How to choose the best cat food?

How to choose the best cat food?

The ever more varied commercial offer to offer food that we hope will be of quality to our felids is flourishing in supermarkets, pet stores and online. We can also find many offers from his health professional. Faced with this plethora of brands and compositions, it can be difficult for the owner of a kitten, a sterilized kitty and a sterilized kitty or an old tomcat to navigate. How to choose the right croquettes for your cat? On what criteria to determine whether organic, low-fat, high-protein is the most appropriate?

Know your pet’s nutritional needs

We could say that each cat has its own kibble and it is somewhat true, because the kibble you choose must meet its nutritional needs. However, kitten, adult cat, senior or presenting a health problem will not have the same energy needs, nor the same ration. Likewise, if your cat goes out day and night or only lounges on the sofa and your windowsill, his energy expenditure will be very different.

In order to offer a dry diet adapted to your “velvet paws”, your veterinarian remains the privileged adviser to guide you. If your feline shows sensitivities to certain ingredients or if its breed predestines it to diseases such as obesity or diabetes, seek advice from its healthcare professional. When the animal does not present a health problem, you will have to rely on its situation, its level of activity and its age to choose the best croquettes, or rather those which suit it. Thus, the sterilized or indoor cat will not have exactly the same energy needs as a kitten or an animal that spends its days hunting and lounging outside.

However, whatever the habits and breed of your little companion, it is a strict carnivore. The protein intake must be the main ingredient of its kibbles and must come from meat protein and not from meat meal. According to a study by Dr. Laflamme published in 2013, the health of an adult tomcat who receives less than 3.97 g of protein per kilo of live weight is in danger.

What is the ideal composition of the best croquettes for your cat?

The composition of the croquettes also matters to determine, depending on your mistigri and its activities, which ones will provide it with quality food. The analysis of the label remains essential much more than the price or the design to choose the best croquettes. For a healthy tom, dry food must be made from different ingredients that meet the energy needs of our little felines.

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Lots of quality protein

Like all felines, the cat is a strict carnivore, the first ingredient to check is the meat present in the food and its quantity with regard to the other ingredients. For an energy food that perfectly covers the needs of your mistigri, the croquettes must be made from chicken, beef or fish and offal. When the latter are of good quality, the phosphorus ratio is generally less than 1.2% and the phosphorus/protein ratio will be equal to or greater than 35. For our felines, the minimum protein level must be 40% and consist mainly of meat and not vegetable proteins. In order to be sure of the amount of meat protein present in your kibble, a simple rule to apply is to divide the figure on the packet by four. If the main ingredient is then no longer represented by protein as advertised, choose another brand or another formula.

Lipids from animal fats

Beneficial for the cat, they must represent 12 to 20% of the composition of the croquettes. Rich in omega 3, the oils that make up dry food must be extracted from fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, tuna. Vegetable fats bring nothing to the animal, they should never be used in the manufacture of croquettes.

With or without grain?

Cereals are a source of fiber that the wild cat absorbs while devouring its prey. Only a small part is digested by the animal, they must not total more than 20% of the total composition of the food. However, it is the cereals that also serve as binders to develop the shape and texture of the kibble, so they are still necessary.

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Carbohydrates, yes, but not too much

In order to give it this crispy texture which will help maintain your feline’s teeth, cereals and the complex sugars they contain such as starch are necessary. However, in the wild, your cat’s prey contains very few carbohydrates. Their rate must remain very low. If your cat’s kibble is made from rice, which is more digestible for our four-legged friends, its rate should be less than 15%.

Also check the analytical constituents and the presence of vitamins

To ensure the quality of its diet and offer the best kibble to your cat, the table of analytical constituents allows you to assess the quality of the kibble. Listed in a table, you will find the percentage of nutrients present, such as proteins, lipids, vitamins, trace elements, fibers and amino acids. A quality food generally does not contain more than 15% crude fat, while lipids do not exceed 20%. A rate of 0% would even be ideal for fats. Among the vitamins you need to find vitamin A, B1, D, E and PP. Calcium intake should represent 1 to 2%, phosphorus 1% and magnesium a very low rate of 0.1%. The taurine essential to the functioning of the cat’s body that it does not synthesize must represent 0.1% of the amino acid intake. Finally, the percentage of omega 3 must be 1% and 3% for omega 6.

Another index of product quality is the analysis of raw ash content. When the latter exceeds 10%, it indicates the use of poor quality proteins. It is advisable to choose another food for the health of your cat when this is the case.

Choose croquettes adapted to the activities of your feline by checking the RPC

With the help of your veterinarian, you will have determined if your cat is a growing kitten, a large sedentary or an adventurer. You will also have checked the protein content available in the composition of the croquettes. But to offer the best range of croquettes to your cat, you will have to calculate the protein-calorie ratio (RPC) of the latter to ensure that they are suitable for your cat. To do this, nothing could be simpler, just rely on the percentage of protein and the metabolizable energy or ME expressed in kilocalorie per kilogram on the packets. To obtain the RPC or protein-calorie ratio, the calculation is carried out as follows:

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Protein percentage divided by the ME, then multiply this result by 1000. By calculating yourself, you will know the RPC contained in the package of kibbles. Please note, some brands express ME in kilocalorie per 100 grams, so you have to multiply by 10,000.

Depending on the habits of your cat, its age, whether it is sterilized or not, the veterinarians have calculated for us the RPC necessary for their balance and their health:

  • To feed your kitten, the theoretical RPC will be 85 kcal/kg. When the young feline is sterilized or sedentary, it will be 107. If it is sterilized and sedentary, we recommend an RPC of 133 kcal/kg.
  • In the adult tomcat, except in the case of pregnancy or breastfeeding, the CPR will be less than for the kitten. It will be 75 for the active and whole feline, 87 if it is sterilized or sedentary and 105 when it is stressed and lives exclusively in a house or apartment.
  • The needs of the old felid in protein-calorie ratio are a little higher. Whole and adventurous, veterinarians recommend an RPC of 80 kcal/kg, 92 if the animal is sterilized or sedentary, and 110 for the sterilized mistigri who lounges 24 hours a day in your household.

These theoretical data apply to the tomcat in good health. If in doubt, or if your cat suffers from a pathology, contact your veterinarian to offer your four-legged companion the appropriate food.

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