Susan Thixton is probably the most expert and knowledgeable person on pet food that is currently sharing their knowledge on the Internet. Susan Thixton runs the Truth about Pet Food website. It is a respected website. Thixton has been running her website meticulously for a very long time. She is a very demanding woman in terms of accuracy and getting it right which I thoroughly admire. Therefore, we can be completely confident that when she makes a list of the cat foods that she gives her own cat or cats, as at 2022, it is the very best cat food you can buy.
She sells the list so I have bought my copy for US$20. I am completely happy to do that but as a consequence I think I have the right to create a screenshot of the critical element of the PDF file that I was allowed to download. It’s a very long file and I will be selective. I think that all you want to know is the list of foods that she approves of. I’ve kind of boiled it down to a few key points because Thixton is very thorough and therefore the information that she provides me is very complete. If you have any questions about this list then please ask in a comment.
You can imagine that Thixton is very picky about the pet food she buys. She only buys human grade ingredients pet food. And Thixton does not trust any of the marketing claims by pet food manufacturers because too often she’s seen untruths promulgated by the manufacturers in their marketing bumf. They often claim to use quality ingredients when she’s found out that they are sometimes inferior and even illegal.
Thixton makes it clear that she is working on behalf of the consumer and has no connection to the manufacturers in creating this list; other than buying the food for her pets. I know that she has had many arguments with manufacturers and even met with them to discuss quality issues.
The list concerns pet foods made in America so this is mainly for Americans but America is the biggest domestic cat market so it makes sense. I say ‘mainly’ for Americans because six of the manufacturers recommended by her offer distribution of their products in Canada and two of the brands offer distribution outside of North America.
You will find these products available in a variety of outlets including independent pet food stores, direct from the manufacturer, and I hope and presume in some of the big pet store chain outlets.
Thixton has an interesting and useful article on the difference between “feed grade pet foods” and “human grade pet foods”. As mentioned, she only buys the latter for her pets. I expect that the large majority of cat caregivers buy feed grade cat food.
Here’s a list of facts about feed grade pet foods followed by facts about human grade pet food.
Feed grade pet foods
This can be any sort of food from dry to wet and raw. The labelling does not include a warning that it is feed grade quality and that there might be some illegal or inferior ingredients. It is formulated for companion animal consumption only and does not have to comply with US food safety laws. It does not have to be manufactured as per food safety standards and the ingredients and supplements are not required to be edible by a human. The FDA in America allows feed grade pet foods to violate US federal law according to Thixton.
Human grade pet foods
These pet foods are required to abide by all US federal food safety laws and all ingredients and supplements are edible by a human. They are manufactured to the same safety standards as human foods and the standards of manufacturer are the same as for human foods. The labelling contains the notice “human grade” which tells companion animal owners that all food safety requirements have been met. Raw pet foods cannot be labelled as human grade. However, raw pet foods can meet the legal requirements of the claim of human grade pet foods if they are manufactured under USDA inspection. To achieve that, as I understand it, you email the manufacturer for verification.
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