Why does my cat eat cottage cheese

How do I feed my cat properly?

What you should know about diet for cats

“Which cat food is the best?” We are often asked that during the mediation talks in the animal shelter. There is no general answer to this question. Because it depends on the ingredients, especially the meat content. Most types of feed contain less than 10% meat. The remaining 90% are “vegetable by-products” and “grain”. This means, for example, crushed peanut shells, grain waste and above all soy - that's cheap.

But cats are pure carnivores with a short intestine; they cannot digest these vegetable proteins completely. In general, the protein and grain products contained should be easy to digest, the meat content should be high and the grain content significantly lower. In this way, the cat's organism is not burdened with digestion and "disposal" of cheap fillers for years.

The most important thing: the meat content in cat food

When buying feed, pay attention to the meat content. This is not always easy to filter out. The basic rule for the list of ingredients is that they are always listed in descending order of frequency. So what comes first there is the most contained.

In Germany, only "group" names are required, e.g. "Meat and animal by-products". This is called a "closed declaration". It could theoretically contain anything from steak to feather meal. There are some legal extensions that are used when the providers want to provide more detailed information. This is then a (voluntary!) Open declaration. But this also offers some “cloaks” to hide cheap fillers with nice names.

Understand the cat food declaration

In general, it is very complicated to understand and interpret the "technical jargon" of the ingredients.

A typical name e.g. B. would be "Meat and animal by-products (33% of which beef)". Here it is suggested that 33% beef in the can. Not even close! This information only means that 33% of the products contained are from beef. The meat content is therefore not 33%.

A declaration like the following would be more exemplary: "Meat and offal from chicken (33%) and salmon (33%), meat broth (31%), rice (2%), minerals (1%)." Add up the percent and you come to exactly 100%.

There is no 100% meat content, as it always contains a certain amount of liquid. With some varieties this is declared separately, for example as meat broth or water.

What does "slaughterhouse waste" mean?

Of course, the meat content says nothing about the quality of the meat. It can also be slaughterhouse waste, but this is still better than soy. In general, "slaughterhouse waste" is not necessarily bad food for cats, because it also includes offal that is simply not processed in human food. But even the muscle sections that are unpopular in the human food chain are an expensive raw material, which is why the proportion of these in almost all animal feed is relatively low.

What do "animal by-products" mean?

"Animal by-products" can unfortunately also mean that it contains so-called "Category 3 slaughterhouse waste". These are e.g. furs, hooves, horns etc. Normally a cat would not touch something like this, but fats, salt, sugar, flavorings and preservatives make the cat forget its disgust. Sugar, sometimes labeled as caramel, has no place in cat food. Various salts (sodium chloride, for example) are just as unfavorable; they can lead to earlier kidney problems.