What Is It In Cat Food That Makes Cats Sick?

Do you ever notice your beloved cat feeling under the weather after consuming their meal? It’s never a pleasant sight to see your furry friend fall ill. But have you ever wondered what could be causing this sickness? Well, the truth is that not all cat foods are created equal, and some can actually make your cat sick.

Just like humans, cats require a balanced and nutritious diet that provides them with the necessary nutrients and energy. However, not every cat food brand or type contains the right balance of ingredients that your cat needs. In fact, certain ingredients in some cat foods have been known to cause cats to fall ill.

For example, some cat foods contain high levels of carbohydrates which can lead to obesity and other health problems. Similarly, artificial preservatives and flavors added by some brands can trigger allergic reactions in some cats. Additionally, some ingredients such as garlic and onions – commonly found in human food – can be toxic to cats and cause health complications.

As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to understand what makes your cat’s food healthy and what can potentially make them sick. That’s why we’ve put together this blog post to delve deeper into the various ingredients in cat food that can be harmful to your feline friend. So let’s get started on learning how you can keep your furry friend healthy and happy.

Low-Quality Protein Sources: Meat By-Products and Fillers

Unfortunately, many commercial cat foods contain low-quality protein sources such as meat by-products and fillers that can be harmful to your cat’s health.

Meat by-products are the parts of an animal that are not fit for human consumption, such as organs, bones, and cartilage. These by-products are often used in commercial cat food and can contain low-quality protein. In addition, they may also be contaminated with harmful bacteria or toxins, which can cause health issues for your cat.

Fillers are added to cat food to bulk it up and make it cheaper to produce. Common fillers include corn, wheat, and soy, which are not biologically appropriate for cats. These fillers can cause digestive issues and allergies in some cats.

Eating food containing low-quality protein sources and fillers can lead to a range of health problems for cats. These include vomiting, diarrhea, skin rashes, allergies, and more severe conditions such as kidney disease or liver failure.

To ensure that your cat is getting high-quality protein from their food, read the ingredient list on the packaging carefully. Look for foods that contain whole meats such as chicken or beef as the first ingredient instead of meat by-products or fillers. Also, consider grain-free formulas to avoid potential digestive issues caused by fillers such as corn, wheat, and soy.

It’s crucial to be mindful of the ingredients in your cat’s food to make sure they are getting the proper nutrition they need to stay healthy. Avoiding low-quality protein sources and fillers is essential in preventing health problems in your furry friend. If you notice any issues with your cat’s digestion or skin, consult with a veterinarian to determine the cause and find a solution that works best for your cat.

In summary, keep these tips in mind when choosing your cat’s food:

High Carbohydrate Content in Commercial Cat Foods

We carefully choose their food, ensuring it has all the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy and happy. However, the carbohydrate content in commercial cat foods is a major concern that can harm our cats’ health.

Many commercial cat foods contain high levels of carbohydrates. These fillers increase the volume of the food and reduce production costs, but they can be detrimental to your cat’s health. High carbohydrate content in their diet can lead to various health problems, including diabetes, obesity, and gastrointestinal issues.

Cats cannot break down carbohydrates effectively, making them unnecessary for their diets. They require a protein-rich diet to meet their nutritional needs. Commercial cat food often contains plant-based proteins such as soy or corn that are not well-suited for cats’ digestive systems. This can lead to gastrointestinal issues and other health problems in cats.

In addition to causing health problems, high carbohydrate content in commercial cat foods can also contribute to obesity in cats. Cats that consume a diet high in carbohydrates may eat more than necessary to feel full, leading to excess weight gain over time. This puts a strain on their joints and increases the risk of other obesity-related health problems.

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To ensure your cat’s optimal health and avoid these risks, it is crucial to read labels carefully and choose cat foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Look for whole meats as the first ingredient and grain-free formulas. This will provide your cat with the necessary nutrients they need without the harmful effects of excessive carbohydrates.

Allergies or Sensitivities to Certain Types of Food

Cats are known for their picky eating habits, and sometimes they can develop allergies or sensitivities to certain types of food. As a responsible cat owner, it is crucial to understand the symptoms and treatments for these issues. Here are five subtopics that you should be familiar with:

Common Allergens

Just like humans, cats can have allergies to specific ingredients in their food. Some common allergens in cat food include beef, dairy, fish, and chicken. Cats can also be allergic to grains like corn, wheat, and soy. When your cat is allergic to a particular ingredient, they may experience symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or itching.

Symptoms of Allergies or Sensitivities

The symptoms of food allergies or sensitivities in cats can vary from mild to severe. Some cats may experience gastrointestinal issues like vomiting or diarrhea, while others may develop skin irritations or respiratory problems. If you notice any unusual symptoms after your cat eats certain foods, it is important to consult with your veterinarian.

