Some brands of pet food sold in supermarkets may cause severe illness or injury to adult cats, a new study has discovered.
Scientists from the Sydney University found that these products may particularly cause lameness, obesity, diabetes and anemia.
Analyzing Pet Food
The goal of the study is to find out if the information found in labels of commercial cat food are accurate, follows the Australian Standard and supports the nutritional requirements needed by an adult cat.
The team performed a chemical analysis of 10 wet and 10 dry cat food that all had a "nutritionally complete" label on its package. They compared the findings of the experiment with what was stated in the composition values, Australian Standard, cat nutritional needs, as well as those required by the Association of the American Feed Control Officials and the National Research Council.
The results show that nine out 20 and eight out 20 pet food tested were not able to meet the Australian Standard and the standards for nutrient composition respectively.
The authors also found that various excesses and deficiencies in crude fat and protein, amino acids and fatty acids in most of the commercial cat food.
Despite the somewhat alarming results, the authors opt not to name which brands of cat food were tested.
Pet Food Makers Want to Know More
Pet food makers have called on the authors to release the names of cat food tested, as well as the brands that yielded negative effects on cats.
"We do want to know more," says Duncan Hall from Pet Food Industry Association. He adds that the group has called on their members to make them aware of the new study results.
Pet food makers wanted to know more about a study that reveals that the nutritional content of products were not as previously believed.
Vets, Pet Owners Need To Know
Sue Foster from the Murdoch University says if the methods used in the study were strong, then she does not see a reason why the authors would not release names of cat food products.
Foster adds that veterinarians are concerned about researchers protecting company names even if it means risking the welfare of pets. Vets need to know what's safe and what's not.
Sydney University's Richard Malik says the only probable reason he sees behind not naming names is that the authors want the the public to go wary about what to get at supermarkets and pet stores.
Indeed, the news has caused an alarm to pet owners.
Cat owner Matthew Geftakis says if the team found something wrong with a specific brand, they should name it to give the public the choice of what to buy.
Results Are Only Preliminary
Study author Anne Jackson says the results of the study are still preliminary and cannot be absolutely confirmed unless it had been tested in a study that has a larger sample size and scope. This is the reason why it would be wrong for the team to release the names of the companies involved in the testing.
Aside from that, the university also said that the trial was a pilot study headed and completed by a master's student as part of her thesis.
The study was published in the Australian Veterinary Journal.