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Chicken: The Complete Protein Source for Your Cat

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Kitten Basics: Facts About By-products in Kitten Food

Before you assume that by-products in kitten food are bad thing, here are some facts. In common usage, a by-product is something that is just that—a side product from the making of another product. By-products are not by definition poor quality. For instance, gingerbread cookies wouldn’t be the same without molasses, which is a by-product of sugar manufacture.
 

In relation to IAMS™ kitten foods, such as IAMS ProActive Health™ Kitten, by-products are generally parts of the animals that are not the muscle meat preferred by most American consumers. The term refers only to the anatomic parts included, not to the nutritional quality of the parts.
 

While many Americans may not be used to eating these animal parts themselves, it is important to realize that many of the items included in by-products (e.g., organ meats) may be higher in essential nutrients—amino acids, minerals, and vitamins—as well as more palatable to pets than the skeletal muscle meat.
 

In addition to nutritional benefits, inclusion of these ingredients in pet foods reduces waste and likely has environmental benefits as the livestock industry does not have to produce additional animals just to satisfy the needs for muscle meats to feed pets as well as people. Feeding these nutrient-rich, tasty parts to pets may prevent them from being wasted and allows the entire animal to be put to good use.
 

Much of the consumer confusion and discomfort surrounding by-products most likely stems from the marketing strategies of some pet food brands and perhaps from the ingredient name “by-product” itself.
 

It is important to keep in mind that most ingredients in pet foods can vary greatly in quality. In addition, quality cannot be assessed purely on the basis of the ingredient list. All by-products are not the same quality. Neither is all muscle meat. There are very high-quality by-products as well as poor-quality chicken and chicken meal (or beef or pork).
 

Purchasing food only from reputable manufacturers who are very selective about their suppliers, have full-time, qualified nutritionists, and perform analytical testing to ensure that every ingredient, as well as the finished product, meets their exact nutrient specifications, will help avoid problems due to poor-quality ingredients.

  • The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds
    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds

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    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds

    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:


    Maine coon

    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:


    Ragdoll

    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:


    Domestic shorthair

    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:


    Persian

    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:


    Abyssinian

    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:


    Sphynx

    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.

    The Cat Personality Awards: The Unique Temperaments of Popular Cat Breeds
    Maine coon
    Ragdoll Cat
    domestic  shorthair
    Persian Cat
    Abyssinian Cat
    Sphynx Cat
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