About two years ago, the devastating pet food scare killed hundreds of cats and dogs across North America. In fact, as depressing as it is, the exact number of pets that died due to bad pet food still is not known. The source of the pet food problem in 2007 was wheat gluten tainted with melamine and cyanuric acid. This wheat gluten was sold to North American pet food makers who proceeded to include this ingredient in the food. These chemicals caused kidney failure in cats and dogs. The pet food scare caused many pet owners to completely reassess what foods they were feeding their animal friends.
As with many tragedies, there are some valuable lessons to be learned from the pet food scare. Caring pet owners should be as diligent as possible when selecting pet food. After all, pet food can very much be compared to human food in that “you are what you eat.” If our pets are eating foods full of chemicals and pesticides, they are likely to live less happy and healthy lives.
If possible choosing organic cat food is a great option. In fact, many pet owners switched to organic food immediately following the pet food scare in 2007.. Unfortunately, much of the pet food we see on the shelves in the grocery store is made with very low quality standards. Of course, low quality is not necessarily the case with all non-organic pet food. There are many companies making completely safe and nutritious non-organic cat food. Part of the potential problem with choosing a food is that as a cat owner, it is sometimes difficult to discern which pet foods are best. Choosing organic food takes some of the guesswork out of the process, as you know these foods will have high quality standards.
So what exactly is organic cat food? In general, organic cat food is made with ingredients free of chemicals and pesticides. All meat in the food is free of antibiotics and hormones. The makers of organic pet food tend to have higher quality standards in their ingredients in order to get organic certification. Also organic cat food doesn’t contain animal byproducts like meat from feet or heads.
Many organic cat foods are also more nutritious. The makers of this food tend to fortify it with antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids. Once you switch your cat to organic food, it is possible you will immediately notice that your cat has a shinier coat and more energy from the essential nutrition. Cats will tend to have more energy and stamina when the chemicals in regular pet food are no longer weighing them down.
As we all know, cats can be finicky eaters, so many owners are hesitant to change their food. However, the fact of the matter is that sometimes pet foods contain addictive ingredients designed to make your cat want to eat their brand of food. So keep in mind that the reason your cat may only eat a certain brand of food may not be because that food is good for your cat, but in fact the opposite may be true. It is similar to many children who would eat a diet of only ice cream and pizza if given the opportunity. Many commercial pet foods are the cat equivalent of junk food.
When you switch to organic pet food, be patient if your cat doesn’t immediately start eating it. Eventually, when your cat gets hungry enough he or she will start to take a few nibbles. There are also a variety of organic pet food brands, so you might need to rotate through a few options to find the best fit.
It is fairly easy to find organic cat food; some popular brands of the food include Newman’s Own, Castor & Pollux and Petguard. Organic cat food comes in both dry form as well as canned food options. You will notice flavors ranging from organic chicken to organic duck. Also the food commonly includes fruits and vegetables like blueberries, peas, Brown rice and carrots. Although you may not see organic cat food in your grocery store, most dedicated pet food stores carry organic options. You can also order organic pet food easily online.
If you are looking to feed your cat seafood instead of meat, you will quickly notice that cat food with seafood is rarely certified organic. Therefore, if you are purchasing seafood for your cat it may be difficult to locate organic food. Therefore, in that case look for cat food that indicates wild-caught. This means the fish more likely to be a healthy fish to eat and free of contaminants like mercury. Also a good indicator when choosing seafood for your cat is to look for a label that states “human grade ingredients.”
Canned and dry foods aren’t the only thing that comes organic for your cat. You can also find a variety of organic cat treats. Cats love cat treats and definitely never even know it is organic. You can find organic cat treat options designed to help clean teeth as well.
Another side benefit of organic cat food is that it 9 times out of 10 will keep your cat at a much healthier weight. Overweight cats are becoming a bigger and bigger problem. If your cat is overweight it can lead to all sorts of long-term health issues. Part of the reason that cats are overweight is due to the fact that regular cat food often contains ingredients to stimulate your pet’s appetite. Many experts theorize that these addictive ingredients are thrown in to motivate your cat to eat more cat food, so they can sell more products.
If you are like many people you may look at the price of organic cat food, and simply not be able to work it into your budget. If that is the case, consider buying organic cat food and working it into your cat’s diet in some smaller way. You can mix organic food into 1/2 of your cat’s food, or even 1/4 of your cat’s diet. Also there are lots of “all natural” pet food options out there, which also will improve your cat’s diet and his or her health.
Just like improving your own health through nutrition, the key just to begin integrating healthier choices. Your cat is depending on you to make the best shopping choices. Sure organic and all natural pet food is more expensive, but you likely will save those costs in the long run by less costly veterinarian visits when your cat is receiving optimal nutrition.
Having discovered a fondness for insects while pursuing her degree in Biology, Randi Jones was quite bugged to know that people usually dismissed these little creatures as “creepy-crawlies”.