Choosing the right type of food for pets is a serious issue and mostly owners do not take any chances in it. However, finding right food is often a problem for owners as it requires a great deal of research, both in terms of pet and food which is nutritious and healthy. Selecting right cat food is a challenge that needs to be dealt carefully, and with caution. Feeding cat is a grave matter and requires both time and money on part of the owners.
A number of companies are selling food for cat, both online and offline, but the real challenge lies in identifying as to what ingredients are best suited for your beloved cat, without harming it in anyway. Pet parents, most of the time, get confused due to the availability of different types of cat food brands in stores. They intend to shop for best cat foods, but due to the unawareness they sometime end up in buying worst cat foods.
Know your Cat
It is highly imperative for owners to understand their cat fully. They must know the breed, behavior, needs, physiology, anatomy, and behavioral patterns of the cat they own. Otherwise, it becomes extremely difficult to choose the healthiest cat food for the pet. Cat owners must know what breed they have adopted or going to adopt, whether it is Siamese cat, Himalayan cat, Scottish Fold cat, Bengal cat, or Ragdoll cat. There exists a number of cat breeds and every breed has different behavior. Once you know cat, it becomes easy for you to take proper care of it, including its diet.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they have to hunt and eat other animal tissues to stay healthy, fit, and flourish. It becomes important to choose proper food for cat which suit the cat parents’ lifestyle.Owners must think about their lifestyles before choosing food for their cat. If they live in enclosed area where there is no scope for the cat to find other animal such as mouse to hunt and eat, they should go for the cat food that offers extra animal protein
Types of Cat Foods
What Do Cat Foods Contain
It helps in remembering the fact that cats’ nutritional and dietary requirements differ from humans in every way. Hence, the cat food must also be different from that of humans. A cat requires forty one necessary nutrients to function healthily. In order to provide balanced diet, cat food manufacturers blend ingredient mixtures of minerals, vitamins, cereals, vegetables, fish, and meat to prepare food that meets the nutritional needs of the cat.
These cat food producers strictly follow the guidelines laid down by the country’s pet food regulating authorities about the ingredients that can be used in producing cat food. Owing to latest ongoing research in pet nutrition and ever expanding knowledge about pet food technology, pets today are living longer and healthier lives.
A food of cat can be termed as satisfactory when it is safe from toxins, palatable, digestible, balanced and complete. Pet Food manufacturers use animal derivatives of species such as rabbit, fish, pork, poultry, lamb, and beef in producing cat food. Meats from these species are generally rich in Vitamin B, iron, fatty acids, and protein and hence, a good diet for the cats. Eggs and dairy products are also used as they offer calcium and other vitamins. Vegetables, cereals, animal fats and vegetables oils mineral and vitamin supplements, additives, sugars, sodium chloride are used in the manufacturing of cat food. All these ingredients intend to provide safe and balanced meal to the cat.
Points To Consider Before Choosing Cat Food
There are several points that cat parents should consider prior to buying food for their cat. First, cat owners must decide as to which food type is best for their cat, homemade, raw, wet, or dry kibble. Then, they should decide what particular type to buy – super premium, premium, or standard wet or dry food.
Age group and other special needs of cat must be kept in mind before selecting the food. These considering points would help in selecting the best cat food for their beloved pet. Cat owners should not completely trust the labels on the cat food products and rely on themselves, as only they understand their cat’s food needs.
A cat food can or pouch labeled as “balanced” does not mean it is healthy for the pet. Even though it provides nutrition to the cat, it does not mean that the food would keep the cat healthy all the time. It may provide nutrition just enough to keep the cat alive and not contribute towards it growth. So, owners have to be extra cautious on that account and choose cat food which really provides balanced and complete diet.
What is the Best Cat Food?
Owing to the availability of wide range of cat food options, pet owners are bound to get confused in identifying the food that is best suited for the cat. However, it is plain enough to choose the healthy cat food. Just remember that cat likes raw and fresh meat of other animals, so the food that offers almost same ingredient value as the natural prey is best for your cat. Being carnivores, cats require water, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids, and animal protein. Hence, the food that offers all these things is considered as the best cat food.
This means owners should go for the cat food which provides high animal protein, low carbohydrates, and does not contain ingredients which are plant based. Grain free food for cat containing sufficient moisture with the right combination of carbohydrates, fat, and protein is considered as the healthy cat food. Another point to be taken care while buying food is that the food must not be too much processed.
Moreover, knowing the cat’s age group is also of prime importance, as there are different cat foods for each age group. Cat food cans and pouches contain labels that mention the cat’s stage for which food is to be used such as kitten, mature or senior.
Some cat owners prefer homemade cat food and avoid buying market food. It is simple enough to prepare cat food at home if you have time. Homemade food ensures that the cat gets completely balanced diet without any risk of complications that may arise from consuming market available cat food. However, food should be prepared every fifteen or twenty days so that it does not become stale and lose its purpose of providing best and healthy nutrition to the cat.
Other Specific Needs of Cat
In case the cat is suffering from any health issues or is allergic to some ingredients, it is best to consult the veterinary doctor. In this case, the cat might need some special food and a veterinarian is the best person to advice on that. The doctor can prepare a specific cat food chart in such cases for your ease and comfort. He can also advice you which cat food to avoid in order to keep the cat fit and fine. Cat should be taken to a vet at regular intervals of time.
If all the above stated points are followed rightly, cat would lead a healthy and long life, giving its owners pleasant and precious moments of pet keeping.
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The following is the introduction on different categories of cat food:
The food can be primarily divided into six major categories, namely major categories, namely wet foods, dry foods, semi-moist foods, freeze dried raw and frozen foods, complete foods, and complimentary foods. However, one more category can be safely added to the above list, homemade food. The type of food chosen for the cat defines the pet’s health and growth.
Wet Cat Foods
These are foods that contain high moisture and low carbohydrates levels. Wet foods are sterilized by cooking under high temperature. They are usually available in cans, pouches, foil trays, and bags. A number of manufacturers offer canned cat food online these days, though are very much available at offline stores as well.
Wet cat foods are able to retain much more natural nutritional value than dry food as they are cooked only once. Moreover, the quality of ingredients in these foods is higher than dry foods as they do not contain rendered products. The higher moisture levels in these cat foods ensure that the cat gets greater water intake, thus preventing problems related urinary tract and bladder.
The major disadvantage with wet cat foods is that they cannot be left open at room temperature for more thirty minutes as they often start decaying and might give gastric and indigestion problems to the cat. Further, the food needs to be refrigerated or frozen once the cat food can is opened. These cat foods are costlier than dry foods.
Dry Cat Foods
In dry foods, moisture content is low and they are usually available in a wide range of colours, flavours, and shapes. These foods can be either fed dry or some water can be added to them, depending upon the owners’ choice and instructions by the manufacturers. Carbohydrate content in dry cat food is higher than other options of cat foods. A lot of dry cat food brands are available, online and offline, for owners to choose.
Freeze Dried Raw and Frozen Foods
A wide variety of commercially prepared freeze dried raw cat food products are being sold by the manufacturers these days. The moisture content in these cat foods is highest while carbohydrate levels are lowest than other cat food forms. Raw or frozen foods are marketed in diverse packaging choices such as nuggets, medallions, patties, chubs (sausage tubes), and tubs. These foods can also be given as supplemental feeding to the cat.
Raw cat foods are modestly processed which allows them to offer more natural nutrients. Further, the odour and stool volume of the cat is far less than other forms of cat food. Also, when raw diet is offered, cat tends to eat about 20%-25% less in comparison to canned cat food. This ensures that the food lasts longer, saving money for the owners.
Raw cat food needs to be softened before it can be fed to the cat.
Semi-Moist Cat Foods
These foods are soft and chewy pellets and are usually available in sachets. They are offered as treat to the cat.
Complete Cat Foods
This form of food is intended to provide complete nutrition to the pet. They contain all the nutrients required by cats, in right proportion. With these foods, there is no need to add other cat foods as they offer complete and balanced diet to the pet.
Complimentary Cat Foods
As the name suggests, this type of food is fed as a special treats to the cat in addition with other foods. Complimentary foods can be given 2-3 times a week so as to change the routine taste of food being fed to the cat.
Homemade Cat Food
Depending upon interest and passion, the food can be prepared at home with ease. Homemade food for cat ensures higher quality, high nutrition value, and freshness. It is good for cat’s liver as well and there are less chances of cat developing gastric or any other liver related problems. Due to the busy lifestyles, homemade food is last on the priority list of the cat owners.