Why do they put food coloring in pet food?

I have a cat, and as pets will, she sometimes coughs up hair balls. These contain her food, and it stains my rug because as I understand it, the pet food people feel the need to put food coloring in to make the stuff LOOK more appealing. PUHLEASE! Like my Kobii cares what her food looks like? And do they think ** I care** what her food looks like? I just want her to be happy and healthy, and there is nothing I care less about than what my cat’s food looks like. Does anyone have any insight into this?


I think they put the colors in there to amuse the owner more than the animal. Now with dogs, they don’t see color so the food is definitly to amuse the owner. I have a cat though who eats a colorful cat food but eats everything but the orange peices. Weird cat. My lovebirds have colorful pellet food. Each pair of birds eat all but one color even though they taste all the same. One of my birds, Jove will not eat any of the green or red ones. Guess he doesn’t like xmas colors. Another set wont eat the yellow ones. Now I know there is no difference in the tast of the pellets because I’ve asked a retailer about this color phenomenom. They are all the same mix only dyed dfferent colors.
animals are as weird as us humans …

Dogs can too see colors! Just not the same ones we can. From what I understand, dogs lack either the blue receptors or the green ones. Could someone better versed in canine physiology let us know? [/hijack]

As far as the OP is concerned, would it be difficult to find an “all natural” cat food with no food coloring? I would imagine that if vegetarian cat food is available, surely someone deals in an “all natural” product that wouldn’t stain your carpet (and if it did, it would be due to naturally-occuring pigments, not those nasty artificial ones ;)).


It’s all about marketing. The companies feel that if you had a choice between a can of dog food that actually looked like meat by-products and filler, and something that looks a lot like Beef Stew, which would you be more inclined to give little Poopsie? The same goes for dry food… which one looks more appetizing, uniform brown nuggets that resemble rabbit turds, or cute little bones and fishies? The pet food producers are selling to the owners, not the pets.
Besides, ever get a look at the generic dog food? No frills indeed! Looks like something you’d avoid on the sidewalk.
If it was up to my dogs, they would be happy eating the shit out in the backyard. Oh wait, they do that anyway :slight_smile: