Thursday, October 2, 2008

Low Carbohydrate Dry Cat Food Does Exist! BUT Is It Right For Your Cat?

Low Carbohydrate Dry Cat Food Does Exist! BUT Is It Right For Your Cat?

Innova Evo and Wellness Core dry cat foods - OK for your cat?
As promised in my last post, I've discovered two high-quality dry cat foods with low carbohydrates (for a dry food) that you can feed your cat if necessary. I say "if necessary" because currently there is no dry cat food that doesn't have some form of bad carbohydrate in it. By bad I mean a carb with a high-glycemic index.
The Hidden Dangers of High-Glycemic Index Ingredients

The problem with high-glycemic index carbohydrates like corn and potatoes is that they cause an unhealthy rise in blood sugar which increases the risk of obesity and diabetes.

To further explain, here is an excerpt from the book: Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M., that lays out the problem in detail:
"One dry food on the market has only 7 percent carbohydrate, according to the manufacturer. Chemical analysis of this food shows that it's carbohydrate level is actually about 13 percent."

"Although I had hoped that this product would be a satisfactory dry food option for my patients and my own cats, it has proved very disappointing in tests I have conducted. This food can promote obesity in spayed and neutered adult cats, just as its much higher carbohydrate dry food rivals do, and it cannot be used by diabetics. Feeding this food to a diabetic in remission causes a lapse out of remission." (emphasis mine)

"This food uses potato as its starch component for extrusion; apparently potato, with its simple sugar content and high glycemic index (corresponding rise in blood sugar), still causes the adverse effects in the cat that higher levels of less sugary carbohydrate ingredients do. Other "no cereal" dry foods containing novel starches like tapioca are in development. These foods will also fall far short of ideal foods for cats."

OK, that's the expert's take on these new dry foods. So, I leave it to you to decide if your cat should eat them. Considering that the average dry food, even "science" blended dry foods, are over 30 percent carbohydrates with some exceeding 40 percent, these new dry foods are definitely an improvement.

So, I figure in a pinch you can try feeding them to your non-diabetic cat. When I say "in a pinch" I'm referring to times when you can't be there to feed wet food or if someone is watching your cat(s), but can't be there 2 or more times a day to do a canned food feeding.

The Two Dry Cat Foods That Are Low In Carbs:

Dry Food (1) - Innova Evo Cat and Kitten. I believe this is the dry food that Dr. Hodgkins refers to in her quote above.
The manufacturer brags about the contents of Innova Evo Cat and Kitten as follows:
  • EVO is based on ground chicken and turkey meat, bones, fat, cartilage and connective tissue.
  • It includes whole, raw fruits and vegetables which contain health promoting phytochemicals and micronutrients.
  • EVO has Hi-Protein, Low-Carbs, and No Grains.
  • EVO Cat and Kitten Food has the HIGHEST MEAT CONTENT of any dry cat food!
  • EVO Cat and Kitten Food contains 50% PROTEIN, 22% FAT, and only 7% CARBOHYDRATES, the lowest in the industry!
These are the main ingredients for Innova Evo Cat and Kitten:
Turkey, Chicken Meal, Chicken, Herring Meal, Chicken Fat, Potatoes, Egg, Turkey Meal, Natural Flavors, Vitamins, Apples, Potassium Chloride, Carrots, Cranberries, Alfalfa Sprouts, Minerals, Tomatoes, Herring Oil, Cottage Cheese, Ascorbic Acid, Dried Chicory Root Extract, Vitamin E Supplement, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract

Guaranteed Analysis and computed carbohydrates for Innova Evo Cat and Kitten:
Innova Evo Cat and KittenProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)

50222109.493.46.6** 7%

** As you can see, Innova Evo Cat and Kitten formula contains potatoes and claims a 7% carbohydrate content, which is apparently more like 13% after analysis (according to Dr. Hodgkins, D.V.M.)

