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Comments on pet foods NOT on recall list (page 4)

by Therese on April 6, 2007

in Pet Food Recall, Pet Health, Pets

** For a list of pet foods NOT on the recall go to The Pet Food List **

This is page 4 of comments on the pet food recall.

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{ 91 comments }

Geff April 8, 2007 at 5:06 am

Does anyone here have any knowledge of a New Zealand company called Ziwipeak? I haven’t heard anything specifically positive about them, but so far i’ve also heard no negatives. (sad way to pick food but……) Unfortunately, their website does not provide a complete list of ingredients.

Alex April 8, 2007 at 9:09 am

Thanks Dragonheart, I am currently feeding Solid gold canned and japanese Aixia canned which looks exactly like that (canned tuna or chicken for human consumption), but I’d like to provide my cats with more choices other than just fish and chicken.

Geff,
I’ve heard about Ziwipeak treats, but I haven’t used them since I prefer to give only freeze dried, one ingredient treats. From New zealand pet food companies I’ve only tried Adiction canned but my cats didn’t like it. For Ziwipeak foods, I guess it would depend how they define “offal”, since cats’ diet should contain organ meat, but I would be reluctant to feed it without specific definition which organs are included.

Nette April 8, 2007 at 10:15 am

Hi Alex,

I am so happy to hear how proactive you are being in your cat’s nutritional needs. That is all we can ask! :-)

There is no perfect food, I cannot repeat that enough. Some have failed to notice this sentence quite often in my posts. One must assemble facts and pick what they find less offensive than others. In picking, keep in mind the need for fermentable fiber in the cat gut. It is so easy to get disgusted and want to feed a meat only cat food but remember there has to be some sort of cat-friendly fiber, otherwise the cat will have a nutritional imbalance since it relies on getting certain nutrients with the help of the right gut bacteria.

Here are the a few of the main nutrients cats rely on getting from fermentable fiber with the help of gut bacteria:
1.Para-amino-benzoic-acid = a building block for other nutrients
such as folic acid. The bacteria make both the PABA and the folic
acid for cats.
2. Folic acid = an obvious need for carnivores who can not get it from
plants.
3.Propionate = a short chain fatty acid. This is the energy fuel of the liver and keeps it able to function well, make new cells and overall do its job.
4. I could go on with this list, but with just these few the point is proven.

When there is no fermentable fiber needed for health,
there isn’t the right bacterial population either as the good ones
starve without the right fiber. The result is an overgrowth of
clostridium perfringens bacteria plus others depending upon what has been eaten, which produce acids that damage the delicate
gut walls, in turn leading to IBD, allergies, leaky gut syndrome and inability to absorb nutrients correctly due to gut wall damage. Fermentable fibers have been discussed earlier on this board.

I just mention these things to keep in mind when you choose a manufactured food. As you can see, this isn’t something we can take lightly.. so much is involved in feline nutrition and each of us must weigh what we feel somewhat safe with feeding to what is an absolute no-no. Then we have to live with our decisions. But that is life in all its aspects, not just with this subject. :-)

5CatMom April 8, 2007 at 1:35 pm

Nette,

Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. It’s been very helpful.

Regarding water intake, I recently purchased 2 water fountains for my kitties. They’re made by PetMate and sold by Petco and Wal-Mart.

They require assembly by an engineer, but my kitties are attracted by the sound and motion of the flowing water, and seem to love them.

I’m careful to wash them throughly at least once each day in order to keep them clean and fresh smelling.

Hope this helps.

Nette April 8, 2007 at 1:56 pm

Kitties love fountains and anything that bubbles forth water. :-D If you could have a bowl of water in every room you’d find them drinking it.

One thing I learned that helped my gang (I have 4) is to make sure the bowl was wide enough to fit their whiskers. I use to have small cute little kitty bowls and my gang drank but didn’t hang around it that much. I heard about the need for a bowl to fit their whiskers so I bought some colored glass bowls (fit for people to eat or drink out of.. not ceramic where you really don’t know if it is sealed enough). They are drinking more and even sitting around them like a water cooler at work. ;-) It made them happy and that made me happy.

If I could, I’d have a bowl in every room. LOL

Cindy Nevarez April 8, 2007 at 2:07 pm

Gary,
Regarding canned Felidae, I have had 2 cats now reject that food. Both times they would try it, and throw it up, then never touch it thereafter. Also, in my experience it was more like pate’ than gruel. I won’t be buying it anymore.
Thanks JSB for the tip.
Thanks again, Nette, but what do you fed your cats?

