The cat food aisle in your local pet food store is lined with a variety of wet, dry and semi-moist foods for your cat. Some advertise grain-free and others boast a high percentage of wild game content. What is the best food for your cat? Here are some tips to help you navigate through the different foods available for your feline companion.
What Cats Need Most
Your cat requires certain nutrients that their body doesn't make to stay healthy. One of these is the amino acid taurine. This is found in animal protein and is a result of your cat's evolution as a carnivore. Cats need meat and the amino acids it provides to survive. Without taurine in their diet, your cat will develop heart, liver, eye and gall bladder disease.
Arginine is another important amino acid your cat gets from meat. It controls the byproducts of the breakdown of protein in your cat's body. Without arginine in the diet, the waste products in your cat's blood would reach toxic levels and could cause seizures and death.
When you're choosing a cat food, look for those which list animal protein in the first couple of ingredients. Those that list grains first have less nutritional value for your cat.
You also need to talk with your vet about your cat's health and diet. While it's true that you cat needs a high protein diet, if it has early signs of kidney disease, it needs a food with lower amounts of protein. The breakdown of protein makes the kidneys work harder so your cat with kidney illness needs a nutritional diet that is easier for them to process. Your vet can recommend a special kidney diet for your cat and may have samples that you can try.
Wet or Dry Food
There is an ongoing discussion about feeding wet or dry foods. Your veterinarian can also give you advice in this area based on the health of your cat. Some tips to help you choose which is best for your cat includes:
- Wet Food
- has more aroma in case your cat's sense of smell is diminished
- easier for your cat to eat if they have dental problems
- provides your cat more water in their diet
- spoils faster than dry food after opening
- Dry Food
- more convenient because it can be left out for your cat to graze on
- easier to store after opening the bag
- has some positive dental hygiene effect when the cat chews the kibble
- tends to be less expensive than wet food
Another food option available is the semi-moist cat food. This is like kibble with enough moisture to make it chewy instead of crunchy. These foods come in fewer varieties than wet or dry food and is the most expensive.
Which is the Best Food for Your Cat?
Experiment with different high-protein foods until you find the one your cat eats consistently. Wet or dry, your cat will get the nutrition it needs when you feed them a food high in animal protein. Manufacturers of quality pet foods are now adding taurine, vitamin B, and other nutrients that your cat needs into their foods. Stay away from the least expensive foods and give your cat a quality brand to make sure they get everything they need for a healthy body. Click here for more information and tips.