For years, pet markets shelves were filled with so many dry food options for cats, claiming to have all these different benefits and nutritional values. And to many cats companions, this was the best choice… I mean, Why not! Right!
It has all these nutritional values they claim, it’s easy to feed your cat, it’s a less mess and fuss than having to prepare their meals, it doesn’t go bad as quickly… It’s the obvious choice.
So, In order to help you guys out, I went through so many veterinarian resources, talked to a couple of my trusted vets and this is what I got.
I don’t want to get you into a lot of scientific complications, so I will do my best to explain this as simple as possible.
Cats are carnivores, originated from the desert. They are hunters who need meat and moist to survive.
As you may already know, a cat’s diet should consist of; a HIGH protein and a High moisture diet, moderate level of fats, and only about 1-2% Carbohydrates.
That being said, you should also know that commercial dry food mostly consists of Carbohydrates and some other ingredients that you do NOT want most of them inside your felines.
So, Why exactly is Dry food bad for cats?
Dry food is basically “Junk Food” for cats and dogs. So saying dry food is good for your pets, is just like saying Hot-dogs and a Happy Meal, will make your kids grow healthier.
Are they delicious, yes they are… Does they destroy your health? Unfortunately they do…
Dry food has a direct relationship with the causes of sooo many harmful diseases for cats. On top of these diseases, is one of the most common, and deadly causes, which is; “Urethral obstructions”.
1. Urethral Obstructions, Inflamed bladder (cystitis/FIC):
Inflamed bladder (Cystitis/FIC), may lead to “Urethral obstructions”. Which simply means that your cat’s urinary bladder is blocked, and they can’t “pee”. Which can be life-threatening and may cause death in 3 – 6 days. Specially in male cats.
If you notice your cat goes to the litter box in attempt to go, but he/she is having trouble doing it. You shouldn’t wait for more than 12 hrs. (Max.) before taking him/her to the vet.
Dry food is the leading cause of obesity in pets. And just like us as humans, obesity leads to many serious diseases. Including; Diabetes, Vomiting, Chronic Diarrhea, High blood pressure, Skin and Coat problems, Liver Failure, Heart diseases, Allergies, Kidney disease, and sadly so much more…
3. Food Allergies and Toxins:
As mentioned earlier, this type of food has a very small percentage of proteins. These small percentages are subjected to a lot of changes through the process of making this type of food, that it changes to; “abnormal proteins”. Then, cats immune system react to these unfamiliar shapes causing Food Allergies.
Moreover, given the types of things manufacturers put in pet food, such as; diseased and dead animals, and other toxic ingredients, with the goal of paying less and making the most profit out of it.
These ingredients are often contaminated with a wide variety of toxic substances. And even though, some of these toxins get destroyed during the process, yet some of them don’t, and then we pay all this money just to harm our beloved pets.
Cats wild ancestors originated from the deserts. Meaning that, most of them already have a low thirst drive, and their bodies are designed to extract all the moisture they can get from what they eat.
i.e. They don’t drink until they are about 3% dehydrated. Which is a very serious dehydration level.
So if a cat who has a low thirst drive, doesn’t drink enough water, and eats a lot of dry food with no moisture in it, this causes him/her to suffer serious dehydration, which contributes in many serious health issues including; “Urinary crystals, kidney stones, bladder infections, kidney diseases, and FLUTD (Feline lower urinary tract disease)”.
Just as most manufacturers do, to make sure their products have a long shelf-time. They throw in a bunch of preservatives in our food, and in our pets food as well.
I don’t need to tell you how harmful these preservatives are, because I’m sure you already know that the world is full of cancer and other killer diseases because of them.
Potential Cancer-causing agents such as BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin are permitted at relatively low levels in pet and some human foods. And even though some of these chemicals have not been thoroughly studied on pets yet, they are commonly used.
[box] Myth: Some people think that dry food help clean your cats teeth, well this is a BIG FAT Myth. Kinda similar to you saying that crispy fries help clean our teeth.. Hmmm![/box]
How much is okay?
Personally, after learning about this, and after having to see one of my senior female cats passing away after suffering from “Urethral Obstructions” a couple of years ago, which is a very hard thing to go through by the way. I honestly believe, that we should never feed this Junk to our beloved pets at all, or at least as much as we possibly can.
To quote exactly what one of the vets told me, he said:
“Male cats, should NEVER be given dry food as they are more prone to suffer from “Urethral obstructions” than females.
As for Females: If they must, they may have some dry food, but as little as possible till the age of 7 years old, after that they are considered seniors, and they should be completely cut off”.
The Best of the Worst… How to choose dry food?
As mentioned earlier, we should try to feed kibbles to our cats as less as we possibly can. However, sometimes we’re put in certain situations were dry food is our only option like if you have to leave your cat alone for the whole day, or if you’re still in the process of changing up your cat’s diet, or any other scenario… So, here are a few things to looks for when choosing your cats’ dry food.
- Avoid Colored dry food.
- Look at the expiry date.
- Make sure it’s age appropriate for your cat.
- Look at the Ingredients.
- Check for meat based protein.
Finally, If your cat if already addicted to dry food, and refuses to change-up his or her diet, next week I will publish an article how you can safely and slowly switch their diet.
Hope you found that useful.. I’ll See you next time ✌️