Natural Organic And Human Grade: Are They Meaningless Buzzwords
Until recently, the description scientifically formulated was a popular pet food marketing catchphrase. People wanted to imagine their cats food as being formulated by scientists in a sterile laboratory.
Todays cat food consumer has a different ideal. Theyre looking for food thats gently crafted, fresh from the farm, non-GMO, natural, and based on real meat. Thanks to the back to nature trend, the number of natural or organic cat food labels has skyrocketed. Numerous brands capitalize on the premium natural food concept.
But are they healthy for your cat?
Tips For Balancing Budget And Quality
As a cat owner, you want whats best for your feline friend we all do. Unfortunately, the best cat foods on the market are very expensive, and it simply isnt in the average cat owners budget to feed top-shelf cat food all the time.
The best thing you can do for your cat is to feed him the highest quality cat food you can consistently afford. But how do you strike the right balance between quality and affordability?
If youre concerned about your budget, you may be tempted to shop for cat food by price, but that would be a mistake. It is, unfortunately, true for most cheap cat food brands that they use low-quality ingredients like grains and fillers. If you start with price rather than quality when shopping for cat food, you are likely to end up with a product that isnt any good.
So, where do you start?
First, youll want to decide between feeding your cat a good dry cat food or wet food. Generally speaking, dry food is more affordable than wet food, and it has the added benefit of a longer shelf-life. Wet food tends to be higher in protein and moisture, but the best canned cat food on the market is very expensive especially if you use it as your cats staple diet.
Once youve decided between wet and dry cat food, think about the main ingredients.
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Before you head to the register, however, there is one more thing to look for artificial additives.
Is Wet Cat Food Good For Ferrets
Wet cat is an acceptable food to feed your ferret as a treat or when you dont have any better protein and fatty meals to offer them.
However, dry cat food usually has a higher protein concentration than wet cat food. Therefore, if youre using cat food as a temporary meal replacement, its often better to use dry instead of wet food.
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Recommended Brands For Wet Cat Food
The name of this company may seem strange but once you try their products it is not a name you will soon forget. Ziwipeak is an all-natural pet food company based out of Mount Maunganui in New Zealand and they source all of their ingredients locally. This company uses plenty of fresh proteins like New Zealand venison, lamb, beef, seafood, and shellfish and their products include all of the essential vitamins and minerals your cat needs. Their products are free from gluten, grains, and potatoes, plus they are made without any fillers, antibiotics, hormones, or artificial additives. What really makes this company unique, however, is the fact that they air-dry their dry food products this helps to preserve the nutritional value of the ingredients while adding the convenience of a dried food product.
Tuna And Catnip Treats
Every good kitty deserves a treat or two especially if it contains catnips! Cats absolutely love catnips, a herb from the mint family Labiatae. It contains an active ingredient known as nepetalactone, which may cause a high in your cat to help your furry friend relax! However, be sure to moderate your cats intake of this homemade cat recipe as too much catnip may cause nauseousness.
Prep time: 15 minutes
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What Should I Feed My Elderly Cat
In cat food with cat proteins such as fish, poultry, and beef, senior cats need more taurine, which is a healthy heart component.You should feed senior cats anything that has 10% fat and 28% protein, as well as 4% and 8% fat.Ageing animals require fewer calories and fats on a daily basis, owing to their slow metabolism.
Aafco Definitions Of Ingredients
The AAFCO is very specific about the proper naming of ingredients. The majority of pet food companies do not use ingredients intended for human consumption. When you read the label of canned or dry cat food, make sure that the meat or fish used is actually identified.
A major controversy in the pet-food industry is a manufacturer using what is known as 4-D diseased, dying, down or dead animal meat that is deemed by the FDA as unfit for human consumption. Although the FDA has compliance guidelines that forbid using 4-D meat as a potential health hazard, many veterinarians and pet nutritionists believe the FDA is unable to regulate all suppliers of meat for pet food.
So if a cat food label doesnt state what species of animal was used to harvest its meat, you have no idea what youre feeding your beloved tabby. The worst cat foods we analyzed listed only animal or a body part, such as liver, of an unidentified animal in the ingredients. We cant surmise why, but we found more unidentified animal meat in cat food than we did when dog food review.
All ingredients are required to be listed in order by weight. Primary ingredients those with the most weight will be the first four or five listed. Meat or fish should always be the first ingredient. Water or broth is needed to cook the meat in canned food, so it will usually be the second or third ingredient.
