The Taste Test

BY LEE HARPER, Mockingbird Persians & Exotics

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I was asked to participate in a cat food taste test.

Well, actually, I was asked if two of my Exotic Shorthairs would volunteer :-).

I thought it would be interesting, so I agreed.

The Shopping Bags is a half-hour television program hosted by two women. Each show is comprised of short segments which compares various brands of products - and produces a mini-consumer report on each.

It is a practical, entertaining and fast-paced program which gives tips, tricks and inside information about a wide range of consumer goods.

I was first contacted by their research department asking general questions about cats and nutrition. They asked me to recommend a veterinarian to be interviewed, scientific data and my own personal cat feeding regime.

Once they had collected all their research, the show producer decided to conduct a four-cat food preference comparison of four brands of dry food. The taste test lasted two weeks. Being such a small study, it was not meant to produce a scientific result - but simply an interesting segment on the show on which to base a discussion of different types of cat foods. I was asked if I would participate.

Each of the TV show hosts had a cat (Misha & Doller) that was part of the study and I volunteered two Exotics - one year old Polly and 6 month old Teri.

I was supplied with four large containers of different dry cat foods, labeled A, B, C, and D. I was not told which brands were being used. :-)

The food was measured and placed in four bowls and the amount eaten each day by the individual cats was recorded over a two week period.

At the end of the two weeks, I met with the hosts in my home and the results were filmed.

I must admit, I found the results of the taste test interesting...


Three of the four cats overwhelming preferred Cat Food Food D.

And the fourth cat was just a little piggy and munched equally on all 4 brands of food.

What was even more interesting, was that the brand the cats overwhelmingly preferred was Purina Cat Chow - the grocery store brand, not their top of the line Pro Plan.

The brands of food tested were:

      • A - Iams
      • B - A generic house brand from local grocery chain
      • C - Science Diet
      • D - Purina Cat Chow
So - what did we really learn from this taste test?

Well, the test was not very scientific, being too small and for too short a period to make any comment about the nutritional value of the four brands tested - but I certainly would like to know what Purina has put on their cat chow that tastes so good ;-)

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