16850Re: [FH] cat food for heart/chf
- Jun 26, 2004Hi JoAnn,
In a message dated 6/26/04 8:40:58 AM, MaineCoonsUSA writes:
<< Wow. Thanks for the great, informative post. >>
You're very welcome.
<< Yesterday, I went to the website for Innova and I thought the food looked
pretty good. But, I found it kind of odd that they boasted about having the
5 food groups in their food. It seemed a bit odd to me! >>
Yes, it is odd. The knock against Innova (whose parent company also makes
Calif. Natural and other brands) is that it incl too many ingredients that are
unnecessary for cats, whose nutritional requirements are actually rather simple
and readily fulfilled by a somehwat narrow range of small prey animals. This
is in part a holdover from Innova's early days of being one of the first
"natural" animal foods and trying to capture the health-conscious consumer by
modeling the animal products on human foods (other products still locked in this
trap incl Wysong and Flint River). The only reason I keep Innova on the list of
less-noxious foods is b/c, being an "older" product, it is often better
distributed and more available to consumers in locations where other, newer products
haven't yet penetrated. Products such as Wellness and Nature's Variety have
superseded Innova, but they are often not as available, depending on location.
<< As for premium versus commericial -- I guess I just always considered
premium to be higher priced and better quality food found at specialty stores. >>
"Premium" may mean higher prices, but it does not necessarily mean higher
nutritional quality. "Nature's Best" is the "premium" line from Science Diet. It
contains basically the same low-quality ingredients as other Hill's products,
except in a diff. bag.
The way to evaluate nutritional quality is to look at the *ingredients*...and
understand the *nutritional composition* of those ingredients in relation to
the *nutritional requirements* of cats. Some landmarks to look for incl:
1. muscle meat from a named species (as opposed to "byproducts," "poultry,"
or "meal") as the first ingredient;
2. organ meat from a named species (as opposed to "liver" or "poultry liver")
somewhere in the second to fifth ingredient positions, preferably from the
same species as the muscle meat;
3. muscle and/or organ meats in at least three of the first five ingredient
4. limited to no fish;
5. limited to no carbohydrate sources, preferably from low-glycemic
vegetables, such as squash, or whole, hypoallergenic grains, such as oats and barley
(as opposed to corn, wheat, and grain fractions, such as "rice bran");
6. no plant-protein "boosters" (such as "soy protein isolate" or "corn gluten
7. no nonnutritive fillers (such as "powdered cellulose" and "grain sorghum")
8. no synthetic preservatives (such as BHT, BHA, and ethoxyquin), colorings
(such as Red Dye #40 and titanium dioxide), or flavorings.
<< Commercial food is cheaper, less nutritional and found in grocery and
discount stores. >>
"Commercial" applies to *all* manufactured animals food sold over the counter
(as opposed to "prescription" or "therapeutic" foods sold only at vets).
<< I am going to research the sites you sent >>
Great. The more we know, particularly about species-appropriate nutrition,
the better for the cats.
<< hopefully be prepared to discuss diet with the cardiologist on Wednesday.
>>It may be useful to take the JAVMA article by Debra L. Zoran, DVM, PhD,
DACVIM at http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html, as it provides an excellent
comprehensive overview of the nutritional requirements of obligate carnivores.
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