A guide to cat food ingredients

They say “You are what you eat.”. The same applies to our pets. A pet who is fed a top quality food will have fewer health problems over its lifetime. A pet who is fed a lesser food, will likely exhibit problems, which may be as simply as weight concerns, or as big as cancer. The sad thing is that many times owners are not even aware if their pet is healthy or not. A sadder fact is that most cat owners do not even know how to tell if a food is good or not.

Cats are true carnivores. They require meat in their food. Unfortunately most commercially available cat foods use a lot of filler, usually carbohydrates. As a result the cat must eat more food to get the nutrition. The lower quality foods also use FAT to give the pets a glossy coat. Many owners feel a glossy coat = a healthy pet = good food. In combination with the lower quality of the food, the cat must eat a lot more food, thereby eating a lot more fat and carbs. Thus contributing to obesity and feline diabetes. As food brands vary from country to country and each brand may change its’ formula from time to time I will not get into brand names. I will refer to the more common ingredients and discuss why they are good or bad.

DRY CAT FOOD

The FIRST FIVE ingredients are the ones you want to pay most attention to. If the top ingredient is a good meat source, but the remaining four are filler, your food may not the best.

If the food indicates that it is Human Grade it means the food is fit for human consumption. If it does not say human grade then it can even be meat from animals who were euthanized.

Chicken Meal, Lamb Meal, Turkey Meal, etc – GOOD Any meat marked with “MEAL” following it is a good source of actual meat. One of these MUST be the first ingredient listed on your bag. Chicken, Turkey and Lamb, being the gentlest on a cats tummy and the least likely to cause allergies. Fish Meal, such as salmon or tuna, should never be the first ingredient, as fish is high in calcium it may contribute to urinary tract problems.

Meat Meal, Animal Fat,. Etc BAD Any unspecified meat is mystery meat. It can come from ANY animal that died and was rendered that day. In the past there have been pet foods found with dog or cat in it. When you feed mystery meat, you contribute to pet allergies as the food will not be consistent from bag to bag.

Corn and Corn Gluten Meal BAD if in any of the top 3 positions. A filler really, corn is of no nutritional value and is a common allergen. Corn is a carbohydrate, and

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