Friday, May 24, 2024

Ash Content In Cat Food

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Where Does Cat Food Ash Come From

Why Is There Ash In Your And Your Pets Food?!

No cat can be produced without the presence of ash in it. When testing the cat food, scientists tend to use a calorimeter to burn it. Doing this allows them to calculate the foods energy density or the Kcal contained in 100 grams of the food.

Scientists can also calculate the amount of fiber, protein, & fat present in this food.

Once this process is completed, all you are left with is ash or the foods mineral content. It is simply for testing, and the cat food you purchase wouldnt contain any burnt content in it.

If Cats Are Obligate Carnivores Where Are There Sometimes Fruits Vegetables And Starches Added To Some Cat Foods

All of Spring Naturals handcrafted recipes include 90 95% of proteins from all-natural fish or poultry. However, we boost the nutrition of our food with 6 superfoods that bolster your cats diet full of low carb, wheat-free, whole foods. We punch it up with added vitamins and minerals for functionally balanced, wholesome nutrition.

Parsley, spinach, alfalfa leaves, and dandelion greens provide extra Vitamin K and help with urinary tract health in cats.

Blueberries and cranberries provide additional antioxidants to your cat to fight free-radicals and boost their immune system.

Rosemary extract simply acts as a natural preservative to make sure your cat food stays fresh from production to pantry. It also helps maintain the natural color of the food, preventing oxidation and discoloration.

What Is Ash In Pet Food

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When you see the word ash on the guaranteed analysis in your pets food, you may be concerned.

The guaranteed analysis is where the manufacturer lists guaranteed minimums or maximums for key nutrients like protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. These minimums are based on food nutrient profiles established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials based on extensive feeding trials in cats and dogs.

AAFCO requires manufacturers to list the crude protein, fat, fiber, and moisture content on the guaranteed analysis measured as fed . Anything else is up to the manufacturers discretion to include or omit.

But what is ash really?

Many pet owners mistakenly assume that ash is a filler used to add bulk to low-quality pet foods. In reality, it is simply a measure of the mineral content of the food. Manufacturers are able to measure the mineral content by burning the food the organic material burn off, leaving behind the inorganic minerals. This is known as ash.

In most cases, ash in pet food comes from animal bone, cartilage, and tendons. Fresh meat contains only the flesh of the animal but meat meals like chicken meal and beef meal may contain bone. Synthetic mineral additives can also contribute to the ash content.

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Is Magnesium In Cat Food Bad

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.

The Big Problem With Ash In Cat Food


So if ash is just a bunch of necessary minerals, whats the problem?

The first issue is that these minerals and micronutrients should only make up a small part of your cats diet. For example, the National Animal Supplementation Council says that cats only need 0.6% of their diet to be calcium but its not hard to find popular cat food brands with as much as 7.07% total ash content. That turns those extra minerals from healthy additional to just filler.

But it gets worse.

As veterinary nutritionist Dr. Daniel Carey explains In the 1970s, a correlation was made between urinary tract disease in male cats and too high an ash content in cat food. Later, it was determined that only magnesiumone particular mineral in that ash contentwas responsible.

The high magnesium content can form stones that eventually blocks the urethra. This is an extremely dangerous condition, which is more common in male cats, that can quickly become life-threatening.

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How Do We Make Cat Food Recommendations

We have many years of experience evaluating pet foods and even more experience as cat owners. That being said, we know a little more than the average cat owner about pet nutrition and comparing commercial pet foods. There are limitations to our knowledge and understanding, but we want you to know that wed never recommend a product to you that we wouldnt be happy to feed our own cats. We do our best to choose high-quality products that exceed your cats minimum nutritional needs.

Here are some general requirements for a cat food recipe to receive our stamp of approval:

  • A source of high-quality animal protein as the first ingredient
  • At least 30% crude protein for kittens and at least 26% for adults
  • A minimum of 9% crude fat for kittens and adults
  • A balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, primarily from animal sources
  • A rich blend of nutrients from natural sources and supplements, as needed
  • Limited carbohydrate content from digestible sources
  • No low-quality fillers, by-products, or artificial additives

You should always feed your cat the highest quality cat food you can consistently afford. You dont necessarily need to bankrupt yourself by buying the best of the best, but your cat deserves the highest quality food you can buy him on a consistent basis.

How To Find Ash Content In Cat Food

How To Find Ash Content In Cat Food

Is there another name for Ash in cat food? The term crude ash or also called incinerated residue or inorganic matter listed on the label therefore refers to the amount of minerals in a pet food product. Minerals are another essential class of nutrients that must be included to ensure a healthy and balanced diet .

