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Quality control in cat food

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
I have been working on my mother for a long time, trying to help her to see that a more premium brand cat food is better to feed her three cats at home. They are currently fed Friskies or Purina. I have been telling her about wanting to give cats foods without by-products and foods that have actual meat as the protein source, rather than corn and other fillers as main ingredients. She has always resisted because she thinks better foods are too expensive and doesn’t see what is so bad about by-products. I think she was coming around…and then she took the cats to the vet for their annual visit.

She told the vet everything that I had been telling her, and he basically dismissed it all. He said protein is protein and cats don’t care where it comes from, whether it is actual chicken or by-products or corn, etc. He said that Purina One is a perfectly good, high quality food and is totally fine to feed a cat. My mother told him how I have been feeding my kittens Petsmart Authority Brand. He didn’t seem to know too much about it, but said in general that smaller cat food companies might not have good quality control. He said with Friskies or Purina, you know the quality you are getting because with a nationally recognized brand it has to be good or their reputation would go down. He said with smaller, lesser known companies, that those companies might not be producing the food themselves, instead farming it out to a mill that will not have any quality control. Basically that they would tell a mill they wanted a cat food, and no one would actually oversee the production of it. Obviously he couldn’t say for sure this was occurring, but he certainly scared my mother enough. He also seemed to say that lesser brand companies could just grind up chicken feathers and list it as protein, and not as a by-product. I questioned my mother where this would appear in the ingredients list if a food contained chicken feathers, but did not list by-products or chicken feathers as an ingredient, and of course, she could not tell me. The vet seemed to imply that if it was not something like Purina or Friskies, that the ingredients might not be accurate and you would not know what your pets were actually getting to eat.

Does anyone have any idea about any of this? I mean, obviously because it is such a large company, Friskies and Purina must have quality control, but how much quality control is it if they are using bad ingredients to begin with? And then in terms of lesser known brands of pet foods, that have better ingredient lists than Friskies or Purina, does anyone have any idea what type of quality control standards they have? I always have taken it for granted that the ingredient lists in Authority, Nutro, etc were accurate, but do you actually think they are? Any ideas what I can tell my mother to help bring her back around?

Thanks for all your advice!
post #2 of 2
Click here this site is by a vet, and while I do not feed raw or suggest that that is for everyone, this site has good, accurate information re cats needing *meat* based protein.

I most definitely do not agree with what this vet has said, based on all the research I have done into cat nutrition. I think I'll keep my comments re this vet to just that.

Here is another excellent site, in particular an excellent "open letter to vets" with links, to read"click here

Again, while I do not follow raw which is also proposed by this site's author, it doesn't change the excellent links and advice/information here.

Another superb site on cat nutrition...highly recommend you read this one: click here goes into the specifics including amino acids needed by cats, best sources, ability to utilize carbohydrates etc.

Your poor mom...I am sorry this vet isn't more proactive re the role of nutrition in cat health.
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