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November 21, 2019

As a cat owner, you want to make sure you give your cat the very best cat food and proper nutrition, so they have the best life.  Reading cat food labels can be complicated.  With a little bit of information and knowledge, you can become a pro at reading labels and knowing what to look for. 

Understanding labels will make sure that your cat is eating healthy and high quality cat food.

Placement of Ingredients

The first thing to take note of on a cat food label is the ingredients label.  Pet foods list ingredients by weight in order from the most to the least.  The first three ingredients should always be an animal protein.  It should be a named meat or fish, just saying meat is not going to be a high quality cat food.  If it lists meat by-product or chicken meal, then avoid that cat food.

Avoid any cat food that has grains, corn, wheat, or gluten in the top three ingredients.  These are noted as carbohydrate fillers.  They are hard for your cat to digest and are only in the food as it is a cheap substitute.  Ultimately, it would be best to avoid these ingredients completely when feeding your cat.  No more than 10 percent of your cat’s calories should come from carbohydrates.

Nutrients are a Big Deal

Nutrients are very important to a cat’s health and survival.

Cats require amino acids, especially taurine.  Taurine is critical for their vision, muscle function, and heart health.  Taurine is found in animal-based proteins.

They should list vitamins and minerals in the ingredients.  While it might not give specific amounts of each, there are fourteen kinds of minerals that your cat needs.  Which is why the label may read vitamin supplements and trace minerals.

Cats with Special Dietary Restrictions or Requirements

If your cat suffers from an illness than there are other things you need to be aware of when you read labels.

AllergiesIf your cat has an allergy, then it is important to check the label to make sure that the specific ingredient is not included.  If your cat requires grain-free cat food, canned cat foodwill be your best choice. If your cat is allergic to certain items, you may also want to check with your vet for additional tips.

Diabetic CatYour diabetic cat should eat cat food that is low in carbs. You want to be sure that even if it is grain-free that does not mean that it doesn’t have carbohydrate heavy vegetables like potatoes or peas.

Packaging of Cat Food

Be sure to not be persuaded only by the packaging claiming to be 100% natural.  While that can prompt you to pick up the food, check the label.  At Snappy Tom, we take everything we put on the labels with complete seriousness.  When you look at our natural foods, the label’s ingredients match.  That is the most important part to make sure the can’s claims are backed by high quality ingredients.