What Cat Food Is Killing Cats? Choose Healthy Foods For Them





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Robert Taylor

As a pet owner, you need to know what proper nutrition cats need and avoid bad foods. What cat food is killing cats? In short, 9 Lives, Kit & Kaboodle, Whiskas, Purina, Meow Mix, Iams, Friskies, Hill’s Science Diet, and Applaws Cat Dry are top 9 names to avoid.

The following article will analyze all the cat foods you should bypass with compelling reasons.

Not all cat foods are good

Not all cat foods are good

What Cat Food Is Killing Cats?

The Worst Ingredients On Cat Foods

Plant Protein

Plant protein obtained from soybean meal, corn meal, and other plants is cheap but not as nutritious for cats because they are processed inefficiently through the body and increase pressure on the liver and kidneys.

The plant or crude protein content in cat food will not help your cat’s growth. Instead, the new animal protein can metabolize energy quickly.


Because cats are carnivores, they don’t need natural carbohydrates. It can grow normally with a diet containing up to 2% carbohydrates.

If a feline consumes too many carbohydrates, the microbial environment inside its colon might change, leading to worse symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea.

The main ingredients of carbohydrates are rice, corn, potatoes, and oats. If you find cat foods containing 30-50% carbohydrates, don’t buy them.

there are some bad ingredients to keep in mind

There are some bad ingredients to keep in mind

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Animal By-Products

Many people consider the generic by-products to be the most horrible since they are made from the parts of animals that have died, are sick, or have been on drugs for a long time.

Worse yet, some parts of an animal’s body, such as claws, beaks, legs, etc., cannot be converted into energy and can make your furry friend ill.

If you see unknown names on cat food packaging such as chicken by-products, meat, meat, bones, etc., it is best not to buy them.


This is an ingredient derived from red algae, a binder used to thicken and emulsify food and drinks. There is a lot of evidence that carrageenan can trigger inflammatory reactions and ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract and esophagus.

Many analyzes have shown that decomposed carrageenan is carcinogenic and is not used, but it is still found in about 25% of some cat foods.

Chemical Preservatives

There are three synthetic preservatives commonly appearing in cat food, which are Ethoxyquin, BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene).

But these ingredients are possibly linked to cancer, skin diseases, and stomach irritation. They help preserve foods but inhibit the absorption of vitamins, leading to severe neurological symptoms that can kill felines.

Artificial Colors

Many cat foods contain some artificial colors from dyes such as red, yellow, brown, etc., to make the food more attractive. Although manufacturers generally consider them safe, some tests on rats have shown them to be carcinogenic.

These artificial flavors and raw ingredients are the reason why cat foods stink. In addition, they do not bring any nutrients to the cat’s body, so you may not choose them if you doubt their safety.

Artificial colors can harm your felines

Artificial colors can harm your felines

Related Post: Why Is A Prescription Needed For Cat Food?

9 Worst Cat Foods

9 Lives

Dry and canned cat food of 9Lives is one of the high-carbohydrate products (47%). Corn, soybeans, and wheat flours also comprise most of the total 35% protein content.

Its by-product ingredients are listed very vaguely: chicken by-product meal, meat and bone, or salmon by-product meal. This pick also comes with artificial colors (yellow, red, blue) and the preservative Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA).

Kit & Kaboodle

Kit & Kaboodle contains up to 49% carbohydrates. Cornmeal and soybean meal are two ingredients that makeup 28% of plant protein. Not to mention, powdered by-products from chicken, chicken liver, animal fat, sea fish, etc., are described superficially and ambiguously.

Looking at the diverse and colorful texture of the dry cat food of this brand, you can also tell that it is packed with quite a lot of artificial colors. So Kit & Kaboodle is considered an unsafe brand of cat food.


36% carbohydrates and 35% crude protein can be found in dry and wet cat foods of Whiskas, which is one of the reasons why it should not be chosen for your fur ball.

Even worse, the ingredients include “meat and turkey flavors” that are actually made from animal tissue. By-products such as cornmeal, cereal, and soybean meal make up most of the protein content, so the cat’s body will be under great pressure to metabolize them.


Like the food cats mentioned above, Purina dry food delivers more than 60% crude protein and carbohydrates. Components that don’t do much for a feline’s energy are at the top of the ingredient list (wheat, rice, soybean meal).

Animal fat, additives like chicken meal, chicken liver powder, and artificial colors have rendered this dry cat food more unreliable.

Meow Mix

You can notice one of the elements that contribute to the food’s bad reputation – animal digest – in Meow Mix’s products. It is a hydrolyzed animal protein and is of unknown origin.

Additives and by-products such as chicken meal, and plant-based protein-rich ingredients like corn and soybean meal make this dry cat food inadequate to provide the necessary nutrients for cats.

some worst brands to buy cat food

Some worst brands to buy cat food


There are 3 ingredients that have no benefits for the cats (chicken by-product meal, corn meal, rice). Animal fat and many natural flavors of unknown origin also turn the ingredient list meaningless.

Iams foods high in carbohydrates (33%) and plant protein (33%) can damage a cat’s digestive system, hindering kittens from growing as they should and triggering potential diseases.


Apart from being high in carbohydrates (42%), the meat ingredients of Friskies are of obscure origin as most of them are in powder form (corn meal, soybean meal, salmon meal, crab meal).

The artificial flavors and additives of this cat food from the animal liver, and artificial colors are reasons you should not select this product.

