A Scientific Take On Cat Nutrition By Dr. Rachel Boltz

Dr. Rachel Boltz is a veterinarian who specializes in feline health and uses an evidence-based approach.

That means that when a question comes up, Dr. Boltz thoroughly reviews existing scientific studies, using her extensive knowledge of feline physiology and anatomy to come up with the right answers.

When we approached her with questions about feline nutrition, Dr. Boltz provided us with a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the current scientific understanding of feeding solutions for cats.

Her answers cover general feeding issues. These issues include as dry vs. wet and also address specific health conditions where a more specialized approach may be needed.

The following article is not easy to digest (pardon the pun!). Dr. Boltz provides us with a lot of information - all of it evidence-based - and at a level which many cat owners will find fascinating and appealing.

If you're looking for a "bottom line" instructional message, feel free to skip to the cat feeding recommendations Dr. Boltz offers at the bottom of this article.

Table Of Contents:

  • Who is Dr. Rachel Boltz?
  • Dry vs. wet cat food - what does science actually tell us?
  • Weight concerns in spayed/neutered cats
  • What about overall water intake and hydration?
  • Feeding considerations in cats with kidney problems
  • Feeding considerations for cats with cystitis (bladder inflammation)
  • Feeding considerations in cats with hyperthyroidism
  • Feeding considerations in diabetic cats
  • Can a carbohydrate-rich diet cause diabetes in cats?
  • In conclusion: Dr. Boltz's Recommendations

Who is Dr. Rachel Boltz?

Dr. Boltz was born and raised in the Detroit metropolitan area of Michigan, USA.

She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from Cornell University in 1994. She also earned a Master’s Degree in Biological Sciences from Oakland University in 1997. Additionally, she graduated with honors from Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine in 2001.

After graduation, she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, USA, and entered general practice.

The Morris Animal Foundation’s “Thank Your Vet for a Healthy Pet” contest named her the Best Veterinarian in America for 2008.

Dr. Boltz became board certified through the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners in Feline Practice in 2009.

That same year, Dr. Boltz was a Don-Low Practitioner Fellow at the University of California’s College of Veterinary Medicine at Davis in Small Animal Medicine (2008-2009).

She recently graduated from UC Davis’s Hemodialysis Academy in 2016. She has authored several book chapters on feline infectious diseases and lectured on feline specific disease, handling and practice.

Understanding and addressing the uniqueness of feline medical practice, from low stress handling techniques to the treatment of species-specific disease, has defined Dr. Boltz’s career.

Dr. Boltz lives in the Peninsula Bay Area of California with her family of cats.

The cat featured in the photo (his name is Charlie) has been with her since her second year of veterinary school. Dr. Boltz is associated with Silicon Valley Veterinary Specialists located in San Jose, California.

Continue reading the article, as I hand the virtual microphone to Dr. Boltz herself so she can answer the questions we presented her with.


Dry vs. wet cat food - what does science actually tell us?

Cat food in bowl on a wooden backgrounds.

There is no consistent evidence that wet food diets are superior to dry food diets for healthy, weight-appropriate cat.

Canned foods are in general lower in calories than equivalent dry food diets. This makes their use desirable in overweight cats as a means of weight loss and control.

There are studies that suggest the relative lack of carbohydrates in canned diets is superior for weight loss (and most of these studies are in diabetic cats). But, a few more recent studies have concluded total calorie intake, and not necessarily nutrient proportion, has the greatest effect on weight loss in healthy cats.

Weight concerns in spayed/neutered cats

Care of an injured animal after veterinary surgery, castration and sterilization. A cat in a medical blanket after surgery eats food from a pet bowl. Pet care, nutrition and care after surgery

An issue of concern has been the effects of neutering on the metabolism of cats.

Much work has been done to define the consequences of neutering.

Evidence clearly demonstrates neutered cats (male and female) have lower energy requirements than their intact counterparts and so tend toward obesity. Simply put, neutered cats require fewer calories per day.

