The manufacturer’s declared meat ratio in cat food under the magnifier
To give you a better idea of the manufacturer’s declaration, here is an example of a cat food with a declared 70% meat ratio:
lamb 51% (of which lamb meat 28%*, dried lamb meat 16%**, lamb fat 8%***), whole green peas, fresh pike (8%)*, dried herring (7%)**, fresh duck offal (4%)*, potatoes, herbs… * fresh, ** dehydrated, ***fat ≠ meat
If you add up the figures, you will certainly see that the declared 70 is correct. But only 40% of the ingredients are fresh. Because of the natural water content of the fresh meat, this will weigh much more than dried ingredients. If we were to dry these ingredients as well, their proportion would shrink to just 13%.
It is also important to know that pure fat does not count in the meat ratio. It is obtained in a similar way to home-made lard, by heating belly meat and other fatty tissue from the slaughtered animal and then separately collecting the fat that flows out – it has already been processed and cannot be included in the meat ratio.
In this example, just over half of the declared 70% meat ratio remains in the recipe after critical examination:
23% (dried ingredients) + 13% (fresh ingredients converted to the water content of dried ingredients) = 36%
Other details about the cat food meat ratio
There is a difference between the group declaration and individual declaration used to list the ingredients in the feed. In the group declaration, ingredients are combined to create raw ingredient groups:
- ‘Meat and animal derivatives’ (all ingredients that originate from the animal)
- ‘Grain and derivatives of vegetable origin’ (all plant-based ingredients)
Amounts of a particular ingredient are therefore often specified as a percentage in brackets. This percentage then relates to the precise proportion of this ingredient within the specific raw material group.
Consider this example: The declaration ‘Meat and animal derivatives (20% poultry)’ means that the percentage of poultry within this group is 20%. It is not clear, however, from which animals the remaining 80% originates.
The individual declaration, in contrast, sets out all the feed components individually, and you can see precisely what the feed contains for your cat. Is your cat food-sensitive? Then you need a food with individual declarations since this is the only way to be sure that the ingredients in the recipe will not change without you knowing. You know precisely what the food contains for your cat, and the manufacturer must keep to the declared specification.