How To Find The Best Cat Food
This also applies to the cats who depend on us for ‘room and’ board. You’re what you eat. In reality, cat food, along with veterinary care, is one of the most significant feline care costs. It is also important to remember that an appropriate diet can eliminate veterinary costs or postpone some serious conditions.
The ultimate goal of this series is to encourage you to learn how to read pet food labels so that your decision is made easier when selecting the right foods for your cat.
Cats’ fundamental need for nutrition
Meat, fish or poultry source protein Protein
Taurine, an amino acid central
Any other vitamins, minerals, enzymes and acids certain
Cats do not need carbohydrates, but both canned and dry cat products are filled with maize, wheat and rice. Cat food producers add to the cosmetic needs of the market other ingredients, such as binders, flavorings or colourings. Although conservants are needed in order to keep our cats’ food fresh, canned food should in any case not stay out for a period of time.
Or kibble, canned food??
Many nutritionists believe that for several reasons, cats should receive a range of foods, dry and canned:
While dry and free food is easy, canned food does contain water and many cats do not regularly drink water.
Make sure the right amount of nutrients is provided to your pet. You can add too little (or too many) of certain minerals and vitamins to that “close-to-perfect” food.
Cats may get tired and simply stop eating at the same food day and day out. Would you like pizza for years, morning, noon and night? You will not only be bored by your diet, but also suffer from your wellbeing.
Cats develop allergies, like humans, over a period of time, so that it is good for some foods to prevent any allergies. While cats are rarely affected by food allergies, cat owners may want to err on the precautionary side, particularly if their cats have been shown to have shown allergies in the past.
Prevent “food addictions” built up because of the absence of choices. In its October 2001 issue, The Whole Cat Journal cites a cat that is addicted to a certain taste of a certain cat food brand, right up to a specific factory and lot number! It can be difficult to cope with this type of addiction if it is last lost, however, by eating a number of foods from the start can be easily prevented.
This does not mean Fred should get different foods each day, but a range of high-quality canned foods that will add flavor to his diet to prevent him from getting “Finicky Fred” and are supplemented by dry food for cats left alone all day long.
Two bowls of cat food, yellow bowl with dry biscuits, red bottle with moist meat, overview.
Paul Bricknell / Images Getty
Cheaper brands are false businesses
Many pet owners for the first time buy the cheapest food they find for their cats in an effort to keep expenses down. For a few reasons, this is a false economy. Studies have first shown that cats consume the nutrients that they need to obtain. Thus, they may consume the generously loaded carbohydrate brand twice as often to obtain the nutrients they are required in the ordinary food feeding. Second, the continued feeding of under-standard food over a period of years will contribute greatly or even lead to severe medically costly medical conditions.
The old max, “You get what you pay for,” is particularly true for certain reasons where cat food is concerned.
What’s the mark to look for
Compliance with the “Complete and Balanced” AAFCO criteria, as seen by the label text.
Named source of protein — look instead of ‘egg’ for ‘chicken, turkey, lamb or beef.’
The protein source should be the first ingredient in canned food in particular
Verify freshness with the expiry date
What should be avoided
Words such as “digest” or added sugar, such as “by-products, meat, bone food,” “animals digests.”
chemicals such as BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin and propyl gallate.
Maize meal as a pot
Excess “fillers” of carbohydrate (dry food can contain as much as 50 percent grain)
Cats are mandatory carnivores and cannot flourish in vegetarian diets, although most of the vegetables, whether by the producer or by the customer, can be added to cats’ diets.
If the following conditions are met, animal feed producers are unable to print “comprehensive and balanced” on their labels:
For the life stage recommended on the bottle, the food must pass the feeding tests
The food composition must reach or exceed AAFCO-defined nutrient standards.
At the level of commercial pet food, preservatives have never been statistically shown to be less than 100 times the level of pets (or people) that are present in such food. On the other hand, many cat feed producers use natural conservatives like vitamins C and E. The new strategy is to use natural preservatives.
AAFCO is an advisory body to propose rules for the manufacture and marking of animal foods, including animal feed. The American Association of Feed Control Officials. Its membership includes regulatory officers from several feed control boards in the States and Federal agencies (FDA), as well as from other organizations, including members of the Animal Protection Institute, as well as veterinary schools, in Canada and Costa Rica.
The AAFCO is headed by Mrs Liz Higgins and comprises a Pet Food Committee.
What Does AAFCO?
Specifies labeling terminology, such as ‘meat by-products.’
Specifies the quantity for product names, e.g. “chicken cat food,” “chicken cats dinner,” “chaped cat food.”
Sets “complete and balanced” conditions for use on labels for animal food
Recommends a limit or percentage of different ingredients in pet foods depending on the age and behavior of the cats
No regulatory powers exist for AAFCO (but its membership consists of regulatory officials from various states and municipalities)
AAFCO does not conduct experiments, but proposes a research procedure and partners with independent testing laboratories.
Is not determining the protein quality ‘human grade,’ as often stated on the labels of pet food
Do not explicitly propose guidelines on food labeling as ‘Hai Ball Formula,’ ‘Lite’ or ‘Dental Care,’ but there are suggestions for ingredient in some amounts of protein, fat, etc.