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I can’t think of a more appropriate date for this post than April Fool’s Day, because I swear this advert SHOULD be an April Fool’s joke!

Have you seen the Iams “I’m a not a vegetarian” cat food advert? Each time it comes on TV I want to throw things at it. I’m pretty sure when they launched this the strap line was “I’m a carnivore” and now they’ve changed it because, well, carnivores (and particularly cats being obligate carnivores) aren’t designed to eat grains and vegetables. I guess that saying a cat is a carnivore then selling you grains was a step too far even for them to get away with for long.

For those of you who want to take a look at the ad here it is (if you are prone to throwing things in anger perhaps clear your surfaces first 😉 ):

Laughingly on You Tube they have given it the title “These teeth are made for meat” … why are you suggesting that your BISCUIT cat food is appropriate then? You can’t make it up can you, your cat’s teeth are made for meat but forget that it’s biscuits you should be feeding!

It gets better, having established that kitty isn’t a vegetarian, and neatly dodged that kitty is in fact an obligate carnivore, they then do the following with the ingredients. I have chosen the first product that gets listed under their Pro Active Health range “Iams® ProActive Health™Kitten & Junior” to look at (blimey they’ve trade marked ProActive Health!).

Iams® ProActive Health™Kitten & Junior
Dried Chicken And Turkey (41%, A Natural Source Of Taurine), Maize, Animal Fat, Wheat, Dried Whole Egg, Dried Beet Pulp (2.7%), Hydrolysed Animal Proteins, Calcium Carbonate, Fructooligosaccharides (0.69%), Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Brewer’S Dried Yeast, Sodium Chloride.

Correct me if I’m wrong people but the SECOND ingredient is Maize and the FOURTH wheat, what part of an animal do they come from? Given that the ingredients are listed in percentage order and we know chicken and turkey is 41% and dried beet pulp (isn’t that a vegetable!?!) is 2.7% then the maize, animal fat, wheat and egg is likely around 50% (probably higher given that Fructooligosaccharides are 0.69%). Which means there must be over 12.5% maize in there for it to appear where it does, and this is just using rough calculations it could, and likely is much higher. And when you add the wheat to it, the level of grains is pretty unappealing to a carnivore, being higher than zero.

I am also pretty suspicious of the chicken and turkey being lumped together, if they were listed separately would Maize rank higher, could it even be the first listed ingredient?

And the premise of this whole campaign? “Iams contains over 30% more animal protein than leading brands sold in supermarkets. Based on an estimated analysis of animal protein content in their best selling dry adult diet January 2011-2012.” So, it’s better than the other rubbish, probably, if their estimates are correct. And this is only looking at animal protein percentages, the quality of that protein and other considerations don’t get mentioned at all. Sigh, isn’t marketing a marvelous thing.

I could go on and on but I need to get off the IAMS website before I burst a blood vessel.

The equivalent dog advert lets us know that the dog is not a rabbit. Sigh, no Iams, but rabbits are a great food source for dogs and cats provided you don’t mix them with a load of other stuff, render them to the point that all nutrients are lost and then add in some synthetic nutrients to replace what you’ve destroyed.