Monday, 11 April 2016

How do you choose pet food?


Dorah was prescribed Prozac. She'd lick the gravy from Whiskas, so that was a good thing in which to mix the meds!

Annie and Dorah were supposed to be dieting.

Now what, I wondered?
It got to the point that we'd put anything in front of them. We realized that we had other options for food.

There are things to remember about cat food. Cats are not omnivores.

We've been doing some research

Cats are carnivores and need protein. Sometimes they eat grass, but that tends to either go through them, or get regurgitated with fur. (Voice of experience!)

This side of the border, it is the Pet Food Association of Canada (PFAC), which adheres to AAFCO standards. Many of our pet food companies are headquartered in the US, you can read the definitions of meat, meat by-products, at the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).

Active PFAC Members

If you cannot find your pet’s favourite food at your local store, try consulting our members’ websites for their distribution locations and/or contact information.

Check the labels, the food should have meat listed first.
They must label according to the highest quantity first, and animal protein should be first. Meat by-products are fine, since Buster eats the entire mouse, we know that they consume most of the organs and chew the bones. There could be fillers, especially wheat, corn or soy, but in smaller quantities. I have a friend who cares for diabetic cats, so the cat food you can buy is not necessarily good for them. This is true of many foods!

Then there is the cost.
You can buy some on sale, $0.79 in some cases, but you really must read the labels. If you Goo
gle 'top five cat foods', you'll find lots of lists, but primarily US-based, and some are old posts, and do not understand the AAFCO labels.

Another point, many caution against dry food, as cats need the moisture. Our cats drink a lot of water from the cat fountain. Otherwise, cats need water to ensure that their urinary tracts are healthy. I know we've had cats with crystals in their urine, which was a symptom we had to correct with water and food.

We've been feeding them the dental dry food at night, and the wet food for dinner. There is a balance to this! Dorah has had plaque issues, so it makes sense.

One site promotes a certain food as they use meat that has 'never been frozen.' Really, we freeze our meat all the time. You must read the labels! I think it funny that some cat foods advertise that they are 'gluten-free!' That's a fad for some people, I didn't think it had spread to the cat world. Mind you, there are vegans who don't feed meat to their cats, either. In this case they must supplement their food with vitamins and minerals no available in cat food, just the same as people must do for a balanced nutritional intake.


William Kendall said...

That's a whole lot to take into account.

Hilary said...

I have never heard of vegans not feeding their pets meat. That's just wrong.

My Zephyr is on expensive prescription food. So was Skitty.. and my previous two girls. They all had issues which were best treated with diet. EXPENSIVE diet.. sigh! But we love them and they're worth it. Most days. ;)