What is the best cat food?
The term ‘You are what you eat’ may be true to some extent when we look at good cat food. If your cat has a healthy diet they themselves will be on the road to a healthy life. Understanding feline nutritional requirements is actually easier than you may think!
Cats are carnivores and are reliant on protein for energy. They also need fibres, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.
For more in depth information on nutrition for cats and cat food labels please click here
What is best for cats wet or dry food ?
The question ‘ What is best for cats wet or dry food ‘ is asked by almost all cat owners. You will here many different opinions on whether you should feed you cat either wet or dry food. Some say that wet food is bad for your cats teeth, others believe dry food is bad for your cats internal organs due to a lack of moisture. What is the best cat food? There is no right or wrong answer. Cats can enjoy a nutritionally rich diet using either wet or dry food. Your choice should be based on your circumstances.
Many say that you should feed your cat wet food because dry food contains only protein meal or carbohydrate fillers as a source of energy. This is not true; there are many top quality food brands in the market which contain a good source of protein.
Likewise the negative effects of wet food on your cat’s teeth should not be an issue providing you monitor and look after your cats teeth.
If you are not around much during the day then dry maybe the best cat food for your circumstances. If wet food is left out for more than 30 minutes it can attract flies. This is not hygienic and could lead to your cat getting sick.
It is also key to note that cats like to eat their food at room temperature. Canned food straight from the fridge may upset your cat’s stomach; likewise hot food is not natural to them.
It is also important to consider making home made cat recipes, this can have huge benefits to your cats health and may not be as time consuming and costly as you may think.
We personally choose to feed our cat’s dry food. Cats do not like to eat in one big sitting; ideally they will eat up to 15 small portions a day. This suits dry food more than wet food. Cats also enjoy eating their food at room temperature which again suits dry food. We choose to supplement our cats dry diet with our own food i.e. cooked chicken, fish and meat on the odd occasion.
Providing you supply your cat with a good quality cat food it most likely will not matter if you give them wet or dry.
It is important to remember that cats require water in their diet. This is something they lack from dry food. You should always give your cat access to a fresh supply of water.
Specialist Cat Diets
Depending on the breed , age or whether your cat is a house cat may determine what type of food you choose to use. Some cat breeds need specific nutrients and additions to their diet.
Long haired cats may require a food with more Omega 3 for their skin and coats.
Long haired and indoor cats may require a food with addition fibre. Cats that are allowed to go outside will eat grass. Grass adds very little nutritional value to your cat’s diet. In fact, it makes your cat sick. Eating grass is your cats own very unique way of regurgitating. Cats need to regurgitate to ‘cough up’ hairballs. An indoor cat will not have access to grass and therefore may have trouble coughing up hair balls. This could potentially lead to stomach ulcers or worse intestine blockages. It is therefore important they receive additional fibre or hairball supplements in there diet so they can deal with hair and fur in the stomach and intestine.
Indoor cats may also require a diet with fewer calories. Indoor cats do not burn as much energy as outdoor cats therefore are prone to obesity. If your cat is over weight you may need to reduce the amount of calories in their diet. This is something that should be discussed with your vet. There are specialist cat foods with reduced calories and hairball treatments for indoor cats.
The age and health of your cat will also determine the cat food you use. Kittens will require a special diet or kitten food. This should be used up until your kitten is about 6 months of age. Good kitten food will contain abundant protein which supports development and tissue growth. Kittens have small stomachs so need to eat small amounts but regularly.
Older cats may need less protein. This is because excessive protein can damage the kidneys. As your cat gets older or if your cat show signs of ageing or poor health you should discuss your cat’s nutritional requirements with your vet. It may be time to move them to a diet designed for older cats.
Where To Feed You’re Cat
You may think that it doesn’t matter where you feed your cat but this is very important.
You should not place your cats bowl near a litter tray. Cats are incredibly clean animals; they will not like to eat in an unclean area. The best cat food in the world will not entice your cat to eat next to their litter.
Your cat’s food bowl should be in a quite area of the house. Cats like to eat in peace. In the wild cats will take there food to a secluded area where they can eat undisturbed. You should therefore keep their bowl in a low profile area of the house.
Keep your cats food bowl separate to their water bowl. When cats need water the food bowl next to their water can be a distraction. It is important that cats can consume water un-distracted.
Do you understand how to read food labels and identify if a cat food is a good cat food?
★ Top Tip
Try to use a cat food which has a Kitten, Adult and Senior food type. This makes the transition easier than changing from one brand to another. You should always feed a new kitten the food they were fed by the breeder. If you want to change the diet to a better quality food then slowly introduce the new food into your cat’s diet.
* Identify if your cat type or breed has any specific nutritional requirements.
* Decide whether dry or wet food suits your circumstances.
* Do not regularly change your cat’s diet.
* Cats don’t chew food; they bite to the appropriate size then swallow.
* Learn about food labels so you can understand what a good cat food is.
* Place your cat’s bowls in an appropriate place.
* Monitor your cat’s weight
* Cats like food at room temperature
* Don’t be scared to discuss your cat’s nutritional requirements with your vet.
Like with most things in life you get what you pay for. It is however the responsibility of every cat owner to give there cats all their nutritional requirements. Cats are carnivores and therefore need a diet heavily based on animal protein. Learn how to check food labels to see if your cat’s diet is a good one.
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