When it comes to your cat's health, her diet is one of the most important factors to consider. Like your diet, it should provide important nutrients to keep her strong and healthy.
This is why you need to choose high quality cat food with ingredients that offer many health benefits. To make sure that you select the best food for your feline friend, it is crucial to know what to look for and what to avoid.
With so many cat food brands out there, finding one that is perfect for your beloved tabby can seem like a daunting task. But it really does not have to be.
All you need to do is find out what a high-quality cat food should contain and what it should not. Do a little research on cat food or consult your vet before shopping for food for your feline companion.
What to Look Out For
Here is a look at the things you should keep an eye out for on cat food labels.
Compliance with the requirements of the Association of American Feed Control Officials
Named source of protein - look for "chicken, beef, lamb, or turkey" rather than "meat"
The protein source should be the first ingredient listed on the label, particularly on canned cat food
High Quality Cat Food Should Contain
Protein from a named source of fish, poultry, or meat
Taurine, an essential amino acid
Certain other vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and fatty acids
What to Avoid
Here are some of the things you should avoid when shopping for high quality cat food.
Chemical preservatives, including ethoxyquin, BHA, BHT, and propyl gallate
Words like "by-products", "animal digest", "meat and bone meal", and other descriptions including added sugars or "digest"
Corn meal as a filler
Excessive amounts of carbohydrate fillers – dry cat food can contain as much as 50% grain
Criteria for Printing "Complete and Balanced" on Cat Food Labels
Manufacturers of pet food cannot simply print "Complete and Balanced" on their labels until and unless they meet the following criteria:
The food is required to pass various feeding tests for the life stage that is recommended on the label.
The composition of the canned food is required to meet if not exceed the nutrient levels that the AAFCO has established.
At the levels included in commercial pet foods, preservatives have never been shown scientifically to lead to any problems in pets or people at less than 100 times the levels that such foods contain. It is heartening to see that the current policy for many manufacturers of cat food is toward using natural and organic preservatives, such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E.
Choose Cat Food Based on Quality
To make sure that you buy the best cat food brand for your feline friend, you must make your choice based on quality and not on convenience. In an era of "quick and easy", virtually everything can be accessed with a click of a mouse.
However, pet owners are facing a bigger issue in quality when it comes to food for their furry companions. Manufacturers of pet food are realizing that they need to continually improve their products and evolve, or they risk losing their loyal customers.
To make sure that you choose high quality cat food, you should also be aware of transparency and recalls of cat foods. Go for brands that communicate with their customers and cat food companies that, make sure that their high quality cat food products are accessible to everyone, whether it is in-store or online.
You should also choose brands that offer quality nutrition – novel, grain-free, and organic proteins like, for example, bison. They should also provide products with labels that are easy to read and understand.