About once a year, I start to question the choices I\'ve made regarding food and nutrition. I\'ll spend hour upon hour online researching the best (and the worst) foods available and reading every article and tidbit of information that I can find. Well, that time of year has come, and while doing my \'research\' I discovered that Wellness, manufactured by Old Mother Hubbard, uses garlic in their cat food.
As I\'m sure most of you are aware, onions and garlic contain a substance (N-propyl disulphide) which has been shown to damage red blood cells in cats which can lead to anemia and, in severe cases, death. Raw onions and garlic in particular can irritate the mouth and result in mouth, esophagus, and stomach ulcers. For the record, the Wellness website lists the following reasons for the addition of garlic:
\"Garlic has been long used for its healthful benefits as well as a flavorful ingredient in recipes around the world. Cats won\'t eat what they can\'t smell. At Wellness, we add only a trace amount of garlic to our cat food to increase palatability and aroma. While it is a member of the onion family garlic does not contain a meaningful amount of disulfide, which is the substance found in onions that is harmful to cats at a high dosage. As with most things, the old saying \"moderation in all things\" applies to garlic. It would require a massive amount of garlic to cause a cat to become ill. Some studies even show that small amounts of garlic can actually be beneficial to the health of pets.\"
Naturally, the opinions vary drastically on the amount of garlic and/or onions that would have to be ingested to cause such problems, but in general, most agree that avoiding the substance all together is the safest route. Furthermore, even the \'experts\' that suggest small amounts of garlic can be beneficial say that cats with pre-existing anemic conditions should not ingest garlic.
I, personally, feel that better safe than sorry is the best route to follow in regards to garlic, or onions, or any other questionable foods that have been shown to cause health problems. I don\'t necessarily expect all of you to agree, but I do think this is a prime example of why those of you concerned with nutrition need to research what is really in your pet\'s food.