What’s in the Best Cat Food?
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) has established some guidelines for regulator to govern what must be included in a pet food label and what a pet food company can legitimately claim and what they cannot.
Start by looking at the name of the pet food. AAFCO requires that if the food is advertised to contain a single ingredient, it must contain at least 95% of that ingredient, not including added water. Likewise, if a combination of ingredients is advertised, that combination must comprise at least 95% of the food. For instance, if the food claims to be made solely of beef, beef must make up 95% of the food. If the claim is turkey and beef, then the food must be 95% turkey and beef combined.
Foods with descriptive phrases (such as dinner, platter, entrée, etc.) in their names must contain at least 25% of the named ingredient. Products that carry a name that states “with” a specific ingredient (such as “with cheese”) need only contain 3% of the named ingredient. Products that advertise specific “flavors” (such as “chicken flavor” or “beef flavor”) need to contain only a detectable amount of that ingredient.