Having finally managed to calm down a little after my Iams “I’m not a vegetarian” cat food advert rant last week I find myself even more incensed after seeing an advert for Whiskas (owned by MARS) “Big instincts in little cats” campaign.
The premise of the campaign seems to be that our domesticated cats have the same instincts as big cats, think lions, leopards, pumas, that sort of thing. Now any of us that have lived with domestic cats won’t argue with this. The similarities between the big cats we see on safari or TV and our own little bundles of fluff toying with a half dead mouse are clear.
And here’s the advert (seeing that lovely cat eating the absolute cr@p that Whiskas call food at the end makes me want to cry):
So far so good eh? So all you raw feeding cat owners can pat yourselves on the back. The big cat instinct to hunt, kill and then eat (raw) prey is alive and well in kitty and you are giving a diet that matches their instinct.
However unsurprisingly, when I nipped on Whiskas UK website to learn more, it seems that Whiskas doesn’t see it that way. Clicking on the feeding section I learned this:
“Just like big cats in the wild, your cat is a natural carnivore and designed instinctively to seek out the food that provides it with essential nutrients. Many of these nutrients are only found in meat-based food, which is why cats shouldn’t be vegetarians.
One essential nutrient for cats is water. In the wild cats get moisture from their prey, so feeding your cat wet food as part of its diet is a great way to provide a natural source of water.”
I’m going to start with the bit about water, here they are admitting that cats should get their water from prey and yet they peddle processed food and try to make out that wet food is going to fill that gap. Well it’s better than dry but it doesn’t take a genius to work out it’s not as good as what they were designed to eat PREY.
They, like Iams, point out that cats aren’t vegetarians and even make the bold statement that your cat is a carnivore. So lets take a look at what’s in their food. First up, inconveniently, I can’t find ingredients listed on their website so I ended up on Pets at Home’s website and randomly selected a product (you might want to do some relaxation exercises before you read this!):
Whiskas Kitten Complete Food with Chicken
Cereals, Vegetable Protein Extracts, Meat and Animal Derivatives (min. 4% Chicken In Brown Kibbles, min. 4% Meats in the Meaty Nuggets Filling), Oils and Fats, Minerals, Derivatives of Vegetable Origin, Milk and Milk Derivatives (min. 4% Milk in the Brown Kibbles), Vegetables.
REALLY WHISKAS, REEEEEEEALLY? You’ve managed a whole 4% meat (of somewhat dubious quality) in your food for a carnivorous small cat. You say “many of these nutrients can only be found in meat-based food” and then you make your food only 4% meat based.
Whilst I understand why they can get away with both the advertising and the disgrace that they call food and still comply will all the necessary rules and regulations, their moral compass is so far off course it couldn’t find meat in Ted’s raw chicken dinner.
But people fall for this, they think because it’s on TV or in the supermarket it must be true/safe. If you know someone who feeds Whiskas (or any other pet “food” for that matter), please, please talk to them about what’s in the food they are giving their beloved cat. No living thing deserves to eat the absolute cr@p that MARS and Whiskas pass off as food.
Just in case anyone is in doubt, this is a little cat eating in line with its instincts: