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Questionable Canned
Cat Food Ingredients

Things ‘Possibly’ Detrimental to a Cat’s Long-Term Health


(High Carb/Chem, Artificial Ingredients, No Moisture)

• Dry Food Now = Bad Health, Suffering and Vet Bills Later •

These Ingredients Aren’t Bad Enough

to be Rejected, but when I review them

I do reduce their letter grades

Now don’t get all twisted out of shape. Dropping an ingredient’s grade one or two letter-grades isn’t the same as rejecting it altogether. Dropping the grade is an indication that the cat food has ingredients which are of questionable value.

I Drop a Cat Food One Letter-Grade If It Has:

I don’t reject them, but I reduce any product by one letter-grade rating (A through E) should the product contain: 

• major protein combinations, i.e. the mix of different, broad food ingredients within the same product (like meat combined in the same can with fish). Now, admittedly, this is more of my own personal preference rather than some scientific fact. One could think… I eat surf & turf (meat & fish), why can’t my cat eat it? Imagine if you took your surf & turf and ground it all up and dumped it onto a dinner plate. Not as appetizing now is it? Said another way, I prefer only foods of ‘single-sourced’ products – only seafood , or only poultry, or only meat. I guess my point is that there are plenty of other cat food products to choose from without mixing major protein combinations. —  (While I’m on the subject, many cat food can labels are simply deceiving. For example, you might think a food called “Salmon & Trout Formula” would be good for your cat. Problem is, the first ingredient in the can is chicken. How about a product called “Real Beef Recipe”? The first ingredients are chicken broth and chicken. These are true, real-life examples that are on store shelves right now.)

• liver. Liver is a heavily disputed cat food ingredient. Some people believe the liver has many beneficial properties, while I, and many others, think that there is no way to separate the liver from the liver contents. The liver’s purpose is to filter toxic materials and protect the body. As far as I am concerned, if you feed your cat(s) liver, you feed your cat(s) toxins.  —  Listen very carefully when Dr. Justin Shmalberg of NomNomNow talks about liver in this video Why Doesn’t NomNomNow Use Organ Meats?  

—  There’s also another devious practice by unscrupulous cat food manufacturers using the word ‘liver.’ They don’t always tell you what kind of ‘liver’ is in the can. You’re reading down the list on a can of seafood… “Whitefish, Salmon, Fish Broth, Liver, etc., etc.” You make the assumption that the ‘Liver’ is from a fish. WRONG – Not necessarily so. — Having said that, it’s almost impossible to avoid liver. It’s in 53% of the products I have reviewed.

• clams, mussels & squid (I don’t think I want to feed my cats anything that lives at the sea bottom and filters toxins for a living. Besides that, have you ever seen a cat in the wild go diving for exotic seafood?)

• dried egg product, dried egg whites (potential allergens)

• salt  (I wonder why manufacturer’s feel that added salt is a necessary ingredient in cat food. If salt is high on the ingredients list it may be of greater quantity than many of the more important vitamins, minerals, etc.)

I Don’t Buy Cat Food That Comes From China

I drop a product three grades if it is known that the ingredients are sourced from China or Thailand. Ingredients from these places can be substandard, and there is the risk of poor quality control.

And What About Fish?

Fish should only be an intermittent, supplemental, occasional food for your cats

Fish should only be an intermittent, supplemental,

occasional food for your cats

One of the greatest myths out there is that somehow fish is a better food for cats than is meat. Cats didn’t evolve historically by fishing in a mountain stream or by going for a day’s cruise on the ocean. Fish would be a good food, but for the fact that it contains contaminants. Resultant health problems can occur with a predominantly fish based diet – problems associated with mercury toxicity and the fact that fish have alarming levels of toxins from swimming in polluted waters. It’s best to use fish as a periodic supplement to beef or poultry meals, not as a dietary staple.

