Saturday, August 13, 2022

What Food Is Best For Cats

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Can Cats Eat Fruit

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Cut into small, easily digestible pieces, cats can eat a range of fruit as an occasional addition to their diet or a healthy snack containing vitamin C. In the summer, chilling fruit in the fridge can help your cat cool down on a hot day.

Fruits that are safe for a cats diet include:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Seedless watermelon

Research Your Cat Food Brand

Sourcing and quality control in manufacturing are other important considerations in choosing a pet food. Unfortunately, pet food labels are not required to provide this information. You may be able to find the information on the companys website. Alternatively, a call to the companys consumer relations department should provide you the answers you need. Any reputable company with a quality product will be happy to engage with its consumers.

What Are The Different Types Of Cat Food

As a cat owner, it is your job to provide for your cats needs, and that includes a healthy and nutritious diet. Before you stroll into the nearest pet store and grab something off the shelf, however, you should take the time to learn about your options this includes familiarizing yourself with the different types of cat food youre likely to encounter.

Here is a quick overview of some of the most popular types of cat food:

  • Dry Cat Food
  • Fresh Cat Food
  • Raw Cat Food

Within each of these categories, there are a variety of other types of cat food as well.

For example, both dry cat food and canned cat food brands offer options for grain-free and limited ingredient cat foods. These options are great for cats with food allergies or sensitivities. Limited ingredient diets are simply cat foods made with a lower number of main ingredients to limit the risk of triggering food allergies.

A quick word about grain-free cat food.

There has always been a great deal of controversy surrounding the inclusion of carbohydrates in cat food. The fact remains that cats are obligate carnivores which means that the majority of their nutrition needs to come from animal sources. Unfortunately, meat-based diets are expensive, and most cat owners dont have the knowledge or ability to create a homemade cat food diet that is nutritionally complete and balanced.

Read Also: What Can You Train A Cat To Do

Avoid Cheap Foods With Fillers

Brands that are available in the supermarket usually provide a balanced diet for cats, but unfortunately, some of the cheaper products contain more fillers, such as corn. The excessive quantity of fillers decreases the nutritional value of the food.

Also, since the fillers dont provide as much energy, cats may eat more food, and in the end, your actually not saving any money.

What Should I Feed My Cat

Best Dry Foods for Cats, According to Vets

With so many different cat foods available, choosing one can feel a bit overwhelming! Heres what to look out for when picking the best diet for your cat:

Complete: Always feed your cat a food that is labelled complete because this means that it contains all the nutrients they need. Complementary foods can be given in small amounts alongside their main diet.

Commercially available: Its really difficult to give your cat everything they need in a homemade diet so we advise to always buy a commercial cat food rather than making your own at home. You can buy these from pet shops, vets, supermarkets or from our PDSA Pet Store.

Life stage appropriate: The nutrients your cat needs will change as they grow older for this reason, its important to make sure youre always feeding the right food for their stage of life i.e. kitten, adult or senior. If your cat has any extra requirements such as being pregnant, needing to lose weight, or if they have a chronic illness, speak to your vet about ensuring their food is right for this, too.

Pet Food Manufacturers Association : Look for a manufacturer that is part of the PFMA. Food manufacturers who are members of this organisation meet extra quality standards than the legal minimum.

Also Check: Are Cats Good For Rodent Control

Wet Cat Food Vs Dry Cat Food

Should you feed your cat wet cat food or dry cat food? There are certainly pros and cons to each, and it can be hard to decide. As a veterinarian, and in the absence of any medical conditions, I would advise that you feed your cats a mixture of both wet and dry: around 75% of the diet calories should be from wet cat food, whilst the other 25% can be from dry food.

Know Their Nutritional Needs

Part of the work of choosing the best food for cats is to know what are the best cat food ingredients. Let’s start with the basics proteins, amino acids, vitamins & minerals and carbohydrates.

