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Whats really in pet food?

post #1 of 45
Thread Starter 
Oh my. I have subscribed to a list on pet nutrition and am finding out what really is in my pet's food. Do you know that pet food is basically everything that is marked 'unfit for human consuption"! You pet eats things you would probably never touch such as udders, esophagi, intestines, or cancerous animal parts. It also may contain And if you think high quality brands aren't guilty of this offence you have another thing coming. Brands such as Eukanuba or Science Diet, which many people reccomend, may contain the same things as Meow Mix or Alley Cat! Do you feed food from Nestle` (Friskies, Alpo, Fancy Feast, Mighty Dog), Heinz (9 lives, Amore, Gravy Train, Kibbles n Bits, Recipe), Colgate-Palmolive (Hill's Science Diet), Mars (Kal Kan, Meal Time, Pedigree, Sheba), Procter and Gamble (Eukanuba and Iams)? These brands are the leading brands for using poor ingredients. If so you could be putting your pets life at risk. By feeding poor foods that are unfit for us you can cause cancer and other degenerative diseases. Also by rendering the food you do not nessicerily remove hormones that are used to fatten livestock or increase milk production nor do they remove antibiotics or barbituates used to euthanize animals. All the more reason to read your pet food label.
post #2 of 45
Well, my take on it is this..firstly, my cats have to eat something that I buy at a store. A homemade diet is not practical or feasible for me. I'm pretty sure every company that makes pet food uses products that are unfit for human consumption, and they sure as heck aren't going to put that on the label, so I'm not so sure that reading labels is helpful in that way. I read the labels of every brand of cat food I could find and found them to be very similar. Personally, I feed my cats Iams, because there seemed to be more meat products listed compared to some other foods which contained a lot of corn products. However, I try to keep in mind that in the wild cats eat small animals such as mice, birds, etc. and guess what parts are their favorite? Internal organs, the head etc.So, I don't really think its such a big deal that parts such as udders, intestines etc are used to make the food we buy. I don't think its right that these companies use euthanized and/or diseased animals to make pet food, but when it comes down to it, there really aren't many options for those of us that don't have the time or resources to cook for our cats every day.
post #3 of 45
I have to agree w/ Melissa on this one. Not to sound Harsh, but if they food is not intended or worthy of human consumption, I don't think that means it is not good for cats. I mean a cat is not a human. Although I will agree that some products have a lot of the corn products. Like Melissa said, in the wild they would eat the whole animal and that includes the "non- edible" parts for a human. Sooooooo, I feed my cat Purina and she loves it. Maybe its not top of the line, but the vet said if it agrees with her and she enjoys it than its fine. Never had a problem with it, she doesn't vomit or have diarrhea and she enjoys mealtime. And she is healthy. And isn't that what counts in the end anyway??
post #4 of 45
Thread Starter 
You may feel it is ok to feed your pet the waste but I want the best for my cats. Not to say your wrong but why would you want to feed your pets food with chemicals in them including those that are used to kill animals? I feel it is everyones right to know what is really in their pets food and not think it is what the companies make it out to be; fresh whole chicken, whole vegetables, nothing but the best because it simply isn't! If it is not good enough for me to eat why should my animals eat it?
post #5 of 45
Outcry leads to changes in disposing of animals

By William Lamb
Of The Post-Dispatch
Trisha Howard And Shera Dalin Of The Post-Dispatch Contributed To This Report.

Dog and cat carcasses are piling up in freezers throughout the St. Louis area because a Belleville plant that ground them up for ingredients to make animal feed refuses to accept any more.

Now, officials in St. Louis and surrounding counties are weighing alternatives likely to cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars beginning next year.

For more than 30 years, city and county pounds shipped the dead animals by the truckload to Millstadt Rendering Co. until the plant stopped accepting them Friday. Public outcry fostered by television news reports that the carcasses were used in pet food prompted the company to stop taking the remains.

Most of the dogs and cats euthanized in the area ended up at the plant, which processed them without charge. It used a heating process to extract protein meals and fats from the carcasses of domestic and farm animals, producing materials later used in the production of heating oil, fertilizer and animal feed, said Clifton Smith, a consultant to the plant.

