The fundamental reason you shouldn’t
feed kibble to a cat.
We’ve all been there haven’t we? Stuck in the aisle of the pet food store trying to choose the best quality food for our furry felines. They sleep there on the couch all day looking for all the world like an angelic fluffy cushion, but at dinner time (or 5am breakfast time) the inner hunter emerges and they demand what they want. And if we don’t have their ideal meal planned that day, they let us know about it.
So here we are again, staring at rows upon rows of meals for cats,. Trying desperately to reconcile the taste demands of our ‘Lord and Master’ with our desire to feed them food that will keep them well. Being influenced by our budget, and that nagging doubt you’ll never find the ‘best food’ anyway. Does it even exist?
Well I’m here to tell you that if you are looking on the shelves of the pet food store, then no. You are not going to find the ‘best food’.
Because we all intrinsically know that good quality, fresh and wholesome food is not found in a bag or a can in the long-life storage area of the store. Real food goes off. Fresh food needs to be chilled or frozen. Fresh food is not ‘convenient’.
Why do cats need fresh food?
Our furry feline friends are highly evolved as master hunters. They are obligate carnivores who are so successful in their hunting prowess that they have discarded all other nutritional adaptive measures that would mean they can eat a varied diet. They are finely tuned to eat a diet consisting of small animals, several times per day. These might be mice, rats, lizards, rabbits, frogs, insects and birds and yes, they do eat the gut contents of small prey. They do not eat vegetables, grains or grass.
This evolutionary elitism means that cats are designed to eat raw diets, raw meat, organs, bones, skin and feathers.
Unlike dogs who have adapted to living with humans and eating their food, cats have done the opposite. They have adapted humans to live with them and to serve them in this life. They tolerate our very existence merely because we can procure food for them. And we love them more and more because of it!!
Convenience based kibble diets are so far removed from the natural diet of the cat that they are actually not recognised by the cat as food. These foods need chemical additives, called palatants, to make this food appear edible. Pyrophosphates (‘cat crack’) are chemicals that are sprayed onto the surface of cat kibble to encourage them to eat the stuff. This chemical is so addictive that when cats get hooked on it. They crave it more and more – looking for all the world like they are enjoying their food! Unfortunately predisposing them to obesity, diabetes and inflammatory diseases.
Have a read of this white paper from AFB International on “The Chemistry of Kibble”. It is well worth the read. (This information is freely available on their website).