Is dry cat food equivalent to human junk food?

Is dry cat food equivalent to human junk food? Having spent a little while trying to answer the question I have come to the conclusion that it is not like human junk food, far from it in fact. There is good and bad about it. I have softened my stance on this product.

Flavouring of Hills Dry Oral

Flavouring of Hills Dry Oral Care?

However, the addictiveness of feline dry cat food is worrying or should it be? Perhaps it is a good thing, an indicator of the quality of some high end dry cat foods?

Perhaps the word ‘addictive’ is extreme. But there is no doubt in my mind that is is more palatable than wet foods. Let’s swap the word ‘palatable’ for tasty. My cat loves the taste of it more so than any wet food over the long term.

My cat, like many or most others, prefers his Hills Oral Care (large pieces) over carefully selected, high quality wet cat food. He even prefers it over the highest and most expensive wet cat foods. Also he does not tire of it whereas he can become bored with a brand of wet cat food. Why?

Is there an additive in commercial cat food that cats find addictive? It seems as if there is but I am not sure what it is an reading the list of ingredients doesn’t help.

But there must be something in the dry cat food which is ‘addictive’ or very tasty to a cat.

The problem is that we don’t know precisely what it is because the manufacturers keep quiet about it. The big cat food manufacturers do a lot of work on the palatability of dry cat food. ‘Palatability’ should mean making the food tasty but it seems that they are making it almost addictive.

We know that they spray fat and flavours on to the kibble. I think that Letrisa Miller (on, a feline veterinarian hits the nail on the head when she writes:

“When dry foods are made, they are sprayed with proprietary mixtures of palatability enhancers. These often include chicken fat and salt among other things that are kept secret to protect the company’s proprietary interest. It is kind of like the coating on snack foods like flavored potato chips (crisps)….”

So dry cat food is like crisps (potato chips) or other human snack foods in terms of the desire to eat more of it. It is designed to be ‘moorish’.

It seems to me that the dry pet food manufacturers have won the war on cat food. They have firmly entrenched their products into the minds of both cats and their caretakers. What specifically might it be that makes dry cat food moorish?

Hills Oral dry cat food lists the composition as containing chicken and turkey meal, brewers’ rice, maize, animal fat, cellulose, vegetable oil, mineral, digest and fish oil.

My guess is that ‘digest’ is one (perhaps the main) flavouring component. Animal digest is described by United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as: an additive that has been treated with heat, enzymes, or also acids to produce a concentrated product intended as a natural flavoring.

Hills Oral Care does not contain any artificial preservatives flavours or colouring.

HomeCat Fooddry cat foodIs dry cat food equivalent to human junk food?
FB comments (see below)
This entry was posted in dry cat food and tagged , by Michael Broad. Bookmark the permalink.

About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Please try and upload photos that are small in size of max 500px width and 50 KB size. Large images typical of most default settings on digital cameras may fail to upload. Thanks. Comment rules: (1) respect others (2) threatening, harassing, bullying, insulting and being rude to others is forbidden (3) advocating cat cruelty is forbidden (4) trolls (I know who they are) must use real name and upload a photo of themselves. Enforcement: (1) inappropriate comments are deleted before publication and (2) commenters who demonstrate a desire to flout the rules are banned. Failure to comply with (4) results in non-publication. Lastly, please avoid adding links because spam software regards comments with links as spam and holds them in the spam folder. I delete the spam folder contents daily.