Cat Food Adviser


Welcome to the Essential Guide to Cat Food Analysis…

The cat food industry is a multi billion dollar business that is growing larger every year – and very few cat owners ever stop to take a moment to consider what they are feeding their pet cat when they pour them a bowl of Friskies or Purina Cat Chow. The truth is, commercial cat food is not a closely regulated industry and pet owners will be surprised to find out what is being ground up into cat food and then marketed at high quality food. Our objective through this website is to provide a non-biased source of expert cat food analysis as well as be a trusted adviser on the food you choose to feet your cat. It’s extremely important as a pet owner that any food you feed your cat meets strict analysis for both quality and nutritional value.

Cat Food Analysis involves more than the examination of the actual ingredients on the package label,  it involves looking at the companies themselves that produce the food and seeing through the marketing to get to the bottom of what we are actually giving cats to eat.   As the internet’s trusted cat food adviser, our goal is to continually provide updated information on all brands and types of cat food being sold to consumers.

The cat food industry would like us to believe that the food we are buying for our cats is made up of plump juicy all white chicken breast meat, grade A cuts of beef and fresh grains straight off the farm. The good news is analyzing the cat foods on the market is that some pet foods actually do contain these ingredients – the bad news is most don’t. Despite all the cute happy kittens and plump healthy purring adult cats on the bags and boxes of cat food,the ingredients inside contain everything from road kill to Styrofoam and even dead dogs and cats.

There is a big difference between what consumers are being led to believe they are feeding their cats – and what we are actually feeding them. In this website, our objective is to inform you as a pet owner and to discuss the contents of the major brands, as well as some of the lesser known brands of cat food available on the market today.

A Report in 2014 from the American Pet Products Association estimates that there are over 95 million pet cats in the United States with 45 million homes owning a cat. resource: http://www.americanpetproducts.org/pubs_survey.asp

Because there is little regulation as to what goes into pet foods – as you are about to learn – just about anything that can’t be fed to humans but is still edible is turned into dog and cat food. Only about 50% of each animal slaughtered for human consumption is actually used and the rest is often used for pet food including everything from hooves to diseased animals, udders, and a host of other “unpleasant to think about” ingredients. Crops damaged by disease or the elements and deemed unfit for humans are also used for pet food.

Product
Photo
Name of
Cat Food
Bag
Size
Best Internet
Price
Amazon Customer
Rating

Natural Balance Dry Cat Food, Limited Ingredient Diet Green Pea and Duck Formula,
10 LB$26.094.5 / 5 Stars. Click to read reviews

Wellness CORE Grain Free Dry Cat Food for Adult Cats, Original Fish and Fowl Recipe
12 LB$40.994 / 5 Stars - Click to read reviews

Diamond Naturals Dry Food for Adult Cats, Indoor Hairball Control Chicken Formula,
18 LB$26.474 / 5 Stars - Click to read reviews

Blue Buffalo Indoor Cat Dry Food, Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe
15 LB$36.994.4 / 5 Stars - Click to read reviews

Instinct Grain-Free Dry Cat Food, Chicken Meal Formula
12 LB$35.143.9 / 5 Stars - Click to read reviews

It’s important to remember that the vast majority of the pet food sold today is made by multi national corporations including Nestle, Delmonte, Procter and Gamble and Colgate Palm Olive. These massive companies see the sale of pet food as an effective end use for their food production chain. Many of the small boutique pet food manufacturers have been bought out over the years and finding true organic pet food is becoming harder and harder.
kitten cat food analysis

Understanding the Labels on Cat Food.

Cat food and dog food falls under a grey area in ingredient labelling. These regulations are dictated by an organization called AAFCO that provides the regulations and standards that have to be followed by pet food makers in the United States. Just as with human food, all ingredients have to be listed – but there is no exact ruling on how those ingredients have to be identified. For example, putting in cattle hooves and anal tracts is still considered beef and can be labelled 100% beef.

There is also no requirement to identify how the ingredients affect your pet and many foods can be quite harmful to cats – particularly males who are susceptible to a potentially deadly blockage of the urinary tract caused by crystals and stones forming in th urinary tract and blocking the flow of urine. Treatment of this condition can run into thousands of dollars with no guarantee that the problem will not come back in a few months.

