All-Natural, Holistic, and Organic Kitten Food
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If you are considering an all-natural, holistic, or organic kitten food, here are some facts you may not be aware of. Currently the pet food market is experiencing a push toward “all-natural,” “holistic,” and “organic,” the significance of which is still to be determined. The question becomes, is there an actual benefit to an “all-natural,” “holistic,” or “organic” diet?
What Could “All-Natural” Kitten Food Mean?
AAFCO defines “natural” as “…derived solely from plant, animal, or mined sources… not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices.”
Loosely interpreted, this definition could include a range of “natural” products, including tobacco or any other naturally grown drug or substance.
None of these “all-natural” products are considered healthy additives for your kitten. So it is apparent that regulatory work is needed to define the true beneficial use of all-natural. Also noteworthy is the fact that nowhere within the definition are plant and animal by-products excluded. Not only are they “natural,” but they contribute valuable nutrients as ingredients in human and animal foods.
“Holistic” Kitten Food
The term “holistic” kitten food is not distinctly defined by any of the regulatory agencies as a classification for food. This is particularly noteworthy in kitten food, because all diets sold commercially must be “Complete and Balanced” for a designated age or activity level. Or in other words, be a “holistic” dietary approach.
Organic Kitten Food
Organic kitten food is labeled “organic” by a government-approved certifier who inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Whether organic kitten food provides any additional safety or nutritional value is still being debated by experts. Even the USDA refuses to take a position. It is also important to note that there are no strict requirements for organic kitten food right now.
There is tremendous confusion surrounding the significance of all-natural, holistic, and organic kitten food terms. Widespread use without substantiation has forced several government and “watch-dog” consumer groups to become involved; this will result in more education and clarification as to what these terms really mean to consumers. But, for now usage of these terms requires your consideration.
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- adp_description_block232Your Cat’s Language: What Meows, Chirps and Yowls Mean
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Listen up, Mom or Dad, because your feline definitely has something to say. Cats use more than 100 different vocal sounds to communicate. Here are nine of the most common sounds you’ll hear and what your cat’s unique language means.
While your cat’s purrs are usually a sign that they’re happy, comfortable or content, it’s important to point out that your cat might also purr when they are anxious, agitated or sick — because purring soothes them. The key to figuring out if it’s a “worry purr” is to check if their ears are folded back, if they seem tense or if they just aren’t acting normal. (If that’s the case, call the vet and grab the cat carrier.)
Why do cats meow? It’s simple: It’s their way of communicating with us!
Meows are your cat’s most common “word,” and every one means something different. For example, your cat might meow to greet you when you come home, to ask you to open your bedroom door so they can curl up on your pillow, or to say, “I’d like some more tasty kibble or a second serving of IAMS® PERFECT PORTIONS™ paté, s’il vous plaît.”
Chirps and Trills
Chirps and trills are the loving language of cat mothers. Chirps, or chirrups, are staccato, bird-like sounds mother cats use to say to their kittens, “Follow me.” Trills are higher-pitched chirps your cat uses to say hello or “Pay attention to me.” When your cat directs these sounds at you, chances are they want you to give them some love or follow them somewhere, usually to their food or water bowl. (Shocker, LOL.)
If you have more than one feline fur baby, listen closely. You’ll likely hear your cats talk to each other with these sounds.
When your kitty spies an unsuspecting bird or squirrel frolicking outside the window, they might make a chattering sound at it. This distinctive, repetitive clicking noise is caused by a combination of lip smacking and your cat rapidly vibrating their lower jaw. This odd behavior looks like teeth chattering, and a lot of cats also chirp when they chatter.
This clickety sound is thought to be a mix of predatory excitement and frustration at not being able to get to the elusive feathered or furry prize. Some animal behaviorists even think the sound mimics a fatal bite used to break the bones of their prey. Who knew your li’l feline was so ferocious?!
Regardless of the exact reason cats chatter or chirp at birds and other small animals, most feline parents find it fascinating and amusing to watch.
The unmistakable sound of a cat hissing is like a steak hitting a hot skillet, and it can only mean one thing: Your cat feels threatened and will put up a fight if they have to. Just as important as the hissing sound, however, is the cat body language that comes with it. Your cat will flatten their ears, arch their back, puff their fur, twitch their tail and usually open their mouth to flash their fangs — aka the classic defensive pose.
Snarls and Growls
In addition to a hiss, if your cat makes a deep, guttural growlsound, they’re saying, “Back off.” Similar to a dog’s growl, this noise means your cat is annoyed, scared or angry. Some cats even make short, higher-pitched snarl sounds before launching into a full-blown growl.
While these sounds usually signify an unhappy cat, it’s important to note that some cats growl because they’re in pain from an injury or a health problem. If you suspect this is the case, a trip to the vet is in order.
If your feline snarls or growls at you for any reason, though, it’s best to leave your feisty friend alone.
A yowl, or howl, is a long, drawn-out meow that almost sounds like moaning; it’s your cat’s way of telling you they’re worried or distressed, or that they need you. They might have gotten locked in a closet, can’t find you anywhere or, heaven forbid, have discovered their food bowl is empty. Your cat might also yowl when they don’t feel well or when a new neighborhood cat trespasses on their turf.
Whatever the reason, make sure you immediately help your cat whenever you hear a yowl. Trust us — you’ll both be glad you did.
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