Cat owners always wish to keep their favorite felines brimming with good health. Adhering to a high-grade diet can serve as the best means of doing the same. However, it is not very easy to find the right food which can cater to the health needs of your four-legged friend in an optimal manner. When it comes to cat food, the choices seem endless with ample disagreement and controversy. Keeping such things in mind, we have come up with an easy guide which can help you in taking a well-informed decision in favor of your kitty’s good health.
Carbohydrates are not required by cats although you can trace wheat, corn, and rice being used as fillers in dry as well as canned cat food. Manufacturers also add in other ingredients like flavors, colors, and binders for catering to the aesthetic requirements of customers. Preservatives can help in keeping the food fresh for long. However, canned food has a relatively shorter life span and should not be used once the expiry date passes over.
There is also a constant debate regarding the supremacy of dried and canned variety of cat food. However, in most cases, vets suggest feeding both to your feline for the following reasons:
- Canned food caters to the hydration needs of your cat as they might not drink water regularly.
- It is convenient to feed dry food to cats as they can even be left out whenever you are not in the house to personally feed your cat.
Feeding the same cat food to your feline over and over again might cause them to lose interest in the same. In extreme cases, they might even stop eating completely. This is why it is necessary to keep on altering their food and try out new flavors for keeping their interest level high.
Just like humans, cats can also develop allergies to certain food items. Although instances of such allergies are rare, you need to be extremely cautious about planning your cat food in such a case. This becomes all the more relevant if your feline has shown signs of food allergies in the past.
If your cat does not show much inclination towards canned food, then you can cater to their hydration needs by keeping a water fountain nearby. These devices with their attractive build-up and sound of dripping water can encourage your cat to drink every now and then.
Another big controversy surrounding cat food is the choice of gluten and grains. Grains serve as an excellent source of carbohydrates which in turn acts as an energy source on being metabolized. However, certain cat experts hold the view that a diet rich in protein is better for cats in comparison to carbohydrates. Just because a portion of particular cat food is grain free, it does not indicate low levels of carbohydrate. In many cases, it is substituted with another carbohydrate-rich source like that of potatoes.
In most cases, the nutrient components are listed out on the food packaging. It points out at minimum fat and protein amount as well as maximum moisture and fiber count by percentage. Before deciding on a particular cat food, you need to compare these percentages with other available options for an accurate analysis. However, this comparison won’t be of much help if you are comparing a dry food with a canned option as that will be more like comparing oranges to apples.
In many cases, first-time owners opt for cheaper cat food as a means of bringing down expenses. However, this won’t be of much help as your cat will eat twice as much for meeting his nutrient requirement. Continuous feeding of downgrade food can lead to serious medical conditions, in the long run, requiring expensive veterinary care.
While choosing your cat food, you need to exercise extra caution for avoiding the ones having words like “added sugars,” “meat and bone meal” and “by-products.” Rather you should opt for the ones having “chicken, turkey, lamb, or beef” protein source.