The idea for this article came from a simple glance at the ingredients of several brands of dry cat food, and the differences between them. In no way do I wish to criticise or favour a certain brand for commercial gain. I’ve avoided showing, mentioning or suggesting any particular brands. In any case, I’m not a vet or an animal food producer, but simply a curious consumer, who would like to know what I’m giving to eat to my numerous animal companions, and at what price.
The question occurs when you look at the composition of certain foods. For carnivores such as dogs, and especially cats, how can we think of giving a meal (a tin) of which only 4% consists of meat, that’s to say meat and animal by-products (I question the proportion of each, but that’s another polemic subject). For those who don’t know what a by-product is, it is any kind of offal including bones, skin, tendons, and feathers!!! (the website of the European Commission clearly defines what a by-product is, and how it is used: http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/biosafety/bse/m04_107_fr.pdf). The rest is cereals, corn gluten, and vegetable by-products??? By definition a by-product is an unintentional residual matter, accidentally created during the fabrication of a product, so my imagination reels when I think of what it could contain. Here’s a Wikipedia article with a formal source http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-produit . I invite you to have a look at the detailed definition of the term by-product, from which we can learn lots of useful information on the subject. In short, they are things that the animal is not at all used to eating. Have you seen a dog spontaneously eat corn, or a cat eat bread for example?
It’s a bit like if we ordered a side of beef, or any kind of meat, and they brought over some other customers left-over side of beef, mixed with the eyes and ears of the same animal. All of this presented in the form of a shepherds’ pie, knowing that apart from the “meat”, 95% of this slurry consists of products that we’re not in the habit of eating (say for example, grass) and which are bad for our health.
In this way, animal diseases are too often the result of inappropriate food. It goes without saying: if you give poor quality food to animals, their health will also be poor. This applies to humans as much as it does to animals.
So as to avoid too-frequent visits to the vet, fur that’s rough and dull, and over-all poor health, it would be better to opt for a food that’s healthy and nutritional for your cat.
The director of The Simpsons understood: