How to Choose the Best Food for Your Cat

Since your kitty has become a family member, it is natural to ensure that they eat a healthy diet. Aside from the expense of vet consultations, cat food is a feline owner’s greatest expense. However, what you spend on cat food could save hundreds of dollars in veterinary fees as many feline health issues can be attributed to what your kitty is eating.

Not all cat foods are equal, and knowing which one to choose can be challenging when you stand in a pet store staring at an entire aisle devoted to it. Therefore, you must understand what you are looking for. Here are some critical cat food selection criteria:

Nutritional information and primary ingredients

A cat food’s ingredients should be the principal guiding factor in the food you choose for your feline. When examining the label, check which nutrients the cat food offers and how much of each is present.  You can look up multiple brands offering a variety of healthy options, among them are Tomlyn Felovite II Nutritional Gel, Scruffy Paws’ cat supplements, and Nutri-Vet Multi-Vite Salmon Flavor Paw Gel to make up the deficit.

As carnivores, cats need meat protein from meats like poultry (turkey and chicken), beef, and fish. Eggs are also a great protein source. Protein is essential for optimal body system functioning, body tissue regeneration, and maintain a healthy coat, skin, claws, and teeth. Fats that come from the meat included in a cat food brand are vital for feline wellbeing. If possible, look for a brand fortified with essential fatty acids, such as Omega 3 and Omega 6.

Secondary ingredients

While carbohydrates should not dominate your cat’s diet, they should undoubtedly feature in it. Carbs are easily digested and are quickly available as an energy source. Grains like wheat and rice are ideal carbohydrates that should be included in feline food. Another key ingredient is water. 

Cats tend to drink less water than they should, and owners can up their intake by ensuring their food contains it. Without enough water, cats cannot eliminate toxins, metabolize and distribute nutrients, and maintain an even body temperature.

Additional cat food ingredients include Vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, and D. As for minerals, your kitty needs calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium, and chloride. Vitamins and minerals are essential for optimal body systems functioning, including digestion, circulation, and the central nervous system.

Cat food types

Cat food comes in three main categories: dry, semi-moist, and wet. While there are merit and nutritional value in each, some are better than others, although individual feline needs might vary. A vital aspect of cat food selection is examining what types and quantities of preservatives and additives manufacturers use.

As mentioned before, keeping your kitty optimally hydrated can prove challenging because cats have adapted to consuming much of their daily water intake needs via their food. Hence, you will not find your feline gulping down water from a bowl a a dog would. From this perspective, moist cat food is the most favorable option as its water content supersedes dry and semi-moist food. For picky eaters, wet cat food is also ideal as it is more flavorful than other types.

Your cat’s age

As cats age, their dietary requirements change. As older cats are much less active than their younger counterparts, they do not require as many energy-rich nutrients. Pregnant and lactating felines need more nutrients to sustain the litter through the gestational period. Kittens are active and playful, and their bodies are still developing and growing. Therefore, their dietary needs differ from those of an adult feline.

With unique metabolisms, some kitties maintain a sleek physique, while others tend to pack on a few too many pounds. Being overweight is unhealthy for cats and could shorten their lifespan. If your cat is on the chubby side, consult your veterinarian about a good diet food brand.

What to avoid

When shopping for cat food, the same adage applies to any purchase: if you buy cheap, you get cheap. However, this does not mean you need to go to the other extreme and buy the most expensive brands, assuming that they are nutritionally superior. Instead, shop comparatively and determine which food offers your cat the best diet and remains affordable.

There are some ingredients you should try to avoid in cat food or buy a brand that keeps them down to a minimum. For example, the term ‘meat byproduct’ means that the cat food does not contain actual meat. While this is not harmful to your kitty, real meat is far better for them. ‘Meat and bone meal’ are not as good for a feline as authentic meat products are. 

While grain serves as a great carbohydrate for cats, it should not feature as the main ingredient. Some dry foods have been found to contain up to 50% grain meal. Cat food should contain more protein than carbohydrates. Feeding your cat this type of food could lead to unhealthy weight gain. 


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