Plant officials said they don't know exactly how their products are used but did not rule out the possibility that they are components of pet food.

The use of ground-up cat and dog carcasses, along with farm animals and roadkill, in pet food is not uncommon, according to an industry executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The practice is permitted by the Food and Drug Administration.

The move left city and county officials with little time to weigh other options, as dead dogs and cats began to pile up in freezers with nowhere to go. The alternatives include building an incinerator, burying the animals in landfills or hauling them to another incinerator or rendering plant at a cost to taxpayers of tens of thousands of dollars next year.

"We haven't been given much time, so we're kind of scrambling right now," said David Hall, the animal control administrator in Madison County, where about 5,000 dogs and cats are euthanized each year. "We have a large, walk-in freezer. Right now, the animal carcasses are being kept in the freezer until we can find a solution, which we're going to have to come to pretty quickly."

Madison County officials aren't alone. The Millstadt plant also accepted animals from St. Louis, as well as from Jefferson, Franklin and St. Louis counties, plus Florissant, Festus, Kirkwood and St. Charles. In Illinois, St. Clair, Monroe, Clinton, Randolph, Sangamon and Macoupin counties made regular deliveries, as did the cities of Collinsville and Madison.

The Madison County Board decided on Wednesday to take its dead animals to a local landfill as soon as arrangements can be made. In the meantime, the county may take the rendering plant up on its offer to ship the carcasses to an incinerator near Chicago for 68 cents a pound. At that rate, animal disposal could cost the county about $1,200 a week, said James Monday, the county administrator.

St. Louis County began hauling animal carcasses this week to a landfill in Bridgeton - a practice that is legal in Missouri and Illinois with the requisite permits. It will cost the county about $7,800 a year to make three deliveries to the landfill each week, said Dan Knox, the St. Louis County Animal Control manager.

Knox said he had been under the impression that the animal carcasses were used exclusively in the production of fertilizer. Had he learned earlier that the animals also were used in animal feed, he would have weighed other alternatives, he said.

"They didn't hide it," he said of the plant. "We didn't ask; they didn't tell us. We were just under that impression."

County officials are leaning toward building an incinerator to cremate the remains, Knox said, adding that the investment would save the county money over the long term.

The county euthanized about 6,000 animals last year, he said. St. Louis, which is also weighing alternatives, euthanizes about 3,000 animals a year, said Richard Steveson, the city's animal control program manager.

"I think (cremation) is a respectful way to do it," Knox said. "But the cost would be significant - $80,000 just to build it. In the past, we've chosen not to spend that money, but we are reconsidering that, and it may be something we'll have to do at some point."

It would cost St. Louis County at least $95,000 to build an incinerator large enough to handle its dead strays, said Steve Rohleder of Kansas City's FC Industries, which sold the incinerators that St. Charles County and Kansas City use to dispose of their euthanized animals. The incinerators, also called crematories, usually are the size of a moving truck, burn natural gas and can reach temperatures of up to 1,800 degrees, Rohleder said.

Smith said the plant has offered to haul the animal carcasses to an incinerator on an interim contract basis if at least half the counties agreed to pay for the service. He said the plant would build an incinerator on its property - a process that could take up to six months - if half the counties agree to the plan by February.

"It seems it will probably be a two-stage process for everybody: Finding something immediate, then looking into the long-term so something like this will never happen again," said St. Clair County Animal Services Director Jim Jacquot.
post #6 of 45
So, I assume you feed your cats food you prepare yourself?
post #7 of 45

Seeing as I am probably going to get cancer and die from some food additive, I can't see where I am making the world any safer for my cats. If I fed them from home-prepared foods, who's to say they're any safer? I'm not exactly raising pigs and goats here in the city.
post #8 of 45
Um, there is chemicals in the food you eat also. Don't you think if they treat a cow or a chicken with any sort of medication or antibiotics that you are getting it in the meat you eat?? Unless you have a farm and raise your own animals, its nearly impossible to completely avoid things like this.