A male cat with a urinary blockage will struggle to urinate and may cry out in pain as stones lodge or pass through his urinary tract. This problem is almost exclusively caused by a low quality commercial cat food diet. If left untreated the cat will die from either blood poisoning or kidney failure. The problem is usually treated with a catheter inserted into the cat’s bladder via the penis and left in for several days in an attempt to drain the crystals and stones. In extreme cases, the entire penis can be removed to reduce the chance of future blockages

Have you considered purchasing pet insurance.   Vet bills can add up to unmanageable levels extremely quickly if your pet becomes ill or is severely injured.  Although many veterinarians will allow a posted dated check payment plan for major treatments – bills can quickly exceed $5000 for treating your pet for major health issues. Pet Health Insurance is highly recommended if you own a male indoor cat or your cat is allowed outdoors. Treatment for bladder infections on urinary stones will exceed $2000 and can go significantly higher if the problem continues to return. Embrace Pet Insurance offers reasonable rates for a variety of coverages and plans and could mean the difference between being able to afford to treat your cat or having to put them down if you can’t afford the treatment.

The chemical and content analysis of pet food is based on a general safety factor that it will not harm the cat in the short term and will provide the animal with sufficient nutrients to live. Although there are numerous laws on pet food manufacturing, the FDA exercises very little authority over the pet food industry and enforcement is left up to the individual state. Some states aggressively enforce laws while others, such as California, are notoriously poor at ensuring regulations are met.

The use of claims and wording is also regulated in pet food labeling. For example, the term 100% can’t be used if the product contains more than one base ingredient ( excluding minimal required water and preservatives. )

Cat food that contains at least 95% by total weight of the advertised meat can claim their products are 95% or 100% real meat. For a product to be included in the labeling, such as “Real Chicken ” it must contain a minimum of 3% by weight of the contents of the food. If a product is to be called Dinner – such as Beef Dinner, it must contain a minimum of 25% of the ingredient by weight of the product’s weight. Foods listed as having a particular flavour such as Beef Flavour are not required to contain any of the described product.

Ingredients in cat food must be listed in order of descending weight and how the ingredients are legally defined by the AAFCO’s annual publication. The guaranteed analysis portion of the label is designed to provide a list of the composition of the food including proteins, fat and fiber as well as total moisture.

Wet and Canned Cat Food.

Wet cat food by the nature of it’s manufacturing process is generally of better quality than the dry variety. Because wet food contains no rendered bi-product, they usually have higher levels of proteins and other nutrients and far less potentially harmful filler although they still contain many types of animal products that are not deemed safe for human consumption. Wet cat food is made following a computer monitored recipe that is ” cooked ” often right in the cans where commercial stabilization takes place. The additional moisture in wet food is also better for your cat.

Dry Cat Food

Almost all dry cat food is made with a machine called an extruder which blends the exact amount of ingredients the recipe calls for. The extruder works by combining high amounts of dry or low moisture ingredients including starches, rendered bone meal, poultry byproducts and low quality grains or processed flour. This ” dough ” is then steamed in a high pressure chamber that pushes the product into tubes shaped into how the cat food is to look ( such as cute little fish shapes ) and then is cut as it comes out the other side of the tube into exact piece sizes. As the pieces are subjected to normal air pressure after coming out of the pressure chamber, they puff up and form their final shape. They are then dried, and coated with fat, colouring and flavouring agents.

Although bacteria is killed in the pressure cooking process – the drying and packaging process of cat food can attract potentially harmful bacteria which can be activated if the food gets wet. Therefore you should never mix dry cat food with fluids such as milk or water as it can make your pet very ill.

Generally speaking, wet cat food is easier to digest for your cat and contains higher levels of nutrients – but is not as healthy for their teeth, as the plaque removal process takes place in having to ” crunch ” the food down to swallow.

Product
Photo
Rating
Price
Buyer Reviews
Wellness Canned Cat Food, Chicken Recipe, 12-Pack of 12-1/2-Ounce Cans

9.25$31.08Read
CANIDAE Grain Free PURE Elements with Chicken, Turkey, and Lamb Can Formula For Cats

8.95$26.15Read
Canidae Canned Cat Food for Adult Cats and Kittens, Formula with Chicken, Turkey, Lamb and Ocean Fish (Pack of 12 13 Ounce Cans)

9.05$23.47Read
Felidae Canned Cat Food for Adult Cats and Kittens, Chicken and Rice Formula in Chicken Broth (Pack of 12 13 Ounce Cans)

8.75$30.25Read
EVO Cat & Kitten Canned Cat Food

9.45$30.99Read

There is considerable debate regarding the question of wet food or dry food being better for your cat and every argument for and against each type can be refuted by its detractors. There is no doubt that dry food is less wasteful, generally cheaper, cleaner to serve and clean up and more convenient for the pet owner. The best argument in favour of wet food is that it is more like the real food cats would eat if left to their own resources and it contains a high level of essential moisture that cats, especially male cats, need for a healthy urinary tract.