Dry Food (2) - Wellness CORE Fish & Fowl for Adult Cats & Kittens. This dry food contains about 12% carbohydrates and unfortunately also uses the high-glycemic index carbohydrate: potatoes, in its formula.
Here's what the manufacturer says about Wellness CORE Fish & Fowl:
  • Higher animal protein. The most meat possible in an extruded dry cat food. Over 80% meat ingredients.
  • No grains
  • Lower carbs. Only 12% of the calories coming from carbs.
  • Incredible palatability
Here are the main ingredients for Wellness CORE Fish & Fowl:
Deboned Turkey, Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Whitefish Meal, Potatoes, Salmon Meal, Natural Chicken Flavor. Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols, a natural source of Vitamin E), Tomato Pomace, Cranberries, Chicory Root Extract, Salmon Oil, Flaxseed, Vitamins

Guaranteed Analysis and computed carbohydrates for Wellness CORE Fish & Fowl:
Wellness CORE Fish & FowlProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)


As you can see, Wellness CORE is 12% carbohydrates and Innova Evo is most likely around 13% after analysis, so they are really about the same. It's just a matter of what your cat will eat and possibly the cost of the food.
WARNING: Stay away from the regular Wellness dry food formulas. At this time only the Wellness CORE Fish and Fowl formula is low in carbohydrates. In fact, the other Wellness dry cat food formulas are around 40% carbohydrates, so be sure to avoid them!

Dry Food For Your Cat, Yes or No?

Remember, according to many veterinarians, no currently marketed dry food is good for your cat, but if necessary, you might try something similar to what we do with our cat.

Since Raja is not diabetic, just chubby, we feed her 99% canned foods from the lists in this blog. We feed her twice a day, once in the morning before leaving for work and once in the evening when we return.

Because we don't want to worry about Raja if we can't get home to feed her in the evening, we leave a small amount of Innova Evo Cat & Kitten dry food in a bowl next to her water bowl.

When I say "small amount" I mean very little. We just barely cover the bottom of a standard small cat dish, which ends up being about 20 kernels of food. The dry food is there ONLY if she gets hungry because we come home later than usual, it's NOT her main diet.

In fact, usually when we return home we find only a few chunks of the dry food have been eaten. Of course, Raja l-o-v-e-s her wet food, so she only eats the dry when she's really really hungry.

Your cat may act differently, especially if he/she is used to a dry food only diet. So try an amount that works for your pet but only as an add-on to a predominantly wet food diet. And please, don't use ANY dry food if your cat is diabetic!

Where To Find Innova Evo and Wellness CORE Dry Cat Food:

Regular pet food stores like PetSmart and PetCo do not sell these premium brands. You won't find them in most grocery or discount stores either.

If you have a Pet Supplies Plus store near you they usually supply both brands. Click here to see if there is a Pet Supplies Plus store in your area.

Or check your Yellow Pages for local pet supply stores in your area. If they don't stock these products they can order them for you.

You can also find store locations for Innova Evo products (these are made by Natura) by clicking here and you can find stores selling Wellness CORE cat food by clicking here.

How To Switch Your Cat From Dry Cat Food To Wet Cat Food

How To Switch Your Cat From Dry Cat Food To Wet Cat Food

Finicky Cat
Most cats absolutely love wet cat food, but if your cat is addicted to dry, you may have trouble weaning it off of this "junk" food addiction.

The simplest way to find out if the switch is going to be a problem is to try using canned cat food as a treat when you are home to see how your cat responds. We found that the smell of the wet cat food was enough for our cat to get very excited!

If that works, then gradually increase the amount of canned food and decrease the amount of dry food. What you'll find is that your cat needs less and less dry food as you increase his/her wet food intake. That's because canned food (i.e. the foods listed in this blog) have more protein and fat than the dry food your cat has been eating. The more protein and fat your cat eats, the better nutrition it's receiving and the less it feels hungry.

Your cat may not like all textures and flavors of canned cat food, so you may have to experiment. If you buy canned cat food from the lists in this blog, you should have enough variety to figure out what your cat will and won't eat.

However, if your cat is a picky eater or really, really addicted to dry cat food, you may have a problem switching to wet cat food.
Here are some ideas to help wean your chubby friend off dry food:
  1. Be sure the canned cat food you choose has meat ingredients. (You can refer to the list of meaty canned cat foods in this blog.) Foods with grains are not only higher in carbohydrates, they are less palatable to your cat.

    Many cats really like fish-based canned foods. If your cat is one of them, by all means use fish-based canned food as a transitional food. Eventually, you can vary the mix of canned foods by incorporating other meat flavors. Remember, too much mercury-tainted seafood is as bad for your cat as it is for us humans.
  2. Try different textures of meat-based canned cat food to see which your cat favors. For example our cat, Raja, is not fond of the mushy "spam"-type of cat food. She prefers food with a chunky texture or with gravy or aspic.
  3. If your cat won't eat canned cat food, try adding a meat gravy or meat juice (like tuna juice from human canned tuna) on top of the cat food. Create a sauce-like texture to induce your cat to try the new food.

