Ok, so this is one of my pet peeves. Dry cat food. I have been wanting to write about this for weeks and weeks, and finally I can’t wait any longer! Every single week lately I speak with clients who are unaware of the dangers of dry cat food. I really love to write about spiritual concepts and lovely understandings, but today we’re going to get nitty gritty into the physical daily 3D world, ok?
I’m obviously not a vet or scientist, but I’m happy to share some basic facts and information here so we can all spread the word and help keep kitties healthy! Be warned, this may be a bit rant-y…. Oh, and yes, I don’t think dry dog food is a good idea either, but one thing at a time. Today, cats.
When I was searching for a photo to go with this blog, I saw pages and pages of dry cat food. Even though I haven’t bought this product in many years, I automatically smelled that strong smell that wafts out of the bag. Just the memory almost made me nauseous. Why does dry cat food have such a strong smell? Well, I learned that dry cat food is sprayed with flavor enhancers to entice your kitties. It’s big business. Without flavorings added, no one would go near it! Blech!
So, first of all, I think every species has a species-specific diet that is their natural diet and leads to optimum health. Birds eat insects and seeds. Iguanas eat plants. Cows eat grass. Cats are carnivores. Their natural diet is predominantly a moisture rich animal protein diet with a tiny bit of fat and carbs. Dry food is a super duper low moisture high carbohydrate diet. Also, the protein content in dry cat food is often from less expensive pant sources, or dangerous, low quality animal by-products you don’t even want to think about. Trust me. I don’t even want to give you the visuals here. Does that sound like a match? Nope.
Cats have absolutely no use for grains. They can’t digest them. Cats’ bodies simply are not built for them. Grains or sometimes high carb veggies must be used in processing to created dry food, to bind it together. Dry cat foods are 25-50 % carbs, compared to a natural diet that is about 2% carbs. It’s also high dense calories. A diet this high in carbohydrates can lead to obesity and diabetes in cats.
So, reason number one is dry food does not supply cats with their natural diet. If you have a sports car that takes high octane fuel, you wouldn’t tank up with anything less, right? Feeding grains to cats can be the cause of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and other GI disorders.
Now, the moisture content issue. Dry cat food is, well….dry. Day in and day out, dry. That is HARD on the kidneys and urinary tracts. Feeding dry food day in and day out year after year can lead to many health complications. It’s like junk food. I always think of it being like giving your toddler Goldfish crackers all day long and expecting them to be healthy. It’s not gonna happen.
Because cats are genetically designed to get their water from food, they have a low thirst drive. If they’re seeking water, it means they’re already dehydrated. Even if they drink water and eat dry food, they still won’t be getting enough water or nearly as much as those eating canned or homemade food.
Dry food is highly processed and designed to have a shelf life or 12-18 months! Imagine that! Buy it in January, and it’ll last all year long and into the following summer! This is the opposite of fresh! We all know fresh is best, having the highest life force, or prana, and nutrients available. Dry food has no prana, any enzymes that were present in the ingredients are killed off in the high heating processes. Also, preservatives such as BHA or BHT which have been shown to be cancer causing. The heat processing of grains also creates acrylamide, also shown to be cancer causing.
I could go on and on, but just one more thought. This thing about keeping food out and available all day. Cats are hunters. They’re designed to hunt, eat, then have time to digest and rest before hunting again. When dry food is left out all day, the door is open for overeating. We’ve all been there ourselves, right? That grazing thing we can do on the weekend, or when we’re bored. Well, you know how much better dinner tastes when we’re really truly hungry? The flavors taste better, and we feel so satisfied afterwards! It’s the same for our cats. They’re not designed to graze, and they’ll get a lot more out of their eating experience if they eat at regular times, not all day and night long.
Ok. I think I’ve hit the top points. Thank you for staying with me this far. I’ve heard so many stories of cats’ health failing due to dry food, and it’s such a simple thing to change. Of all the things pet lovers can do to enhance their animal’s health, switching foods has HUGE leverage! Do it! If your kitty is resistant, just know it’s like getting a sugar addict off their donut habit.
If you need some extra help with this, check out Cats Gone Healthy. Kim is a friend of mine, and she’s an expert in helping people switch over to healthier diets. Stay strong and keep trying new healthy foods!
I’d love to hear your stories! Please comment below!
P.S. And please don’t be fooled by healthy junk food. There is no such thing, it’s just a marketing ploy.
Thank you so very much for getting out this crucial info. Fortunately for our feline family, many years ago a holistic vet told me that. THE most important thing a cat owner could do was to feed WET food. “Cats run dehydrated” she said, and I really took it to heart.
Love to you and yours. 😉
Hi Carolyn! That’s so great your vet let you know that. I only learned about this in the past few years. it’s so important! All your animals are lucky indeed! Miss you and your beautiful smile!!! XO
Hi Elizabeth! Thank you for the shout out to me and Cats Gone Healthy! Yes, cats do get addicted to the carbs (carbohydrate junkie) and the flavor enhancers in dry food. Since they have such a keen sense of smell and they use smell to entice them to eat, when dry food is left out 24/7, it continually attracts them to the food and activates their digestive enzymes to get ready for the food, so they eat. (Sometimes, it’s due to boredom.) True, not all cats overeat when food is left out 24/7. But many do overeat, especially indoor cats, which is why so many cats struggle with excess weight and the side effects it causes. I could go on and on too, but I’ll stop here. There’s much more to be found over at Cats Gone Healthy! Keep up the wonderful work for our companions.
Such good points, Kim! Our kitties deserve the very best, and since they can’t shop for themselves and many don’t get a chance to hunt outside, it is up to us! I really appreciate your passion and knowledge on this important topic!
Elizabeth that was fantastic as usual. You spelled it out so everyone will understand and hopefully do the right thing for their kitties. This is so important. No one feels good when their tummy is filled with flavor enhancers and low grade carbs. Pet lovers will receive 10 times the purrr when they follow your advice. xo
Thanks for your support, Ehsida! 10 times the purrr sounds fantastic! I’m purring from Newbury Park! XO
Yes and yes. Dry cat food always bothered me, and you have put a voice to the whys. And here’s one more that bugs me about people expecting their cats to eat their dry food: Uh, it’s the SAME THING EVERY DAY… I can’t even imagine being happy about having to eat the exact same dry disgusting thing every day, yet that’s what people expect their cats to do. Then they shame them for eyeballing the human “food” when they’re eating. SMH.
Great post Elizabeth ♥ Now I’m gonna browse your previous posts. I didn’t know you blogged!!
Thanks so much, S.j.! That variety factor is a great point. Ick all around! I could have gone on and on, but I decided to stop! There are just so many reasons. I’d hate the same dry processed food every day, but you know they probably get addicted to it… gosh I hadn’t thought of that. Thank you for your support! Sometimes I blog every week, sometimes twice a month- all depending on what’s going on with my sessions and what’s up! <3