Today we are going to talk about the content of cat food products and an analysis of the special things you should be aware of when buying them. How to give a healthy diet to your beloved cat pet is the point that was brought to the attention here.
A brief introduction to what cats eat
Cats have been hunters since ancient times. A cat is genetically engineered to be a carnivore. Cats eat meat. They do not eat foods that contain carbohydrates and eating them can cause diseases in cats. The survival of cats is determined by the nutrients in the meat of the animals that cats hunt. As we know there are two categories of cats. These are domestic cats and wild cats. Jungle cats living in the wild have never eaten carbohydrates, while domestic cats are a bit different.
Domestic cats do not have the environment to provide much prey, so they depend on artificial food provided to them. There are various types of synthetic food products on the market today for domestic cats. They are sold at different prices. There are different opinions regarding the quality of these foods. Some foods are not suitable for long-term consumption of cats. However, in our article today, we hope to talk about the state of artificial food produced for domestic cats.
What are the daily nutritional needs of cats?
Among the nutrients that domestic cats need daily are minerals, fatty acids and amino acids, as well as two amino acids – taurine and arginine. Arginine is an acid that helps a cat process the ammonia produced by the body to digest food. Taurine is an acid that helps keep a cat’s muscles, eyes, heart, and immune system functioning. Both of these amino acids are normally found in the natural meats that cats prey on. Accordingly, it appears that eating meat on a daily basis is very important and essential for a cat’s healthy life.
The practical situation seen in artificial food products for cats.
Today, a large number of companies producing cat food have sprung up around the world. These companies add various artificial ingredients to cat food. For example, dry cat food should contain meat, and taurine acid is added due to the scarcity of meat and the high cost of it. These foods are usually high in protein. Also, their ingredients are very low in carbohydrates, low in fat, and low in moisture. These artificial foods are made with profit in mind. That’s why the food is processed by including more corn, soy, wheat gluten and non-meat substances that are difficult for animals to digest. It can be life-threatening for cats.
Cats and dogs suffer from many nutritional deficiencies and diseases due to the consumption of these commercial artificial diets. Consuming too many carbohydrates can lead to obesity, diabetes, urinary tract infections, and kidney disease in cats.
A grouping of cat food products available in the market.
- Dry food
- Freeze-dried foods.
- Canned food
- Dehydrated foods.
Meat, ground grains, lipids, vitamins, minerals, and mixed foods made from ground bones, ground dried animal, or ground meat by-products are the ingredients that should contain in dry foods. After being chopped into shapes, the mixture is squeezed through an extractor. The pieces are then oven-dried, chilled, and dusted with flavor- and preservation-enhancing ingredients.
Cut raw meat is turned into freeze-dried foods by being placed in a vacuum chamber, which hardens the flesh while also applying heat and pressure. The meat’s interior liquid, which has been frozen, is transformed into steam and removed. can be rehydrated or used as freeze-dried food.
Fresh meat and animal byproducts, such as cleaned meat and offal, are the main components of canned foods. Meat is either ground or chopped into blocks and frozen. The meat is then cooked by being boiled in water or broth before being blended with other components, including vegetables, grains, and vitamins and minerals. The mixture is thickened or starched to make it gel. The mixture was divided into cans, vacuum sealed, and heated to sanitize them.
Meat is dehydrated by heating it to eliminate the moisture. The raw material is gradually heated at low levels until it is entirely dried. Before feeding, dehydrated foods should be rehydrated.
FDA and AAFCO requirements for cat food.
Pet food standards are governed by the American Association of Food Control Officials (AAFCO) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Any pet food item that seeks AAFCO certification must use only ingredients from the right species and have passed safety tests. Additionally, the ingredients must provide enough nutrition.
These organizations’ efforts have a significant impact on raising the caliber of cat food items. It imposes restrictions that significantly restrict the distribution of dangerous food. The following rules are a few of their most significant ones.
01) At least 95% of the total weight must be made up by the stated constituent.
02) At least 25% of the listed ingredients by weight must be present in cat food marketed as “dinner.” 0
03) The flavor listed on the label is required.
04) A formulation that is branded as natural must be 100% natural (not chemically or organically treated).
05) Ingredient names should be accurate.
06) Sick animal meat shouldn’t be used as a food ingredient. (This is known as 4-D)
07) The meat should contain the type of meat specified on the label.
08) The weight of each ingredient should be specified.
Choosing the right food for cats.
Every cat food product must contain the following on its label:
- Manufacturer’s name and address
- Food trends
- Calorie declaration
- Certificate analysis
- Statement of nutritional adequacy
Guaranteed analysis is a method of presenting the least amount of crude protein and crude fat, the most amount of moisture, and the least amount of crude fiber. But rather than nutrient quality, “crude” refers to the process of evaluating nutrient content.