Food Formulation and Weight Control

A general statement can be made that if a healthy cat is not overfed, the formulation of food is not critical. Whether it's canned or dry, it doesn't significantly impact weight control.

The energy density of the food must be balanced with the feeding recommendation of the manufacturer.

If a cat is fed less than the manufacturer’s guideline for its current weight, it may not receive required daily nutrients. This includes essential nutrients like taurine, for example.

For this reason, significant weight loss is best achieved using canned food. Alternatively, one can choose specially formulated dry foods made for weight loss.

Using such diets for weight loss is preferred to ensure that the nutritional requirements are met along with calorie restriction.

Satiety Value and Wet Foods

Many point to the higher satiety value of wet/moist foods. Studies exist in humans and dogs that support this notion.

"Satiety value" loosely refers to the perception of fullness. Therefore, it indicates satisfaction and a lack of “hunger” for a period of time.

This appears to be a good argument for the use of canned food in cats in a weight loss regimen.

This does not mean that feeding wet food is the only way to effect weight loss for a cat. It may not even be the best way for every cat.

Several studies have compared calorie-matched wet and dry food preparations. These studies showed no difference in weight loss or apparent satiety of the test subjects.

Other studies have concluded that canned diets result in less “begging behavior,” which was taken as an expression of hunger.

Satiety is difficult to accurately assess in feline test subjects. Therefore, the effect of wet versus dry food on a client and their cat may not be adequately predicted by these studies.

In short, wet food theoretically should make cats feel full for a longer period of time than a calorie equivalent portion of dry food. What we do not know for certain is that it actually does.

What about overall water intake and hydration?

top view of a cream colored maine coon cat eating dry and wet pet food from feeding dish

Claims that canned foods boost total daily water intake relative to dry foods are frequently discussed. In fact, studies do reveal that total daily water intake in cats fed canned food is greater than those fed dry food.

Healthy cats that consume dry foods drink more. At least, that is what most studies show when compared to cats that consume wet food.

Overall, a cat on a canned food diet takes in more total daily water. This is true even though a cat on dry food drinks more.

Hydration Status and Renal Water Conservation

What is not known is if the overall hydration status of a healthy cat is significantly altered by the water concentration of the foodstuff. Additionally, it's uncertain if renal water conservation is significantly affected.

It is also not known how many healthy cats actually fail to meet daily water requirements on a dry food diet with free access to fresh water.

For the healthy cat with well functioning kidneys, consumption of dry or canned diets results in similar urine concentrations.

A study that objectively tracks hydration status of healthy cats on canned versus dry food diets is not known to this author.

Such a study would be useful in assessing the utility of canned food in healthy cats from a water homeostasis standpoint.

No Known Renoprotective Effect of Increased Water Intake

There is also no study (to the author's knowledge) that demonstrates a renoprotective effect of increased total water intake above daily requirements in a healthy cat.

A normal functioning feline kidney operates de novo to highly conserve water.

Cats in general require less water than most mammals (about 60ml/kg/day), and they also have a lower thirst response than most mammals.

The beneficial effect of increased water intake above daily requirements with canned versus dry food in the healthy cat is not known.

That said, for healthy cats not meeting their total daily water intake requirements, a canned diet may be the better way to feed.

This author is not aware of a study that describes or even suggests what percent of healthy cats that consume a dry food diet fail to meet daily water requirements (and who would be, presumably, sub-clinically and chronically dehydrated).

The effects of chronic dehydration, in general, are variable and nonspecific.

In humans, chronic dehydration has been implicated in: fatigue, constipation, blood pressure alterations, acid base imbalances, elevated cholesterol, skin disorders, asthma, allergies, digestive disorders, joint stiffness, bladder/kidney disorders, and weight gain.

It is not known if the same occurs in cats.

In constipated cats, an all-dry food diet is thought to contribute to the development of constipation in susceptible cats.

A canned food diet, often with additional water added to the meal, is a cornerstone of therapy for these patients.

