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How to Read Canned Cat Food Labels

Buying food for your beloved kitty might seem like an easy task but when you walk down the pet food store, you're faced with hundreds of different choices.

Felines are usually picky about food, making the process of buying canned cat food just a bit more complicated.

Once your vet lets you know what your cat should be eating, it's your turn to actually buy the food. How do you pick from the vast number of overwhelming options?

Here are 5 steps to make the process of buying canned cat food a little easier.

Learn to read the label: The first step to buying high quality cat food is to read the label right.

The contents of the labels are regulated by the US government, so all packs of cat food must disclose information such as name of the product, net weight (excluding the weight of the packaging), who it is meant for (full grown cats or growing kittens), ingredient list (in descending order of weight), guaranteed analysis (nutritional value of the formula), feeding directions, and contact information of the company (in case of complaints).

Buy age-appropriate food: Getting adult food for a kitten or a vice versa is one of the worst things you can do. A kitten needs more calories than an adult cat, while a grown or a senior cat will have different nutritional needs.

The product label should tell you what stage the formula is meant for. If the product is meant for all life stages, you may feed it to a kitten, but only after consultation with a vet.

Don't be tempted by attractive packaging: Just because the pack says "100% real meat" doesn't mean you should believe it, not until you check the ingredient list.

In fact, don't believe anything that the packaging says unless you have proof.

Remember that the packaging is the marketer's way to lure you into buying their products.

Judge by nutrition, not ingredients: Instead of judging a formula by the weight of the ingredients, check the guaranteed analysis part for the nutritional value. Whatever food you pick, high quality cat food will always have the required nutrients for the kitty.

Meat alone isn't meal: Containing fish or meat alone doesn't make it a proper meal. Make sure to check if there is enough water content in the canned cat food, enough fiber, and enough proteins.

While keeping your kitty away from gluten, it is also necessary to make sure she is getting all the essential nutrients like amino acids and taurine. Like humans, cats also need a balanced meal.

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