The most common ingredient in pet feed is...

Willowy

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What started me thinking that it may not be possible to substantially increase the amount of meat in pet food is that, with all the current shortages and stuff, I tried to figure out if/how I could raise enough meat to feed all my pets. And I don't think I could. No matter how I figure it, I'm pretty sure I'd need more meat animals than my land could support. So that's kind of sobering to consider.
 
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Azazel

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Chicken can mean skin, bones, etc. Consumers think they are purchasing chicken meat but really the product can be made up of mostly bone. Or, it has bone in it but it's not reported to consumers and so cats with digestive problems end up eating bones without the owner knowing.

Check the labels on human food - very different from cat food. You'll see the difference.
 

kittyluv387

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Chicken can mean skin, bones, etc. Consumers think they are purchasing chicken meat but really the product can be made up of mostly bone. Or, it has bone in it but it's not reported to consumers and so cats with digestive problems end up eating bones without the owner knowing.

Check the labels on human food - very different from cat food. You'll see the difference.
Yess that is such a good one. Bone needs to be separated out from the protein name.
 

Willowy

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Yeah, the link I posted said that. They seem to be pretty up-front about everything.

And I'm not really sure what the problem is there, because raw feeders give their pets the bones too. . .?

I don't like the idea of 4D animals being allowed in pet food, but on the other hand, I don't want the meat going to waste either. And I know the dogs would be gnawing on rotting old dead things daily if they were allowed to run around loose. So I kind of go back and forth on that one.
 
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Azazel

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Yeah, the link I posted said that. They seem to be pretty up-front about everything.

And I'm not really sure what the problem is there, because raw feeders give their pets the bones too. . .?

I don't like the idea of 4D animals being allowed in pet food, but on the other hand, I don't want the meat going to waste either. And I know the dogs would be gnawing on rotting old dead things daily if they were allowed to run around loose. So I kind of go back and forth on that one.
Yes, obviously it says that. That’s where I got it from. I haven’t paid money to read the details of what they’re not telling us. Consumers shouldn’t have to consult the AAFCO website to know what “chicken” means. The average consumer won’t know they have to do that. I think you’re being a little naive about how much the pet food industry is about profit over quality. Deceiving consumers is a well known marketing tactic they use. And the CEOs of major pet food companies are in bed with AAFCO and the FDA.

Bone should make up a very small percentage of the weight of the food. Pet food companies sometimes don’t disclose that the food has bones or what the percentage is. Many of us homemade raw feeders do not include bone in our preps because our cats have sensitivities to it. I do not feed commercial raw food because of the lack of transparency about ingredients including bones.
 

kittyluv387

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Yeah, the link I posted said that. They seem to be pretty up-front about everything.

And I'm not really sure what the problem is there, because raw feeders give their pets the bones too. . .?

I don't like the idea of 4D animals being allowed in pet food, but on the other hand, I don't want the meat going to waste either. And I know the dogs would be gnawing on rotting old dead things daily if they were allowed to run around loose. So I kind of go back and forth on that one.
Lots of bone leads to too much calcium which can cause constipation. Also bones contain high phosphorus levels which hurts compromised kidneys. Cat kidneys naturally become at least a little compromised once they get into their senior years. AAFCO sets minimums on Phosphorus and Calcium but no maximums. But since they have experimented more on dogs they have set maximums for them. So for cat food companies it gives them more wiggle room to be cheap and use far too much bone rather than more meat.
 

cataholic07

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I also hate that the companies don't say what's actually in it. And anything labeled "meat by-products" could literally be dogs, cats and horses. It's essentially whatever meat is scrapped from slaughterhouses. Animals may live longer but cancer is high so is diabetes, kidney disease and obesity. I have seen a ton of super fat cats and dogs and it makes me extremely sad. I personally HATE that AAFCO and FDA continue to allow wet food companies to use carragean that can lead to inflammation and GI cancer. My first cat died from GI cancer that spread to her lungs, even with treatment. She was free fed dry food (whiskers siggghhh you just dont think about quality of food 10 years ago) and was obese so was put on an all wet food diet. It all had carragean in it, which I'm pretty sure what caused her cancer. It just makes me so mad that these companies know this ingredient could kill them but uses it anyways. Cats need meat, and pet food companies need to stop creating essentially chicken flavored oatmeal :( Its why I feed my cats raw, I know whats in it and I can balance it myself
 

Willowy

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And anything labeled "meat by-products" could literally be dogs, cats and horses.
No. It can't be.
"As with meat, unless the byproducts are derived from cattle, pigs, sheep or goats, the species must be identified."

However, "meat meal" definition says:
"Unlike meat and “meat by-products,” this ingredient may be from mammals other than cattle, pigs, sheep or goats without further description."

But no DNA testing has shown cat or dog DNA in pet food. It normally ends up in livestock feed, so if you don't raise your own meat (or use commercial livestock feeds), don't think about that too hard. But again, that's also how we manage to produce a lot of cheap meat; don't let anything go to waste.

I also don't believe that carrageenan is harmful, but OK.
 
