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i dON'T understand holistic cat food.

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Really. I don't understand the concept - holistic meaning diet modification to improve health???? But I thought most cat foods were aimed at that?

I just bought a bag of Nutrience Holistic for my Siberian snuggly cat - here are the ingredients:

Duck meal, brown rice, whole barley, ground rice, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), soy protein concentrate, whole oats, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), flaxseed meal, lecithin, chicken flavor, salt, potassium chloride, DL-methionine, L-lysine, yeast extract, dried cranberries, dried apples, dried blueberries, dried carrots, chicory root extract, dehydrated spinach, tomato powder, parsley, dried honey, mint leaves, dehydrated green tea, dehydrated alfalfa meal, dried corn syrup, choline chloride, yucca schidigera extract, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), dried rosemary, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried fenugreek, dried fennel, dried cayenne, dried ginger, rosemary extract, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc methionine complex, zinc oxide, sodium selenite, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, inositol, niacin, taurine, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid.

Now that's a mind-boggling mix of a lot of very healthy sounding foods. I don't mind eating it myself just by reading the label (a bit put off in real life tho cos it looks like cat food). Now I know cats are obligate carnivores but surely all that rosemary, thyme, apple, green tea must be confusing to their systems???
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cattypolly View Post
Now that's a mind-boggling mix of a lot of very healthy sounding foods. I don't mind eating it myself just by reading the label (a bit put off in real life tho cos it looks like cat food). Now I know cats are obligate carnivores but surely all that rosemary, thyme, apple, green tea must be confusing to their systems???
I think the point is exactly to make it sound like something you would eat. Just flip through the pages of Cat Fancy or some other magazine and you'll see all sorts of cat foods advertising their wholesome grains or delicious vegetables. They're counting on the fact that pet owners like us will think the food sounds really healthy even though cats require virtually no grains, fruit, or vegetables.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grogs View Post
I think the point is exactly to make it sound like something you would eat. Just flip through the pages of Cat Fancy or some other magazine and you'll see all sorts of cat foods advertising their wholesome grains or delicious vegetables. They're counting on the fact that pet owners like us will think the food sounds really healthy even though cats require virtually no grains, fruit, or vegetables.
My cat eats Fancy feast wet food, there was some of the Elegant medleys on sale so I bought some to try.

They look just like tuna salad that you put on sandwiches. (the food was Chicken florentine) with spinach and other wholesome veggies in it.

I've not used a holistic dry food, other at one point I looked at the food you bought. The reason I did not like it is because out of the first 7 ingreds, 4 are grains ( rice, rice, oats and barley) + duck meal and chicken fat are the only animal based protein.

I did however try the holistic wet catfood (performatrin ultra), all the veggies gave my cat diarrhea....so I'd watch for that with the Nutrience as well.
post #4 of 12
I think the food I feed is considered "holistic" (Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul---lame name, but good food for a good price). But really the term means nothing when it comes to pet food. Just look at the ingredients, and you should have no trouble telling if it's good for cats or not (lots of meat, not a lot of grains or preservatives, etc.).
post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by cattypolly View Post
Really. I don't understand the concept - holistic meaning diet modification to improve health???? But I thought most cat foods were aimed at that?

I just bought a bag of Nutrience Holistic for my Siberian snuggly cat - here are the ingredients:

