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Do You Think A Major Pet Food Industry Overhaul Will Happen Anytime Soon?

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by tabbysia, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. tabbysia

    tabbysia Thread Starter TCS Member Super Cat

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    With all of the stories about grain-free food potentially causing heart disease in dogs and some cats, do you think that the pet food companies will take notice and do something about it, namely remove ingredients like peas and potatoes that could be causing the problems? Maybe they could include more MEAT instead, or could we be seeing pet food companies start touting ingredients like "whole grain brown rice", "healthy oatmeal," "glorious gluten," and "all-natural nutritious corn" (:lol2:) instead of proudly proclaiming that their foods are grain-free?
     

  2. recurringecho

    recurringecho TCS Member Young Cat

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    That would be my worst nightmare. Companies going back to their grain-y ways, ugh. If any change were to happen (and that's a big if), I think the higher end companies will end up adding more meat and become even more expensive, while other companies will add more grain, attracting customers that can't afford the higher end of the market. I don't think grain-free will truly disappear, but I'm being optimistic. If they add grain, do you think they'll even remove the other fillers lol
     
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  3. Talien

    Talien TCS Member Super Cat

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    We'll most likely just see different filler added. There MIGHT be some higher quality canned foods with just meat, but it would probably be over $2 a can.

    More than likely we'd probably just see more people shifting toward the commercial raw food.
     
    fiorya and 1 bruce 1 purraised this.

  4. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I don't think so for cat food, but, Hill's discontinued its Ideal Balance line which were all grain-free but then made a grain-free cat food under its Science Diet. Hill's® Science Diet® Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Grain Free cat food See how they have named it "Sensitive Stomach and Skin", that's what they highlight, whereas with Ideal Balance they have highlighted that being grain-free in the tone that was the natural way. When boutique brands they investigate got criticized for that specifically, using "natural/biologically appropriate" language Hill's changed it too.

    We don't have in Europe still but I realized last month Purina/Pro Plan has doubled its grain-free options for cat food in the USA. Also has some "wheat-free" options or other specific grains. I wish they did the same out of the USA.

    Also this fear (about cat food at least) doesn't really seem to be a big deal outside of the USA. Most people outside of the USA have not heard about it anyway. Not to say we shouldn't be worried or anything but there are even other factors too. There is more skepticism about the USA system, especially health care.
     

  5. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Top Cat

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    No, as long as consumers continue supporting and buying products from the big names (Purina and Mars), there will be little competition in the market and no need for pet foods to carry better quality ingredients. Companies also won’t bother to create better quality foods if the FDA continues to not do it’s job of regulating the pet food industry. It’s basically the Wild West. Terms such as “natural,” “organic,” and even “chicken” on pet food products are undefined and meaningless. Unfortunately the FDA doesn’t seem to care.

    We also have to consider that the vast majority of pet owners will not spend good money on their pet’s food. So companies that use good quality ingredients won’t be able to survive because they won’t be able to make up their cost.
     

  6. She's a witch

    She's a witch TCS Member Super Cat

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    Noo, most people choose not to know what they feed anyway and the price and availability will continue to be the factor. The companies will find a way to manufacture the food cheaply and people will buy it. A lot has been said about how harmful processed food is for humans, has anything changed in that regard?

    I feel it is a big deal everywhere among people who truly care what they feed their friends, like on this forum. Most people in the US probably don't care that much. And the same in Europe, you'll find communities truly interested in good feeding, but the most would probably buy Whiskas in the supermarket.
    Re Purina, it's not a big pet food company in Europe, luckily, although the widespread alternative that is super popular is probably even worse (Mars food). But luckily we do have smaller, great, local brands (mostly German) that make great food in acceptable prices.
     

  7. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Top Cat

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    Most friends I have with cats roll their eyes at me when I talk about feline nutrition. They really don't care. The people on these forums are a minority. Most people see cats as cute little pets and nothing more.
     
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  8. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I don't know. Definitely far less people outside of the USA heard about this recent FDA investigation than the people in the USA. In Turkey it didn't make the news or anything so someone must come across to it online somewhere AND be fluent in English to read.

    Honestly more and more I think Europe is even worse with pet food regulations. They don't even write ingredients but use "category labeling." I recently had an argument on Twitter about this with a pet food company - they write ingredients in the USA and use the same ingredients. They don't in Europe because EU allows category labeling without going into details. Maybe also why I had the worst experience with a pet food with, I hate to say it but, Italy's Farmina. But there are some awesome brands! Hima's favorite and the wet food I feel most comfortable with is from Naturea and it's from Portugal. :-)
     

  9. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Top Cat

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    It's the same thing in the US. Terms in ingredient lists are undefined.

    I honestly can't think of a single country where pet food regulations are enforced and where you can be sure that pet food companies are being transparent and using quality ingredients.
     

