Cats are surprisingly inflexible when it comes to nutrition, so it is important to select the right cat food. Feeding your cat with quality food, means they will have a healthier and longer life.
When in the wild, cats are pure carnivores and eat prey. It is misconception though that cats only require meat, because when eating prey they also consume pieces of bone, intestines and skin which provide them with additional nutrients.
Since most of us don’t live in the midst of nature, we feed our cats prepared food. Quality foods provide the balanced nutrients that your cat requires.
Cats are carnivores and require large amounts of proteins and fat, even more than humans and dogs. In the wild a cat will vary his/her protein and amino-acid intake by eating various amounts of prey (birds/fish/mice etc.), so it is important that the food you give your cat resembles that balance.
Carbohydrates are problematic for cats. They are not able to digest it very well, and can develop issues like obesity and diabetes. Most prepared cat foods contain little carbo hydrates.
Nowadays you can hardly buy real bad cat foods anymore as they are subject to industry standards. But there are some things to take into consideration.
Canned wet food is the least recommended food. It consists for a large part of water, so has relatively little nutritional value.
Cats usually love eating wet food because of its tastiness, but the drawbacks are smelly faeces, less nutrition and an increase in calculus as they hardly have to chew. It is better to use wet food as ‘a treat’ now and then. For elderly or sick cats with dehydration issues, wet food can be beneficial as well.
Quality dry food is the best food for cats. This food seems to be expensive, but cats simply require less of it only a daily basis because of the large amount of nutrients it contains. The chunks are shaped in such a fashion that it removes calculus during chewing. As the water has been removed from dry food, there are usually little to no unhealthy preservatives added to the food. High-grade dry food also contains no salts or artificial flavourings.
For young/old cats, and cats with specific health issues, specially prepared dry foods are available which provide your furry friend with the best food balance.
As most water has been removed from dry food, make sure there is a bowl of water next to the food bowl.
Cats like to eat their food bit by bit. So just place half the daily amount in their bowl in the morning, and the other half later in the afternoon. Don’t worry if they do not ‘dig in’ right away, but if at the end of the day they have not touched their food at all something might be wrong.
– that the label of the cat food says that the food meets all standards set by AAFCO
– in case your cat gets any stomach problems after changing food, consult a vet and ask for advise. It is often free.
– that you monitor your cats weight, and adjust their daily portions accordingly.
Remember that investing in quality cat food will give you a happier and healthier cat, and in the long run will avoid many medical issues.