A Cat Lover's Educational Website

by Doug Hines

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What's in Your Cat's Food Dish? ®

- Introduction - A Quick Overview -

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The Study Course: Learn how to evaluate cat food brands

The purpose of this website is to heighten awareness regarding the quality of ingredients in canned cat food, and to hopefully influence what people feed their cats. 


In this site I offer you insight as to how I go about assessing cat food ingredients so that you may follow with a more in-depth study of your own.  You'll learn how to assess ingredients, both good and bad, the moment you pick up the can and instantly realize what quality of product you are holding.

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Photo Courtesy of Susan Thixton, TRUTHaboutpetfood.com

Novel pet food protein from scrap wood nearing reality

This is an actual, current headline on a major website today. That ought to scare the hell out of all of us. "Using timber industry residues to make pet food and livestock feed may benefit the economy and the environment." Excuse me while I go throw up.

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A Quick Look at How I Rate Cat Food

This section is a summary or 'quick-view' of the in-depth details found in the next pages.


After reviewing ingredients, I rate cat food by assigning one or more of the following grades: A,B,C,D,E,X,$ (where $, although it may be of good quality, is too expensive for my budget). So a food I consider to be of average quality but expensive is rated (C,$). If there are serious concerns about ingredients, I may reject a product by rating it with an (X).


HOWEVER, there will be no ratings listed herein folks. As stated before, these pages are just a major summation about how I go about assessing cat food ingredients. I hope that you bookmark this page for reference, and that you'll use it as a basis for reading the ingredients labels for the food you feed your beloved cat(s).


In my cat's world, as a result of my study, cat food cannot contain any of these: 

If any one of the words below are contained in the ingredients list, I reject that product with an (X) rating. (Explainations Follow Below)

• menadione sodium bisulfite complex  • montomorillonite clay  • copper sulfate  • carrageenan  • butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA)  • caramel  • garlic  • onions  • porcine plasma  • glyceryl monostearate  •  iron oxide  • sodium nitrite  • sodium tripolyphosphate  • sodium acid pyrophosphates (SAPP)  • sodium selenite  • titanium dioxide  • vegetable/grain fatty oils (canola, flax, safflower, sunflower, soybean, olive, 'vegetable' oils)  • gluten  • gelatin  • salt- high in the list  • cheese  • cottage cheese  • grain  • any kind of by-products  • artificial coloring and/or flavoring  • glucose/dextrose/sugar  • cellulose  • ethoxyquin  • canthaxanthin  • ascorbic acid  • annatto extract  • also if the metal can contains BPA


Any of these ingredients drop the product's rating by 1 letter-grade: 

• major food combinations  • natural flavors  • liver (see comment here)  • clams  • squid  • mussels  • dried egg product  • dried egg whites


All of these drop 2 grades AND drop 3 grades if high in the ingredients list:

• peas or pea protein  • pumpkin  • carrots  • potatoes  • tapioca  • sweet potatoes  • squash  • quinoa  • chickpeas  • locust bean  • beet pulp  • turnip  • eggplant  • gums  • gelatin  • animal 'meal'  • cranberries  • blueberries  • apples  • papaya  • pomegranate  • raspberries  • coconut


Although these broad descriptions don't drop the product's letter-grade rating, I do, personally, find them consumer-insulting:

• gravies  • sauces  • recipes  • dinners  • indoor  • natural  • "whole food ingredients"  • premium  • 'complete & balanced'

All of these words are deceptive, consumer-swaying, meaningless descriptions. Think a cat cares whether or not he or she is eating a 'special recipe'? Think a cat's body really needs food especially designed for indoor cats? These words are chosen to influence YOU!


Additionally, I would seriously consider and closely examine, any cat food product wherein any of the ingredients are sourced from China or Thailand. The ingredients and/or supplements can be substandard, and there is a risk of poor quality control.


Remember, cats are obligate carnivores and get their protein from animal sources, not plants (grains, legumes and vegetables). Cats have zero carbohydrate requirements.


Details follow in the next pages.

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Information on this website is provided for general purposes only. It should not be considered as a substitute for professional veterinary advice, care and treatment. Nothing herein is intended to treat, heal, or otherwise be considered as medical advice or treatment. Contact your veterinarian with any questions regarding your cat's diet or health. See additional details here.

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