The following three AAFCO definitions apply to all meat processed in pet food.
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Natures Variety Instinct Raw Boost
Instinct Raw Boost combines a grain-free kibble with freeze-dried raw chicken, duck or rabbit, depending on the recipe. The chicken recipe and duck recipe are recommended for outdoor/indoor cats, and because rabbit is lower in fat, the rabbit recipe is recommended for indoor cats, who are less active. Theres also a weight-control formula, but its only 1 percent lower in fat than the rabbit recipe .
Both the duck and rabbit recipes start out with whole meat, followed by four meat meals, which is exceptional. Like many other kibbles, one of the primary ingredients is peas, tapioca and/or chickpeas. But Instinct throws in the freeze-dried meat cubes as a bonus, boosting up the protein and providing another excellent source of raw meat.
Also added to the ingredients are small amounts of freeze-dried rabbit heart, lung and kidney, so its not surprising that Instinct Raw Boost has one of the higher percentages of protein among the dry foods we analyzed.
We Avoided Foods That Contained Animal By
Animal by-products are one of the most misunderstood ingredients in cat food.
Most people have responded to the AAFCO definition of byproducts with the same sort of nausea that you might feel if served a platter of these ingredients at a restaurant. And yet much of the products that fall into the definition of by-products are highly-nourishing parts of an animal carcass that your cat would love to eat. And theres nothing disgusting about that.
Digestibility and quality control are the real problems with animal by-products. These vaguely-specified ingredients may be produced from any number of animal parts from any number of different animals.
A former AAFCO president once emphasized how loosely regulated these ingredients are that You dont know if its cattle or sheep or horse or Fluffy.
Besides not knowing what type of animals contributed to the by-product stew, you dont know if it contains more wholesome liver or nutritionally void chicken feet. If you want to ensure maximum protein digestibility, avoid meat by-products and other vaguely-named ingredients like meat, poultry, and meat and bone meal.
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Best Wet Cat Food For Older Cats
Sometimes senior cats need a change in diet to make sure they are getting the right balance of calories and nutrients. Seniors may be less active than kittens or adult cats and need fewer calories in their diets.
Also, older cats are more likely to suffer from kidney problems, heart disease, and joint problems, so specially formulated foods can keep them healthier for longer.
Here are our picks for the best wet cat food for older cats:
We love this variety pack from Fancy Feast because it offers four different flavors that are all made specifically with kittens in mind. Options include Ocean Whitefish, Turkey, Chicken, and Salmon. The pate texture of these recipes make it easy for kittens to eat theseeven if their teeth are still coming in. Youll find real poultry or seafood as the first ingredient in all of the formulas and they contain a touch of milk for added richness. Plus, you really cant beat the price at under $15 for a pack of 24 cans!
If youre looking for an easy-to-serve wet kitten food, we really like the IAMS Perfect Portions. This recipe is formulated specifically for growing kittens with essential minerals like calcium for healthy bones, DHA for brain and eye development, and Vitamin E for immune system support. These trays are designed to be one feeding portion for your kittenjust snap the pack in half, peel it back, and serve.
Things to Consider
What Kind Of Cat Food Is Best: Wet Or Dry
I have rescued and fostered many pets over the years. Keeping my pets healthy and happy is my number one priority.
There are a few things to consider when deciding whether to feed your cat wet or dry food.
What kind of food you choose to feed your cat is an important decision. Just like humans, the quality and quantity of food can affect your cat’s health and well-being. Finding healthy options to fit your budget and your pet can be tricky. Some of the choices you need to make are:
- Wet or Dry Food
- Premium or Regular
- Prescription or Non-Prescription
Here is some information that I have discovered that may help you to decide which option and choice fit the needs of you and your pet.
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Experiment With Different Foods
If your pet is a new addition, you may need to experiment to see which kind of food she prefers. If you prefer to feed canned or dry, try that first and see if she can eat it. Buy a small bag or just a few cans in case you discover that the food is not working.
I feed my cats a combination. I leave dry food out all the time and feed the ones that like it a small amount of canned food in the morning and the evenings. Since cats are known to not drink enough water, and I lost a cat to kidney issues recently, I researched and decided that a combination of the two types of food would be the best option for me. Some of my cats, however, do not like canned food and only eat the dry stuff. I think that they just don’t want to be predictable!
