So many cat parents think they’re feeding quality cat food because of the marketing on the bag. Or maybe a vet recommended the food. Does this mean that the ingredients in the food are actually good for our kitties?
Dry pet food was created by James Spratt in the 1800s as a way to repurpose human food garbage. They took left-over vegetables, beet root, and wheat and mixed it together with beef blood. Then they baked it. It quickly became a very profitable industry and more companies jumped on board. This seemed like a brilliant business strategy since the ingredients were so cheap.
Fast forward to 1922 and the Chappel Brothers created the first canned food. It was made with horse meat – and it was such a big hit that people started breeding horses to keep up with the demand. Sad, but it’s true. What’s even more sad is that horse meat is still sometimes found in pet food.
How We Decipher The Quality Of Ingredients In Cat Food
Now let’s jump forward to when it was realized that cats and dogs need more than just wheat and veggies to live a healthy life. Meat isn’t cheap – so in order to keep profit margins up, they decided to use the left over meat products that aren’t safe for human consumption in pet food. This could be dead, diseased, or dying livestock, beaks, feathers and other pieces of an animal not fit for human consumption. It could also be animals that are found dead on the side of the road. Once they cook the crap out of it (rendering), it usually kills the diseased meat (though you’ll find that the overwhelming majority of foods that have caused illness and death in cats and dogs is kibble).
Then they mix that “meat” with the cheap wheat, corn and soy and call it “quality cat food“. Since there is no enforceable law about the verbiage pet food companies use, they can deceive the consumer easily. This is still happening today.
Do you know how to figure out if the food you feed has quality ingredients?
It’s pretty simple. Find out who owns the cat food you feed. That can be found with a simple internet search. If the food you’re feeding is owned by one of the multi-billion dollar companies like General Mills, Nestle, Colgate, MARS, Smuckers – you can be pretty darn sure that the ingredients they use are not sourced with the health of your cat in mind. Please contact them yourself and ask for sourcing information – or details of the rendering plant that provides their meat ingredients.
Consider purchasing your cat’s food from a smaller pet food company that is transparent with their ingredients and sourcing. There are many independently owned cat foods that were created to give cat parents options for real, quality cat food.