Feeding considerations in cats with kidney problems

Close-up of a cat eating tuna fillet food from white ceramic plate.

Let's look at cats with kidney problems, such as in chronic renal failure (CRF).

In these cases, the kidney itself is unable to absorb water back from urine and so the cat loses it. The result is dilute urine and a clinically dehydrated cat.

Such cats are in negative water balance and so they drink more (because their brain signals them to by causing thirst).

Hydration Challenges and Responses

However, owing to a low thirst response that worsens with age, and in concert with increased water loss through the kidney, these cats are not able to rehydrate by consuming water alone.

It is generally the case that such cats require parenteral means to achieve adequate hydration (such as SQ or IV fluids), and food preparations that boost overall total water intake have a place in nutritional support of these patients.

The majority of prescription renal foods available for cats have a variety of canned preparations to entice cats to eat them.

These diets have relatively low protein content, boosted potassium, low phosphorus content, and (in general) a highly digestible carbohydrate source.

Recommendations to add water to the wet food, ensuring adequate access to fresh water and the use of subcutaneous fluids are all meant to address the heightened hydration needs of cats with renal disease.

Advantages of Canned Food for CRF Cats

Evidence supports canned food consumption increases daily water consumption over cats that eat dry food.

This makes canned food (whether OTC or prescription diets) for renal failure cats desirable even if the canned food alone is not expected to correct the dehydration caused by decreased kidney function.

Protein Consumption and Kidney Problems

Protein restriction is as an important treatment point for CRF (chronic renal failure) cats, as protein catabolism results in nitrogenous waste that must be excreted (in large part) by the kidneys.

Dysfunctional kidneys are not able to excrete these compounds as efficiently and so they build up in the blood. This leads to a uremic state, which (among other effects) makes the cat feel sick.

Protein restriction is therefore said to maintain quality of life.

However, the protein requirements of cats over 11 years old actually increase over time. This age coincides with an increased incidence of renal failure.

In some aged cats, feeding a diet formulated for growing kittens may be the more appropriate way to feed.

For example, a 14-year-old cat with loss of muscle mass and stage 2 CRF may actually do better with a canned kitten food. This can be combined with a phosphorus binder rather than a canned renal food.

Almost all prescription renal diets are protein restricted in both the wet and dry formulations.

Recent formulations have increased calorie content by adding more fat, which is helpful for weight maintenance in these patients who tend to lose weight (especially in the later stages of CRF). However, fat is not a building block for muscle, only protein is.

Some cats may need more protein than others, depending on their degree of disease and age- related catabolism.

Therefore, the notion of decreasing protein consumption of every cat with renal failure is not always the best option. Blanket statements about how to feed every CRF cat are impossible to make.

Tailored Dietary Recommendations for CRF Cats

The best diet recommendations for CRF cats are suggested by the stage of renal failure (see www.iris-kidney.com) and concurrent disease states.

In general, phosphorus control has been shown to prolong the life of affected cats. For cats with IRIS Stage 2 and early 3 CRF, phosphorous may be the more important nutrient to control.

Phosphorus control is accomplished by feeding diets low in phosphorous and the use of phosphate binders.

All renal diets are formulated with low phosphorous. This makes them a good alternative to consider, even if the protein levels are lower.

Feeding considerations for cats with cystitis (bladder inflammation)

A large, well-fed British lazy cat lies next to the food. The kitten is depressed and sad, does not want to eat its food.

Canned diets have been advocated to manage cystitis cases in cats. The enhanced water intake is thought to encourage urinary dilution.

This is true of canned diets formulated for cats with urinary bladder disease. This includes obstructive or non-obstructive cystitis with or without crystalluria.

Prescription diets use various methods to prevent super-saturation of elements within the urine by promoting renal diuresis.

Though both wet and dry formulations are available, the canned food more reliably leads to urinary dilution. Most OTC diets do not approximate the prescription formations, but are better than more standard maintenance diets.

