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Monday, March 27, 2017

And Seven Cat Food Trends To Watch, Too

Is this cat pondering trends in cat food?
© Tombaky | Dreamstime.com
If you asked your cat, she'd probably say she could care less about the latest trends in cat food. Open one of the flavors of Fancy Feast she's been eating for years, and she'll be happy, even if the ingredients list and the can itself are a bit outdated.

"Natural" and "grain free" are the trending words to look for on cat food cans and bags, pet food industry experts say. And about that Fancy Feast can: Consumers are now looking for "clean labels" that list ingredients people actually recognize.

Writing for her blog, Pet Food Industry.com editor-in-chief Debbie Phillips-Donaldson says manufacturers are also starting to focus on certification, transparency, sustainability and verification of sourcing. This focus shows up on their packaging.  For instance, Open Farm puts the Certified Humane logo on its bags of food. Look on bags and cans for the non-GMO symbol, too.

While clean labels and listing certifications are helpful, be sure to read the fine print, too. You want to be sure the food contains essential nutrients for cats, like taurine.

More Cat Food Trends To Watch

Looking ahead, pet food industry experts predict...
  • The increasing influence of the Internet. More and more consumers are going online to read cat food reviews before they buy.
  • Smaller packages for smaller animals. Looking ahead to the Global Pet Expo, which featured more than 1,000 exhibitors, Phillips-Donaldson predicted more wet food products packaged in portion-size trays and pouches. 
  • Limited ingredient diets. Manufacturers are offering more limited ingredient diets, not just to ward off allergies but because people like to know exactly what their cats are eating. 
  • Focus on health. Look for more cat food offerings that focus on health and life stages: cognitive nutrition for older cats and anti-inflammatory foods, to name just two.
  • The addition of superfoods. Will your cat eat pumpkin, kale, chia or kelp? Expect to find these and other superfoods on the ingredients lists of your cat's food soon. 

Trending Cat Food At Our House

When my cats have Tiki Cat cat food, they lick their bowls clean.
© Olga Sapegina | Dreamstime.com
I'm the one who reads the ingredients lists at our house. My cats could care less about what's in their food, as long as it smells and tastes good and they like the way it feels in their mouths.

So for some of my cats, Fancy Feast is always trending here. But others like Tiki Cat and BFF with just one or two protein sources, which are named on the packages. And they prefer BFF pouches to cans.

I'd like to think the rest of the world is finally catching up with us. But I'm not so sure that's the case. In my experience, people buy what they know their cats will eat, even if it's not the latest and greatest. And that's especially true of people like me who shop online. Buying a case of food your cats won't touch is an experiment you don't want to repeat often. With that in mind, I won't be experimenting with food that contains kale or kelp anytime soon!

Tiki Cat Wild Salmon is one of my cats' favorites.
Today's Recommendation
Tiki Cat Wild Salmon is
one of my cats' favorites.

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