The buzz words “all-natural”, “premium”, “grain-free”, “gluten-free” are everywhere in reference to humans and out pet’s food. It is confusing. What is the best? What should we choose for our pets to give them the best life? Let’s breakdown what exactly premium cat food is and if it is something you should consider for your cat.
What is Premium Cat Food?
Cat food differs in the quality of ingredients, formulas, and nutritional value. Premium cat food has higher standards in terms of ingredients and nutrients.
What Should Be on the Ingredients Label?
The first thing to look for on the label is the protein. The protein source should be the first listed ingredient. By being at the top, it means that it is the largest percentage in the food. AAFCO requires that ingredients in pet foods are prioritized by weight. The higher the percentage, the higher on the list it will be. The protein listed should be a named meat. It must say tuna, salmon, chicken, not meat by-products.
It should list taurine as an ingredient, as it is an essential amino acid that your cat needs in their diet.
Vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids should be in your cat’s food. While many are found naturally in the protein, there may be some added in through plant sources.
The label will list water as moisture on canned cat food and should be at least 70% or more.
What Should Not Be Listed on Label
By-products, as mentioned above, should not be on the label. If by-products are listed, then it is not a premium cat food. By-products can be necks, feet, and internal organs. They use these not because it is good for your cat but because it is good for a bottom line.
They use artificial dyes in pet food more to be aesthetically appealing than anything else. However, they are not good for your cat or should be found in premium cat food.
Corn, wheat, and rice should not be on the label. They are not ingredients that your cat needs in their diet. Cats are carnivores and their bodies are not conditioned to need these carbohydrates. In fact, they are not as able to process these products. The reason that you will find these grains in cat food is because of the low cost to use them and they are used as a low-cost filler.
Preservatives are often added to cat food; however, there is a difference between the types of preservatives. Some are good and some are not good for your pet. Natural preservatives like oils, spices, and vitamins C and E are good preservatives. Natural preservatives do not extend the shelf life of the food.
Choosing a Brand
While a label will tell you the ingredients, they do not tell you everything about the cat food. You also must look into the brand and the manufacturing. Choose brands that put their reputation on the line and have a genuine interest in producing high quality cat food. Snappy Tom is very aware of natural premium ingredients. Real Fish for Real Cats.