How Many Calories In Dry Cat Food
The label should also indicate how many calories is in the food per serving . Most cats should be eating a minimum of 25-35 calories per pound of their own weight.
That means that a ten pound cat needs at least 250 calories per day and up to 350. An average house cat is around that 10 pound mark in weight and the average dry cat food is around 350 claories per cup.
But, read the label and see how many calories are in the dry cat food you’re looking at.
And, importantly, note that those minimum calorie amounts are generally for a sedentary indoor cat. If you have an active adult cat , you might need to up that minimum to 40 calories per pound and right up to 55-60 per pound for larger active cats.
It’s a bonus if the label also tells you what the source of those calories is, meaning whether they come from protein, fat or carbohydrate.
Generally about one third of each is a good balance, but if one is more dominant it should be calories from protein. And the main source of protein should always be animal proteins, which means natural meat and fish meats and meat prodcuts.
Crave Grain Free High Protein Cat Food Is Our Top Choice
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Our top choice is the Crave Grain Free High Protein Indoor Adult Cat Food. Hill’s Science Diet Adult Indoor Dry Cat Food is also veterinarian-recommended.
Choosing cat food isn’t always a straightforward process. It’s an owner’s responsibility to provide for a cat’s nourishment requirements, which can change over time. “Cats are what we call obligate carnivores, meaning they must have protein as the majority of their diet,” Dr. Lewis Singleton, a veterinarian at Banfield Pet Hospital in South New Jersey, explains. “Cats are not able to naturally make certain amino acids and vitamins such as taurine, arginine, vitamin A, vitamin D3, and other B vitamins, and therefore they must be included in their diet.”
With Dr. Singleton’s guidance in mind, here are the best premium dry cat foods.
How To Choose The Right Dry Food For Your Cat
As always, consult your veterinarian before choosing a brand for your cats dry food. The best dry cat food for one cat isnt always the best for another, so its important to have an expert opinion. Some brands specialize in breed, life stage, or even indoor dry cat food recipes, while others might specialize in grain free and limited ingredient varieties. To decide if a dry cat food diet is right for your cat, consult your veterinarian and check out some dry cat food reviews and ratings for information. Shop Petcos selection of top-rated dry cat food brands including WholeHearted, Science Diet, Orijen, and Blue Buffalo.
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Minimum Of 35% Protein On A Dry Matter Basis
Weve already established that cats are a special kind of carnivore that can only get their required nutrients from animal sources so it should be no surprise that protein is a critical component of any quality dry food.
Well be looking for a protein content of at least 35% on a dry matter basis. A dry matter basis means that well be removing water so we can compare apples to apples and avoid any confusion that comes from comparing two dry kibbles with differing moisture content.
Can you go lower than 35% protein?
Yes, and PetMD suggests that cats need a minimum of only 26% protein in their food but Id rather not ride the minimum for my cat. By sticking with 35% as the minimum, we immediately eliminate a lot of lower quality foods and we also get closer to a cats natural diet which would be roughly 55% protein.
Best Dry Food For Mama Cat And Kittens
Nourish mama and her kitten with Iams Proactive Health Kitten food . Even though the label says kitten, this food has the whole kit and kaboodle of healthy ingredients for a momma cat and her kittens. Chicken is the primary ingredient in this protein-rich food which helps support pregnancy and kitten development. Omega-3 DHA and vitamin E support strong immune systems, skin and bones, as well as brain development, says Dr. VanDuzer.This tasty, small bite food can be continued during nursing and until she has weaned her kittens and the kitten can also eat the food.Heres what you need to know about essential oils and your pets.
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Important Features To Consider For Best Dry Kitten Food
Everyone benefits from dry food because they dont have to worry about food spoiling in the bowl while they are gone for the day. However, bear in mind that diversity is important, and give your kitty some wet food as well.
So, to increase hunger and provide variety, sprinkle some canned kitten food on top of the kibble.
A few key characteristics should be present in the best dry kitten food. Here are some things to think about when choosing kitten food:
- The nutrient profile
Kitten diet should be high in protein , fat , and calories.
Wet food has a lower amount of protein since it contains moisture, whereas dry food has had all the moisture removed. To compensate for the difference in nutrient levels, you must feed more wet food than dry food. Calcium and phosphorus, which build growing bones, are also crucial minerals in the kitten diet.
- The quality of the ingredients.
Look for high-quality components in kitten feeds, such as whole meats and labeled organ meats. Meat meals are fine in dry foods if they are identified .
Artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives should be avoided. Meats raised in the United States should be used in the highest-quality dishes.
How tasty is the cat food youve chosen? It could have the best ingredients, but if your cat wont eat it, its not worth the money.
Of course, each cat is unique, but if the majority of buyers say their kittens appreciate the food, you may be confident that yours will as well.
Check For The Aafco Seal
The Association of American Feed Control Officials is a non-profit organization that offers guidelines for pet foods to ensure complete and balanced nutrition. If the seal is present on the bag or container of cat food, it has been formulated to meet those guidelines. The fact that each diet listed here passes The Association of American Feed Control Officials guidelines is a fantastic first foundation step of any reputable pet food, says Dr. Elswick.
Having an AAFCO seal of approval can be a piece of mind for a cat owner to know that the manufacturer of the diet has taken some effort to work within their recommended standards, adds Machell.
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Petsradar’s Pick Of The Best Dry Cat Food
This food contains two protein sourcesâchicken and salmonâto provide your cat with essential nutrients required to maintain healthy organs and lean muscle mass. Salmon additionally provides omega-3 fatty acids, which have anti-inflammatory properties that benefit catsâ skin, coats, and joints. The food contains lentils and dried pumpkin as sources of fiber to support digestive health.
Dr. Diana Hasler BVM& S MRCVS
Founded by the eponymous celebrity chef, the Rachael Ray Nutrish brand is well-known for its natural ingredients and nutritional benefits. It is therefore no surprise that this chicken-based, dry cat food option is a bestseller, and popular among cat owners to boot.
This particular brand uses real US farm-raised chicken free from poultry by-products. Full of Omega-6 fatty acids â not to mention protein â your catâs skin and coat will be guaranteed a healthy shine should you choose to purchase it.
Moreover, itâs grain-free, which effectively reduces any risk of allergies for your cat. Further reducing this risk is the fact that this contains a number of natural ingredients, such as brewers rice, corn gluten meal, as well as dried ground peas to contribute on the carbohydrate front. Added vitamins and minerals aid your catâs digestion and overall health, and there are no artificial fillers.
If your cat tends to overeat on those lovely treats and is looking rather plump, Blue Buffalo Weight Controlis the best choice to help slim them down.
Stick With Reputable Brands With Zero Or No Recalls
The production of dry cat food is a complicated process that requires ingredients sources from dozens of locations and vendors. There are a lot of moving parts and while thats never an excuse for lower quality products, the fact is recalls of specific ingredients can happen.
However, we want to avoid recalls whenever possible and stick with brands that have a solid reputation for producing quality products. Every cat food brand on this list has limited history of recalls and have never had a recall at all.
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Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Urinary Tract Health Best For Urinary Health
Purina Pro Plan has developed this food to protect your cats urinary tract. If youre looking for the best Purina cat food for urinary tract health, this food has been formulated to produce a low urine pH, which Purina has proven reduces the occurrence of some crystals in the urine. This means its less likely that your cat gets the most common types of bladder crystals or stones. They also reduced sources of dietary magnesium this should reduce the chance of struvite crystal formation.
Although this diet has lots of great benefits, its not a replacement for a prescription diet, which can actually treat urinary conditions. If your vet recommends a prescription diet that your cat wont eat, you should ask them for alternative suggestions to ensure your cat is still getting the benefits they need. Its also often best to increase water intake for cats with urinary issues, so a wet diet is preferable to a dry one.
Whilst the vast majority of cats do not need to gain weight, elderly cats or those recovering from illness may benefit from extra calories to regain condition. And just giving them extra portions of their usual diet wont necessarily be enough- sometimes their tiny stomachs cant take in all the nutrients they need unless the food youre feeding is calorie-dense. Kitten food is higher in calories and can be fed to adult cats for a short time to help them gain weight.
- Not suitable for long term feeding
Ingredients To Stay Away From If Youre Feeding A Kitten
- Proteins from Corn and soy
- Wheat and white rice as they are high in carbohydrates, while wheat is gluten-free.
- Rye as it is difficult to digest and contains gluten.
- Avoid cat food with wheat as three of the first five ingredients.
- Potatoes, with the exception of sweet potatoes, can raise a cats blood sugar level.
- Tapioca should also be avoided.
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How Do I Choose Between The Different Types Of Cat Food
Factors like age, breed, and health can certainly play a role when selecting the right consistency of food for your cat, as do their personal preferences, Dr. Simpson says. On one hand, dry cat food, like kibble, comes in an array of shapes and textures, and can help with dental concerns like tartar control. Plus, pet owners on a budget and low on time may like that dry food tends to be more convenient to feed and less expensive than wet cat food.
