cats with compromised digestive systems may not be able to tolerate raw, but feeding raw is conducive to healthy digestion. In my case, I gradually transitioned my cats to raw so their bodies and palates could get used to it.
The fact that cats do not NEED vegetables, fruits, and grains does not prevent even so-called high-quality cat food manufacturers from including it in their products. It’s up to the consumer to read labels and provide their cats with a carnivorous diet. According to Halo’s website: Remember long ago cats hunted for their food (and some still do!) and were exposed to carbohydrates within the digestive system of their prey. The domesticated indoor cat appears to benefit from the digestive health that COMPLEX carbs (in the form of fiber-rich vegetables, oats and barley) provide.
I must respectfully disagree with their statement. Cats generally don’t eat the digestive systems of their prey. They eat the head and other parts that have more nutritional value to them. And even if they were “exposed” to carbs, that doesn’t mean they require them or benefit from them. If cats were meant to eat grains, cats wouldn’t be used to protect granaries from rodents. Cats’ value as mousers comes from the fact that they require meat and NOT grain. It’s up to cat parents to know what’s best for their cats and not give into manufacturers’ attempts to explain away the inclusion of unnecessary ingredients in their foods. (My cats had diarrhea when I fed them HALO, both dry and canned.)
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