If you are considering an all-natural, holistic, or organic kitten food, here are some facts you may not be aware of. Currently the pet food market is experiencing a push toward “all-natural,” “holistic,” and “organic,” the significance of which is still to be determined. The question becomes, is there an actual benefit to an “all-natural,” “holistic,” or “organic” diet?
What Could “All-Natural” Kitten Food Mean?
AAFCO defines “natural” as “…derived solely from plant, animal, or mined sources… not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.”
Loosely interpreted, this definition could include a range of “natural” products, including tobacco or any other naturally grown drug or substance.
None of these “all-natural” products are considered healthy additives for your kitten. So it is apparent that regulatory work is needed to define the true beneficial use of all-natural. Also noteworthy is the fact that nowhere within the definition are plant and animal by-products excluded. Not only are they “natural,” but they contribute valuable nutrients as ingredients in human and animal foods.
“Holistic” Kitten Food
The term “holistic” kitten food is not distinctly defined by any of the regulatory agencies as a classification for food. This is particularly noteworthy in kitten food, because all diets sold commercially must be “Complete and Balanced” for a designated age or activity level. Or in other words, be a “holistic” dietary approach.
Organic Kitten Food
Organic kitten food is labeled “organic” by a government-approved certifier who inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Whether organic kitten food provides any additional safety or nutritional value is still being debated by experts. Even the USDA refuses to take a position. It is also important to note that there are no strict requirements for organic kitten food right now.
There is tremendous confusion surrounding the significance of all-natural, holistic, and organic kitten food terms. Widespread use without substantiation has forced several government and “watch-dog” consumer groups to become involved; this will result in more education and clarification as to what these terms really mean to consumers. But, for now usage of these terms requires your consideration.
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adp_related_article_block318The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds
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This article is part of a series on how to spot signs of a healthy cat. You can learn more about the key signs here.
Cats don’t lack personality; that’s for sure. They can be shy, outgoing, snuggly, independent, energetic, relaxed and everything in between. Yet some breeds tend to exhibit certain traits more strongly than others. Here are our picks for what we’re calling the Cat Personality Awards.
The friendliest cat breed:
This larger cat has a big heart to match. They’re often very social and happy to chat with you, whether they’re curled up on your lap or following you around the house. They make excellent family pets because more family members means more people to snuggle and play with.
Also outgoing: Ragdoll, Siamese, Burmese
The most laid-back cat breed:
Gentle and calm, this soft and silky-furred feline is friendly without being demanding. Ragdolls are usually totally cool sharing a house with other pets and kids. They don’t stress much about routine changes or even being carried around. Their motto? It’s all good.
Other cool kitties: Scottish fold, Birman, British shorthair
The most playful cat breed:
Making up around 90% of cats in the U.S., with more than 80 colors and patterns, domestic shorthairs are a melting pot of different breeds. They were originally working cats used to hunt mice and other critters on farms. They still love to stalk, hunt and pounce on toys and play games with their owners — so expect to spend lots of energetic playtime together.
Also ready to play: Siamese, Maine coon, Manx
The most independent cat breed:
This popular breed has been around humans since the 1600s, but is satisfied doing its own thing. Gentle, docile and quiet, Persian cats don’t insist on a lot of attention. They’re just as content sitting on your lap or observing what’s going on by themselves from a sunny perch across the room. They can be discerning in who they give their affection to, but you’ll be on their good side once you earn their trust.
Also fine on their own: Russian blue, American shorthair, Norwegian Forest cat
The most trainable cat breed:
The idea of training a cat may seem hilarious, but the curiosity and intelligence of Abyssinians make them highly trainable. Some can even be taught tricks or to walk on a leash and harness. Training and playing games are perfect ways to direct their affectionate energy.
Also eager to learn: Bengal, Siamese, American shorthair
The cleanest cat breed:
Owning this affectionate, hairless breed means you can spend more time cuddling and less time lint-rolling your clothes. They do require regular baths, but that just means more time to hang out together.
Other neat freaks: Siamese, Russian blue
The best cat for first-time owners:
it’s a toss-up!
Thinking of getting your first kitty? It’s hard to pick just one breed, so we’ve got three:
- Maine coons are super friendly and charming, and adapt well in a variety of living situations.
- Siamese are clean, love to talk and are very loyal.
- American shorthairs are smart, playful and independent.
Remember, most cats — especially those found in shelters — are a mix of breeds, which just means they often combine the best of all cat personality traits! Whatever personality you’re looking for in a cat, you’ll know it when you find your fuzzy soulmate.
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