Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cat Food Fights

Hooray! Another Cats On Tuesday!

I've been delving into cat food issues recently. It's a fascinating topic. For example, there are the stories about rendering plants putting road kill and euthenised pets into pet food as well as dozens of other products. And there are the periodic scandals about pet food that isn't quite what the label says it is.

Traditional all fish or all liver cat diets also come with problems.

Cats that eat too much fish can suffer from taurine deficiency and lose their eyesight. Too much fish can also lead to Vitamin E deficiency and cause a killer condition called steatitis or yellow fat disease.

Cats who eat too much liver can overdose on vitamin A. However, this study from the cat diet researchers at the University of California point out that cats are unusual in that even a diet heavy in liver for 3 years doesn't lead to the sort of toxicity you'd expect from other mammals.

But the most interesting thing I've read in a while is a study sponsored by Hill's pet food that shows that urinary tract problems are associated with cats who eat too many dry foods. The researchers recommended wet food is much better for kitties.

A pal whose kitty has these problems tried using apple cider vinegar to cure her pet. But when I spoke to a vet about this she said she has not heard of any scientific studies. Also, the vet thinks it could work IF the problem is caused by urine that's too alkaline. BUT as problems can also be caused by urine that's to acidic, apple cider vinegar could also make matters worse in some cases.

Well, I'm going to keep on reading. Also, a Katz Tales piece about this issue will be out in the Star this or next Saturday. Sorry I can't be more specific, with the change in economy everything is a little upside down.

And in case any of you are into this subject, here are some awesome links:

Pottenger’s Cats A summary of what Pottenger discovered in the 1930s about raw and cooked meat diets and milk diets for cats.

Obligate Carnivore
Check out what other animals must eat meat to live. There are a lot of obligate carnivores around, including tigers, crocodiles, civets, and hawks. Although penguins and all ocean mammals eat mostly fish, they too are classed in this group.

2007 Pet Food RecallsBaby milk wasn't the only stuff to be contaminated by melamine. Check out how thousands of pets died from melamine tainted pet food.

Outcry Over Pets in Pet Food
A typical article about the practice of boiling down euthanized dogs and cats for industrial fat and protein and recycling it as other products, including pet food.

Tainted food outbreaks won't go away: safety regulatorsA refreshingly honest statement about the business of fake food.

Selecting Nutritious Pet Foods
Information by David A. Dzanis, D.V.M., Ph.D., DACVN Division of Animal Feeds, Center for Veterinary Medicine on what cats need in their food.

Food and Drug Administration/Center for Veterinary Medicine Report on the risk from pentobarbital in dog food
This study discovered the pentobarbital in dog food doesn't come from euthenised dogs and cats in dog food but from euthenised cattle.

Management of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
A study sponsored by Hills takes a look at wet pet food versus dry pet food and discovers wet food prevent urinary tract problems.

The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats
Idiosyncratic nutrient requirements of cats appear to be diet-induced evolutionary adaptations

Excellent studies of what cats need in terms of nutrition but as these are scientific papers they are rather technical. Worth going through though!

Evaluation of effects of dietary carbohydrate on formation of struvite crystals in urine and macromineral balance in clinically normal cats
Urinary tract disorders paper.


Gattina said...

My very first cat Piccola who lived more than 20 years with me only ate cooked chicken liver together with bread or a potatoe. She never wanted something else. At that time no cat food existed and can food came up when she was already 17 ! and she never wanted any. I cooked every day her liver and she was never sick !
Lisa is fine she eats well sometimes even plays. She is now 17 !

Just Sharlene and the Spice Cats said...

Actually I was talking to a friend in London. She also mentioned about the wet food thingy and strongly suggest I mix more wet food into the Spice Cats diet.

catsynth said...

Pet food can be very stressful, we want to do the right things for our cats. I've been consulting with my vet, who assures me that Luna's premium dry food (that she is very picky about) is fine for a young, healthy cat.

You're certainly welcome to join us at future Weekend Cat Blogging event!. The host rotates every week, so you can see the schedule here:


Ydiana said...

Wow, this is useful info about Cat food. I used to have Sheera, a Birman who probably got stolen on one of her outings. She only want Whiskas pockets and nothing else! I inherited her from a neighbour who feed her with only that, so when I tried to switch to any other food, dry, wet, cooked, she won't touch excepat for that Whiskas pockets. I wonder how she is now... :(

Gattina said...

Re Claudia's blog. I don't know what happened yesterday, but I had quite some difficulties to comment in general and even my gmail didn't load !!

~CovertOperations78~ said...

"With the change in economy everything is a little upside down."

You've got that right, my friend! Sigh.

I just want the very best for my animal babies. My kitties get a mix of both. On alternate days they get wet food for dinner, mixed with natural health supplements like cod liver oil, Immunol, Liv 5.2, Chlorella and Spirullina. I have reason to believe supplements and cod liver oil really work and help to improve our animal babies' health.

My dogs get rice mixed with lamb kibbles, vitamins, cod liver oil and cooked meat. I hope what we are doing is sufficient.

Apple Cider Vinegar is great but I don't think my cats would like it at all! They'd be able to smell it a mile away!


Obsidian Kitten said...

I can't recommend Richard Pitcairn's "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats" book highly enough. I've been using his recipes faithfully for ten years, and it's a great general resource as well.

I posted a bit about how I feed my cats here:

I had a cat with FIV so I did a lot of research on nutrition.

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Cat with a Garden said...

Cat food is an interesting theme! When Siena came to live with me I did nights-long research to find the food that contained most meat without grain and other stuff cats aren't supposed to eat. Coincidentally, she was already eating that food at her home. Then, guess what happened: The minute she walked through my door she wouldn't touch the food any more. Ha!
Oh, and btw: Cat food is something Germans actually argue about! There are hilarious discussions to be seen in internet forums where cat owners get nasty about that issue. Hihihi. My mother is feeding her gorgeous male Shiva food from the supermarket which contains all the bad s*** and even sugar! When I tried to convince her for better food she had the hard argument that HER cat at least EATS the food (Siena was being fussy). Oh well...

Cat with a Garden said...

xssssay <- Chilli's message for you!

P.S.: About the urinary tract thing - I heard that it's especially important for males to get wet food as their tract is thinner than the one of female cats.

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