Service Cats: Why Cats Shouldn’t Eat Grains And Vegetables

Pet Food Ingredients Pt. 2

MeOW  Welcome to another installment of Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We return today to our mini-series on Pet Food ingredients. It is our intention to present this in a way that everyone can understand it and to reveal the lies and misinformation pet pawrents are being “fed” by the pet food/feed industry, including the AAFCO. We intend to list as many ingredients as possible so that you will be better equipped to read labels and make the best choice fur your pets. It’s a shame that this topic has been so confusing fur so long. We hope to be able to shed a little light on all that confusion. Please remember, not all foods/feeds will contain every ingredient we will be listing. Ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in our Service Cat series, you can find them on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And remember to submit your questions and topic suggestions in the comments below or by sendin’ us an email via our Contact page. 

 

Dezi laying in cat tree in new harness

 

 

 

 

The following post will be written in human English for reader and translator ease. Our Service Cat posts aren’t intended to be an all inclusive Training Manual but rather Tips, Tricks and Techniques used/developed by mommy A thru her many years of animal training, cats in purr-ticular. And to offer insight into your questions about Everything Feline. Always remember, successful Training is all about Repetition and Rewards.

 

Raena sits and poses in her new tiger harness

 

 

 

 

     Our first post in this mini-series talked about a cat’s need for Protein. Cats are Obligate Carnivores/True Carnivores (Those whose survival depends on nutrients which are found only in animal flesh and organs/meat protein. While Obligate Carnivores may be able to ingest small amounts of plant matter, due to their evolution they lack the necessary physiology required to digest and use the nutrients in that plant matter.) We’re going to try to break down a little science for you now. Digestion requires enzymes created by the body:

 

  • Protease: Necessary to break down Proteins 

  • Lipase: Necessary to digest Fat 

  • Amylase: Necessary to process Carbohydrates (Usually found in the saliva and pancreas)

Dezi and Raena eat out of their new dishesDid you know your food is already bein’ digested, Raena?

 

 

 

 

Digestion:

     Digestion starts in the mouth with enzymes created by saliva (spit). However, cat and dog saliva lack the enzyme Amylase; it’s only found in their pancreas. That means the pancreas has to work overtime to process Carbohydrates present in most commercial pet foods/feeds. There is some evidence that points to this as being part of the cause for pancreatitis, diabetes, obesity and other chronic illnesses in cats. Humans and other mammals have flat top teeth meant for chewing. Cats however, have sharp fangs meant for ripping and tearing flesh. That’s a crude way to look at it, but think about it; when was the last time you saw kitty gnawing on a cob of corn? Everything about a cat says it’s meant to hunt, catch and rip it’s prey to shreds. And yet, most pet food companies lace their foods with corn, peas and carrots. I had a garden a few years back; and let me tell you, it wasn’t the neighborhood cats digging up my carrots and eating them.

 

     We mentioned in our earlier post that cats do much better when they don’t have food available all the time. Grains and veggies are ideal for grazing animals such as cows, goats, etc., but typically when a cat eats grass, it’s followed by hurling/horking/vomiting or whatever you want to call it. Cats were never meant to graze or eat veggies. But, what about the vitamins and nutrients those vegetables could offer? First of all, they’re often cooked so long they no longer contain any of the nutrients originally present. The reality is that a cat’s natural prey animal, the herbivore, provides those nutrients in the form of previously eaten and digested grains and vegetables. While it sounds really gross to us humans, a cat in the wild would consume the whole animal (excluding bones, fur, feathers, beaks, eyes, hooves), including it’s stomach and the contents therein.

 

 

Corn with mycotoxin

 

Mycotoxins:

     Let’s talk a minute about Grains and their toxicity. Mycotoxins are mold and a huge concern often found in foods like corn, corn meal, peas, millet, nuts, and other grains and types of food. There are 3 main mycotoxins that the FDA has established rules for the following 3, but they are not the only mycotoxins of concern:

  • Aflatoxins:

  • Fumonosin:   

  • Deoxynivalenol  

     Mycotoxins can cause lethargy, anorexia, jaundice, intravascular coagulation, liver damage, weight loss, dehydration, renal and hepatic damage, gastrointestinal dysfunction and death.

 

 

Ingredients:

     Most pet food/feed is formulated without oversight by the FDA or even the AAFCO. The laws that are supposed to protect our pets are often ignored, broken, unenforced or completely non existent. Don’t be fooled by “voluntary” recalls. Those recalls are an “after the fact” and often the result of an animal getting sick or dying due to something in their food. Let’s look at some of the ingredients found in pet foods.  

