The forgotten cat.....
Even more than a dog, a cat is a carnivore, and cat food is an area where marketing has caused 80% of cats to be fed low meat/ high cereal supermarket foods!
The pet food aisle at your supermarket is dominated by cat food by big brands like Whiskas; so lets take a look at typical Whiskas foods and their sister company Dreamies treats:-
Whiskas Chicken Pouches - 22% meat derivatives, of which only 4% is chicken.
Whiskas Dry - Cereals Meat and Animal Derivatives (including 4% Chicken in the Light Brown Kibbles)
Dreamies - meat and animal derivatives (including 4% chicken), cereals, oils and fats, derivatives of vegetable origin, vegetable protein extracts, minerals.
First of all ingredients must be in order, so Cereals first is never a good thing. Then there are Meat and Animal Derivatives, which is vague and rarely refers to the best quality ingredients.
So why do so many cats get fed this way? What reasons do some cat owners say to petshops, and what are the barriers keeping the vast majority of cat owners away from pet shops and different foods?
“Its just a cat” – Wow, ….. I almost don’t know where to begin!!
“It wont eat anything else” – this comment is usually followed by “we’ve tried them all” and “I don’t want to waste more money on food the cat doesn’t like”. However this usually turns out that the owner has tried several brands in the supermarket – and unknown to the owner most if not all are from the same producer and made with the same ethos, so even if the cat had liked these other brands it may be no better off
“the cat likes it” – well, kids like Mcdonalds and Haribo, but we wouldn’t feed this to them twice a day!....it is important that your pet likes eating their food, but cats are just like us in that they are drawn to sweet foods, and a food full of cereals will taste sweeter than one with lots of meat. Careful introduction of a good food should ensure your cat becomes attracted to the meats instead of the cereals.
“its handy when doing the shopping” – true, it is handy BUT in todays world most independents deliver either when you call them, text then, email them, message them or use their website, just call in once and make an informed choice with good quality advice, then just order in future.
Cost – the assumption that supermarkets or big box pet stores are cheap is not always correct. The preferred way to feed cats supermarket brands is to mix kibble and pouches because the cereal filled kibble actually isn’t very appealing to a cat on its own. Yet, you could feed a cat a high meat top quality dry cat food for almost the same cost per day. You could in fact feed a similarly priced cat food like Burgess for the same price, its not trying to be the best cat food in the world but it still manages to have several times more named meats than Whiskas. In our experience it has a very good success rate and because the bag price is similar it doesn’t create a price barrier.
The bottom line is that there are good cat foods out there, and they can sometimes be a little bit dearer; but not much when you consider the quality difference.