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Cat Food Reviews – Introduction
• DRY FOOD (CARB/CHEM – FAKE – ARTIFICIAL) HURTS CATS •
• Dry Food Now = Bad Health, Suffering and Vet Bills Later •
The Basis For Evaluating Cat Food
“Anybody can make decisions about cat food once they learn a few basic things.” – Doug Hines, publisher CatNewsHeadlines.com
Evaluating cat food isn’t rocket science…
Just ignore the pretty pictures and fancy words on the can and look at the ingredients. That’s the place to start in evaluating whether or not a cat food is good for your cat(s). Secondarily, the source of those ingredients is important, but you have no control over that situation.
But maybe you do… You have ultimate control. You decide whether or not your are going to buy the product.
At first glance, you may think my reviews are generally negative. You are right… not because of my subjective opinion… but because overall, wet canned cat food today is of poor quality. Judge the ingredients for yourselves, and you’ll arrive at the same conclusion.
You know, the truth is that you, the cat food purchasing public, only have yourselves to blame for the crappy ingredients used in cat food.
If you didn’t buy it, “they” wouldn’t make it. If you didn’t buy the advertising and marketing hype, if you didn’t send your money to these companies, they would either go out of business or they would begin to produce better quality cat food.
Learn which cat food ingredients benefit your cat and, conversely, which cat food ingredients are detrimental to your cat. Vote with your wallet, and someday cat food manufacturers may just wake up and pay attention.
I often wonder… “What’s in the can to benefit my cat’s life, and what’s in the can to benefit shelf life.” – Doug Hines
What’s in your cat’s food dish?
“After having studied the ingredients in over 1,500 wet, canned cat foods, I created this website. This is the place to hear some truth about cat food. It’s also the place where you can learn to evaluate cat food brands yourself.” – Doug Hines
Why be concerned about what’s in cat food? Because, ultimately, we are responsible for the long-term well-being of our cats. Our choice of cat food directly impacts our cat’s health and wellbeing.
Our choice of cat food also directly affects our own health and wellbeing. Just consider how you will feel about future vet visits and bills.
It isn’t very difficult to recognize the quality of a product once you know about specific ingredients. You owe it to your cat(s) to read every word, both in this introduction, and in the specific cat food reviews as well.
After all… Don’t you want to know what’s in your cat’s food dish?
Every cat food review on this website is solely my studied opinion
Note that everything on this website pertaining to cat food reviews is only my opinion. Although I am not a veterinarian or other cat health expert, I have studied cat food ingredients and cat physiology for years. It doesn’t take a ‘professional’ to compare cat food can labels to already-established ingredient guidelines and definitions to come to the conclusions I draw in this website. Study the ingredients for yourselves, and you will undoubtedly come to the same conclusions.
Cat food manufacturers… Don’t like my reviews? Use better ingredients.
Understand my review process…
I assign review ratings based solely on the ingredients in the can. This is not some subjective bake-off where I am grading chocolate chip cookies because they taste good to me. My personal likes and dislikes have absolutely nothing to do with the rating process. An ingredient either contributes to, or detracts from, a cat’s health. Period.
Look at the can’s ingredients and compare it to the bad ingredients list HERE.
Protect your cat’s long term health by not feeding products which contain bad ingredients. Choose wisely now, give your cat a good, healthy life, and avoid illness and veterinary bills later.
How I rate cat food products/brands…
I assign values to cat foods as A, B, C, D, E, and X, where X is not only substandard cat food, it is, in my opinion, detrimental to a cat’s health.
Notice that I don’t just award a grade to any particular manufacturer overall. I choose particular, individual products within a product line. Be careful – You may have an [X] -rejected product within the same product line designated with others designated as [A]s. Don’t take it for granted that all of a particular manufacture’s products are good, i.e., don’t generalize that ‘XYZ’ cat food is all good.
Here’s a screenshot of the database I created to track cat food ingredients
Before I could compare hundreds of products, I first had to create a database in which I tracked individual ingredients. This database allows me to quickly search for a term such as ‘copper sulfate’ and quickly come up with a list of brands containing that ingredient. The database also enables me to assign a letter grade to a product which assists me in deciding whether or not I want to feed a product to my cats.
In-depth feline physiology/dietary study comes before evaluating cat food
Although the ingredients list is the primary consideration in choosing a quality cat food, it isn’t the only consideration. There’s an entire foundation to consider before assigning a product review grade. For example, What do we know after observing feline obligate carnivores for thousands of years?
