Natural Canned Cat Food

Canned cat food is a healthy form of food for a cat. It comes in all kinds of varieties and levels of quality and nutrition. The best canned food for your cat is more natural and provides nutrition that mimics what a cat would eat in the wild. There are also several ingredients often found in cat food that either provide unwanted calories without nutrition or may even be harmful to your pet.

The Advantages of Canned Cat Food

A diet that includes canned food will help improve and maintain your cat's health. Canned food provides necessary hydration that even daily fresh water can't provide (because cats usually only drink water once they're feeling dehydrated). While kibble can help remove plaque from the teeth, the cooking process takes away some of the nutrition in the food. Kibble often has a longer shelf life which means more preservatives which are often empty calories or chemicals. In canned food, the ingredients are closest to their natural state, which is better for your cat.

The Qualifications of Natural Cat Food

Natural basically means that the ingredients are close to how they'd appear in nature. Very little has been done to them, and processing is at a minimum. Thus, raw food is the most natural, but an ingredient that has been cooked just enough and not otherwise changed is the next best thing. Even a cat food with vegetables and fruits and meat might still be overly processed.

The Best Combination of Ingredients for Your Cat

Cats in the wild are not that much different from the domesticated cat in terms of digestion. Studies have shown that cats eating a diet that is closest to the diet found in nature have less disease and a longer life expectancy. Cats do best with a diet made up primarily of lean animal protein and a small amount of grass or vegetable. It's important to avoid a high mineral content which can lead to urinary tract problems and an even more serious condition where the bladder becomes obstructed.

Whole Ingredients

The best canned cat food contains food that is not overly processed. Look for formulas that list "chicken" instead of "chicken by-products". The first ingredients listed should just be the meat because that means that the meat is the primary ingredient.

Ingredients to Avoid

Many poor quality canned cat food contains ingredients that are at best empty calories. Empty calories can lead to obesity and other health problems. Other fillers or unnecessary ingredients can cause harm to your cat. Avoid formulas that include corn, soy or gluten. It's also good to avoid foods with artificial colors or chemical ingredients and sugar. Cats don't need grains, so a formula that has rice listed at the top of the ingredients is probably too high in the grain content.

Avoid the Supermarket

The best place to get canned cat food is at a pet store. The food is likely to be of much higher quality with more brands to choose from. Many salespeople at neighborhood pet stores are quite knowledgeable about animals as well although you should always consult your vet or an animal nutritionist if you have questions.