On the other hand, wet food has a higher moisture content, which can be beneficial for cats who need more hydration in their diets like those with diabetes, chronic kidney disease, and lower urinary tract disease, Dr. Simpson says. She also notes that the consistency of wet food, which ranges from pates to stews, is easier for cats with fewer teeth to chew. You can even mix a little dry and a little wet food together if your cat doesnt seem to like the texture of just one.
Can Dry Food Fit In Your Mix
Many adult cats can thrive on a full or partial diet of convenient and affordable dry foodsheres a look at the pros and cons.
- Convenience. Leave food out in the morning and go about your workday. While some cats are gobblers, most are content to simply graze throughout the day. You wont come home late in the evening to an anxious, hungry cat.
- Freshness. Dry food can be left out if your cat is at home alone for the weekend. A feeding device can ensure they access the right amount of food each day.
- Reassurance. If your cat is a rescue or suffers from food insecurity, just knowing that a bowl with dry food is available can reduce anxiety about eating.
- Cleaning. Dry food is less messy and less smelly.
Its likely just fine to feed your cat an all-dry food dietbut be sure to check with your vet who knows your cat and their specific health issues.
If you do feed your cat dry food, make sure that it stays fresh and that your cat has access to water at all times. Its not a bargain to buy a huge bag of dry food if you have only one catdry food should be consumed within two months of opening the package. Store dry food in a cool, dry location, away from sunlight to prevent spoiling, and keep the original bag or container tightly closed.
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How Many Times A Day Should I Feed My Cat Wet Food
According to most vets, it is suggested that cats be fed wet food twice a day. Take a look at the recommended portion size for your cat and divide it into two meals.
These two meals should be given to your pet 8-12 hours apart. However, depending on your cats requirements and your vets suggestion, you can alter the daily amount for best results.
Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Hairball Best For Preventing Hairballs
As a veterinarian, I often see cats with hairballs. Whilst many causes of hairballs are medical, so a vets input is needed, dietary support can help cats to get rid of troublesome hairballs whilst the cause of the overgrooming is found. For long-haired cats especially, a good hairball diet can make a huge difference to your cats quality of life. This hairball diet from Purina has it all, and vets and reviewers certainly seem to agree that it is one of the best hairball foods on the market.
Its high in fiber, which promotes good gut movement and helps to move your cats ingested hair through the gut, instead of piling up in the stomach. It also contains ingredients to support good coat and skin health- like Vitamin A and Omega-6 fatty acids- in order to reduce the need for grooming. As its complete and balanced- and backed by science- this product is safe to feed for life, making it an easy way to improve your cats wellbeing.
The only downside to this food is that it contains protein from lots of different sources, so if food allergies play a part in your cats grooming, this food may not be for them. Not working for your cat? Talk to your vet about ruling out allergies using a hydrolyzed protein diet.
If your indoor cat is already overweight or has had urinary problems, another great option is Hills Prescription Metabolic + Urinary Stress, which combines a weight-loss food with urine-protection properties and calming ingredients.
- May need additional supplementation
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Final Thoughts On Dry Cat Food
I dont recommend dry because cats cant survive and thrive eating dry food only.
Simply because cats rely on food for moisture. And dry food only provides about 6% of the cats daily water needs.
However, any of these brands are probably much better quality than the dry youre feeding now.
Use these dry cat food brands to help get your cat adjusted to better quality ingredients.
That will make the transition to wet or raw much easier.
But if your only options are between wet or dry, WET FOOD WINS.
Check out cat food reviews if you still need more options.
Best Dry Cat Foods For Adult Felines
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Finding the right dry cat food can be confusingto say the least.
Theres an almost endless number of cat food brands out there and theyre all telling you that theyre healthy, nutritious, and tasty for your feline friend.
On the other side of things, youve probably heard knowledgeable experts railing against grains, carbs, and a long list of other ingredients that are commonly found in commercial cat food.
So whos right and how can you find the best dry food brand for your cat?
Well, as with any complex subject, there are valid points on both sidesbut that doesnt make finding the best dry food for your cat any easier. Thats why Ive put together this complete guide to finding the perfect dry cat food for your individual feline along with 7 of our favorite options.
Well cover everything you need to know, but if you just want to skip ahead and see what made the list you can check out all our favorites below or use the table of contents to skim around.
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