Picking out the best food for your cat can be difficult. So many cat food brands to select from and a number of factors to consider when picking your cats food. Cats have varying necessities when it comes to food and nutrition. You have to consider your cats age, environment, and health. This is why it is important to make careful educated decisions about their food.
Nutritional Needs To Consider
Cats are essentially carnivores. This means in order to survive, they need the nutrients found in meat. Naturally their bodies don’t produce some of the nutrients found in animal tissue; they also can’t get them anywhere else. This is why they are carnivores. The complicated thing is that they can’t eat too much of these nutrients either because too much of a particular nutrient can put harm their health.
AAFCO, the Association of American Feed Control Officials, offer criteria of 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. Foods in this category do not expire quickly, but it is of course important to know when it does expire. They are also the most effective when you have to save money. This choice is appropriate if you plan to let your cat feed on the same meal all through the day because cats like to overeat wet foods rather than dry ones. When you take the ingredients into consideration, cats process wet food better than dry food. Below are some of the best dry food options:
- Halo’s Natural Dry Cat Food – It has whole meat as it’s ingredient- No corn, No wheat. One 3-pound bag goes for roughly $12.
- Orijen Cat and Kitten Dry Food – A 4- pound bag costs $30.
Semi-Moist Food is almost the same as dry food except it’s easier to chew. It is made from a combination of meat with soybean meal, grain, and additives. Semi-moist Food just like Dry Food is great if you 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.
Canned food is also known as wet food. It has approximately 3/4 water content, which is a good source of water for your cat. Cats prefer canned food over any other type; however, it is more expensive when compared to dry and semi-moist food. The main ingredients include kidney or liver met as well as by products of whole meat. If you choose to purchase canned cat food, make sure that it is approved by AAFCO. Some preferred canned cat food brands are:
- Purina Fancy Feast – Comes in different flavors and for $15 you can get a pack of 15 cans.
- Purina Classic Pate – Contains micro organisms that are helpful to your cat’s digestive tract. For $12 you can get 24 cans.
Treats are okay for your cat to have once in awhile. They should not become a regular in your cats meal rotation. This is because they do not have the proper nutrients to keep your cat healthy. Some treats that cats love are:
- Purina Whisker Lickin’s Crunchy & Yummy Tuna Cat Treats
- Temptations Classic Cat Treat Variety Pack
- Temptations Classic Treats for Cats
- Temptations Jumbo Stuff Cat Treats
- Wellness Kittles Crunchy Natural Grain Free Cat Treats
Grain-Free And Natural Food
Lots of Cat Food claim to be grain-free. This is important to those who own cats that are allergic to grain proteins. Cats with food allergies may experience symptoms like bald patches, irritated skin, and sores.
To lower the number of carbohydrates they consume, some pet owners have a grain free diet for their cats. It is still necessary to check food contents since cat foods not having any grain could still have a high carb content.
Natural Cat Food
Natural cat food has recently become popular. AAFCO says natural food should have natural additives. 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, determine how old your cat is. Older cats don’t need a diet with as many proteins as younger kittens need. Kittens need more to build up stronger bones and to build muscles. They also need more calories and fat in their diet than adult cats. Controlling weight should also be a priority with older cats- you don’t want them developing diabetes, arthritis or even heart disease.
House cats versus unrestricted cats usually have different dietary needs. Unrestricted cats that are allowed to stay out are usually less passive than house cats. The ones that stay in may require more time to groom, so they may eat their own hair more. If your cat does this, get foods rich in fiber to remove hairballs.
The nutritional information for all cat foods should be on the label. This will help you decide which cat food is most appropriate for your cat. When picking a cat food, be sure the brand meets or better 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 in meal rotation. Since various food types come with different advantages, interchanging once in a while won’t be bad at all for your cat. You can offer your cat a variety of foods with a balance of wet and dry cat food that also provides all the nutrients your cat might need. You should also take into consideration what foods 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. Store personal are great at providing recommendations when they know what your cats needs are. You can also check supermarkets and drug stores; however, they don’t all sell the best brands though. Some brands are also available for order on Amazon or the brand’s website.