MATLAB: How to pass in a list of variables to “load” function without using eval

evalloadsmall furry creatures

Is there a way to load in a list of variables from a file, if the list of variables is passed in? I would like to avoid using eval. Here is what I am doing:
% Create dummy variables so this example works
dog = rand(1,5); cat = rand(1,5);
budgie = rand(1,5); fish = rand(1,5);
alligator=rand(1,5); hamster = rand(1,5);
% Create dummy file
save('myPetsFile.mat'); % Real mat file is large, 50+ variables
petList = {'dog', 'cat', 'budgie'};
filePets = 'myPetsFile.mat';
strPets = sprintf('''%s'',', petList{:}); % Add single quotes and comma
strPets = strPets(1:end-1); % Remove trailing comma
eval(['PS = load(filePets, ' strPets ');']);
I also would like to be able to combine the listed variables with additional directly-named variables, such as 'fish', 'alligator' in this example, but again avoid the eval command:
eval(['PS = load(filePets, ' strPets ', ''fish'', ''alligator'');']);

Best Answer

Don't need the sprintf at all, as long as petList is already a cell array of strings:
PS = load(filePets, petList{:});