At Purr & Miaow, you’ll find our ingredients easy to digest; simple terms and honest ingredients that you’ll understand.
We’ll tell you what’s inside every time; we don’t leave our recipe open to unknown changes. "Big Pet Food" Brands will often keep their recipes open, as they’ll take advantage of ingredients that are cheapest at the at the time of production.
What's the difference between open/closed recipes?
An open recipe means each batch of your cat's food will list the same loose term ingredients, but they can be different each time. Big Pet Food Brands choose to leave their recipes open, so they can take advantage of market pricing; sourcing ingredients that are cheapest at the time of production. Cereals and grains including rice, wheat, barley and corn (maize) contain carbohydrates and are used in pet foods. Often, they’ll be listed as the collective term “cereals” because the recipe is open, which means the grain itself can vary from batch to batch. This can be especially difficult if your cat has allergies!
"Cereals" in cat food
Open recipes aren't the only concern when it comes to the “cereals” listed in big brand pet foods. Cat’s need protein for energy, not carbohydrates. Humans are described as omnivores because we derive energy from a wide variety of food sources. Cats, on the other hand, are classed as obligate carnivores and depend solely on animal tissue to meet their protein requirements. (1). This is the type of diet they would survive on in the wild. Cats are easily able to use amino acids (the building blocks of protein) and convert them into a source of glucose. If a cat doesn't consume enough protein, their bodies still demand a source of amino acids for energy, so will eat into existing body protein, such as muscle mass instead.
Ok, so my cat needs protein. Don't all foods have this?
In short; yes. But what’s the source of the protein? Protein can be found in grains and vegetables, but cats need their protein to come from animal sources. (1) An ingredient list is ordered by weight in descending order, so to ensure your cat is getting all the protein that they need, a source of named meat-based protein should be first on the list.
What will too much carbohydrate do to my cat?
Cat’s lack the salivary enzyme amylase that helps to breakdown carbohydrates such as wheat and corn before they reach the stomach, meaning some cats may suffer from digestive problems when eating grain-based foods. (2) While they can process carbohydrates to some extent, cats have limited ability to store broken down carbs for future use. In humans, excess sugar is stored as glycogen. Our bodies can break this down to use if we suddenly need a source of energy. A cat’s body is not efficient at storing sugars in this way, so instead, excess sugars are stored as fat, increasing the likelihood of weight gain. So there's no need for any "cereals", whatever they may be, in your cats food.
Open recipes can be confusing
As well as "cereals", open recipes that take advantage of market pricing also explains the common, confusing, term you’ll often see on Big Pet Food brands – “meat and animal derivatives”. In the UK, pet food brands aren't required to highlight a specific meat source. “Meat and animal derivatives” refer to by-products of the human food chain (the parts of animals that you wouldn't find in your local butchers) and often this term will mean a combination of different animals. Basically, “meat and animal derivatives” could mean anything from chicken lung to beak! A closed recipe guarantees that what’s inside your cats’ food will be the same every time. It’s a recipe you can trust. On Purr & Miaow labels, you’ll never see “meat and animal derivatives”, you’ll simply see the named meat. No confusion there.