Fri, Jan 13, 23
As a pet parent, you want to ensure your feline friend gets the best food possible. But what actually is the best cat food? With hundreds of cat food brands available, we know it can be difficult to find the food that is right for your cat’s needs.
Then there’s also the issue of flavor. You have to find a healthy cat food that they also enjoy because, as much as they may like it, your cat can’t survive on a diet of just their favorite cat treats.
That’s why this article will take a close look at three important things to keep in mind when shopping for cat food.
What Is Dry Cat Food?
Dry cat food is another name for kibble. It comes in small brown pellets and contains 10 percent water. The other 90 percent of dry cat food is made up of dry matter, such as proteins, vitamins, and carbohydrates. The other most common type of cat food is wet cat food which contains about 70 percent water.
There are benefits to both dry and wet cat food, and there are healthy, nutritious options available for both types of cat food. Generally speaking, the largest benefit of wet food is the water content which is beneficial for cats due to their desert origins and obligate carnivore status. Being an obligate carnivore means that hydration through meat and food is essential to urinary tract health.
On the other hand, dry cat food is less expensive and does not need to be stored in a refrigerator, which can be beneficial if you free-feed your cat or are on a budget. These are not the only options, though — in the modern pet-food world, you now have access to raw frozen foods, free-dried foods, and even baked kibbles.
When making the decision, it is always smart to talk with your vet to consider your furry friend’s specific needs to determine the best option for your cat’s diet.
What Should I Keep In Mind When Buying Cat Food?
If you decide to feed your cat dry food, there are several things you should keep in mind because all dry cat food is not the same. Although you might not be able to tell the difference between different types of kibble by looking at them, the cat kibble can vary considerably depending on the brand.
This section will dive into everything you should remember when buying cat food to make an informed decision for your furry friend.
What Ingredients Should I Look for When Buying Cat Food?
The ingredients label is arguably the most important thing to look at when buying cat food. When picking a dry food for your furry friend, ensure that a high-quality protein such as chicken, fish, or red meat is listed as the first ingredient.
What can be deceiving is when a meat meal such as a chicken meal is listed first. Although a meat meal is not inherently bad for your feline, fresh protein being the first, and therefore most abundant, ingredient is always a good sign.
There is also some debate about whether grains are bad for your furry friend. Cats are obligate carnivores which means they are dependent on meat for certain nutrients that can only be found in meat products.
However, your cat can digest certain grains in small quantities. Grains often contain fiber, fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins that will help your cat stay full and healthy.
Another essential nutrient cats need is the amino acid taurine. Given that their bodies do not naturally produce taurine, they need to consume it in their diet. Cats need protein and nutrients to maintain a healthy diet; however, some foods contain far too much of certain nutrients.
If cats eat more protein, sodium, or phosphorus than necessary, they may develop kidney disease. For this reason, it is always a good idea to have your vet look at your cat’s food before giving it to them.
What Factors Determine the Type of Food My Cat Needs?
There are several factors to consider when choosing the best cat food for your furry friend. Age, breed, lifestyle, and overall health are the four main factors that play a role in determining what food is best for your cat.
For example, Optimeal Kitten Vital Nurture is specifically designed to promote your kitten's healthy growth and support their high energy level with healthy carbs. It also contains DHA from salmon oil to support your kitten’s brain development.
In terms of lifestyle, you can buy cat food specifically made for indoor cats if your feline does not leave the house. Optimal Indoor Health contains a natural fiber blend and chicory root prebiotic fibers that support your cat’s digestive system.
This is especially important for indoor cats, who may have less space to be active. This blend also contains Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, Zinc, and Copper, supporting healthy skin and a shiny coat for your indoor cat.
If your cat needs to lose weight, you may want to consider Optimal Weight Management to get them to a healthy weight. This recipe is made with turkey and oatmeal and contains 40 percent lower fat levels, reducing the caloric content of this kibble compared to Optimeal’s other adult cat food.
However, increased protein levels ensure that your cat gets all the nutrition it needs while aiding weight control. This recipe also contains L-Carnitine, the amino acid that supports healthy metabolism, as well as prebiotic FOS, fiber, probiotics, and healthy protein that supports a healthy digestive system.
Although grains are not inherently harmful to cats and can be beneficial, some of our four-legged friends have allergies or intolerances to grains such as oatmeal, brown rice, gluten, and barley. For feline friends with an allergy to grains, you can try Optimeal Grain Free, a high-protein kibble option.
This kibble contains fresh turkey with added berries and herbs to provide antioxidants and enhance the flavor. It is also supplemented with the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids your cat needs for healthy muscle development and digestion.
What Should I Not Feed My Cat?
Given that cats are obligate carnivores, some people believe they should feed them all-raw or homemade cat food. The problem with a raw food diet for your cat is that it can be incredibly time-consuming and involved. You also need to be careful when handling raw meat.
Although you can technically make your cat’s food at home, make sure you speak with your vet first to ensure that the food you are making incorporates all the essential nutrients your feline needs.
Given that you can find healthy and nutritious cat food anywhere, it is generally considered a better option than a homemade diet for your furry friend.
When searching for the best cat food for your furry friend, remember that there is not one best option. Instead, there’s just the best dry cat food for your furry friend. Try to avoid pet food with preservatives and unknown ingredients. Instead, opt for cat food that will fit your feline’s life stage, breed, and dietary needs.
This may look like buying kitten food for your kitten and easily digestible food for your senior cat. Regardless of if your furry friend loves chicken and rice or turkey and veggies, finding a nutritious, healthy dry food for them will improve their overall wellness.