Identifying the Culprit

Identifying the specific ingredient that is causing an allergic reaction or sensitivity in your cat can be a challenging task. This is because the symptoms of food allergies and sensitivities can be similar to those caused by other health conditions. Your vet may recommend an elimination diet to determine which ingredient is causing the issue.

Treatment Options

Once your vet has identified the culprit ingredient, they may recommend a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet for cats with known food allergies or sensitivities. These diets typically include a single source of protein and carbohydrate to minimize the risk of triggering an allergic response. In some cases, medications like antihistamines may also be prescribed.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

Some cats may have a sensitivity to certain additives or preservatives commonly found in cat food. These can include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives like BHA and BHT. It is important to read the ingredient labels on your cat’s food and avoid any ingredients that may trigger an adverse reaction. Choosing high-quality cat food with limited ingredients can also help prevent allergic reactions.

How to Recognize Symptoms of Illness from Poor Quality Cat Food

However, poor quality cat food can have adverse effects on your cat’s health. Here are five sub-sections to help you recognize the symptoms of illness from poor quality cat food.

Changes in Eating Habits

A sudden change in your cat’s eating habits could be a sign of poor quality cat food. If they start eating less or stop eating altogether, it could indicate that the food is causing digestive issues or other health problems. It’s important to monitor your cat’s appetite and make sure they’re eating enough.

Vomiting or Diarrhea

Frequent vomiting or diarrhea after eating a particular brand or type of cat food is a common symptom of poor quality cat food. This can be due to low-quality protein sources or harmful additives, which can cause digestive issues in your cat. Keep an eye out for these symptoms and switch to a high-quality cat food if necessary.

Skin and Coat Issues

Poor quality cat food can also lead to skin and coat issues, such as dull fur, matting, excessive shedding, or skin irritation. High-quality protein sources like chicken, fish, or beef are essential for healthy skin and coat. If you notice any of these symptoms, consider switching to a better quality cat food.

Lethargy and Weight Loss

Lethargy, weakness, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss are signs that your cat’s health may be affected by poor quality cat food. These symptoms can be indicative of underlying health issues related to poor nutrition. Consult with your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s behavior or health.

Excessive Thirst or Urination

Excessive thirst or urination can be a sign that your cat’s food is causing kidney or urinary tract problems. If you notice that your cat is drinking more water than usual or using the litter box more frequently, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian.

The Role of Quality and Composition in a Cat’s Diet

The quality and composition of their diet play a vital role in achieving this goal. Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they need a diet high in animal protein to thrive. So, it’s crucial to choose a high-quality cat food that provides optimal nutrition.

Low-quality cat foods containing by-products, fillers, and artificial additives can make cats sick and lead to digestive issues, allergies, and other health problems. So, reading ingredient labels carefully is essential. Look for high-quality sources of animal protein like chicken, turkey, or fish, as well as whole grains and vegetables for added nutrition.

The composition of your cat’s diet is also crucial for maintaining their health. A well-balanced diet that includes the right balance of nutrients – protein, fat, and carbohydrates – can prevent obesity, diabetes, and other health issues. Avoid foods that contain artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

Here are some tips for choosing a high-quality cat food:

  • Look for foods that contain named meat sources (chicken, turkey, fish) as the first ingredient.
  • Choose foods that are free from by-products, fillers, and artificial additives.
  • Read ingredient labels carefully and avoid foods containing artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
  • Make sure the food meets the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) nutritional guidelines.

Tips for Choosing the Right Cat Food

The right cat food plays a crucial role in achieving this goal. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with some tips that will make the process easier.

Look for High-Quality Ingredients

When selecting cat food, ingredients should be the first thing on your mind. Look for brands that use high-quality protein sources like real meat, fish, or poultry as the primary ingredient. These ingredients provide cats with the necessary nutrients they need to maintain good health. Avoid brands that use fillers like corn and wheat as they provide little nutritional value and may cause health problems.

Check for AAFCO Certification

Choosing a cat food that is certified by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is important as it ensures that the food meets the minimum nutritional requirements for cats. AAFCO sets the standards for pet food in the United States, and choosing a certified brand gives you peace of mind knowing that your cat’s nutritional needs are being met.

Avoid Fillers and By-Products

Fillers like corn, wheat, and soy are often used in cat food to add bulk but provide little nutritional value. Similarly, by-products like beaks and feathers should also be avoided as they may contain harmful additives. It’s important to read labels carefully to ensure that you’re giving your cat only high-quality ingredients.

