Comparing Nutritional Information on Cat Food Brands

When scanning the store shelves for the best cat food brands, learn to look passed advertising hype to choose the highest quality formulations for your cat's particular needs.

Obtain Food with Meat-Based Protein as Primary Ingredient

Cats are obligate carnivores which means they must have meat-based protein. Many cats suffer from obesity as well urinary and digestive system illnesses because commercial cat foods do not provide optimum nutrition for their needs.

To provide the healthiest possible diet, cat food should contain the following ingredients:

  • Protein sourced from meat. Look for a named meat as the first ingredient. Meat by-products or meat meals are less desirable.
  • Amino acids (specifically taurine and arginine)
  • Fatty acids (arachidonic and linoleic acid)
  • Vitamin A-retinyl palmitate. Only available from foods of animal origin.

Choose A Quality Brand of Cat Food

Better quality foods tend to have higher quality ingredients. Low-cost foods often do meet the minimum guidelines for protein, fat and carbohydrates but they also contain ingredients that are difficult to digest and promote obesity. Often, these lower-quality proteins and fillers pass through your cat's digestive tract quickly and whatever nutrients they contain are not absorbed.

Read the Labels

Learn to read cat food labels. The first ingredient should be a meat source. If a grain is the first ingredient, pass on the food. Other common cat food ingredients that may not offer optimal nutrition include corn, wheat and soy. These ingredients keep the cost of the food down. If price is a consideration, look for brands that have minimal corn and soy-the further down the ingredient list, the better. These are the most likely sources of food allergies.

Wet Food Has Less Ash Than Dry Food

Many cats suffer from recurrent urinary tract infections, and a diet high in ash can trigger attacks. Typically, canned cat food has lower ash content than dry. If your cat suffers from UTIs, consider switching to a canned diet or a combination diet. Ash content is listed in the guaranteed analysis. Look for foods with a content below 3.5.

Foods that Contain Fillers Can Cause Obesity

Fillers such as low-quality grains and refined carbohydrates provide little-if any-nutrition for your cat. She will need to eat more to get the required nutrition for her species, and much of what she is eating is simply empty calories; the equivalent of junk food for cats. Switch to a high-quality diet cat food that contain sufficient protein. Some senior formula cat foods have lower calories and are more easily digested which can help older cats maintain a healthy weight.