Over the years I have noticed a lot of brands promoting “High Protein” and “Grain Free” foods on their cans and even on their dry food (which I still think is ridiculous, given the nature of dry food.) Premium cat food, if you will. This is a reflection of the people. People WANT better options for their cats and the market for cat food is starting to show it, albeit many options are still not the best, but it’s a step forward.
I want to reflect a little bit about the high protein and holistic craze that’s happening right now in the pet food world. A lot of it is related to humans ourselves becoming aware of it in our own health, and we now want to project that well- being into our pets.
Humans want to get closer to their roots- so naturally our closest companions should follow, right? They are after all closer to their roots than us humans, and we owe it to them (and ourselves) in giving them the best food we can afford.
Well- known brands are playing along
I shouldn’t judge TOO much. I have to give some credit to the brands that are catching on to cat owners wanting the best food for their cat, even if it’s’s for a cash grab. Perhaps the best intentions are in there and I try to be optimistic.
Protein is expensive and fillers like carbohydrates are cheap, and there are limits to what we can produce to keep products at an affordable price. I’ll often see the words “Grain Free” and “High Protein” paired with potatoes, peas, carrots, spinach, and other strange vegetables that don’t belong in cat food. Unfortunately, a lot of self-proclaimed holistic brands do this too. But it’s hard to avoid! At that point, you just have to do the best you can.
Adding fillers still contributes to a high carb count. You see, these are foods that HUMANS perceive as healthy. Just because humans consider it healthy, doesn’t mean it belongs in a cats diet.
This is a little too much projection into what we think is good for cats, though the good intention is there.
The other day I was looking at a can that said basically “just chicken!” I thought, “Great, let me just double check,” and the second ingredient was rice. Well, that doesn’t belong there!
The market is there- can we get rid of dry food?
This market keeps growing and gaining attention. The more and more us consumers put our money towards better options for our cats, the more variety and high quality in products we will have. And eventually, I hope we can one day just get rid of dry food options altogether for cats, and dogs even.
I can’t think of one good reason why dry food still exists. The fact that brands print holistic buzzwords onto packaging is very misleading, and lets on the idea that dry food is still a viable option (it’s not.) I’d rather the brands just not even bother labeling them those words and just sell them as is, or just sell dry food under a different brand name.
You’re still giving your cat a diet that does against their nature, no matter how organic or holistic you claim it to be. It’s like putting broccoli on top of a glazed donut. You’re still eating the donut no matter which way you look at it!
My favorite brands are the ones that don’t even put dry food in their lineup- keep an eye out for those. It’s rare, but they’re out there.
Support Dedicated Brands
I think this goes without saying. It’s great that brands like Purina recognize a growing market, but they have not always been about “natural” cat foods. They have realized that they are losing a good portion of consumers if they don’t dive in to the once niche Grain Free market. Don’t forget that Purina owns Friskies and they have a product called “Extra Gravy Chunky.” Yes, Tigers in the wild search out gravy rivers and pour it onto their meal.
I think it is best to support brands like Soulistic, Solid Gold or even Tiki Cat. These are just a few brands that have ALWAYS held a high standard in their ingredients and have provided better, wholesome ingredients. They are not perfect, but they are certainly a step in the right direction.
Consider supporting even smaller companies! There are some you can only find on the internet, and I’d like to further review these at a later point.
Stay educated and KNOW your options. Knowing is half of the battle. I’ve mentioned that years ago, many of the options that I buy now weren’t even available widespread. Recent trends are changing the way we live and have access to products.
I know this is only about cat food but you are ultimately responsible for the health of your cat. You try to take of yourself in the best way possible, right? If you are into holistic living then that is excellent news! Take your cat along with you in your journey to wholesome health. Buy high protein canned cat food, but be wary of the brand name and the details.