As all cat owners know, a feline can be a wonderful addition to any family. One of the most basic aspects of cat ownership is proper health care for the cat. Health care for a cat encompasses a wide array of vaccine shots, flea protection, vet visits, medications, and even proper exercise.
However, the most important aspect of cat health is also often overlooked. People spend hundreds of hours and thousands of £’s over the lifetime of a cat to keep it healthy, but most cat owners don’t pay nearly enough attention to the proper cat food.
The right cat food is absolutely essential to a healthy, happy cat. But what is the best cat food for your cat?
While each cat will have slightly different nutritional needs, there are some general rules that must be considered when looking for cat food. First of all, cats (like their human owners) need a high quality diet. This means the high quality protein, fats and carbs, and the less preservatives and chemical additives in the food, the better.
Cats need a high protein diet. Wild cats are very carnivorous, and cats derive a great deal of their nutritional needs from protein. House cats, while not wild, still have many of the same nutritional needs as their wild feline ancestors. So, the most important ingredient in any cat food is protein. Carbohydrates are also an important part of a cats diet, though not as important as protein. Cats really should derive the majority of their nutritional needs from protein, so cat foods that are high in carbohydrates may not necessarily be the best for them.
Another aspect of cat food to be considered is the quality of the protein in the food. Because of the way many pet food companies describe the meat in the food, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what the descriptions mean. Food that contains “chicken meal” can only be made from the skin, flesh, and bones of chicken. This is really the best type of protein for a cat. Food that has “meat by products” can contain nearly any animal parts, and are of lower quality than “chicken meal”. Food that is “chicken flavoured” only has to taste like chicken, but may not contain any animal meat at all.
Also, chicken is generally better than beef for cats. It goes without saying that, preservatives, as well as artificial colours, should be avoided whenever possible.
Although specific research is lacking on this subject, we do know that preservatives and artificial colours can have a negative impact on human health. It is only logical that cats will also be negatively affected by artificial colours and preservatives in their cat food.
Reading cat food labels and comparing one with another is a real eye opener from actual content ingredients, quantity in the box, tin, or pouch and the cost per gram.
Author: Ray Tibbles