There are preferable, overall general feeding categories as follows:
Feed 85% from this category
A species-appropriate diet for the physiology of an obligate carnivore should primarily consist of herbivore/ungulate animals including: (Read more here.)
Feed 10% from this category
Because of their higher fat content and other factors, a lesser amount of poultry including:
Note: Poultry should be considered as a less-than-average quality protein choice for cats. Poultry is eaten by cats in the wild, but it is NOT their primary protein preference.
“70% of human-grade poultry has small amounts of “arsenic” in it and the skins are also bleached. Additionally, many allergies including skin issues & ear infections occur due to feeding poultry. And finally, the skin on poultry is considered a “covered fat” which is difficult for dogs & cats to digest.” – Mary Marseglia quoted here.
Feed 5% from this category
Seafood, although a better-than-average protein source, should only be fed as an intermittent, supplemental, occasional feeding choice. You would be correct to assume that almost all seafood is chemically contaminated. Feed seafood infrequently, not as a main, continual diet. Or better yet… Don’t feed seafood at all.
Feed 0% from these categories
• Be cautious when feeding protein-only products. Protein-only products (where protein is the only ingredient in the can) often need added dietary supplementation to achieve a whole and complete diet.
• My opinion: Any cat food manufacturer that promotes products according to ‘life stage’ is full of it. With the exception of days-old kittens, cats in the wild eat what all other cats eat, without regard for their age.
• Additionally, the level of hype used in product promotion, i.e. the beautiful colors, pictures and sensational language used on product labels and in websites, doesn’t necessarily equate to quality cat food.
Always Remember: The ONLY things that count are the ingredients in the can.
Making your cat’s diet nutritionally complete
Herbivore/ungulate animal meat isn’t the only thing your cat needs. Complete feline nutrition includes Meat + Organs + Calcium + Supplements.
Although experts vary in their opinions regarding percentages, most agree that a balance of 85% muscle meat, 10% secreting organs (including liver, heart, kidney, lung, pancreas, spleen), 5% (max) calcium, and additional supplements are needed to complete a fully raw diet.
Calcium should come from either finely ground (powdered) egg shells OR from ground bone. Only finely ground powder is bioavailable.
Research and study to find recommended feline supplements which make the diet nutritionally complete. Many people get started feeding fresh with a completer supplement premix. Premixes are very simple to use.
Question the protein sources in canned food
You may see a product with a terrifically high protein percentage written on the can label. For example, you might see 87% protein and think to yourself, “Wow that’s got to be good.” However, all things may not be what they seem.
Although one of the leading ingredients might be, say chicken, what else is in the can? What else could the manufacturer be using to bolster the ‘As Fed Basis’ protein amount and fool you into thinking that there’s 87% chicken in the can? How about chicken + peas + potato protein? You wind up with an inflated protein percentage on the label. Said another way, there’s less ‘chicken’ protein in the can that you might first think.
There’s a lot to consider when comparing cat food products, and unfortunately, you simply cannot take the manufacturer’s word when it comes to labelling.
A note about Guaranteed Analysis
The ‘As Fed Basis‘ is what you see on the can’s label. For example:
The ‘Dry Matter Basis‘ excludes the can’s moisture content, and reflects the balance expressed as a percentage of all the dry matter alone. ‘Dry Matter Basis‘ is the only way you can accurately compare two products side-by-side. It is also the only way you can compare wet food to dry food. One must convert both wet and dry to ‘Dry Matter Basis‘ before you can compare them. For example, based on the above ‘As Fed Basis‘ this product converts to a ‘Dry Matter Basis‘ of:
The important thing to keep in mind is that the original ‘As Fed Basis’ figures are supplied by the manufacturer, and as such, are questionable at best. After all… look at the integrity level we are working with here.
You can read about these calculations on the PawDiet website here.
A message to people who don’t think I’m qualified to review cat food…
Someone once wrote to me saying, “Anyone can post their opinions online, but you are not a Veterinarian, Scientist or Credentialed Expert on this subject.”
My reply: “One doesn’t need a doctorate and/or three letters behind one’s name to be able to read a cat food ingredients label and make a determination when a product contains ingredients detrimental to a cat’s well-being.
Similarly, one doesn’t have to be ‘credentialed’ to have empathy and compassion for cats and to try to make a difference in their lives. We all should be doing everything we can to encourage cat food manufacturers to produce better, more healthful cat food.”
Other things to consider…
Before beginning an in-depth study about cat food ingredients, there are other things to consider:
A message to cat food manufacturers who don’t like my reviews…
Want better reviews? Use better ingredients.
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