Consider Your Cat’s Age and Activity Level

Different types of cat food are formulated for cats of different ages and activity levels. Make sure to choose a brand that is appropriate for your cat’s age and lifestyle. Kittens require more calories and protein than adult cats, while senior cats may benefit from lower calorie diets. Additionally, if your cat is prone to weight gain or has health issues, you may need to choose a special diet that meets their unique nutritional needs.

Consult with Your Veterinarian

Your veterinarian is the best resource when it comes to choosing cat food. They can provide valuable advice on choosing the right food for your feline friend based on their individual needs. If your cat has any health issues, such as diabetes or kidney disease, your veterinarian can recommend a special diet that will help manage their condition.

Benefits of Natural, Organic, and Grain-Free Foods

And when it comes to their diet, choosing the right cat food is crucial. That’s why natural, organic, and grain-free cat foods are gaining popularity as they offer numerous benefits for your furry companion.

Natural cat foods are made with minimally processed ingredients, free from synthetic additives and preservatives. They often contain real meat, fruits, and vegetables, providing your cat with a nutrient-rich diet. Organic cat foods take it one step further by using ingredients grown without harmful pesticides or chemical fertilizers, making them better for both your cat and the environment.

Grain-free cat foods are a great option for cats with allergies to grains like wheat, corn, and soy. These types of foods replace grains with alternative sources of carbohydrates like sweet potatoes or peas. Grain-free options are also beneficial for cats with sensitive stomachs as they are easier to digest.

But the benefits don’t stop there. Natural, organic, and grain-free cat foods can also improve coat and skin health, reduce allergies, promote healthy digestion, and even help with weight management. With so many benefits, it’s easy to see why more pet parents are switching to these types of cat foods.

However, not all natural or organic cat foods are created equal. When shopping for these types of foods, always read the ingredients list carefully and look for high-quality sources of protein as the first ingredient. Avoid cat foods that contain fillers or artificial preservatives.

Signs That Your Cat May Be Suffering From Poor Nutrition

One of the most critical aspects of keeping our cats healthy is ensuring that they are getting proper nutrition from their food. However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to know which cat food is best for your furry friend. That’s why it’s essential to pay close attention to any signs that your cat may be experiencing poor nutrition.

A dull coat or excessive shedding is a common sign that your cat may not be getting enough essential fatty acids, such as omega-3 and omega-These fatty acids are important for keeping your cat’s skin and coat healthy and glowing. If you notice that your cat’s coat lacks shine or appears patchy, it could be time to switch to a higher quality cat food that contains these essential nutrients.

Weight loss or gain can also signal poor nutrition in cats. If your cat is losing weight even though they eat normally, their food may not be providing enough nutrients. Conversely, if your cat is gaining weight rapidly, it may indicate a diet high in calories. Be sure to monitor your cat’s weight and adjust their diet accordingly.

Digestive issues like diarrhea or vomiting can also be an indication that your cat is experiencing poor nutrition. Low-quality cat foods can contain ingredients that are difficult for cats to digest, leading to gastrointestinal upset. Choose high-quality cat foods that contain easily digestible proteins and fiber.

Behavioral changes can also be a sign of poor nutrition in cats. If your cat seems lethargic or lacks energy, it could mean that they are not getting enough calories or nutrients from their food. On the other hand, hyperactivity or excessive grooming may indicate additives or preservatives in their food.


In conclusion, the key to keeping your cat healthy and happy lies in selecting the right cat food. It’s vital to understand that not all cat foods are created equal, and some can cause serious health problems for your feline friend. For instance, low-quality protein sources like meat by-products and fillers can lead to digestive issues and allergies in cats. Additionally, commercial cat foods with high carbohydrate content can result in obesity, diabetes, and gastrointestinal complications. Moreover, cats may develop allergies or sensitivities to certain types of food that require careful identification and treatment.

To prevent further health complications, it’s crucial to recognize the symptoms of illness caused by poor quality cat food. Choosing a high-quality cat food that meets AAFCO nutritional guidelines is critical for maintaining optimal nutrition. Look for products that contain whole meats as the first ingredient while avoiding fillers and artificial additives.

Natural, organic, and grain-free cat foods offer numerous benefits for cats’ health and well-being. These foods help improve coat and skin health while reducing allergies, promoting healthy digestion, and aiding weight management. However, not all natural or organic cat foods are created equal.

It’s essential to pay close attention to any signs that your cat may be experiencing poor nutrition such as a dull coat or excessive shedding, weight loss or gain, digestive issues or behavioral changes. Consulting with a veterinarian is always recommended when choosing the right diet for your furry friend.

In summary, choosing the right cat food is a crucial aspect of responsible pet ownership.