    If you (or your cat) prefer, you can mix-in roasted meat. Basically, use any healthy "enhancers" to train your cat to eat wet food. After he/she is used to canned food, you can gradually eliminate your home-made "additives".
  4. If your finicky eater still refuses canned cat food, try feeding it meat-based baby food either alone or mixed-into the canned cat food.
  5. As mentioned before, you can mix a little dry food into the canned cat food. How much will depend on your cat. After a while, reduce the dry cat food until your cat is only eating wet food.
  6. IMPORTANT!! Do not allow your cat to go without eating anything for more than 36 hours!

    Your cat can develop liver problems if it refuses to eat for that length of time. Even three to four ounces per day of a meat-based food will provide enough protein to avoid such problems. If your cat is eating at least that much, continue with the diet changeover to wet food.
  7. Don't take the feeding recommendations on the canned cat food labels too literally. Many say to feed your 14 lb cat 3 3-ounce cans per day. This is not necessarily what your cat wants or needs. I talked to Raja's vet and he said that 2 cans is sufficient for proper nutrition unless your cat is heavier or more active.

    If your cat seems to want 3 3-ounce cans, then do it. But always consider whether your chubby feline isn't just overeating. To be sure your cat is getting what it needs and no more, it's best to confer with your vet.

Our Raja has never been an overeater, so when we switched her to canned cat food about all she could eat was 2 3-ounce cans. Any more would just go to waste.

That's the good thing about canned cat food -- Because it's higher in protein, fat and water, your cat fills up faster and stays satisfied longer than with high-carbohydrate, low-protien, low-moisture dry food. So don't be surprised if your cat eats less overall, just be sure it gets enough food. See (6) above and talk to your vet if your cat's appetite drops significantly.

We had it easy with Raja as she loves canned cat food and did from day one. If you have other solutions to wean your fat cat off dry cat food, I invite you to leave a comment at the end of this post so other readers of this blog can learn from your success. Thanks!

Coming... I'm working on a "cheat sheet" or rather "cheat card" that I can carry with me to the pet store. The card will list only the low-carb brands and flavors that I have researched here.

As soon as I have finished the "cheat card", I will make it available for download from this blog.
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More good cat food brands

In addition to the Fancy Feast and Petsmart Sophisticat Supreme flavors mentioned in my prior post, here are some other brands and flavors that are healthy for your cat:

WalMart Special Kitty Select Canned Cat Food
(.30 / 3 oz can)
Healthy Varieties: Fish = 2; Other Meat = 1

Guaranteed Analysis
Special Kitty SelectProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)
Chunky Chicken1141.5783.59829%
Cod, Sole & Shrimp1321.5783.59829%
Ocean Whitefish & Tuna1321.5783.798.21.88%

Happy Tails Canned Cat Food
(.40 / 3oz can at Jewel, Albertson Grocery)
Healthy Varieties: Fish = 1; Other Meat = 1

Guaranteed Analysis
Happy Tails Canned FoodProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)
Chicken Dinner1151.578499.50.52%
Ocean Whitefish & Tuna1321.5783.798.21.88%

Innova Evo Cat and Kitten Food
(1.05 / 5.5oz; 1.59 / 13.2oz at Pet Supplies Plus)

Guaranteed Analysis
Innova Evo Cat and Kitten Canned FoodProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)
Cat and Kitten (one flavor)128.5783101.500%

Note: This is a very high-quality food with real meat ingredients, but since there is only one formula, it would be best to feed your cat more variety than just this one brand/flavor.

Trader Joe's Tuna (.50 / 6oz can)
  • Very, very good ingredients (just tuna, water, vitamins and minerals) and no carbs!
  • Note: This is also a very high-quality food with real meat ingredients, but since there is only one formula, it would be best to feed your cat more variety than just this one brand/flavor.

Eukanuba canned cat food (Petco, Petsmart)
  • Very low in carbs, if not a little expensive. However, all varieties of the canned cat foods were recalled recently and are not available as of this post. If they become available again, I will check them out and list them in a future post.

Purina Pro-Plan Adult (.72 / 3 oz can @ Petco)
  • Some OK, but avoid rice in the flavor name. Read labels carefully!

Max-Cat Gourmet Classics (.55 / 3 oz can @ Petco)
  • Some OK, but not many. Read labels carefully!

