Good cat food is directly tied to a healthy cat. The problem is that many of us are unsure of what makes a cat food healthy. It seems that far more people know what makes dog food healthy than cat food. So today, we’re going to talk about what makes healthy cat food so you can give your kitty the best diet possible!
Good Cat Food 101
To begin with, we need to look at what cats need. The key to a healthy cat is feeding their bodies what they need to be at optimal health. Think of feeding your cat, or any pet for that matter, as putting gas in your car. It will run on any gas, but it runs better high-qualityity gas.
Protein, Protein, Protein
While dogs are omnivores with a carnivorous bent, cats are total carnivores. They need protein. In fact, they need far more protein than dogs. A healthy cat food will have a healthy dose of protein in it. Look for foods that have GOOD protein as the main ingredient. Stay away from cat foods that list protein sources like anything with the word “byproduct” in it. Instead, look for protein sources like real chicken, fish, liver, and the like. “Byproduct” is just another word for garbage.
Healthy cat food always includes a good amount of fat. Cats need more fat in their diet than dogs do. The reason some dogs get diarrhea when they raid the cat food is because their body’s can’t handle the fat content in the food. Cat foods with fish as the main protein source already have healthy fats built in. But for foods with chicken as the main ingredient, look for a healthy fat source like added omega fatty acids.
Although cats are carnivores, they do need some carbohydrates in their diets. A healthy cat food will have some carbs, but not too many. The carb source on the food should be listed WELL AFTER the protein and fat sources. This indicates that there is more protein and fat in the food than carb. Healthy cat food will contain a small amount of a carb source like rice, wheat, corn, barley, and oats.
Wet food gets its own BIG heading. That’s because cats absolutely need moisture in their diets. Cats are not heavy drinkers, and their kidneys are generally the first thing to fail as they age. To keep your cat healthy and spry for as long as possible, feed them about 1/2 a can of wet food twice a day, leaving their dry food out all day for them to nibble on.
Obviously, you should adjust their food intake based on weight, but in general, a healthy portion of wet food a couple of times a day is a good idea. The moisture in the wet food helps promote kidney health by adding extra fluids to their diets. If you do this from kittenhood on, you’ll be helping to support healthy kidney function for the entirety of your cat’s life.
Healthy Cat Food for Healthy Cats
The first and most important tool for keeping cats healthy is feeding them healthy cat food. Look for cat foods with the ingredients listed above and always include wet food in their diets. If you follow these tips on healthy cat food, you’ll be taking a huge step towards a healthier cat.