5CatMom April 8, 2007 at 2:12 pm

Bridget,

If you haven’t already done so, please contact Natural Balance.

The company needs to know what you’re finding. I don’t know who makes Natural Balance, but if it’s contracted out to one of the handful of contract manufacturing companies . . . Well, who knows.

I switched to Natural Balance right away because it was available in my area. Since then have located Natura/EVO and Solid Gold. Check their websites. Natura’s is very good.

The more I read on this blog, the more guilty I feel. My babies are fine for now, but I did loose my beautiful Abyssinian in February to Pancreatitis.

Fireheart April 8, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Namaste,

I’m the mom of 9 kat-kids and 3 pup-people, and we are lucky enough to have a fairly large list of available foods local to us. However, as I have been researching these foods, I have been unable to find info on the ‘safe’ foods list about 4 of the brands or who makes them: Lick Your Chops, Nature’s Logic, Prairie, and Spot’s Stew.

Right now, I don’t want to buy anything from any company who does business with Menu, not so much because of the recall, but because of the animal testing. It absolutely sickens me. By reducing my list this way, we went form 25 brands to 5.

I would love to see a list similar to the foods list of companies and brands that do labratory testing, NOT live animal testing of their foods.

If such a thing exists, please point me to it, I would be forever gratefull.

Blessings,

Fireheart

Nette April 8, 2007 at 2:31 pm

Cindy,

The lesser of the evils to me is propac kitten. It has a good source of protein, no herbs, contains some cat friendly-fiber, etc. I have this available to them 24/7. I also supplement with a prey size protein such as sardines… a small fish like that in which I add taurine, additional fish oil that also has vit. e in it, and a little fermentable fiber like rice bran. This is only one of the little extras they get daily.

In previous times, I had fed felidae, flint river ranch, even store things like fancy feast and whiskas (ugg). My gang was always throwing up and had hairball trouble all the time. I researched, tried different foods, and finally with what i am doing now I don’t have the vomiting and there is only an occasional slight hairball from one of the long haired cats. Their stools are the right consistency (they use to be pebble hard). Their coats are nice and shiny, teeth are clean. I had one that always worried me about his weight. He only ever picked at his food and he was underweight. Now, he munches down and has put on a pound. That is great in cat terms for him.

As more products come out, I’ll continue to look at the ingredients and consult feline specific nutritional guidelines and will change when I see something better. But at this moment, what I’ve chosen is the lesser of all the evils that I’ve discussed previously.

Wishing you the best!

Nette April 8, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Fireheart:

How about something like this:
http://www.geari.org/companies-dont-test-on-animals.html

:-)

Cindy Nevarez April 8, 2007 at 3:09 pm

Thank you Nette,
I just compared the propac canned ingredients to the Evangers canned I just bought for my group. They are very similar.
My worry is how dependant my cats are on dry food. Only one of my 3 will eat exclusively wet. If I could find a wet that all 3 will eat every day without complaint, I could wean them all off the dry.

Mary Kelley April 8, 2007 at 3:11 pm

Hi, everyone, I am so glad to have this site to chat on. Some of the other blogs have become very political, which is fine, but I also like having people to talk with about our animals!
Gary, about Felidae’s texture, I shook a few cans and compared those to some other brands I had and it was “slushy” but the moisture content on the label is about the same as the other brands which are solid when shaken. And I suppose the addition of the pro-biotics is in part to make up for the yucca it also has. I have stopped feeding ANY canned food (phase 1 for me) at this point. I mix cooked chicken with Gerber stage 2 meat (no onion powder) to make it similar to the texture of the canned cat food they were used to. I do that twice a day, and put a small amount down of Felidae dry overnight so that they get Taurine and vitamins. Note: this is just for a few days until I have them accepting the cooked meat and supplements (phase 2). Then I hope to do raw only. I will be purchasing Dr. Pitcairn’s (book) Complete Guide to Natural Health for Dogs and Cats.
Bridget, the dry food should have a fresh smell when you open it; always sniff. Dry goes rancid quickly and I keep mine in the refrigerator in a zip-lock bag, now. Always toss anything questionable.
About worries with loose stool, increased thirst, etc. these could be related to changing the diet, but are also signs of renal failure so I would be safe and check with your vet immediately.
As far as recommending things to one another, if you read all the posts and all the blogs right now, you would absolutely walk away feeling negative, depressed and confused. Remember, we wouldn’t have access to all of this input-negative or positive, without the internet. And there is no lack of negativity in the world! You really do have to do what you feel is best in your heart and trust yourselves, too! I share my experiences only as a cat lover who has always had 1-5 house cats for at least 30 years! Fortunately I have watched their lifespan grow from about 10 years to 18 years over that time. Take care and have a peaceful Easter, Mary

5CatMom April 8, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Another comment about water:

When we moved from a large city to a much, much smaller city, I brought along many gallons of water in order to slowly introduce my sweet babies to the new rural water supply.

