What is the best food for a cat?

What is the best food for a cat?

There are many options when it comes to feeding our cat, although, as we will see, not all of them are recommended . Needless to say, we all want the best for our cat, the best bed, the best toys and of course, the best diet.

A well-fed cat will not only live many more years, but his health will also be much better. The chances of getting sick from a healthy, well-fed cat are much lower than those from a poorly fed cat.

If you are one of those who have been guided by cat food advertisements or by the photo of the container, I regret to tell you that you are possibly feeding your cat very badly, since there are many commercial brands that simply invest in advertising, without caring too much the quality . The best food for a cat is not the one that is advertised the most or appears on TV, but the one that offers high-quality ingredients in its formulas.

You may also be interested in: Fruits and vegetables suitable for cats

We are going to go over everything you need to know about cat food in depth. Perhaps these two minutes that you are going to take to inform yourself, are the two minutes best invested for the health of your cat. If you only want to know which brand is the best and not inquire at all about your cat’s diet…. this information is not for you then.

The best diet for a cat is natural food, also known as the BARF Diet for cats , which consists of feeding our cat with fresh and natural products. However, there are many people who either do not know this type of diet, or do not have time to prepare it.

For all these people who do not have the possibility of feeding their cat with the BARF Diet, there are the options of dry food , also known as cat food, and wet food, which usually comes in cans as pâté or similar.

For both options we must apply the following criteria, which will help us make the best decision when choosing the best food for a cat. It actually consists of something as simple as reading the ingredient label on the packaging itself.

Spanish law indicates that ingredients must be specified from highest to lowest quantity, so that if the first ingredient on a label is “MEAT”, it is assumed that this should be the majority ingredient in the composition.

Unfortunately, the law being cheated, there are many manufacturers that diversify the ingredients so as not to have to place them in the first place, as we will see below with practical examples.

Before moving on to the practical exercises that consist of correctly identifying labels, we must remember that cats are carnivores. This means that we should not feed a cat with a food made for “vegetarian cats”, simply because vegetarian cats do not exist . Not giving meat to a cat means detrimental and much its health intentionally, it is simply cruelty.

Best dry food for adult cats

Within the ranges of dry food (I think), we have many brands of food for kittens, but only a few have an optimal level of quality for the health of our cat.

These are the brands and ranges that, based on their ingredients, we recommend for their high quality and palatability. There are cheaper ranges but are they quality?

Acana Pacifica and Grasslands

Pacifica stands out for being made up of fish, while Grasslands is made of meat. Which one does your cat prefer? Both contain high-quality ingredients in very good proportions.

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Orijen Six Fish y Regional Red

Orijen is the mother brand of Acana, it is a higher grade in terms of quality. It uses fresh ingredients in its compositions and always with top quality local raw materials. Orijen stands out for being one of the best cat food brands in the world.

Origin Six Fish is made with fish mainly, while Regional Red with meats. Has your kitten already told you which one he prefers?

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Mid-range dry food for adult cats

Although the ideal is to always feed our cat with high-end products, sometimes life circumstances may not allow us to invest so much in their diet.

That is why we have also compiled some of the best mid-range brands, which include some cereals but not excessively.

Best dry puppy food

Within the ranges of feed for cats we find specific products for Junior cats. These types of products have a higher level of nutrients to ensure full development.

Best wet food for adult cats

Wet food tends to be more palatable for cats, due to its intense smell and taste, since it is not comparable to a dry product like I think. Most cats prefer wet food to dry, although we must do well with their favorite flavor.

Wet food for cat puppies

We all know that puppies have a higher demand for essential nutrients, to be able to develop properly. During their growth it is vitally important to provide them with all the proteins, vitamins and minerals they need. That is why it is essential to use a specific food for puppies.

What ingredients should the best cat food contain?

Cats, like any other animal, have very specific food requirements, and they should be the main source of meat or fish protein. So the composition of a good feed should be around 30% meat proteins, 10% – 15% digestible and healthy fats, and the rest should be made up of fruits, vegetables and a small amount of carbohydrates. .

Meat and fish

Quality protein should come from meat, meat / fish, or both. But beware, it is not the same as the label says:

  • Animal flour 35%

That for example put:

  • Fresh chicken and fish meat 35%

The quality of the meat differs by its origin, so that fresh meat and fish are the highest quality sources. Followed by dehydrated meat and finally by meat meals. In addition, if they are hydrolyzed, they are much more assimilable by our cat.

