If you found out that your cat was eating roadkill in the food you feed her, would you continue feeding it? We want to know what protein our cats are consuming but words like ‘meat‘, ‘animal‘ and ‘poultry‘ aren’t always what you think it is. In cat food the ingredients can be deceptive.
Most balanced cat foods follow what is called the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) guidelines. That sounds like a good thing right? Well let’s dig a bit deeper. AAFCO sets rules for pet manufacturers to follow in order to put “complete and balanced” on the bag or can BUT remember they DO NOT care about the quality of the food. When it comes to the quality in our cats’ food, there’s really no one looking out for our feline friends.
In this short blog let’s just focus on the protein part of our cats’ food. I remember when a certain brand came out with their advertising “meat” as the first ingredient. I, like most other people, thought this is great! Yes! Meat being the number one ingredient is awesome for our carnivore companions! But what exactly does “meat” mean?
AAFCO’s definition is: “Meat is the clean flesh derived from slaughtered mammals and is limited to that part of the striate muscle which is skeletal or that part which is found in the tongue, in the diaphragm, in the heart or in the esophagus; with or without the accompanying and overlying fat and portions of the skin, sinew, nerve, and blood vessels which normally accompany the flesh. It shall be suitable for animal food.”
Is My Cat Eating Roadkill?
Hmmmm “suitable for animal food”? Not exactly the words I want to describe my cat’s food. Now here’s a blurb from an article called What’s Really In Pet Food, which I highly recommend you read. “What most consumers are unaware of is that the pet food industry is an extension of the human food industry, also known as the agriculture industry. Pet food provides a place for slaughterhouse waste and grains considered “unfit for human consumption” to be turned into profit. This waste includes cow tongues, esophagi, and possibly diseased and cancerous meat.”
Basically, what’s unfit for human consumption goes in most of our pets’ food. So what about our beloved pets eating roadkill, is this really true? Can it possibly be legal to put roadkill in our cat’s food? Sadly it can. When you see an ingredient called “meat” or “meat meal” that “meat” can actually come from ANY mammal. This ingredient can legally come from roadkill or 4-D meats. 4-D meats are dead, diseased, dying or disabled animals INCLUDING euthanized cats and dogs!
So if you are starting a journey to finding the best food for your precious cats or kittens start by making sure your protein source is specifically identified such as chicken, beef, turkey, salmon, tuna etc. Be sure to read the above mentioned article to educate yourself on picking a quality pet food.