There are many questions cat owners ponder about when hitting the local supermarket to buy food for their beloved pet. It is amazing the bewildering array of food options they are faced with, from canned to dry kibble, regular or holistic, and not to mention all the different brands that all promise to be the best on the market. They all promote an irresistible and delicious taste and market themselves as producers of the healthiest products one can find for a purring friend.
Dry cat food manufacturers tend to use primarily grain-based ingredients like rice and corn, and will add essential meat ingredients through meat by-products or animal digest. ‘Premium’, ‘natural’ or ‘holistic’ food formulas are believed to be by-product and filler free and should contain less or no grains. However, grain-free, dry foods may still contain carbohydrates, the starch that is required to allow the kibble to hold its shape. Dry cat food does not spoil rapidly, and most cats like the “crunch” of eating the kibble. This type of diet also makes cleaning up the litter box easier.
Wet cat food usually comes in cans, and those featuring a combination of chicken, duck and salmon, stand out for their primary protein-rich ingredients. Canned cat food is a must for the development of strong bones and muscles, while mitigating various potentially health-risk conditions caused by an all-dry cat food diet. Furthermore, canned cat food is closer to raw food and contains a lot of water, which will keep your cat hydrated. Premium cat foods may initially appear to be more expensive, but the amount of food your cat actually needs to eat will be less, because of the higher meal quality.
In the wild, cats only eat tiny quantities of grains to help them with the digestion of the mice, rabbits, or birds they catch. Why then, would domesticated cats need a diet that is loaded with nutrients they really can spare? If you are concerned about your cat’s diet and do not trust mass produced, additive-filled, commercial cat food, there is the option of preparing the meals yourself. Many great recipes can be found online, and will illustrate that healthy and pure cat food ingredients include ground beef, chicken, duck or lamb, small amounts of vegetables and natural additives and flavorings. Never feed your cat pork, or raw eggs, and definitely no onions. Also check that the meals have the right amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates. If you are switching from store-bought foods to homemade, mix the new dishes in with the food the cat is used to, then slowly reduce the amount of old food. Once your cat has adjusted to the new taste you can eliminate the old product completely.