In most cases, feeding OTC wet food (without added water) does not decrease urine concentration. The concentration remains above 1.035, which is the recommended threshold to prevent bladder stone formation.

That said, cats that eat the prescription dry food often do not reach that threshold either.

If urinary dilution is the main goal, especially in cats with repeat bouts of obstructive cystitis with crystalluria, canned urinary prescription diets are recommended. These diets have the best chance of achieving the goal.

Feeding considerations in cats with hyperthyroidism

Sick cat refuses to eat food

Daily water requirements have been shown to increase in cats with untreated hyperthyroidism.

The induced hyper-metabolic state caused by excess thyroid hormones results in both increased water loss and decreased conservation of water through the GI tract, lungs and kidneys by direct and indirect actions.

As a result, the cat shows signs of polyuria (PU=urinating more) and polydipsia (PD=drinking more).

Mechanism of Dehydration in Hyperthyroid Cats

The exact mechanism of PU/PD in the hyperthyroid cat has not been conclusively defined, but the combined result is often clinical dehydration.

Additionally, the thirst response of cats is not robust, and this declines as cats age. Increased water loss and decreased consumption make it very hard for untreated hyperthyroid cats to accomplish water and fluid balance.

Benefits of Canned Diets for Hyperthyroid Cats

For these patients, canned diets with 70-80% water would have expected benefit by increasing total daily water intake.

It is likely that relying on water intake from food will not be enough for the untreated, hyperthyroid cat. Access to water for additional supplementation may also be insufficient to meet their increased water requirements.

These cats usually need exogenous fluid therapy.

The good news is that treatment of hyperthyroidism with return of normal thyroid function helps to bring the cat back to a state of adequate hydration. This lowers the daily water requirement back to a steady state.

Assessing Water Requirements in Cats

A cat with uncomplicated hyperthyroidism that receives medication to control the disease may or may not benefit from a canned food diet. This is especially true if their water requirements revert to normal after treatment.

This begs the question: How do we know what a cat's requirements are in real life? Additionally, how can we predict the change as time moves on?

The best alternative for monitoring a cat’s clinical hydration status is to assess for signs suggestive of dehydration. These signs include skin turgor, coat quality, gum moisture, etc.

However, these signs can be subtle in the mildly dehydrated cat. Perhaps a “best guess” is the only realistic answer.

A cat with kidney disease, diabetes mellitus or hyperthyroidism that is PU/PD should be assumed to be dehydrated.

In that case, increasing daily water consumption above the present water intake is helpful.

Any means of accomplishing this, with canned food, supplemental water, or parenteral fluid administration, should be considered.

It is worth mentioning that canned diets have been implicated in the etiology of hyperthyroidism. They may contain thyroid disruptor chemicals (goitrogens), improper iodine levels, or other nutrient imbalances.

To date, no studies have demonstrated a direct correlation between specific environmental or food-sourced exposure and the development of hyperthyroidism.

There is a general feeling that feline hyperthyroidism has a multi-modal etiology. It cannot be simplified to a single causative agent.

More research is needed to further define the role of nutrition in the pathogenesis of this disease. This certainly complicates our questions of how best to feed a hyperthyroid cat.

Feeding considerations in diabetic cats

Persian cat boring food on concrete floor

Diabetic cats pose a special feeding challenge. Most diabetic cats have Type 2 diabetes mellitus, which is a disease centered on glucose toxicity.

Dietary modification is the key to successful management for all diabetic cats, whether or not they require exogenous insulin.

Role of Carbohydrates in Diabetic Cats' Diet

There is copious literature on studies of diabetic cats and the effects of a high versus low carbohydrate diet.

The work of Dr. Deborah Greco has greatly influenced our knowledge on this subject. Her research has shaped our current understanding of the nutritional connection to successful management of diabetes mellitus.

She pioneered the notion that all pre-diabetic and diabetic cats should eat canned food.

When Dr. Greco first started her research, there was no such thing as protein rich, low carbohydrate kibble.

