Buying cat food for the first time may look like a daunting task. Sometimes, the former owner of the cat you’ve bought or adopted might recommend several brands and specialties that you’re allowed to feed your pet with. If you’re looking for a little bit of variety, it might be a good idea to keep in mind a number of considerations. We’ve gathered them all in the following buying guide, so check it out.
What is your cat’s age?
Generally, all cat food can be split up into two main categories: food destined for juniors and food intended for adults. Some might try to say that the categorization is useless, as it’s pretty much the same, but there are basic differences between the two and often times, they’re quite important.
For example, kitten food has a lot more protein, minerals, and vitamins, compared to its counterpart. Occasionally, you might find it under the denomination “growth and reproduction”, as it’s specifically designed to help the kitty grow up into a healthy, strong adult.
If you haven’t been to the vet yet and do not know whether you’re the owner of a kitty or an adult, just think of it this way: is your cat younger than one? If it is, you can still use kitten food.
It goes without saying that cats have relatives that live in the wild and eat meat and bones. You won’t see a lion gobbling down some grass, anytime soon. Subsequently, the golden rule to always keep in mind is that cats are carnivores and therefore, are genetically designed to eat meat. Vegan owners might tend to believe that felines can survive on low-protein, but they really can’t.
Some experts claim that grains pose a threat to the health of kitties, but it all really depends on the grain sources. For example, corn and wheat should not be used in any type of cat food, so if you encounter a variety containing these two, just don’t buy it.
The more meat in the product, the better. If you plan on avoiding heavily processed food, just serve your cat some raw meat. For most of the cats, this will be a nice treat or dish, but there are a few exceptions that will refuse it.
Trusted manufacturers have a long history of committing towards making their products better and healthier. If you have the time, do some research on the brand that is of interest to you.
Dry food versus wet food
On the one hand, dry food is usually less expensive compared to wet food. Moreover, it can be left in the out all day long, without you worrying that it will go bad. However, it has less moisture and less protein compared to the wet variant.
On the other hand, wet food can pose a health threat to your cat, particularly if the cat doesn’t eat all of it at once. It is true that it is considerably richer in protein and moisture than dry food and even contains less carbs, but it is often the cause of digestive disorders in cats.
If you ask several vets which one’s better, you’ll get confusing answers, as some of them are great dry food aficionados, while others militate for wet food. The simplest way to deal with this problem is to serve dry food to your cat while you’re away from home, and make a ritual out of giving it canned food in the evening. With wet food, always start with small portions, because you don’t really know how hungry your cat is.
If you want the best, it’s very likely that you’ll need to spend some time reading the labels. To describe the products, cat food marketers will occasionally use words that don’t really mean anything to your cat, such as ‘human-grade’ or ‘premium’. Don’t pay any attention to these attributes, as they don’t make the food better or richer in protein.
Instead, focus on artificial preservatives and vague-sounding ingredients, and avoid them all. The golden rule of buying the right product is this: you have to be able to read and understand all the components. If anything sounds complicated or weird, just don’t buy that product.
Unfortunately, the best and healthiest cat foods are also the most expensive ones. If your budget doesn’t really allow you to buy superior alternatives, try a combination of good wet food, good dry food and raw meat, bone and organs that you’ve bought yourself.