Cat food, treats and accessories are not the biggest seller here at Thumpers, although we do stock a small variety of quality natural cat food (wet, dry and raw) treats and accessories. We believe this is because we refuse to stock the well known brands of cat foods that seem to be the most popular amongst cat lovers.
We refuse to stock certain brands for two main reasons: one the companies do very little to support small independent retailers such as ourselves and two: their products are of very little nutritional value and include ingredients that are damaging to our feline companions health.
This morning, reading a monthly publication that gets sent to pet trade retailers, we came across an advert for a popular brand advertising their new ‘Sensory’ range of cat food. This got Laura and I talking in amazement and then anger at how these big brands can brainwash us with pretty colours, images and perfectly worded marketing.
This ‘Sensory’ range of Cat food is designed to entice your cat to prefer this food through either smell, taste or feel which sounds great as we all know how fussy cats can be. Let’s dive into one of their claims and what the ingredients list actually tells us. This company claims that: “This formula is specifically designed to match the optimal macro nutrient profile that is instinctively preferred buy adult cats’’
Now first of all, this food is complete up to FEDIAF guidelines who set the MINIMUM nutrient profile, not the optimal. However it is possible, and many brands do, to exceed the minimal FEDIAF guidelines for a more optimal and nutritious food. You would expect the food to contain quality muscle meat and other ingredients that are good and of nutritious value for your cat.
Now looking at the ingredients on this new food the number one ingredient is ‘meat and animal derivatives'. We spoke about this last week, this is a category of ingredients as opposed to a single ingredient and can also be changed in every batch without the customers knowledge, but that isn’t the worst culprit on this ingredient list. That position is taken by 'various sugars’.
We all know how bad sugars can be to our human teeth, this is just the same for our pets.
There is no need for this to be added to the food, it’s only used as a sweetener to entice the cat to eat it. This also does a few dangerous things: it can cause obesity, it can also cause a lot of damage to the teeth, along with the high carbohydrate level (which also turns to sugar). Your cat could possibly become addicted to the foods which makes it even harder to change to a better quality food and therefore diet.
As we all know cats can be notoriously fussy eaters, but did you know that they are born with a predisposition from their mother of likes and dislikes when it comes to food. This is a biological safety system that means in the wild they know what is safe and isn’t safe to eat. Kittens then have a very small imprinting period where they can learn to enjoy new tastes, textures and foods etc.
What we do as humans is feed them what we believe to be a great (usually influenced by heavy marketing) kitten/cat food without realising that we are actually getting them addicted to the sugars in the foods. Most cats that are allowed to exhibit their natural behaviours e.g hunting will already be eating their natural diet. What is their natural diet? Quite simply, Raw Meat, Bone and Offal. So effectively your cat goes out, hunts, catches and eats a perfectly nutritious meal full of everything that it needs and deserves. Then when your cat gets home your treating it with what is effectively processed junk food.
In our opinion instead of adding additives to ‘excite their senses’ why not try a natural, raw diet which will offer ‘intense, exciting smell ‘, ‘rich, meaty taste and a ‘firm, chunky feel’ all without adding any nasties into the food.
Remember, always read the ingredient list and composition and don’t be fooled by the clever marketing that claims their food is the best thing for your pet.