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Analyzing Foods for Cats

 Submitted by Michael Adams on December 15, 2010

The cat food analysis terms like “As Fed”, “Dry Matter Basis” and “Metabolizable Energy”.

“As Fed”, includes the content of water in the food. Foods with different levels of moisture cannot be compared.

Therefore, using “As Fed” values, it is not possible to compare dry food to canned food.

“Dry Matter Basis” or DMB eliminates the water content from the analysis. Using DMB, foods with different water content can be compared to one another.

Therefore, when considered on DMB, canned food can be compared to dry food.

“Metabolizable Energy” or ME is the most effective and accurate method of comparing foods to one another. Food like fiber, ash and water that do not provide any calories, are disregarded in this measurement. This method is based on the fact that the calories are present in nothing but the fat, carbohydrates and protein portions of the food.

Amongst, wet,moist and dry textures, the Moist or soft dry cat food is like kibbles (dry cat food) however it is soft and chewy which comes in various flavors like poultry, lamb, beef and seafood.

In order to analyze the quality of cat food, two important factors should be considered - the ingredients and their composition.
  • When shopping for safe cat food, keep the following guidelines in mind:
  • The bulk of a cat’s diet should contain poultry (either chicken or turkey) and rabbit-meat.
  • Avoid feeding your pet any fish, as it can cause allergies and inflammatory bowel diseases in some cats.
  • Check the labels and opt for “muscle meat”, instead of “by-products” or liver.
  • If the moisture (water content) present in canned cat food is high, it means that the dry matter is low. While, this may keep your cats well hydrated, the amount of food, which contains the calories, fiber and nourishment, that the cat eats, is less.
  • Vegetables and grains add no value to a cat’s diet. Food labels that include rice, maize or corn are not healthy for cats.
People Foods that are safe for cats
  • Cats enjoy raw chicken, turkey or beef or even fresh meats from a deli. If you do cook the meats before feeding the cat, please make sure you remove the bones. Meats with preservatives or added flavoring should not be given to cats.
  • A saucer with a small amount of milk can be a nutritious treat for your cat, if he can tolerate it. However, too much milk can give the cat diarrhea.
  • Cats also enjoy meat baby food, which is healthy for them. However, please check the label to ensure that the food does not contain any onion.
  • Some table scraps are also good for your cat. However, cats should not eat onion, even in leftovers.
Apart from cooked bones and onions, cats should not be given chocolate, peach-pits, cherries, grapes, apricots, avocados, apple-seeds, almonds, macadamia nuts or raisins. Even small amounts of coffee, tea or alcohol could be lethal to them.
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