I set out several bowls. One was big city water, one was new small city water and one was a combination of the two.

The babies immediately rejected the old water and the mixed water, but drank lots of the new rural water. My neighbors comment was “Well, you know, everything’s better in the country!”

Anyway, I was very happy that everyone was drinking more water. Then my husband installed a new water softener/RO system.

My poor babies didn’t approve at all and their water consumption lessened.

Luckily, there’s a convenient hydrant in the yard that comes off the water main prior to the softener system. So I was able to bypass the system.

Now the babies are back to drinking their water.

What to me was a lifestyle improvement (no more hard water) was not a benefit to my babies. I’m very glad they let me know that their needs were not being met.

(I’ve also learned that the folks who monitor our city water supply may make chemical adjustments during the year depending on test results, weather conditions, etc. All of which may affect the smell or taste of our water)

Mary Kelley April 8, 2007 at 4:25 pm

Tracey, I hadn’t really looked into the book of Dr. Pitcairn’s until just now. The review says it is a grain-based, natural diet. That is ‘going against the grain’ of all of our recent research, here :) Can you tell us more about the book, and how much space is devoted to cooked and raw pet foods? Any other book suggestions would be welcomed, especially with cooked and raw for cats. Thanks!

Alex April 8, 2007 at 7:24 pm

Nette,

I agree with you that we should do lots of research and I agree with you that cats need some fiber. However, I think that this is much better provided if I add some brown rice to their wet food directly from my rice cooker than if they get it from the dry food.

What bothers me about dry foods and why I would like to phase them out entirely after I find wide enough variety of good quality safe canned that they are willing to eat is the following:

1. Grains – due to digestability and also safety. Many of past recalls were related to grain or grain products contamination.

2. DL methionine – urine acidifier which is now added to practically all dry foods. Without it, cats fed dry foods would have higher risk of struvite crystals. Now after several years of it being routinely added to food, oxalate crystals prevalence is rising. In addition, overdose was related to one recall in the past.

3. Water intake with feeding dry – not all cats are the same. Mine are afraid of water fountain, they reject ceramic bowls and glass bowls, only stainless steel will do and only at one place, next to the fishtank. This bowl material and bowl position results in highest water consumption (still withiin normal limits), I have several other water bowls which I refill regularly although they don’t drink from them just in case.

I also agree wth you that each person needs to do rresearch and make decisions for themelves. What seems right to me may not be right for you and vice versa. I do value the exchange o information and I would prefer if there was more hard data available on animal nutrition.

As it is, majority of published studies on small animal nutrition are funded by the pet companies, talk about competing interests. Textbooks are also often written by pet food industry employees or vets not very knowledgable on nutrition, while there is no safety and quality check on books published by non-professionals. I have several books on homemade diets for cats, and while each one contains some good info, each one also has at least something that is obviously wrong (like onions containing recipes for example).

Btw, what is your opinion on tooth brushing and tooth pastes? One of my cats (7 years old) will need to have his teeth cleaned soon, his sister’s teeth are fine but he doesn’t chew his food. I know that pet toothpastes are designed to be swallowed, but the ingredients don;t sound all that edible to me. Also, from the journal papers I read on the issue, influence of the food doesn;t seem all that convincing. Only studies which show significant influence of food are those done by pet food companies making those foods, and from what I know about pharmaceutical companies funding and medical papers I wouldn;t assign high degree of reliability to those.

Alex April 8, 2007 at 7:40 pm

Btw, Nette, it may be easier to accept them to eat raw than to eat cooked. All of mine would eat raw when available (as I said I have problem with finding meat fresh enought o feed raw), but only one is willing to eat cooked (so far, I’ll keep trying).

