Ash in cat food is the inorganic mineral content left over when the organic portion of the food has been burned off. The mineral content can be any combination of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, silicon, sulfur and other trace minerals.
Ash is measured by heating a food to 550 to 600 degrees – the inorganic residue is the “ash content”.
Confusion about ash content in pet foods developed as veterinarians and cat guardians were looking for the cause of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD – formerly known as FUS). In the 70’s & 80’s veterinarians thought ash was a factor in causing crystals in the urine. There are, however, a variety of causes and ash is no longer considered a factor in causing FLUTD. Further research has shown that the main problem was the formulation of commercial pet foods: most pet foods were creating a more alkaline urine (higher pH) which lead to an increase in struvite (magnesium ammonium phosphate) crystals. Dry kibble diets are mainly formulated with a high vegetable and grain content which creates a more alkaline urine. An all meat diet such as a cat would eat in nature creates a more acidic urine.
“A high protein diet is the best way to maintain a low urinary pH naturally. Cats eating canned diets have fewer problems with FLUTD than those eating primarily dry kibble diets”
“Animal protein is hugely important to our pets throughout their entire lives. High quality protein from actual meat sources contains important amino acids that your pets need to thrive.”
When choosing a healthy, high protein diet for your pet, avoid any bags that feature corn or soy as a prominent ingredient (or better yet, avoid them all together). You want named meat meals (like chicken meal, venison, salmon, ocean fish or lamb meal) or quality meat as the primary protein source. This is a sure proof way to make sure your pets are eating the diet nature intended.
Magnesium content in foods has also been implicated in contributing to FLUTD. Magnesium content, however, is most likely a minor contributor compared to the influence of urine pH. Studies have shown that supplementing the diet with magnesium chloride did not cause urinary crystals to form in the urine as long as an acidic urine was maintained. Further studies have shown that if the urine is at a higher pH of 7.5 or more, struvite crystals will occur even if the diet is low in magnesium.
Magnesium is an essential mineral in the diet of cats and dogs for a variety of functions including energy production, proper muscle function, heart health, bone growth and dental health among others. Rather than the specific magnesium content of a food guardians would be better served by looking for the proper ratio of Calcium, Phosphorus and Magnesium in the diet which should be approximately Ca-1.3:P-1:Mg-.06. A deficiency of any essential mineral in an animal’s diet will eventually lead to mineral imbalance and disease.
Pet food manufacturers developed low ash and/or low magnesium foods in response to the theories that ash or magnesium were the cause of struvite crystals. When it was apparent that urine pH, and not ash or magnesium was the problem, they began to add Ammonium Chloride to their cat foods to acidify the diet. This practice, however, does not necessarily solve the problem since continued use of Ammonium Chloride can lead to a condition called chronic acidosis, which leads to mobilization of Calcium from the cat’s bones. The combination of chemically induced acidosis, calcium loss from the bones leading to increased calcium in the blood & urine, along with a reduced level of magnesium in the diet leads to the formation of oxalate stones. Oxalate stones have now become an increasingly common side effect of treatment for struvite crystals.
High plant protein diets are hard on your pet’s organs; high animal protein diets aren’t only healthy for your aging pets, but essential. Poor quality, mass produced pet foods are packed with protein from soy and corn. Unfortunately, your dog and cat are unable to properly digest and assimilate these sources of protein. It lets the food manufacturer boost the protein content of the food without actually offering your pet any substantial protein they can actually use. High plant protein diets can put added strain on your pets because their bodies aren’t designed to process those ingredients. As they try to assimilate protein from these sources, their organs need to start working overtime.
And this is where disease sets in. Have you ever asked yourself why are the statistics of disease in animals the highest it’s ever been? THINK ABOUT IT! This may be hard for you to swallow and I considered not even mentioning this what I am about to say in this blog but I can’t just stay silent. THEY NOT ONLY PUT POISONS/CHEMICALS/& GMO’s IN HUMAN FOODS, THEY PUT POISONS/CHEMICALS/& GMO’s IN ANIMAL FOODS and they stripped the soil it grows in. Sickness is BIG BUSINESS! Then they push UNNECESSARY vaccines for animals too. WHY DOES AN INDOOR CAT NEED A RABIES VACCINE?
(those vaccine links in blue above, I realize they talk about people, but it’s the same with our animals)
Rabies is most often transmitted through a bite from an infected animal. Less frequently, it can be passed on when the saliva of an infected animal enters another animal’s body through mucous membranes or an open, fresh wound. The risk for contracting rabies runs highest if your cat is exposed to wild animals.
Now that I have educated you a little… let me tell you something else the doctor said, the doctor said “Now that Isaiah has had this happen to him, he will be prone now for the REST OF HIS LIVE to having it happen again the best advice I can give you is to have him on __blah, blah____.” (which was a cat food in their office for urinary tract infections but couldn’t really tell me why it was special expect that it was designed for urinary tract) and he said it still wouldn’t guarantee it won’t happen again. So you know what I did?
After all my research I put my cat’s on a grain free diet high quality food, but not all grain free brands are good, and I moved their water away from their food bowl because I read that cat’s will drink more water if it is not right next to their food because in nature their food and water are not conveniently right next to each other, they have to look/hunt for it and I did notice that they were drinking more when I moved it.
So the point of this blog is I encourage you to do your own research and question everything. Doctors are needed for emergency purposes but NOT useful for LONG TERM care, whether its for you or your animals. Trust your instincts, do your research and consult with holistic doctors or veterinarians and even a step up from a holistic doctor are what’s called functional doctors.
Do you love nutrition like me? Have you ever considered turning your love for nutrition into a career? Become a health coach with IIN the largest nutrition school in the world. Thanks to IIN, the Institute for Integrative Nutrition I was able to have my last surgery, as a result of a car accident without pain meds. I followed my own holistic pain management. My last surgery was a year after the accident to reverse the colostomy bag.
After my grandmother died from negligence of the ER and her doctors, I knew then I had to learn more. I needed to learn about food and how it works in the body. I started to study nutrition on my own and I started an interactive health blog on my business website that was doing very well and I had been looking at IIN for months already when the accident happened. So when I ended up in the hospital from the car accident, I knew I needed to sign up for IIN because I already loved every single email I got from them and I knew I couldn’t trust the doctors to make the best decisions for my health. I couldn’t trust my life in the hands of strangers with no vested interest in me. I signed up to study with IIN while I lay bedridden in the hospital then my cat ended up in the ER a few months after.
I’ve had my cats about 10 years now, they are my babies, my family and if I hadn’t done my research I could have potentially lost Isaiah or been knee high in vet bills trying to keep him alive. I wish I knew then, 10 years ago, what I know now, I would have had them on a raw diet. It’s not good to change their diet too much, it gives them diarrhea.
Personally, I use the green bag of Taste of the Wild brand, grain free with Roasted Venison and Smoked Salmon. One time though I forgot which bag by Taste of the Wild, the green or the brown which has more fish and even though they were the same brand my cats still had diarrhea from the change. But since I made the mistake I just kept them on the brown bag because it’s such a big bag that they adjusted to it. Until one day in a rush grabbed once again the wrong bag and sure enough they had diarrhea again.
So now I will never forget we use the green bag. lol I prefer the green one too cuz it has the Venison in it (which is deer) and smoked salmon.
By: Kathryn Mancarella, hover over pics to read captions. In the 7th pic read the caption for one last helpful tip.
Resources: Only Natural Pet
http://www.kathrynmancarella.com is currently under construction
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A must see video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YwESHflEyY