When considering what food to purchase for your cat, keep in mind that cats need to eat meat from high quality sources, which means the packaging will list meat as the first ingredient. It is important to understand how your cat’s digestive system works in order to ensure that you are feeding them a good diet. As cats have evolved, they have become hunters who eat high amounts of protein, average amounts of fat and a small amount of carbohydrates. Their digestive systems also require many more ingredients than is required for dogs, such as vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids. With so many cat food options to choose from, we understand it can be quite confusing to distinguish high quality from low quality. So, we have compiled a list of the best food for your cat.
Best Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food is a popular product among cat owners because it is easy to store and can be used to add some variety to a cat’s diet. It is also more affordable than wet cat food, making it very attractive to owners. As with any food you purchase for your cat, be sure to do your research. In general, dry foods contain meat, poultry, grain, fish meal, fiber sources, milk products and vitamin and mineral supplements. It is recommended that when you feed your cat exclusively dry food you also provide them with lots of water. This is especially important for cats who are susceptible urinary tract blockages. It is possible, however, that because the dry food does not have as much apparent flavor that it may not be suitable for all cats.
According to The Idle Cat, here are the best dry foods for your cat.
Hill’s Science Diet Indoor Dry
This food is made for indoor cats, but outdoor cats may eat it as well. It is a high quality food, with no artificial flavors or preservatives. This food has also been shown to improve the health of cat’s fur, which is a great added bonus. The best part of this food is that its lean meat formula will help indoor cats build strong, lean muscles.
Rachel Ray Nutrish Natural Dry
This dry food is great for cats because it has a lot of prebiotics, which are very helpful for successful digestion. The major selling point for the Nutrish dry food is that it is a natural dry food that is available in both salmon and chicken. This is a very good natural choice for adult cats especially.
Purina ONE Urinary Tract Health Formula
Purina ONE’s urinary tract formula was created to help cats maintain good urinary tract health by reducing pH levels. This food is good for adult cats because it has a good amount of omega fatty acids, which can help make a cat’s coat shiny and healthy. This well-respected brand uses real poultry or fish and has no fillers.
Purina Cat Chow Naturals Indoor
This best-selling cat food boasts lots of natural fiber, which helps move hair through the system to manage hairballs. With no artificial flavors or preservatives, it is made with real meat. This could also be a good weight control food for a cat, especially indoor cats. This food does have some grain in the formula and it contains chicken by-products.
Blue Freedom Grain Free Adult
As the name says, this food is grain-free and is also gluten-free, which is ideal for owners looking for holistic cat food. This food is ideal for promoting good digestion, and is especially effective for those cats who have highly sensitive digestive systems.
Best Wet Cat Food
Wet cat food helps to ensure your cat has a balanced diet and remains hydrated. Some cats tend to be picky eaters when it comes to dry food, so wet foods can help them overcome any such issues. With a moisture content of 75 percent, it is also a great source of water. Wet foods generally contain meat and whole meat by products. Because wet food can be so enticing to cats, with its strong smell and taste, it is important not to allow constant access to the food.
According to The Spruce Pets, here are the best wet cat foods.
Nutro Max Adult Wet Canned Cat Food Chicken Supreme
This food has made it to the top of many similar lists as the best wet cat food around. This food has no by-products, and is ideal for cats who need to be more hydrated. The best part about this food product is that it does not cause upset stomachs in cats, which can sometimes be the case with wet food.
Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Wet Cat Food
As its label says, Blue Basics Limited is ideal for cats who have shown symptoms of allergies. These symptoms could include dry skin, thin coat or excessive licking. When your veterinarian recommends a limited diet in order to ease the allergy symptoms, this is the food to turn to. This food includes one protein and one carbohydrate, to maintain its simplicity.
Crave Grain-Free High Protein Wet Cat Food
This food is especially beneficial to young cats and older cats who have trouble with their digestive system. High protein foods such as this promote high energy and strong muscle growth, which is why it is ideal for younger cats. This food also comes in six flavors so there will likely be one that appeals to any cat.
Royal Canine Feline Health Nutrition Aging 12+
Specially formulated for aging cats, this wet food has tender slices that are easier to chew with older gums and teeth. As an added bonus, this food also contains reduced phosphorous, which helps aging kidneys maintain their health.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Urinary Hairball Control
This food does exactly as its name suggests: helps manage and control hairballs. The hairball control is aided by magnesium and fiber, which helps cats better digest the hair.