Proteins

Cat are obligate carnivores. Translation… cats are meat eaters and MUST have meat to be healthy. Some of the vitamins and minerals outlined below, such as taurine and arachidonic acid, are only available in meat sources. Your little meowster is actually a predator in evolutionary history and had a diet that largely consisted of large amounts of protein, lesser amounts of fat and a few carbohydrates.

The protein in your chosen food should be listed first and by name. If it says “beef” or “chicken” or “salmon” or some other named meat, this is a good indicator of quality.

If it lists “meat by-products” or “poultry“, chances are you are getting the less than desirable parts of an animal all mixed together in that bag of food.

PRO TIP: If you see food allergy symptoms in your cat, try switching the main protein source in their food as a first step to understand the allergy.

Amino Acids & Fatty Acids

Amino Acids are the building blocks of proteins. Two common ones are Leucine and Lysine, which help cats build and maintain muscles, bones, blood, organs, skin and coat. Younger cats can have double the energy needs of an adult cat, which requires higher protein levels.

Vitamins & Minerals

  • Vitamin A
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

Carbohydrates

Good carbs in food include

  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Potatoes

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How To Choose The Best Kitten Food

When choosing the best kitten food, there are several things you need to think about.

Firstly, nutrition. You want to make sure youâre hitting the right protein to fat ratio, and getting enough of both. For dry food you want to be hitting more than 30% in protein content and 15-20% in fat. For wet foods you ideally want between 10-15% for protein and around 3-6% for fat.

You may want to be more aware of foods with high grain content, while the debate rages about exactly how bad grain are for cats, they can be an indicator that a food is full of filler or high in difficult to digest carbohydrates, rather than all the more preferable ingredients for a kittens development.

When it comes to intolerances and allergies, itâs actually fish, chicken beef and dairy products that are the most common in felines. So while you should expect to see a little bit of a digestive reaction to any new food, if it goes on too long you may want to investigate further.

Ideally, youâll pick out a mix of dry and wet woods. While dry food can be more cost effective and easier to manage, it wonât provide the moisture your cat needs to stay hydrated. If youâre going dry only, make sure your house is full of water sources for your cat to find, though theyâll need to be refreshed daily.

Fresh And Salt Water Fish

Top 11 Best Wet Cat Foods (We Tested Them All)

Your kitten will be happy if you share your cooked fish with her. A tiny bit of trout, catfish, salmon or tuna will each be appreciated although, really, any cooked fish is fine. Again, give her just a tiny bit is plenty even if shes begging for more. You can also try Honest Kitchens Mmmixers, a tasty meal topper made with salmon and pollock.

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Is Canadian Cat Food Safe

The production and sale of pet food is regulated in Canada by the CFIA, roughly equivalent to the FDA in the United States. Pet food manufacturers are required to adhere to certain standards for safety and quality, though there is some question whether the CFIA actually enforces those regulations. You can always check for Canadian pet food recalls through the Government of Canadas website.

Cats With Medical Conditions

Your vet might recommend that your cat is fed a special diet if they are diagnosed with certain medical conditions. These will often be prescription diets, which have been designed to help some cat illnesses such as skin problems, obesity, kidney disease and diabetes. If your cat has an illness and youre not sure which food is best for them, speak to your vet for advice.

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Can I Give Milk To My Cat As A Treat

Its a myth that cats need a nice saucer of milk. Cows milk contains lactose, a sugar that cats find hard to digest and can give them an upset tummy. Cream and dairy products are also high in fat so will contribute to your cat piling on the pounds. You can buy cat milk for your cat, without lactose, but this is still high in calories and doesnt contain any nutrients that your cat wont be getting in their compete diet.

