Serious pet owners have heard about why they need to make sure that they feed their cat a proper cat diet, and why they need to avoid bad commercial cat food. If you are buying cat food from major retailers, you might be in for a big surprise. The cat food that you find labeled “Premium Cat Food” might not actually be as great for your beloved cat as you would believe. The fact is that the pet food industry has many dirty little secrets that they just do not want consumers to know. Before you pick up that next bad of cat chow, learn a little bit more about the industry and then make your decision.
1. The pet food labels that you see on shelves use weasel words to trick you. Weasel words are words that sounds very promising, but do not actually mean anything informative. Words like “premium,” “choice,” and “quality” are slapped on labels, and according to the rules, it’s perfectly legal to do so as long as they don’t make a guarantee about the ingredients in the food, or the food itself. Premium is a word that is purely and simply, a marketing term. It is on the label to encourage you to buy, and does nothing more than that. Bad commercial cat food sounds a lot more appetizing with the right labels, after all.
2. Reading the ingredients can tell you if the cat food in question is worth buying. Low quality pet food will often have “meat and bone meal” as a primary ingredient. In simple terms, “meat and bone meal” is a mixture of animal intestines, diseased tissues, bone parts, and sometimes even the remains of euthanized cats, dogs, and sheep. Meat by-products and animal digest also have similar ingredients. This is why many pets get sick from bad commercial cat food.
3. There is less quality control in pet food than in human food. Just like with the food that you eat, there are different levels of pet food quality. Each bag of pet food comes with a guaranteed analysis of the ingredients in the food, where you can learn about the percentage of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. The analysis does not tell you about the sources of the protein and some of the pet food manufacturers to use low-nutrition sources like chicken feet to add a higher protein rating to their pet food. In addition, many of them use euthanized animals due to illness in the pet food. A proper cat diet is difficult to get if you do not know this simple trick.
4. The best cat food has quality human grade ingredients. This should make common sense, but it often does not. Many pet food companies will say that they use human grade ingredients, but only use one or two ingredients worth human consumption. In order to make sure that your pet food is 100% human grade, it is important to choose APHIS European certified food. When European countries import pet food from the United States, they demand that all ingredients are human grade. Use that little law as a way to keep yourself from buying bottom tier food.
5. Healthier cat food has healthy bacteria in it called probiotics in human food. In order to make sure you have a proper cat diet, you need to make sure that the bacteria in your cat’s intestines actually is present in the numbers recommended. Check the label for Acidophilus. If it is not on the label, you need to find healthier cat food for your pet’s immune system or add probiotics and enzymes in the food.
6. The preservatives used in pet food are cancer-causing chemicals. These preservatives include such dangerous ones as BHT and BHA and both chemicals cause cancer and general malaise. When picking your pet food, make an effort to search for natural preservatives such as Vitamin E or natural mixed tocopherols. A proper cat diet will be free of BHT.