Can I use 9-Lives tuna in my casserole?

What is the difference in the tuna with a 9-Lives label, and the tuna with a Star-Kist label? Or, without brand names, between tuna meant for cats, and tuna meant for humans? I know the cat version really smells bad.

[aside] How did aboriginal (?) cats catch and eat TUNA? [/aside]

For starters, humans get served much higher quality tuna than cats.

If you do put the 9-Lives in your tuna hot dish, unless you season it beyond recognition, everyone will know that something is wrong and you will have fewer friends who will want to come over for dinner.

It is safe- but the taste & smell is REALLY fishy.

Why not mix in some Kibbles and Bits for an especially tasty treat?


aside] How did aboriginal (?) cats catch and eat TUNA? [/aside]

Forget about tuna. Every cat I’ve had (or even known) LOVES ham. When did house cats catch and eat PIGS?
(“Or Venison,” asks Mrs. Cal, “Or COWS?”)

My girlfriend has both a bacon cat an a beef cat. They’re scared of the goddam pigeons on the fire escape, yet they think they can bring down a pig or a cow?

The short answer to the OP is that people get the good parts of the tuna; the cats get the guts, the backbone steamed and ground up, the skin…Cats don’t normally eat fish in the wild. They eat small rodents. Tuna cat food is meant to appeal to you, the consumer, with your 50 years of folklore and Warner Brothers cartoons that tells you, “Cats love fish.”

I have here in my hand a can of Kroger Cat’s Choice Gourmet Ocean Whitefish Dinner. (No, we don’t have a cat, it’s a long story).

Ingredients (as per FDA requirements, in descending order of important in the mix):

ocean whitefish
water sufficient for processing
poultry by-products
meat by-products
guar gum
onion salt
iodized salt

And then there’s a bunch of vitamins and minerals.

Dunno how much you know about the pet food industry, so I’ll summarize. “By-products” means the parts people won’t eat. Poultry by-products is the parts that Louis Rich is’t allowed to grind up into Ground Turkey Sausage, but it can be nothing more than ground-up feathers–it’s perfectly legal for pet food. “Meat” by-products can be, literally, anything from a pig, sheep, or cow that people won’t eat, the body parts that the meat processors aren’t allowed to grind up into hamburger. “Meat” means “whatever fell off the truck from the slaughterhouse this week.” If it’s from a cow, they have to at least call it “beef” by-products. This is the guts–the anuses, the lips, the uteri, the penises, the spleens, etc.

“Liver” could be liver from anything–turkeys, chickens, pork, beef. Americans eat very little liver. Most of it goes into dog and cat food.

And for pet food, just because it says “ocean whitefish” or “tuna” doesn’t mean it has to be the nice filets. It’s just the opposite–it’s the skin and guts mainly. But hey, fish guts is still protein, and your cat can survive perfectly well on a diet of fish guts, with all the necessary vitamins and minerals added.

Guar gum and carrageenan are what they make instant pudding out of. It’s to hold the glop together so it looks nice in the cat’s food dish.

The onion salt is in there to make it smell not quite so appalling to you, the consumer. The cat doesn’t care.


I realize you’d do anything for the straight dope, but dag. :wink:

DDG: Actually, cats do catch fish. Admittedly not tuna, but they can scoop up fish out of the water. If you’ve ever seen a cat flip a toy up in the air, they are practicing catching fish. And they catch birds. Admittedly, rodents are the biggest part of the diet…

So why isn’t there rodent-flavor cat food?

I don’t think there are many domestically raised rodents. It’s not exactly cost-effective to open up a squirrel ranch or a rat farm. So you would have to set up traps and catch wild ones.

Umm, this one smells like plague!

:::note to self:::
If PlanMan ever invites me over for dinner, remember to politely decline.

So … all those “lab rats” are caught in the wild? And where does one catch a wild guinea pig?
I’m betting its more of a marketing thing, who would want to buy “Rat Delight”?

Kinsey - Mrs. PlanMan (or, as her first principal introduced her at every Open House - “… our Emotionally Disturbed Teacher”) doth protest your queasiness. She only selects the best protein sources.

Well, rabbits are raised commercially, though usually for their fur. My husband has shot wild rabbits, and brought them home. He and my daughter eat them…and the cats love rabbit, and would eat it every day if it was offered to them.

According to this website, there were 64,250,000 cats in the United States. Owned cats, not stray cats.

If each cat eats a mouse a day, that would be 23,451,250,000 mice per year required to feed the cats of America. Squeamish owners who couldn’t bring themselves to drop a live mouse in front of Dear Kitty could buy frozen mice, like snake owners do. Question: would Dear Kitty eat a thawed-out frozen mouse? Prolly not.

But it sure would give a boost to the snake food industry. Eh, BobT you were not aware of the snake food industry? They specialize in raising just about any size of rodent you could want–mice and rats in every size from newborn (known as “pinkies”) to juveniles (“fuzzies”) to adults. They also do hamsters, guinea pigs, and full-size rabbits. They do chickens, in various sizes from day-old chicks to full-grown hens. All raised on lab chow, humanely killed, flash frozen, and shipped to your doorstep packed in dry ice, to be thawed out and fed to a snake.

Americans like things to be no-muss, no-fuss, hence the prodigious size of the American pet food industry. Much nicer to open a can than to order a gross of frozen mice every so often from Billy Joe Bob’s Feeder Mice Emporium, All Major Credit Cards Accepted, UPS, USPS, FedEx available.

There isn’t rodent-flavor cat food because pet food is marketed for the consumer, that is, you. You don’t think rodents smell good, so you’d never buy something called Rodent Delight or Munch Munch Mousie. You will, however, buy something that looks and smells more or less like something you’d eat yourself. Side note: I had my first encounter this week with Alpo Dog Food that has pasta in it. Meat, veg, and pasta. Geez. :rolleyes:

DDG- feathers are not legally meat “by-products”.

Askia: there is a product caled "tuna for cats’- which is basicly- tuna. So, when i open up a can for the mousers (incidentally, they LOOOOOVE the stuff, and it even has the missing aminos & stuff that straight tuna is missing), I have smelled it, and yes- since the query just can up, i tasted a tiny bit. Think mackeral. I have eaten worse.

Lynn- SOOO true- the kitties Love rabbit, and also venison. Especially the bengals- apparently their wild cousins actually kill & eat small deer.

Another reason for pat food being mostly chicken, beef, etc- hey, they have it anywat, so why not use it?

Snake food? WAAAAHHH…poor little bunnies and guinea pigs!
Little hamsters too…sniff sniff :frowning:
Guin hates snakes.

Anyhoo, back to the OP. Even my cats always liked regular tuna better than catfood tuna. (And catfood tuna doesn’t take out the bones, so they were always hacking them up).

Duck Duck Goose, are you sure about the frozen rodents for the snake food industry? All of the snake owners I’ve known have fed their little friends exclusively on live rodents, and assured me that no self-respecting snake would eat anything that didn’t wiggle without assistance.