Oct 28, 2016 - The AAFCO definition of meat by-products as used on pet food labels. Meat by-products are listed on the label of many popular cat foods.
Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they have nutritional requirements that can only be met with a diet based almost entirely on animal tissue. This is why our Natural Selections™ cat food is 100% real meat and contains no animal by-products or fillers.
Canned dog and cat foods contain 68%–78% water and 22%–32% dry matter. Many of the same ingredients are used in canned pet foods as in dry-extruded types but usually not at the same levels of inclusion. Given their high moisture content, canned foods typically contain higher amounts of fresh or frozen meat, poultry, or fish products and animal byproducts. Many canned pet foods contain textured proteins derived from grains, such as wheat or soy. These materials function as meat analogues, having a physical structure similar to that of meat and high nutritional quality. The use of meat in combination with some of the textured proteins not only controls costs but can improve the overall nutritional profile of the final product.
Pet Food (What You Need to Know) for Your Pet's Sake | petMD
What's Wrong With By-Products in Cat Food - The Spruce
For protein, many cat foods use meat byproducts. There are two schools of thought regarding the use of byproducts in pet food. One point of view says that in the wild, a cat will eat every part of its prey -- bones, fur, internal organs and all -- therefore byproducts are a part of a cat's natural diet, so a small amount of byproduct might not be too bad. Among those with that point of view are veterinarian Lisa A. Pierson, whose website says, "The whole issue of byproducts or no byproducts is a personal one." Pierson goes on to say that byproducts at least are of animal origin and don't add carbohydrates to the food. She adds that it is more sensible to include small amounts of animal-derived byproducts in a carnivore's diet than it does to add grains like corn, wheat or soy, which add carbs to the diet and could trigger an allergic reaction in some cats. Others, such as Franny Syufy, the guide to cats, aren't so sure. While Syufy allows that byproducts of named meats, such as chicken by-product meal, may be acceptable, she would prefer it be listed far down on the label. Premium cat foods recommended by most experts contain few, if any, byproducts. Pet food is a specialty food for domesticated animals that is formulated according to their nutritional needs. Pet food generally consists of meat, meat byproducts, cereals, grain, vitamins, and minerals. In the U.S. about 300 manufacturers produce more than 7 million tons of pet food each year, one of the largest categories of any packaged food. Pet owners can choose from more than 3,000 different pet food products, including the dry, canned, and semi-moist types, as well as snacks such as biscuits, kibbles, and treats. In the 1990s, this $8-billion industry feeds America's 52 million dogs and 63 million cats. More and more sources recommend avoiding meat byproducts in our pets’ food. They say we should and avoid grain and meat byproducts on the label. But is this true? Let’s talk about what byproducts are, whether byproducts are bad and whether you should avoid byproducts in your cat’s food.