For the Love of Pets… And Their Food

Kittens at the Massey University feline research centre

Nothing shows how much kiwis love their pets more than 30 years of study dedicated to perfecting their food! That is exactly what Professor David Thomas and his team at the Massey University Feline Nutrition Centre have done. 

The current research site opened in 1992 and has facilitated the training of animal scientists, veterinarians and research programmes. At the same time, exploring the nutritional needs of cats across New Zealand.

“Our research has allowed us to understand the relationship between diet and cat health and from this we’ve seen if the nutritional needs of cats are met from balanced diets, the feline can live longer,” said David Thomas, BSc(Hons) PhD, Associate Professor and Director of the independent research centre.

Wattie’s is also celebrating the milestone, as the company’s predecessor ‘BestFriend Petfoods’ opened the centre in July of 1992. Wattie’s and its brand CHEF will continue to work with the Centre for Feline Nutrition for testing, validation and product development.

“We’ve enjoyed a long and successful relationship with CHEF, and with their support, we’ve been able to make a real difference to the health and wellbeing of our country’s cats. Massey’s Feline Nutrition Centre undertakes important research and we’re pleased to see CHEF commit to providing complete and balanced products that ensure our cats can live long and healthy lives.”

Key findings from the last 30 years:

  1. Cats eat seasonally
  2. Cats dislike cold food
  3. Cats hydrate from their food
  4. Cats prefer organ meats
  5. Crafts feel the effects of aging and can lose their ability to digest

“We are delighted to celebrate our 30-year relationship with Massey University’s Centre for Feline Nutrition. We’ve learned a lot about feline nutrition and what cats like, thanks to David and his team. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Massey University and seeing how this may contribute to helping keep Kiwi cats happy and healthy well into the future,” said Neil Heffer, Wattie’s NZ Managing Director.