Dear Christopher Cat
We humans are supposed to limit our intake of fish because of mercury and PCB contamination. The food my cats eat every day contains fish. Should I be concerned?
Yes. Heavy metals and pesticides are bad for us cats, too.
The manufacturer of the food I eat says it’s made from deep-water fish thought to have negligible levels of these contaminants.
Other manufacturers test their ingredients before incorporating them into pet foods.
For example, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has the fish ingredients in their products checked by an independent laboratory for a wide range of pesticides and metals, using methods established by the Environmental Protection Agency.
They test for mercury, PCB, aldrin, chlordane, DDD, DDE, DDT, heptachlor and methoxychlor, as well as other contaminants.
Hill’s reports that they use only those ingredients with no detectable contamination.
Manufacturers that use high quality ingredients and test them for contamination must recoup the added cost when they sell the food, so their products may cost a bit more.
But most veterinary nutritionists agree: When it comes to pet food, you get what you pay for.
Contact the manufacturer of your cat’s food, and ask how they minimize mercury and PCB contamination. The phone number should be on the bag.