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Re: [FH] cat food for heart/chf

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  • turkishangoraathumanesociety
    Without all of the cut & paste references, I was asking what DRY FOOD you feel is better than Innova or California Natural. In a perfect world, meat only
    Message 1 of 7 , Jul 2, 2004
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      Without all of the cut & paste references, I was asking what DRY FOOD
      you feel is better than Innova or California Natural. In a perfect
      world, meat only supplemented with taurine would be great, but that
      wasn't the question. I've read all of the material and research on
      my own, previously, and these brands are the very best in DRY
      food...Don't you think?


      --- In feline-heart@yahoogroups.com, savionna@a... wrote:
      > Hi (I'm sorry I don't know your name),
      >
      > In a message dated 6/30/04 5:08:59 PM,
      turkishangoraathumanesociety@y...
      > writes:
      >
      > << I fail to see what the problem would be with California Natural.
      >>
      >
      > Forgive my being dense, but where does the post you cited mention a
      problem
      > with Calif. Natural?
      >
      > The statement ("The knock against Innova (whose parent company also
      makes
      > Calif. Natural and other brands) is that it incl too many
      ingredients....") was
      > in response to a comment about Innova and refers specifically to
      the Innova
      > brand. It also identifies Innova's manufacturer, NaturaPet, as a
      company that
      > makes other brands, incl Calif. Natural.
      >
      > << As for fruits and
      >
      > veggies added to Innova...I would rather see THAT used as FILLERS
      >
      > than the other options for dry food. >>
      >
      > When making comparisons, it's useful to pick an appropriate
      standard of
      > reference. Compared with, say, the corn and soy in Meow Mix, then
      yes, the potatoes
      > and barley in Innova are potentially less noxious. Compared with
      the
      > "ingredients" of a cat's natural diet, however, the plant matter
      accounts for the food
      > being both unbalanced and unable to efficiently meet the dietary
      needs of an
      > obligate carnivore.
      >
      > << Their main ingredients are still
      >
      > real chicken. >>
      >
      > Leaving aside how the stock animals are raised and processed, and
      which parts
      > are used, it is real chicken that has been dehydrated, pulverized
      in a mill,
      > mixed into a grain-based dough, steamed, pushed thru an extruder at
      high
      > temperature, and shaped thru a die into a pellet.
      >
      > << I haven't found a better choice for dry food, and I
      >
      > also use their canned foods. >>
      >
      > Which is entirely your decision as caregiver.
      >
      > << I am interested to see what you feel is
      >
      > a better food (other than taurine added homemade.) >>
      >
      > The important issue is what *you* feel is a better food for your
      cat. If
      > needed, here is some information that may be useful in thinking
      about that
      > decision.
      >
      > In nutrition, "good" is always evaluated in relation to the
      nutritional
      > requirements of the consumer. Eg, for a koala bear, eucalyptus
      leaves are a
      > "better" food than, say, tuna. But eucalyptus leaves would not meet
      the nutritional
      > needs of, say, a hummingbird, for whom plant nectar is a "better"
      food.
      >
      > Like koalas and hummingbirds, cats (and other small felids) have
      unique and
      > specific nutritional requirements that are met by a relatively
      narrow range of
      > foods. For a cat, a "good" food is a small prey animal (eg mouse,
      bird,
      > rabbit, squirrel, snake, cricket). These foods share the same
      general
      > characteristics, incl that they are: high in quality animal
      proteins ("quality" in regard to
      > protein refers to the amino acid composition and balance in
      relation to the
      > consumer's needs); moderate in animal fat; extremely low in
      carbohydrate (about
      > 0-5%); and rich in moisture (about 60-80%). For a cat, such a diet
      fulfills
      > all the nutritional landmarks: it is 1) digestible (the cat's
      entire digestive
      > system, from the mouth onward, is designed to break down animal
      tissue into
      > nutrients); 2) usable (the cat's metabolism is designed to produce
      energy from
      > animal proteins and fats); 3) high in nutritional "quality"
      or "value" in that
      > it provides all the essential nutrients (eg taurine, arginine, pre-
      formed
      > Vitamin A, arachidonic acid) and nonessential nutrients that a cat
      needs in a form
      > a cat can process; and 4) low in potential for negative biological
      response
      > (otherwise, evolution would have been a failure).
