It’s meat, but not as we know it…

It’s meat, but not as we know it…
30th January 2015

Cats are carnivores and need to eat meat to survive. If their diet doesn’t include meat it can take just a few days for a cat’s health to deteriorate. But how much do you really know about the meat that’s in the pet food you buy for your cat?

Imagine yourself browsing the cat food shelves in the supermarket. You read the words ‘meat’ or ‘with chicken’ or ‘with fish’ on a brand of tinned cat food and you create a picture in your mind’s eye of a dish of chicken breast or fresh fillets of salmon and tuna. It sounds good, and you love your cat, so you buy that cat food.

But because of the way the pet food industry works, you’re not getting the whole story. A pet food that states ‘chicken’ as the variety on the front doesn’t have to have chicken as the primary ingredient. You may be surprised to learn that the chicken content could be as little as 4%. Have a look at the label. If you find in the composition the term ‘Meat and Animal derivatives’ (of which chicken min 4%) then you could be getting just 4% chicken, and it doesn’t even have to be chicken breast meat.

Encore is different – our cat food contains up to 75% real meat. We only use prime cuts of meat in our tins, pouches and pots, and by prime cuts we mean muscle tissue. We do this because we believe it provides excellent, all natural nutrition. For pets like cats that are obligate carnivores, ‘real meat’, as we like to describe it, provides a rich source of essential amino acids like arginine.

We do use fresh offal in the form of liver and kidney in our pate-style Encore complete food but we don’t call it ‘meat’ on the packaging.

Another term used by the pet food industry is ‘Meat and Animal Derivatives’. This is used to cover a wide range of meat by-products. The by-products must come from animals which have been passed fit for human consumption by veterinary inspectors. These are ingredients which are considered less desirable for human consumption and consist mainly of offal and off cuts, including beef lungs, brains, blood, spleen, throat, skin, udders and viscera which are the soft internal tissue that lead to the back passage. None of these animal derivatives are used in any of our Encore recipes…ever.

We want the pet food industry in the UK to adopt the definition of meat in their marketing communications and packaging that has been ratified FEDIAF (the body that guides and regulates the pet food industry in Europe).

Then pet owners will know exactly what they’re feeding their beloved cats and dogs.