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What is cat food made of? Cat food review and composition comparison
What is cat food made of? Cat food review and composition comparison

What is cat food made of? Every owner of pet four-legged friends must have asked a similar question. The article is devoted to the answer to it. An overview of the most popular cat food will also be given.

History of Appearance

Prepared animal feed began to be produced in the 1860s. English electrician James Spratt invented the "dog biscuit", which included beef blood, wheat and vegetables. These were the first crackers for pets, and soon many dealers picked up the idea and began to produce similar products. In the 1890s, the know-how also migrated to the USA.

At the beginning of the 20th century, ready-made pet food became popular, the first canned food for cats was produced in the 30s by Gaines Food.

In the 1940s, dry food also appeared. Since the metal was used to meet the needs of the front, canned food for animals was not produced. But the producers did not want to give up the profitable business, and therefore switched to dry products.

At that time, there were two types of them: granules (sold ready-made) and balls (they had to be kneaded by hand).

After the war, people's well-being improved, andthey could already afford to buy pet food. Many companies have added this position to their product manufacturing. These were Mars, Lipton, Quaker Oats, Post, Carnation, etc. Most of the canned food then was fish.

A new milestone in the history of pet food was the introduction of a new technology in the 50s by Purina. This was the use of extrusion, the process of preparing food by pushing it through an extruder. As a result of such processing, the finished product turned out to be swollen, as it were, increased in volume, after which it was subjected to baking. Manufacturers used the new technology as a marketing ploy, offering more food for the same money, but the benefits of such products were questionable. Firstly, crackers were sprinkled with flavorings, and secondly, a large amount of starch was added to the mixture for extrusion - mainly corn.

Later, manufacturers promoted an active educational campaign for pet owners, promoting the harmfulness of food from the owners' table to cats, thereby seeking to increase sales of their goods.


In a century and a half, industrial pet food has undergone significant changes, but not all owners are inclined to trust ready-made diets, doubting the quality of the original products. Therefore, the owners continue to feed the cats with "human" food. Is this allowed? And what is better for four-legged pets - ready-made food or natural products? This issue needs to be carefully considered so as not to risk the he alth of the brothers.our smaller ones. To understand whether prepared foods are useful, you need to understand what they are actually made from.

When choosing a product to feed your pet, it is important to analyze the composition of the first one by carefully reading the labels on the package. What is dry cat food made of?

What is whiskas cat food made of?


The main position in the composition are components of animal origin. These include not only meat itself, but also offal, fish and eggs. It is a source of protein for tetrapods. Best of all, the cat's body absorbs amino acids from poultry, as well as fish, lamb and beef. This does not mean that the animal should not be given other types of meat food. If there are no allergies and the food is well absorbed, it is worth diversifying the menu by offering different types of crackers.

This ingredient may be listed under the word "Meat" on food packaging. This also includes the muscle tissue of animals, which may include fat, tendons, blood vessels, skin. "Meat" is subjected to mechanical deboning, grinding into minced meat. Bird and fish are usually isolated in the composition, they cannot be called "meat". What else goes into finished pet food?

comparison of cat food composition

Instead of meat

What else is in cat food?

  • Meat by-products. These are the rest of the edible parts of mammals, for example, the liver, kidneys, scar. There may also be lungs and udders, although they are not edible for humans, animals can eat them.
  • Bird. This is what all edibles are called.parts of birds other than feathers, entrails, heads and legs. This includes bones and skin. They are ground together with the pulp, and the bones are also a valuable source of calcium. The manufacturer often indicates the type of bird - chicken, turkey.
  • Poultry offal. This includes the heads, legs, and intestines, as well as the heart, liver, and stomach.

What is cat food made of? Inexpensive products under the name "Meat" and "Poultry" use by-products at best.

Felix cat food ingredients


Flour or hydrolyzed product. What is raised under this name in the composition of animal feed? In the process of processing under the influence of high temperature and pressure, moisture, fat, bacteria, microorganisms are removed from the components. Only proteins and minerals remain, they are crushed to a powder. The resulting powder is called "flour" or "hydrolyzed" product.

  • Meat meal is a powder obtained from the processing of mammalian tissues, and not only muscle. Thus, meat meal can be produced not only from meat, but also from offal. Mammals may be different, the manufacturer may specify their species, but is optional.
  • Meat and bone meal. Almost the same as meat meal, but it also contains crushed bones. The manufacturer indicates the amount of minerals and nutrients, but from which the flour was obtained, he is not obliged to indicate.
  • Flour from animal offal. It is obtained from meat, bones and offal. The raw material can be whole carcassesmammals.
  • Flour from poultry offal. This component is obtained from whole carcasses of birds or their offal. Raw materials are crushed, subjected to processing in order to remove moisture and fat. The result is a protein-mineral ingredient.
  • Poultry flour. It is obtained by processing an ingredient called "Bird". What is cat food made of and what else is in it?


This component is often present in economy and premium feeds. Its presence in high-quality feed is not welcome, since there are not so many vitamins in cereals, and they are quite capable of causing the development of allergies. Corn and wheat are the most dangerous in this regard. In cats, this can result in causeless itching and hair loss.

Whiskas cat food ingredients


This ingredient in small amounts helps improve digestion and is often used by manufacturers as a source of cheap vegetable protein. Super premium and holistic foods may contain peas and lentils. Legumes are almost never found in economy class products.


