It is a quite difficult and tricky to shop for the perfect cat food. This is something that you will not be able to do easily even if you know the food you are looking for and have done a good research on the subject. This is due to the fact that the labels of cat food are sometimes difficult to be interpreted by uninitiated shoppers. These labels generally contain information that is not straightforward.
How to Read Cat Food Labels?
Reading cat food labels might require understanding official standards and definitions. You must also know the terms without any official definitions used mainly for the purpose of marketing. It is to be noted that, with a little bit of research, you will be able to read the labels of cat food and understand Cat Food Ratings properly. This will help you in making informed comparisons of different foods. If you want to read labels properly then it is important that you know the terms with or without proper definitions. Cat foods generally have names that sound grand and these are designed for grabbing attention. You can surely find good information hidden in these attractive product names.
Get Hold of the Nutritional Sufficiency Statement
A cat food with a label saying “balanced and complete for all life stages” is the one that meets nutritional requirements of kittens as well and lactating and pregnant cats. This statement is also known as AAFCO statement and it is the nutritional sufficiency statement that you should look for in even cat food label irrespective of its Cat Food Ratings. The statement means that the food is sufficient to meet the minimum nutritional requirements of a cat. Cat food with the label saying “balanced and complete for maintenance” is food for adult cats which are not lactating or pregnant. Cat foods containing no sufficiency statements or the one with statements saying “planned for supplemental feeding” should be used as supplements and treats for infrequent feeding. Such foods are in no ways considered good for the nutritional requirements of a cat. The sufficiency statement should also carry a statement about nutritional suitability of cat food. Labels saying “formulated” mean that the sufficiency of the food has been determined through chemical analysis in place of feeding trails. Statements saying “feeding tests” mean that the food underwent feeding tests.
Pay Attention to the Nutritional Content of the Food
Comparing the quantities of crude protein would not be helpful in revealing the true picture of any cat food. Chicken meat and feathers are protein sources but they are not complete and they are not digestible as well. Thus, it is important that you find the nutritional content of cat food. In order to do this, you need to go through the section entitled “guaranteed analysis”. It is this section that gives you an idea about the minimum quantities of crude protein and crude fat contained in the cat food. This section also gives you an idea about the maximum quantities of fiber and moisture contained in the food. It is the section where you will also find information about other nutrients like magnesium, ash, vitamin E, vitamin A and taurine.
Scrutinize the Ingredients
Cats are compelling carnivores and therefore any high quality cat food should always list meat as its first ingredient. The manufacturers of cat food have this obligation of listing ingredients according to their weight prior processing. High quality canned foods for cats should list water as the first ingredient followed by meat. You must examine the sources of proteins available in the food and even the preservatives used in the food. First of all, you must determine whether the food contains synthetic preservatives, natural preservatives or no preservatives at all.
The Bottom Line
There are different brands of cat foods available in the market and therefore it important that you go through cat food ratings before making your purchase. These ratings will give you an idea about the benefits that users have been able to fetch from such foods.