Friskies, 9 Lives and cans of the inexpensive Sophisticat brand from Petsmart
  • Very cheap, but poor ingredients. For instance most have meat by-products as 1st or 2nd ingredient, even though some varieties have decent carbohydrates. Not recommended.

Iams, Science Diet and other readily available so-called "life-cycle" and "diet" canned foods should be avoided.
  • The ones I checked were all way too high in carbohydrates and many had corn and rice in their ingredient lists. I know, we were shocked too, since we thought with Science Diet we were feeding Raja a high-quality food! Not recommended.

Hopefully, your cat will find enough food in the lists here and in my prior post to satisfy his/her palate. If not, there are other brands like Evo (see above) and possibly Eukanuba that are harder to get and cost more that are OK.

I am now searching for a dry cat food that is lower in carbohydrates than the major brands. We don't intend to feed this to Raja instead of canned food, it's only in case we go on vacation and leave her in someone else's care.

Even if we go away for a day or a night, she'll need food in her bowl that will last more than a couple of hours, so it would be nice to know if there is a dry cat food that is low in carbohydrates and still healthy in all other respects.
I'll let you know what I find out after checking low-carb dry cat food products online and visiting some specialized pet food stores in the area...
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List of Good-For-Your-Cat, Affordable, Low-Carb Cat Foods

List of Good-For-Your-Cat, Affordable, Low-Carb Cat Foods

Low Carb Cat Food is Not a MythToday I visited Petsmart, PetCo, WalMart and a grocery store to get the complete lowdown on low-carbohydrate canned cat food. My goal was to find readily available commercial canned food that wasn't too expensive and still had good, healthy ingredients.

From my reading of the book: Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life by Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M., and from checking online websites and forums, I put together a list of criteria for wet (canned) cat food that would be healthy for our plump Raja:
Healthy Canned Cat Food Criteria:
  • First two ingredients must be some form of meat, and NOT meat or fish by-products. (by-products are poor sources of protein and should not be the main ingredients in any quality cat food.)
  • No corn or corn meal in the list of ingredients. Corn has a high-glycemic index which means it is too readily converted to sugar in the body... VERY high in unnecessary and dangerous carbohydrates.
  • No rice, or other grains in the first 5 ingredients. (Same problem... too easily converted to sugar & too high in carbohydrates.)
  • No bone meal or bone phosphorous in list of ingredients. (Bone meal and bone phosphorous may contain harmful and poisonous chemicals.)
  • Actual dry-matter carbohydrates 10% or less. (To determine dry matter amounts for all important nutrients, please refer to: How to Read Cat Food Labels to Find Healthy Lo-Carb Cat Foods in ths blog.)
  • Ideal Guaranteed Analysis protein: 8.8% or higher; ideal Guaranteed Analysis fat: 5.5% or higher.
    Note: It is almost impossible to get protein and fat in these exact percentages in the same canned food. That's why it's important to mix brands or flavors to be sure your cat gets adequate protein and fat in the long run.
  • Limit feeding of canned food with fish ingredients to no more than 3 days per week. (Most fish contains mercury which is poisonous to your cat.)
    NOTE: Be vigilant when reading cat food labels. I was surprised to find that some non-fish flavors of canned food contained fish somewhere in the ingredient list. This is ok, but just be sure to limit feeding of fish-containing foods to 3 times per week to be safe.

I know it sounds like a lot of criteria, but it really isn't so bad. I managed to find quite a few varieties of canned food that fulfilled most, if not all of these requirements.
Here's a list of canned cat foods I found that were affordable, readily available and made up of decent ingredients
(in alphabetical order by variety):

Fancy Feast Canned Cat Food
($.42 / 3 oz can at WalMart; also at Petco and PetSmart)
Healthy Varieties: Fish = 11, Other Meat = 6

Guaranteed Analysis
Fancy Feast Canned FoodProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)
Chunky Chicken1141.5783.59829%
Chunky Turkey1141.5783.59829%
Cod, Sole & Shrimp1321.5783.59829%
Flaked Chicken & Tuna143.51.5783.5100.500%
Flaked Fish & Shrimp17.521.578310200%
Flaked Ocean Fish17.521.578310200%
Flaked Salmon & Ocean Whitefish1431.5783.7100.200%
Flaked Trout1441.5783.7101.200%
Flaked Tuna1431.5783.510000%
Flaked Tuna & Mackerel143.51.5783.5100.500%
Gourmet Chicken1151.578398.51.57%
Gourmet Seafood1331.5783.59915%
Ocean Whitefish & Tuna1321.5783.798.21.88%
Savory Salmon1241.5783.59915%
Tender Beef1141.5783.59829%
Tender Liver & Chicken1151.5782.59829%
Turkey & Giblets1151.578398.51.57%

  • There are other flavors of Fancy Feast that are low in carbs, but they have "meat by-products" listed in the 1st or 2nd position in the ingredients. They were rejected on that basis.
  • I believe I have checked every variety of Fancy Feast. If you would like to see a list of every flavor and it's nutrient % I can supply that to you. Just send me an email!