I dont think the pet food companies mislead you either. All you have to do is read the label. And if you don't like what is in it, then just don't buy it.

Like Melissa said, do you make all of your cat food by hand with only organic ingredients???? I feed my cat what she likes to eat, and she is healthy and fine. I don't like the idea that you seem to be saying we are HARMING our cats by buying store bought food. And you use the word "waste". Are you implying that in the wild that cats would only eat the "meat" and leave the waste??
post #9 of 45
Well, my cat Onyx, who goes outside, is quite the mouser. He eats the head and leaves the rest...so much for that theory, Daniela
post #10 of 45
Oh, I thought it was a great theory!!! LOL hahahahahaha

Poor little Mice !!!!! Oh my goodness, I couldn't even imagine!!
post #11 of 45
Welcome to the cat site! I think you'll find that you've stumbled onto the webs best site for cat lovers, in terms of comraderie, and concern for their pets well being.

As you can probably guess, there are a few subjects that people tend to get passionate about. Declawing, spaying & neutering to name a few. We've actually had the 'what to feed your cat' debate many times.

While there is on doubt that there are questionable things found in catfood, everyone who frequents here, does because they love their cat, and they do the best they can for their pets.

We could argue up and down the pros and cons all day long, but the reality is, that not everyone has the time to make their own catfood. We all do the best we can, within the confines of our time, and our budget.

You're preaching to the choir, as we are all cat lovers on this site, and want to do the best we can for them. The people that you will find on this site are generally better educated about their animals than most.

Nobody here feels it's okay to feed their cat 'waste'. We all do as much as we can for our animals. The people you want to educate aren't frequenting a catsite.

Please go to the lounge and introduce yourself!
post #12 of 45
Very well put AirPrincess.
post #13 of 45
There are several good foods out there available to feed your cats without home preparing the meals. I personally will not feed the brands that allow, dead, diseased & companion animals to be put in there food.

Some excellent brands are Wellness, Felidae, Solid Gold, Flint River, California Natural & several others. Its definately a personal preference.

I want to feel that I am doing all I can to give my "kids" a long & healthy life.

I don't feel like I am preaching to the choir, from what I have observed over the past 10 months. There are many people coming to this forum to learn how to take care of there cats. And I have also noticed that many people are not knowledgable about things.
post #14 of 45
Well, unless you work at the place where these 'acceptable' foods you mentioned are made, theres no way you could know that they too aren't using 'less than quality' ingredients. You can't possibly know that Wellness, Solid Gold or any of the others don't contain diseased, or companion animals in their foods. And I think pretty much any animal thats used in pet food is bound to be a dead one.
post #15 of 45
Thank you Melissa for pointing out my mistake in punctuation. A comma inserted in the wrong place can make a definate difference. It should read dead diseased, & companion animals. :>))

The premium cat foods do not get there protein sources from rendering companies.

If you are happy with your choice, thats all that matters.
post #16 of 45
Melissa you cracked me up w/ your line about any animal is bound to be a dead one!!!!!!!

:laughing: :laughing2 :laughing: :laughing2 :laughing: :laughing2 :laughing: :laughing2 :laughing: :laughing2 :laughing: :laughing2 :laughing: :laughing2

Thanks for the good chuckle!
post #17 of 45
No problem...thats what I'm here for :LOL:
post #18 of 45
[i]I don't feel like I am preaching to the choir, from what I have observed over the past 10 months. There are many people coming to this forum to learn how to take care of there cats. And I have also noticed that many people are not knowledgable about things. [/b]
what I meant by preaching to the choir, is that everyone here does the best they can, and their here because they love their animals and want the best for them. We've had discussions about this in the past that turned very ugly and respected members were insulted because of the choices that they make. I was trying to difuse a potenially inflamitory situation.

I didn't mean that everyone here knows everything about cat care, but that they don't deserve to be judged for the choices that they make, concerning their cats.