Therefore the only low-carb alternative was canned diets.

Insights from Dr. Greco’s Research

Her research repeatedly showed that virgin diabetic cats fed a canned food diet lost weight. Additionally, a high proportion of them either never needed insulin or were able to discontinue its use.

Central to her initial conclusions was the belief that a low carbohydrate diet is crucial. This diet reverses glucose toxicity and, therefore, diabetes.

Over time, that conclusion has wobbled somewhat.

Later research, both her own and by others, has revealed that it's the relative lower calories of canned food diets that's crucial. The subsequent weight loss is the most important determining factor for blood glucose regulation in overweight cats.

Currently, there are many high protein dry formulas available. These were not available in the early days of Dr. Greco’s research.

The take-home message is that calorie control is essential. Regardless of protein level, weight loss and maintenance are the major intervention points for control of feline diabetes.

Understanding Diet Components

It is important to understand the difference between a “low carbohydrate diet” and a “high protein diet.”

A “low carbohydrate diet” can either be high protein, high fat or both. If calories are not supplied by carbohydrates, then fat or protein has to take up the bulk.

Many “high protein” dry foods are in fact high in both protein and fat. The result is that many high protein dry foods are very high in calories.

If portion control is not strictly exercised, cats on these types of dry food diets (whether prescription or OTC) will gain significant weight.

For the average domestic cat, weight gain is not the goal.

Canned diets are the most reliable source of a low carbohydrate meal that derives most of its calories from protein. As a result, they do not supply an over-abundance of calories.

Comparing Diets Between Humans and Cats

Protein and carbohydrate content is important in controlling daily blood sugar peaks in diabetic human patients.

Dietary fat is important in calorie and weight control. All three act in concert to determine moment-to-moment and overall glucose control.

Protein consumption, in general, does not spark a significant insulin response, and so a protein rich, low fat diet is the cornerstone therapy in the management of diabetes.

Human diabetic patients are counseled to significantly limit ingestion of simple sugars in favor of fiber and other complex carbohydrates.

The glycemic index of carbohydrates in food is a central issue to diabetes management in humans, and the role of fiber to slow carbohydrate digestion and blunt insulin peaks has been well established.

Glycemic index, per se, is not addressed in feline diabetes. The carbohydrate source of many cat foods contains the starch portion of plants like rice, wheat, oats and corn.

Many pet foods now use whole and raw grains instead of the refined product. This would likely alter the glycemic impact of a “carbohydrate rich” diet.

Role of Fiber in Diabetic Cats' Diet

Indeed, prior to the advent and popularization of “high protein, low carbohydrate” diets, fiber-rich low fat or calorie controlled diets were the foods recommended for feline diabetic patients.

One study in cats revealed that while diabetic cats fed a high fiber (12% fiber, dry matter) versus low fiber (1% fiber, dry matter) diet did have lower blood glucose values, there was no significant difference in glycosylated hemoglobin concentrations or in insulin requirements between the groups.

In contrast, in a study that compared diabetic cats fed a low carbohydrate-low fiber canned diet with those fed a moderate carbohydrate –high fiber canned diet, subjects in both groups had significant decreases in serum glucose and fructosamine levels over a 16-week period, but significantly more cats who received the low carb-low fiber diet reverted to an insulin free state.

These studies suggest that the role of fiber in the regulation of blood sugar in the diabetic cat may not be approximated by the effects noted in humans.

Can a carbohydrate-rich diet cause diabetes in cats?

Cat eats dry food from a large bowl

So the question is: Does feeding an obligate carnivore a carbohydrate rich diet (like standard dry kibble) predispose them to developing diabetes?

Feline Evolution and Natural Diet

The introduction in S. Thiess et al’s. study (S. Thiees et al. Effect of high carbohydrate and high fat diet on plasma metabolite levels and on iv glucose tolerance test in intact and neutered male cats, Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery (2004) 6, 207-218) nicely summarizes the general agreement and understanding regarding the unique feline metabolism and natural dietary adaptations:

“The cat during its evolutionary development has tightly adapted to a diet high in protein (~54% of DM) and low in carbohydrates (~8% of DM) (Scott, 1981), with its natural diet consisting of food of animal origin only (Lindemann, 1953; Rohrs, 1987).

