Choosing the Healthiest Cat Food Brand

Choosing be best cat food brand for your pet is more important than ever. Recent pet food recall events have alerted cat owners to the dangers posed by many commercial cat food and kitten food brands.

Healthier Cat Foods Have Higher Quality Ingredients

Although most commercial cat foods meet the criteria for "complete and balanced" as determined by AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials), these standards do not assure the safety or quality of the ingredients. All products in the recent cat food recall bore the AAFCO certification.

Better foods will cost more initially, but the lack of fillers and increased bioavailability of quality ingredients will save money over time. Your cat will get more nutrition out of less food and suffer fewer food allergies. Ultimately, the cost savings of inexpensive, poor-quality foods is a false economy.

Foods that contain excess fillers like corn, soy and wheat are like junk food for cats. You cat eats more of these foods to obtain the nutrients she needs, and obesity results. Obesity can cause joint problems, heart failure and metabolic disorders such as diabetes.

Read Labels on Cat Food Brand Recipes

Look passed the enticing design of the bag and read the ingredient labels. As obligate carnivores, cats must have meat in their diet to survive. The better the source of the meat protein, the better.

When reading the label, look at the order of ingredients. They are listed in order of quantity. The first ingredient should be a named meat or fish like "chicken" or "salmon." Avoid foods that say simply "meat" or "meat by-products."

Use caution when choosing food according to the name of the food rather than the ingredients.

  • Regulations allow products to carry names like "Beef Dinner" or "Seafood Platter" when they contain as little as twenty-five percent of the named ingredient.
  • Recent changes in regulations now allow for the three percent "With" rule which allows food names such as "Cat Food With Salmon" to contain only three percent salmon.
  • While these foods do meet the minimum guidelines for protein, fat and carbohydrates but they also contain ingredients that are difficult to digest and promote obesity.

It is possible to feed your cat on a budget if you learn to read ingredient lists and supplement your cat's diet with fresh foods and nutritional supplements.

To avoid the chance of allergic reactions, obesity and other food-related disorders:

  • Choose a food with a named meat or fish protein as the first ingredient.
  • Avoid foods that list a grain as the first ingredient.
  • Corn, wheat and soy are used as inexpensive fillers. Try to find foods that list these common allergens as far down the ingredient list as possible.

Fresh or Raw Ingredients

Cats appreciate fresh food treats and are able to process raw meats easily. Add some raw or boiled ground beef or chicken to your cat's daily rations. Yogurt, rice and mashed peas can be added, too. Your cat may surprise you with her likes and dislikes-there are carrot lovers and green bean eaters out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Probiotic Supplements for Optimal Cat Health

Probiotic supplements provide "good" intestinal bacteria and help your cat readily and completely digest food. They can be mixed in to your cat's daily ration.

You don't have to shop in a specialty pet supply store to find high quality cat food. Learn to read the labels and skip the advertising to find the best ingredients for your cat's health and well being.