Great animal lovers believe that taking care of a pet is quite similar to rearing a young toddler. If you truly love your feline companion at home, you will provide your pet with only the best. In this case, you should look for the best dry cat food in the market and feed your pet cat everyday.
You will find various brands or cat food manufacturers in the market nowadays. Each will claim that they are the best dry cat food. Of course, you should not just take their word for it.
Which is the best dry cat food?
To help you decide, here are some of the factors that you need to consider when out shopping for high quality and delicious cat food:
Base Everything on Your Cat
If this is your first time in taking care of cat, the first thing that you should know is that you do not choose pet food according to what you want. It should be according to what your feline pet needs. Take note of the age of your pet, its activity and its physical circumstance.
Ingredients List and Nutrition Facts
You can follow some points to find a best dry cat food. The best dry cat food must be holistic. It is the one that addresses the kitten like a whole. This food has whole food ingredients and lot of antioxidants to satisfy the nutritional requirement of the kitten. Always see for ingredients such as fish oil, chicken meal, grass extract and lecithin.
Always read the back label of the product that you are buying because this, perhaps, is the most important aspect of choosing the best dry cat food for your pet. See that all the ingredients come from organic sources such as real meat, poultry or vegetables. A good cat food must be very high in protein. Finally, it should contain beneficial additives only such as taurine and linoleic acid.
These kinds of foods will contain no “by products” They are fundamentally the leftovers of vegetable and animal items. It could include blood, chicken feet, by products is inferior type of protein which is not suit for human beings to consume. So you have to keep in mind that the best dry car food should not contain any by products.
You have to look for the food which contains lot of omega 3 oils. This oil can be seen in different foods and they are lot of flaxseed and fish oil. These products assist the health of the skin and coat of the kitten. They also contain so many benefits. The food which has lot of protein is best dry cat food. Both adult and growing kitten cannot live without taking protein. There are many reasons why these foods are best choices for your cat.
Focusing on the nutritional content is essential since there are many cat foods that are sold cheaply but made of low quality ingredients that are not readily absorbed by the feline digestive system. Going cheap can also make your pet feel “empty” after a meal, because the product did not satisfy the basic nutritional requirement of your cat, such as protein.
In spite of being domesticated for ages, cats are still carnivorous by nature. By proportion, a dry cat food for indoor cats should have more protein contents, since a cat requires more of them than some other domesticated animals. There are particular enzymes in animal liver that help in the breakdown of proteins. In cats, such enzymes are constantly active. Some of the protein processed by a cat’s liver is used to fuel these liver enzymes, raising the protein requirements of your feline companion.
The protein requirement ratio of cats also goes higher as they mature. As compared to other pets, such as dogs that have lesser protein requirements as they get older, cats have substantially higher protein ratio even as adults. Thus, if you are looking for the best dry cat food, make sure that it contains around 2/3 of the protein requirement cats have as kittens.
The best dry cat food should have high protein content and it should be taken from animal source. Many cat food products can be sold cheaply because their protein content is vegetable based, which is not ideal for felines. The reason is that cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they have rather strict requirements for high-level protein that is animal based.
A cat does not have certain enzyme pathways that prevent efficient utilization of plant-based protein. In addition, protein derived from plant sources do not have many of the amino acids that are needed by cats for a healthy existence. With the animal protein contained in the best dry cat food, you can be sure that your feline pet will get all the amino acids that it needs.
How to find the best dry cat food?
Let us admit that cost is a very important factor in shopping for the best cat food. Do remember though, that expensive does not immediately mean high quality. Cheap does not necessarily mean unsatisfactory, either. But do make sure that the cat food will be within your budget so that you can buy it as often as your pet needs it.
Besides taking note of all the information provided above when out shopping, one of the ways on how you can find the best dry cat food is reading real consumer reviews about each and then comparing one to the other.
But do take note that your cat is unique from others, with particular needs. Therefore, to find the best dry cat food for your pet, you might want to try everything on the shelf. Sooner or later, you will find the perfect match for your pet.
The following information are usually enough to allow you to make an educated choice
How do you choose the right kind of dry cat food for your cat?
Step 1: What Age is Your Cat?
The cat food industry generally classifies cats the following categories: Kitten, Adult, Mature and Senior.
Kittens are defined as cats up to one years of age. They are usually quite active and need higher levels of nutrients as compared to Adults. The food formulated for kittens are usually higher in protein, minerals and vitamins.
