As all cat owners know, a feline can be a wonderful addition
to any family. One of the most basic aspects of cat ownership is proper health care for the cat. Health care for
a cat encompasses a wide array of vaccine shots, flea protection, vet visits, medications, and even proper
However, the most important aspect of cat health is also
often overlooked. People spend hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a cat to keep it
healthy, but most cat owners don’t pay nearly enough attention to the proper cat food.
The right cat food is absolutely essential to a healthy,
But what is the best cat food for your cat? While each cat
will have slightly different nutritional needs, there are some general rules that must be considered when
looking for cat food.
First of all, cats (like their human owners) need a
high-quality diet. This means the best types of protein, fats, carbs, and the less preservatives and chemical
additives, the better. Most of the research available online does not compare specific brands of cat food, as
much as specific ingredients to feed your cat, and which to stay away from.
Cats need a high protein diet. Wild cats are very
carnivorous, and cats derive a great deal of their nutritional needs from protein. House cats, while not wild,
still have many of the same nutritional needs as their wild feline ancestors. So, the most important ingredient
in any cat food is protein.
Carbohydrates are also an important part of a cat’s diet,
though not as important as protein. Cats really should derive the majority of their nutritional needs from
protein, so cat foods that are high in carbohydrates may not necessarily be the best for them.
Interestingly enough, many of the premium brands of cat food
offer exactly what most cats need, and aren’t necessarily more expensive in the long run. This is because high
end cat foods need a smaller serving amount than the low-end cat foods to give a cat all the nutrients they need
to be satisfied and healthy.
When comparing a premium brand to a lower cost brand, the
cost difference for the recommended serving size is only a nickel a day. Furthermore, because a cat will eat
less of the high-end cat food, their waste will be reduced. This can cut down on the frequency of litter
replacement and litter box related chores.
Another aspect of cat food to be considered is the quality of
the protein in the food. Because of the way many pet food companies describe the meat in the food, it can be
difficult to figure out exactly what the difference between “chicken flavoured”, and “chicken dinner”
Food that contains “chicken meal” can only be made from the
skin, flesh, and bones only. This is really the best type of protein for a cat. Food that has “meat by products”
can contain nearly any animal parts, and are of lower quality than “chicken meal”. Food that is “chicken
flavoured” only has to taste like chicken, but may not contain any animal meat at all. Also, chicken is
generally better than beef for cats.
And it goes without saying, preservatives, as well as
artificial colours, should be avoided whenever possible. Although specific research is lacking on this subject,
we do know that preservatives and artificial colours can have a negative impact on human health. It is only
logical that cats will also be negatively affected.