Cat Food Nerds

Created by Andrew Hall

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Cat Food Nerd


  1. A person who is intrigued by or obsessed with the nuances of cat food and feeding cats
  2. Someone who spends more time thinking about cat food than the average person

Why did I create Cat Food Nerds?

I became a cat food “nerd” after my beloved cat Penney was diagnosed with Chronic Kidney Disease in 2018. (She died in late 2021.) I knew nothing about CKD and not much about feline nutrition prior to that point. She was already too thin when diagnosed, and I wanted her to eat and gain a little weight. Because she had other dietary restrictions besides CKD, I had to spend a lot of time trying to find cat foods that she could eat – and actually would eat!

Cat food became kind of a strange obsession, a weird hobby, after a while. I started haunting cat food stores, checking out new brands I hadn’t heard of, taking pictures of food labels with my phone and looking the foods up when I got home, analyzing their nutrient profiles, comparing them to other brands.

I found there was lots of information on the internet about feline nutrition and CKD, but it did not all seem to be compiled in one place or explained in a coherent way. Why did some sites use dry matter basis and others a Metabolizable Energy profile (calories) instead? What’s the difference? Is one better than the other? Why do some food companies make their foods this way while others do it that way?

With all of that and the various sometimes conflicting ideas about diet for CKD cats (protein – too much is bad? too little is bad???), it was all very confusing. And sometimes it was hard to separate the evangelism (“this type of food is terrible!” or “you MUST feed raw food!” or “do what your vet says and feed prescription food only!”) from science-based research. I’m a skeptic by nature, and I really want to understand the rationale for different cat food choices, not just “because I said so.”

After years of trying to get a grasp on all of this…I decided to try to create something I wish *I* had had when I started! Not a “place with all the answers,” but a place that explains the basics of analyzing cat food – the “how” and “why” more than the “what.” Some basis for helping understand the trade-offs of cat food and make my own choices, not a place that will tell me “this cat food is good” or “this is food terrible!”

As an engineer by training,I hope I can explain some of the math as well.

For other people like me who find cat food a little too interesting…