I just watched the recent documentary on Netflix, “What the Health” where it exposes how bad processed meat is and how it contributes to diseases such as diabetes, all various cancers and more and I started thinking about where cat food comes from. We all know that cats are carnivorous and require all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients that come from animal-based protein. In our household, we feed our cats the highest tier of cat foods on the market, but we know that they are most likely the extras and all the bad bits from the slaughterhouses and processing plants. So what are the good brands? What foods on the market come from good, quality meat? Comment below on your thoughts and recommendations on what you think is the best cat food out there.
Baby food is such a wonderful, hidden secret in the cat world. I came upon it when I needed to help alleviate the symptoms of irritable bowl disease (also known in the cat world as IBD) for my cat Ginger. She was losing weight fast and could not hold an appetite. I went onto Facebook and asked my IBD support group if they knew of a food that would help her. They recommended Beechnut’s baby food line – meat only, to help my poor kitty.
Made up of chicken meat and water, the two ingredient cure-all helped her GI tract and also gave her back her appetite (with IBD, cats with inflamed small intestines can lose their appetite and contribute their current diet as the cause for the pain – which in turn decreases their want to eat that specific food). This also helped our other cat Peloo, who had GI issues that could not be diagnosed and treated by the local veterinarian. Three days of eating the chicken baby food, her inflammation went down and she was back other normal self. this was another example of the wonders of human baby food.
Baby food can also help with constipation by providing the cat with additional water needed to pass a bowel movement. This miraculous tool has helped our cat family tremendously and we hope this can help you too!
Tips: We highly recommend the Beechnut brand of baby food since the other brands add ingredients that can do more harm than good. The chicken flavored has been the best and we have several cans in our pantry just in case we need it!
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.
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!