How To Make Sure Your Cat Has The Best Food

How to choose the right food for your cat

Cats are beautiful, intelligent animals that have more power over us than we like to think. They are fluffy and warm, and we love how independent they can be. But there’s one thing your domestic cat can’t do for itself: feed.

Sure, they can go outside and eat a mouse if they are lucky, or if they are indoor cats they can jump on the shelf where they know you keep your doughnuts and leave you out of sweets (do cats really have a sweet tooth or are they just trying to undermine your morale?). But when it comes to cat food, you are in charge.

With obesity becoming one of the most concerning issues for pets in the UK in the last decade, it really is important that we learn how to feed our cats properly. Here are some tips on how to choose the right food for your cat and improve their overall health.

Some key facts about cat nutrition

  • Unlike dogs (who are omnivores), cats are obligate carnivores. They can eat vegetables (most cat foods include some kind of vegetable), but they CANNOT be vegetarian.
  • Even though some cats don’t seem to drink too much water, they should always have fresh water available. It should be changed daily.
  • Cats are natural hunters. When in the wilderness, cats hunt little prey, such as rodents, lizards or bugs. This is why they need to eat several times a day. This video explains it really well.
  • Cats do not really need to eat carbs, although they are added to certain foods as fillers.
  • Cats can’t digest the lactose contained in dairy products and cow milk easily. It’s better to avoid feeding them dairy products. Other human foods, such as onions, can be poisonous for cats.

Is wet food better for cats?

There is not really an answer to whether wet food is better for cats than kibble. Most vets, in fact, agree that the best choice is to feed them both for several reasons.

Dry food is more convenient, as it can be left out for free feeding. But it tends to be low in protein and water, and very high in carbohydrates.

Wet or canned food contains a lot of water, which is great for cats who don’t drink that often. A box of wet food pouches usually comes with different flavours - the variety is good for several reasons: it stops your cat from getting bored of its food (it happens), it provides more and different nutrients, and it can help your cat avoid addiction or allergy to certain foods.

What about raw cat food?

Raw cat food, like the one from Bella & Duke, can be a great option for your cat. As previously mentioned, cats don’t really need carbs, although of course they tolerate them. Raw diets for cats however are based on the fact that cats thrive on high-protein, high-moisture diets that are rich in taurine, fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals that can only (or mostly) be found in meat or fish. The idea is that a raw diet is the most biologically appropriate for a cat. It can be perfectly safe for your cat and those around them - especially if it’s commercial raw cat food, as they are usually frozen or freeze-dried to reduce the development of pathogens. In that sense, it’s not more dangerous than wet cat food.

Keeping your cat at a healthy weight

So cats eat many times a day whether they are kittens or senior cats. But the kind of food they eat has to be different, as their nutritional needs will be different when they are six months old than when they are ten years old.

Kittens, who are full of energy, need more fat, protein and calories in their food, while adult cats (who, let’s face it, spend most of the day sleeping anyway) eat food that contains fewer calories and vitamins and minerals that should help with ageing.

The level of activity of your cat needs to be considered as well when feeding your cat. Indoor cats burn fewer calories than outdoor cats, and some may tend to eat out of boredom. To keep your cat healthy, it’s important to keep an eye on how much and what kind of food you are feeding them. But if you have an overweight cat, it’s also important to schedule some playtime in between naps.

If you are concerned about your cat’s health, it’s always best to consult an expert before making any decisions on their diet. You’ll also find more natural care tips for your cat here.

About The Author
This is a guest post by Ellie Campbell