Hill’s Science Diet

This dry cat food is better than the above because it has no artificial colors, preservatives, or by-products. Its main ingredient is chicken. However, its plant protein (wheat, cornmeal, beet pulp, oats), and carbohydrate content are quite high (60%).

Applaws Cat Dry

Not related to the ingredients, but Applaws Cat Dry has been recalled due to mycotoxins – toxins produced by molds. They may have appeared on cereals, corn, etc., before being harvested for processing.

It tires our furry friends out and results in loss of appetite, vomiting, and intestinal bleeding. More severe cases of cat death have also been reported.

Learn how to pick the right food for your kittens

Learn how to pick the right food for your kittens

Related Post: What Cat Food Ingredients Should I Avoid?

How To Choose Healthy Foods For Cats?

Carefully Pay Attention To The Ingredients

You should read the ingredient profile carefully to avoid products containing too many carbohydrates, plant proteins, animal by-products, chemical preservatives, and artificial colors.

Pay attention to their content and do not go for products with ambiguous or unknown ingredients.

Read Customer Recommends

People who have used this product will tell you whether it is safe and effective for cats. Usually, the majority opinion is correct. If you’re unsure what cat food to choose, read their recommendations.

Which Cat Food Brands Are Best?

The top 3 cat food brands are Felidae, Orijen, and Acana. Most of them have no preservatives or by-products and are also quite low in carbohydrates.

These brands even provide information on how cat food is made, and most felines do not have health problems and can develop normally with these foods.


What cat food is killing cats? You should avoid foods with some certain ingredients listed on the package, such as carbohydrates, plant protein, animal by-products, carrageenan, chemical preservatives, and artificial colors. We hope you have chosen the right food brand for your beloved pet.

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Robert Taylor

I love cats, I have more than 10 years of experience in raising cats. I want to share with everyone useful knowledge about cats.

Robert Taylor

6 thoughts on “What Cat Food Is Killing Cats? Choose Healthy Foods For Them”

  1. My family are my dog and 6 cats. 2 outside, 4 inside. Aged 8 to 12. I have broken the inside cats from eating dry. Still working on the 2 outside but they eat some dry from Fromm. I worry about the inside cats because they like Hill’s Science Diet the best. My 12 yr old only will eat Royal Canine. The rest eat Hill’s, Wellness, or some Nulo. Want to keep them healthy. Any suggestions?? They no longer receive vaccines.

    • It’s great that you’re concerned about keeping your cats healthy! Here are some suggestions for maintaining their well-being:

      Nutrition: Feeding your cats a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for their overall health. While each cat may have their preferences, it’s important to choose high-quality cat food brands that meet their dietary requirements. Continue offering a variety of options, including the ones they enjoy, such as Hill’s Science Diet, Royal Canin, Wellness, or Nulo. Consider consulting with a veterinarian or a feline nutritionist to ensure their diet is appropriate for their age and specific needs.

      Hydration: Ensure that your cats have access to fresh water at all times. Some cats prefer running water, so you might want to try using a cat water fountain to encourage them to drink more.

      Indoor enrichment: Since your cats spend most of their time indoors, providing environmental enrichment is essential for their physical and mental stimulation. Offer a range of toys, scratching posts, climbing structures, and interactive play sessions to keep them engaged and active. This helps prevent boredom and promotes a healthy lifestyle.

      Regular veterinary check-ups: Even if your cats are not receiving vaccines, it’s still important to schedule regular veterinary check-ups. These visits allow the vet to assess your cats’ health, perform necessary examinations, and address any potential concerns or age-related issues. Your vet can also provide tailored advice on diet and other aspects of their care.

      Dental health: Dental hygiene is often overlooked but crucial for cats’ overall well-being. Regular teeth brushing, using cat-specific toothbrushes and toothpaste, can help prevent dental diseases. Additionally, offering dental treats or toys designed to promote oral health can be beneficial.

      Environmental safety: Ensure that your home is a safe and secure environment for your cats. Remove any potential hazards such as toxic plants, chemicals, and small objects that they might swallow. Also, make sure there are no open windows or unsecured balcony areas that could pose a risk.

      Remember, each cat is unique, and their needs may vary. Observing their behavior, appetite, and overall health will help you identify any changes or concerns that require attention. If you have specific concerns or questions, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian who can provide personalized guidance for your feline family members.

  2. WTF? Why this brands are not out of the market? In a common sense era this companies would be forced out of business instead of charging us 4 times more for the version that doesn’t kill

  3. l have had 3 cats, all close to the same age when they passed(Around 13/14 yrs.) l had fed them Purina One Complete Indoor Formula. All of them were diagnosed with intestinal cancer and had to be put down. l wonder if it was coincidence or if this food was the cause of their illness. l may never know, but l will choose much more wisely the type of food l give my kitties in the future. You can bet it won’t be Purina. I do not know if anyone else has experienced this, but l wanted to share.

    • Hi Mandy,
      I’m sorry to hear that you lost your cats. Understandably, you’re concerned about their health issues and the potential role of the food they were eating. Determining the exact cause of such illnesses can be challenging, and it’s not always possible to attribute them solely to one factor.

      While Purina is a well-known brand and many cats have been fed their products without any issues, it’s essential to remember that animals can have different sensitivities or reactions to certain ingredients.

      Additionally, other factors, such as genetics, environmental exposures, or other health conditions, could contribute to the development of intestinal cancer in your cats.

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