I’ll be getting Dr. Pitcairns book as well, most reviews seem to be good, however seems according to reader’s comments that in older editions raisins were recommended (TOXIC for dogs), so regardless of good reputation of this book all info must be checked carefully.

Alex April 8, 2007 at 7:49 pm

Sorry, last post about Pitcairn’s book should be addressed to Mary Kelley.

Harriet April 8, 2007 at 8:58 pm

Alex,

I read about Dr. Pitcairns book here and look up some review on amazon.com and was planning to get it. I went to bookstore to check it out today, and i found that the book has more stuff about dogs than cats.

Furthermore, the recipes found in the book does not satisfied me at all as his includes A LOT OF GRAIN for the cats diet. (I dunno about the dog diet as I’ve never had a dog nor research about dog nutrition). He even include corn in his homemade cat recipe which I simply disagree.

He give a few reason for including grains in the pets diet, and one of the reason is “looking at the big picture, taking in more grains is more ethical and environmental as it helps to reduce the global shortage problem”, (I can’t remember the exact wording but that was the idea), which I found far-fetched.

However, his book has a lot of hands on things about homeopathy which i found useful, also he does talk about what’s the problem with the commercial food, and his view about problems with vaccination is very informative too.

ps. You may want to add ice to your kitty’s water bowl to encourage them to drink more, I’ve read that most of the cats prefer colder water.

Adelyn April 8, 2007 at 9:11 pm

H everyone. I’m not a cat person, (well, not that I don’t like cats..I do, I just happen to have 2 dogs) I would like to make a couple of comments.

First, I find it suspicious that some companies (more Holistic) will not divulge who their manufacture is. They are promoting all natural food yet they hide where they are getting it from. What do they have to hide? Are they afraid someone will contact the manufacture and find out that they are really putting in rendered food? I would never buy food from a company who has something to hide.

Secondly, as far as fruits and veggies in pet foods. Cats are true carnivores, meaning they need meat to survive. Dogs are omnivores (although biologically they are carnivores) the difference is, a cat will die if it doesn’t have meat in its daily diet. A dog can still live a long and healthy life without meats. Cats don’t need the fruits and veggies that dogs can use and you should NEVER feed meats with fruits in the same feeding. The enzymes that the dog/cat produces to digest meats counteracts with the acids produced to break down fruits. Over time it can damage the animal. (I’m not a vet but I have been doing a hell of a lot of research!)

As far as what goes into pet food, there are no regulations. As long as the food fits the AAFCO guidelines of Protein, Fat, Fiber and Moisture the government doesn’t care what makes it in to Pet Foods. They don’t even care what pet food companies claim. I don’t know how many pet food companies claim the have “Human Grade” ingredients. Then you read the list of ingredients and it says “Chicken meal” or “Lamb Meal” There is NO SUCH THING as human grade “Chicken Meal”. Meal is made from chicken and animals that have been rejected for human consumption by the 4-D’s (Dead, diseased, dying, disabled). Just do the math. A 10lb bag of “Lamb & Rice” for $12.00. How is that possible if the quality of meat is human grade?

My point is, the government doesn’t care what goes into pet food. That is the reason for this entire recall. If that Wheat Gluten was brought in for Human Consumption it would have been scrutinized and failed. (This probably did happen) So where did it go? Pet food — that is where all rejected human food goes to. Grocery stores that can’t sell their meats and they go rancid….where do you think that goes? Into your pets “Chicken Meal” or “Lamb Meal” right along with the other diseased rejected dead animals.

Sorry to rant. I’m just disgusted with everything I have learned about pet foods and I’m not sure if I’m more mad at that government for allowing it or more mad at these pet food companies who mislead the public into thinking they are getting Human Grade food when a.) they can’t even say who they are really manufacturing it from and b) the fact that the food is NOT human grade.

I would love to see the CEO’s of every company who claims to have “Human Grade” sit and eat the food for a couple of days.

Gary April 8, 2007 at 10:53 pm

Thanks to Mary and others for the Felidae info. I think I might try Evangers next. They only had the fish-based varieties at the feed store. But, I want to stick with Chicken and Turkey based foods. So, I’ll hit a different feed store on Monday.

I’m not very happy with the consistency of the Felidae, and also the fact that the can isn’t even full. The combination of those two things has made it hard to portion the servings per can. (I used to just divide it into four sections, which made b’fast and dinner for two days. I can’t do that anymore. Plus, there appears to be substantially less food by volume, so it won’t even last two days.) Plus, one of them threw up pretty big after eating it for the first time.

