Cat Diabetes And Cat Food
There is definitely a link between cat diabetes and cat food. A poor diet in humans and in cats is a contributory factor to diabetes. So why do we say that some types of cat food are bad for cats? Well lets look at what is in cat food:-
“What is actually in cat food?
– general cat food contains surplus food that comes from human food sources
– poor quality manufacturers use spoilt food or food that has been deemed “unfit” for human consumption
-premium cat food fights for the same food sources that humans eat.
Fixed or Variable?
Cat food can also be “fixed” or “variable” in their formulas. This means that the formula in a fixed can/ dry food is obviously fixed and is usually found in higher end brands of cat food. Variable, as the name implies has a variable formula that changes. This doesn’t necessarily mean that variable is a bad choice. What need to be consistent is the quality and the nutritional value of that food.
Cat food labels are notoriously hard to read, but here are a few pointers:
Typical/ Guaranteed Analysis. Usually listing the minimum amount of protein and fat and the maximum amount of fiber and moisture. Ash is sometimes added for minerals and Taurine is added as well.
Ingredients. Again not really that specific. Meat refers to muscle. Meat by products/ Derivatives means bone, viscera and marrow (normal components of a cats diet). Meat meal refers to dry products that have come from animal tissues.
The majority of cat food is produced either in North America or Europe, being made to standards that are set in those areas. Some brand offer a “shelf life date” which relates to how long the food can be used without some components breaking down. Commercial manufacturing is fine for most cats however what it does do is expose the food to various stresses that can breakdown certain needed components.
Heat, humidity, light and even the air can have an effect on a cats food. Fat spoils the fastest. Dry cat food has preservatives added to it in the form of Vit E and C- these are classed as “natural” but they are usually synthesized. Unfortunately the preservative that are added to cats food can cause issues if taken in excess. Natural preservative do not last as long as synthesized ones.
Therefore your cat food turnover should occur and it should be bought from a shop that has a high cat food turnover. This is more important with dry food, which must be eaten within 6 months of their manufacture date.
Dry food should also be bought in smaller packages because once opened the nutrients can be lost.
For good dry cat food care store in a sealed container and in a cool store area.
As a side note, wet food must be mixed with dry food to allow the cat to crunch and chew as this “exercises” the teeth and gums. Wet cat food should be eaten quickly or risk going off.
Natural cat food?
Natural cat food for a cat is actually a tin of mouse But many manufacturers will show a happy cat eating what they call tasty food. How do they know? Have they tried it? Has the cat tried it and wrote about it? No. instead of synthesized stuffs like preservatives, many manufacturers will used natural ones, but usually the food source is still from the same as noted above in this post.”
I don’t agree with giving your cat any dry food. However the teeth and gums do need to be exercised and there are some home based cat recipes that use ground up bone to achieve this. But I do definitely agree with the last statement, that natural food for a cat is a mouse or other small rodents and mammals. Cats eat their prey whole, which includes the complete skeletal system, which surely does exercise the teeth and gums.
In the next post we will discuss other aspects of cat diabetes and cat food, such as vegetarian diets and the actual nutrients that your cat needs for a healthy, happy life.