Deciding what kind of food to feed your cat is one of the biggest challenges pet parents face. With so many different options available and keeping in mind your cat’s individual needs, how do you choose the best healthy cat food for your pet? Here are some tips to keep in mind.
Pick a Food with High-Quality Proteins
Did you know that cats are obligate carnivores, and their body structures have adapted to a strictly carnivorous diet? In fact, in the wild, cats naturally choose high-quality, high-protein foods. This is why proteins are the main ingredient in many cat foods. Chicken and turkey are great protein sources in cat food, and novel quality proteins such as venison, guinea fowl, kangaroo, and duck are also excellent protein choices.
Wet Vs Dry Cat Food
Another decision you’ll need to make is if you should feed your cat wet vs dry cat food. While there are many great dry foods available, quality wet food does have a few more benefits. These benefits include a higher moisture content (which helps keep your cat hydrated and may lower the chance of urinary-tract problems), higher protein content, and lower carbohydrate content. Wet cat food is also often more appealing to cats who are finicky eaters.
Check the Ingredients
Always read the ingredient label when deciding what kind of healthy food to feed your cat and avoid purchasing brands that include the following:
-Corn, corn meal, corn gluten, and anything corn-related (cats have not evolved to eat corn).
-Potatoes, wheat, or rice (cats have not evolved to eat potatoes, wheat, or rice).
-Soy: has been found to cause pet food allergies.
-Wheat and wheat gluten, cellulose/powdered cellulose, and any by-products: all fillers to avoid.
-BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole), BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene), or Ethoxyquin: chemical preservatives known to cause cancer in humans and animals.
-Any “natural”/artificial flavors or colorings.
-Carrageenan and guar gum.
As a general rule, the first 5 ingredients of your cat food should always be a protein, and not include any of the ingredients listed above. Also be sure to check that no more than 10% of the food’s calories are coming from carbohydrates. Grain free cat food is best, and make sure cranberries are included on the ingredient list as they help support your cat’s urinary tract.
Finding the right healthy cat food can be tricky, but with these tips, you’re well on your way to helping your favorite feline enjoy the best diet possible!