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MissClouseau

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My quick take on this is that, regardless of how one feels about the grain amount in pet food, I think it's completely unrealistic and probably environmentally really terrible to expect pet food to contain mostly poultry and mammals. In other words, either there is going to be fish in a lot of pet foods or the outcome will be bad if with nothing else with environment and abusing other animals. This is for the shortterm. For the longterm, there should be more research and discussion how many cats and dogs there should be and if regulating breeding is needed. (From breeders I mean.)

Of course there should be fish-free options for food intolerances. But fish should exist in a lot of foods.
 

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I'll chime in.

If you value the environment more than the lives of the animals dependant on you, don't own animals. Plain and simple.

Cats are naturally invasive animals and have become the environmental problem they are today because of us. Look it up real quick. If you care so much for the planet, start with yourself. Switch to a plant based diet, reuse, recycle, clean up the streets Help out the homeless, reduce your waste by switching to re-usable products, do some TNR; switch to wood/paper litter rather than clay - which is terrible in it's own right. Literally make any other effort than selfishly cutting your animals fulfillment and health rather than making an actual difference. There are tons of ways to combat our receding environment other than directly harming the animals that are have been shunned from that environment and forced to live domestically. You really think bubbles prefers bouncing around in an apartment and eating wheat and oatmeal with leftover chicken gizzards or whatever to prowling in nature and hunting prey? You prefer that. Your animals don't have a choice.

Cats were never intended to be little pets. No animal exists for your sole pleasure or political opinion and aquiring an animal is a choice and responsibility. If you value your pleasure or opinions over the peak wellbeing of your animals, make the choice to not get an animal.

in other news I think it's terribly ironic that we go on and on about "saving the animals" yet take cheap shortcuts therin neglecting our own, as a collective. Switch over to broccoli and save that slab of strangled duck meat for your cat.
 

SpecterOhPossum

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That's under the assumption that feeding cats a commercial diet is neglect. I don't agree with that assessment.
Assuming you're responding to me, which due to vagueness I cannot tell, you've put words into my mouth. Second, I didn't assume you in particular held that view. Which part of my message said that specifically though? My cat eats Tiki cat after dark and homemade. To make such a point would be hypocritical. My point was in response about the "meat bad is for environment!!!! waa..we have to feed grains.." thing.
 

Willowy

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My point was in response about the "meat bad is for environment!!!! waa..we have to feed grains.." thing.
It's true that it wouldn't be possible to feed all cats an all-meat diet. Simply not possible. We would need to have far fewer cats for that to be even slightly feasible. Unless you have some ideas about that?
in other news I think it's terribly ironic that we go on and on about "saving the animals" yet take cheap shortcuts therin neglecting our own,
Ah, well, this seemed like an allegation of neglect if one feeds cats food with plant material in it, sorry if it isn't :).
 

SpecterOhPossum

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It's true that it wouldn't be possible to feed all cats an all-meat diet. Simply not possible. We would need to have far fewer cats for that to be even slightly feasible. Unless you have some ideas about that
... It's no secret that the numbers of domestic animals existing is excessive, and a chunk of that population (such as the ones unable to be adopted; sitting in rag tag no kill shelters wasting away) may be better being humanely put to rest. Hell even the ones being forced to live unnaturally long lifespans with drugs and wires for human pleasure out of "love".
But I sure do have ideas! TNR, again. Fixing your pets or making your pets indoor only (should be done regardless lawl) EDUCATION, cannot stress that enough. Half of the population doesn't have a dingleberry of a clue as to what cats require in terms of care and I'd bet an entire turd that they'd think twice if they did know, as cats are often celebrated as easy; apartment friendly, low maintenance pets in pop culture.
Not supporting and actively advocating against purebreeding, breeding, and selling. Educate about this topic as well because again, a lot of people don't know. When your friends are gushing about inbred pitbulls and mutated unnaturally short; stubby cats; tell them the facts.
Adopt, don't shop. Duh.
and....Do I have to say tnr again?

These aren't snap-of-a-finger changes and there is no quick solution, but slow progress is still progress. Lastly I can't stress enough; education. I can't tell you even how many times I've just seen people posting to facebook asking for advice when it comes to their future first purebred cat; and how many of those people did the right thing when educated on why they shouldn't purchase a cat and rather rescue. Education is our strongest tool.
As controversial a take as it is, I really do think humanly putting down cats in overun, infested areas is a solution. Not talking about laying down poisoned hot dogs but that article about Australia comes to mind.
Ah, well, this seemed like an allegation of neglect if one feeds cats food with plant material in it, sorry if it isn't :).
Feeding a diet with plant material in it with exception for .. as an example, pumpkin for unhealthy cats, is neglect IMO, however I never made a case of commercial cat food being a inherently neglectful choice. There are some good apples in the cesspit of rotten; decaying: maggot infested ones for sure. Dry food is awful 100% though lol. I'd be delusional or not very bright to deny that.

Perhaps again, if people curbed the amount of meat they intake in favor of cats, it may be less of a ~environmental~ issue.
 
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Willowy

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I think I'd rather feed my cats food with grains than kill them.

