5
All Rights Reserved 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

How is the Quality Score Calculated?

The calculation of the quality score is based on sophisticated and advanced algorithm that takes into account multiple parameters.

To simplify the explanation, the calculation is based on three main criteria: (1) amount of protein (more is better), (2) amount of carbohydrates (less is better), and (3) quality and source of ingredients.
Based on that 3 main criteria, 9 score calculation rules are used to compare the different foods.
It is well known that the closer an ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the greater its relative weight and contribution to the food.

In general, a dry cat food is composed of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals:

Protein

Protein is the most important component in a cat’s diet, and cats primarily get their protein from animal meat. Please read our article about it.

Fat

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are controversial in a cat’s diet, as cats are obligate carnivores and typically consume very few carbohydrates.

Fibers

Fibers play an important role in digestion and food absorption, and vitamins and minerals are essential for different organism functions.

Dry matter values are used to compare the amount of nutrients in different cat foods. This means that moisture is excluded from the equation to provide a more accurate comparison.

Putting all of these and much more into a formula results in a product quality score.
The maximum score a cat food can receive is 100, and points are added or removed based on the score calculation rules.

What is the maximum quality score a dry cat food can have?

The maximum quality score a dry cat food can have is 100.

What is Cat Food Central and what does it offer?

Cat Food Central is a platform that offers an easy way to evaluate the quality of dry cat food products.
It uses a sophisticated and advanced algorithm developed by dimitrygo™ ©® that incorporates 3 main criteria and 9 score calculation rules to assign a score to each product on a scale of 0-100.
The higher the score, the better the quality of the food.

Who developed the evaluation method for cat food?

The evaluation method was developed by a guy named “dimitrygo™ ©®” who studied the materials on the internet and developed this method over the last years.
Dimitry is NOT a scientist and do not have formal knowledge in pet nutrition, cat food making, or veterinary.

What are the three criteria used in the evaluation method for cat food?

The three criteria used in the evaluation method used in this site for dry cat food are the (1) amount of protein (the higher the better), (2) the amount of carbohydrates (the lower the better), and (3) the quality and source of ingredients based on their declaration.

What factors are not taken into consideration in the evaluation method for cat food?

No other factors like taste, price, availability, origin, or history are taken into consideration.

What is ash in the context of the guaranteed analysis of cat food?

Ash is a residue remaining after “burning” a food at high temperature. It can be said that ash is actually the minerals and trace elements present in the food.

What is crude in the context of the guaranteed analysis of cat food?

Crude (protein, fats, fibers, ash) means a calculated or analyzed value. There are several methods of analysis; none of them is accurate and gives an exact picture.

What is the calculation used to determine the dry matter amount of cat food?

The dry matter amount (A) in % is calculated according to the following formula: A dry matter = A as fed / (100% – A moisture) * 100%.

What is the controversy surrounding carbohydrates in a cat’s diet?

Cats are obligate carnivores and their diet in the wild contains very few carbohydrates. Some studies talk about 5% carbohydrates that cats consume from chewing selected grass and plants and eating the stomach content of their prey. The energy value of carbohydrates is equal to protein.

What is the role of fat in a cat’s diet?

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids that are used to build cell membranes and other body elements. It also plays a very important role in food palatability.

What is the purpose of the score calculation rules in the evaluation method?

The evaluation method for cat food is based on three criteria: amount of protein, amount of carbohydrates, and quality and source of ingredients based on their declaration. Nine score calculation rules are defined based on these criteria, and each food receives a score calculated using these rules. Foods can then be compared based on their scores.

What components are included in a food’s guaranteed analysis?

A food’s guaranteed analysis typically includes:

  • Crude protein
  • Crude fat
  • Crude fibers
  • Carbohydrates
  • Moisture
  • Crude ash

These six elements together compose 100% of the food.

How are dry matter values used in the evaluation of cat food?

Dry matter values are used to compare different cat foods by accounting for differences in moisture content. The dry matter amount in % is calculated using a formula, and the resulting dry matter values can be compared directly for accurate evaluation and comparison.

How many score calculation rules are there in the evaluation method?

There are 9 score calculation rules in the evaluation method:

  1. Amount and quality of carbohydrates (-)
  2. Amount of protein (-)
  3. Non-meat (plant or vegetable) protein (-)
  4. Source of meat and fat ingredients (-)
  5. Chemical additives (-)
  6. Additional source of animal protein – location impact (+)
  7. Quality and location impact of meat ingredients (+)
  8. Natural source of taurine (+)
  9. Chelated minerals (+)

What are some additional sources of animal protein that can be found in cat food?

Multiple sources of animal protein like meat, fish, eggs, etc. can be found in cat food when they are different from the main animal protein.

Are food colors necessary in cat food?

Food colors are unnecessary and unwanted additions in cat food, although they are not as harmful as chemical preservatives.

What is the concern with chemical additives like BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin in cat food?

BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin are very efficient chemical antioxidants that are suspected as carcinogenic and other health diseases causing factors.

What is the issue with “hydrolyzed protein” and “hydrolyzed protein extract”?

