My Strange Addiction....Cat Treats are Made Outta Whaaaa????

I just watched an episode of My Strange Addiction which is a show about people and their strange addictions, no duh. Anyway, the episode was about a woman who ate bags and bags of cat treats.

Well, my response was a shrug. I know from experience that cat treats don’t taste good. (Hey, I got curious one day, ya know?) But I figured, well, cats eat them, and they can’t be worse for you than potato chips, so have at it, lady, to each their own.

But on the show, the woman goes to a doctor who says that the ingredients say meat by-products, which means chicken heads and feet. The woman gets grossed out, but I shrug again. Sounds like Cajun stew meat to me.

But then, the doctor says that meat by-products can also mean euthanized animals like cats and dogs. Then, I sat up and took notice. I mean, WTF? Cats and dogs??? Didn’t mad cow start because cows were being fed cannibalized cow parts? WTF is Purina feeding our pets!!!

But then I thought, wait a minute. Most euthanized animals come from vet hospitals and suchlike, don’t they? I find it difficult to believe that vet hospitals would sell the carcasses of dead diseased animals to pet food manufacturers for food. Most vet hospitals are pretty firm on their ethics. There might be some rogue exceptions, but the price for dead diseased animals couldn’t be too high from food manufacturers to make it worthwhile, could it?

I’m thinking that the “doctor” on the program was talking out of his ass. Most of these shows are rigged anyway.

What do you guys think?:confused:

The woman should switch to dog treats. My daughter used to buy dried beef pizzles for the family dog.

Ah, Bully sticks.

The doctor is a jackass and talking out of his ass. Weird animal parts, sure. But (in the US), cats and dogs aren’t normally consumed, thus there is no infrastructure to process their carcasses. Ethics isn’t the biggest concern, and unethical hospital would still not want to risk the major backlash if (when) they got caught. Western culture is mostly united in their revulsion for eating animals considered pets. “Pink slime” causes a big backlash, imagine how people would react to Fido being ground up.

Not in the USA, at least.

I wasn’t freaked out about pink slime, and honestly, wouldn’t be too freaked out about what the OP describes. It’s been processed so much that it’s not carrying bacteria, and since animal by-products are usually just a small component of most dog/cat foods.

Of course, I WOULDN’T BE EATING CAT TREATS. Good god, try snacking on some psychotropic drugs, woman.

Feeding euthanized cats to cats would be cruel.

I had a high school classmate who insisted that dog food was made of dogs, and cat food of cats.

I don’t know, but the USA produces a hell of a lot of corn and chicken, and I think feed corn and less-commercial chicken parts are probably more normal, being of more consistent quality, having a clear provenance that stray cats would not, and not being impacted by the current rise of no-kill shelters.

No, actually, he’s not.

LOTS of dog and cat food is made from rendered dog and cat carcasses. They come from our public shelters, which euthanize thousands and thousands of animals per year. Not every shelter and not every corpse, but yes, euthanized pets ARE rendered and processed in this country.


Yeah, millions of healthy animals are euthanized in shelters all over the country every year because of all the people out there who don’t spay/neuter, so they definitely have a plentiful supply of dead cats and dogs to use for this.

Sorry, but your cite doesn’t convince me. It says that since there are no regulations stating that meat by-products must be defined specifically on the labels, pet food makers must be using euthanized dogs and cats from shelters in their products. That’s a big leap in logic to make.

I’ve heard that “meat by products” can include packing house floor sweepings and ground up chicken feathers, which do increase the protein content of the food, but aren’t necessarily digestible.


I have no issues with my cats eating by-product meal. If they were to catch birds and mice on their own, that’s what they would be eating anyway. As to exploring whether that by-product meal contains other cats or dogs, I’m really unconcerned. I work in the animal care industry. The vast majority of municipal shelters have their own crematoriums. I don’t know where people think dead shelter cats and dogs and rabbits and guinea pigs and whatever else crosses shelter doors go - like they’re buried somewhere or something? Like they have all these dead animals and don’t know what to do with them? No. They are cremated. Crematoriums are not that expensive, and if a smaller shelter doesn’t have one, the animals are trucked to a larger municipal shelter that does, or to a private crematory that processes them en masse for a nominal fee.

Sure, there are always exceptions and bizarre occurrences, the percentage is too tiny to get bothered about. Many people I run across when talking about what to feed their pets don’t understand at all how the meat processing industry works, and that there is next to no waste. It’s not like they’re butchering the “good” stuff that goes to supermarket and putting the rest in a dumpster. The rest all goes somewhere, and ends up as filler, in animal feed, and ultimately fertilizer, compost, and gelatin. It’s no coincidence that products like Jell-O and gelatin as an ingredient in convenience foods became popular in the 50’s, just as factory farming started to take off. All those leftovers had to end up somewhere.

People really buy special “cat treats?” I’ll be damned. For some reason that strikes me as odder behavior than eating said cat treats as a snack.

I’m a little suspicious about a website called “thetruthabout [whatever]” being provided as a cite. There is a huge marketing effort to convince people that meat by-products are somehow an unnatural component of a pet’s diet. I spend 10 minutes during each conversation with my rather senile mother explaining to her that animals in the wild actually do eat the feet, the heads, and sometimes even the feathers or fur of their prey.

I can’t speak directly to the claim that shelter dogs or cats are being used in cat treats, but I know that one of the largest shelters in Minnesota just got in some minor trouble for placing cremains of euthanized animals on property outside their facility, so I think it’s fair to say that at least part of their euthanized companion animals do not get added to your kitty kibble.

Why is that odd?

It’s fun giving cats a treat every now and then. My cats seem to particularly like the Soylent Green flavor. I’m not sure what’s in it, though…

Do you have any cites from unbiased sources?

And I love that this thread is in Cafe Society. YUM.

Seriously? Then you’d be freaked out by a trip to Petsmart. Zillions of cat owners who dote on their pets is a huge market.

This reminds me of a panel in Art Spiegelman’s Maus. He depicts his psychiatrist’s office and points out, as if it’s odd, that the psychiatrist has a picture of his cat on his desk.

I find it hard to believe anyone would find the buying of treats and displaying their pets’ pictures the least bit unusual.

I used to get a chuckle at the grocery store when walking by the cat food. One brand had a row of cans labeled “Salmon” “Chicken” “Beef” and “Kitten.”
Obviously they mean, for Kittens, but next to all the others? I found it hilarious.

Oh, I’m not at all against giving treats to cats, mind you (as if I’d 'fess up to that on this board!), and I occasionally give my cat a piece of chicken skin or a piece of a doughnut* or point her in the direction of a juicy-looking spider. I just don’t understand buying special cat-exclusive treats (which are apparently made of [del]people[/del] kittens) to give to them. Giving them scraps of chicken, etc., ensures that I know exactly what they’re eating and makes the question of “Do cat treats contain kittens?” moot.

  • What is with cats and doughnuts? Every cat I’ve ever had loves doughnuts.

I once had a cat who was crazy about cantaloupe of all things.

::shrug:: It’s question about something said on a TV show, and about food.

I’ve never had a cat that was into donuts, but I used to have a siamese that would dig through the trash for cantaloupe rinds. She’d break any rule if there was the possibility of cantaloupe.