Ingredients in Cat Food – An Expensive Dry Cat Food
Here is a list of ingredients of a typical commercial dry cat food, found in many veterinary clinics. It is an expensive one:
vegetable protein isolate, precooked wheat flour, animal fats, rice, dehydrated poultry meat, vegetable fibres, hydrolysed animal protein, maize, chicory pulp, soya oil, fish oil, minerals, tomato, psyllium husk and seeds, fructo-oligo saccharides, green tea extracts, hydrolysed yeast, hydrolysed crustaceans, borage oil, marigold extract, hydrolysed cartilage, various synthetic vitamins and minerals, preservatives: antioxidants
Ingredients in Cat Food – An Expensive Canned Cat Food
Here is a list of ingredients of a typical canned cat food. It’s a single meal can, can be found in many veterinary clinics and is an expensive one:
water, chicken, liver, egg white, wheat flour, wheat gluten, dextrose, modified rice starch, oat fibre, soybean oil, chicken liver flavour, titanium dioxide, dicalcium phosphate, fish oil, potassium chloride, choline chloride, calcium carbonate, L-lysine, iodised salt, taurine, guar gum, vitamin E supplement, thiamine mononitrate, ascorbic acid, niacin supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, vitamin B12 supplement, riboflavin supplement, biotin, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid, calcium chloride, zinc oxide, ferrous sulphate, copper sulphate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, caramel, beta-carotene
What are Cats Requirements.
Before we get into what these ingredients mean, let’s look at what a cat is and what their requirements are.
A cat is an obligate carnivore. This means they MUST eat meat. They can’t survive without it. Carnivores are not able to digest plant based food (except those they use for medicinal purposes). Plant based foods are complex and need special processes to digest. Cats, as hunters, need to be light on their feet, with split second reflexes, otherwise they starve. They don’t have a pack to rely on. They hunt singly.
Organs that are able to digest plant based foods are bigger and heavier. These are not appropriate for those who hunt, especially on their own, who need to be light on their feet.
What the Dry Cat Food Ingredients Mean For Your Cat
The main ingredient is vegetable protein isolate. Straight away, you know this is inappropriate food for a carnivore.
Isolates are parts of the whole extracted by chemical reactions. Processed food is hazardous even to those who can digest and utilise the whole food. Consider sugar and the refined grains. In addition, chemical processes always leave a residue.
Saccharides are sugar.
Hydrolysed yeast is MSG.
Most readers of this are aware of the problems with refined sugar and MSG.
Out of the 21 ingredients that pass as food, only six come from animal sources and most of these are in small quantities, indicated by where they appear on the list.
What the Canned Cat Food Ingredients Mean For Your Cat
Chicken liver flavour will not have seen a chicken liver. It is a synthetic flavour.
Titanium oxide is used as a whitening agents and to resist discolouration. It can be in nanoparticles which have been found to cause breakdown in chromosomes, cause DNA damage, inflammation, cancer and genetic disorders. It can accumulate in the brain causing negative effects on brain cells.
Dicalcium phosphate is a synthetic inorganic compound also known as caltrex. Some say it an inert substance to bind ingredients. Others say it is a source of calcium and phosphate. No synthetic substance can be a source of nutrients as food needs to be in natural balance to feed the body. Some side effects include gastro-intestinal problems such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, constipation, stomach pain, thirst, dry mouth, increased urination. There can be complications from interaction with drugs. They can cause osteoporosis.
Common side effects of potassium chloride are diarrhoea, gas, nausea, stomach discomfort, vomiting. Severe side effects include allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry stools; chest pain; irregular heartbeat; listlessness; numbness or tingling in your skin, lips, hands, or feet; severe nausea or vomiting; stomach pain or swelling; unusual confusion or anxiety; unusual muscle weakness or paralysis; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; weak or heavy legs.
Taurine is found in fresh meat, so never needs to be added when there is sufficient fresh meat.
Thiamine is one of the naturally occurring vitamin Bs (B1), common in fresh meat. It is water soluble so excess can be easily excreted. Thiamine mononitrate is a synthetic substance which is fat soluble, so excess is much more difficult to expel. Allergic reactions are generally experienced as the side effects, from mild to severe. They include difficulty breathing or an itchy skin.
Pyridoxine is anther one of the B vitamins, B6. Pyridoxine hydrochloride is the synthetic version of it. Synthetic versions of nutrients are nearly useless if you are lucky, and cause harm if you aren’t.
Vitamin B12 is found in fresh meat so supplementing a healthy cats diet is not necessary.
Folate is the natural nutrient. Folic acid is the synthetic version.
Zinc oxide is normally used topically. So what is it doing in your cat food? Another name for it is benzyl benzoate. It is used as a preservative and an insecticide. It is used to treat scabies.
Common side effects of ferrous sulfate include constipation, diarrhoea, loss of appetite, nausea, stomach cramps, pain, vomiting. Severe side effects include allergic reactions (rash, hives, itching, difficulty breathing, tightness in the chest, swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue), black, tarry stools; blood or streaks of blood in the stool, fever, severe or persistent nausea, stomach pain, or vomiting, vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds.
Copper sulphate is a poison. It can result in kidney damage and death. Less serious effects are diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fever, stomach pain, anaemia, heart problems. It is used as a pesticide and fungicide.
Generally any nutrients that are referred to as supplements are the synthetic form, so will mostly not be digested easily or used, and can cause harm especially over a prolonged period.
Beta carotene is the human equivalent of vitamin A, the precurser to it. Vitamin A is found in meat, so cats don’t need beta-carotene and can’t use it.
The Preservatives Used in Cat Food
The antioxidants used in the pet food industry to preserve are synthetic and include BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole), BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), ethoxyquin, proply gallate, propylene glycol, sodium nitrate. These are all know to cause organ damage leading to chronic disease and destruction. But the regulations for pet food, if it exists at all, is very lax. The world over.
What Does This Mean to Your Cat’s Health Condition?
No-one knows the combined effects of any more than two drugs, if that. This means no-one knows what the combined effect of these chemicals are. They may inter-act with each other. They may modify the effect of each other. They may interfere with each other. They may nullify the effect of each other. They may enhance the effect of each other.
This means, that if your cat starts to react to this chemical cocktail in their daily diet, as I suggest most will sooner or later, how can any practitioner separate this from a possible disease? Impossible?
Which is why a true holistic vet, a homeopathic vet or a lay homeopath will ALWAYS insist the diet of your cat is changed before treatment is started, unless the condition is severe.
What should you feed your cat for optimum health and how can you persuade them to eat it? What is the best cat food, the most natural cat food that reflects your cat’s origins?