Does all cat food have ash in it? Ash actually describes the amount of mineral nutrients in your cats food. These are things like phosphorous, calcium, zinc, magnesium, and iron which are essential for your cats health. So while theres no cat food without ash, the amount does vary between brands.

Does dry cat food contain ash? You might expect dry kibble to contain ash, but you may be surprised to learn that canned food contains it, as well. That means that even if your cats diet is exclusively or mostly canned food, its just as important to read labels.

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Why Is The Amount Of Minerals Important In Cat Food

Minerals are necessary for your cat, but high levels can have negative effects on your cats urinary tract health. Generally, an excess amount of minerals can gather to form crystals in your cats bladder and urinary tract. So keeping your cats mineral consumption at a healthy level is very important.

Of course, each mineral has a different effect. So instead of choosing food depending on the level of its general ash content, you may need to look out for the levels of separate minerals based on your cats needs

Considering each mineral separately proves especially important in cats with kidney issues. Feeding a diet that is low on phosphorus has shown to be beneficial for cats that suffer from kidney issues. On the other hand, the mineral potassium is very important for kidney health. In fact, potassium deficiency may even lead to chronic kidney disease.

So if you opt for a food with low ash content to decrease your cats phosphorus intake, you may end up denying her the potassium that her kidneys would benefit from.

Why Is My Cat Licking Everything In The House

Determination of Ash Content (Total Minerals)_A Complete Procedure (AOAC 942.05)

Excessive licking can be a sign of parasites, neurologic disease, food allergies and endocrine disease, and can lead to skin irritation, infections and even hairballs, she advises. To redirect your feline friends attention onto something other than licking at himself or other objects excessively, Dr.

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Is Ash Present In The Cat Food Safe

You dont need to worry about ash present in your cat food. It is completely safe for your pet. It simply means that you are feeding them minerals that boost their health the right way. However, it would help if you were careful with cat food that has ash percent soaring above 8 percent.

It generally means that your cat is getting lower-quality food along with a high amount of filler ingredients. Several corporate brands are dedicated to manufacturing cat food that doesnt disclose the amount of ash present in their pet food recipes.

If you feed your cat with one such brand, it might be difficult to understand if the food is sourced from the right place.

You also need to understand that high ash content can be redundant as it might hamper the proper absorption of other minerals in your cats gastrointestinal tract. Phosphorus, a component of ash, could have a deteriorating effect on your cats kidneys if the percentage is too high.

You can safely opt for cat food that has a 7 percent or lower amount of ash. Unfortunately, the local food mandates do not require the brands to mention the ash percent on their list of ingredients.

The only way you can tell is by checking out the price of the cat food. The cost of high-quality protein is higher, and hence the manufacturing price for the food goes up.

What Is The Appropriate Amount Of Ash Content In Cat Food

Since ash content means mineral content, the question we are really asking is what the appropriate amount of each mineral should be in a healthy cat diet.

Healthy adult cats need about 2% ash content in their daily caloric intake.

Of this, about 0.6% comes from calcium, 0.5% from phosphorus, 1% from potassium, and the remainder is made up of sodium, magnesium, chlorine, iron, zinc, and other trace minerals.

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What Is Total Ash Value

Total ash is a measure of the mineral oxide content of activated carbon on a weight basis. It is measured by converting the mineral constituents to the respective oxides at 800°C. The ash consists mainly of silica and aluminium and the amount is dependent on the base raw material used to produce the product.

How Long Does It Take To Dissolve Struvite Stones

Cat Food Brands With a Low Ash Content

On the average, it takes about 6 weeks for a stone to dissolve. If the stone does not seem to be dissolving after a reasonable time, the stone may require surgical removal. Surgery to remove a bladder stone is called a cystotomy. Here, the bladder is opened and the stones inside are simply removed.

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Why Is There Ash In Pet Food

It may not be listed on all of our food labels, but there is an ash level in all foods.

The ash level listed for any food is the measurement of any inorganic matter left over once the food is incinerated at a high temperature. Most ash in kibble comes from calcium or phosphorus leftover from the bone present in the meat.

Ash is not inherently bad for pets. During the 1980’s there was an uptick in urinary issues in pets and ash shouldered much of the blame. Modern research has found that ash levels may contribute to making pets urine more alkaline, which can contribute to urinary issues overall.

What Is Crude Ash That Appears On The Label’s Ingredient List

The term crude ash refers to the amount of minerals present in our recipes, such as calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. The declaration of this parameter is required by the European regulation No 767/2009). It does not mean that the product contains added ashes.