This adaptation is well reflected by its unique metabolism of nutrients, which makes the cat a true and strict carnivore.

Comparing Feline and Omnivorous Diets

When compared to the omnivorous dog, cats have lower activities of carbohydrate digestive enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract (Kienzle, 1993a,c), slower glucose incorporation rate into glycogen (Ballard, 1965) and elongated glucose elimination time in the glucose tolerance test (Kienzle, 1989).

These facts imply that the cat as a carnivorous animal is not well adapted to readily metabolize large glucose loads.

On a typical carnivorous diet, which is low in carbohydrates, the feline liver is able to provide sufficient amounts of glucose to fuel the glucose dependent tissues of the body (Ballard, 1965).

The high protein content of the diet supplies the steadily high active gluconeogenic pathways with a continuous source of substrates (Rogers et al., 1977).

On the basis of all these facts, no dietary requirement for carbohydrates was established for cats (MacDonald et al., 1984).

Contrasting Commercial Cat Foods

On the other hand commercial cat foods often contain considerable amounts of carbohydrates, mainly as starch (De Wilde and D’Heer, 1982; Morris et al., 1977).

According to the carnivore connection theory of Brand Miller and Colagiuri (1994), unnaturally high carbohydrate intake in carnivores--especially that with high glycemic index--may contribute to the development of diabetes mellitus.

Such diets, through evoking higher postprandial insulin responses might lead to over- stimulation of the pancreatic b cells and to their exhaustion and eventually to diabetes mellitus…”

In the above-named study, the authors found no difference in the response to either diet between the neutered and intact test subjects.

After a six-week feeding trial, cats fed the high fat diet (5.5g +/- 1.4 per 100g food, compared to 2.8 +/-0.8 g per 100g food) had significantly higher triglyceride and cholesterol blood levels, a slightly elongated glucose clearance and a statistically significant reduction in acute insulin response to glucose than those fed the high carbohydrate diet.

This suggests that diets rich in fat may diminish pancreatic insulin secretion and overall response to glucose, which may predispose these animals to developing diabetes.

A plethora of similar studies in humans have led to the current understanding of glucose toxicity and the diabetic state.

It may be that some of the concepts supported in the human literature are applicable to feline diabetic patients, even if one species is not a perfect model for the other.

In conclusion: Dr. Boltz's Recommendations

In this author’s opinion, the best way to feed a cat is to feed the best version of what the cat will eat. The foremost concern is that the cat eats. If the cat does not eat what you want it to eat, then feed it something that it will eat.

The next concern is the quality of food. When I think about cat food and pet food companies, I echo the thoughts of Dr. Mark E. Pederson (published on his blog, www.animalendocrine.com):

“For cat owners, I recommend that they choose two or more pet food companies known to have a good track record and feed those foods.

I also choose foods that carry an AAFCO feeding claim to be complete and balanced for an adult or senior cat. I would be very careful in choosing a smaller company as the primary supplier for your cat's food.

Small pet food companies are less likely to have veterinary nutrition specialists on their staff, and therefore, their diets may not always balanced and could result in nutritional deficiencies.

In addition to rotating brands, I also like to feed a variety of different flavors. Why? I believe it's safer to rotate between brands because companies formulate their diets differently.

It also helps to determine which brands and flavors and foods the cat prefers; since diet preferences may change over time, varying the food helps maintain a good appetite, especially as the cat ages.”

Third, I consider formulations (canned versus dry). Foremost in this consideration is if the cat likes canned food, or if it prefers dry food.

With rare exception, I do not feel that cats that prefer dry food have to be forced into eating wet food.