      >
      > What are the general characteristics of dry food? It is low in
      quality animal
      > proteins, low to moderate in animal fats, high in carbohdyrate (up
      to 50%
      > calories from carbohydrate), and low in moisture (about 10%). As
      for its
      > nutritional profile:
      >
      > 1) Digestibility: Dry food, which contains a large proportion of
      plant matter
      > and thus a high percentage of carbohydrate, is less digestible for
      a cat than
      > meat, in part b/c the cat lacks 1) grinding teeth (cat teeth are
      meant for
      > tearing flesh and breaking fine bone, not grinding plants, as do a
      cow's); 2)
      > salivary amylase (which starts breaking down carbohydrate in the
      mouth); 3) a
      > sufficiently long digestive tract to process plant matter (compare,
      again, to a
      > cow's digestive tract); and 4) certain enzymes (eg glucokinase)
      needed to
      > process carbohydrate efficiently. This means, in part, that
      nutrients are less
      > available and also that a larger amount of undigested "residue"
      reaches the large
      > intestine for excretion.
      >
      > 2) Usability: Even tho cats have evolved to derive energy from
      certain amino
      > acids and fats, they can produce energy from carbohydrate (altho
      not as
      > efficiently as can a cow). But the high carbohydrate load of dry
      food results in a
      > rapid surge of glucose, which demands that the pancreas release a
      large load of
      > insulin to keep blood glucose stable (whereby the usual trigger for
      insulin
      > in cats is arginine, which is an amino acid found in animal
      tissue); this is as
      > opposed to the slow, steady release of glucose from proteins and
      fats. This
      > is part of the reason that dry food is a contributing factor to the
      epidemic of
      > feline diabetes. Further, cats have limited mechanisms to
      stop "using" pro
      > tein for energy, even if it's deficient in the diet, which
      contributes to
      > malnutrition. Also, b/c cats preferentially use proteins and fats
      for energy, excess
      > carbohydrate is stored as fat, which is a contributing factor to
      obesity.
      >
      > 3) Nutritional value: Dry food has lower nutritional value
      primarily b/c
      > plants (such as the corn and wheat often used in dry foods) have
      lower "quality"
      > proteins (again refering to their amino acid composition and
      balance in
      > relation to the consumer's needs) than does animal flesh...and when
      limited
      > digestibility is factored in, the net availability of nutrients
      becomes even lower.
      > Plant proteins may register favorably in the typical chemical
      analysis (conducted
      > in a laboratory) that food manufacturers put on their labels...but
      all
      > proteins are not created equal and are not equally digestible and
      available in the
      > body. If they were, we would all be eating hair, which is 80%
      protein...but we
      > don't, b/c the proteins in hair are in a form that can't be
      digested and used,
      > so is of no nutritional value. Further, all the known essential
      nutrients for
      > cats (see above) are found *only* in animal tissue, not in plants
      (except for
      > taurine, which is also found in algae).
      >
      > 4) Biological response: Dry food has a higher potential for
      negative
      > biological response thruout the body...b/c, broadly stated, it is
      so "foreign" to a
      > cat's 30-million-yr-old evolutionary diet and its body. Some
      examples incl:
      > plant-based foods are alkalinizing, which is a contributing factor
      to struvite
      > crystals in the urine. The low moisture content of dry food
      contributes to
      > dehydration, which is implicated in chronic renal failure, and to a
      relatively
      > concentrated urine, which is implicated in urinary crystals and
      sterile cystitis. A
      > number of ingredients common in dry food (eg as corn, wheat) are
      known to
      > trigger to an "allergic" response primarily in the gut, which is a
      contributing
      > factor to inflammatory bowel disease (and its sequels, such as
      > triaditis)...altho the response can also manifest in the skin/coat,
      ears, and/or respiratory
      > tract. Dry food, which is energy dense but nutrient poor (which is
      basically
      > the concept of "empty calories," as with table sugar), is a
      contributing factor
      > to obesity...for various reasons, incl the high levels of insulin
      produced by
      > the carbohydrate load, but also b/c cats often gorge beyond caloric
      needs in
      > an attempt to get necessary nutrients, and carbohydrate contributes
      to fat
      > storage and bloat.
      >
      > For information about the nutritional requirements of cats...and
      also some
      > common issues that can arise from not meeting those needs, some
      sites incl:
      >
      > 1. www.maxshouse.com/feline_nutrition.htm
      > 2. http://home.earthlink.net/~jacm2/id1.html
      > 3. http://rocquoone.com/diet_and_health.htm
      > 4. www.speedyvet.com/nutrition
      > 5. www.homevet.com/petcare/feedingyourcat.html
      > 6. www.drsfostersmith.com/general.cfm?
      siteid=0&gid=74&ref=2066&subref=AN
      >
      > // Rosemary
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