Cats are the best friends for many of us. About 43 million Americans keep a cat a pet. This cat food guide will cover all the important aspects of cat food which you need to understand.
We love their nature and qualities, yet we don’t know the best food for our feline friends. There is a large multiplicity of Cat food available in the market. Healthy food is essential for our pet cats, but as there is a lot of food available in the market for Cats, it becomes daunting to choose the best food for them from the Cat Food Guide.
Cat Food guidelines
There are some factors that affect the type of cat food. For example, breed, age, level of activities, sensitivities, or allergies are directly related to the food of your Cats. So, to make appropriate decisions for the food of your cats, let’s dive into the world of cat food so we can understand the variety of food available in an easily comprehendible way.
Cat Food Nutrition Guide
As Cats are inflexible carnivores, their Nutrition is extremely dissimilar to Humans and Dogs who are omnivores. So, in order to maintain the health of your Cat, you should be careful about their diet. The diet of cats primarily comprises Fish and Meat ingredients. And contradict it, Herbal ingredients should be limited in quantity.
Cats need three essential nutrients in their diet, which an omnivore’s food must contain, i.e. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. Your Cat’s health is largely dependent upon the availability of these three macronutrients in a balanced way. Now we will go through them one by one and pitch upon the causation of their significance.
This cat food guide will cover the fats, carbohydrates, and protein requirements of the cats.
Fat for Cats
The high concentrated form of energy is Fats. Fats are naturally present in the ingredients comprise of meats and Fish. Their Calories are more than the other two chief ingredients i.e. Carbohydrates and proteins. Moreover, Cats need dietary fats to develop and keep up their body, Cells, and tissues.
The amount of fats in cat food is highly associated with the amount of protein. At the same time, this is not always followed. This is due to the reason that the recipes contain herbal ingredients comprised of proteins largely.
Protein for Cats
The chief constituent in Cat’s diet is protein. It is crucial for every cat food. Proteins are essential for the development, keep up, maturation, and improvement of the body’s cells and tissues. Furthermore, these (proteins) are necessary for the effectiveness of the immune system.
One thing which should be clarified here is the wrong understanding of the wastage of protein. It is commonly considered that if the protein is consumed in large quantities, by humans or pets (Dogs or Cats), they go wasted through excretion, which is not valid. It should be noted that if protein intake goes large, they suddenly burned as calories and converted into Fats and stored.
Carbohydrates for Cats
Cats do not need them necessarily, and even a high amount of carbohydrates has a negative impact on their health.
Some cat food brands use a high concentration of carbohydrates in cat food. This is due to the reason that plant-based material is economical and easily available than meat-based material. Naturally, Cats need 5% carbohydrates in their total diet, but these brands use even 50% of carbohydrate contents.
One more mandatory thing which needs to follow up is to understand that a large quantity of carbohydrates has negative impacts on Cat’s health, i.e. it leads to the problems of dehydration, liver, and kidney problems. So, you should always care about the consumption of carbohydrates in your feline friend’s diet.
Labelling of Cat Food
Cat food guide can’t be completed without mentioning the labelling of the cat foods.
Mostly all pet foods come with instructions and cat food instructions are different from others. However, labelling is not related to insturctions.
Like the food of humans, the advancement in the cat food market has gained rapid improvement in recent decades.
All high-quality brands mention the ingredients present in the cat food on the packets or cans in which this (cat food) is available. The food experts give this evaluation with surety. You can use this evaluation when you buy food for your Cat.
Given below is the analysis that must be kept in mind when you select the food for your cats
- Fiber (Max)
- Moisture (Max)
- Taurine (Min)
- Protein (Min)
- Fat (Min)
It is crucial to note that you should care about the nutritional value that is mentioned as a maximum or minimum.
For Fats and Proteins which are listed as a minimum, it can be the probability that they are present in large quantities. And the ingredients (Moisture and Fiber) which are listed as maximum can be present in meagre proportion.
However, high-quality cat food brands mention nearly the right amount of quantities present in cat food. These cat food brands mention even additional nutritional information present in their product. These include:
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Omega 6 Fatty acids
Fatty acids which consist of Omega 3 and Omega 6 have a number of health benefits for cats. They enhance cognitive abilities, revamp Cat’s fur and coat and reduce heart issues. Ash is however not as many health outcomes but that doesn’t mean they have a negative impact; they are naturally part of Cat’s diet.