  • Wheat: One of the top allergens in pet food, may contain mycotoxins, can contribute to canine obesity  

  • Corn: Totally useless. As discussed above, neither cats or dogs have the ability to process it and covert it to useable energy in it’s raw state, and it has no nutrients after being cooked at high temps. May contain mycotoxins  

  • Corn Gluten Meal: Even worse than corn. Patented as a weed killer in 1991. May include mycotoxins  

  • By-Product-Meal: Bones, blood, intestines, lungs, ligaments, heads, feathers, beaks, feet, hooves, etc.. Can be anything left over from processing, Not fit for human consumption. Most of these are things a cat or dog in the wild wouldn’t eat. 

  • Soy: Considered a Protein. However it’s totally useless for the obligate carnivore and can cause allergies and cancer  

  • Brewers Rice: Broken rice shells containing no nutrients 

  • Egg Product: Eggshells (not easily digestible), may contain rancid or spoiled eggs not fit for human consumption, may contain salmonella,  

  • Sugar: Completely useless addition of empty calories. Cats can’t even taste sweet things  

  • Peas/Pea Fiber/Pea Meal/Legumes/Lentils: May contain mycotoxins, may cause heart disease 

  • Potatoes: May cause heart disease 

  • Cellulose: Sawdust, floor sweepings, totally useless 

  • Carrots: Hard for cats to digest, no useable nutrients after cooking at high temps.  

  • Cracked Barley: Grain, may contain mycotoxins 

  • Garlic/Garlic Oil/Garlic Extract/Garlic Powder: Toxic to cats especially  

  • Oats/Oat Bran/Oat Meal/Oat Groat: Grain, may contain mycotoxins  

  • Chicken Meal/Fish Meal/Lamb Meal/Beef Meal: All Meals are the leftovers after processing and Not fit for human consumption. May contain parts from animals killed by means other than slaughter, such as road kill, illness, poisoning, natural disaster deaths (such as drowning), phenobarbital, culling, etc.  

  • White Fish/Ocean Whitefish: May be any number of fish

  • Cranberries: Typically not enough present to have actual health benefits 

  • Whey: Milk protein, used in lower grade foods, possible allergen, especially for cats 

  • Whole Eggs: Contains the shells which are not easily digestible 

  • Celery: Unnecessary, not easily digestible 

  • Lamb: Lamb meat is filled with water and therefore not as high in protein as other meats 

  • Beef: Natural source of Glucosamine (will define and expound on in future post) High in “water weight” (will expound in future post) 

  • Spinach: Unnecessary, not easily digested 

  • Basil: Member of the mint family, safe but unnecessary  

  • Blueberries: Not enough present to be beneficial, unnecessary 

  • Veal: Alternative to beef 

  • Beef Liver: Natural source of iron and flavor. However, in large quantities can be toxic. Best as a secondary ingredient  

  • Soybeans/Soybean Meal: Can NOT be digested by dogs and can cause bloating and death

  • Soybean Oil: Source of fat and good for coat, safe for dogs and cats

  • Ginger: Aids in digestion if listed high on label  

  • Carrot Powder: Cheap source of fiber  

  • Ground Flax Seed: May be lacking in fatty acids  

  • Sunflower Oil (preserved with mixed tocopherols <expounded on in future post>): Cheap source of fat  

  • Sweet Potatoes/Yams: Alternative to regular potatoes 

  • Green Tea: Not enough to have any health benefits unless listed in the top 5 ingredients  

  • Wild Rice: Good alternative to white rice 

  • Dried Kelp: Accepted industry source of iodine 

  • Egg Noodles: Unnecessary, source or carbohydrates 

  • Rabbit: Great alternative Meat/protein source  

  • Duck: Great alternative meat/protein source, Less water weight than chicken 

  • Shrimp: Source of protein  

  • Cod: Alternative source of protein 

  • Catfish: Alternative source of protein and fatty acids 

  • Venison Meal: Alternative source of protein, in concentrated form, more protein availability than standard meats 

Raena bathes atop the liberty cat tree

 

     I realize this is a lot of information, but we haven’t even scratched the surface, so to speak. Most herbs listed on labels and found in pet food are useless and should be left out. There’s a lot of “gimmicky” ingredients these days and gimmicky names to boot. When shopping for our pet’s food, we need to remember to pay no attention to the photos on the packaging, as they’re not a true representation of what’s actually inside. Dry kibble is worse than canned or wet food in most respects since any natural nutrients have been cooked out of their original sources. But, this mini-series isn’t about making you choose one type of food or even one food over another. It’s merely to help you be better equipped at understanding what you’re buying and feeding your furry family member. We will be defining and explaining more of the terminology and ingredients in future posts, so if you have specific questions, please let us know. I’m going to turn it back over to Dezi to close us out. 

