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What's in these that makes them bad?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
I live in the UK and we've just adopted two male cats. One of the basic pamphlets we received indicates not to overfeed them biscuits as it could damage their kidneys. Before I had read that, I had bought a small bag of catnip biscuits, which are meant to be a treat. They don't seem to want to eat them on their own, so I put 3-4 of them in their dishes with the dry food and they do end up eating them that way.

Could someone tell me what is in them that would make them so bad for the cats that it would damage their kidneys? Is there a basic ingredient in all biscuits that does this?

post #2 of 20
Argh. Cultural differences are getting me here. Sorry.

By biscuits...do you mean dry kibble/food? Or kitty treats? Sorry about the dumb question, I feel like a dork, but I wasn't sure.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
That's why I indicated I lived in the UK (but I'm an American). The front of the package says....

Catnip Biscuits
Flavoured with Real Catnip
Complementary Pet Food for Cats

Delicious catnip flavour
Crunchy texture to help keep teeth and gums clean
Ideal treat or reward

On the back it says to give freely as a treat.

The ingredients: Cereals, meat and animal derivatives, fish and fish derivatives, derivatives of vegetable origin, fats and oils, yeasts.

They are dry treats about the size of a large pea.

I don't know if that helps any, but thanks for trying!
post #4 of 20
I believe, then, that they are cat treats! I wouldn't think that they should cause problems. Feed them sparingly.

This phamphlet....says not to overfeed biscuits....could it be referring to dry food? I mean, I've heard UK'ers refer to dry food as bisuits. Dry food can affect the kidneys.... I'm grasping for straws here, BTW!
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well thanks anyway!

Maybe someone from the UK can give me an answer. If not, I may go back and question the people at the rescue center where I got the cats from.
post #6 of 20
Catnip treats are treats and I personally would only give a couple of times a week, but they are different from biscuits - not all cats like catnip, so dont worry if they dont like them, that is normal when you have cats and want to buy them treats - I have 5 different bags open and none have gone down well, they are going to the rescue I foster for at weekend. I am curious about this pamphlet you have got saying biscuits (dry food) can cause kidney problems, I would love to get hold of a copy of that.
post #7 of 20
OK....so, booktigger, in the UK, biscuits=dry food? Are treats sometimes called biscuits as well?
post #8 of 20
Biscuits (or biccies in my house) are dry food, I dont know anyone that calls treats biscuits though. We dont use the term kibble over here.
Just re-read the original post - there is a debate over dry food, some people (inc vets) say it is better to feed an all dry diet, but there are others that dont - some of the health issues are kidney and bladder issues, but it isn't one of those things where if you feed them dry food they will suddenly develop kidney issues (but still curious to read that pamphlet). The best really is a mix of the two, but more on the wet food than dry.
post #9 of 20
A lot of people refer to dry food as biscuits but I have to admit I'd never heard of that until joining forums! I've always called dry food just dry food or kibble

Most treats should be fed sparingly as they aren't complete (don't provide all nutrients) and tend to be pretty much junk food. Those catnip biscuits, for example, have cereal as the first ingredient - not something cats need. But they're fine as a treat. Dry food has been linked to urinary and kidney problems due to it's low water content - that might be what the pamphlet is referring to (although I guess the same applies to dry treats).
post #10 of 20
Thread Starter 
I didn't exactly remember the 'pamphlet' but it turns out that it is just a list of tips. See below...

If what you're all saying is correct, then we shouldn't feed them dry food??

As I said earlier, I may just have to go back to the cattery and find out, because this is on the back of the card with the cat info.

Thanks for all of your input!
post #11 of 20
I think it's just advising to feed more wet food than dry food, they need the moisture content in a wet food diet to keep their kidneys healthy as cats don't tend to drink much water.

Dry food isn't going to cause your cat to keel over, but in my opinion should only be part of a balanced diet, in conjunction with wet food - I feed mine 2 pouches of wet food (one in the morning and one at night) and leave a handful of dry food for each of them to nibble on when I'm out or at work.

I think that the leaflet is advising you not to put them on a completely dry food diet, but it could have been phrased a bit more clearly!

Congratulations on your new cats
post #12 of 20
I suspect that the shelter recommends against biscuits/kibble because of the low moisture content of the food. Cats are designed to get much of their moisture with their food. They have a very low thirst drive and frequently do not drink enough water. With canned food they get the moisture they need to keep their urinary tract functioning well. Here are links to sites that will provide more information. Good luck to you and your new kitties.

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Well I guess my boys must be out of the ordinary because they do drink water!

I do give them each a pouch in the a.m. and p.m. plus they have the dry food. I'm following the same regiment that the cattery had them on.

I must say I'm learning a lot!

Thanks all!
post #14 of 20
That advice about feeding a complete dry food because it helps the teeth is outdated advice. Although some vets will still say that dry food is good for teeth it isn't the case and that's not a good reason to feed dry food.


I wouldn't personally recommend more than a small amount of dry food for an adult cat as even though those fed on dry food do tend to drink more water than those fed wet food, they don't drink enough and tend to have more concentrated urine which is a contributory factor in urinary crystals. I think the only advantage to dry food is the convenience factor - it's easy to leave out for them to snack on. That and it's cheaper! I dont think there's anything beneficial to a cat in eating dry food.
post #15 of 20
Thread Starter 
I put dry food in their dishes in the morning and it takes them until the next day to finish it off....mostly because they're sleeping all day! And we use Iam's...not a cheaper brand.

But again, thank you all for your input.
post #16 of 20
Am glad that rescues are starting to say not to feed dry food too often - just need vets to follow suit now!! You might want to do a search on here for Iams though, and decide if you still want to feed it - I think there are foods with better ingredients for the money personally.
post #17 of 20
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
Am glad that rescues are starting to say not to feed dry food too often
But a shame they are saying to feed dry food for the teeth I hate to think of people introducing dry food into their cats diet because they're being told it's good for teeth.
post #18 of 20
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by booktigger View Post
You might want to do a search on here for Iams though, and decide if you still want to feed it - I think there are foods with better ingredients for the money personally.
That's funny you say that because I did check on Iams website yesterday and did notice that the ingredients aren't really that good but not necessarily bad either. Since you live in the UK, what is your suggestion for a better dry food?
post #19 of 20
I Would still do a check on this forum for IAms. I personally feed James Wellbeloved, although the fosters are on Royal Canin at the moment cos it was free from the vets!!
post #20 of 20
Thread Starter 
I got a free sample of the Royal Canin too from the cattery.
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