Would you purposely add hormones to your pets’ food? Would you purposely add something that’s known to cause dangerous and life threatening crystals and urinary blockages? Would you purposely add an ingredient that’s scientifically proven to instigate inflammatory bowel disease? If you’re a good pet parent, of course not! But unfortunately being a good pet parent isn’t enough anymore, we need to be educated parents and we need to get good and mad; because these very things are in your pets food right now!
Soy contains compounds called phytoestrogens, which are basically estrogen hormone-like chemicals found in plants that can act like the hormone estrogen. Phytoestrogens may negatively affect cats by interfering with nutrient absorption, normal growth, thyroid function, and hormonal development. Although weaker than normal estrogen hormones, we have no idea whatsoever how these hormones will affect cats and since hyperthyroidism is extremely common in cats, soy should not be in cat food even in small amounts.
Spinach has one of the highest calcium oxalate levels of any food and cooking does NOT diminish the oxalates much at all, very minimally. The oxalates in spinach are sturdy and binding at around 600-750 content milligrams per 100 gram serving. You’d have to boil or blanch it to reduce it even 5-15% (not much) and then you’ve lost all the nutrients in it. If your cat suffers from kidney, gallbladder or thyroid issues, they should NEVER be fed any foods with high oxalate levels as it can do severe damage. Spinach can cause crystal formation in the urinary tract and kidneys in cats. Calcium oxalate stones are EXTREMELY painful and once formed in the kidneys, cannot be removed. Whether cooked or raw, spinach should be completely avoided in cats and has been shown to cause such major damage it can result in hospitalization and in some circumstances (when fed raw), death. And although it’s cooked in pet foods, as I’ve already stated it doesn’t matter.
Despite my efforts to get spinach removed from various pet foods, it remains an ingredient that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon. I’ve provided pet food companies with information regarding the dangers of including spinach in their foods and got pooh-poohed and ignored. One company said they understood but still wouldn’t change the recipe and one company did promise to remove it but that was well over a year ago and it still remains in the food. I’ve even gotten help from Dr. Lisa Pierson of catinfo.org with explaining the dangers to pet food companies and still there's no consideration as to what this is doing to them. NEVER feed raw spinach to your pet, whether they are ill or healthy! www.ibdkitties.net/January2012.html
Carrageenan has been known for awhile to be a problem. Used as a thickening and stabilizing agent in foods, carrageenans are highly flexible molecules produced by different types of seaweed. The thickness of the agent depends on which seaweed is used to make the finished product. Scientific studies have shown that carrageenan can induce inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in both humans and animals. Unfortunately carrageenan is used in just about every commercial pet food available.