Petsmart Sophisticat Supreme Canned Cat Food
(.42 / 3oz can at PetSmart)
Healthy Varieties: Fish = 6, Other Meat = 3

Guaranteed Analysis
Sophisticat Supreme Canned FoodProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Total Guaranteed Analysis %CarbsActual Carbs % (dry matter basis)
Cod, Sole & Shrimp1321.5783.59829%
Gourmet Chicken1151.5782.59829%
Ocean Fish Entrée in Aspic121.51843101.500%
Ocean Whitefish & Tuna1321.5783.59829%
Sardines, Shrimp & Crab1321.5783.798.21.88%
Savory Salmon1241.5782.998.41.67%
Seafood Dinner1331.5783.298.71.36%
Tender Liver & Chicken1151.5782.297.72.310%
Turkey & Giblets1151.5782.497.92.110%

  • The above low carb flavors have decent ingredients (by-products listed as #3 ingredient or none.)
  • Do not confuse the regular (cheaper) Sophisticat product for the Sophisticat Supreme product. Only the Sophisticat SUPREME product has low carbs and quality ingredients (as noted above).

NOTE: For additional brands and varieties of healthy, low-carbohydrate canned cat food, please refer to my recent post: "Even More Healthy, Low Carbohydrate Cat Food Brands."
Remember, if in doubt use the formula I listed in the blog entry: How to Read Cat Food Labels to Find Lo-Carb Cat Foods and check the ingredient list against the criteria above. It's the only way to keep your cat trim and avoid feline diabetes or other maladies.

Hopefully, your cat will find enough food in the lists above to satisfy his/her palate. But, just in case, I will definitely be checking out store brands and specialty brands to see if I can find other choices for our cats...
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Wet Cat Food = Healthy Cat Food? Well, Yes and No...

Wet Cat Food = Healthy Cat Food? Well, Yes and No...

Wet Cat Food = Good; Dry Cat Food = Bad!When I did the research on dry cat food and found the very frightening results, I immediately started looking for low-carbohydrate, high-protein wet cat food to feed our Raja.

Fortunately, we already knew she l-o-v-e-d wet food, since we had been giving her a little each day as a "treat". We now knew it was time to feed her exclusively from the can, but which brand(s)?

At first, I just assumed that all canned foods were about the same as far as proper protein, fat and carbs were concerned, but man was I wrong!

As usual, I checked the premium brands for their dry matter makeup of protein, fat, fiber and carbohydrates and was once again blown-away by the lack of any consistency and by the high level of carbs in some of these wet foods.

(Note: I used dry matter measurements so I could check the actual carbohydrate percentages, not the percents shown on the label under "guaranteed analysis". No sweat, the dry matter percents are easily computed from the guaranteed analysis percents reported on every cat food. I'll give you the formula in a future post so you can shop intelligently for your cat.)

Here's a sampling of some premium brands of wet (canned) cat food and their "dry matter" nutritional makeup:

Guaranteed Analysis Percents
Canned Cat FoodProtein %Fat %Fiber %Moisture %Ash %Actual Carbs %
(dry matter basis)
Eukanuba Select Seafood in Sauce- Recalled95.51.5822.50%
Purina Fancy Feast Cod Sole & Shrimp1321.5783.59%
Wellness Salmon and Trout1051782.516%
Natural Balance Chicken & Liver Pate961.578216%
Wellness Beef & Chicken (Grain Free)105178218%
Iams Weight Control Chicken Entreé103.51782.125%
Science Diet Gourmet Beef Entrée - Mature842782.226%
Science Diet Savory Chicken Entrée - Mature83.52782.527%
Science Diet Gourmet Turkey Entrée - Senior6.53.5278236%

Note that the ONLY canned cat foods that have 10% or fewer carbs are Purina's Fancy Feast and Eukanuba! (Unfortunately, Eukanuba wet foods were all recalled in 2007 because they were tainted. As of this post Eukanuba is not selling any canned cat food. Please continue to check my newer posts for an update on this brand.)

