As I mentioned here in my first blog post, I loved Alicia Silverstone's book, The Kind Diet. HOWEVER, I do disagree with one (rather big) thing: CATS SHOULD NEVER BE FED A VEGAN DIET!!!
ALL cats are "obligate carnivores", which is a fancy term that means MEAT-EATER. That's the final word. Why some cat food company doesn't come out with the proper and natural cat food and sell it to us, I don't know. If I owned a cat food company, I'd make food out of whole birds and mice. (Gasp, animal cruelty!). I don't want to feed myself those things, but I'm not a cat.
What cats DON'T need are exactly what you will find in ALL brands of kibble: grains, starches, flours, vegetables and fruits, and unknown things we'd rather keep that way. The fillers used to make kibble couldn't be worse for your feline friends - even the "gourmet" brands with prices to match. Cats need to get water from the food they eat - more specifically from the muscle tissue. If you see your cat drinking out of the water bowl frequently, check for kidney or thyroid problems.
DO cats get berries in the wild? Yes, if they eat the whole bird; and whatever mice and small rodents eat. But you will never see an outdoor cat nibbling on a corn husk!
So what SHOULD we feed our house cats (in lieu of Vita-Mixing birds and mice)? From what I've read (I can get sources later, if you need them), preferably ORGANIC, CANNED food, with whole sources of meat, not by-products. The brands I have found so far at my local Whole Foods or Co-op are "Organix", "Newman's Own", "Pet Guard", "Evangers", and online at PetFoodDirect.com. I'm not too thrilled that most, if not all of these contain brown rice, but I guess if you're trying to pick the best that you can most of the time, a little brown rice is far better than the other options.
I also will supplement my cat's diet with real chicken. Did a ton of research on that, too, and found two suppliers that are mainstream and produce healthy, happy chicken on farms where they get to live happy chicken lives before being as humanely murdered as one can. "Smart Chicken" is found at Meijer, and "Bell and Evans" is at Whole Foods.
With a little thought and care, our pets can eat as well as we can, but within their species requirements.