However, I notice that Evangers also uses Menadione (synthetic Vit K) that some people are so worked up about with Blue Buffalo. (Chicken Soup also uses it.) But, I may go back to Blue Buff and/or Chicken Soup, if Evangers doesn’t work out. All of the other ingredients and nutritional info seems OK with those. So, it will probably be one of those three instead of Felidae.

If I wasn’t so dead against supporting Menu Foods Income Fund on general principle, I’d consider one of the Natura canned products, as the company has stated that they will be phasing out Menu Foods, and buying or building their own canning plant. Plus, they now have a Natura employee located full time at Menu’s South Dakota plant, where Natura brands are canned.

Home cooking is out, btw. I love my cats. But, I love them like pets. They aren’t my kids, my angels, my babies. They are my pets. I want what is best for them within the confines of commercially prepared pet food. I want the BEST commercially prepared pet food, of course. But, pet food, none the less.

Donna April 9, 2007 at 10:44 am

Anyone want to shoot down ProPac and/or Evangers (for cats) before I buy either one? Seems right after I buy a jumbo bag of what I think is safe, someone picks holes in my logic.

Also, eons ago when I had a Maltese, I was told to avoid any food with ground yellow corn in it, which I have done for more than 20 years. I was told then that most animals can’t digest it. I notice it is an ingredient in both ProPac and Evangers.

Nette April 9, 2007 at 11:33 am

You will get lots of differing opinions on the corn issue. Here is a site that gives links to reputable sources such as pubmed, etc. http://tinyurl.com/2k8n3s

Cindy Nevarez April 9, 2007 at 11:35 am

Well, it’s like Nette said…there’s no perfect food. And even if there was, not every animal will thrive on it the same way. Just like us.
Some Evangers that I have has the Vit. K in it, and others don’t. Also, the Evangers canned dog food I have doesn’t have corn in it. One of the canned cat food I have (the pheasant one) has all the berries and herbs that’s not supposed to be in there. I might end up feeding that one to the dogs after all. Good thing they have lots of varieties to choose from.
Adelyn, I would like to see the CEOs eat their food too! Maybe all pet food CEOs need reminding that there are people out there who do eat pet food…..either out of necessity, or to encourage their finicky animals to eat. There’s already one case that I know of during this recall where a woman who ate her dog’s food got sick along with her dog.

Gary April 9, 2007 at 12:07 pm

If all of these berries and herbs are so bad for cats, why do these “holistic” pet food makers add them, I wonder? It would certainly be cheaper NOT to add them. I assume they already spend more than the big companies because they are using better, more expensive ingrediants in general. If the fruits and berries are unnecessary, or even harmful, why spend more money?

It seems odd, especially when they are apparently trying to formulate recipes that are good for our animals, as opposed to just making money. (And, even if it’s about money for some of them, why spend more?) Are there studies that show these ingredients are good for cats? There must be.

Any ideas?

Mary Kelley April 9, 2007 at 12:59 pm

Gary, Here is my take on why Pet Food manufacturers have been adding “health foods” to their products. There has been a trend in human foods towards so-called healthier additions to the diet. These include herbs, vitamins and whatever is the latest fad that is being touted as healthful to us. (Low carb., low glycemic, high fiber, etc) So in marketing pet foods, it was probably decided that since pet owners are being more diet conscious, they might also buy into the same fad for their pets. Suddenly you notice a rise in “healthy pet foods” containing cranberries, blueberries, antioxidants, Vit E, Glucosamine; the list is tremendous. Now add all of these herbs, pro-biotics, wonder-vitamins, etc. to “by-products” and rendered meal, and call it healthy! What a concept! Such things were never a part of pet foods 10 years ago. When I first noticed the trend it made me laugh! I don’t believe many studies were done to test these additions into pet foods. It is just a gimmick, and it makes me feel they take us for ignorant! Bottom line is, a simple, basic food without lots of extra ingredients, and a variety, all in moderation, is the best for both humans and pets! Agree?

Adelyn April 9, 2007 at 1:30 pm

It’s all a scam and the Pet Food companies know it. First off, the process that kibble goes through to become kibble depletes 90% of the nutritional value. That is why they have to add so many vitamins. The process is also why they have to spray the kibble with fats and animal digest just to make it more appealing to the animals.

