Just the other day, a popular pet food firm reported a total change in its formulation of one of its major product lines. The new formulations have more natural ingredients, no synthetic or by products. After going through the ingredients in the new product, the new formulation look just like the previous ones and still has high level amount of fillers such as corn meal, wheat gluten and powdered cellulose. Despite that the new formulations do not contain any by products, there are non specific proteins contained. The non proteins contained in the new formulations include meat, poultry and ocean fish. It is not indicated where the proteins are derived from.
This article does not aim to blame any of the natural cat food manufacturers. Selling organic cat products such as food is just a business like any other one. So, it is wrong to try to blame the manufacturers for trying to demonstrate their products as the most effective ones among the others in the market. This is why it is the role of each cat owner to go beyond the marketing advertisements and learn the exact ingredients found in the cat food that they buy. This translates to knowing how to go through the label in order to gain this understanding.
One of the terms that confuse and mislead on the cat food labels or even in other food label is the word natural. It is good to note that just because a certain label has the term “natural” or pictures of natural products such as wholesome grains and vegetables, this does not make them so. The only way you can verify what is contained in the foods is reading and understanding the label. Below are some of the things that you must consider as you read the label to know what is included in the foods.
Manufacturers of pet food are supposed to show all ingredients with the major ingredient listed first and others follow in similar order. You need to check to products based on meat as the major ingredient. It is necessary you avoid any food that shows soy or corn and their by products. Corn and soy are two ingredients known to cause allergic reactions in cats. You should fall into the temptation of thinking that because certain cat food contain carrots, peas, blueberries, cranberries and others is perfect for your cat. Cats are pure carnivores and they do not require such ingredients from plants to thrive effectively. They should only be acceptable in small amounts because they provide vitamins and antioxidants. In overall, perfect natural cat food should contain at least 95 percent protein based on meat.
All cat food manufacturers are required to show the basic nutrient percentage level on their food label. In most cases, this part of the label lists crude fat, crude protein, moisture, ash content and crude fiber. It is worth noting that there is no listing for carbohydrates on the labels which is a crucial consideration when looking for your cat’s food. However, it is hard to know the exact amount of carbohydrate content. All you need to know in order to understand the amount of carbohydrates is to add all the percentages of other nutrients then subtract from 100 percent. This will offer you a more accurate amount.
The American Association of Feed Control Officials is the organisation mandated with the establishment and enforcement of animal feed requirements in the country. Its major role is to make sure that safety for human food producing livestock. According to the organisation, most of the pet food has been tested and passed as balanced and complete for pet life. However, this is not the case because most of the foods do not meet such standard. The organization only performs research on a few animals and within a very short time.
Beyond the food label
Do not stop doing your verification by just reading the label. It is good to find out where the food come from, where it is manufactured and them visit the brand site to gather more information. In case the source is not indicated, you need to get in touch with them.
If you feed your pet with canned foods, verify that the cans are BPA free. BPA causes feline hyperthyroidism, so be careful. The best thing is to carry out thorough search and avoid falling victim of pet food advertisement.