Duck meala rich meat often causing stool issues , brown rice, whole barley, ground riceIMHO no reason for 3 grains in a row , chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), soy protein concentrateHIGH allergen and also has some ?? able issues , whole oats, sunflower oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acidcan be chemical), flaxseed mealgrain like and only the oil is semi used by kittys system, lecithin, chicken flavor, salt, potassium chloride, DL-methionine, L-lysine, yeast extract, dried cranberries, dried apples, dried blueberries, dried carrots, chicory root extract, dehydrated spinach, tomato powder, parsley, dried honey, mint leaves, dehydrated green tea some greens in a no OAT formula will help with hairballs , dehydrated alfalfa mealmost high end foods removed due to stomach issues not the alfalfa itself but the natural and chemical treating process, dried corn syrupdried corn sugar yup kitty needs that, choline chloride, yucca schidigera extract, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), dried rosemary, dried thyme, dried oregano, dried fenugreek, dried fennel, dried cayenne, dried ginger, rosemary extractHerbs IMHO have a place medicinally not as every day food as some have allergies and other issues with them, iron proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc methionine complex, zinc oxide, sodium selenite, vitamin E supplement, vitamin B12 supplement, copper proteinate, copper sulfate, inositol, niacin, taurine, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, vitamin A acetate, riboflavin, calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, thiamine mononitrate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, vitamin D3 supplement, folic acid.

Now that's a mind-boggling mix of a lot of very healthy sounding foods. I don't mind eating it myself just by reading the label (a bit put off in real life tho cos it looks like cat food). Now I know cats are obligate carnivores but surely all that rosemary, thyme, apple, green tea must be confusing to their systems???
IMHO holistic usually = whole lot of extra stuff and usually grainy
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Woah, thanks sharky - that's an awesome reply.

I will get a different food next time.
post #7 of 12
Silly question, but who would honestly think giving cayenne to a cat would be a good idea? I can't even tolerate foods with cayenne in them. Also, since such things are bad for people with IBS and IBD, wouldn't it be asking for trouble to regularly give cayenne to a cat (especially if it was a cat with such problems)?
post #8 of 12
disease. Just look at what is in those ingredients. GRAINS! ugh! You will not find a diabetic cat in the wild. Just look at it this way, have you ever seen a lion or tiger chewing on a cob of corn? I have had two diabetic cats and I attribute that to my feeding them dry for so many years. Yes, I was ignorant of the fact that cats pancreas cannot tolerate carbs. Never dry food again. Now they only get certain FF (not all are grain free) and 9 Lives (certain ones). There is a formula for calculating the carbs. Go to www.yourdiabeticcat.com. Loads of information not just for diabetic cats.
post #9 of 12

Hi there,

I am personally very skeptical of food quackery driven by both profit, bad data and ideology. This is everything from 'holistic' food to 'organic' food (all food is quite literally organic) to the idea that obligate carnivores need vegetables. The term 'obligate carnivore' says it all. 

I would avoid anything that tried too hard to sell me on 'holistic', but everything I do tends to be science-based, including how I feed and care for my little Burmese kitten. This same food quackery as I call it even woos humans and gets them to pay much more for food with no better nutrition (the organic hype) and with worse pesticide tech. 

I've seen trends come and go, and cats well, they thrive on prey they'd otherwise catch themselves. Mice, rabbits, etc. They even bury their food and come back to it, so I think a lot of this hype over 'holistic' food is more for humans than cats. ;)

Take a look at 'holistic medicine' and you'll see it's full of quack-remedies, some of which cause harm. When people use these buzzwords for food, my skeptical ears perk up and I avoid like the plague. ;) I would prefer companies appeal to me with science (which got humans to the moon and wiped out smallpox), not woo. ;) 

Max

post #10 of 12

My two cents Max;

 

Holistic: Undefined and unregulated marketing nonsense.

 

Organic: Does not refer to the organic nature of the plant or animal material, but sets minimum standards for the growing and manufacture of the food (no synthetic pesticides for example), in an attempt to produce healthier food with lesser negative environmental impact.

 

Obligate carnivore is not defined as an animal that obtains exclusive calories from flesh, merely the vast majority.   Its also interesting to factor in how long cats have been domesticated, and thus have adapted diets accordingly.   Most domestic dog breeds are far more tolerant of a diverse diet than wolves for example, as 15,000+ years as human companions represents a LOT of doggie generations.   In addition, commercial food manufacture destroys some of the nutrients originally in the meat and organs, but concentrated plant sources can serve as a readily available economic replacement and cause no harm.   Limited additions such as cranberry or pumpkin and the like provide virtually no calories to the meal, but can add appealing flavoring, antioxidants, and fiber for example.   Others are simply added to create an appealing texture or as a binder, but again, in premium brands are in such small quantities so as not to detract from the primarily meat diet.   The key that most agree on is to simply avoid excessive carbs, but complete avoidance of plant material is unnecessary and potentially detrimental IMO.    

