Cat nutrition is insanely crazy, but it’s also very simple at the same time. It’s always good to talk to your veterinarian before switching your kitty to a new food. Just like people, cats react differently to the ingredients found in cat food. There are many different types of proteins, vitamins, grains and starches, veggies and fruit found in cat food. Trying to figure out what is best for your cat can be overwhelming, but here are a few things to keep in mind in finding the right cat food for your felines:
- Type of Protein
- Look for proteins that would be a typical meal if they lived in the wild. Examples: Duck, venison, and rabbit are good meats. If you can avoid chicken, turkey, and fish, try to. These meats are not typical of a cat’s natural diet and many felines have develop allergies and ailments over time from these proteins.
- Additional Ingredients
- Fillers. To keep costs low, companies put the least amount of animal protein in wet and dry foods. In place of what’s supposed to be 100% meat, these mega companies will pump our cat’s food with corn, potatoes, low-cost veggies, and pretty much anything that is considered a filler. Cat’s obtain their energy from proteins, not starches and carbohydrates.
- Fruits & Veggies
- Just like humans, cats need their daily dose of kale, cranberries, sweet potato and peas… NOT! Cats are obligate carnivores which means that they don’t need fruits and veggies in their diet. In fact, high consumption of fruits and veggies can be harmful to our felines. Their bodies need the nutrients and vitamins from animal protein to make amino acids. These acids are needed to survive!
- Find a food that has limited amount of fruits and veggies and if possible, buy a product that has absolutely none. There are a handful of cat food companies that are limited ingredient and are much better for your cats.
- Wet vs. Dry
- I like to give my cats a mix of both each day. Dry food in the mornings and wet in the evenings. If I could, they would be eating raw meat at each meal, but that can be costly!
- Giving your cats wet food versus dry is the better option. Cats draw their daily water content from wet food and do not depend on a water bowl as much as if they were strictly on a dry food diet. If you were to strictly give your cat dry food, they can develop issues such as kidney/urinary diseases and weight issues. Dry food is very concentrated and contains for calories than wet food. Also, there are many fillers and fruits/veggies in dry food. If you were to buy a dry food, go for the dehydrated limited ingredient like Stella and Chewy’s that needs to be hydrated before giving it to your cat.
Always read the ingredient label when choosing the right food for your feline. You may go through may different brands before you find the right one, so buy one can/bag at a time. If your kitty doesn’t enjoy the dry food, you can simply return it or donate it to a local rescue group or shelter.
It’s also important to do a proper food transition process. Don’t feed your kitty the whole can, but just a small little taste to see if they like it. You can read more about food transition in my upcoming blog post. Stay tuned and happy shopping!
Nicole @ Just Cats