Nightmare Ingredients in Cat Food: What You Should Avoid

Daisy Brown

Most times, pet owners rely so much on veterinarians anytime their pets develop health issues. They are unaware that some of these issues arise due to poor-quality food intake. Prevention, they say, is better than cure; therefore, adequate attention should be given to the quality of food consumed by pets. Many cat owners are less concern about the quality of food consumed by their cats but the question you should ask yourself is “What will I do if my cat dies from a serious illness resulting from eating the wrong cat food”. It would obviously be a painful experience especially when you know you could have prevented it. You may be wondering “ why to worry so much about avoiding some ingredients since it is not certain that your cat will die from eating them”. Well, the truth is that some ingredients increase the risk of premature death, and I’m not sure you are willing to take the risk.

The Cat Food Ingredients You Need To Avoid

It is surprising that even the most premium brands of cat food contain some ingredients which can be hazardous to the health of a cat. Some cat foods have been found to contain carcinogenic ingredients with limited protein content.
Hence, it is necessary for cat owners to exclude cat-inappropriate ingredients from the diet of their cats as they may become toxic in the long run.

Below is a list of some poor quality ingredients in cat foods that you would never want to feed your cat with:

– Cellulose
– Iron oxide
– Caffeine
– Garlic
– Caramel
– Sodium nitrite
– Theobromine
– Butylated hydroxyanisole
– Titanium dioxide
– Fructo-oligosaccharides
– Onions
– Grape.


  • Cellulose


They are insoluble fibers that are considered indigestible in cats and some animals. They affect the digestion process by obstructing the absorption of nutrients in the other ingredients.


  • Iron Oxide


They are important in the formation of hemoglobin but they are needed in very minute quantities. This is because their accumulation can affect the intestinal lining in cats.


  • Caffeine


Frequent or excessive caffeine intake can increase the risk of premature death in cats. They are known to cause seizures as a result of increased blood pressure.


  • Garlic


They are not necessarily needed in a cat’s diet as they may become harmful over time. Constant intake of garlic may result in anemia thereby damaging the red blood cell of cats.


  • Caramel


They are additives in cat foods that are found to be potential hazards to cats. They have carcinogenic properties and can cause digestion issues in cats.


  • Sodium Nitrite


They are commonly used in most commercial cat foods as preservatives. Excessive intake may result in the discoloration of the hemoglobin thereby altering the integrity of the red blood cell.


  • Theobromine


They are usually found in chocolates and other cocoa products. They can be harmful when taken excessively as they tend to affect the nervous system of cats.


  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole


They are preservatives in cat food and they can deteriorate the health quality of cats when excessively consumed. They are known to be carcinogenic and have been streamlined to be a cause of some tumors in animals.


  • Butylated Hydroxyanisole


They are preservatives in cat food and they can deteriorate the health quality of cats when excessively consumed. They are known to be carcinogenic and have been streamlined to be a cause of some tumors in animals.


  • Titanium Dioxide


They are coloring substances that are found to be used in most cat foods. They are also found to be carcinogenic thereby altering the genetic makeup in the DNA of cats.


  • Fructo-oligosaccharides


They are highly indigestible and can result in diarrhea in cats.


  • Onion


They are not needed in cat food because they can cause forms of anemia.


  • Grapes


They are unhealthy for cats because they increase the risk of kidney disease such as CKD.

It might be difficult to predict what is essential for your cat but it’s important to do away with ingredients that may pose little risk to their health. For instance, feeding some cats with milk may be dangerous as some cats are lactose intolerant.

Healthy Cat Foods

Whatever you feed your cat with plays a very important role in increasing its lifespan. Therefore, many illnesses can be prevented by proper nutrition.

Most cat owners might try to extrapolate from human nutritional needs and this is completely wrong as cat needs may differ. Hence, proper awareness is necessary for cat owners.
The best healthy cat foods have been found to contain:

– Protein
– Carbohydrates
– Vitamins
– Fats
– Fibers
– Preservative


  • Protein


It should be known that cats require a large amount of protein for appropriate growth. Foods that are highly concentrated in protein are ideal for cats, foods containing egg, fish, chicken, etc.
The best source of protein for cats is from hunted rats.


  • Carbohydrates


Grains containing carbohydrates are appropriate for cats, though cats might have a low metabolic need for carbohydrates. Hence, their energy results majorly from consumed fats and protein. Rice can serve as a safe source of carbohydrates.


  • Vitamins


Vitamins are essentially important in a portion of healthy cat food to help prevent them from health arising issues. They have a recommended amount that is required and surpassing this amount can be detrimental to cats’ health.


  • Fats


They contain very high calories and are essential in moderate amounts. The fats are usually gotten from a specific animal such as a mouse.


  • Fibers


They are known to function in the free movement of the bowel and are essential or a healthy intestine. Fibers such as beets have been accounted for their high fermentability and for not obstructing the absorption process.


  • Preservatives


They are known to protect the integrity of the ingredients and prevent them from spoiling. Preservatives such as mixed tocopherols which contain Vitamin E have been highly recommended as a safe preservative.


Healthy cat foods are required for cat‘s growth and development. Rather than purchasing a low-quality cat food, it is essential to gain awareness of the appropriate nutrients needed as there are some foods that can be purchased without causing a dent in your budget.

What matters the most is that your cat gets the most of the ingredients that are needed. It does not matter if your cat gets a certain nutrient from corn or another grain. It is far more important that your cat gets enough of the nutrient.