New research has found that cat owners are unknowingly feeding their pets poor quality food.
A study of 2,000 cat owners revealed that many are oblivious about what foods could be harmful to their moggy’s health – with some even sharing takeaways and leftovers.
A fifth of owners don’t even know that their cats are carnivores – with one in 10 feeding them raw vegetables and another one in 20 serving up salad leaves.
The study was commissioned by Lily’s Kitchen to coincide with the launch of their new Suppers Stew cat food range. Of the cat owners surveyed, 64% are baffled by what they should look for when buying cat food and one in 20 simply buy the cheapest, with 15% swapping from brand to brand depending on what’s the best value.
Leading veterinarian, Rodney Zasman has warned that serving up some of the cheaper cat foods available could be no better than feeding your cat a daily dose of McDonalds.
He said: “It’s alarming that many of the nation’s cat owners are oblivious to what constitutes a healthy diet for their pets, particularly when healthy eating plays such a big part in modern day living for the owners themselves. One of the biggest dangers to our cats’ health is actually poor quality, mass produced pet food.
“In some instances, these foods contain as little as four per cent meat and, as a result, cats aren’t getting the nutrition they need to keep them healthy. But cat owners are largely unaware of this fact and only find out when they take their poorly overweight moggy to the vet.”
Further stats from the study showed that 40% of cat owners are happy to share their own meals with their cats, with a third giving the cheese without realising that large amounts could be dangerous.
One in 20 have offered their cat a piece of chocolate and almost a fifth are happy to let their cat lick from a bowl of cream, which can be unhealthy for moggies.
Sadly, a fifth of cat owners have had to take their pet to the vet after it ate something which disagreed with it. A further 28% admit that their cat has been diagnosed with either being overweight of other medical conditions such as skin problems and diabetes due to its diet.
Vet Rodney Zasman added: “Feline obesity is a huge problem in the UK< as well as a host of other health complaints, many of which are caused by eating the wrong type of food, which is low in real meat and high in a range of other, less nutritious ingredients, cleverly disguised on the label as ‘meat and animal derivatives.
“In many cases this isn’t the owner’s fault. Cats are independent creatures and often very fussy eaters, so it’s not always easy to tell when a cat is becoming unwell due to its diet.”
Lily’s Kitchen new Suppurs Stew range of food for cats is made using only proper meat and offal, with 33% delicious shredded chicken fillets and absolutely no meat-meal, fish-meal, bone-meal or rendered meat.
Henrietta Morrison, founder and CEO of Lily’s Kitchen which commissioned the research via OnePoll.com, said: “We want to help educate cat owners about what constitutes a healthy diet – including proper meat and natural ingredients – which will keep the nation’s cats purring healthily.”