  10. She's a witch

    She's a witch TCS Member Super Cat

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    I had exactly opposite experience! I miss so much European labeling, as the % system EU uses is much more visible than first/second/third ingredients. From my experience imported cans labels the ingredients in a weird way (like Purina's Gourmet=fancy Feast, for example).
    These are the ingredients labels of the food I used to give to my cats:
    Catz Finefood: Kangaroo: 70% kangaroo (consisting of hearts, meat, liver), 28.8% cooking broth, 1% minerals, 0.2% borage oil. Nutritional additives /kg: Vitamin D3 (200 IU), taurine (1500mg), zinc as zinc sulfate monohydrate (15mg), manganese manganese-II-sulphate monohydrate (3mg), iodine as calcium Iodate anhydrous (0.75mg).
    GranataPet: Game & Chicken:
    Chicken (55% incl. muscle meat, stock, liver), game (42% incl. muscle meat, heart, stock), salmon oil (1%), pomegranate seeds (1%), minerals (1%). Nutritional additives: Vitamin D3 (200 IU), taurine (1500mg), zinc [as zinc sulphate monohydrate] (15mg), manganese [as manganese-(II)-sulphate monohydrate] (3mg), iodine [as calcium iodate anhydrous] (0.75mg).
    Power of Nature: Composition: Rabbit meat (95%), Vegetables (Squash, Broccoli and Carrots) min. 4%, Vegetable oil, Taurine, Sea Salt, Minerals, Vitamins. Nutritive additives per KG: Vitamin A 3000 IE, D3 350 IE, E 40 IE, Copper (Sulfate-Pentahydrate) 0,1 mg, Taurine 2500 mg

    Comparing the labels even for human food, the US seems to be less strict than EU ones.... Not mentioning the "proprietary" concept that prohibits you from knowing exact formulas of some products.
     
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  11. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Really? Purina writes ingredients on their ISA website but not on their Turkey or the UK. Human cosmetic brands do the same by the way. Anyway I confronted Purina and they basically said “Category labeling is popular in EU and EU laws allow it but not the USA.” :mad2: They don’t even write calorie content for some of their wet foods crying out loud.
     

  12. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    This seems more about these companies’ transparency than laws. I think. Like with Purina it can totally say just “various sugars”, “minerals” and that’s all in EU and does, but not in the USA.
     

  13. She's a witch

    She's a witch TCS Member Super Cat

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    Either way, I totally knew what I was feeding my cats, and now, in the US, that's rarely the case.

    Edited to add: or I should say I thought I knew. I don't believe in processed food anyway, and that's why imo the best way to feed cats is to prepare their own food, just as I'm preparing it for myself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    MissClouseau purraised this.

  14. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Top Cat

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    I think the general conclusion is.. don't hold your breath for the pet food industry in any country to change. If your pet's health/nutrition concerns you enough to do a ton of research into the pet food industry and brands, then put that energy into doing research into making your own food. In the long run it will be easier and more cost effective and you'll know exactly what you're feeding your cats. Not to mention, it would put pressure on the pet food industry if more people went down this route because their sales would go down. Again though, I wouldn't hold your breath since most people don't care that much about their pet's health.

    It's also unfortunate that our society has made us believe that making pet food is like rocket science and thus better left to the "professionals." If you can make food for your baby or for your self then you can make food for your cat.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    Talien and She's a witch purraised this.

  15. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Well for one thing research isn’t enough but we would also need time and energy and finances for homemade food. Which I don’t think I have.
     

  16. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Top Cat

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    I make homemade food once a month and freeze it. I buy the groceries I need when I go grocery shopping for myself. It takes 2 hours of my month to make the food. It's also cheaper for me than using commercial food.
     

  17. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    How long have you been feeding your kitty with homemade food? Did they get any health issues in that period?
     

  18. Azazel

    Azazel TCS Member Top Cat

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    I have 3 cats. The 2 males are 8 and 11 years old. The 8 year old has been on raw homemade food since I got him as a kitten and the 11 year old has been on raw homemade food for most of his life. The 11 year old had bad diarrhea and GI issues for most of his early life until I transitioned him to homemade food. He doesn't get these issues anymore. Both boys are really healthy and I've been lucky to have no health issues with them. They are also the best of friends. :happycat:

    I adopted my girl just over a year ago and she's completely attached to me - so I guess we are the best of friends. :petcat: She's about 2-3 years old now. She came with lots of issues - bad/chipped teeth, underweight, persistent stuffy nose and recurring eye problems, phosphorus values were off the charts with her initial blood test. Putting her on homemade raw fixed the high phosphorus issue and she gained healthy weight. Our vet thinks the commercial food she had been eating was too high in phosphorus and making her values go up. We had quite a scare that she might have early onset kidney disease and were feeding as if she was a kidney kitty for the first 12 months, but a follow-up blood test showed that her values are now completely normal after being on homemade raw (and some Rad Cat) for a year. It obviously didn't fix the chipped teeth issue but our vet recommends keeping her on raw because she believes that it's better for her teeth than dry or canned commercial food. She chews on tough raw chicken and turkey gizzards to clean her teeth. She's doing really well on the homemade raw.

    Obviously cats can still get sick on homemade food. It's not going to mean that no cat ever gets sick, but I personally don't feel that I can trust the pet food industry to keep my cats healthy. So I choose to make my own food. It's a bit of work at the beginning to buy the supplements and learn about making it, but once you get into the routine it's really easy. When I started out there weren't as many resources online either so I was kind of winging it at first. Now there are lots of online communities to go to for support and even vets are writing homemade recipes. Some of our own members here even write recipes and I recently transitioned to one that was written by a member.

    I also sometimes still feed commercial canned food because I work a lot and sometimes we aren't home for the day. So I leave frozen canned food in a timed feeder. If I was home all the time I would do completely homemade raw though.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
    MissClouseau purraised this.

  19. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Thank you very much for the detailed answer! Right now I know close to nothing about homemade food so impossible to know if I can manage it or trust myself with it but I have added it to the things of things I will research. :-)
     
    Azazel purraised this.

  20. MissClouseau

    MissClouseau TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I forgot to ask. What source do you use for the recipes?
     

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