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How to choose the best cat food

Approx. 3 minutes read

Your little purry friend rules the roost, right? She’s the light of your life and will spend her life entertaining you and being your best companion. To make sure she lives her best life, the rule of thumb is that she will need the best quality food that checks all the boxes of deliciousness and nutritional value. Good food will ensure a happy cat that lives a long and healthy life.

Cats’ nutritional needs

Since cats are obligate carnivores, they need a primarily meat-based diet. Some cat foods also contain grains, but there is a lot of controversy around whether cats really need carbohydrates or whether they’re just used as filler in the food. Cats can digest carbohydrates, but the quality of the cat food will really be determined by the percentage of animal proteins compared to the other ingredients. 

Cats also need taurine and arachidonic acid, which are usually present when the cat food contains mostly animal proteins, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals. 

Check the label

The best way to ensure your cat will get the best cat food containing all she needs for excellent nutrition and health is to check the label of the cat foods you’re researching. Ingredients are listed per weight, so the ingredient taking up the most weight in the can or bag will be listed first. 

When the animal proteins in the cat food are of the highest quality, they will be named – i.e. tuna, salmon, beef, chicken, etc. – instead of just being listed as poultry or meat by-products. Watch out for this. Also, all the meats will be named first, then the organs (e.g. kidney or liver) and then the high-quality grains (e.g. oats, barley, soya) and plant material.

Wet or dry cat food?

This is really a matter of your cat’s personal taste and preferences. The experts are quick to tell you “only wet food because it has higher moisture content”, or “only dry food because it’s more balanced”… but then the experts have never met your cat, have they? Give your cat the option of wet, dry or wet and dry and see what she enjoys. Try to have a balance of both. If your cat has a medical condition or you’re concerned for her health, speak to your vet about giving her the best feeding regimen for her health.

Premium cat food

Premium cat foods will contain higher quality ingredients as well as larger ratios of proteins and fats compared to poor quality cat foods. There are many different cat food brands to choose from, so make sure you do thorough research and make your choice on quality and affordability – buy the best for your cat at the price you can afford. Check to see whether the brands you’re interested in, have had any recalls recently and be aware of common complaints customers may have. 

Again, if you have any doubts, speak to your vet. 

Choose according to your cat’s life stage

Kittens have very different nutritional needs compared to senior cats. Their young, rapidly developing bodies need a higher ratio of good quality proteins and fats to support their growth and energy requirements. The same ratios would make older cats very fat! Senior cats need lower-calorie foods that are enriched with a special blend of vitamins and minerals. For instance, older cats are prone to kidney disease, so their diet should be formulated to be less demanding on your older moggy’s kidneys. 

If you have any questions or doubts, schedule an appointment with your vet. They should be familiar with your cat’s health history and from there, be able to make recommendations to support and enhance your cat’s nutritional wellbeing.

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