Hill’s Prescription Diet K/d Kidney Care With Chicken Dry Cat Food+ Veterinary Diet 4 Lb Bag

The 5 Best Cat Foods for Constipation In 2021
  • This dry cat kibble has clinically proven nutrition to improve and lengthen quality of life
  • Enhanced Appetite Trigger Technology for cats enhances appetite and increases food intake
  • Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d Kidney Care with Chicken Dry Cat Food is specially formulated by Hills nutritionists and veterinarians to help protect your cat’s vital kidney function
  • Contains wholesome ingredients with more essential amino acids than daily requirements* supports your cats natural ability to build lean muscle
  • Hills Prescription Diet is the #1 US Vet Recommended therapeutic pet food consult with your veterinarian to make sure Prescription Diet k/d is the right food for your cat

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Mix Wet With Dry Food

Canned food contain more moisture and cats love it. Kibble is super convenient and cost effective and cats also love it. You have to balance price with nutrition, so what should you do? Mix them, of course. Find a good wet cat food your cats like and add it as a topper to their kibble. How much wet food should you give your cat? That will vary, but a teaspoon size dollop in the morning and at night is a good starting place.

The benefit of doing smaller amounts of wet food is that you have less waste with cats who are grazers. Wet food does not have a long shelf life once it is out in the open air. And remember – canned food must be covered and refrigerated after it is opened so it stays fresh and safe.

Another benefit of doing smaller amounts of wet food is that you ensure your kitties ingest the moisture they need. Cats, as historic desert dwellers, do not need a lot of water. However, if they don’t get enough water, they can become dehydrated and feverish and begin throwing up. Extended lack of water leads to diabetes.

You can also add a wet topper like a spray or a bone broth to their kibble to give them extra flavor, moisture and nutrients.

One of the concerns about feeding cats only wet food is the negative impact on their teeth. Feeding both wet and dry ensures they still get the hard crunch of kibble to help clean their teeth.

The 8 Best Cat Foods For Indoor Cats In 2022

Much like figuring out the right nutrition for yourself, deciding what to feed your indoor cat can feel a bit overwhelming. How much protein should the food contain? Are carbs bad for cats? Is wet food better than dry food?

Worry not, we researched hundreds of cat food options to come up with the top 10 picks for indoor kitties. Weve also included a guide on what to look for when choosing food, because ensuring your cat leads a healthy and happy life starts with a complete and balanced diet.

A quick note: Were reader supported! If you buy a product through our links we may earn a commission. The price you pay will always be the same as normal.

Also Check: Healthy Gourmet Wet Cat Food

Can Cats Eat Eggs

As part of a balanced diet, cats can eat a small portion of cooked egg: scrambled or boiled. Eggs contain nutrient-rich amino acids and protein which can be fed to cats as part of a healthy, occasional treat. If cats eat raw eggs, similar to humans, they are also at risk of contracting bacteria like salmonella, which can make them unwell.

So How Much Carbohydrate Matter Does A Cat Need

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None. Carbohydrate concentrations between 1 and 10% wont harm your cat, but anything more is a threat to your cats health. Excess carbohydrates can lead to problems like obesity and digestive issues.

Now, finding foods with low carbohydrate content is trickier than it sounds. Unlike a jar of peanut butter or a loaf of bread, cat food labels dont tell you how many grams of carbohydrates are in each serving. They dont tell you anything about the carbohydrate content.

The best way to avoid high-carbohydrate foods is by looking for products that dont contain anything starchy. Read the ingredient list and rule out anything that contains potatoes, wheat, soy, peas, or other high-carbohydrate products.

If you want more details, you can contact the company and ask about carbohydrate content. Alternatively, use a carbohydrate calculator like this one to get a rough estimate.

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Foods Dogs Cant Eat: Candy

Keep the candy bowl far away from your dog. Eating significant amounts of sugary, high-fat sweets can give dogs pancreatitis, even though symptoms may not show for two to four days. Look out for decreased appetite, diarrhea, lethargy, and abdominal pain. Watch out for these silent signs your dog is sick.

Do Life Stages Matter When Youre Choosing Cat Food

Yes and no. Choose foods that meet AAFCO nutritional guidelines for either growth, all life stages, or adult maintenance.

