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Author Topic: Where's the pork?  (Read 6329 times)
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bug
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« on: September 01, 2009, 06:55:31 PM »

Does anyone have any idea why the PFI doesn't create cat food made from pork? I know NV is now adding pork liver to its canned cat food and Hills A/D is pretty much completely made from pork -- my cats devour it when I give it to them as a treat. But you never see pork meal or pork muscle meat used in cat food. How come? The pork industry in my province is suffering and last year (or was it the year before) they had culled way too many animals for my liking. My cats love cooked ground pork, pork tenderloin, pork chops and ribs. I'm sure they'd love to try a pork-based food.
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Mandycat
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2009, 08:30:57 PM »

I don't know, but this was chosen as the best answer on Yahoo.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061026113647AAYemOq
"21 Answers and no one answered this correctly. Amazing how no one cares enough to actually research these things.

Pork is not used in pet foods because in the list of meats that cats AND dogs can digest, pork is WAY down the list.

At the top is eggs, followed by chicken and other poultry. then you have lamb and fish. then you would have your beef and pork. Any company that nows about pet nutrition would realize that putting pork in the food means that it compromises the pets health because even though the package may as 32% protein, because they can't digest pork, they really only absorb 15% of the protein.

Low grade companies like Purina, Pedigree, Iams, Science Diet, etc would use pork but it would most likely be labelled as 'animal' or 'meat'....meaning the company got it from a rendering plant and has no idea what is actually in the food.

So, just for the record, if you do a bit of digging, you will find that this is the correct reason.
Source(s):
I am a pet nutritionist."



Interesting answer, and I don't know whether I should question a "pet nutritionist", but it doesn't make sense that Hill's a/d  contains pork and it is a food used for sick pets just because of it's easy digestibility.  Other Hill's prescription diets contain pork also.  I know that the c/d does, and Royal Canin's Urinary S/O also has some pork. 
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catwoods
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2009, 10:41:25 PM »

I've wondered about pork for cats myself. In The New Natural Cat, Anitra Frazier says "Ham and pork contain fat globules so large that they clog the cat's blood vessels". (p.52) However, there is no reference for this statement. And whereas there are some good ideas in this book, like, if you are boarding your cat at the vet, take a paper grocery sack for the kitty to hide in and feel secure, there are also remedies I feel, IMO, are questionable, like garlic. There isn't always agreement on that, and there may very well not be much agreement about pork in feline diets, either.

Also, I hate to be picky picky picky, but she refers to the "automatic nervous system", and while automatic may somewhat describe its function, the correct term is autonomic nervous system. I just sort of think that with the amount of health advice in this book, that the terms should be correct.

But in a kind of "where there's smoke there's fire" way I wonder about the pork thing, and whether there might be more info out there somewhere on that. (Sorry I just don't have time these days for really in-depth research).
« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 11:06:20 PM by catwoods » Logged
JJ
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2009, 11:08:15 PM »

Should they decide to include pork in dog food I would want to know if it has been cured with nitrates and sulfites, the latter can cause allergic reactions. The meat would, for me, have to be fresh, not treated with any preserving chemicals. You can buy bacon now that contains no nitrates or sulfites, uncured.
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lesliek
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« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2009, 04:21:17 AM »

I do include pork sometimes in the homemade food with no problems. Local whole loins which I trim & grind or chop myself.I find they do about the same with it as poultry,find it hard to believe it has more fat than lamb or beef.
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« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2009, 05:43:23 AM »

Some cuts of pork will have more fat, like pork butt roast -- it's obvious, but if you have a center loin chop, it's all lean meat. Our pork council calls it "the other white meat." I wouldn't feed them cured pork (or meats) at all, but fresh pork muscle meat is something they all like. I grind it and sautee it and if I put it down side by side with fresh, cooked ground steak, they'll eat the pork and leave the beef.

Maybe I'll send an email to one of my "good" PFC contacts and see what they say.
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mikken
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« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2009, 05:53:45 AM »

I've wondered about pork for cats myself. In The New Natural Cat, Anitra Frazier says "Ham and pork contain fat globules so large that they clog the cat's blood vessels". (p.52) However, there is no reference for this statement.

I talked to a vet about this and she investigated...and found nothing to indicate that this is true.  If Ms. Frazier has a reference for it, I'd be quite interested because my medical professional couldn't find it.

