When it comes to cat foods, there are lots of opinions. Some cat care-givers feel that cats should be fed canned foods only. Others argue that dry food is best. Still others feed their cats a combination of both.
Regardless, the number one thing to keep in mind when buying cat food is that cats are carnivores: meat eaters. According to Cornell University’s Cornell Feline Health Center, “Cats are obligate carnivores and are very different from dogs-and people-in their nutritional needs. What does it mean to be an obligate carnivore? It means that cats are strict carnivores that rely on nutrients in animal tissue to meet their specific nutritional requirements. In their natural habitat, cats are hunters that consume prey high in protein with moderate amounts of fat and minimal amounts of carbohydrates.”*
Another thing to keep in mind is that cats are not small dogs, obviously. Yet, a lot of cat owners feed them dog food. Cats should be fed based on their species’ specific nutritional needs. Feeding a cat dog food could be life-threatening. Most dog food contains high levels of carbohydrates which cats do not process well. Also, too much carbohydrates in a cat’s diet could lead to obesity which could lead to diabetes.
Therefore, when choosing food for your four-legged companion you should make sure the food has a high content of high-quality protein, minerals, and vitamins, and low in carbohydrates. Also, the food should be specially formulated for cats.
When selecting cat food you need to consider your cat’s age: kitten, adult, or senior, activity level, and if your cat has been spayed or neutered. If you are not sure which cat food to purchase, consult with your veterinarian.
Dry Food for Cats – dry cat food is great because an open bag of dry food can be stored for a longer period of time than an opened can of cat food. Also, dry food for cats is very economical. Read the label to make sure it contains all the nutrients your cat needs.
Your cat might like one of the following dry cat foods: Blue Buffalo Wilderness Natural Evolutionary Diet Chicken Recipe Grain Free Adult Cat Food, Taste of the Wild Canyon River Feline Formula w/Trout and Smoked Salmon, or Taste of the Wild Rocky Mountain Feline Formula w/Roasted Venison and Smoked Salmon.
Canned Food for Cats – because of their high moisture content, canned food is an added source of water which cats need, and a great source of protein, minerals and vitamins. Most canned foods for cats come in a variety of flavors so it is easy to find several that will satisfy even the most finicky eaters. Unopened canned food for cats have a very long shelf life. Once opened, it needs to be consumed right away or it will spoil. You can place uneaten portions in a refrigerator to prevent spoilage and ensure flavor. The quality of the protein in canned foods varies by manufacturer and price. As with dry food, you should read the label carefully to make sure it contains the nutrients your cat needs.
You might want to consider feeding your furry friend one of the following canned food for cats: Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets OM Savory Selects Adult Cat Food, Halo Spot’s Stew Chicken, Shrimp and Crab Recipe Adult Cat Food, or Halo Spot’s Choice Shredded Chicken Recipe Grain Free Adult Cat Food.
Supplements for Cats – supplements are a great way to make sure your cat gets the nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Cat supplements are formulated to treat various cat health issues such as lack of antioxidants, heart health, immune system, joint support, liver supplements, vitamin deficiencies, probiotics, skin and shedding conditions, urinary and kidney issues. Supplements can be used as a healthy alternative to treats. Before feeding your cat supplements check with your veterinarian.
So what’s the right answer? Whether dry or canned, cat food should be selected based on your cat’s nutritional needs. Typically, cat foods are classified based on a cat’s age: kitten, adult, pregnant or lactating, and senior. Consultation with your veterinarian and carefully reading the labels should serve as a guide. The best arbiter is your cat, of course.
Canned vs. dry cat food: which side are you on?
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*Source: Feeding Your Cat. (2002) http://www.vet.cornell.edu/fhc/Health_Information/brochure_feedingcat.cfm Accessed on April 7, 2016.