Canned and pouched food are cooked twice. The second time is when they can it (Same process for both canned and pouched) They boil the food at high temperature for an extended period of time (pouch is less time that cans). This also depletes the vitamins. So just because they “claim” they put in cranberry’s and herbs and crap, your dog/cat isn’t gong to get any nutrients from it.

As far as corn for cats or dogs, it is just a very cheap filler with zero nutritional value. It can cause skin problems however.

Gary April 9, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Mary – I agree to a point. As far as humans go, simple is generally better when it comes to avoiding chemicals, fertilizers, processing, etc. However, there are many vitamins, minerals, and other supplements (Glucosamine, as you mentioned) that are good for humans that weren’t part of the simple diet we ate thousands of years ago. (Or, better for us in amounts greater than what can be found in the simple foods.) We know this from various clinical studies.

But, are there similar studies for companion animals? Are the holistic pet food companies adding these ingrediants because they are good for humans, and thus assume we will buy them because we assume they are good for animals? Or, are there studies somewhere that shows that cranberries, for instead, are good for animal urinary health? And, Yucca? I don’t even know what that is. Isn’t it a cactus or something? Is that even good for humans? MOst of these holistic pet food companies seem pretty small, and not the type to go in for marketing hype. (For instance, their labels and packaging are generally horrendous. Felidae can’t even seem to put the labels on their cans correctly.)

I guess I’m going to keep looking for the best canned and dry foods for my cats. Although, we seem to have settled on the California Natural dry chicken and rice. Pretty simple ingredient list. They seem to enjoy it, although not as much as the Royal Canin.

The challenge has been the canned. My next, and last, trial will be with Evangers Super Premium Organic Chicken and Turkey based foods. If they go for that, great. I prefer they eat organic food. But, if they don’t like it, I’m going with the Blue Buffalo and Chicken Soup brands. The ingrediant lists are good, other than menadione. And, I’ve got a strong feeling that BB will drop the menadione soon, what with all the bad press on the web. (I know that CS is a Diamond brand. But, even during the big Diamond recall last year, CS was always safe.)

One other thing about these added herbs and supplements: Somebody said they don’t want to give their cats a food with Kelp as it leads to hyperthyroidism, already a problem in older cats. I think their logic is faulty. Yes, kelp contains Iodine, which is given to humans and animals who suffer from hypothyroidism. But, too much iodine DOES NOT lead to hyperthyroidism. In fact, excessive iodine intake can also lead to hypothyroidism. Weird, huh? So, a little kelp will not lead to hyperthyroidism. The key is PROPER iodine intake. Since almost all non-fish ingredients in cat food contain little or no iodine, a little kelp provides their necessary intake of this important mineral.

Just thought I’d throw that bit of info out there with so much hysteria and worry causing some folks to forget logic and basic nutritional requirements.

Mary Kelley April 9, 2007 at 2:17 pm

Thanks, Gary, Guess I was being overly-simplistic!

Gary April 9, 2007 at 3:40 pm

It’s just so hard to weigh facts with heresay with what seems should be comm,on sense, but isn’t always the right thing.

I think we should be looking at a lot of other “bad” ingredients before we start worrying about a little kelp.

I wish it was merely as simple as avoiding 9-Lives new Raisins and Chocolate Dinner (now with even more Poinsetta!).

amy April 9, 2007 at 4:03 pm

Hi Everyone

I would like to report where I am at with my cat Logan’s food, after a lot of taste testing and research.

Evanger’s–Logan likes it sometimes, but not often.

Spot’s Stew (Halo)– Likes it sometimes. Looks like real stew. I like it for him.

Felidae–Hated it, wouldn’t touch it.

Honest Kitchen Prowl–Not a fan. It looks very unappetizing.

Merrick–Liked it, but the whole rendering plant got me upset.

Logan is currently eating Fromme Foods 4 star cans–chicken, beef and the occasional tuna. I have to say that so far it is the brand that he likes the most, since I took him off Nature’s Variety and Wellness. The food is simplistic in its ingredients, but looks like food that we would eat ourselves. The company has been great with answering questions and seems open to inquiries. Yes, they produce in China, but they have answered my questions to the point that I am comfortable with their manufacturing (the ingredients are shipped TO China, produced in small batches under supervision of a company representative, they use a human food plant). We are obviously not doing a great job in the US, so despite China’s animal cruelty, I need to do what is best for my cat.

Logan is also eating Orijen which I ordered from only4pets.com So far, he likes it as well as Nature’s Variety Raw Instinct. He only has it at night though, so he waits for it like a crack addict!

