What Is The Best Cat Food For My Cat?
We all love our pets and when it comes to your little feline friend, only the best will do. The problem is, there are hundreds of different kinds of cat food available on the market today.
With so much selection and advertising claiming “premium” or “gourmet,” it’s especially hard to know what is best. However, with a little knowledge, you can make a more informed decision on what to feed your cat.
Dry food is typically cheaper than wet food. It can be easily stored and left out for extended periods of time. These reasons make dry cat food much more convenient for owners, but maybe not so much for cats.
Dry food is essentially processed through a method called extrusion. This often causes a loss in nutrients in the final product. Obviously dry food also has very little water content, can be high in carbohydrates and the protein found in dry food can vary between brands.
Many dry foods can have plant based proteins instead of animal based protein. This matters because cats are much better at digesting animal protein, rather than plant protein.
Wet cat food is usually more expensive than dry food and comes in cans, which can be messy at times. However, the high water content in wet cat food is better for the overall health of a cat.
There are some arguments that claim, wet food can lead to dental issues like gingivitis, whereas dry food is much better for the teeth of a cat. In either case, regular dental appointments for your cat are a must, regardless of diet.
Depending on the quality of the wet food, there might be meat by-products. While it is better to have no by-products, they aren’t going to do damage to your cat.
Dry vs Wet
First and foremost, all pet owners should be aware of marketing gimmicks. Any products that claim “premium,” “gourmet,” or “natural,” are mainly just words on a package. None of these things will guarantee a high quality product. Also don’t fall victim to cat foods that claim they are made for a specific breed of cat.
Some veterinarians will swear by wet food, others will say dry and then some will say a combination of both dry and wet. There really isn’t a definite clear cut winner.
The most important thing when picking out a specific kind of cat food is the ingredients list.
Having an animal protein in the ingredient list is very important. Remember, cats are carnivores and process animal protein the best. You should avoid any kind of non-meat proteins like soy.
What I believe?
I honestly believe that, wet food is the healthiest and best choice for cats.
Why? Let’s just look at the facts.
Cats are carnivores by nature and lack the proper digestive enzymes to break down plant protein efficiently. This essentially means, a cat can get more vital proteins, minerals and acids from meat, than it could from plant based dry food.
Taurine is an essential acid found in meat, that cats need to stay healthy. Taurine is not found in plants and a lack of it can cause both heart and eye problems for your cat. Cysteine, methionine and arginine are three more essential acids your cat needs to stay health, that are only found in meat proteins.
There are some vegetarian and/or vegan cat foods on sale these days. While that lifestyle might work for you, your cat was not designed for it. Do not buy your cat vegetarian or vegan based cat foods. A cat on a vegan diet can develop a wide variety of health issues over time.
Most dry foods are cheaper than wet foods because of the use of plant based proteins. Dry foods are also often stuffed with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are completely unnecessary in the diet of a cat.
Again, labels on products are often misleading. A product can claim “grain free,” and it will be. Although, a closer look at the ingredients list and you might find the product has another carbohydrate such as potatoes.
The carbohydrate content in dry foods can reach as high as 50%. Whereas wet food typically reaches around 10%, a much healthier number for a cat. Cats with diets high in carbohydrates develop high blood glucose levels, which can lead to diabetes and other health risks.
Some people may disagree with this point, but cats should have liquid in their food. Cats have a low thirst drive due to their evolution in desert conditions. It’s been shown that, cats on dry food diets will consume 50% less water, when compared to cats on wet food diets. The more liquid in a cats diet, will dilute their urine and lower the chance of kidney and bladder issues.
At the end of the day, cats like people will have different tastes and flavor pallets. Even though you may want your cat to eat a specific form of food, your cat can dismiss your attempts and refuse to eat.
If this is the case, it could either be the food itself, which your cat doesn’t find appealing or it could be the immediate change in food, that has your cat confused.
If you’re trying to change your cats diet, you could try doing it slowly over time, by adding a little of the new brand of food to what your cat is normally used to. Some cats can also have food allergies. If you’re planning on switching your cats diet and are worried about allergies, you can get your cat tested by your veterinarian.
Whether you pick dry or wet food, you should try to buy a brand with a low percentage of carbohydrates and with a protein from a meat source.
While I believe wet food diets are far more beneficial to the overall health of cats, you may not agree. If you prefer to speak with your local veterinarian, please do. You should always be able to have an open discussion with your veterinarian.