Do all pet parents wonder what is the best food for their feline friend? Yes, they do. With a plethora of information available and so many options to choose from, all pet parents go into an unending search for the best food for cats. Cats can be very picky and choosy about what they eat, this adds to the dilemma. If you understand your cat’s nutritional needs and preferences, you can very easily find the best food for it. The right food will help your cat stay healthy, energetic, and at the right weight.
All about cat nutrition
All cats are obligate carnivores so, their stomachs can break down and digest only animal proteins. Their bodies do not have the necessary enzymes needed to break down carotene, which comes from plant-based food. An obligate carnivore like a cat needs a diet that is 70% animal protein and meats. While you may add a little bit of plant matter to their diet, it won’t harm them but, they will not draw the same nutrition from it as from meat.
When selecting food for cats , protein is the first ingredient and the primary one. Animal proteins give cats arachidonic acid and taurine, essential for cats. Ideally, a diet with 75% or more animal protein is the best for your cat. However, you may consult your veterinarian for exact details. The carbohydrate content in the kibble should be less than 25%. Though carbohydrates are a source of instant energy, it is not sustainable. A cat who has a diet high in carbohydrates tends to eat more and often becomes obese.
Look out for filler ingredients like soy, wheat, sugar, or meat by-products. While most of the kibbles you buy will have some fillers, try to pick one with the lowest quantity.
Five tips to help you select the right food for your cat
- Selecting the right nutrients: When you choose food for cats, you must ensure that it has all essential nutrients in the correct quantity. The best diet must include the below:
- Protein: To help build muscles and keep tissues, cells, and organs healthy.
- Amino acids: Taurine is a very essential amino acid. A deficiency of taurine can lead to the development of cardiomyopathy, a serious heart condition.
- Carbohydrates: Essential source of energy for cats.
- Vitamins and minerals: This helps ensure proper metabolic function and maintain good bone and dental health.
- Avoid harmful ingredients: Ensure the food for cats does not have any harmful and artificial ingredients like colours, flavours, or preservatives. Cats should also avoid chocolate, grapes, onions, and avocado.
- Keep in mind your cat’s age: As your cat ages, the diet needs to be changed to meet their needs. If you have an older cat, give them a diet slightly low in protein and salt, but high in fibre. Your vet may recommend food that’s good for kidneys, as kidney diseases are common in older cats.
- Consult your vet: The vet is the best person to help you understand your cat’s dietary needs and make you aware of any dietary needs or issues. So, during the next health check-up do take some tips from the vet:
- Learn to read the labels: The label on the food packets gives a lot of valuable information about the food and as a pet owner you will find it quite useful.
Did you find these tips helpful? While these tips will be handy in selecting the right food for your cat, you can also get some ideas from your royal feline’s behaviour. Try to find something that they enjoy so that you don’t have a tough time feeding them.