My exceptions are: overweight diabetic cats whose blood glucose in not well-managed and cats with a repeat history of obstructive bladder stones where a dilute urinary concentration cannot be achieved otherwise.

In general, I guide my patients to find balance. I personally feed both wet and dry foods daily, by several large pet food manufacturers.

I feed a set amount to each cat per day and monitor his or her intake. I have cats in different life stages, from two years to 17.5 years old.

I feed my two-year-old different formulations than my 17.5-year-old and in different proportions of wet to dry (according to their preferences).

Dr. Rachel's cats

I encourage each of you to educate yourselves (which by reading this you clearly are trying to), seek guidance from professionals, and take it all with a grain of salt.

Then go home and offer your cat foods that work for you both. For more science-based information about feline nutrition, try this online booklet too.


Note: We may get commissions for purchases made through links on this page.

14 comments on “A Scientific Take On Cat Nutrition By Dr. Rachel Boltz

Joanna April 2, 2023
So much misinformation in this article and unfortunately it's reflective of vets' ignorance on cat nutrition. Dry food is heavily processed with no moisture and full of carbs, when cats need the exact opposite: meat diet full of moisture. That is their natural diet not some vitamin infused dry biscuit that does not even resemble food and has to be sprayed with flavour to make it appealing to cats. Cats are obligated carnivores, same as lions. Lions are fed fresh meat at the zoos not kibbles full of corn wheat and soy. If any human health professional told us that processed food is good for us we'd lough at them and here are these vets promoting this absurd idea, supported by false marketing of the pet companies who promote this narrative. The idea that restricting protein helps with CKD is outdated, restricting the phosphorus is what helps. So sad to see these uninformed vets out there and unsuspecting cat parents putting their trust in them
Sa'ida Maryam September 28, 2020
Hi to TCS and members I hope this message reaches Dr. Boltz or someone who might know the research made on the 2020 pet foods , especially marketed for (The sterilized cat). I recently visited a local pet store , in France that gets most of their cat food from Royal Canin , Whiska and a few European manufactures . 90% of the cat food on display are labeled for (The Sterilized Cat.). As a customer I have seen labels such as (Hairball Control , Senior Cat , Kitten, and that type of selection for cats. But, this New pet food really surprised me. I just hope someone can point me in the right direction about this NEW pet food. It appears all brands that carry this label are dry cat food. Also, I hope this will help other cat guardians and owners when they start seeing these NEW label, as I am sure these manufacturers will target the USA .someday. Please feel free to let me know whether I should place this as a new thread or not.
    Furballsmom November 28, 2020
    Hi Sa'ida, I'm glad you registered with The Cat Site and posted about that food, thank you :)!
Gulf-Coast-Gatos December 2, 2017
Interesting enlightning articles. I like to point that when we do feed our cats and kittens dry food we like to give them a good choice of dry food (imperative) always add water on their dry ffod so they will be able to have their proper amount of H2O, it really helps them.
PushPurrCatPaws August 6, 2017
I really enjoyed delving into this article. Thank you.
maureen brad June 14, 2017
ldg said:
A movie, Pet FOOleD, 1 hour 10 minutes, was out this past January (2017). It is not a hype-based movie, it just takes a look, through the eyes of two holistic veterinarians, at the problems with regulation in the pet food industry. The bottom line is that pet food is being manufactured and marketed based on the ingredients companies want to use rather than using only ingredients that are healthful for our pets. This is a very important point, as evidence-based science means published studies. And it is the pet food companies that are doing food and ingredient studies. What gets lost is not what our pets can eat, but what they should eat. Dr. Becker made what I feel is a very insightful comment: the pet food industry of today is like the tobacco industry of 1930s. Doctors recommended smoking, advertisements provided lists of doctors that smoked. But the health problems associated with smoking became overwhelming. Finally, the pet insurance companies are starting to conduct research, as the top reasons for vet visits all seem to be diet induced problems, and quite avoidable if our pets are fed appropriately for their species. Nutrition is not just micronutrients - those have a context. Where they come from matters. Evidence-based medicine also sees this, in the utilization of certain fats from animals vs plants, in the utilization of vitamin D from animals vs plants, etc. The insurance companies, at least, seem to understand that if we feed our cats like the hypercarnivores they are, with their low thirst drive, there won't be as many health problems driving insurance claims.