As a source of fiber, vegetables are included in ready-made cat food. They contain more nutrients than cereals, but their cost is higher. Therefore, vegetables can be found in super-premium and holistic foods. Economy goods do not contain vegetables themselves, they may contain processed products.


As part of feed, animal and vegetable fats and oils are used. They are what give the productattractive taste and increase its energy value.

Vegetable ingredients - corn, rice, barley, peas, potatoes - help hold the ingredients together and are also a source of carbohydrates. In addition to them, beet pulp, cellulose, chicory, as well as inulin, fructooligoscharide can be used.

Vitamins and minerals

Recycled cat food is a source of protein and carbohydrates. Vitamins and minerals are not preserved after processing, so they are added artificially. The manufacturer describes them:

  • simple enumeration - copper, iron, sodium, zinc, calcium;
  • indicating specific substances containing minerals.

Sources of minerals are synthetic additives: iron amino acid complex, zinc polysaccharide complex. It is believed that minerals are better absorbed from such compounds.

Vitamins are also supplemented in the form of artificial substances: cholecalciferol (vitamin D from animal sources), ergocalciferol (vitamin D from plants), riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin A, vitamin E, thiamine mononitrate (source of vitamin B1), vitamin B6.

So, behind the complex chemical names are hidden artificial analogues of natural ingredients that disappeared from the feed during processing. Amino acids are also replaced (DL-methionine, L-lysine, DL-tryptophan).


Of course, in any feed there are substances that ensure long-term storage of the product. Possible preservatives include:

  • ascorbic acid;
  • benzoic acid,
  • butylated hydroxyl anisole (BHA),
  • butylated hydroxyl toluene (BHT),
  • calcium ascorbate,
  • citric acid,
  • ethoxyquin,
  • potassium sorbate,
  • sodium bisulfate,
  • tocopherols.

It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to indicate the preservative used.

Thickeners, emulsifiers, flavors

These substances are needed to make delicious crispy crackers from the powder. Carrageenan, agar-agar, guar copper are used as thickeners.

Well, for an attractive smell, flavors are put in the food - extracts of chamomile, ginger, fennel, rosemary, etc..

How do you recognize quality food?

Meat should come first on the list of ingredients. Kidneys, heart, stomach, liver, lungs are preferred as by-products. In a small amount, a tripe, chicken heads are acceptable. Such components are included in the super-premium and holistic categories.

Common names like "Meat", "Poultry", "Offal" are not desirable. Under these names, various ingredients can be used, and of dubious quality. If the manufacturer avoids specifics, it may be that he wants to hide something from the consumer.

Undesirable extracts instead of the substances themselves in the composition of the feed. For example, a hydrolyzate of animal proteins may be included instead of meat. Often the share of meat ingredients can be no more than 4%, as it happens in economy class feeds. For predators, this is very small,therefore, these products are not good for pets.

The following is a comparison of cat food composition.

what is cat food made of

Royal Canin Adult British Shorthair

Belongs to the premium class. Royal Canin dry cat food contains vegetable protein isolate and dehydrated animal proteins (poultry), as well as hydrolysed animal proteins and a natural flavor additive. In addition, rice, wheat and cereal flour act as carbohydrates. As fat - animal, fish oil and soybean oil. As fiber - vegetable. There is a mineral supplement, yeast, fructooligosaccharides.

Royal Canin food for cats has a wide range of flavors, contains a large amount of vitamins and minerals. However, the price of the goods is not low.

"Felix" (in bags)

royal canin for cats

What is this brand of cat food made of? This is economy food. It contains meat and products of its processing (4% chicken, 4% lamb). However, what kind of meat is in the composition and how much of it is unknown. In addition, there is an extract of vegetable protein, fish and its products, minerals, dyes, sugars, vitamins. The advantages are affordable price and widespread use. The disadvantages are that Felix cat food contains unknown ingredients in unclear amounts.


Economy class product. What is Whiskas cat food made of? In its production, chicken,fishmeal, turkey, corn, rice, animal fat, vitamins and minerals, preservatives and flavors.

What is dry cat food made of?

Disadvantages of this brand of feed:

  • Whiskas cat food contains many ingredients of dubious quality, indicated by general formulations.
  • Plenty of herbal ingredients.
  • Unclear what flavors and preservatives are contained.
  • High percentage of potential allergens (corn, caramel).


What is cat food sachets made of?

Premium food. It contains corn gluten, egg powder, fish and wheat flour, poultry offal flour, liver, animal fat, biotin, minerals and vitamins. Among the disadvantages are a small amount of meat, the presence of soy, wheat flour, gluten and taurine.

Acana Grasslands for Cats

What is whiskas cat food made of?

The food belongs to the holistic class. It contains lamb, lamb liver, lamb meal, salmon, eggs, lentils, herring meal, mutton and duck fat, apples, carrots, cranberries, pumpkins, peas, vitamins and minerals, dandelion, chamomile, mint.

The food is distinguished by a high content of meat, the presence of preventive additives, duck, fish and mutton fats.

So, having figured out what cat food is made of, we now understand that if you choose this option for cat nutrition, you should purchase high-class products, since they contain he alth benefitsanimal components.

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