Are you frustrated by the number of cat food options available at your local pet store? Do you want the best for your furkid?
That means providing them with high-quality food that meets their nutritional needs.
But when it comes to finding cat food that fits that description, it can quickly become frustrating. How do you know which one is right for your kitty with so many options available?
You’re not alone. It can be challenging to decide what’s best for your furry friend, Especially when there are many different brands and formulas to choose from; whether you’re struggling to find a food that satisfies your cat’s appetite or you’re unsure about what ingredients to look for, read on for help!
You might also like to read about the best cat food for older cats that vomit these are foods that keep the senior cats healthy and active.
Know the Nutritional Needs of Your Cats
Every cat is a little different. Even if you have two kitties of the same breed, they might have slight differences in how they behave and their nutritional needs.
When choosing an option for your cats, knowing their nutritional needs is essential.
For example, some cats tend to be more active than others. If this is the case, they might need more calories to fuel their bodies. Others may have specific taste preferences to enjoy food with bolder flavors.
Regardless of how your cats are different from one another, it’s essential to know what needs are most important when finding food for them.
Choose Cat Food Based On Type and Flavor
The most common types of cat food are dry (also known as kibble) and wet. They each have advantages and disadvantages, so consider which is best for your cats before choosing one.
Despite its name, dry food isn’t always crunchy like a cracker. It comes in many forms, including soft or puffed. Because it’s usually less expensive than wet food, dry food is the most popular option for many people.
Since cats love to chew, it can be good for their dental health. But, unfortunately, because kibble has a longer shelf life than wet food, it often contains more artificial ingredients that can harm your cat’s health.
Wet food usually comes in cans or pouches sealed tightly until opened. Cats enjoy sinking their teeth into wet food, making it more appealing than dry. But most cats prefer the flavor of poultry over beef, pork, and seafood (the most common ingredients in wet food).
Plus, some cats are reluctant to try new flavors of wet food. So if you’re unsure about whether or not they’ll like it, start by buying small cans or pouches before stocking up on large ones that could go to waste.
Know Your Cat’s Taste Preferences
If your cat is picky, finding food that they will eat can be a daunting task. Fortunately, there are ways to discover their preferences without buying every type of cat food available.
One option is simply observing your cats while eating or drinking. For example, if they lick their lips after tasting something, it means they enjoyed it and would want more. But if they react.
Pay Attention to Ingredients
When it comes to cat food, ingredients are everything. While labels can be misleading, determining a cat food’s ingredient list will help you understand the quality of the product.
Ingredients that should appear at or near the top of a dry formula’s list generally indicate a healthier kibble. They include:
- High-quality animal protein: For instance, lamb meal
- Whole grain: Brown rice, for example, is a whole grain
- Fruits and vegetables: Pumpkin, for example, is often used in cat food because it can help aid digestion
Of course, pet owners should be wary of certain ingredients that are sometimes included in low-quality formulas. These include menadione, a synthetic version of vitamin K, “by-products,” and artificial coloring.
Also, keep in mind that even if a food is full of high-quality ingredients, it’s not necessarily the best choice for your cats. For instance, some formulas might use low-quality proteins without including any healthy whole grains or veggies. So it’s essential to do your research and read between the lines when selecting cat food.
Choose Cat Food Made for Specific Life Stage
Pet parents raising kittens (or cats under one year of age) should consider pet food with “life stage” in mind. It means choosing a formula that best corresponds to your cat’s development.
For example, many formulas for kittens feature higher protein levels than what’s found in the adult diet. It is necessary because the muscles need protein to grow and develop.
Dry food formulas typically meet adult cats’ protein needs with at least 20% of its total content from high-quality proteins, such as whole eggs.
However, because kittens can’t correctly digest dry food, it’s usually recommended to transition them onto wet or moistened kibble before reaching adulthood.
Another vital aspect to consider is whether or not the food has enough of the essential nutrients your cat need. These include taurine, an amino acid that assists with heart function and eye health; fatty acids, which aid in brain development; and arachidonic acid, which helps with cell formation.
Look for Added Health Benefits
Some types of kibble, including organic or grain-free ones, claim to provide added benefits for cats.
For instance, foods called “organic” meet the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) specific criteria. These include ingredients produced without antibiotics, bioengineered organisms; irradiation; some synthetic pesticides; sewage sludge; or animal by-products.
On the other hand, Grain-free cat food is intended to mimic a diet that cats would eat in the wild. Therefore, it often excludes ingredients such as corn, soybeans, rice, and wheat because they are difficult for cats to digest.
But even if these foods are labeled as “grain-free,” they still might contain potatoes, which contribute to the carbohydrate content of the food.
Is rice an acceptable grain in cat food? It is a resource that well defines rice and cats, which are more beneficial and which rice should be avoided as well as the benefits and percentage of rice in cat food, hopefully, you will enjoy reading this piece.
Finally – Follow Label Instructions for Best Results
Pet owners should also remember that manufacturers often recommend the amount their products should be fed based on each animal’s weight and life stage. So it’s essential to follow these instructions closely.
If you’re still unsure how much to feed your cats, discuss the issue with your veterinarian. He can help determine the right amount based on your cat’s age, size, and activity level.