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Service Cats: Pet Food Ingredients Part 4

Meow-llo It’s time fur Service Cats Furiday. We’ll be wrapping up this mini-series on Pet Feed/Food over the next couple of weeks. So ifin ya’ have any specific questions or questions ‘bout somethin’ we did or didn’t cover, purrlease let us know. ‘Member, you can submit any feline related question or topic you’d like to read ‘bout here by usin’ the form on our Contact page or simply leaving a comment in the comments section below. You can also ketch up on any post you may have missed in this series by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page.    

 

Dezi lays on tree with harness and Service Cat logo

 

 

 

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 posing in her tiger harness

 

 

 

Food vs. Feed:

 

     The point of this mini-series isn’t to tell you what you need to feed your pets, or to pass judgment on anyone. We’re merely trying to help educate pet owners to recognize ingredients and make the best choices for your pets. As long as pet owners continue to support big pet companies and remain silent about the quality of pet feed, those companies will continue to provide sub par feed that cause illnesses and kill thousands of pets every day. You may have noticed we refer to these pet foods as feed and not food. The following excerpts were taken directly from Truthaboutpetfood.com with permission. It’s a great article that you might want to read. 

 

 

 

Examples of the differences between feed and food…

FDA’s Compliance Policy “CPG Sec. 675.100 Diversion of Contaminated Food for Animal Use” states “FDA does not object to the diversion to animal feed of human food adulterated with rodent, roach, or bird excreta.”

Compliance Policy “CPG Sec. 675.200 Diversion of Adulterated Food to Acceptable Animal Feed Use” states “The Center will consider the requests for diversion of food considered adulterated for human use in all situations where the diverted food will be acceptable for its intended animal food use. Such situations may include:
a. Pesticide contamination in excess of the permitted tolerance or action level.
b. Pesticide contamination where the pesticide involved is unapproved for use on a food or feed commodity.
c. Contamination by industrial chemicals.
d. Contamination by natural toxicants.
e. Contamination by filth.
f. Microbiological contamination.
g. Over tolerance or unpermitted drug residues.

One more, Compliance Policy “CPG Sec. 690.300 Canned Pet Food” states “Pet food consisting of material from diseased animals or animals which have died otherwise than by slaughter, which is in violation of 402(a)(5) will not ordinarily be actionable, if it is not otherwise in violation of the law. It will be considered fit for animal consumption.”

 

     One commenter said that in the past many pets lived to be in their teens eating big pet feeds; have they changed that much?. The answer is YES, they have changed that much. The beginning of that change was in the late 1950’s when the AAFCO established a committee to oversee and establish regulations over pet food. Once upon a time, canned meat was the only pet food available. It was mostly horse meat, but it didn’t contain a list of fillers and unnecessary ingredients. A lot of those same pets were routinely fed table scraps as well. Mommy remembers her grandmother throwing out left overs to the barn cats and strays and even to the house poodle, who lived to be 19 years old. Her name was Pepper, and she never ate kibble.

 

Design and Intention of Teeth:

 

     If you look at your kitty’s teeth, you’ll notice almost all of them are pointed. They’ve been designed to rip and tear meat, skin, muscle, bone, tendons, etc., not chew. A cow on the other hand, has flat teeth like humans. Those teeth are meant to chew food before it gets digested. Often you’ll notice kitty’s regurgitated food looks much like it did in kitty’s plate. That’s because kitties basically swallow their food whole. They don’t have the ability to chew it up. Kitties were never intended to eat pellets or kibble.

 

 

Raena gets loving while laying in mommy A's lap with her mouth open in a yawn p selfieThese teethies are made fur ripping and tearing, not chewing.

 

 

 

Vit. K (Menadione) and Fish:

 

     We received a question with regard to Vitamin K and fish. The question: Vit. K (Menadione: the only approved source and is toxic to humans and animals) is required by the AAFCO to be added to any food containing 25% or more of fish even though it’s dangerous and can cause illness and/or death. Is that why we don’t/are against eat(ing) fish? The answer isn’t quite as simple as yes. Until recent years we weren’t aware of the dangers of Vitamin K, but still didn’t eat fish. Certainly now that we know, it plays a factor in our choice.

 

     However, mommy never liked to feed fish because she didn’t think it was truly part of a kitty’s proper diet, given that most cats have an aversion to water. The fish used in cat food is generally a cheap substitution for a better meat and brought on by it’s addictive nature by pet food companies trying to sway pet parents from feeding table scraps and human foods. And yes, even when she was feeding kibble or canned pet feed, she stayed away from fish. Long ago when she was a Vet tech, the Vet she worked for told her that fish was a horrible food for cats and caused illnesses because it lacked the proper nutrients. Mommy says most cats left to their own devices aren’t out fishing (there are some wildcats that do fish, but they also hunt land prey as the bulk of their diet). We should also take into account the pollutants and carcinogens found in wild fish and more so in farm raised fish when making decisions about feeding fish to our cats. Occasional fish might be okay, but it shouldn’t make up the bulk of any kitties diet. 