 

Dezi lays atop the cat tree selfie

 

 

Fanks mommy. Lots of big words and stuff us kitties don’t unnerstand ‘bout what goes on our plates. Anyways, remember, you can ketch up on any post you may have missed by clickin’ Training Tips and Everything Feline. We got a lot of great questions after Pt. 1 of Pet Food Ingredients, so if you have any just let us know in the comments below or send us an email. We purromiss, we will be answering them all. This is a huge topic and we’d rather take our time and cover it properly than to mislead you further. Other than the sources listed below, mommy also used her common sense, past experience as a V-E-T tech and information she got from some local V-E-Ts via chat.

 

Raena sits on table at vet-blooperI’s look purretty ruff, so we call this a blooper. MOL

 

 

Due to the holidays and Raena’s upcomin’ surgery, this will be our last Service Cat posty fur the year, but don’t worry, we’ll be pickin’ up right where we left off next year (a few months). We’re also linkin’ up today with Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. And, it’s also Blooper time with our pals the Cuddlywumps

 

Till the next time……………………………………………Be Blest!!!

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle 

 

 

 

Sources:
mycotoxins.info
petfoodindustry.com
Vetinfo.com
Truthaboutpetfood.com
Petmd.com
petsnmore.org
ivcjournal.com
ncbi.nlm.nh.gov

About Deziz World

My name is Deztinee. I am a Ragdoll. I was born 11/1/2009. I am a service cat along with my sisfur RaenaBelle, also a Ragdoll, for our disabled human mommy. My sisfur Raena was born 4/21/2016. In March of 2016, mommy and I had to say goodbye to my mentor Alexandra (Lexi), a black tabby born 4/29/1999. This blog is about our daily life from the kitty's point of view. We were both rescued from bad situations and our mommy raised us and trained us to be service cats. I want this blog to be interactive and get to know all of you, so comment and visit often. I will also offer advice, training tips and education when possible. Copyright © 2014 - 2017 {Audra High via Deztinee High and RaenaBelle High} All Rights Reserved All personal content (story's, poetry, etc., videos and music) are the property of the human behind Deziz World, and may not be used, copied or otherwise re-published without prior written permission/consent from the author (A. High-the human behind Deziz World). We have an amazon.com wish list and a PayPal account if you would like to help/donate to us.

Posted on October 26, 2018, in Blog Hops, Educational, Feline Friday, Health, Human Speak, Nutrition, Photo Fails Bloopers, Questions & Answers, Service Cats and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 27 Comments.

  1. Always a concern for me is what is best to feed and how affordable is it? Super post! Of course who makes the miracle perfect cat food in a can? I have seen cat food flavours like an entire Thanksgiving dinner in ingredients–including the pie~just need to heat it up and eat it myself! Not really a healthy cat meal! Don’t think I could make my own cat food for four cats every day even if I knew how. Though I sometimes think a mixture of good and bad is better than ALL bad! Have a great Sunday afternoon.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, we’ve seen those “Complete Meals” in a can. Unfortunately, there’s nothing complete about it for cats. But some humans buy into the hype and advertising. We hope to help peeps understand that’s all it is and that they should be looking elsewhere for real complete meals. You’d be surprised to find out the cost of preparing your own food, even for 4 cats. Gnerally we say if you feed a decent food, then your cost would be about the same. But, you hjave to understand that’s after the initial investment. There’s supplements that you’d have to purchase up front that make it seem more expensive. We will be discussing home prepared, including a recipe. But, the point of all this is just to help people make sense of all this. We’re rambling on, so we’ll hush for now. MOL Big hugs

      Luv ya’

      Dezi and Raena

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Chucky’s heart vet told me that I knew about cat food than she did! I would love to feed the cats raw food, which I’d personally handle, but The Hubby is unconvinced.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you I didn’t know most of what was said I will have to read the labels from now on. We,’re sad this is the last post for a while. Best of luck and Bless You All.x😻😻💜🐾

    Liked by 2 people

    • We’re not goin’ anywhere. We’re just givin’ our educational posty’s a break. That actually means we’re givin’ mommy a break. But, we’ll still be here up to whatever no good and good we can get into. MOL Big hugs

      Luv ya’

      Dezi and Raena

      Like

  4. WOW did we ever learn a lot! And i agree – so much of it is gimmicks- it’s good to be educated!

    Liked by 2 people

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