What makes good quality cat food
This is a very general question. But what makes a food "good" quality (cat food)?
I know about protein, fat content, etc, but it seems like a lot of the "store" brands are equivalent to more expensive brands in this respect. So how are they different? Does it have to do with quality of ingredients?
The only difference is branding and price point. You're right in noticing that the ingredients are really no different between a food you buy at the grocery store versus Science Diet or Medical. Unfortunately, even though the second two are pricey, the quality is no better than Whiskas.
No animal should be eating wheat, corn, soy or chicken/meat by-products.
Google some of these brands:
Innova (EVO line)
Blue Buffalo (Wilderness)
You'll notice that they contain very few, if any, grains and REAL meat is the #1 ingredient. This is what makes a good pet food!
If you use the "Store Locator" function on any of their websites you'll notice that these brands are found in pet supply stores, not grocery or large chain stores. You have to go looking to find good food!
There is a user on here ([B]sugarcatmom[/B]) who is very well-researched in cat food specifically, and I'm sure she'll notice your thread later on and provide more information. :)
Human grade muscle meat being the main ingredient (cats are carnivores).
I have a more detailed answer in your other post about what too look for in a cat food: [url]http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?p=820055&highlight=obligate+carnivores#post820055[/url]
Basically, like Love4himies said, you want muscle meat rather than by-products, little to no grains, and WATER. Which means dry food is out.
You want to look for a food with quality animal protein, little or no grain, as sugarcatmom said. Beware of starches as some companies will use them to substitute for the grain.
I'm not big on the human grade label on pet food. there's really no meaning to it. I mean, the meat you get in grocery stores comes from the same slaughterhouse. It's the by-products you don't want. I guess by-products could also be the muscle and organ meats but they may also be other things like beaks and feet. If by-products are so good, then why not name them?
While I know very little about cat food, I do know that you cannot look at just the nutritional analysis where it says how much protein, how much fat, etc. That doesn't tell you what kind of protein it is. The pet food recalls of 2007 were because of a chemical called melamine which mimics protein - so a pet food with melamine in it would test just as high as a pet food with actual meat in protein levels.
There is a thread here somewhere that gives the example of mixing motor oil, shoe leather and sawdust and the resulting 'nutritional analysis' from that mixture. If you looked at just the nutritional analysis, then you wouldn't realize that the mixture is nothing but motor oil, shoe leather and sawdust.
Here it is:
Say you’ve got a pair of old leather boots…
some used motor oil… and a scoop of sawdust.
Now, grind them all up… blend them together…
and send that whole concoction to a food testing
laboratory… for analysis.
And the results? This toxic medley of rubbish
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