Explaining cat kibble

Ever wondered what is in your cat’s kibble and what makes it nutritious? When a new food is produced, the recipe is perfected by the manufacturer and is based on the type of diet they are producing and the nutritional requirements of the pets for whom the food is produced.

The ingredients are mixed together to form a soft dough, which is then put through an extruder and cooked for a few seconds under pressure at medium temperatures. Thereafter, it passes through a die, which cuts the kibble shapes. The kibble is further dried to ensure a moisture content of around 10%. Once completely dry and cooled, some products receive a spray coating of vitamins, minerals and fats, if required.

 

Protein

* Ideally, first on the ingredient list

* Low-quality protein – animal by-products and bonemeal

* High-quality protein – quality meats

* Fish – a good source of omega-3

 

Grains and other carbohydrates

* Inclusion is controversial

* Low grades – low nutritional value – used as a filler (high inclusion)

* Good source of carbs – good nutritional benefits (low inclusion)

* Grain-free food available (personal choice/food allergy diet)

 

Vegetables and fruit

* May or may not be included, depending on the product

* Offer nutritional benefits

* Source of dietary fibre/antioxidants

* Source of vitamins/minerals

 

Vitamins, minerals and amino acids

* Essential in a balanced diet

* Should include antioxidants
* Added supplements for specific benefit (for example omega-3 and -6 for skin and coat health)

* May include pre- and probiotics for healthy digestion

* Mineral levels (calcium, phosphorus and magnesium, for example) monitored to avoid dangerously high levels

 

Preservatives

* Ensure good shelf life/nutrient efficacy

* Curb the breakdown of fats

* Natural products like rosemary or vitamin E

* Or approved chemical preservatives

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