A Cat Lover's Educational Website

by Doug Hines

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What's in Your Cat's Food Dish? ®

- Marketing Hype -


Once You Become Educated About Ingredients - All The Hype in The World Can't Stop You!

Above All - Ignore the Marketing Hype...

Remember... the hype is on the outside of the can. The ingredients are on the inside.

(That which follows is purely the opinion of Doug Hines as a result of his studies.)

DON'T BE MISLED... Pet food manufacturers, distributors, and retailers will do ANYTHING to get you to buy their products - including giving their products witty names (supposedly they win the name game with the word "nature" in their title), showing eye-catching labels, presenting embellished videos, and having slick, attractive websites - while (it appears to me) giving little consideration to the ingredients in the can.

Here's actual text quoted from a cat food manufacturer's website:


With fresh flakes as the prime ingredient, slow cooked in a delicate grain-free broth, this cat food will surely excite any kitty's taste buds and keep them coming back for more!


  • No pre-formed chunks
  • No hormones added
  • No salt added
  • No wheat gluten
  • No artificial flavor
  • No preservatives added

Sounds great doesn't it? Now check out some of the actual ingredients in the can:

  • Sunflower Oil (cats have difficulty converting this to the appropriate fatty acid.)
  • Potato Starch (cats have zero carbohydrate/starch requirements, and both can be bad for a cat's blood sugar/insulin balance.)
  • Zinc Oxide (coloring additive)
  • Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (a cheap and artificial form of Vitamin K that can interfere with glutathione resulting in oxidative damage to cell membranes. Toxic to kidneys, lungs, liver, and mucous membranes.)

Here's my all-time favorite (and absurd) cat food name. It's from Royal Canin®, and it's called "Intense Beauty Chunks in Gravy." Talk about trying to make all your dreams come true, while at the same time feeding you a genuine boat load of hype.

Forget the marketing lingo, the fancy labels and the eye-popping websites. Learn about cat food ingredients.

The words "natural" or "premium" or "vet recommended" are not necessarily indicative of high quality


The Art of Consumer Deception

The Art of Consumer Deception... It's time we all start to suspect product names and descriptions such as “dinner”, “with”, "recipe", “flavor", "indoor", "natural", "premium",  "holistic",  "complete & balanced", "veterinarian-recommended", "prescription" and "whole food ingredients". By general industry standards (if there is such a thing), if the label states “with chicken”, there only has to be 3% chicken in the product. If it says “chicken dinner”, there only has to be 25% chicken in it. If the word “flavor” is used, there doesn’t even have to have ANY of the primary ingredient in the product. And let's face it... the word "recipe" could contain anything!

All of the words above are deceptive, consumer-swaying, meaningless descriptions. 

  • Think your cat cares whether or not he or she is eating a 'special recipe'?
  • Think your cat's body really needs food especially designed for indoor cats? 
  • Think your cat cares whether or not his or her food is produced by a "family owned business?" 
  • And marketing hype comes in many subtle ways. Why are so many colorants added to cat food? Think your cat cares what color is in the dish?

These words are chosen to influence YOU!   It's all hype to sucker you in.

Don’t exactly understand what ‘hype’ is?

Hype is defined as extravagant or intensive publicity or promotion - a deception carried out for the sake of publicity (and selling product).

Here’s hype at its best.

(That which follows is purely the opinion of Doug Hines as a result of his studies.)

Soulistic® produces 39 varieties of cat food in cans and in pouches. Go to Soulistic® and ‘Feed Your Cat’s Soul®.’ (Whoops… the hype has already begun.)

Just look at the money this company has poured into product description and design. That’s hype.

The words describing each product are tantalizing. How could you not buy a can of cat food titled Shrimply Divine®, or Double Happiness®, or Upstream Dream®, or Pure Bliss®. The enticing titles go on and on.

Just look at the money this company has poured into label and website design. 

Ever seen a more wonderful home page? Look at the pictures. Look at the use of color. You can’t find better graphics anywhere. The home page text/copy screams at you… “People Food for Pets®,” Picky Cats Rejoice!®,” Food to Feed The Soul®.”

Read the description of ‘Picky Cats’ towards the bottom of the homepage, and watch yourself as the effects of the words sink in. Like a pied piper’s music enticing the town of Hamelin, the words are almost impossible to ignore. The words themselves just lure you in.

Ever seen such wonderful packaging graphics? It’s high-art at it’s best.

Soulistic® has done a wonderful job at marketing. Unfortunately… the cat food is crap. Now that you’ve learned about ingredients at CatFoodIngredients.com, take a look at the ingredients in Soulistic® yourself. It seems like the hype of fancy titles, labels and website design is just a smokescreen for the truth in the cans.

The majority of the products list tapioca starch, sunflower oil, and guar gum as the ‘majority’ ingredients in the can. Some products contain carrageenan, natural flavor, xanthan gum, locust bean gum and copper sulfate. Then there’s the elephant in the room… Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex (source of Vitamin K3).

The hype is actually offensive to anyone who can read an ingredients list.

Here’s my message to Soulistic®… make better cat food. With better cat food you would have gone to the top of my favorites list. As it is, all of your 39 products are rejected with an (X).


Let's Learn With an Example...

First Look at the Marketing - and Then consider the Ingredients

Here's an ad featuring a brand new product from Simmons® / Blue Buffalo®. Note the picture. Note the bag and can designs. Note the descriptive text. Go to their website and note the wonderful site design. Then scroll down to see what's in the product.

Just considering the wet food here - not the dry food.

Carnivora® - Coastal Blend®  Ingredients:

(questionable ingredients are in bold)  (notice that this product contains major food combinations, but we'll set that consideration aside for now.)

Cod, Catfish, Chicken Liver, Chicken Broth, Dried Egg Product, Chicken, Sardines, Mackerel, Trout, Halibut, Salmon, Essential Nutrients And Other Ingredients: Pea Flour, Natural Flavor, Carrots, Pumpkin, Carrageenan, Cassia Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Guar Gum, Minerals [Iron Amino Acid Chelate, Zinc Amino Acid Chelate, Copper Amino Acid Chelate, Manganese Amino Acid Chelate, Sodium Selenite, Potassium Iodide], Choline Chloride, Vitamins [Thiamine Mononitrate (Vitamin B1), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement (Vitamin B3), Calcium Pantothenate (Vitamin B5), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin Supplement (Vitamin B2), Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin (Vitamin B7), Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)], Salt.

Remember... the hype is on the outside of the can. The ingredients are on the inside.

Ignore everything on the outside of the can including the witty name, the eye-catching can label, the manufacturer's description in print, the videos and commercials, and the fancy websites. The only important things are the ingredients.

And Watch This Term 'Grain-Free'

While wanting a grain-free food for my cats (in fact I insist on it - more on that later), the term 'grain-free' can be used as a coverup for other bad ingredients. You read 'grain-free' prominently on the label, and then automatically assume that you're holding a good product. You cannot make that assumption. There are many, many 'grain-free' cat foods on the market which contain other terrible ingredients. You have to read the ingredients list to make an educated evaluation.

Watch as manufacturers proudly list what’s not in their product. ‘Grain-Free’ is usually at the top of their list. Saying something is not in the can is simply spreading more hype. They might as well be saying, “Our cat food doesn’t have • concrete, • thumbtacks, • tire rims, • hammers, • alarm clocks, etc., etc. If you see a list of things that a cat food doesn’t contain, that list is pure hype.

The Point of This Page is to Urge You to Look Past the Hype and Examine the Ingredients.

The phrase has never been more important...  Caveat emptor - Buyer Beware.

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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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