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farmer jennings

Going Gluten Free With Your Pets

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I wanted to double check that Friskies wet cat food is gluten-free. Their emailed reply was "At this time, a gluten-free product is not available." Their ingredients look ok but don't know if pet food has the same labeling requirements as human food, especially about cross-contamination. Also, one of their dry cat foods lists powdered cellulose as an ingredient. Anybody know what plant that is from? Has anybody ever gotten glutened from Friskies food?

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I wanted to double check that Friskies wet cat food is gluten-free. Their emailed reply was "At this time, a gluten-free product is not available." Their ingredients look ok but don't know if pet food has the same labeling requirements as human food, especially about cross-contamination. Also, one of their dry cat foods lists powdered cellulose as an ingredient. Anybody know what plant that is from? Has anybody ever gotten glutened from Friskies food?

You ask several questions.

The rules for labeling animal feed (which includes pet food) are different than for human food. USDA and FDA have some authority, but the principal regulator is AAFCO.

Labeling for possible cross-contamination in human food is completely voluntary. Disclosure of shared facilities and/or shared lines is not required. This actually makes complete sense, since manufacturers buy many ingredients from third parties, who are also not required to disclose shared facilities or equipment. So, even if the final product is made in a so-called gluten-free facility it does not mean that the ingredients used came exclusively from "gluten-free" facilities. And even a so-called gluten-free facility is at risk if someone eats gluten offsite, gets crumbs on their clothes, and then enters the building. Where did that UPS guy eat lunch?

I have never, ever seen a "may contain" warning on pet food. I have operated a business selling pet food since 2000.

I don't have product handy to check ingredients, as I am at home. You can find many gluten-free cat foods-- Taste Of The Wild and Natural Balance are just two examples. You will pay more for them; they are in the Cadillac class while Friskies is a Chevy.

Cellulose is usually from wood pulp, but can sometimes be from cotton. It is always gluten-free.

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