What every best cat food has is more meat, less grain in the top five ingredients. No corn, wheat or soy as carbohydrate sources. If you do choose a cat food with grain, steer clear of corn, wheat and soy, which can all trigger allergies in cats. No artificial preservatives. No byproducts. Some say that byproducts are perfectly acceptable as a cat in the wild will eat its entire prey — bones, fur, internal organs and the rest. However, others are concerned about just what’s in those byproducts and the quality of its sources, noting that a lack of standards allows the inclusion of animal products that would otherwise not be deemed fit for consumption by humans — or their pets. A good safety record. There’s much concern about the quality of what goes into pet foods. Look for cat food from a company that maintains good control over the sources of its ingredients. Some companies go the extra mile by doing their own independent tests. Companies that have acted responsibly in the past — such as being forthright with their customers when something has gone wrong — are more likely to do so in the future.

The final decision is yours and no doubt you have had experience with cats long enough to have formed your own opinions but perhaps some research will lead you to change your choices or it may just confirm what you already knew.

kitten cat food analysisUnderstanding the Labels on Cat Food.

Cat food and dog food falls under a grey area in ingredient labeling.  These regulations are dictated by an organization called AAFCO that provides the regulations and standards that have to be followed by pet food makers in the United States.   Just as with human food, all ingredients have to be listed – but there is no exact ruling on how those ingredients have to be identified.  For example, putting in cattle hooves and anal tracts is still considered beef and can be labelled 100% beef.

There is also no requirement to identify how the ingredients effect your pet and many foods can be quite harmful to cats – particularly males who are susceptible to a potentially deadly blockage of the urinary tract caused by crystals and stones forming in the urinary tract and blocking the flow of urine.  Treatment of this condition can run into the thousands of dollars with no guarantee of the problem not coming back in a few months.

A male cat with a urinary blockage will struggle to go pee and may cry out in pain as stones lodge or pass in his urinary tract and is almost exclusively caused by a low quality commercial cat food diet. If left untreated the cat will die from either blood poisoning or kidney failure. The problem is usually treated with a catheter inserted into the cats bladder via the penis and left in for several days in an attempt to drain the crystals and stones. In extreme cases, the entire penis can be removed to reduce the chance of future blockages

The chemical and content analysis of pet food is based on a general safety factor that it will not harm the cat in the short term as well will provide the animal with sufficient nutrients to live. Although there are numerous laws on pet food manufacturing, the FDA exercises very little authority over the pet food industry and enforcement is left up to the individual state. Some states aggressively enforce laws while others, such as California, are notoriously poor at ensuring regulations are met.

The use of claims and wording is also regulated in pet food labeling. For example, the term 100% can’t be used if the product contains more than one base ingredient ( excluding minimal required water and preservatives. )

Cat food that contains at least 95% by total weight the advertised contained meat can claim their products are 95% or 100% real meat. For a product to be included in the labeling such as ” Real Chicken ” it must contain a minimum of 3% be weight the contents of the food. If a product is to be called Dinner – such as Beef Dinner, it must contain a minimum of 25% of the weight of the product of the ingredient listed. Foods listed as having a particular flavor such as Beef Flavor are not required to contain any of the described product.

Ingredients in cat food must be listed in order of descending weight and how the ingredients are legally defined by the AAFCO’s annual publication. The guaranteed analysis portion of the label is designed to provide a list of the composition of the food including proteins, fat and fiber as well as total moisture.

How Pet Food Is Made

Wet and Canned Cat Food.

Wet cat food is generally by the nature of it’s manufacturing process of better quality than the dry variety.   Because wet food contains no rendered bi-product, they usually have higher levels of protiens and other nutrients and far less potentially harmful filler although they still contain many types of animal products that are not deemed safe for human consumption.   Wet cat food is made following a computer monitored recipe that is ” cooked ” often right in the cans where commercial stabilization takes place.    The additional moisture in wet food is also better for your cat.

Dry Cat Food

Almost all dry cat food is made with a machine called an extruder which blends the exact amount of ingredients the recipe calls for.   The extruder works by combining high amounts of dry or low moisture ingredients including starches, rendered bone meal, poultry by products  and low quality grains or processed flour.  This ” dough ” is then steamed in a high pressure chamber that pushes the product into tubes shaped into how the cat food is to look ( such as cute little fish shapes ) and then is cut as it comes out the other side of the tube into exact piece sizes.  As the pieces are subjected to normal air pressure after coming out of the pressure chamber, they puff up and form their final shape.  They are then dried, and coated with fat, coloring and flavoring agents.

Although bacteria is killed in the pressure cooking process – the drying and packaging process of cat food can attract potentially harmful bacteria which can be activated if the food gets wet.  There for you should never mix dry cat food with fluids such as milk or water as it can make your pet very ill.

Generally speaking, wet cat food is easier to digest for your cat and contains higher levels of nutrients – but is not as healthy for their teeth as now  plaque removal process takes place in having to ” crunch ” the food down to swallow.