Pet Food Regulation
Comparison of Nutrient Profiles for Cat Foods
We compiled some data to make it easier for you to compare your homemade cat diet to AAFCO, NRC or CVMA nutrient profiles. Please be aware though that our Alnutrin Supplements were designed to work with AAFCO nutrient profiles only.
Nutrient requirements and allowances were adapted from AAFCO (1999 publication), NRC (2006 publication) and CVMA (1993 publication).
When evaluating pet foods, you can refer to the nutrient profiles published by The Association of American Feed Control Oficials (AAFCO), National Research Council (NRC) or Canadian Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA). In the USA, all nutrient levels should fall within ranges established in the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles. These profiles replace the earlier NRC recommendations. Levels of nutrients are based on practical formulations of pet foods with adjustments to account for bioavailability of nutrients in commonly used ingredients. Separate profiles for adult maintenance and growth and reproduction are set, and maximum levels of some nutrients are also established.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials was formed in 1909 to establish a framework for uniform regulation of the feed industry. Although not a government agency, this association operates within the guidelines of federal and state legislation including laws administered by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The National Research Council is a private non profit organization that evaluates and compiles research conducted by others. It is not part of the United States government, is not an enforcement agency and is not a basic research organization with laboratories of its own. The NRC does not regulate the pet food industry.
Earlier NRC publications were intended to serve as a guide to formulate diets but they did not account for nutrient availability. Therefore most values listed in the 1986 edition of Nutrient Requirements of Cats were minimum requirements of essential nutrients and not recommended allowances. That was changed in their latest publication (2006 edition of Nutrient Requirements of Dogs and Cats). The nutrient requirement data presented here are recommended allowances which include a safety factor for nutrients with uncertain bioavailability.
The Canadian Veterinary Medical Association represents the interests of the veterinary profession in Canada. CVMA developed a program to certify pet foods in Canada and monitor those foods to meet the standards for composition and digestibility.