Grain free cat food has increased in popularity with cat owners who want their pets to live full, healthy lives. Historically, cats are meat-eaters who have not incorporated grains into their diets until mass-produced cat food grew in popularity. After World War II, pet food manufacturers added soy, wheat, rice and barley to cat food in order to make more money by producing cheap food. Grains simply act as fillers in many different brands of cat food. Because cats do not need grains, the influx of grains in cat food can lead to obesity, diabetes, food allergies, and a host of other serious health issues. It is important for cat owners to seek out pet food that is high-quality, tastes good to their pets, and provides a rich and complete spectrum of nutrients. While there are many benefits to grain free cat food, there are also myths that need to be debunked. Here are the myths and facts about grain free cat food.
Cats need high-quality ingredients and digestible proteins for a balanced diet. Grain free cat foods give them more fresh and dried meat and fish per serving.
These grains were added shortly after World War II by pet food manufacturers wanting to boost the bottom line. Low-quality cat food continue to contain these grains and are not healthy for cats.
Some cats need grain free food that is also gluten free, which does not always happen automatically. Grain free cat food can contain green peas, which are bad for cats on gluten-free diets. Truly grain and gluten free cat foods are the raw varieties.
While grain free cat food doesn’t have carbohydrates that are provided by grains, they still have carbohydrates. These carbs are provided by sweet potatoes, potatoes, tapioca, and yams. Potato carboydrates can actually be worse for cat allergies.
While grain free cat foods have increased in popularity, there hasn’t been enough testing and research done on them to gauge their effects on pets three to four generations down the line. Feed trials are currently limited.
Because kittens are growing so fast between weaning and six months, veterinarians do no recommend feeding them grain free cat food. Kittens need a holistic diet with plenty of nutrition in order to grow into healthy cats.
A cat’s diet is similar to a human’s in that it needs a balance of nutrients. Owners need to make sure that the grain free cat food is balanced with other high-quality foods so that their pets get the nutrition they need.