Imagine a full bag of Purina dry pet food. If we take out the content and burn it completely, most of the nutrients the product contains protein, fats and carbohydrates would burn without leaving a trace.

All that is left behind, are the minerals, those inorganic substances present in the ingredients of the recipe. The term crude ash or also called incinerated residue or inorganic matter listed on the label therefore refers to the amount of minerals in a pet food product.

Minerals are another essential class of nutrients that must be included to ensure a healthy and balanced diet . They are needed for the development and function of your pets body. They help to balance body fluids and to support strong bones and teeth.

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What Should I Feed My Cat

The best natural cat food is a high protein diet is the a good way to help maintain normal pH, which may lower the likelihood of crystal formulation. Cats eating natural wet cat food may have less trouble with FLUTD than those eating primarily dry kibble diets.

This could be due both to the higher meat content of canned diets as well as the higher moisture content. A raw food diet may be good for helping maintain normal urine pH and supporting hydration levels.

Cats drink little water naturally, in the wild the moisture they consume comes from the moisture content of their prey. A cat eating dry kibble would need to consume approximately 8 oz. of water per day to help maintain normal body fluid levels.

Why Is It Called Crude Ash

Best dry cat food to get picky cats from kibble to wet or raw

Crude ash contained in dry food represents the percentage of inorganic substances present i.e. the minerals. The name, crude ash, is derived from the fact that its analytical determination is the result of total incineration of the organic substance. Thats right: ash is what remains after incineration of the product.

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What Is An Acceptable Amount Of Ash In Cat Food

As there are many variations in the quality of meat meals, many look to ash levels in a meal to denote the quality of pet nutrition The lower the ash level, the better quality of food. But dont write off ash just yet. Dogs and cats require roughly about 2% ash in their diet to meet their mineral needs.

Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets Nf Kidney Function Advanced Care

This is a wet food specifically formulated for kidney care! Since the kidneys are an essential part of the urinary tract, I wanted to include this food in my recommendations. It is a solid prescription option for cats that need specific mineral requirements for kidney health.

This cat food is low on phosphorus because this mineral exhausts the kidneys. It has meat and by-products from salmon, liver, and chicken heart as its sources of protein, providing a great blend of amino acids.

Its protein level is not very high, but this is intentional to help improve kidney function. Additionally, it has a delicious pate consistency. This makes it especially suited for cats with dental issues or kittens that are teething.

Breakdown: Protein: 6% / Moisture: 77% / Phosphorus: 0.12% / Fiber: 3%


  • Not ideal for weight maintenance
  • A bit high in fiber
  • It is a prescription diet so it needs vet approval

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What Is The Ash Content Of Royal Canin Cat Food

What is the Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Ash content of Royal Canin Feline Urinary Care Adult Dry Cat Food? On an as fed basis, this formula has approximately 0.09% magnesium, 0.74% phosphorus, and 8.0% ash. On a dry matter basis, this formula has approximately 0.09% magnesium, 0.78% phosphorus, and 8.46% ash.

Why Is Ash Level Important

What Is a Low Percentage of Ash in Cat Food?

So now that you know what is ash lets learn why it is essential!

Earlier in the 1980s, vets thought that higher ash in cat food is responsible for Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease. However, later it was found that ash was not responsible for FLUTD. Research later proved that the complication was in the making of commercial pet food.

Your cat needs around 2% of ash in her diet. Anything more than 2% is considered useless in her food. In the wilds, cats could easily munch on animal bones and vegetables to acquire the nutrients/minerals that are vital for their diet.

If the amount of ash increases by more than 2% in commercial cat food products, it is considered as filler content. Some low-quality food even contains as high as 10% of ash in pet food.

Ash is important because, if given in excess can harm your furry friend. Also, you must note that it is not compulsory for brands to mention the proportion of ash in their food. So, you are the one who has to have a strong background check regarding the proportion of ash in cat food.

Purina low ash cat food is something I can rely on and confidently suggest other pet parents for using this product for their lovely felines!

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Hills Prescription Diet C/d Multicare Urinary Care With Chicken Canned Cat Food

This prescription cat foods sole aim is to help with urinary tract infections and stones. It has proven to lower the recurrence of urinary issues caused by food by 89%. Has a direct impact on creation of struvite crystals which on average dissolve after 27 days. This low magnesium canned cat food has beneficial effects on pH levels.


  • A rich source of quality animal protein
  • Balanced levels of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium
  • Formulated by veterinarians

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