LDG said "Well - I have no plans on not doing just that, but their systems are built to go several days without eating and then feast. Also, they must be adaptable to many types of food or they wouldn't be as successful in the wild as they are."
No, cats are not built to go several days without eating! Maybe you are thinking of the "big" cats, such as lions. In the wild, cats eat several mice or other small rodents per day,(if they live where there are enough food sources) as well as snacking on insects. Going without eating for several days can cause hepatic lipidosis- a very bad thing which can cause death! Any cat in the wild who is not successful in hunting up enough to eat dies. Yes, there have been cases of cats who were starved then rescued who did not develop hepatic lipidosis (though maybe they managed to find some bugs to eat to barely keep them going), but then there were plenty of cats that did develop it. See http://www.lbah.com/Feline/ftube.htm
"Most species of animal can go many days without eating. This is not true for cats, especially when they are sick. Several days of not eating (anorexia) can have serious consequences in cats and lead to failure of important organs like the liver."
Cats are not adaptable to many kinds of foods. Many kinds of small mammals and insects, yes. A small amount of pre-digested grains from a mouse's stomach, yes. Not large amounts of corn. Not blood soaked sawdust from the slaughterhouse floor, or hydrologized feathers, which are actually legal ingredient in cat food, even having AAFCO numbers, appearing on cat food labels under the term "by products". That is the God honest truth that anyone can research. Not all by-products will be blood soaked sawdust, or hydrologized feathers, but since there is no way to know from the label what the by-products are, I wouldn't feed food with by-products to my cats. If a company is allowed to use those things, and they sure would save the company money, don't you suppose many companies would take advantage of that money saving option? Particulary since they can "hide" that fact under the handy umbrella term "by-products"? Here is a plant that makes the rendered feathers http://www3.sympatico.ca/rothsay/specs/fem_spec.html
Read more of what they make to use in cat food http://www3.sympatico.ca/rothsay/render.html
"Animal fat and animal protein remain the primary products of the renderer's art. Originally, the animal fats went almost entirely into soap and candles. Today --- from the same basic animal material --- renderers produce many grades of tallow and semi-liquid feed fat. The proteins are made up of meat and bone meals, bloodmeal, feather meal and other animal protein by-product meals of various types. Thus recycled, the feed fat and animal protein meals are used to enrich the rations of cattle, hogs, poultry, sheep, companion animals, and more."
I don't think melted down fat that used to only be used to make soap is an acceptable thing for my cats to now eat.
Do you think the FDA makes sure pet foods are wholesome and nutritious? NO, they do not. See their own words, http://www.fda.gov/cvm/index/consumer/market.htm
"There is no requirement that pet food products have premarket approval by FDA. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act does require that pet foods, like human foods, be pure and wholesome, contain no harmful or deleterious substances, and be truthfully labeled." How about that!!
How do you think some manufacturers manage to sell big bags of cat and food for small amounts of money? Not by using wholesome,easily digested ingredients, that's for sure. Companies that process food for human consumption also make food for cats, using all the leftovers and "wastes". And they get very creative about that. Sure, if you gauge the protein content of blood soaked sawdust in a lab it will have a protein content. Is it a very bio-available content when a cat eats it? NO. Might it have something to do with cats puking up their food and having digestive upsets, stinky poops, diarrhea? Yes.
The "fit for human consumption", or "made with human grade ingredients" would indicate that hydologized feathers, ground beaks and feet, and blood soaked sawdust are NOT used in that particular food. It was said that cats do eat the brains and skin, etc. of the mice, and some would not consider those parts "fit for human consumption". Actually, those parts would be fit for humans to eat, just not desireable.
Leftovers from bakeries get put in the vat for pet food too. They are "recycled" garbage. You wouldn't feed your cat old Twinkies on purpose, but you very well may be doing just that. Here is a company that picks up the "recyclables"
"Will the recycler pay for recyclables? They may pay for some materials. Call for specific materials and payment.
Comments: They are specifically looking for grain-based products (i.e., bread, cookies, pies, etc.) The materials are brought to their plant, mixed together, dehydrated and sold as animal feed. No corn syrup." This is NOT the range of foods cats are meant to eat!!
The sin of pet food labeling and manufacturing is that the term "by-product" can mean almost anything, and most people imagine it to be things like brains, hearts, intestines, etc. That would be fine if that is all by-products meant. But it's not. I could get into more, but this is way too long as it is.