When it comes to packet or tinned commercial ‘wet’ cat food (mostly marketed as cooked meats in gravy), it can be eye-opening to dig a little deeper into what ingredients comprise the finished product.
Many commercially available wet cat and dog food are labelled “with chicken / lamb / beef flavour”, where the named ingredient need only actually constitute 3 or 4% of the overall food.
As an example, a “chicken flavour” product may contain only chicken broth, whilst a “milk flavour” may be derived from whey.
Other foodstuffs often contained within commercial pet food products include:
The non-rendered clean non-meat parts derived from slaughtered mammals, such as spleen, brain, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissues, stomach and intestines freed of their content.
Many commercial pet foods consist of blended meat that has been added to a vat and mixed, which is why labelling can be left deliberately vague.
A non-descript binding agent to join the disparate ingredients together, this can sometimes be derived from grains (such as corn, wheat or oats), which are not a natural ingredient of either a cat’s or dog’s diet and can cause liver issues as well as issues with oral health.
hydrocolloid thickeners are used in pet and human food (such as ketchup) to modulate viscosity and increase shelf-life.
By law all pet food labels must contain a complete list of ingredients (using the common names of said ingredients); we recommend studying the ingredients and nutritional information on your commercial cat food products and carrying out appropriate research.
9 times out of 10, it should be clear that prey model food, comprising of muscle meat, organs and bones, is a much more transparent and healthier option than typical supermarket fare.
Taurine (a crucial contributor to a healthy heart in cats and dogs thanks to the amino acids contained within) in commercial foods may be synthetic, while natural taurine (found in many organs, especially heart) is accepted amongst animal nutritionists as a healthier option.
Similarly, all essential vitamins and minerals for a healthy dog or cat are included in prey model diet meals. This includes vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, plus the B vitamins: thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxal (B6), cobalamin (B12), biotin, and folate/folic acid.
For more information on common practices in pet food labelling and food composition, visit petnet.io