FireHeart: I spoke to the head of Nature’s Logic. They do use Menu for canned
food and he was very evasive until we spoke by phone. He sold me
a bunch of stuff on how great the plant is and how they are all upset
and the workers have families too, that are affected by this. They do
animal testing due to having to meet AAFCO trials since they do not add
additional vitamin D to their foods. He claimed the animals are in
some kind of private kennels and are handled, etc…blah blah blah.
Bottom line is that in his initial e-mail he was cagey and only answered
my questions when he could try to sell me over the phone. I will not be
using them .

I cook for my dog, and have for 7 years. If anyone wants info. about his diet, let me know. Cooking for a cat feels more complicated and error-prone to me.

Hope this helps.

Gary April 9, 2007 at 5:00 pm

Amy – Are there particular Evangers and Merrick formulas that he liked better or worse than others? I want to try those brands before having to resort to going back to Blue Buff or Chicken Soup.

Why did you switch from Raw Instinct to Orijen? Just wondering. Was it because Nature’s Variety does business with Menu for their canned foods? Is that why you avoided EVO, as well?

Desiree April 9, 2007 at 5:25 pm

I thought that I had figured out what kind of food to go with after all my research, but now the more information I read, the more confused I get. I know what I don’t want—pet food from a company that does animal testing, food from any company that makes any of the products that have been recalled, and food with wheat gluten or any other potentially harmful products.

I know I have a pretty tall order and to further complicate it, I have cats with special needs. Can anyone tell me if one cat food can be good for any cat no matter what their needs are? My cats have been on Hills Prescription Diets, one that was recalled and I have no intention of keeping them on any products suggested by my vet.

5CatMom April 9, 2007 at 5:42 pm

Adelyn,

If the wheat gluten had been brought in for human consumption (and I thought ChemNutra called it “food grade”), it wouldn’t have been tested for melamine. Unless things have changed since 1999, here’s why:

In 1999 Novartis (who recently recalled IBD drug Zoloft) petitioned EPA to allow higher levels of the pesticide cyromazine. When eaten (metabolized) Cyromazine “produces” melamine.

Toward the end of the following link, you’ll see that the World Health Organization isn’t concerned about melamine, so neither is EPA.

Take a big gulp, and read the following link:

http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-PEST/1999/September/Day-15/p24047.htm

Large corporations routinely petition for lower standard in all areas. It’s very disturbing.

Pet food companies should set their own standards based on the inherrent risks of their business, and not rely on government regulations.

amy April 9, 2007 at 6:59 pm

Gary:

Logan has eaten the Evangers Holistic Pheasant, and Organic Braised Chicken. He doesn’t really like seafood so I haven’t tried any by them. He liked Merrick’s Grammy’s Pot Pie, but hated the Cowboy Cookout (despite loving Nature’s Variety beef–go figure). I am worried about Merrick with the rendering and all–plus I think I am going on instinct as they seem very “slick” to me. Maybe I am becoming too paranoid :)

I switched to Orijen just because I am not happy with any association to Menu now. Logan isn’t finished with the bag of Raw Instinct, so he is getting both. I actually like the food, and would keep feeding it if there wasn’t an option like Orijen. I didn’t consider EVO due to Menu right now.

Can you get the Fromme foods anywhere? I will say that hands down he goes right to that stuff like he did with the Nature’s Variety. It is more expensive, but I like the looks of it (the shredded chicken looks like you could dip crackers in it yourself).

Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck.

Amy

Mary Kelley April 9, 2007 at 7:25 pm

So this last article posted (above link) basically shows that Cryomazine trace levels can be found in poultry, eggs, vegetables, milk, even cotton, thanks to pesticide/herbicide use! Am I understanding that correctly? How, then, can we keep from getting the residue into our pets? Could this whole thing be in part due to the compounded chemical trickling down the food chain? They didn’t even mention effects on cats and dogs. ( Just babies )

