The Cat Hospital
Exclusively for Cats since 1977
The Cat Hospital carries a variety of prescription diets that address specific medical conditions, but many owners also have questions about what to feed their healthy cats. Feline nutrition is a popular topic on the Internet and, as with many subjects, the quality of information ranges from excellent to dangerously inaccurate. Just because a website looks or sounds good does not mean that the information provided is correct or backed by science. For instance, terms such as ‘natural’, ‘holistic’, ‘premium’, or ‘human grade’ are virtually meaningless in evaluating nutritional claims. Also, please be aware that there are no scientific studies showing any health benefits of raw meat diets, and these diets pose a significant risk of bacterial contamination.
The good news is that the doctors at The Cat Hospital are available to discuss your cat’s dietary needs. In general, commercial cat foods that have undergone Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) feeding trials are nutritionally balanced, and the label will indicate that the food meets the levels established by feeding trials. A diet that is ‘formulated to meet AAFCO profiles’ has not undergone the same level of rigorous quality control as one that has been subjected to feeding trials.
For those who would like additional information, the following are some reliable resources on the Internet to get you started.
The Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine has a website addressing some common questions about pet nutrition:
The Pet Nutrition Alliance is a collaborative effort of the American Animal Hospital Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Academy of Veterinary Nutrition, the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association and World Small Animal Veterinary Association. Their website provides nutritional resources for pet owners, including answers to many frequently asked questions:
The University of California at Davis tested 200 recipes for homemade pet food and found 95% of them to be deficient in 1 or more essential nutrients. BalanceIT is a commercial website which offers semi-customized, balanced, home-cooked diet recipes and supplements for pet owners with healthy pets:
Selecting the best food for your cat can be confusing. Remember marketing claims have little to do with solid nutritional studies. There are science-based studies that will help you make the appropriate choice.