Don't get all twisted out of shape. Dropping an ingredient's grade one or two letter-grades isn't the same as rejecting it altogether. Dropping the grade is an indication that the cat food has ingredients which are of questionable value.
Next, I don’t reject them, but I reduce any product by one letter-grade rating (A through E) should the product contain:
I don’t reject them, but I drop a product two grades (and three grades if high in the ingredients list) should it contain:
As has been repeated many times before, cats are obligate carnivores and get their protein from animal sources, not plants (grains, legumes and vegetables). Cats have zero carbohydrate requirements. To paraphrase Dr. Andrew Jones, Online Veterinarian, "Cats lack certain enzymes such as salivary amylase. These are enzymes that are there [in humans, for example] to help break down carbohydrates. Cats don't have those. Cats are uniquely designed for short, more frequent meals that are protein based."
"Because cats are carnivores, the short length of their long intestines limits their ability to ferment fibers that are found in many carbohydrates." - Your Cat's Nutritional Needs, published by the National Research Council of the National Academies, pg4
*This quote is from an article on the HappyCatsHaven.org website: "... cats have a relatively short digestive tract with a smaller stomach... Cat's livers are also lighter and much more simple...Because they lack essential enzymes and amino acids, [cats] simply don't have the capacity to digest other food sources, like vegetable matter or fruit."
And another thing... "... in pet food any vegetable or fruit listed on a label could be sourced from spoiled, damaged, or even contaminated (such as with pesticides) vegetables and fruits that cannot be sold as human food." - Susan Thixton, TruthAboutPetFood.com - Learn the Truth about Pet Food Ingredients Part 4
(By the way... Think cats need vegetables, legumes or fruit? Let me know the next time you see a cat digging up someone's garden to eat their potatoes. Let me know the next time you see a cat shucking peas or shimmying up a tree to eat mangoes. lol)
I also drop a product three grades if it is know that the ingredients are sourced from China or Thailand. Ingredients can be substandard, and there is the risk of poor quality control.
One of the greatest myths out there is that somehow fish is a better food for cats than is beef or poultry. Cats didn't evolve historically by fishing in a mountain stream or by going for a day's cruise on the ocean. Fish would be a good food, but for the fact that it contains contaminants. Resultant health problems can occur with a predominantly fish based diet - problems associated with mercury toxicity and the fact that fish have alarming levels of toxins from swimming in polluted waters. It's best to use fish as a periodic supplement to beef or poultry meals, not as a dietary staple.
I also must inject a comment here about farmed fish. Some people believe farmed fish are superior to wild fish, but nothing is farther from the truth. Farmed fish are often 'fed' poultry feces when poultry is held in nets above the fish tanks.
As expressed elsewhere on this website, because of it's natural propensity for contamination, fish/seafood should not be used as a primary daily food. Feeding your cat(s) fish often/regularly is not a good idea.
Writing for Feeding Fido and Fluffy, Carol North has just published an article titled 'What You Must Know About Fish-Based Cat Food.' This article, while zeroing in on the subject of fish in cat food, is also reflective of specific ingredients in all cat food. Read as Carol describes 'Contaminants in Fish that Could kill Your Pet.'
Here's a detailed article by Jean Hofve, DVM in Little Big Cat titled 'Why Fish is Dangerous for Cats.' Again, I'm not saying don't feed cats fish. I'm saying don't have fish be the predominant meal in their diet.
Here's yet another message warning us to curtail our use of seafood. The article is Mercury in Fish-Based Cat Food: What You Should Know - from Ingrid King in The Conscious Cat
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