  

Dezi sits pretty profile full face

 

 

 

We’re gonna wrap fur today, but don’t furget to get your questions in. We’ve got a few more questions on this topic we’ll be discussing next week. Ifin you’ve missed any post in this mini-series or our Service Cat series you can check them out by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. As we do each week, we’re joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday.

 

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

 

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses 

 

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

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

Service Cats: Pet Food Ingredients: Pt. 1

What You Should Know About Your Pet’s Food:

 

MeOW  Welcome to Service Cats and Everything Feline on Furidays. We’re workin’ hard on exposin’ the truths behind the ingredients in your pet’s food. Who knew it could take so long to find definitions and reasons fur everythin’ pet food companies put in those bags and cans or pet feed. It’s fur sure nufffin’ like you humans walkin’ up to the butcher and orderin’ a grass fed steak as opposed to grain fed. Anyways, ifin you’ve missed any of the posts in this series you can ketch up by clickin’ the links on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page. And don’t furget to submit your own questions or topic suggestions by leavin’ a comment below or sendin’ us a purrivate 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 posing in her tiger harness

 

 

 

     So, we thought we’d break things up a bit. There’s just too many ingredients in most pet feeds to list in one post anyways. We will be covering a lot of ingredients in this mini-series. Not all the ingredients we’ll cover are in every food/feed on the market. These posts are just to make you aware of what you need to look for and/or avoid. More than a few years back, the standard for label reading was to check for the first 3 ingredients listed. The idea was that those 3 ingredients made up the bulk of the contents of the bag or can. The problem with that theory is that you don’t often know where those ingredients come from, the quality of those ingredients or how they were processed.

 

Different meat cuts

 

 

 

Protein:

     Let’s talk about Protein. Protein is required for your pet to live. Cats being obligate carnivores must have Meat. We can’t survive, much less thrive without it. But, what kind of meat or protein is found in most pet foods? The truth is, you can never be completely sure unless you’re preparing it in your kitchen. Pet food companies want to put pretty pictures on their labels to make it appear as if top shelf meat is contained within the packaging. However, often the protein is comprised of meat meals and by products that you would never feed kitty or doggy if you actually knew the truth. Rarely do they contain anything that remotely resembles the photo on the package. Pet food companies are allowed to use not only appropriately sourced and rendered meats, but also diseased, and non slaughtered animals, such as those killed by lethal injection (phenobarbital), road kill, drowned due to acts of God, etc.. Not only are these animals used, but they also throw in the feathers, hooves, beaks and everything else.

 

     It’s then cooked at high temperatures, removing most if not all nutritional values, bleached/sterilized and then dried to be made into pet feed. At this stage it’s no longer called meat, it’s called meat meal. Now, pet food manufacturers would have you believe that meat meal provides a higher quality of protein for your pet than the actual meat does. If that’s the case, why don’t you humans eat meat meal? Why doesn’t the USDA (truthaboutpetfood.com) approve of these meats for human consumption?

 

Raena looks back from her dinner plateFanky fankfully, mine’s dinner is made with human grade meats

processed in a facility overseen by the USDA.

 

 

     Mommy says she remembers a time when all pet foods had a statement on the label that warned against using the same utensils for pet food as one would use for human foods, even though those utensils would be washed between uses. That’s when mommy got serious about looking into the food she fed. After all, if whatever is contained inside that package is so toxic that it can’t even be cleaned off a stainless steel utensil, then how could it possibly be safe for us to eat?.

 

 

Dezi lays on the floorTime fur a nap.

 

 

The reality is, that there are far more deceptive tactics and ingredients in the pet feed industry. However, Not every company or food is bad. The best thing one can do is to educate themselves, and know the products you’re buying and serving to Fluffy and Fido. We’ll delve into more ingredients in the coming posts. Until then, get your questions asked and topic suggestions in. Just leave them in the comments section below or send us an email. And don’t furget to check out the other posts in this series on our Training Tips and Everything Feline page in our menu. We’re joinin’ Comedy Plus fur Feline Furiday. Our purrayers go out to all affected by the weather and storms.

 

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

 

 

Luv and Hugs and Kitty Kisses

Deztinee and RaenaBelle

 

Meezer's Mews & Terrieristical Woofs

I'm Dalton, a Rat terrier mix and I came here in Sept, 2017, I was rescued from Hurricane Harvey. My birthday is 8-20-2016. My Gotcha Day is 8-27-2017. And I'm Pipo, I'm a Siamese, my birthday is 12-26-2004; my Gotcha Day is 2-14-2005. We also have Angel MrJackFreckles, (2-5-2018); and also we have Angel Minko, (6-18-2017). There are also Angels Groucho, Simba, Suki, & Toki. We meezers used to be known as WeBeesSiameezers. We'e all from Michigan, Dalton came here from Texas.

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