I'm all for education I just don't want the flame fest that we've had in the past.
post #19 of 45
I buy Science Diet, Nutro and Eukanuba (dry) for my cats. I mix it and they like it. My Mister Sosa also likes mice, moles and anything else he can lay his paws on outside. I prefer he eat the cat food only, but he goes outside and the temptation is to much for him. My other two babies are full time house buddies so they only eat the cat food.

Since I have been feeding those foods the litter box is not the chore that it used to be. Both cats poop twice a day and it's almost a pleasure cleaning that box!

When I think of the many strays and homeless cats and kittens, even those that have homes but still have to scrounge for their food and eat whatever they can find, well, aren't those little ones that are lucky enough to live in OUR homes lucky? No matter what brand of food we choose to feed them?

Hugs to everyone!
post #20 of 45
I understand your feelings, people are sometimes to passionate over things. I'm sure that most everyone here is trying to do what is best for their cats.

I wish everyone could state their feelings without others ridiculing them. We are all individuals with often differing opinions & that doesn't necessarily make any of them wrong. We should all respect each other.

We can all learn things from each other, if we only leave ourselves with an open mind. And compassion towards others.

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year full of Gods blessings for the coming year.
post #21 of 45
"Since I have been feeding those foods the litter box is not the chore that it used to be. Both cats poop twice a day and it's almost a pleasure cleaning that box! "

Hey, since you enjoy it so much, would you come clean my boxes out too?????
post #22 of 45
wow! I'm new to this site. I never knew there was such a debate about cat food!!! someone pointed out that there are many good cat foods that use human grade ingredients and she mentioned a few. there are many more--Wysong, Petguard, Natural Life, Steves, Sojuourner Farms to name a few more. The place that I learn about these things is the Whole Cat Journal which is an excellent publication that does not accept advertising and tests products on their own cats (kind of like consumer reports) I'm sure they have a website so if you don't know anything about it I would highly recommend going to their website.
post #23 of 45
Could you post the link so that people can go see?
post #24 of 45
The website address for Whole Cat Journal is www.whole-cat-journal.com. Unfortunately I have not been able to access this website recently. Maybe it is temporarily down. I will post the phone # or if someone else has it please post. Thanks.
post #25 of 45
I believe the most high quality cat food you can buy is Solid Gold. It smells like beef jerky! Royal Canin, Felidae, Innova, California Natural, Natural Balance and Wellness all have preservatives. Why add animal fat or poultry fat to food that is meat based? It's just another filler. I feed my 10 cats in a 5 cup bowl and by the end of the day, only 3/4 of the bowl is empty. My cats and I love Solid Gold. It's not very expensive and it is the best food other than raw that they could possibly be eating!

Solid Gold Katz-N-Flocken Dry Cat Food

Lamb Meal, Menhaden Fish Meal, Ground Millet, Ground Brown Rice, Ground Barley, Rice Bran Oil, Canola Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Amaranth, Rice Bran, Garlic, Blueberries, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Taurine, Carotene, Choline Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Iron Proteinate, Vitami A Supplement, Zinc Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Folic Acid, Thiamine, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Manganese Proteinate, Copper Proteinate, Ethylenediamine Dihydriodide, Natural Flavors Added.* * Usually Apples or Carrots.

No Wheat

No Soybeans

No Corn

No Animal Fat Added

No Poultry Fat

No By-Products

No Sugar Added

No Preservatives

No Sugar Added

Yucca Schidigera Extract reduces the cats stool smell by 64%! My cats litter boxes NEVER stink!
post #26 of 45
Oh my, a food topic that I actually haven't replied to!

I just wanted to say that, yes, I KNOW! *sigh* And I can't bother to read every post, but I'm sure I agree with what mostly has been said in here, as I always do lol.

It's sad, what some pet food manufactours think they can get away with, which is why we have to arm ourselves with knowledge and feed our pets to the best of our ability!