“Hydrolyzed protein” and “hydrolyzed protein extract” are produced from by-product meat ingredients from the most uncertain sources. In many cases, their quality is inferior, and their origin is very suspicious.

What are meat by-products, and why are they considered a lower quality source of protein?

Meat by-products are mostly internal organs and intestines and are considered a lower quality source of protein than meat. Mainly because the real content of such ingredients is not well defined, and their quality control is generally insufficient.

Why is the quality of plant protein lower than the quality of animal protein?

The quality of plant protein is significantly lower than the quality of animal protein due to a lack of some essential amino acids, improper balance of existing amino acids, and lower digestibility.

How much protein should be in a cat’s diet?

Protein is the most important nutrition component in a cat’s diet and should equal about 50% of dry matter protein in their diet.

How do pet food manufacturers manipulate the order of ingredients on the label?

Some pet food manufacturers use multiple sources of carbohydrates and other non-meat ingredients instead of one single source to bring the meat ingredient to the top of the list. This works because they make a meat ingredient weigh more than each single non-meat ingredient. However, all these separately listed ingredients, when combined together, often outweigh the meat ingredient.

What are some good non-grain sources of highly digestible carbohydrates in cat food?

Potatoes, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and tapioca are some examples of good non-grain sources of highly digestible carbohydrates in cat food.

What is the issue with using grains like corn and wheat in cat food?

The digestibility of carbohydrates in grains like corn and wheat is not very high. Furthermore, these products can cause food intolerance and allergies in cats.

Why do cats require a low amount of carbohydrates in their diet?

Cats are obligate carnivores and their diet in the wild contains a minimal amount of carbohydrates. Therefore, their digestive system has not evolved to handle high amounts of carbohydrates.

What are some chemical additives to watch out for in cat food?

Some chemical additives to watch out for in cat food include BHT, BHA, and Ethoxyquin, which are very efficient chemical antioxidants but are suspected to be cancerogenic and cause other health issues. Instead, look for cat food that uses natural antioxidants like vitamin E, rosemary extract, or citric acid. Additionally, food colors are added to cat food to satisfy aesthetic needs, but these compounds are unnecessary and unwanted additions in the cat food.

What should I look for in the source of meat and fat ingredients in cat food?

When it comes to meat and fat ingredients in cat food, it’s important to look for specific and well-defined sources. Meat by-products, for example, are less quality sources of protein than meats as their real content is not well-defined. Additionally, ingredients like “meats and meat derivatives”, “animal fats”, “vegetable oils”, and “oils and fats” are undefined and of unknown sources, making their quality difficult to evaluate. Ideally, cat food should clearly state the sources of their meat and fat ingredients.

What are the main sources of carbohydrates in dry cat food?

Dry cat food can contain carbohydrates from various sources, but the most common ones are corn, wheat, barley, rice, oatmeal, sorghum, potatoes, peas, chickpeas, lentils, and tapioca. However, it’s important to note that cats are obligate carnivores and their natural diet contains very little carbohydrates, so the amount and quality of carbohydrates in dry cat food should be carefully considered.

What are non-meat proteins, and how do they contribute to a cat’s diet?

Non-meat proteins are plant-based proteins that are used in cat food as a cheap way to supplement the amount of protein in the food. Some examples of non-meat proteins include gluten, soy, and other plant proteins. While these ingredients can provide some protein, their quality is generally lower than that of animal protein due to a lack of some essential amino acids and lower digestibility. The contribution of non-meat proteins to the total amount of protein in the food depends on their relative locations in the ingredient list.

What is the importance of protein in a cat’s diet?

Protein is the most important nutrition component in a cat’s diet as it is used to build and repair their body, as well as being an important source of energy. Since cats are obligate carnivores, their diet should primarily consist of animal meat which contains about 50% of dry matter protein. It’s essential to ensure that a cat’s diet contains sufficient and high-quality protein to meet their nutritional needs.

How the score is calculated?

The actual calculation of the score is based on sophisticated and advanced algorithm that takes into account multiple parameters.

To simplify the explanation, the calculation is based on three main criteria:

(1) Amount of protein (more is better)

(2) Amount of carbohydrates (less is better)

(3) Quality and source of ingredients.

Based on that 3 main criteria, 9 score calculation rules are used to compare the different foods.

One major assumption is that the closer an ingredient is to the top of the ingredient list, the greater its relative weight and contribution to the food.

In general, cat food is composed of protein, fats, carbohydrates, fibers, vitamins, and minerals.

Protein is the most important component in a cat’s diet, and cats primarily get their protein from animal meat.

Fat is a primary source of energy and essential fatty acids.

Carbohydrates are controversial in a cat’s diet, as cats are obligate carnivores and typically consume very few carbohydrates.

Fibers play an important role in digestion and food absorption, and vitamins and minerals are essential for different organism functions.

Dry matter values are used to compare the amount of nutrients in different cat foods.
This means that moisture is excluded from the equation to provide a more accurate comparison.

Putting all of these and more into a formula results in a product score.

The maximum score a cat food can receive is 100.
Points are added or removed based on the score calculation rules.