Friday, March 21, 2008

Commercial Cat Food

What you need to know about Cat Food

Commercial Cat Food

Major brand-name commercial dry cat food manufacturers often use primarily grain-based ingredients like corn and rice with meat by-products or animal digest making up the meat ingredients. Some manufacturers offer 'premium', 'natural' or 'holistic' formulas that are by-product free and contains less or no grains. Grain-free dry diets still contain carbohydrates, from sources such as potato or tapioca as the starch in those ingredients is needed to allow the kibble to hold its shape. Cats have no metabolic need for carbohydrates as the feline system prefers to create glucose from protein.
Dry cat food is generally made by extrusion cooking under high heat and pressure. It may can be sprayed with fat to increase palatability and other ingredients to complete its composition. Cat owners often prefer dry cat food due to the convenience and price. Besides usually being significantly cheaper, dried cat food can also be left out for the cat to eat at will over the course of several days; whereas, canned or raw cat food spoils or becomes unappetizing after several hours. Dry cat food is recommended by some based on the idea that cats break apart dry foods with their teeth, which causes the food to scrape off dental calculus (like brushing their teeth).

Cat owners and veterinarians who recommend a diet consisting largely or entirely of canned, homemade or raw cat food point to higher water content of such food and the increased total water consumption in comparison to a dry food diet as an important health benefit. Wet cat food also generally contains significantly less grain and other carbohydrate material, although many are made with fish ingredients. Canned cat foods in pop-top containers may play a role in the development of hyperthyroidism in cats. In general, canned, homemade, or raw cat foods are thought to either help treat or noticeably reduce the likelihood of numerous health issues including urinary tract disorders, diabetes, chronic renal failure, constipation, and obesity.