It is not the same as “chicken meat” on the ingredient label, which indicates that it includes meat…. For example, simply put “chicken”, which gives rise to organs and waste, such as skin

So, this is the list in order of the highest quality meat ingredients:

  • Meat meal

We must bear in mind that fresh meat is possibly about 70% water, so 30% fresh meat on a label can be similar to 10% dehydrated meat. The quantities in this case have a great influence, when we talk about fresh products we must be aware that after evaporation during production the quantity can be much lower .

If on the label we read something similar to “meat by-products”, “meat proteins”, “poultry proteins” or “flours” without specifying whether they are meat, we must avoid that food because its quality is very low, terrible .

It must be specified which animal is the meat, in this way we will know that we are giving it to our cat. Feed that does not specify these details is not to be trusted, simply because it is most likely made with very low quality products.

The fats

At general levels, cat foods add animal fats for two reasons, the first of which is to reach the right composition in terms of fat levels. The second reason is to give the feed aroma and flavor, no cat would eat feed if it did not smell good, that is why the feed is literally sprinkled with animal fat.

Fats should be unsaturated as much as possible, although in reality this is something that no specific feed manufacturer does. Since at general levels, they are usually saturated fats.

Salmon oil or even olive oil (always virgin) are examples of healthy and highly recommended fats for our cat (like the one used by NFNatcane’s Cats Health ). However, animal fats, the most used in animal feed, are the opposite.

Fruits and vegetables

Just because a cat is a carnivore does not mean that it does not need to eat fruits and vegetables. If the cat fed naturally hunting prey in the wild, its prey would have a stomach full of food.

The majority of prey are mice and rabbits, which are herbivores. So when a cat eats its prey, it also eats the vegetables that were in its stomach.

A cat needs a small amount of fruit and vegetables among the ingredients of its feed, to stay healthy. The amount of vitamins, minerals and amino acids that they provide are simply essential.

The fiber that these fruits and vegetables provide are also essential to help eliminate the formation of hairballs and improve intestinal transit.

The carbohydrates

Some people believe that cats do not need to eat carbohydrates, while others defend their use. The truth is that a small amount of healthy carbohydrates, such as those offered by rice or potatoes, for example, are not harmful to our cat .

They are even recommended, as long as it is rice since it is highly digestible and assimilable. However, we must avoid all feed that includes cereals such as corn or wheat among its ingredients, since these cereals are not beneficial for the cat.

Wheat and corn are used as filler ingredients due to their low economic value, an economically prepared feed leaves more profit margin, although it obviously offers a worse quality. In addition, they have a very negative effect on the health of the cat since they will make our cat gain excess weight .

We can assure you without mincing words that the best food for a cat is that it does not include corn or wheat, that is, the one that is free of these cereals. In the same way, if possible, avoid feed that contains any type of cereal.

How to interpret the label of a good cat food

This is where we must be careful not to fall for the many tricks offered by some cat food manufacturers. Since while it is true that the labels must be in order from highest to lowest…. products can also be divided to disguise.

Example of a very poor quality feed:

Chicken 15%, wheat 14% , animal proteins, corn 10% , vegetable proteins, barley 7% , poultry proteins, etc ……

What can we appreciate in that label? Well, to begin with, it does not specify if it is fresh chicken meat, dehydrated chicken meat or simply chicken , which can simply be waste as organs.

So, to start with, the first ingredient is already wrongly specified. We continue with cereals, how we have said corn or wheat are useless in feeding a cat. If you look closely and add all the cereals (14% wheat + 10% corn + 7 barley) we have a total of 31% cereals .

This manufacturer tries to deceive us into believing that the main ingredient in their feed is chicken, when in reality the main ingredient is cereals. It is undoubtedly a poor quality feed, not recommended to feed a cat.

The best food for a cat is the one that offers these characteristics, the one that clearly informs us correctly on its labeling of the ingredients that the feed in question contains.

How to choose the best wet food for a cat?

In the same way that we have chosen a good feed, that is, by reading the product label. It does not matter if the cat food is dry or wet, they all follow the same rules when making them and must specify the ingredients on their labels.

So the best wet food for a cat is one that contains animal meat and fresh fish, fruit and vegetables, perhaps some rice and / or potatoes, etc….

If we must choose between dry feed or wet food, we recommend the dry feed option. Since it is generally made with better raw materials than the typical cans of paté for cats.

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