- Adult Cats:
Adults are defined as cats from one year to seven years of age. Their energy need are quite varied depending on their lifestyles, but dry food formulations for adults tend to be lower in proteins, minerals and vitamins as compared to Kitten formulas.
- Mature Cats:
Mature Cats are defined as cats from seven years to eleven or twelve years of age, depending on the manufacturer. Formulations for this age group have nutrients that aim to reduce the stress on the liver and kidneys. Do note that not all manufacturers target this age group of cats, or have products that span the age groups of both Adult and Mature cats.
- Senior Cats:
Senior Cats are defined as cats from eleven/twelve years old and above. Formulations for this age group focus on keeping the senior cat as healthy as possible by increasing certain proportion of nutrients. Again, not all manufacturers of dry cat foods cater to this age range, or have products that span multiple age ranges.
Step 2: What Lifestyle does your Cat Lead?
Again, the cat food industry has ready classifications for your cat’s activity levels and lifestyle. They are as follows:
This is defined as your normal cat with normal amounts of activity. Personally I am not sure what it means to be a ‘normal’ cat. Cats have their own personality and I feel that it is difficult to define. Anyway, the food formulation in this category is what the manufacturers think are the ideal for a normal cat.
- Sedentary (Light)
If your cat has a sedentary lifestyle, then it falls into this category. The formulation that cat food manufacturers create for this category is usually known as ‘Light’. This type of food is good for portion control and losing weight as they have ingredients, usually fibre, to satisfy a cat’s hunger.
The indoor cat is one who just stays indoors. The formulation takes into consideration that the cat may not be really active, but the food’s caloric content is slightly higher than that of the Light formulations.
Step 3: What is Your Cat’s Current State?
- Neutered / Spayed
Cats have reduced energy needs after they are spayed or neutered. This means that their caloric need correspondingly reduces. However, they may eat just as much as before, and would beg for food if they feel hungry. Manufacturers do have products specifically targeted at spayed and neutered cats and do actively promote them. I find that they are not much different from the Indoor or Light formulations, but that’s just my opinion.
- Pregnant and Nursing Cats
Before starting on any new diet for pregnant cats, I strongly suggest that your veterinarian be consulted for the best kind of food for your cat. Manufacturers usually recommend that you feed a pregnant or nursing cat either kitten food or to increase their caloric and nutrient intake through increased meals. Whatever you feed your pregnant or nursing cat, do take into consideration that their nutritional needs have increased.
Step 4: Determining the Most Suitable Dry Cat Food
Armed with the above information, you can now make a decision on what dry cat food to get for your cat. With the exception of the pregnant or nursing cats, it is quite simple to pick up a cat food that matches the age and lifestyle of your cat.
As the food is new to your cat, do purchase the smallest packet possible just in case the food is unsuitable for your cat, or if your cat rejects it.
The next step is where you find out if the dry cat food that you bought based on the Steps 1 to 3 is suitable for your cat.
Step 5: Observing Your Cat’s Physiological Reaction
Before you feed your cat with the new cat food, take some time to do the following:
- Weigh your cat.
- Feel your cat to see if you can feel her ribs.
The above two steps will give you a benchmark to determine if the food you just bought is suitable for your cat. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell until you feed your cat. Here are the steps I take when introducing new food to my cats.
Mix the new food with old food in increasing proportions over a week or two. This is to let the cat get used to the new food.
Observe their poop after they feed. Yes, it is a nasty job, but please do it just in case the food causes digestive problems. Signs to look out for are diarrhea and bloody stools. Diarrhea over a short term is still acceptable as the cat may not be used to the new food, but not for too long as it will dehydrate the cat. Bloody stools means that the new food may not suitable – bring your cat to the veterinarian immediately.
Feel for the cats’ ribs weekly. If the ribs start to disappear under a layer of flesh, it is time to reduce the feed quantity or to change to a food with lower calories per kibble. If the ribs become more pronounced, either increase the quantity or change to a food with a higher calories per kibble.
Weigh your cat weekly. If your cat’s body weight shows an increase, it is time to reduce the feed quantity or to change to a food with lower calories per kibble. If the body weight of your cat decreases, either increase the quantity or change to a food with higher calories per kibble.
If the cat rejects the food outright, you’ll have to get some other type of cat food. This happens sometimes. That is why I advise you to get the smallest packet of a new cat food when trying it out.
Signs of rejection include:
- Munching on the new food for a while and then letting it drop back into the bowl.
- Eating only her old food and not touching her new food.
- She may pick out the old kibble for consumption while leaving the new kibble in the bowl.