Tracey April 9, 2007 at 7:51 pm

Hi Mary Kelley,

I use the book quite a bit, we rescue dogs when we can so we have five. Many more given to great homes. My dogs are on an oatmeal based diet with raw meat, turkey, because pork or beef fed raw can cause tape worms. Their coats and eyes are bright and shiny, and they are the picture of health, plus they love it ! I add ground flax, grated raw cabbage, carrots, its bagged I don’t have to shred it. Then just add warm water or a little milk until mixed well. They get half of a human multi vitamin too. I was adding some dry kibble, but won’t any more because of what I have learned about what goes into the commercial pet foods. I have bought some BilJack to add too. There are other recipes in the book, for dogs and cats, plus lots of holistic care information. I know corn is useless to feed them so thay don’t get that. They also get some creep feed pellets when I feed my horse. MY dogs have done very well on these recipes, I don’t think all grains are bad. Legumes are also recommend, but add veggies and some meat too. They can eat a variety of things, you don’t have to cook for them, mostly just mixing ingredients. I use this book alot & have found it very helpful, but I’m sure there are others out there too. Get your info from alot of different sources to get the big picture. Not all grains are going to be good for dogs, but I believe some are. Everything in moderation. Everyone should reread VT Farmers comments.

Jane Anderson April 9, 2007 at 8:25 pm

Ok guys, I need some clarifications. I read that the coast guard requires ethoxyquin in fish meal. So I assume this is a law? So can we assume that all fish meal in dog food contains ethoxyquin? I am asking because I emailed a manufacturer of dog food that likes to send threatening letters :) Here is their reply:

>I am not sure where you received that information. It is not a law to have >that in the food. None of our foods have this before we get it in. We do >testing to be sure that all of our ingredients are free of all chemicals >before we accept if from the suppliers. We use governmental labs to test >for these chemicals.

So who do I believe? The Coast Guard regulations or this maker of pet food? If this is fact really so, then the fish meal has to say that it contains ethoxyquin before it is used. And if it really is in there, and this manufacturer’s tests are not finding it, then what else are they not finding?
Jane

Gary April 9, 2007 at 9:16 pm

Amy – I personally wouldn’t feed my cats anything from China. It’s not due to the recent recall from tainted Chinese ingrediants. It’s due to their lack of food safety laws and enforcement; their lack of environmental laws and enforcement; and to a lesser extent, their history of animal and human cruelty. They have a horrible history of illness and death related to their products. Some Chinese companies even knowingly put toxic chemicals and metals in their foods to make them look more appealing. (Some at the FDA theorize that the melamine may have also been intentionally added to raise the protein level of the gluten!)

Chinese industry and businesses make the robber barons of this nation seem like Mother Theresa. I’m surprised that the fact that Frommes has their canned food manufactured there doesn’t concern you at least as much Natura and Prairie having their canned foods made by Menu. I’m sure that these small pet food companies will have second thoughts about continuing with Menu after they see their canned food sales slump. (Natura already said they will open their own cannery, and dump Menu.)

BTW, I too am a little suspicious of Merricks. There’s something odd about a son opening up a holistic/natural style pet food company next door to his dad’s rendering plant. (A dad who petitioned the gov’t to allow more rendered crap into farm animal feed, thus promoting mad cow disease.) But, the Pot Pie looked and smelled pretty good. It was more watery than most other canned foods I’ve seen. (But, not nearly as soupy as Felidae.) It had visible chuncks of chicken and veggies, and didn’t have the burnt parts of other brands that show how they are cooked in the can at high heats.

I will try the Evangers next. I’m hoping that they like it. The organic certification makes me feel a little better about that brand. We try and avoid pesticides, hormones, and other chemicals in our human food consumption. So, we would like to do the same with our cats, if possible.
We may still switch to an organic-based dry food, ,as well. But, California seems to be working well.

Desiree April 9, 2007 at 9:36 pm

Gary I agree with what you said about China. My thoughts have been the same as yours and I too struggle over the situation with Menu Foods. If it weren’t for that, I really thought the dry food Nature’s Variety Raw Instinct looked pretty good, but I have a great deal of concern about Merricks, so they are totally out of the question.

At this point though I think Evangers and California Natural are the ones I’m going to start with. I appreciate your input on California Natural because they were one that I hadn’t looked into until I came across your blog. I’m still uncertain which products are best for the special needs of my cats, but I just hope from what I can determine that these will fit their needs. This has been a long and grueling process–one I have a feeling is not over yet.

Sondra T. April 9, 2007 at 9:40 pm

Wellness has come out with a new high protein dry cat food. It sounds similar to Evo. It’s called CORE and is approx 50% protein. Has anyone heard anything about it or tried it? Do you think it would be safe to switch an older cat (7-9 yrs) to a high protein diet? I read somewhere that older cats should have less protein in their diets as they age?

Therese April 9, 2007 at 10:07 pm

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