The minimum crude protein content of 10% that is stated on a can of wet food is not the amount of protein that is really there. Calculating a “dry matter foundation” is the sole technique to ascertain the nutritional value of dry or wet food.
Here is how it is determined:
From 100, deduct the moisture content that is specified on the label of the canned food. For instance, canned food labels state that the moisture content is 78%. When you deduct 78 from 100, the amount of dry stuff that remains is 22 percent.
Make the 10% protein content on the label (in our case) equal to.45 of the dry matter’s 22 percent.
The percentage of protein in the canned food, which in our example is 46%, is obtained by multiplying the value by 100.
You can determine the amount of fat in the food accurately by repeating the calculation using the label’s fat percentage. The basis for dry components also applies to dry food. When you compare them, you’ll see how much.
Statement of adequate nutrition : The AAFCO Nutrition Adequacy Statement must be included on the label of any cat food producer that makes the claim that their product is “complete and balanced.” Under the stringent restrictions of the AAFCO Feeding Trial Protocols, feeds are tested. On packaging, usually next to an ingredient list, look for the following statement: The product does not adhere to AAFCO’s exacting standards if the Nutrition Adequacy Statement is absent.
Cat food shouldn’t contain certain ingredients.
- Chemical preservatives BHT or BHA are added to lipids to stop them from going rancid. These chemical preservatives, which have been outlawed in several nations due to possible ties to cancer, are nevertheless used in some cat feeds in the US and Canada.
- Beef Oil: A cheap fat that is used to provide flavor.
- A thickening used in cat food with gravy is carrageenan. There is controversy surrounding the addition carrageenan despite evidence that certain of its derivatives can inflame the stomach in both people and animals.
- These sweeteners and sugars, such as corn syrup, fructose, and sucrose, are used to improve the flavor of inferior substances.
- Corn: This component, which is frequently the first in cheaper kinds of dry cat food, offers nothing in the way of nutritional value for cats and also adds extra sugar and carbohydrates to their diet.
- Ethoxyquin: Initially created as a food preservative and insecticide, ethoxyquin has been connected to cancer. Although it is prohibited for use in human food, it is permitted as a fish and fish food preservative in cat food. U.S.
- Food coloring: Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6 have been connected to cancer in laboratory animals. These colours are frequently used in cat chow. Dyeing is done not to please your cat’s digestive system but to please your eyes.
- Normal animal fat: If the animal species from which the fat was rendered is not stated on the label, you are in the dark.
- Meats are preserved with sodium tripolyphosphate, an FDA-approved salt, to keep their moisture and maintain their plump, fresh appearance. It is an approved additive designated as E451 in Europe. The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has concerns about sodium tripolyphosphate’s potential to be toxic to the nervous system.
- Wheat gluten is a filler that is used in place of premium proteins. Like some people, some cats have trouble processing gluten and may have stomach distress if they consume it.
What ought to be in a quality cat food product?
For food in cans:
Whole meat has been identified as the main component. Whole meat must be included as the first ingredient. The next step in processing will be water or broth. Other identifiable whole meats must also be the third and fourth elements. If brown rice, corn, or barley are listed as the third or fourth component, they are too filling and will increase the amount of carbohydrates.
Vegetables that haven’t been processed: Whole foods’ nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants will hold up better to processing than ground vegetables. For instance, chickpeas are a better source of nutrition than pea flour.
You shouldn’t assume that a diet free of grains has few carbs. Starchy vegetables are commonly found in grain-free cat meals, adding extra carbohydrates.
AAFCO advises a minimum daily intake of 30% protein and 9% fat for kittens and 26% protein and 9% fat for adult cats. This diet is rich in protein, low in fat, and high in moisture. These rules are only for the benefit of cats. Pet nutritionists advise feeding adult cats about 40% protein and 20–25% fat for a healthy diet.
A dry food item contains:
Whole meats are listed as the first three ingredients: It’s fantastic if salmon is listed first. But keep in mind that during processing, salmon loses around 75% of its weight. The second and third elements must thus be other known whole meat or fish items to make up for that loss.
Limit your intake of whole grains and vegetables because they retain more nutritious value after processing than vegetable or grain flours do. In order to reduce your intake of carbohydrates, choose dry meals with less grains included in the ingredients.
The ideal cat food for your cat will depend on factors including age, weight, and activity level; if you’re thinking about switching diets, talk to your vet first.
To be on the safe side, pick a feed that complies with AAFCO rules.
Finally, while we aren’t showcasing the best cat food products here, we do want to call your attention to a few things.
High protein ingredients such as whole meat and fish, whole eggs, and dehydrated meats should be found in the best dry food items. Even though such a product occasionally costs a lot of money, it might feed your cat more nutritiously than other dry feeds.
The minimum percentage of locally produced meat and/or fish, low-fat game meats, and lean meats in all canned foods should be 92 percent to ensure that your pet receives the proper nutrition.
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