There is a good market for grain free cat food, because people belief this is beneficial. It is and it isn’t. Most is no more healthy than those which contain grains. You need to understand the whole story before you can decide what to feed your cat.

Grains as such are a part of a wild cats diet. However there are two provisos to this statement. One is that the grain is healthy, without chemicals, not GM, etc. The other is that the grains are only a tiny part of the diet.

In the wild, a cat will consume the whole of the carcass, including the stomach and its contents. The stomach contents of mice and small birds tend to be plant based food such as grain. However, the proportion of the grain to that of the meat is tiny.

The commercial cat food industry is run by corporations. Their only concern is their bottom line, their profit. Everything else comes secondary, although they will go out of their way to try to convince you otherwise.

Because meat is the most expensive of virtually all foods (perhaps bar caviar or truffles), the commercial cat food industry uses very little. To bulk this out, they use a filler. The filler is often grain, but not necessarily, although it will always be a plant based ‘food’. It can be anything that is cheap on the world market and in plentiful supply – tapioca, sawdust, newspaper, spoiled grain, crushed nut shells, sugar, fast food leftovers, the list is endless.

Cats are true carnivores. They are not built to digest or utilise complex carbohydrates – plant based foods. Plants contain substances that can and do harm cats.

By feeding grain free cat food, you are making a sideways move, not a move forward. The real culprit is the whole quality of commercial cat food.

As meat is the most expensive food, all the best cuts go to the lucrative human food market. You may consider that what is left over is relatively healthy and that this forms the basis of cat food.

However, what is left over is then used as a cheaper source of human food – the processed meat, the sausages, the canned meat, fast food outlets. Very little of the best cuts of meat are left over.

Generally, the animal protein that forms part of most commercial cat food comes from a source that has questionable quality and nutrition – a rendering plant. Rendering plants are the next stage after slaughter houses where rejects for human consumption go, where road kill is taken, where dead and diseased animals are taken, where butcher leftovers are taken, to ‘clean up’ the environment.

These are not always processed immediately.

The final straw to break the camel’s back comes from all the synthetic chemicals that are used to make the consistency more appealing, to colour, to flavour, to convince both you and your cat this is quality food, to preserve, etc.

Grain free cat food is only the tip of the iceberg. Consider the whole before making choices that affect your cat’s health, and ultimately your wallet. Feed your cat a quality, natural diet that deals with the whole story.

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Madeleine Innocent
Madeleine Innocent

You know how often people struggle with their cat’s health? They want to know WHY they suffer with health issues and all their veterinarian can offer is drugs and more drugs? They feel helpless and at the mercy of another. Well, what I do is to help you pinpoint WHY your cat is getting sick and implement a strategy that takes you to a feeling of empowerment, of being in control of their life. A strategy that restores their health and allows you, and them, to enjoy life. Discover Your Cat’s Path to Vibrant Health Naturally.

    7 replies to "Grain Free Cat Food – Is It A Healthier Choice?"

    • Doris A. Duke

      I have become a one-woman crusader against BPA lining the cans of most all commercial cat foods. My Isis (age 9) was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. She had seen 4 vets and I paid for a consult with a wholistic vet. I took her off commercial foods and gave her canned chicken, turkey, salmon and occasional tuna beginning last July. She’s gained 2 lbs. since and has ceased the vomiting. Because there were hairballs I had assumed this was the cause, but not so. This ceasing the vomiting was a gradual process. She was given powdered yeast to repopulate her digestive tract. Her fur is luxurious and soft and her activity level is normal.

    • Madeleine Innocent

      Well done, Doris. But this is really just the tip of the iceberg. The food within the tin is also a problem in the vast majority of cases. It is normally poor quality, has the wrong proportions, is nutrient poor and toxic. How can cats remain healthy on that?

    • Lillian

      Doris, I wrote to two companies about the lining of their cat food cans. One is Wellness and the other is Blue Buffalo. Both denied it has PBA and they just called it ‘plastic lining”. Somehow I am not believing them. What can I do, I am torn between buying the cheaper unlined cat food or the better but the plastic lined ones. Not much of a choice. Why do cat food manufacturers insist on lining their cans? It would be cheaper not to line them and the customers would be happier buying their products. Do you have any suggestions on what to do? This is very frustrating when I see that they are being dishonest.

      I tried cooking for my cat but they say that cats need certain vitamins like taurine that human food does not. Giving dry food is also boring and I try to vary her diet.

    • Madeleine Innocent

      Doris, the universe is giving you a big kick up the backside about this. STOP FEEDING CANNED FOOD! Commercial pet food, in all its forms, is detrimental to the health of the animals eating it. Home made cat food, as long as it conforms to the natural evolution of the cat, is FAR, FAR more healthy. But you do need to know what to feed. I have heard some horror stories of what people consider natural and the poor cat suffers.
      BTW taurine is present in meat, so you have no worries there. My ebook goes into the best and the healthiest diet for cats and how to convince them it is best (not always easy). Check out the Naturally Healthy Cats image in the right column.
      Then you will know you are doing the very best for them – truly the best, not obeying marketing.

    • janey

      Madelaine, I’m right there with you. I am even looking for an affordable meat grinder because I want to make my cat’s food. I want to read your book, and I think more people would, if you’d lower the price a little bit. I value the information, and I do think it’s priceless, but I am barely surviving myself here, so to me almost 100$ is completely un-affordable. I think that is the case with many people.

      I’m glad there are people out there who see the disgusting practices of marketing. Pet ownership has tripled since the 70s and I believe it’s largely due to the boom of selling garbage that isn’t even food. Really sickening. I mean, the first ingredients are soy corn and wheat–do most people not know cats are carnivores? I guess not.

    • Dawn

      I can totally testify to the fact the diet makes all the difference in all living things. People look at me like I am nuts when I suggest that cats are obligate carnivores and by definition meant to eat meat!
      I do have a multi-cat household and it is a challenge to feed them all properly.
      I disagree in one point, even feeding canned commercial cat food is better than a diet of only dry kibble. None of the commercial stuff is “good” for them however, one can only do what one can afford to do.
      Having said this, I have 5 inside cats and 4 outside. The inside get a raw meat diet with a very small amount of canned to stretch it. The outside cats get only a limited amount of canned as they get to hunt and just be outdoors like they should be.
      I too would love to get your book but cannot afford the $100 that it costs. So, I scour the internet and learn from many places about proper feeding and care of my kitties. Once in awhile I find someone who is willing to talk with me as a friend and not charge me for sharing some knowledge. Sales are great too! There are a lot of good sites out there but one must dig for them and always be aware of how the commercial industry infiltrates. They care nothing for your pet. Their bottom line is only profit.
      Anyways, enough said. I LOVE this site and I LOVE the articles here. GREAT information.
      Cats rule and dogs drool!!!

    • maryagnes leonard

      glad to find you!

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