Resources for Cat Nutrition
Cat parents are being assaulted on all fronts when it comes to figuring out what to feed their furry kids. Between an ongoing litany of food recalls and the assault of commercial pet food marketers, it’s impossible to figure out what’s best.
Best advice? Do your homework. The Internet is a treasure trove of resources, both good and questionable. Learn about pet food ingredients, read between the lines of marketers’ messages, and evaluate the needs of your cats. If you choose to make your cat’s food, learn how to do it correctly.
Here is a list of resources to get you going. Please let me know if you have any questions! Note that the information here is not a substitute for veterinary care and should be used in conjunction with regular visits and discussions with your veterinarian.
Little Big Cat (Dr. Jean Hofve’s website): http://www.littlebigcat.com
Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics of Feline Nutrition (Dr. Lisa Pierson): http://www.catinfo.org
Dr. Lisa Pierson’s article on Feline Diabetes: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=felinediabetes
Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins’ website: www.yourdiabeticcat.com, plus her book Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life
Feline Diabetes: The Influence of Diet by Elisa Katz, DVM, as published in Feline Nutition.
“The carnivore connection to nutrition in cats” by Dr. Debra Zoran
“What’s Really in Pet Food?”: a widely known paper on pet food and the industry that is regularly updated, originally published by the Animal Protection Institute, now Born Free USA; lots of resources there as well):
Dr. Karen Becker’s website: http://healthypets.mercola.com/
And Dr. Becker’s take on dry food: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2012/02/17/dry-food-wrong-for-cats.aspx
Dr. Andrea Tasi discusses the connection between diet and chronic illness found in cats on FelineNutrition.org.
Dr. Rachel Bolts: A Scientific Take on Cat Nutrition – Some interesting information.
An article from the Journal of Experimental Biology on what cats would choose to eat.
Evolutionary Nutrition for the Cat: EvolutionaryNutritionCats.pdf
The Feline Nutrition Education Society: www.feline-nutrition.org
Feline Nutrition Awareness Effort: http://fnae.org
Cat Nutrition: http://www.catnutrition.org
Feeding for Urinary and Kidney Health by Elisa Katz, DVM, as published in Feline Nutrition.
Here’s a relatively simple balanced raw recipe for cats from PawSome Cats.
Plus some good information on transitioning reluctant raw eaters: http://www.catnutrition.org/digestible-bites/lil-bite-reluctant-raw-eaters
Important information on feeding senior kitties: http://feline-nutrition.org/nutrition/dont-let-your-senior-cat-become-a-skinny-old-kitty
Dr. Karen Becker discusses five anti-raw arguments: http://healthypets.mercola.com/sites/healthypets/archive/2014/09/08/5-anti-raw-food-tactics.aspx?x_cid=20150203_ranart_5-anti-raw-food-tactics_facebookpets
http://www.truthaboutpetfood.com/: Truth About Pet Food’s Susan Thixton is the whistle-blower of the pet food industry.
Deal Breaker Pet Food Ingredients: From Truth About Pet Food’s Susan Thixton. Everything you don’t want to see n your pets’ food all in one place… and why.
“Best” Cat Food for 2016. This is a collection of reviews of cat food in an article produced by Consumer Affairs. Only two brands, Canidae and Iams, received five stars. Reviews of various other foods (grocery store and a couple of premiums) offer criticism, but show typical misconceptions; for instance, prescription dry food recommended for urinary crystals. Take it with a grain of salt and don’t be afraid to offer your comments.
The Best Cat Food, an analysis by Reviews.com, A painstaking analysis of more than 1,700 cat food boils down to just 163 that are acceptable. Really comprehensive methodology.
Natural Cat Care Blog’s Review of canned and raw options, updated as of March 2016.
Decoding Pet Food, a report by the Cornucopia Institute from November 2015, contains an analysis of pet food ingredients; even many so-called premium foods are suspect!
The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains information on pet food recalls going back to 2009: http://www.avma.org/petfoodsafety/recalls/default.asp
Pertains to dogs, but addresses the same issues I’ve discussed here:
Tracie Hotchner’s Dog Talk and Cat Chat at http://www.radiopetlady.com/
A good, single source to compare pet food ingredients: www.petfooddirect.com
And an article from Natural Cat Care blog, “Preventing Deadline Feline Kidney and Urinary Disease with a Simple Cat Food Choice.”
An article about corn in dog food:
Pet Food Ingredients Revealed: Lisa Newman, N.D., PhD, and Mike Adams
Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine by Marion Nestle (University of California Press)
The New Natural Cat by Anitra Frazier (new updated version)
The Complete Guide to Holistic Cat Care by Celeste Yarnell and Dr. Jean Hofve
The Ultimate Pet Food Guide by Liz Palika
Analysis of Toxic Trace Metals in Pet Foods Using Cryogenic Grinding and Quantitation by ICP-MS, Part 1
Analysis of Toxic Trace Metals in Pet Foods Using Cryogenic Grinding and Quantitation by ICP-MS, Part 2: http://digital.findanalytichem.com/nxtbooks/advanstar/spectroscopy0211/index.php#/48
How Much Does Cat Food Cost?: An interesting link that prices out various types of food – a little boiler plate-ish.
An FAQ from the American Veterinary Medical Association (including position statements from other organizations) on feeding raw foods to pets – not totally condemning, but very cautionary.