Recent tests show there are high levels of toxins in some dry cat foods available in Switzerland, according to the Swiss romande consumer federation (FRC), a consumer advocacy group.
The FRC’s investigation was aimed at finding out whether industrially produced cat food plays any role in the number of cats dying from diseases like cancer – a Swedish study estimates 12% of cats die from the disease.
Acrylamide, a carcinogen found in cooked cereal products, was found in high quantities in some of the products tested. This combined with the high share these products make up of some cats’ diets mean they could be consuming very unhealthy levels. Cats on average could be exposed to 10 times more acrylamide than humans, says the report.
One cat food tested had 5.5 times the level of acrylamide allowable for humans. The european acrylamide limit for humans is 300 micrograms (μg) per kilogram. The FRC study found 1,660 μg per kilo in one cat food.
In addition to acrylamide, researchers tested for mycotoxins, toxic substances produced by fungus in crops, and salt. Some contained 3.5 times as much salt as is considered safe for humans.
Part of the problem is that no regulations or safe limits for these substances are imposed on cat food.
The study, which looked at 15 well-known brands of dried cat foods, found 11 had excessive levels of acrylamide, 9 had excessive amounts of mycotoxins, and 2 contained excessive salt.
Test results for each brand are shown here.