When you go to a supermarket or pet store, you can see how much space is reserved for cats. It’s incredible how many different types of food you can find. Sometimes it can be confusing and get you in a paralysis analysis because you don’t know what to buy.
The pet food industry is huge, there are many offers and different price-lines. We believe that you shouldn’t spend a fortune on cat food but you shouldn’t choose the cheapest either. There’s nothing wrong with economy brands, the point we want to make is that there should be a balance in price and quality so your cat will enjoy a healthier life, filled with energy and wellness.
This guide is basically to orientate you in a better direction to make the right choices when selecting your cat's favorite foods.
Protein is crucial for feline growth and energy. It also allows the body tissues to function properly. Talking about quantity, cats need more protein in their meals than dogs. Young kittens also need more protein than adult cats. Protein is made up of amino acids and there are two types: the essential amino acids and the nonessential amino acids.
The difference between the two:
An essential amino acid is an amino acid that cannot be produced by the body and thus has to be taken in via the diet.
A nonessential amino acid is an amino acid that can be produced by the body and therefore does not have to be taken in through the diet.
One of the most important amino acids for cats is taurine. Many years ago when taurine was not provided in enough amounts, cats were suffering from a taurine deficiency. Other critical health conditions that can affect cats for the lack of taurine are blindness and heart disease. Currently, most cat food manufacturers include high enough amounts of taurine.
Never feed your cat with dog food, dogs and cats are different and they don’t need the same amount of taurine. If you feed your cat with dog food or other animal’s food, your cat may develop deficiencies.
Generally speaking, cats need more fat in their diet than humans. Fat is a source of energy in concentrated form. Animal-source fats provide the body with essential fatty acids.
Some fats like fats from vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fat) can't be converted by a cat's body so the essential fatty acids should be obtained from animal sources (arachidonic acid) for optimal health.
Carbs consist of starches, sugars, and cellulose. They’re a source of energy and fiber and also help in the digestion process of fats.
There are two types of vitamins, water-soluble (such as vitamin C, vitamin B, niacin, folic acid, biotin, pantothenic acid, and choline) and fat-soluble (vitamin A, D, E, and K). As long as you are feeding your cat with well-balanced meals, there’s no need for vitamin supplements.
Some cats may need supplements due to their age or medical condition. Your vet will decide if it’s necessary or not.
Your little feline needs the right amount of minerals to maintain an optimal health condition. The amount of calcium and phosphorus should be balanced. If it’s not balanced your cat can experience some medical complications. For example, you should not feed your cat with a meat-only diet because she’ll have a deficit in calcium and can develop bone disease, on the other hand, a diet with too much calcium can negatively affect thyroid function.
We recommend feeding your cats with a well-balanced diet with high-quality foods that are specifically made for their stage of life.
Water consumption is super important yet, most of the time overlooked. Your cat’s body is made with approximately 70% water and needs access to clean water 24/7.
You should always monitor the quantity of consumption on a daily basis, that way you’ll be able to spot changes in behavior and act accordingly. Cats that eat mostly dry food, will need more water than cats that eat wet food.
If you’re using a bowl, the water should be changed daily. The bowl should also be washed at least once a day to avoid water contamination.
Avoid training your cat for drinking from the faucet. The problem with that is that your cat can turn on the water anytime she wants and that can lead to a big problem.
Water from the faucet can also create health problems over time, so it's always best to avoid it.
It’s always recommended to get a good water fountain to avoid that. Cats love drinking from moving water, it’s a natural instinct that’s why a lot of cats don’t like drinking from a bowl. A good water fountain should always include a high-quality filter, this may help prevent common cat diseases like kidney disease or urinary tract infections.
Always keep the lid of the toilet down, to avoid your cat from drinking from it. The chemicals often used to clean toilets can be deadly to cats.
If your cat lives or goes outside often, make sure she has access to clean water at all times.
Always read the labels carefully
You should always read the labels of every single box, bag or can of food you buy your cat. Just because it says it's organic or natural doesn't mean is the right one for your cat.
Always consult with your veterinarian
If you’re planning on changing your cat’s diet, make sure you consult with your vet first to make sure it’s the right choice.