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bug
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« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2009, 07:15:04 AM »

Mikken,

If it was true, we humans would also be in trouble because we, too, have vessels that are as small as a cat's vessels -- hello, capillaries?
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catwoods
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« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2009, 12:48:32 PM »

There wasn't a reference in the book, that's why I have always been skeptical of the statement. She did go on to note that cats' capillaries are fifteen tmes smaller than humans'. I assumed the statement was based on a belief that pork was bad for human circulatory vessels, and I'm unfamiliar with the current thinking on that. I posted it to bring up various aspects and opinions about this question. I too have noticed that few commercial pet foods are pork based and only a few list pork ingredients (which doesn't mean they aren't there as part of rendered meals, of course).

This book was originally published in 1981 and revised in 1990.

I'm interested in this in general, and because my Booper has been placed on a prescription diet for age-related constipation that includes pork liver and pork by-products. This is helping him, but we are also looking for the canned pumpkin to try so we can continue to feed him the brands we prefer. So far canned pumpkin has been hard to find in local stores.

Mikken, I'm very glad your vet couldn't find anything to back up the statement by Frazier. I actually did look into it via google search several months ago and could not find any veterinary references for it, either.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2009, 06:46:04 PM by catwoods » Logged
JustMe
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« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2009, 01:29:30 PM »

This is interesting.  I hope we get some more ideas on this thread.  We use A/D occasionally, which does contain pork, and the cats seemed okay with it, but I really don't know for sure. 
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« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2009, 01:55:36 PM »

Back to Basics (Beowulf) has a pork dog food.  Here is a statement from their site. http://www.beowulfs.com/dog_food.html

The Other White Meat is healthier than ever. Thanks to innovative feeding and breeding programs, pork is a lean source of high quality protein. Pork's leanness enables us to add the fats to BACK TO BASICS® in a form that is healthier for your dog. Our pork is from USDA inspected processing facilities to produce nutrient rich pork meal. Pork, at 93.9%, has the highest digestibility of all protein sources. It is highly palatable and loaded with Vitamin B-l (Thiamin), B-2, B-12 and the minerals iron and zinc. Pork is a favorite among nutritionists, canine professionals and dogs alike.

BACK TO BASICS INGREDIENTS

The highest priority for Beowulf's Back to Basics® is the quality of its ingredients. All ingredients come from human grade sources, and are hormone and antibiotic free. Beowulf's Back to Basics ® is a meat-based product that is high in fat (which has been shown to be of paramount importance to the health of the animal). Chelated minerals have been added (which are highly digestible), digestive enzymes (further increasing digestibility, ensuring that the animal is receiving the maximum amount of nutrition from the food), yucca (which helps reduce stool odor by 30%), and carrots. To top off this list of premium ingredients, we have added Vitamin C (a strong immune system builder) and Vitamin E (a natural preservative).

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« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2009, 04:34:38 PM »

Catwoods - re not finding the canned pumpkin: Not sure where you are, but around here (MA) I've always seen it in the supermarket  aisle with the baking mixes next to the other pie fillings even though most canned pumpkin is only plain pumpkin. I never see it in the canned vegetable aisle where logically it should be(to me).

Meowli
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alek0
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« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2009, 06:31:49 PM »

Concerning Anitra Frazier's book, I think anything in it should be taken with a big grain of salt. She generally has very few or no refs, she recommends giving garlic, etc. For herbal remedies she recommends there is no proof that they are safe for cats, which in general I find problematic for commercial herbal remedies, too. Overall, the best thing in her book are techniques for administering medication, eyedrops are indeed much easier when you approach from the back than from the front, my vet does it that way too.

Concerning pumpkin, if cats are not enthusiastic about canned pumpkin puree, they may change their minds with do-it-yourself version, homemade pumpkin puree smells and tastes totally different.

As for pork, I occasionally give to Sophie Hi-life chicken and ham food (UK brand) but very occasionally as a treat. I don;t think it is any different than other less commonly found protein sources. I guess 10-20 years from now when many pets become sensitive to venison, duck, and pork we'll be seeing ostrich, bison and kangaroo based "hypoallergenic" cat foods.
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catwoods
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« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2009, 06:48:51 PM »

Poco and Meowli, thanks you for those good tips about obtaining the canned pumpkin.

Alek, that homemade pumpkin puree sounds good to me, too!
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« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2009, 07:15:29 PM »

I sometimes add a little lean pork chop to my cats' home-made food, and they like it.  Never causes any problems.

Quite a few of the Eagle Pack dry foods used to contain pork, too.  I used those without problems (but can't any more because I have a fish-allergic cat, and the same foods have fish in them.)
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