This is how to feed a cat chart.
Ingredients of Cat Food
Cat food packings permit you to examine the ingredients and their amount along with their standing. You can detect and root out the pernicious contents present in your Cat’s food. This listing comprises the classification of the ingredients in descending order i.e. the ingredient which is present in high quantity should be on top of the list and so you can find at the bottom the ingredient which is least in quantity.
Below is the list of high- and low-quality ingredients that you need to examine when you choose the food for your cats carefully.
Highly quality ingredients consist of the following diet:
- Named Meat, for Example Chicken, Beef, Lamb, Pork, Turkey or Fish Salmon Tuna
- The meal comprises Chicken meat, Fish meal, Lamb meal
- Organ Meat or Giblets e.g. Kidney, Heart, Liver
However, when you choose the above-mentioned high-quality ingredients, keep in mind that the meat you are preferring must have three things
- It should be quality meat. The naming of the brand helps you in determining this most essential aspect of your Cat’s food.
- Do not worry about the meal meat as most of the consumers putting off. Meat meals have their moisture removed given that they have 80% in it.
3. Organ meat is as much important as other meat. These (Kidney, heart, and liver meat) give taste and flavour in the die of your pet cats.
Unlike Highly quality ingredients, Low-Quality Ingredients consist of the following diet:
- Corn, Wheat, and Soy
- Garlic or Onion
- Unidentified Meat
- Unidentified Meat by-products
- Artificial Additives like Sweeteners, Preservatives and Food Colors
The above mentioned low-quality ingredients you should get around from your cat’s diet. Unidentified Meat or its by-products is harmful to your pet cats. These (unidentified meat) are mostly getting by road killings. Although the manufacturers disagree with it still must take care of using such items.
Grains, too, are not good for your cats. As the cats are carnivores, those who do not need much carbohydrates and grains provide these (carbohydrates) in abundance.
Artificial additives i.e. sweetener, food colors, must also be avoided to maintain your Cat’s health.
Classification of Cat Food
We can classify the cat food into the following four types:
Wet Cat Food
Such kind of food is usually stored in cans. The amount of moisture in this food is higher than the dry cat food. It has a large nutritional value, and after using this, your Cat doesn’t need any kind of supplements.
Moreover, the healthy side of the wet cat food can be seen through the fact that it uses a lesser amount of fillers and processed ingredients. This reason makes wet cat food beneficial to your feline friends.
Dry Cat Food
Kibble is usually famous for cat food. This Dry cat food. It has a long storage value and has a more economical aspect than wet cat food.
You must keep in mind that Dry cat food leads to dehydration, so excessive use of it may cause harmful effects on your cats. If you are using dry cat food, use it with a mixture of wet food. To add to its dryness aspect, it has more additives in the form of preservatives, unnecessary carbohydrates, and fillers.
However, some high-quality brands have a relatively good nutritional value of dry cat food. This is so because they use dry cat food with a mixture of wet cat food.
Toppings for cat food
Cat food toppers can be great if you want to add extra nutrition to your cat’s diet. Cat food toppings are also great if your cat is fussy or sick. It is mostly in the form of broths to add hydration.
Senior Cat Food
Senior Cats need a distinctive type of food. Joint and Kidney problems are some issues that senior cats suffer from. So, they need a mixture of that food, which is different from Young cats and kittens, that can prevent them from health problems. This is also known as prescription cat food or veterinary cat diet.
Like Senior Cats, Kittens also need different food than young cats. Food must have a high amount of Proteins, Fats, Vitamins, and Minerals. However, remember that they can easily digest the food you provide to your kitten.
Cat foods brands to avoid
Avoid all those cat food brands which have been recalled or don’t provide detailed info about their cat food.
In this cat food guide, we discussed various cat food guidelines, cat food portion guides, and different types of cat foods.
Ankita Sharma is a passionate pet lover and head of content at Pet Food Brands. With her extensive knowledge and research, she provides pet owners with top-quality information on dog food and nutrition. Her dedication to improving the lives of dogs makes her a leading voice in the industry.