Picking out the most appropriate meal for your cat can be quite tasking. So many brands to select from as well as a number of factors to consider. Taking note of age, environment, and health, cats, have varying necessities. It’s therefore important to make wise decisions about their food.
Nutritional Needs to Consider
Cats are essentially carnivores, that is to say, to survive, they need the nutrients in meat. They as cats don’t produce some of the nutrients found in animal tissue; they also can’t get them anywhere else. Cats shouldn’t be taking too much of these nutrients either because excessive intake of a particular nutrient type could put the cat’s health in danger.
AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, offer what’s needed for cat food to be balanced and nutritionally adequate. If a cat food brand is approved by AAFCO, it simply means that brand has all the essential nutrients needed for your cat’s health.
Types and Brands of Cat Food
Several cat food types exist as well as various brands in each category. The major categories are Dry, Semi-moist and Canned food. Subcategories of these categories also exist.
The common contents of dry food are meat, grain or fish, poultry and vitamin supplements too. Foods in this category do not expire quickly. They are also the most effective when you have to save money. This choice is very appropriate if you plan to let your cat feed on the same meal all through the day since cats would rather overeat wet foods than dry ones.
Cats process wet food better than dry food though when you take the ingredients into consideration. It is vital to also check the food bag for when it is most likely to expire.
So many well-known brands of Cat Food are available. Topping the chart for digestibility in the 2016 AAFCO Protocol test was the Halo’s Natural Dry Cat Food which has whole meat only as it’s ingredient- No corn, No wheat. One 3-pound bag goes for roughly $12. Another top brand is the Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Food which is even more expensive with a 4- pound bag selling for $30.
Almost the same as Dry Food except it’s easier to chew and it’s made from a combination of meat with soybean meal, grain, and additives.
Semi-moist Food just like Dry Food is appropriate if you have to let your cat feed on the same served meal throughout the day. Aside from the preservatives in the food which reduce its quality, cats may actually prefer Semi-moist Food to dry ones.
This is also known as Wet food. It has approximately 3/4 water content, and for your cat, this is a good source of water. Despite being more costly than Dry and Semi-moist Food, cats prefer it to the others. Kidney or liver meat is usually its main contents as well as by products of whole meat.
If you have to select canned food, be sure to see the label if the brand is approved by AAFCO. Brands that won’t give your cat all it needs exist. To avoid spoilage of already-opened and uneaten canned food, it should be preserved in the refrigerator.
One brand that comes in a lot of different flavors and still gives your cat all it needs is the Purina Fancy Feast, and for $15 or less,you can get a 24-pack of cans. Another fantastic choice is the Purina Friskies Classic Pate -it has micro organisms helpful to your cat’s digestive tract and has no meat fillers. For less than $12, you can get a 24-pack of this.
These are just okay for your cat once in a while; they shouldn’t become the diet’s essentials, and that’s because they lack the right nutrient balance to be your cat’s diet essentials.
You should also completely avoid some treat-like foods for your cat. Diseases which are most times infectious can be housed by raw meat and that can be very harmful to your cat. Canned fish products shouldn’t even come up in your cat’s diet at all. Milk should also be banned for adult cats.
Grain-Free and Natural Food
Lots of Cat Food claim to be grain-free. This is of major importance to those who own cats that are allergic to grain proteins. Bald patches, irritated skin, and sores may occur in cats with food allergies; your veterinarian should as soon as possible check your cat if you think she has any food allergies.
To lower a number of carbohydrates they consume, some pet owners free their cat’s diet of grains. It is very necessary to check food contents since cat foods not having any grain could still have great carb contents.
Natural cat food has become common lately, and the AAFCO say natural food should have natural additives. That’s AAFCO’s common rule for Natural cat foods. So, any brand which says it’s natural might just mean to say that its additives are natural.
How to Choose the Right Type
There’s no such thing as ‘best-for-all-cats’ food type. One common factor to consider when picking out the appropriate cat food type is your cat’s individual eating choice.
First, take note of how old your cat is. Older cats don’t need a diet with as many proteins as what the younger ones need. Kittens need more of those to build up stronger bones and get all the muscles. Kittens also need more calories than the adult cats. Controlling weight should also be a priority with older cats- you don’t want them having diabetes, arthritis or even a heart disease. The kittens should also have more fat in their diet than the older cats.
Cats that stay in and those unrestricted usually have different dietary needs. Unrestricted cats allowed to stay out are usually less passive than the stay-in cats. The ones that stay in may require more time to groom, so they may take in their own hair in more amounts. If your cat exhibits this, get foods rich in fiber to remove hairballs.
The nutritional information for all cat foods should be on the label, so it is easy to decide which is most appropriate for your cat. When selecting, be sure the brand meets or better still exceeds AAFCO requirements. Most times, foods with by-products, extra sugar or corn meal as major contents should be avoided.
Lots of professionals in the field suggest more than one cat food type be used. Since various food types come with different advantages, interchanging once in a while won’t be bad at all for your cat. You can save your cat from boredom with a balance of wet and dry cat food type- they also provide all the nutrients your cat might need. You should also take note of what your cat loves.
Where to Find High-Quality Cat Food
Want to get high-quality cat food? Pet stores are the best places to check. Staffs at the store should be good at making recommendations when they know what your cat requires. You can also check supermarkets and drug stores, not all sell the best brands though. Some brands are also available for order on Amazon or the brand’s website.