Dangerous and Unhealthy Cat Food Ingredients

Some cat food ingredients really shouldn't be in cat food. At best, these ingredients are unhealthy and at worst can be toxic or deadly. It's important to read the labels carefully. Sometimes spending a little more money on food can not only save money on vet bills but may prolong the life of your cat. Here are the main ingredients to avoid.

Corn, Wheat and Soy

These ingredients contribute to obesity and feline diabetes. The diet of a cat in the wild is only eat to 35% carbohydrates. Cats get enough carbohydrates in raw meat and a small amount of vegetables. These ingredients can also slow down the digestion causing a myriad of systemic problems.


This is a chemical that helps preserve low quality food to give it a longer shelf life. It's not even approved for human use. Chemicals often contribute to urinary, kidney and other problems in cats.

Animal Digest

This is basically a broth made from a plethora of animal parts being reduced down. There are no requirements for source or quality so you never know what might be in this mystery brew. It may contain parts that are contaminated or of very poor quality.


These stand for butylated hydroxytuluene and butylated Hydrhxyanisole. These are also chemical preservatives and are not permitted in human foods in many parts of the world. For some reason, they are still allowed in pet food in the US but can cause health problems and offer no nutrition.

Meat By-products

This basically means any part of the animal that can't be used in other food. It often is of very low quality and a questionable source. Poultry by-products, for instance, can come from buzzards or geese and doesn't need to come from chicken.

Beet Pulp

This adds unwanted sugar to your cat's food which can contribute to the development of obesity. It's added to help harden the stool, but if a cat is eating a proper diet, their stool will be hard enough.

Excessive Minerals

Too much mineral content in cat food can cause urinary tract problems including infection, cystitis and bladder obstruction. The total mineral content should only be around 2.3 to 2.5%.

Artificial Ingredients

Sometimes artificial flavors and colors are added to make the product look or smell more appealing. This is usually for the human's benefit, not the cat's. If you think your cat food smells good or looks good, it's probably not going to be all that good for your cat.  

Wheat or Corn Gluten 

These are low quality by-products of foods a cat shouldn't eat in the first place. These can contribute to many health problems for your cat.