 

Personally I feel this whole "natural" fad has gone a bit far, where science is replaced with feeling and marketing catchphrases.  Humans are living far longer today in part thanks to advances in food processing technology compared to fossil records of primitive humanoids.    Fluoride and sodium tripolyphosphate enhanced toothpaste certainly isn't naturally occurring for example, but reputable dentists will tell you with conviction that it produces a healthier brighter smile all else equal.  

 

What is important is what works and why, and hardest of all to remain open minded and avoid the mistake of making gross generalizations as are all too often seen.  smile.gif

post #11 of 12

Hi Duc,

There's nothing wrong with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, as they're often safer than their 'natural' counterparts, and even organic farming relies on some form of pesticide (generally the older stuff). A synthesized chemical is perfectly fine and sometimes safer, after all chemistry is chemistry, right?  An example is with synthetic human growth hormone given to some hypothyroidism patients—the synthetic variant is actually much safer than the natural form made from crushed cadaver pituitary glands. Some of the early tests with the natural crushed pituitaries revealed a risk of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), which is a form of brain damage that leads to a rapid decrease of mental function and movement. No such risk with synthesized HGH. 

The other myth with organic food is that it's somehow 'healthier' when it's actually no different, even though it costs more. It's no wonder the organic movement is often tied-closely to 'holistic' supplements, foods and other questionable claims. Obviously, any food is organic, and I refuse to use such a broad term as intended because I think a lot of the movement is based on flawed claims.

By definition, an obligate or strict carnivore doesn't need veggies, though I can understand an argument that they 'may not hurt' assuming this is true. From what I've read, cats lack the enzymes to properly digest veggies, but that doesn't mean that there's a dramatic noticeable effect. I think the whole veggie connection is more to appeal to humans...especially humans who themselves eschew meat.

The whole anti-oxidant craze is actually another food trend, and we get plenty of anti-oxidants from a normal diet (as would a cat). Too much anti-oxidants (like too much in the way of self-administered vitamins or supplements) can actually cause damage, just as too much Vitamin A would in cats. 

So, since cats are physiologically obligate carnivores, I see no reason to give them veggies, though there is a 5% veggie content in the Primal raw formula I feed my kitten. Cats were meant to get all nutrition from meat, organs, bone and perhaps a little cat-grass now and again to aid digestion. I suppose even herbivorous gorilla might eat the odd insect, but they're still herbivores so I know there's some wiggle-room, and I tend to take 'strict carnivore' seriously. 

I am a skeptic and science-fan and although I am open-minded, I like to make sure claims are solidly based in evidence. It's amazing how much misinformation I see on some of the smaller forums. At least there's some intellectual rigor and peer-review here and Duc I like many of your other posts. I would never agree to something merely due to consensus, trends, popularity, etc. Dry food was popular for cats for a long time. Even raw food (a cat's natural diet) is still oddly-controversial with vets (for reasons we could list here too, no doubt). ;)

Dan

P.S. are you a Ducati rider, perchance? 

post #12 of 12

True, whatever works best is best, I was so far swayed by a possibly biased documentary highlighting some of the benefits of "organic" biological pest control and the like to preserve soil quality and reduce runoff from the blanket spraying which unfortunately kills off all insects rather than just the pests and lately seemed to require greater and greater concentrations as target species adapt.   *shrugs* 

 

Good eye, yeah, ex-Ducati rider from age 15-21.  I have since defected to the Japanese w/ my kamikaze rockets... laughing02.gif

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