I agree. The Pet Food Industry has no motivation to fund an accurate study, why would they? They make so much money.I do not want to feed my cats road kill, rendered God-knows-what , and diseased farm animals.I would not eat a diet of just overly processed cereal and remain healthy. Why people believe a cat should is beyond me. Fact is a cat's digestive system is the same as it was 1000 years ago, before this fad of overly processed foods.
Anne March 8, 2017
Many of the studies referenced by Dr. Boltz are not sponsored by the pet food industry. Universities have their own budget for research and a scientist would be foolish to publish anything but established evidence-based study.   Are there bad studies? Absolutely. They just don't last for long under the pressure of peer review. We've come a long way from the 1930s and even then, the tobacco industry couldn't do too much. The evidence that was put forward by science was conclusive.   I agree that there's a long way to go with the pet food industry. I appreciate the pressure from consumers. It's crucial. I think we should all encourage further research and improvement of cat food. I just think so-called holistic vets come up with their own "alternative facts" if you like, and these are driven by biases, including commercial ones. Mercola has a lot of vested interests here, and as far as I can tell, most of these holistic vets either work for him or are otherwise connected (Dr. Becker is often on his website recommending his products).   To clarify - I think feeding homemade/raw is a legitimate choice for cat oweners. It's just not a suitable solution for everyone for a variety of reasons and it's not risk-free or even all that "natural". 
maureen brad March 8, 2017
I always value the opinion of a vet. I have to say though that I believe a raw diet is the best way to go. LDG, thanks for the heads up on that movie. I will look for it.
ldg March 8, 2017
A movie, Pet FOOleD, 1 hour 10 minutes, was out this past January (2017). It is not a hype-based movie, it just takes a look, through the eyes of two holistic veterinarians, at the problems with regulation in the pet food industry. The bottom line is that pet food is being manufactured and marketed based on the ingredients companies want to use rather than using only ingredients that are healthful for our pets. This is a very important point, as evidence-based science means published studies. And it is the pet food companies that are doing food and ingredient studies. What gets lost is not what our pets can eat, but what they should eat. Dr. Becker made what I feel is a very insightful comment: the pet food industry of today is like the tobacco industry of 1930s. Doctors recommended smoking, advertisements provided lists of doctors that smoked. But the health problems associated with smoking became overwhelming. Finally, the pet insurance companies are starting to conduct research, as the top reasons for vet visits all seem to be diet induced problems, and quite avoidable if our pets are fed appropriately for their species. Nutrition is not just micronutrients - those have a context. Where they come from matters. Evidence-based medicine also sees this, in the utilization of certain fats from animals vs plants, in the utilization of vitamin D from animals vs plants, etc. The insurance companies, at least, seem to understand that if we feed our cats like the hypercarnivores they are, with their low thirst drive, there won't be as many health problems driving insurance claims.
kim23 January 3, 2017
Thank you for writing about nutrition in cats. As a new cat owner, I am finding this subject very complex.  I am reading everything and think I have selected products that my very fussy cat will eat and are considered healthy. I have donated several cases of cat food along the way.
mrsty October 27, 2016
It might be interesting to have a holistic veterinarian write an article on their thoughts of cat nutrition, as a comparison.
Anne September 25, 2016
You're right, @Tarasgirl06, lots of opinions out there. Which is why I'm glad Dr. Boltz provided us not just with her own personal recommendations but with such a thorough review of what current scientific studies actually tell us.
tarasgirl06 September 25, 2016
An interesting article -- it seems every cat loving person has a different take on what is, and isn't, good to feed cats.  Dr. Boltz's cats certainly are beautiful and I wish them long, happy, healthy, loved lives!

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