Crazy Cat Lover: Beef Jerky eh? Hmmm, to me it smells like blueberries! It's great! I've been really tempted to try a peice before, lol. The thing that sends me for a flip, is that when I buy the BIG bag, the 15 pounder... and I open it pour it all into their food bin.. there is never any ground up, powdery, mashed peices in the bottom! (Much like you will find at the bottom of a cereal box.) It's the only pet food I've seen do this, specially in the larger quantities. I'm impressed

And for those of you who are worried about the no preservatives, I can tell you in the 3 months of me feeding it, and talking with other pet owners, I have never known this food to get spoiled or go bad.
But I have heard of many & had a few foods with all the chemical, toxic, preservatives you want, and it STILL goes bad, sometimes it's even been bad as soon as you open a brand new bag! =O
post #27 of 45
Angel, That's so true about Solid Gold. I have never found powder at the bottom of the bag. I'm like you, I pour the cat food into a container. Everytime I open the container the food always smells fresh. Food with preservatives doesn't last as long. Solid Gold has no added animal/poultry fat, so there is no need for chemical preservatives! I will never switch again!

My cats all have shiny, soft and smooth coats. They don't shed, unless they're stressed, and their litter boxes don't stink. I scoop their litter boxes everyday, and there is hardly anything in them!

Solid Gold Rules!
post #28 of 45
I hope I have never made anyone feel uncomfortable regarding their choices as a pet parent (unless it's an informed choice to declaw then I hope you're more uncomfortable than your cat).

All I hope for is that all pet owners take some time to be informed and think for themselves, rather than believe what the pet food companies tell you. When a Maybelline commercial for the best new mascara comes on, you think about it. But for some reason many pet owners just believe the pet food companies, and they are mostly in it for the money. There are some smaller companies that I think really do have the pets in mind as much as the profit, but not all.

Take for instance the latest Purina Benefuls (dog food but still illustrates my point) ads. These are a big pet peeve for me. They say and this is from the website -

"Moist, chewy chunks made with real beef are rich in protein to help build strong muscles. Contains vegetables with Vitamin A and other important vitamins, minerals, and nutrients."

Now then, look at the ingredients list, remembering that everything after the first fat is in small small amounts.

Ground yellow corn, chicken-by-product meal, corn gluten meal, whole wheat flour, beef tallow preserved with mixed-tocopherols (source of Vitamin E), rice flour, beef, soy flour, sugar, sorbitol, tricalcium phosphate, water, animal digest, salt, phosphoric acid, potassium chloride, dicalcium phosphate, sorbic acid (a preservative), L-Lysine monohydrochloride, dried peas, dried carrots, calcium carbonate, calcium propionate (a preservative), choline chloride, vitamin supplements (E, A, B-12, D-3), added color (Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 2), DL-Methionine, zinc sulfate, glyceryl monostearate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin supplement, biotin, thiamine mononitrate, garlic oil, copper sulfate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), calcium iodate, sodium selenite"

I put the fat in bold - the ingredients before it are the main ingredients - as you can see, no beef, no vegetables. Is this food what you would expect from the claims made in the ads?

All I hope is that pet owners will think for themselves and force the pet food industry to take greater responsibility for what they say and maybe even match their claims to their ingredients. As you can see, there is little beef or vegetables in the food, despite the fact that it is called a beef and vegetable food! It also contains animal digest which is, 4-D animals including euthanized pets. Sorry, I know no one wants to hear it, but ignoring it doesn't make it go away.

Here are some links on pet food labels for those of you who want to learn how to pick a food based on your own decisions:

Understanding dog food labels etc. but principles apply to cat food as well. Lots of info here, a little hard to navigate but worth it.

On cat food, takes a minute to load

cat foods

Info from the USFDA on pet food labels

World Small Animal Veterinary Association on pet food labels

Pet foods - labels, 4-D "meats", chemicals etc

Fuzzy Faces' related links

What's really in Pet Food - the infamous API article
post #29 of 45
Thank you for putting all the links on there. Although I am really comfortable with what we feed, I enjoy reading all the info and getting more facts
post #30 of 45
Alicat: Very good links. I wish more people would CARE about what's in their food. I even have some friends who feed their cats horrible food DISPITE what I have informed them of, and what links I have sent them. I loose a bit of respect for people like that, and consider them to be irresponcible pet owners.

Sandie: What is it that you feed?
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