I also must inject a comment here about farmed fish. Some people believe farmed fish are superior to wild fish, but nothing is farther from the truth. Farmed fish are often ‘fed’ poultry feces when poultry is held in nets above the fish tanks.

Some Other People’s Comments on Serving Cats Fish:

As expressed elsewhere on this website, because of it’s natural propensity for contamination, fish/seafood should not be used as a primary daily food. Feeding your cat(s) fish often/regularly is not a good idea. 

Writing for Feeding Fido and Fluffy, Carol North has just published an article titled ‘What You Must Know About Fish-Based Cat Food.‘ This article, while zeroing in on the subject of fish in cat food, is also reflective of specific ingredients in all cat food. Read as Carol describes ‘Contaminants in Fish that Could kill Your Pet.’

Here’s a detailed article by Jean Hofve, DVM in Little Big Cat titled ‘Why Fish is Dangerous for Cats.’  Again, I’m not saying don’t feed cats fish. I’m saying don’t have fish be the predominant meal in their diet.

Here’s yet another message warning us to curtail our use of seafood. The article is Mercury in Fish-Based Cat Food: What You Should Know – from Ingrid King in The Conscious Cat.

“If you are feeding canned cat food, the ONLY things that matter to your cats’ future health and wellbeing are the ingredients in the can and the quality of those ingredients.” – Doug Hines

Other Negative Considerations in Choosing Cat Food

Other Negative Considerations

in Choosing Cat Food

Other than here, I won’t even mention the subject of pet food companies that use diseased animal material and material sourced from non-slaughtered animals, i.e., euthanized, and/or drowned, and/or decomposing livestock, and/or animals commonly referred to as ‘road kill’ (allowed by the FDA). I’d like to find out the scientific foundation behind their belief that those types of ingredients are suitable for use in pet food. How about the manufacturer who leaves meat outside in the sun and heat, exposed to rodent and bug infestation? Who, in their right mind, would allow these kind of ingredients in pet food?

You know, I had to have my precious cat Pooky put to sleep. The Vet who did the deed told me that her body would be cremated and that her ashes would be spread on some farmer’s field. That thought produced a pleasant scene in my mind as I stood there experiencing the shock of my little cat’s death. Knowing what I know now, I wonder what really happened to Pooky’s body. Think somebody may have made a buck off of my tragic loss and my total ignorance? Here’s an article by Susan Thixton titled The Truth About Why Dead/Diseased Animals Goes To Pet Food 

What you won’t see on product labels is another scary thing to consider: Some pet food manufactures use “expired grocery foods” in their products. I bet you wouldn’t believe that old, unsold, expired Hot Pockets would go into your beloved cat’s food. Think again. They do. Read as Susan Thixton describes ‘Risk Ingredients Not Listed on Pet Food labels.’

I also won’t even get into the subject of animals used in pet food that have been pumped full of  hormones / steroids / growth stimulants / antibiotics / medicines / tranquilizers / preservatives / pesticides / chemicals / toxins / and parasites. Oh God… the whole thing is scary as hell. 

Ever consider where all that recalled human food goes?  Yep. Right into your cat’s dish. Here’s a headline from today’s news, “Raw Beef Recalled, Deemed Unfit For Human Consumption” The article began, “Nearly 25,000 pounds of beef were recalled last week after food inspectors deemed it unfit for human consumption.” Consumers were encouraged to throw it out or return it to the place of purchase for a refund. The point is… all of that recalled, bad beef most probably wound up in pet food.

Then, in this day and time, I guess one has to naturally expect that there will always be pure and simple intenitonal deception from product manufacturers. One company’s website prominently displays the following in big letters, “WHEN IT COMES TO INGREDIENTS ONLY THE BEST OF THE BEST WILL DO.” Only problem is… I rated their overall product line with an (X). Other deception: “Some pet food testing in Europe has found 14 of 17 pet foods to include meats not identified on product labels. Lack of pet food transparency is a worldwide concern.”  – Susan Thixton, – ‘More Pet Food Testing, More Problems in Pet Food

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