Sunday 29 October 2023

Is human-grade wet cat food healthier for your cat than standard cat food?

I am sceptical about an article in the Express newspaper which claims that human grade cat food completely changed the health and vitality of this woman's two cats. She claimed that her cats completely changed when they were fed on a human-grade meat diet. She did this deliberately to see if it made any difference to her cats. She said that she tried her favourite high quality, human-grade cat food: Untamed.

Image: MikeB

And here is the problem for me: the whole article in this online newspaper promotes and praises Untamed human-grade wet cat food. It seems to me like this is a promotional, paid piece and therefore I have difficulty in believing it. Although logically high-quality cat food at a human-grade level should be better for a cat than cheap cat food.

But is it better than standard high quality wet cat food? I would doubt it. The author of the article, Sophie Harris, said that "feeding both of them 2 to 3 times a day can be expensive but I believe investing in their food is the least I can do as an answer [to whether this food improved health]".

She said that the "food is quite pricey, with my two cats costing £100 a month ($121) to feed, not including the dry food they eat throughout the day." That means £50 per cat per month which is expensive. Not many people could justify that kind of expenditure.

Perhaps this is the weakness in this argument. You could argue all day long that human-grade wet cat food should be bought and provided by the cat owner, every time, all the time if the sole objective is to max out the health and welfare of your cat. But, 95% of cat owners can't afford that kind of expense so the discussion is academic.

And Sophie found that after a few days of feeding on the super high quality cat food her cats would not eat anything else but she says that she had the "satisfaction that it was providing him with all the nutrients he needed." How will she get them off it and go back to the standard stuff?

Untamed say that cats should have more energy because they will have been eating high-protein whole meats.

Not long ago, I did some research on vegan dry cat food which I bought for my cat but he does not like it! My research using Google Scholar indicated to me that plant proteins are as good as animal proteins. So, the statement above that high-protein whole meats are better seems to be incorrect to me. Protein is protein. And cat food is artificial in any case. The manufacturers simply add all the nutrients needed to make it balanced.

Perhaps one factor with buying human-grade wet cat food is that it is probably prepared to a higher standard which may make it healthier. And there will be less additives I suspect. Of course, the basic ingredients are higher quality and they probably meet stricter standards. There will be less fillers and artificial ingredients. This would indicate that it provides better nutrition which may in turn lead to improved energy levels, a stronger immune system and healthier coat.

Of course, that must be the common-sense conclusion but you might not see it actually in your cat. Also, not all human-grade cat foods are of equal quality. And also, cats may have specific dietary requirements and sensitivities. I don't think we can say with 100% certainty that providing your cat with human-grade cat food will improve their health and welfare over providing a good quality wet cat food. Notice I have referred to good wet food. Poor quality dry foods are liable, I believe to cause health issues if it is the sole source of nutrition.

You might like to consult with a veterinarian on this if you are considering it. Also, transitioning to a new diet should be done gradually as a sudden change can cause gastrointestinal issues.


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

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