Why bother supporting TNR if killing healthy animals is a viable option?
if people curbed the amount of meat they intake in favor of cats, it may be less of a ~environmental~ issue.
Not by enough. How much meat does a cat need per day? I think it's around 6 ounces, right? That's more than the average human intake in the US. Even if every human became vegetarian but every cat was fed an all-meat diet, meat production would have to stay about the same.
 
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Azazel

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How much meat does a cat need per day? I think it's around 6 ounces, right?
With the average cat being 9-10 pounds, and 80% of their diet consisting of muscle meat - you'd need more like 3.5 ounces of muscle meat a day for the average cat, and that can include up to 10%-15% of that being hearts or gizzards.
 

SpecterOhPossum

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I think I'd rather feed my cats food with grains than kill them.

Why bother supporting TNR if killing healthy animals is a viable option?
It's pretty obvious that my hot take was geared towards unhealthy, suffering animals & towards areas such as the Australia event in which I mentioned in which cats are straight up infesting, and not that we should just kill our healthy animals. Taking me out of context to suit your narrative isn't gonna win you brownie points. Regardless, you asked for ideas and I gave you just that. Not hardcore facts and solutions, ideas. Which ideas are to be taken and applied is up to you, however there is no need to dramatize them. You made a point about how there are too many cats, I gave ideas on how to decrease the percentage per request.
Not by enough. How much meat does a cat need per day? I think it's around 6 ounces, right? That's more than the average human intake in the US. Even if every human became vegetarian but every cat was fed an all-meat diet, meat production would have to stay about the same.
ha I don't know about you, but I think that perhaps the over population of cats is bound to decrease over time, especially if we all uhhh... educate. :blush:And with readily available information with the efforts of TNR and all that jazz I keep repeating. Do you think I'm gripping my shirt collar trembling at the thought of meat production staying the same as it.. As it probably is bound to, regardless of if animal owners begin to open their eyes and prioritize their pets? I'm not. I really like my cat actually and I think it would be cool if all animal owners put the care I put into my cat, into their own. Maybe of they did, they wouldn't have the cash to spend on fast food and purebred monstrosities. Maybe in our cultural shift with our youth going vegan and plant based, reducing their harm on the environment, we will see a dent in animal breeding and the over population of domestic animals as we collectively realize this is a problem like the dog owner community now vs years ago; specifically the general opinion regarding puppy mills and purebreeding.

For now though, I think we shouldn't sacrifice our pets for the environment and rather focus on our own harm to it as we probably do more. Just ideas.
 

Willowy

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With the average cat being 9-10 pounds, and 80% of their diet consisting of muscle meat - you'd need more like 3.5 ounces of muscle meat a day for the average cat, and that can include up to 10%-15% of that being hearts or gizzards.
I'm thinking of the total amount of animal parts here, because, while organs/bones/etc. are considered the waste of human consumption in this country, they still require raising animals for those products. So. . .around 5 ounces each total? As in, if someone were to raise their own animals to feed their cats (and didn't eat any themselves), how many would they have to raise?
I think we shouldn't sacrifice our pets for the environment and rather focus on our own harm to it
Again, this is making the assumption that a person is sacrificing their pet by feeding them normal cat food. I'm challenging that assumption.
 
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Azazel

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I'm thinking of the total amount of animal parts here, because, while organs/bones/etc. are considered the waste of human consumption in this country, they still require raising animals for those products. So. . .around 5 ounces each total? As in, if someone were to raise their own animals to feed their cats (and didn't eat any themselves), how many would they have to raise?

Again, this is making the assumption that a person is sacrificing their pet by feeding them normal cat food. I'm challenging that assumption.
An average 9.5lb cat will eat around 4.5oz of raw meat a day. Depends on the cat.
They also don't have to eat the same meat that humans do. People raise rodents to feed to their reptiles. Could do the same for cats.
We need more outside of the box thinking rather than just 'corn is cheap, it maximizes profit for pet food companies, and cats survive off of it without threatening humans.'
 

Willowy

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They also don't have to eat the same meat that humans do. People raise rodents to feed to their reptiles. Could do the same for cats.
This wouldn't have less of an environmental effect, or even be cheaper really. Mass-raising rodents would have the same environmental impact per-pound as mass-raising chickens, perhaps more, as mammals spend more time pregnant and baby mammals must stay with their mothers instead of being shipped off as soon as they hatch. (Not many people have reptiles, and cold-blooded animals don't need to eat as often as mammals, which is why this doesn't come up too often ;).)

Realistically, I don't think the meat farming infrastructure would continue the way it is now if human demand decreased. And of course farm subsidies (the only reason meat is as cheap as it is now) wouldn't be the same. But even as it stands now, no matter how I crunch the numbers, I just don't think it's possible :/.

I'd love to be proved wrong though. If anyone has any. . .crunchier numbers, throw them at me.

And that doesn't mean that any one individual shouldn't feed their cat an all-meat diet; if they have the resources to do so, go wild. But if you're going to claim it's neglect to feed cats anything else, expect some pushback.
 
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