Cat is now considered to be the most favorite pet almost all over the world. Being a pet parent every cat owner worries to provide a happy lifestyle to his/her kitty and keep kitty healthy, fit and well maintained as long as possible. The very first thing that matters in this case is the kitty’s food. After adopting a cat many of us decide to provide with highest quality diet that it would be the best way to keep her healthy however, selecting the best food for your cat might be confusing.
A wide range of cat foods are available these days_ Dry or canned, fresh or frozen, adult, growth or maintenance, indoor pet health, natural, premium, super premium, urinary health or gastrointestinal health. Also a wide range of flavors are there to add in the confusion of pet owners.
Here are some guidelines for you how to select best food for you kitty.
1- Cat Food Label:
First of all keenly search the product label, whether the manufacturer displays the AAFCO statement. It is the nutritional guarantee approved by Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), which guarantees that the food meets the minimum nutritional requirements of the cat as established by AAFCO. Secondly, AAFCO requires if the cat food contains single ingredient then it must comprise 95% of that ingredient, not including added water. If it contains addition of any special ingredient then it must be at least 3%.
2- List of ingredients:
Take a look at the list of ingredients and make sure they are listed by weight. Ingredients having more protein contents like meat should be listed at top and moving down the list, ingredients providing other key nutrients like carbohydrates should be placed. Cat food with high protein and less carbohydrate value is considered a good quality food.
3- Animal Source:
As cats are carnivores so they require nutrients like arachidonic acid and taurine to be supplied in their diet which are only present in animal sources. So make sure that your cat food contains protein from animal source like beef, chicken, turkey, fish, etc.
It’s a controversial topic to discuss. Grains are used in a number of cat foods providing required quantity of carbohydrates, also are easily metabolized providing energy to the cats. Some experts believe that high protein and low carbohydrate remains healthier to feed cats but not all agree to this. So some avoid grains in their cat’s food. However, it is not necessary that grain free diets are low in carbohydrates, they may contain other carbohydrate source like potatoes.
5- Cat’s Age:
Since the nutritional requirements of cats vary according to their age. Kittens are in a growing phase so their needs should be fulfilled according to their growth requirements, likewise an adult is fully grown its nutritional requirements differ from that of kitten. So, always purchase a food that is appropriate and in accordance with the life stage of the cat.
6- Dry or Canned (Wet) Food:
Canned food versus dry food is another controversial topic when it comes to feeding cats. Some believe that canned food is much better than dry one as it contains good level of moisture reducing the risks of constipation. Also some cats are less attracted to drink water so wet food serves in this case. While some believe that dry food is better as it can be offered as free choice meal. So, you fill the cat dish and cat feed when she wants.
Flavor also matters here. Much carefully selected, healthy and best quality cat food is worthless if your cat won’t eat it. So choosing a flavor according to kitty’s choice is one of the necessities.
8- Health Condition of Cat:
Certain cat foods are formulated considering some health issues of cats. There are formulas recommended for obese, chubby cats to control weight. For slim cats adult maintenance formulas are preferred. Similarly, cat foods have been formulated for cats with urinary tract problems, gastro-intestinal problems, diabetes and other issues. These formulas are just recommended by veterinarian for a specific time period unless the cat recovers from specific health problem.