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.