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Not on the menu

 

Who doesn’t love a great meal or dining out at your favorite restaurant?  What makes it so special?  Often times it’s the quality of the ingredients and the love poured into the food by the chef.   It’s so easy to take good food for granted, but have you ever given any thought to what’s in your cat’s food?  When was the last time you read a label on your pet’s food?  

 

Several years ago when I started getting smarter about holistic health, I began to read and understand how important eating a whole food diet is and that proper nutrition can address many health ailments and diseases.  When it came to the food I fed my cats I thought I was being a good mom by buying the best quality dry cat food I could.  Boy did I miss the boat!  You’d think after seeing my older cats decline as a result of kidney disease I would connect the dots between diet and disease.  I think even most vets just accept the fact that kidney disease is just “part of getting old” and really don’t practice with the goal of disease prevention in mind.  At least all the ones I ever went to didn’t.  Not one ever suggested that dry kibble and low quality cat food diets are contributing to the health issues that many cats end up having.  Are veterinarians being taught anything about pet nutrition in vet school or through continuing education?  

a few examples of products I buy

Pasture-raised eggs, non-GMO and organic products

For my own health I began making very particular choices about the quality of foods I would buy in the grocery store:  organic fruits and vegetable were the first choice whenever available; grass fed meats and cage free, free-range poultry and eggs; very little processed or “boxed” foods if any; avoiding genetically modified foods or ingredients; avoiding any meats or dairy that was treated with growth hormones or antibiotics.  Because my cats were my “kids”, I felt they deserved the same discriminating palate.  

 

It’s really important that you start reading the labels on your cat’s food.  Knowing how it’s made, what’s in it, and even where the ingredients are sourced is very telling about the company who makes it.  Below is a list I highly recommend you familiarize yourself with and make every effort to avoid these ingredients at all costs:

 

Meat by products (hint:  this is NOT meat!)

Corn, wheat, gluten, Soy, rice

Meal products such as lamb meal, chicken meal, fish meal

Additives and preservatives like nitrates, nitrites, sugar, corn syrup, molasses,

MSG, BHT, BHA, propyl gallate, TBHQ

Artificial coloring and dyes like FD&C Blue No.1 and 2, Yellow No. 5 and 6, Red No. 40, 4-MIE

Ethoxyquin

Rendered animal fat

Propylene glycol

Genetically modified ingredients

Source:  http://www.optimalpetfoods.com/index.php?page=article-whats-really-in-pet-food-ingredients-to-avoid

 

You can read more about each of these at the link above.  Be prepared to feel sick to your stomach, not to mention the guilt that you’ve been feeding your precious furry baby this stuff!

As your budget allows, seek out high quality human grade raw, cooked, or premium canned food selections that truly promote health and wellness.  

A blend of raw duck and Applaws cat food

You can also read more about the best to worst pet food types here:  http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2015/11/08/best-to-worst-pet-food-types.aspx

So what do my cats eat?

Mealtime is a bit involved at our home.  I’ve got two kitties who can only eat low protein diets due to previous kidney issues, and three who can eat raw food, a higher protein content.  Hershey and Lili get premium canned food that is below 10% protein content.  Rocket and Gunner get about a 70/30 ratio of raw/premium canned food because that’s what they enjoy, and Aylen usually gets 100% raw.  I currently buy a raw blend of meat, bone and organs from a store called Bones 2 Go.  It’s considered a supplemental diet, so I add in an omega 3 oil like Salmon, Sardine or Anchovy, an herbal multi-vitamin and a blend of probiotics and digestive enzymes.

 

If your cat is dealing with a disease or serious health issue of some kind it’s important that you understand the connection between that issue and diet.  You know how expensive it is to have to go the vet.  Rather than dealing with the ongoing costs associated with treating a disease or illness, wouldn’t it be more beneficial to invest in a species appropriate diet and avoid (as much as possible) the disease to begin with?  After all, aren’t your kitties worth it?  



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