All the rest of the brands and varieties are very high in carbohydrates. Notice that one of the most expensive, so-called "premium" brands has super high carbohydrates. And this food is intended for senior cats that tend to exercise very little. How will these cats burn off the excess carbs? The answer: they won't. All those carbs will just turn into more fat! Looks like that brand is practicing some very weird "science".
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The Surprising Cause Of Our Cat Obesity Epidemic

The Surprising Cause Of Our Cat Obesity Epidemic

Obese CatWent to my local library today to find a new novel or maybe an interesting non-fiction book to read. Browsing the new books shelf, I came across Your Cat: Simple New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life. I thought, "I'll look in the index for 'obesity' and see what I can learn about dieting options for our Raja."

Hazardous to Your Cat's Health?
Well, I learned a lot! There was too much to read in the library, so I took the book home and devoured it over the next couple of days. The author, Elizabeth M. Hodgkins, D.V.M. describes the "make a quick buck" attitude of most of the pet food industry. What really blew me away were her strong statements against dry cat food. It was almost scary the way she condemned dry cat food as actually hazardous to your cat's health! Yes, hazardous!

This is her story in a nutshell: In more than 20 years as a veterinarian, Elizabeth treated case after case of unhealthy, overweight, and diabetic cats. And she blames most of these ills on dry cat food!

I was shocked because our vet didn't really tell us the crucial role that dry cat food has in causing feline obesity. He also didn't mention that continual feeding of dry food could lead to worse health concerns like diabetes.

If the author of the book was trying to scare me, man did she!

Here's what I learned from this very informative book:
  1. Cats are "obligate carnivores" which means they are physically conditioned to eat meat as their primary source of nourishment. They are NOT small dogs or large hamsters.
  2. While humans and dogs are omnivores, which means they can derive adequate nutrition from any combination of meat, vegetables and fruits, cats absolutely cannot. Furthermore, the diet of a cat in the wild is comprised of prey like small rodents and birds.
  3. The nutritional makeup of a typical mouse or other small animal is: 55% protein, 35% fat and less than 2% carbohydrate. Cats have always been and still are capable of thriving on ONLY that combination of nutrients and ONLY from animal sources. Notice the low, low carbohydrate percent!
  4. Humans and dogs have different physiology and can manage, and in fact need, a good percentage of carbohydrates to burn for energy. Cats, on the other hand have no mechanism for handling carbohydrates greater than 10% and will suffer obesity and/or diabetes if fed high carbohydrate food. They get energy by converting protein into energy, unlike the rest of us that use mainly carbohydrates for that purpose.

    Cats are true Atkins (or "Catkins") diet creatures. But for them it's not a crash diet, it's the only way to have a healthy life.
So, what's the problem with dry cat food?
OK, that's the author's anatomy lesson about cats and explains the necessity for high protein, low-carbohydrate food in a cat's daily diet.

When you check the nutritional makeup of even the best premium dry cat foods, you'll be amazed to discover just how high in carbohydrates these supposedly "good" and "scientifically balanced" foods are.

Here's a list of some name brand, premium dry cat foods and their carbohydrate percentages:

Dry Cat Food Brand and VarietyCarbohydrates
(dry matter basis)
Wellness Complete Health29%
By Nature Dry Kitten Formula29%
Eukanuba Mature Care 7+31%
Life's Abundance Health Food31%
Science Diet Light Adult33%
Science Diet Indoor Cat Mature Adult34%
Felidae Cat & Kitten34%
Newman's Own Advanced (active/senior cats)36%
Nutro Senior Complete Care37%
Pet Promise Daily Health38%
Purina One Special Care Healthy Weight Formula39%
By Nature Adult39%
Science Diet Mature Adult 7+40%
Felidae Platinum (adult cats)40%
Nutro Indoor Weight Management40%
Fancy Feast Filet Mignon w/Real Seafood & Shrimp42%
Iams Weight Control44%
Authority Senior44%
NOTE: Dry matter basis means computed with the moisture content removed. This is the only way to compare dry and wet cat foods to get accurate nutrient comparisons.)

Notice that ALL of these so-called premium dry foods are high in carbohydrates! And even the lowest carbs are a whopping 29%! A far cry from a maximum of 10% in a healthy cat's diet. No wonder our feline friends are fat!

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