It's felt cats first slithed, slithered and sashayed into our human existance about 10,000 years ago in the Middle East when man began farming and storing grain. This meant mice and rats which attracted cats to more or less move in with us.
The Wikipedia article on catfood says
"Major brand-name dry cat food manufacturers often use primarily grain-based ingredients like corn and rice with meat by-products or animal digest making up the meat ingredients.Let's stop right there are look at those. First, Animal digest:
"It is material which results from chemical and/or enzymatic hydrolysis of clean and undecomposed animal tissue... Any kind of animal can be included: "4-D animals" (dead, diseased, disabled, or dying prior to slaughter), goats, pigs, horses, rats, euthanized at animal shelters, restaurant and supermarket refuse and so on"and Meat by-product as:
"The non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially defatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents. It does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs. It shall be suitable for use in animal food. If it bears name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.
Alright back to the original Wiki catofod article. It then goes on to say:
Some manufacturers offer 'premium', 'natural' or 'holistic' formulas that are by-product free and contains less or no grains. Grain-free dry diets still contain carbohydrates, from sources such as potato or tapioca as the starch in those ingredients is needed to allow the kibble to hold its shape. Cats have no metabolic need for carbohydrates as the feline system prefers to create glucose from protein.
So is that great or what? Buy commercial catfood and you're getting scrap, dead pets and corn that cats don't need and cannot digest. Wonderful.
What you can do instead is feed the animals what their body expects and can handle: meat. To make sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need you to mix stuff with the meat and there are things you can get to mix with just meat to make a decent cat food.
Any of which will have your cat looking and feeling better than that crap you bought in Wal Mart for $8 a bag. That stuff aint cheap because they're passing the savings onto you.
RJS 20 Feb 2008