As a Professional Pet Sitter in Forks, Washington since 1998 I learned a lot about pet food. Mostly how to read a label and what is in the food. I have be come a pet food connoisseur. I support independent local stores, I get the best service and knowledgeable staff. I avoid box stores and stores who sell live animals of any sort. This is my philosophy of life. Luckily in the world we live in everyone has different views. My view on pet food has developed over time and I’d like to share it with you, for the health of our cats! We are ALL what we eat.

I learned much of what I know from: 
The Whole Dog Journal  I am very bummed there is no Whole Cat Journal, but much of the information on the food is valid for cats and dogs.
Best Friend Nutrition, my local independent pet food store in Sequim, WA. The owner Hope has fed me pieces of treats and food (before I was a vegan anyway).
“What’s Really in Your Pet’s Food” should be mandatory reading for every pet guardian  It is long, but really it is the only thing you ever need to read about the food you fed your fur family.
Canine Utopia is my local independent knowledgable pet store in Vancouver, WA.

The Basics of buying your cat’s food:

  • Ignore the front of the bag, it is marketing
  • find the ingredient list, the first FIVE ingredients are the most important
  • what the FAT is and how it is preserved
  • Whole ingredients. Things you would eat. (since I’m vegan I can’t say what I would eat since cats are carnivores and they have to eat meat). No partial, no flours, fibers, pulp,
  • All pet food sold in grocery stores is made from the waste created when making human food. Basically, all the nutrients have been removed and the garbage is what is put into your pet’s food.  I have looked at the food in New Seasons a really great grocery I love to shop in and I found foods with partial ingredients. Point being, no grocery store has good pet food.
  • How much are you supposed to feed for the ideal weight of your cat. If you need to feed a lot of food to keep your cat healthy, the food has no nutritional value, it’s garbage.
  • No corn, ever! Corn is cheap filler. Cats need flesh. They do not need grains.

The front of the bag can make many different claims. It is where a company catches your interest to make the sale.

The first five ingredients need to be real foods, something you recognize and might eat. Chicken, beef, fish, some sort of animal protein. If you see by-product, digest, meal or a grain or a vegetable put the bag down and back away. All of these are not the quality ingredients your cat should eat to have a long and healthy live.

What I Feed My Cats!

 

375924We buy Orijen for our cats. I choose different proteins every now and then so they get some diversity.

I can pronounce all of the food until the last one. They are things people eat.
When you read the ingredients on your bag of food how far down the list until you see something that you have no idea what it is.

INGREDIENTS
Boneless chicken,* chicken meal, chicken liver,* whole herring,* boneless turkey,* turkey meal, turkey liver,* whole eggs,* boneless walleye,* whole salmon,* chicken heart,* chicken cartilage,* herring meal, salmon meal, chicken liver oil, chicken fat, red lentils, green peas, green lentils, sun-cured alfalfa, kelp, pumpkin,* butternut squash,* spinach greens,* carrots,* apples,* pears,* cranberries,* mixed tocopherols (preservative), chicory root, dandelion root, chamomile, peppermint leaf, ginger root, caraway seeds, turmeric, rose hips, freeze-dried chicken liver, freeze-dried turkey liver, freeze-dried chicken, freeze-dried turkey, dried Enterococcus faecium fermentation product + vitamins and minerals *delivered fresh and preservative-free
SUPPLEMENTS
Zinc Protienate, copper proteinate, vitamin A supplement, vitamin D3 supplement, dried Enterococcis faecium fermentation product.

Orijen makes Acana which costs less. 

Why not egg product http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/04/06/egg-product-as-pet-food.aspx
http://www.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/egg-waste-pet-food-ingredients/

http://cats.about.com/cs/catfood/a/ingredients.htm

Ingredients to avoid.
You will find BHT and BHA in many cat “treats”. BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin. These are chemical preservatives are suspected to be potentially cancer-causing agents. Most of the bags of cat “treats” have BHA in them. FYI, BHT is in many different cereals. 


From a rescue near me:
Items urgently needed:  High Quality Cat & Kitten food (brands such as Science Diet, Nutro, Pro Plan, Iams) 

Oh dear! I don’t think any of these foods should be fed to any pet. The ingredients in all of them are sub-par for cat food. Especially for what you pay for them. For the price of a bag of Science Diet you can buy a bag of excellent food.

This bag of Nutro from their web sitehas ingredients I abhor as the second and third. Corn and wheat can be allergens for cats (and dogs too).
Nutro:
Adult Cat Roasted Chicken:
Ingredients and Guaranteed Analysis
Chicken Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Wheat Flour, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Brewers Rice, Ground Whole Wheat, Natural Flavors, Yeast Culture,Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols), Salt, L-Lysine, Dehydrated Chicken, Taurine, Vitamin E Supplement,Zinc Sulfate, DL-Methionine, Dried Cranberry, L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of Vitamin C), Magnesium Stearate, Iron Proteinate, Vitamin B12 Supplement,Copper Proteinate, Niacin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Manganese Proteinate,Biotin, Riboflavin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Potassium Iodide, Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Vitamin A Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Dried Blueberry, Vitamin D3 Supplement,Folic Acid, Rosemary Extract, Decaffeinated Green Tea Extract, Spearmint Extract

Max Cat - Cat Food

These are supposed to be the same and they are totally different. I am shocked.
I am totally blown away at this. Nutro is owned by
Mars Incorporated.
*****
Tip: only buy cat food from companies that
ONLY make pet food.

*****
When Iams, the first best pet food was bought by Proctor & Gamble,
first thing they did was change chicken to chicken-by-product a waste product.

I wanted ingredients without the links to the propaganda. I found this list of ingredients for the same cat food on Pet Co’s site.

Adult Cat Roasted Chicken:
Ingredients and Guaranteed Analysis
Chicken Meal, Ground Rice, Wheat Flour, Corn Gluten Meal, Rice Flour, Poultry Fat (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Dried Plain Beet Pulp, Natural Flavors, Soybean Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Rice Flour, Chicken, Tomato Pomace, Oat Fiber, Yeast Culture, Potassium Chloride, Salt, Menhaden Fish Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Choline Chloride, Barley Malt, DL-Methionine, Taurine, Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Zinc Sulfate, Dried Cranberry, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Inosotol, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Ascorbic Acid (source of Vitamin C), Manganous Oxide, Riboflavin Supplement (source of Vitamin B2), Potassium Iodide, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (source of Vitamin B6), Thiamine Mononitrate (source of Vitamin B1), Dried Blueberry, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfate Complex (source of Vitamin K activity), Folic Acid, Sodium Selenite.

Why NOT to fed this “food” to your beloved pets. 
It’s what’s in the bag.

I know I have these pics of dog food, this is what was sent with me when we adopted our new dog Daisy. 
They all horrify me and they went in the trash.
Today Daisy has lost weight and she eats 1/4 cup of Orijen a day split in two servings. She also gets some treats and some of the veggies and fruit I am eating.
She is a healthy 9 pounds, instead of 11 pounds.