Meat ingredients not listed in wet cat food

Beef  cat food
More chicken than beef.
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This concerns the UK. Let’s say you buy Sainsbury’s basics Super Chunks in Gravy with Beef. It gives the impression that this is a wet cat food made primarily with beef. However, this particular product contains animal protein which is made up of 47% beef, 52% chicken and 1% pork.

It is perfectly legal to do this. Apparently many wet cat food products in the UK contain the meats of animals which are not specified on the tin while the declared meat on the tin is a minority meat ingredient.

It is said that some pets may be falling ill because they may be allergic to some of the undeclared ingredients. We know how difficult it is to diagnose the cause of feline allergies.

Manufacturers of pet food are not required the exact contents within their products.

Researchers checked 17 cat and dog food products. “Unspecified animal species” were found in 14 of them. These are typically described as “meat and animal derivatives”.

To be honest, I don’t think this is startlingly new information because many of us know that almost anything goes into many pet food products to create the required protein content. The higher quality foods tend to have genuine meat ingredients.

However, it is worthwhile mentioning this because I’m sure that many cat owners are unaware. A spokesman for the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association said that they are happy to discuss pet food labelling “as it highlights a common misunderstanding of how pet food labelling legislation works.”

Prof Kin-Chow Chang, the lead scientist in the study at the University of Nottingham said:

“Full disclosure of animal content will allow more informed choices to be made on purchases which are particularly important for pets with food allergies…..It may be a surprise to shoppers to discover that prominently described contents such as ‘beef’ on a tin could, within the guidelines, be a minor ingredient, have no bovine skeletal muscle (meat) and contain a majority of unidentified animal proteins,”

It won’t surprise most experienced cat guardians.

Source: Independent Newspaper

3 thoughts on “Meat ingredients not listed in wet cat food”

  1. Michael, I agree that many illnesses come from what is eaten.

    We usually glance quickly at a label, and see the word “Beef” without realizing that the word before it, is “with”, which means it has some beef in it, but it may be a tiny amount.

    We are all taken in by pretty pictures. My roommate came home the other day with a gallon jug of something he thought was orange juice at a very good price. Once he took a good look, he realized it was “orange-ade”. Not a bit of juice in it! No wonder it was such a good price!

    We have to be more aware of how important it is to read labels. It does take more time, but it’s about our health and our pet’s health. I’m thinking about bringing a small magnifying glass to help with this. Although with cat food, I check labels online where I can easily enlarge before I decide to buy.

  2. Michael,

    It’s just as bad here in the USA. Rendered meat? Could be dead domestic pets. There just aren’t sufficient controls here over the “stuff” that goes into pet food- and the mislabeling is outrageous. The labels look so appealing- such beautiful photos but what is in the cans is CRAP in many of the pet foods here. If anyone is interested in learning more about exactly WHAT is in our pet food- check out Susan Thixton’s “Truth about Pet Food” newsletter. There is a subscription fee but it sure is worth the cost in helping pet guardians to be able to choose pet foods that are much safer and far more nutritious without all the “rendering” crap that goes into so many of these products.

    • As nations we are quite alike in the respect that we treat the domestic cat as second-class citizens when it comes to monitoring the standard of ingredients in commercially manufactured pet food. You and I know this and we are aware of the dangers et cetera but a lot of cat guardians simply aren’t aware. I feel, and have always felt, that quite a percentage of idiopathic feline illnesses are generated by amongst other things poor quality cat food.


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