If you have a cat, you probably want to feed them the best quality food you can offer. Of course, it can sometimes be tough to know which foods are best for your feline friend, and it can feel overwhelming to be bogged down with all the different types available at the pet store, too.
In this article, we’ll show you the information you need to know about choosing the right cat food for your pet. Read through this information to learn more about feeding your cat the healthiest possible options. If you have any questions, feel free to call Lake City Animal Hospital at (386) 755-0236.
Look for Healthy Proteins
Before any other ingredients on the list included with your cat’s food, you should see meat or meat byproducts. These ingredients tell you that the food includes healthy proteins that are nutritionally adequate for your cat.
Choose proteins that are easily digestible to cats. Most cats do well on chicken, shrimp, or whitefish, but some may prefer beef or duck cat foods. As long as the food is marketed for cats and includes meat as the first ingredient, it should be a good choice to start with.
Check for Quality Grains
Your cat needs carbohydrates in their diet, and it’s important not to choose grain-free food unless expressly told to do so by your veterinarian. Grain-free food may not be nutritionally a good choice for a cat who is healthy and doesn’t have digestive issues or food allergies.
Instead, choose high-quality carbs in your cat’s food. Look for rice or oats as some of the best choices for cat-friendly carbs, but don’t neglect potatoes or sweet potatoes as a potential option as well.
Look for Lots of Vitamins
Cats need plenty of vitamins in their food, and it’s important to look for cat foods that are certified as nutritionally adequate for this reason. Look on the label to find out the vitamin and nutrient content of your cat’s food, and make sure you pick an option with high-quality sources of these nutrients too.
Your cat needs to have phosphorus, calcium, and vitamin D as some of the most important vitamins and minerals in their diet. These can come from natural fruit and vegetable sources that are cat-safe. Look for foods with real vegetables in the ingredients instead of vitamin additives.
Skip Fancy Ingredients
It can be tempting to try your cat on a type of food you’ve never seen before. You might find cat foods on the market that are made of “fancy” or unique ingredients such as alligator, kangaroo, bison, and other similar foods. Although these foods might be perfectly safe for cats, they haven’t been as well-tested as the more common proteins and should usually be avoided.
The same is true of any odd vegetables or fruits that might be added to your cat’s food blend. You’re perfectly fine choosing a cat food that contains peas, carrots, pumpkin, or potatoes, but lesser-used fruit and vegetables should usually be skipped unless your vet tells you otherwise.
Balance Dry and Wet Food
Some cats will only eat wet food; some will only eat dry. If you can convince your cat to eat a little of both, however, they will be much healthier overall. This is because dry and wet food both contain different types of nutrients and different protein sources, making them both separate and necessary in terms of nutritional value.
Wet food is also a healthy choice for cats who don’t drink enough water, as it can help them stay hydrated for longer. On the other hand, dry food can help cats’ teeth stay cleaner and cut back on plaque buildup as well. Both types of food are good choices as long as you feed the appropriate amount of both.
Remember Your Cat’s Age
Finally, think about the age of your cat. You may have a young cat under one year old who needs kitten food, or you might have a senior cat over 10 years old who needs a special blend for their aging body.
Most adult cats can eat simple adult cat food, although some brands break down their adult stages even further. Check the label for more information.
As you can see, there’s a lot to keep in mind when choosing the right cat food. Some products may check most boxes, but it’s hard to find one food that meets every need your cat might have. Take your time choosing the best food so your cat can stay healthy as long as possible.
If you have any further questions or concerns, be sure to talk to your veterinarian for more information. Your vet may be able to recommend cat foods for you and might also be able to give you sample sized bags of some types of food as well. Call us today at (386) 755-0236.