Kittens and pregnant or lactating cats should eat food formulated for growth or all life stages. Adultscats over the age of oneshould eat meals formulated for all life stages or adult maintenance.

Other than these three categories, you dont need to choose your cats food based on life stages. Seniors, for example, dont usually need senior-specific food. Most of these labeling ploys are in the same league as indoor cat food, hairball food, and breed-specific formulations.

Theyre easy to buy and feel like a little bit of personalization, but they jump straight to the personal details without nailing nutrition basics. How can you address the unique needs of a 7-year-old indoor-outdoor Persian without first acknowledging the fact that shes a carnivore?

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Reading The Nutritional Label

All the text on cat food labels can be confusing. Heres how to figure out what matters.

Required Items

  • What type of pet and stage of life the food is suited for
  • Feeding instructions
  • Name and address of manufacturer

Dont pay attention to marketing terms like primal, wild, or premium on the label. These words are misleading and dont actually mean that the food quality is any higher than other brands.

Understanding Product Naming

Theres a lot you can glean from the product name of a cat food if you understand the regulations. Use the naming conventions below as a guide the next time youre choosing wet cat food.

Ingredient Cat Food = Must contain 95% of the named ingredient, ex. Turkey Cat Food is 95% turkey.

Ingredient Dinner or Ingredient Entree = Contains between 94-25% of the named ingredient.

Cat Food with Ingredient = Could contain as little as 3% of the named ingredient, ex. Cat Food with Turkey may have less turkey than Turkey Dinner.

Ingredients List

When reading the nutritional label, make sure the first ingredients in the recipe are meat, seafood, or meat/seafood meal/byproducts.

Ingredients are listed in order of weight, so ingredients that are used in higher quantities will be first. Look for recipes where the first few ingredients are meat, poultry, or seafood. Meat, poultry, or seafood meal or byproducts may also be top ingredients and thats generally OK, too.

Best For Kittens: Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Crunchies Natural Grain Free Savory Salmon Kitten Treats

The 6 Best Canned Cat Foods of 2021

Courtesy of Instacart

Calories: 1.5 calories per treat | Flavor: Salmon | Lifestage: Kittens

  • Only one size bag available

Kittens have little mouths with baby teeth, so crunchy treats need to be the right size for them. Blue Buffalo Baby Blue Grain-Free Kitten Crunchies are not only the right size and consistency for kittens, but they are healthy too. There are no grains, but this salmon treat is oven-baked, so it still delivers a crunch that your kitten will love. A chicken-flavored option is also available. Finally, its low in calories, so you wont have to worry about giving too many treats when you want to reward your new furry friend.

Also Check: Why Is My Kitten So Skinny

How Do You Read A Cat Food Label

Cat food labels are long and loaded with complicated words. Therefore they are hard to read and understand. To make things easy, we will list the few things you need to pay attention to:

  • Ingredient list. Since cats are obligate carnivores, animal-sourced proteins should be high on the list
  • Guaranteed analysis. Explains the percentage of each nutrient found in the diet
  • Calorie content statement. Must be clearly listed andexpressed in kilocalories or k/cals
  • AAFCO complete and balanced statement. To ensure the diet is complete and third-party lab-tested.

But, what does the abbreviation AAFCO mean? AAFCO stands for Association of American Feed Control Officials a voluntary membership association of local, state, and federal agencies that regulate the sale and distribution of animal feeds and animal drug remedies.

In other words, the AAFCO sets pet food nutrition standards based on the requirements of the National Research Council . Practically speaking, a cat food labeled as AAFCO-approved is considered to be of high quality.

With that being said, we should say that you also need to look beyond labels, claims, and popular keywords. For example, lets discuss two ingredients with bad reputations meat by-products and grains.

When a food includes meat by-products, it is immediately discarded as low-quality. This is not necessarily true. , if properly sourced and processed, can be healthy. In fact, raw-feeders base their meals on meat by-products .

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