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Choosing the right cat food


I recently had my cat in to the vet for something not at all diet related - the vet praised my cat's healthy weight, shiny coat, and overall good health.

Then she gave me the "vet recommended" food lecture.

I felt pretty bad by the end of it. I told her I usually purchase Canadian brands with high protein, low carb, grain free ingredients like Acana, Orijen, Go. But I recently picked up a bag of grain free food in the organic section of the local grocery store that listed similar ingredients to what I usually purchase - the pet store has ridiculous hours, so I can't always make it to purchase the ones I prefer. I thought I had still made an ok decision. My cat also loved it, and it was a little less expensive than Acana and Orijen.

She told me that the vet recommended brands of pet food are the only ones that are regulated. You can read the ingredient list on any other pet food, but that doesn't mean what is listed is what is inside. They can keep a certain ingredient list even if it isn't true at all. Maybe they couldn't source chicken for that particular production, and you're actually buying pork. Who knows.

She did say Acana and Orijen were "pretty good" brands to buy but I should still be wary.

What I don't like is feeding my cat something that sounds gross. Most vet foods list some sort of protein "meal" as the first ingredient. Why not real meat? Why grains?

Is this true? Are pet food labels not regulated? I want to feed my cat what is best for her. Diet is not an issue and she told me not to bother changing her food - but still seemed to imply that "if I cared about my cat's health" I would switch to vet food.

Apr 08, 2015 @ 01:18 pm

9 Replies


no regulation

Your vet is partially true. All pet food brands are self-regulated. But just because a vet recommends a specific brand, doesn't mean their regulated either. No pet food company in Canada, or the States I think, is regulated.

This is a good article that shows you how ingredient lists can lie: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2011/05/17/the-quality-of-pet-food-ingredients-part-2.aspx

And this article shows the differences between real meat and meat meal: http://www.dogfoodproject.com/index.php?page=meat-meal

Basically, too many grains are bad for dogs and cats. And when looking at ingredient list you want the first 4 or so ingredients to be all meat. If you see 'chicken meal' as the first ingredient, followed by a whole bunch of rice and corn, than you can be 100% positive that the majority of the food is just grains with only a little bit of meat content.

I used to buy Orijen and Go for my dog, but it got to be way too expensive, especially when we got a second dog. And our second dog actually did really poor on a high protein dog food. So we had to switch to not only a cheaper product, but one with a little more grain in it because otherwise our Cavalier Spaniel would have diarhea. With this new food though, because of the lower protein level, our mix breed dog that was doing so well on the first two brands (he would go poo once a day, every day and it was very healthy stool) now only has a bowel movement about once every 3 days or so and they're always hard. So even after you do a google search to see what the best kind of food is for your animal, it's still going to depend on the animal. Some animals don't do well with a lot of protein. Some don't do well with a lot of grains, even good quality grains. So if your cat is the picture of good health, I would not worry at all about her food.

Oh, and if it says chicken, it's chicken. If it says animal byproduct, or animal meal, than it's a mystery meat. I currently use Canine Plus Lifetime. Not the greatest quality in terms of protein content, but it's what currently works for my dogs and I find it to be of better quality than the grocery store brands. When googling for good quality brands, you'll find a lot of owners who compare the grocery story brands like Purina or Olroy to the equivalent of eating chips for humans.
Apr 08, 2015 @ 04:05 pm


I had never heard of this before - I will absolutely be checking my cat's food now to make sure. Thanks for the heads up!
Apr 08, 2015 @ 11:04 pm

great info

@glumbumble - absolutely great information. I figure if it works for my cat, and she's super healthy, then why bother changing it?

I have heard the comparison of certain brands to "junk food" - I mean, you'd be lethargic too if you ate fast food for every meal.

I think I will stick to what I've been buying :)
Apr 09, 2015 @ 07:54 am

Cat Food.

I actually buy my cat Friskies and sometimes Whiskas and she is pretty happy and healthy! I would stop using it if she was gaining weight or if it was effecting her healthy but it isn't so I am not too concerned.

I hope you get everything figured out, remember to just do what feels right! :)
Apr 09, 2015 @ 12:56 pm


Apr 09, 2015 @ 12:56 pm

Cat Food

There are so many great brands on the market today that use real meat , low ash and vitamins especially designed for cats. I feed my cats organic foods from specialty pet stores, I also make my own pet food and mix it and I have never had a problem. All of my cats over the years have lived for many years and had cery healthy lives. I also keep my cats indoors also.

Unfortunately in my opinion some Vets are starting to care about making money instead of the pets. Do not be afraid to ever go for a second or even 3rd. opinion it could save you a lot of money and you may find a Vet that truly cares about their clients and your pet. I have been to Vets that are very pushy trying to get me to buy there products or services be careful.

Another option is to make cat food yourself there are many great nutritional recipes on Pinterest if you like go to my profile and follow my Pet Board on Pinterest great advice, treat and food recipes so you know what goes in your pets food.
Apr 09, 2015 @ 01:21 pm


@chrissyann123 What a great idea - thank you!! I would absolutely love to try making my own pet food! After all I think that is probably the best way to really be sure of what you are feeding your animals.

@kylee I agree. if it works for your pet - keep on trucking. I wouldn't bother switching unless it was really causing a problem.
Apr 09, 2015 @ 01:32 pm

Cat food - lovesaraanne

Your welcome I hoped I helped I have three cats of my own and 2 dogs you can checkout my pictures in my ChickAdvisor gallery. Have a awesome day.
Apr 09, 2015 @ 01:47 pm

Feeding my Baby Cats.

My two cats,Molly and Jake are 13yrs old now and from day one,I always gave them Fancy Feast,no problems.The Vets don't know anything about pet food they only know what a sales person tells them.It is nothing but a money racket and it can be really costly.I wouldn't even think about buying vet food for my babies.I'm for the first time this week going to change my cats over to Blue Buffalo Cat Food.They don't use By-Products at all let alone as the first ingredient.If a cats food says Beef By-Product as the first ingredient then,it's not fit to give a animal as far as I'm concerned.I have been waiting two years now for Blue Buffalo to come to Newfoundland.I've heard it's the best you can feed an animal,I'm going to check it out myself.Before Cats became domesticated,they lived in the wild and certainly didn't live on By-Products.They would hunt for their food .The sales people who sell animal food to the vets are there for to make the money and,the vets don't know anything only what the sales person tells them, and they don't care because they have to make their money also.It is only a money racket all of it.
Apr 09, 2015 @ 09:13 pm

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