Q. What does the word "natural" on cat food labels mean?
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A. The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) regulates the use of the word "natural". It can only be applied to cat foods that don't contain ingredients or additives that have been chemically synthesized unless their inclusion at a particular level is absolutely necessary.
The official AAFCO definition of natural is: "a feed or ingredient derived solely from plant, animal or mined sources, either in its unprocessed state or having been subject to physical processing, heat processing, rendering, purification, extraction, hydrolysis, enzymolysis or fermentation, but not having been produced by or subject to a chemically synthetic process and not containing any additives or processing aids that are chemically synthetic except in amounts as might occur unavoidably in good manufacturing practices".