Indigestible Protein is the Problem

by Henry Pasternak, D.V.M.
[From Healing Pets with Nature’s Miracle Cures by permission.]
The Pet Food Institute acknowledges the importance of us¬ing by-products in pet foods to provide additional income for processors and farmers. Many of these remnants are indigestible and provide a questionable source of nutrition for dogs and cats.

Furthermore, the amount of nutrition in meat by-products, meals, and animal fats varies from batch to batch. It stands to reason that a vat filled with chicken feet, beaks, and viscera is going to yield less digestible protein than a vat of breast meat. There is little or no information on the bio-availability of the nutrients in food manufactured for companion animals. In other words, it is not known if and how those nutrients are absorbed by the animals' bodies. Nutrient profiles by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) do not give assurance of nutritional adequacy and will not until bio-availability values are known.

Meat By-Products Can Be Cancerous

The well-known phrase, "meat by-products," is a misnomer since these by-products contain little, if any, meat. These are the parts of the animal left over after the meat has been stripped away from the bone. Chicken by-products include head, feet, entrails, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, liver, stomach, bones, blood, intes¬tines, and any other part of the carcass not fit for human con¬sumption. One of the secrets kept by the pet food industry is that some by-products also contain substances such as abscesses and cancerous material. In my opinion, feeding slaugh¬terhouse wastes to animals increases their chances of getting can¬cer and other degenerative diseases. Some meat, especially glandular tissue, may contain high levels of hormones, which may also cause serious health problems including cancer. Unlike bacteria and viruses, these hormones are not destroyed by high temperatures or pressure cooking used in the manufacture of pet food. Cats seem to be most adversely affected by high hormone levels.
Liver and Veggies prepared by Bev

Premium Brands of Cat Food

In the last decade in particular, premium cat food manufacturers’ have arisen on the marketing landscape to offer a higher ratio of protein to grain/filler ratio. You pay more for these brands but in providing more meat for the cat, the quantity you serve is less while the protein content is more satisfying. If it’s not possible to switch to more costly brands of cat food, then it might be wise to supplement your cat’s nutritional requirements by alternating commercial brands with home prepared meals (see recipes in A Variety of Cat Diets in the Articles section of this website).
[To purchase a copy of Healing Pets and Nature’s Miracle Cures go to www.pasternakvetcenter.com. For private phone consultations with Dr. Pasternak, call 310-268-2275.]