What If Your Cat Has Dietary Restrictions Or Health Concerns
Cats are infamous for being picky and growing bored of food they once liked. However, there may also be health reasons to try new food:
- Diabetes and urinary tract issues: If your cats disinterest in eating is accompanied by symptoms like excessive scratching, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea or trouble urinating, see your veterinarian to rule out a condition like diabetes or Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease .
- Hairballs: Since they lick their fur while grooming, some cats deal with swallowed clumps of hair. Diets that help with hairballs are usually higher in fibre and encourage the hair to move through the colon.
- Allergies: Signs of a cat food allergy may include a very itchy face, diarrhea and gas. Often its the protein source, says Brown-Bury. If your cat is eating a chicken-based diet, try a fish-based diet. If theyre on a fish-based diet, maybe theyll do better with chicken, she says.
If you need to swap your cats diet, do so slowly by combining the old food with the new diet for the first little while. An abrupt change can cause an upset stomach.
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Justcats Fish & Chicken
Our Top Pick for the Best Cat Food: JustCats Fish & Chicken recipe is a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet thats perfect for adult cats of all breeds. It is nutritionally balanced and it contains yuca root to absorb and retain moisture, to help ensure your cat is always fully hydrated. It is made with human-grade ingredients and delivered conveniently to your doorstep. The main source of protein is Alaskan Pacific wild-caught cod which is low-calorie and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin, vitamin B12 & B6, potassium, phosphorus, and selenium. This is also our top pick because cat food that contains easily digestible EFAs, like those in fish, help contribute to a healthy, shiny coat. Chicken thigh meat is another excellent source of protein in this food. It delivers more vitamin B, iron, antioxidants, and overall nutritional value than other protein choices and it is high in taurine, an essential nutrient only found in meat. For this reason, you will not see taurine listed as an added ingredient on our label. Its in the meat!If you choose this food for your cat, you can have peace of mind knowing that it is formulated to meet the nutritional levels established by the AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles for maintenance.
- Pros: Fresh, human-grade food, great for allergies or sensitive stomachs
- Cons: More expensive than dry food options
Supplement Your Cat’s Wet Food Diet
Many pet owners choose to supplement a wet food diet with dry kibble throughout the day for grazing and snacking. Changing up your cats food can be a great way to provide them with a balanced diet. Depending on your pet’s needs, you can also consider adding raw food, cat food toppers, and cat treats into their dietary mix.
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Why Is My Cat So Picky
Cats are creatures of habit. They prefer following a routine and are particular about what they like or dont like. There are many reasons why your cat could be giving you a hard time eating her food. Here are the most common reasons:
Neophobia is a term used for the irrational fear one feels about new things, and it is as common in cats as in humans. If you suddenly switch your cats food, it may consider the unfamiliar taste as dangerous and confusing, especially if its not used to eating different kinds of food.
On the other hand, some cats enjoy trying out new varieties to break the monotony. If your cat is refusing a new type of food and if you need to introduce better nutrition to your cat, take a gradual approach. Try mixing the new food with the old one first and slowly replace the whole thing to see how your cat reacts.
Wrong Temperature or Texture
Is your cats dry food too stale or wet food too cold or dry? Just like humans, cats have preferences when it comes to their food. They may prefer a certain texture or temperature and may hold out until they get what they want.
If youre still trying to figure out your cats preferences, start feeding warm food to your cat. Add warm broth or water and see if thats the way your kitty prefers. If your cat is not too fond of wet food texture, the right kibble will do the trick. It is all about understanding your kittys preferences.
Health Problems and Allergies
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When your cat is hungry, he lets you know by meowing incessantly or by inserting himself into whatever activity youre trying to do that doesnt involve feeding your cat.
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When youve finally had enough, you head to the cupboard or the pantry to pour your cat a bowl of food. Its something youve done hundreds of times, so you dont really think about it. You dont really think about what youre actually feeding your cat.
The truth of the matter is that all cat foods are not created equal.
Cat food manufacturers are businesses just like any other, and their number-1 goal will always be to make a profit. This isnt to say that all cat food companies are bad, but there are certainly more than a few of them out there that dont deserve a second glance.
But how do you know which cat food companies you can trust and which ones you cant?
Unfortunately, its not easy. If you want to be confident that youre feeding your cat a high-quality product that will meet his nutritional needs in the healthiest way possible, youre going to have to do a little bit of homework. Youre going to have to take matters into your own hands and learn how to identify the best cat food brands on the market.
Lucky for you, were here to help!
In this article, well give you the background information you need to pick the best cat food for your cat, AND well throw in some of our own personal recommendations to get you started.
Lets get to it!
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