Choosing cat food is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to your cat. The right food can keep your cat healthy, full of energy, and at a good weight throughout its life. All kinds of information can be found on the internet and it can be overwhelming. Sometimes we might wonder if we are doing what is best for our cats. With so many brands out there, it may seem difficult to pick the best one for your cat. So how can you know if you are making the right decision?
Cats are considered obligate carnivores, meaning that their stomach is designed to break down solely animal proteins. For example, their bodies lack the enzyme to break down carotene (which is the nutrient obtained from plants) and convert them into Vitamin A. An obligate carnivore’s diet is made up of at least 70% meat and animal proteins. Adding vegetables into your cat’s diet won’t cause harm, but a diet that consists of mostly animal proteins is sufficient to ensure that your cat is getting proper nutrition from their food.
Animal proteins should be the first ingredient in any ingredient list for cat food. It is a critical source of taurine and animal fat contains arachidonic acids, both are essential nutrients that cats need to be healthy. The number of carbohydrates in your cat’s food should ideally be less than 20%. Carbohydrates are a quick source of energy for cats, but it does not sustain nor make them full. Cats are at risk of overeating and becoming obese if fed with a high concentration of carbohydrates.
When deciding on your cat’s food, it is important to take note of food allergies, sensitive stomachs, urinary tract problems, hairballs, or obesity. Be sure that you are aware of what is causing the health issues before trying to solve it by changing their food. It is easy to mistake a cat’s vomiting after every meal for a food allergy or sensitive stomach when it could be totally unrelated. When unsure, it is best to discuss any potential diet changes with your vet.
Some cats have sensitive stomachs and can benefit from food that will not upset their system. If you have a cat with food allergies or sensitivities to common ingredients found in regular cat food, limited-ingredient diets will be more suitable for them. These diets have fewer ingredients overall and can help eliminate those problems.
The best indication of a cat food’s quality is the ingredient list. When reading a food label, keep in mind the first three to five ingredients listed as they make up the largest percentage of what is in the food. Look out for low-quality filler ingredients, some examples are corn, wheat, meat by-products, and preservatives. Most foods will contain some filler ingredients, but they should be low on the list of ingredients.
Other factors to consider would be your cat’s age and activity level. There is food specially formulated with different nutritional needs for cats in different stages of life in the market. There is also food that can be fed from when they are kittens, till they are of senior age. Look out for the product information which is usually indicated on the product packaging. Besides the product information, the active level of your cat also determines how many calories are needed in its diet. If you have an active, healthy cat, a regular cat diet would be sufficient. For less active, indoor cats, look out for a diet that has a lower fat content and can help prevent weight gain.
Contemplating whether to get a particular cat food? Read about the food and brand online. Take a look at reviews made by other cat owners and see what they have to say about it. Always do some research to make sure you are feeding your cat something healthy and with good-quality ingredients. Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to find the best food for your cat. Even with quality feedback or review, not all cats share the same taste buds so give your cat enough time to adjust to new food and observe how it is doing on it.
Here’s a suggestion for getting food for your cat! Take a look at The Honest Kitchen Whole Food Cat Clusters. Made with human-grade ingredients, not only are they healthy and balanced, these tasty bite-sized clusters are packed with protein and boosted with probiotics. Do take note, when switching to new cat food, transition slowly by adding small amounts of the new food in with their current food. This helps to prevent stomach upset and diarrhea.
Any views or opinions communicated on this page belong to the author and do not represent the views or opinions of any other organizations. This article is meant for us to share our own views and opinions in general. Kindly consult a professional if you would like to seek professional advice.
Adopted from sources
– How to Choose the Best Food for Your Cat: Complete Guide 2022 (Vet Approved). By Luxifa Le, Hepper.
– How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Your Cat. By Carolynkaye, PetHelpful.
– Images of cats, Pixabay, Pexels, The Honest Kitchen USA.
The Honest Kitchen USA)