HEALTHY FOODS FOR KITTIES: A QUICK LIST!
Quickly, a recently-discovered, impartial, useful site for checking food content: catfooddb.com.
NO FISH FLAVOURS IN GENERAL : always read the ingredient list on a bag or can. English-language encyclopedias call cats “obligate carnivores” for a reason. The first 4-5 items are the main ones in descending order of percentage; if they include fish put it back. HOWEVER fish oil mentioned further down the list is fine because it contains Omega-3 fatty acids, great for skin and coat.
Fromm’s 4 no-grain formulas: Gamebird, Hasenduckenpfeffer, Chicken au Frommage, Beef Livattini; also Open Farm (ecologically appropriate); Instinct (ditto); Go!’s Chicken, Turkey and Duck ‘Carnivore’ formula. Acana’s no-grain formulas (chicken or duck) are OK, but check for excessive fish content.
Try freeze-dried and air-dried foods out on your cat(s); they don’t have thickening agents, chemicals etc.
Stella and Chewy’s (Chick Chick Chicken or Duck Duck Chicken), PureBites or Primal Instinct brands are stocked by Global Pet Foods and Pet Valu. The marvelous Feline Naturals are at Global, who can order anything when not immediately available.
Wet Food in miniature cartons : Open Farm, Stella & Chewy’s and Now brands. Really healthy!
Wet food cans
READ THE INGREDIENT LIST IN CANS! All are listed by law in descending order of presence and the first 4 or 5 are the main ones.. Those brands around the longest have thickeners like carrageenan (carcinogenic) and guar gum (diarrhea-causing in some cats) as well as cassia gum and xanthan gum (synthetic, apparently also carcinogenic). More recent arrivals on the market have safer thickeners like potato starch, montmorillonite clay and agar-agar, or else no thickener at all.
Instinct : Duck formula, Lamb formula, Chicken formula, Rabbit formula (this last is ‘limited ingredients’).
Applaws : Chicken breast in water, Chicken breast with cheese (ultrafine strips).
Healthy Meat : only meat – Duck, Lamb, Quail or Rabbit flavours. Single meat ingredient foods – but heavy in guar gum.
Fromms : all flavours except the few with fish.
Hounds and Gatos (mostly at Global Pet Foods) : Chicken and chicken liver, Turkey, Beef, Gamebird, Duck and duck liver.
Pure Vita : Chicken, Turkey, Beef flavours. Single meat ingredient foods.
Rawz : Chicken, duck, turkey, beef, rabbit etc. flavours.
Ziwi : all flavours but fish.
Boréal : Cobb chicken with turkey, with duck or with chicken liver. No thickener!
Go : Chicken paté, Turkey paté , Turkey-chicken-and-duck paté, Duck paté. Check the ingredient list and you’ll see the “Turkey” has considerable fish in it – don’t overfeed it!
Koha : Duck paté, Chicken paté, Turkey paté, French guineahen paté, Kangaroo paté. All single ingredient foods! Koha does stews too.
Merrick’s : Duck paté, Beef paté, chicken paté, Turducken, Grammy’s Pot Pie, Thanksgiving Dinner. This brand has carrageenan and is high in salt so as to make kitties like it best (just like all the other Nestle-Purina wet foods, e.g. Friskies and Fancy Feast).
Wellness Core : Anything except fish.
Ultra (Pet Valu in-house higher-level brand) : Chicken stew, Turkey stew.
All the above are available at Global, some at independent stores, and a few at Pet Valu. We feed them all; cats adore variety and quality wet foods are switchable without troublesome results. The favourite of the highest percentage of our cats – for what it’s worth – is Pet Valu’s Ultra Chicken Stew; however they get a several-meats-to-choose-from variety every day.
WET FOOD BRANDS TO AVOID
Because of chemicals, various cancer-linked substances including thickeners, meat by-products, food colouring, soy, too much corn and not enough meat, high salt (the better to addict) etc. (These foods are usually cheaper.) :
Friskies, Special Kitty, Fancy Feast, Whiskas, anything from Walmart, Meow Mix, Iams, the new ‘Lovibles’ from Pet Valu, a lot of Weruva brand flavours (they’re also the fish specialists…). Also: be careful about Blue (convicted in court for false ingredient-advertising). I avoid anything advertised on TV with lots of money because it mostly means a multi-national owner (e.g. Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Nestle-Purina, Royal Canin).
DRY FOOD BRANDS TO AVOID
for the same reasons as wet ones: Friskies, Special Kitty, Purina Cat Chow, Meow Mix, Beneful, Whiskas, Iams etc.
TREATS : no Temptations, nothing by Whiskas etc. ONLY packets clearly marked “natural” or “grain-free”. ALWAYS read the ingredient list!!! In Scarborough Muddy Paws in the Guild probably has the most researched, exquisite and one-of-a-kind treats. People food treats are fine – meat, cheese etc. (That’s what we do mostly!) 😊
Remember: always read the ingredient list for all foods wet and dry! You don’t want to see the word “by-product” - it refers to animal parts not allowed for human consumption (claws, hooves, skin etc.) that are liquefied in order to include them in (cheaper) dog and cat food.