Poor Quality Mass Produced Food A Danger To Cats Vet Warns

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Poor quality, mass-produced food a ‘danger to cats’, vet warns
7th August 2018

By Karen Pickwick

One in 20 owners simply buy the cheapest cat food available and a further 15% will swap from brand to brand dependent on what’s on offer, a new survey reveals.
 
The research, commissioned by Lily’s Kitchen, to coincide with the launch of its new Suppurrs Stew cat food range, also found that nearly four in 10 cat owners NEVER check the label when buying cat food, with 64% baffled about what they should look for.
 
A fifth of owners don’t even know their cats are carnivores, which would explain why one in 10 would feed raw vegetables and one in 20 salad leaves to their cat.
 
London vet Rodney Zasman said: “It’s alarming that many of the nation’s cat owners are oblivious to what constitutes a healthy diet for their pets. Particularly when healthy eating plays such a big part in modern day living for the owners themselves.
 
“One of the biggest dangers to our cats’ health is actually poor quality, mass-produced pet food.
 
OVERWEIGHT MOGGIES

“In some instances these foods contain as little as 4% meat and, as a result, cats aren’t getting the nutrition they need to keep them healthy. But many cat owners are largely unaware of this fact and only find out when they take their poorly or overweight moggy to the vet.” 
 
Despite not being clued up on feline food needs, two-thirds of British cat owners believe the food they buy covers all of their pets’ nutritional requirements.
 
The study shows 67% of owners would NOT be prepared to feed their cat carcasses of other animals, hides and skins, pigs’ bristles, heads of poultry and feathers – and yet experts say that is exactly what can be found in some cat foods in supermarkets today.

Rodney added: “Feline obesity is a huge issue in the UK, as well as a host of other health complaints, many of which are caused by eating the wrong type of food which is low in real meat and high in a range of other, less nutritious ingredients, cleverly disguised on the label as ‘meat and animal derivatives’.

FUSSY EATERS
 
“In many cases it isn’t the owner’s fault, however. Cats are independent creatures and often very fussy eaters so it’s not always easy to tell when a cat is becoming unwell due to its diet.  As owners, we just want to see our pets happy and feeding them something they like is usually top of owners’ priorities.”
 
For a third of respondents, the choice of food to provide isn’t theirs – as their cat simply won’t eat a brand other than its favourite. However, by patiently transitioning cats onto new foods, owners can have a much better success rate when introducing a new recipe.

Henrietta Morrison, founder and CEO of Lily’s Kitchen, said: “We want to help educate cat owners about what constitutes a healthy diet – including proper meat and natural ingredients – which will keep the nation’s cats purring happily and healthily.
 
“What concerns us most is the amount of ‘nasties’ that are contained in some of the mass-produced cat food available in UK supermarkets, including cheap bulking ingredients such as cereals, which cats can find difficult to digest.
 
“Cat owners don’t stand a chance when the labelling is so misleading and doesn’t state clearly what the packet or tin contains. In some cases, meat and animal derivatives with only 4% of the specified ‘meat’ are included in the total ingredients, which could be anything from feathers and skin to heads of poultry.”
 
Lily’s Kitchen’s new Suppurrs Stew range of food for cats is made using only real meat and offal, with 33% shredded chicken fillets and no meat-meal, fish-meal, bone-meal or rendered meat.