Semi-Moist Cat Food
By definition, semi-moist cat food contains 65% water, but generally contains more sugar and salt than wet or dry food. They also tend to have artificial coloring, chemical preservatives and chemicals intended to enhance flavor. Many veterinarians agree that semi-moist cat food should be saved as an occasional treat for cats, instead of a daily meal.
How to choose
According to Cornell University’s College of Veterinary Medicine, there are a number of factors to consider when choosing what diet is best for your cat. Overall, the best way to ensure you are feeding your cat the best food for them is to read the nutrition labels very carefully to compare brand by brand. There are certain things that manufacturers are required to put on cat food labels.
It is also important to consider what stage of life your cat is currently in. Kittens have drastically different nutritional needs than adult cats, who have drastically different nutritional needs than senior cats. Luckily, there are a number of cat food products that are designed for all stages of life, which makes the food selection process that much easier.
Ingredients also play a crucial role in cat food, as in human food. The best foods to choose for your cat should contain meat, meat by-products and seafood. Those foods should be listed as the first ingredients on the packaging, which is a good way to distinguish between high-quality and lesser-quality cat food.
Some cat owners prefer to make their own food at home, but it is quite a challenging process. It is especially difficult because it is highly likely that the food you make at home will not contain the right balance of proteins, fats and nutrients for your cat. In general, you should purchase commercial food for your cat, unless instructed otherwise by your vet.
Beyond the ingredients and flavors, the environment in which a cat eats can have a significant impact on whether they actually eat the food. For example, if you place your cat’s food in high-traffic or noisy spots, that can deter them from eating their food. The same goes for eating near other animals or dirty litter boxes, or out of dirty containers. Remember that your cat is a highly sensitive animal, and there are a number of real-world factors that can interrupt their feeding schedule.
How often to feed your cat
Ideally, you should feed your cat at times that best reflect when and how they would eat in the wild. So, it is best to feed your cat first thing in the morning and then again around dinner. Cats in the wild would typically hunt for prey at dawn and dusk, so keeping their eating schedules along the same lines will help them maintain a healthy metabolism.
The amount of food you feed to your cat will depend on a number of factors, including how old they are, what size they are, how active they are and any other health or medical issues they may have. Most cat food will have a chart that can help you figure out exactly how much to food to give your cats at each mealtime, but if you are concerned you should ask your vet for advice. It is very important to also pay attention to the number of calories you are feeding to your cat. Typically, cats should consume about 200 calories per day. This is a very helpful number to know, so that you can take a look at the packaging of the food and get a good sense for how many calories it contains and whether it is healthy for your cat.
If you leave food out during the day, your cat will graze and nibble at it. Cats do not know how much they should be eating each day, so it is best to only put food out at feeding time and then take it away. This will help you avoid overfeeding your cat, which will help prevent obesity.
Should you make your own food?
Because cats have very sensitive digestive systems, it is important to make sure that you are feeding them the right amount of food, and the correct amount of nutrients, every day. If you are concerned that your cat suffers from a food allergy or intolerance, you may be considering making your cat food at home. This may seem like a simple answer, but it can go wrong very quickly.
It is very important that if you are considering making homemade cat food you consult with your vet first. There are a number of nutrients that cats need that you could inadvertently leave out, and then you would be feeding your cat food that does not help them. On the other side of that coin is that you could accidentally be including food that cats should not eat, thus causing them further health issues. If you are considering this at all, it is highly recommended that you consult with a vet first.
With so many options out there, it may be hard to choose the right food for your cat. As always, the best method is to consult with your vet before changing your cat’s diet or adding a new type of food. Your vet will be able to tell you what you need to be on the lookout for, and if there is anything you should be concerned about.
It is also very important to remember the difference between dry, wet and semi-moist cat food. Semi-moist food should really only be used as a treat, as it can very often contain items that are harmful to your cat. We want to make sure that we are feeding our cats only the very best food, which means you will need to do a lot of research to understand what will work best for your cat. And, you should not feel committed to one particular type of food, especially if your cat does not seem to like it. It is okay to try a couple different options before finding the right one!