There is more and more available for both cats and dogs these days. But where to start? Why is one food better than another? How do you know what to choose? We all want the best for our pets but with so much to choose from it can be hard to know where to start.
When it comes to a cat’s diet there are a few things to be aware of. Cats are obligate carnivores which means they need a meat-based diet to survive. Many diets have extra bulk that is unnecessary for cats, however to make dry food this unavoidable to an extent.
It is best to aim for quality when it comes to cat food. This way you provide a high protein-based diet and it works out in the long run in so many ways.
The benefits of feeding a high-quality diet are excellent, if you choose a high-quality food for a cat you can expect the following:
- you will feed them less
- the food will last longer saving you money
- it will lessen the potent smell from defaecation
- including a dry diet will aid dental hygiene
- will aid them as they grow in terms of their overall health (cats are prone to kidney disorders if not fed properly)
- good gut health will keep your cat happier and healthier
- you will avoid weight issues
- lessens the chance of fur ball problems
There are different stages in a cat’s development so to start with you should choose a food for the right stage. For example;
- Kitten up to a year, or 6 months if neutered
- Adult from 1-6 years
- Senior from 6 years onwards
There are also foods available for fussy adults, or cats that’s already have kidney issues or weight problems.
Choose a food for your cat’s stage. Aim for a food that is high in protein, preferably over 30 or 40%, the type of protein usually doesn’t matter unless you or your cat has a preference. The first ingredient on the ingredients list should be a least one protein. If the first ingredient is a carb or grain, it’s not the best option for your cat.
Feed a dry diet mainly. However, unlike dog’s cats get most of their moisture from their food so offering a wet food once or twice a day is usually a good idea. This also should be high in protein. And low in added unnecessary extras like grains, always aim for grain free when it comes to cats. Often high-quality foods substitute grains for veg and seeds to provide the carbs needed which a cat can process better.
Let’s just quickly talk about cat treats. It is possible to train a cat using treats as a reward, but it can be difficult to do as cats tend to answer only to themselves, it depends largely on your cat’s personality. If you are offering treats either for training or just for a general treat be sure they are also good quality, a cat will get far more enjoyment from a piece of tuna over a crispy treat and fresh fish while a lovely treat will be great for their skin and coat as well. Fresh fish or dried fish treats are the best option. If feeding any other types be careful not to over feed as this can lead to weight problems. Also, something to be aware of is that cats are lactose intolerant and while they like milk and cream it is not something you should give them as it can lead to stomach problems. There are lactose free milks available for cats if this is a treat you wish to provide.
If you feed a cat a high quality high protein diet you will have a healthier cat for a long time. While cats can tolerate the poor-quality foods, they tend to pay the price in later years which will lead to high vet bills.
You can find high quality food here: Cat Food Of these foods the higher quality ones would be:
- Orjien (80% meat) grain-free
- Applaws (80% meat) grain-free
- Royal Canin Cat Food (depending on the type the protein varies but starts at, at least 20% in most cases it is over 30%)
In the treats section natures menu is a good choice if not choosing fresh treats. If searching for wet food ones to look for are Fish 4 Cats, Naturediet or Applaws.
Always provide your cat fresh water even if you rarely see them drink it. It is normal to not see them drink much especially if being offered wet food and if they have access outside, but they do need the option regardless.
These tips should hopefully help you to make good choices for your cat’s diet, so that your kitty is happy and healthy for many years.