Category: Nutrition

Cat Feeding Myths

I admit, it really irks me when companies who know nothing about feline nutrition give bad advice to their customers. This is the case with Assisi Animal Health, which manufactures a device called the Assisi Loop. Now, the product is a…

Why Fish is Dangerous for Cats

The fish used in pet food may contain all kinds of toxins and drug residues, including persistent organic pollutants that actually stop the body from eliminating it and other toxins. Another common toxin, domoic acid, may be an unrecognized factor in chronic kidney disease.

Pet Food: Processed to Death?

Many thanks to Susan Thixton at TruthAboutPetFood.com for letting us reprint her excellent article here, which applies 100% to cat food as well as dog food. The multiple rounds of heat processing that pet food undergoes causes many deleterious changes…

Coconut Oil and Pets

Questions about coconut oil keep coming up, so I thought I’d explain in why I recommend not giving it to their cats and dogs. Humans evolved where coconut palms naturally grow. Primates, including early humans, ate, and still eat, coconuts. Coconut is a…

Pet Food Contaminants

As part of my duties as an AAFCO advisor and member of several Working Groups, I attend numerous webinars and teleconferences. In one group, the discussion centered around the use of 4D meats and other rotten junk in pet food,…

FDA Finds Toxic Sludge Going Into Animal Food

Many thanks to our good friend Mollie Morrissette for her excellent reporting on this issue. This is one more reason for why it is so important to have consumer representatives at AAFCO meetings–we provide a layer of protection (and a warning…

Yucca

There have been a few myths about the desert plant Yucca schidigera making the internet rounds lately. In particular, some are suggesting that yucca is not safe as a daily supplement, even though it’s present in many pet foods. So…

Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Cats

Changing diets at least every 3-4 months, to a food with different protein and carbohydrate sources, may prevent your cat from becoming allergic or intolerant to a food in the first place.

The Ideal Diet for Cats

Data suggest that diet is largely irrelevant in terms of extending longevity… On the other hand, there is plenty of research showing that the more prey-like the diet, the better for the cat. Certainly dry cat food has no place in the diet if longevity is the goal.

What Cats Should Eat

The most common question we get at Little Big Cat is, “What should I feed my cat?”  Now, that’s a pretty big subject! The answer depends on many factors, including your cat’s age and health, as well as the size…

Mars buys Iams, Eukanuba, and Natura

In a bid for world domination, the Martians…oops, I mean, Mars Petcare (the pet food arm of the candy giant)…is acquiring all of Procter & Gamble’s pet food brands for a mere $2.9 BILLION. It had been rumored for several…

Carrageenan: a Controversial Pet Food Additive

Carrageenan is a seaweed derivative that is commonly used as a food additive in a wide variety of products. There has been a lot of controversy about this ingredient, so let’s take a look at it in more detail. Carragreenan…

Food Allergies in Cats

Cats often develop “food intolerances” or “food allergies” to ingredients found in commercial cat food. Currently, the most common allergies in cats are: chicken, dairy, fish, beef, lamb, and eggs. However, an allergy can develop to any protein to which…

Homemade vs. Commercial Food for Cats and Dogs!

By Jean Hofve, DVM Preparing a home-made diet for one’s pets is a bit of a challenge. However, it is no more difficult than feeding one’s children a balanced and nutritious diet. Most human beings seem to be able to…

Feline Obesity

By Jean Hofve, DVM Obesity is a serious problem for our feline friends; it affects more than half of American cats today. Many serious health problems can result from obesity, including arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, heart failure, inflammatory bowel disease, urinary tract…

Fiber Facts

By Dr. Jean Hofve Recently there has been renewed interest in fiber as a pet food ingredient. One pet food manufacturer published an article on the Internet condemning beet pulp in pet food as unhealthy if not downright dangerous, while…

New Pet Food Standards – Finally?

The standards by which pet food are made are set by an organization called AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials). AAFCO provides model rules and standards that most states have adopted, and that pet food companies abide by. You’ve undoubtedly…

PetMD claims soy is good for carnivores

On a PetMD.com blog,  Dr. Jennifer Coates discusses how nutrition impacts the immune system. No argument here, of course what you, your cat, your dog, or your pet elephant eats has multiple effects on the immune system and every other…

Study Slams Raw Diets for Cats

A study in the Journal of Animal Sciences (J. Anim. Sci. 2013.91:225–237) claims that raw diets aren’t quite the cat’s meow. Researchers from the University of Illinois and an Omaha zoo fed raw diets to domestic cats as well as African…

AAFCO August 2012 Report

Thanks to an amazing and heartwarming outpouring of support from so many wonderful people, last weekend I was able to attend the 103rd Annual Convention of AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), the organization that makes the rules about…

AVMA vs Raw Food

The AVMA recently adopted a policy position against raw meat diets for pets. Their reasoning is wrong and their science is unfounded. Here is my reasoning on why AVMA (as well as the AAHA which adopted the same policy almost as…

Tell FDA: Label Genetically Modified Foods!

Did you know that 85% of corn and more than 90% of soy in the US is genetically modified? GM foods may cause serious damage to your body, but the FDA does not want to give you a choice whether…

Mad Cow Discovered in California

I’m in California this week (May 2012) visiting family…and there are so many interesting things happening here! But of course, the one that may most profoundly affect our pets is the discovery of a cow infected with Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy…

Pet food violates federal law–with FDA blessing

The FDA recently released a video about pet food to reassure us that commercial pet food is just fine: (FDA video)… But this video is incredibly misleading, and (if you ask me) even downright patronizing. A brand new, hard-hitting video from…

Overweight Pets

Dr. Karen Becker over at Mercola.com has written a fabulous article on  overweight pets and the completely wrong-headed approach being taken by the pet food industry to a problem that they themselves created. I agree with every word! Please take…

Hot News on Pet Food!

Little Big Cat is coming to you today from beautiful Reno, Nevada; I’m attending the mid-year meeting of AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials. If that organization sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve seen it on virtually every can,…

No Milk Today

It’s true that cats love milk. Most cats will drink it if you let them. And who hasn’t shared a little milk with their feline friend now and then? So, what’s the problem? Cow’s milk is not a natural food…

Vegetarian Cats?

By Jean Hofve, DVM There are several companies and websites that promote vegetarian (no meat or fish) or even vegan (no animal products at all) diets for cats. These products appeal to people who have chosen a vegetarian or vegan…

Science Diet receives smackdown from FDA

Every once in a while–just often enough to keep hope alive–justice prevails! (And no, I’m not referring to the duck hunter whose dog shot him in the butt!) In this beautiful example, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)  finally…

Study Supports Raw Meat Diet for Cats

A study was just published on the relative digestibility of different diets in cats. The researchers found that the raw-meat based diet (RB) and cooked meat diets (CB) were both better digested by cats than an extruded (dry kibble) food,…

Top 4 Pet Supplements

By Jean Hofve, DVM I was interviewed for About.com on pet supplements. I was asked to choose my top four, and explain why I recommend them. (Click here to read the article on About.com) 1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids You know…