In order to answer briefly which cat is the healthiest cat food, we need to look at the quality of the food available and consider the needs of each cat in a well-trained manner. Due to differences in health and living conditions, cats’ needs can vary widely. For example, older cats with diabetes who are indoors only have different nutritional needs than new kittens.
In general, cats require certain nutrients such as animal proteins and various vitamins and minerals. All commercial cat foods must contain these nutrients. Well, the difference between brands is in the quality of these ingredients.
1. Start with the ingredient list. The first five of the list make up the largest amount of the product. If you first see grains like corn, wheat or soybeans, the cat’s food will be more difficult to digest and you will see a lot of vomiting and a lot of waste in the litter box. If food “goes through them,” they are not getting enough nutrition and will eat more and more.
Cats have a short digestive tract and are very effective so they can digest protein-intensive foods effectively. Adding fillers such as grains slows down the processing process and deprives animals of the benefits of fully utilizing the nutrients in dry food. It is also worth noting that many cats do not chew dry food, but swallow it whole, further reducing the value of food.
2. Canned or dried? Because grains are used to maintain the coarse grain shape, canned foods (if any) require fewer grains. Many people think this is better for their cat. In many ways it is. There are fewer grains and a higher digestibility. However, if there is too much water in some canned foods, the total protein content may be lower. Cats naturally get the most water from eating fresh prey, but if the percentage is too high (for example, more than 80% in some canned foods), they may not be getting the water they need.
Another consideration is how the dry food is made. Usually, meat and meat by-products and some amount of other “mysterious ingredients” are cooked at very high temperatures. This destroys fat cells, so it is necessary to avoid rancidity by adding chemical preservatives. These must also be stated on the packaging and may contain BHA, BHT, potassium sorbate, calcium sorbate, propylene glycol or sorbic acid. If you can’t pronounce it, it may not be a natural ingredient. After cooking, the “mashed potatoes” are pressed through small holes under high pressure to form coarse grains. Since all these calories and stress destroy most of the nutrients, vitamins and minerals are usually added in the final stages of production to ensure legal requirements are met … not necessarily all of the nutritional needs of cats.
Consult your vet. Not all cats are the same, their needs can be as unique as human needs. Compared to canned food, dry food is more convenient and usually cheaper, but the prices are different. Ask the vet about the cat’s specific nutritional needs and get some suggestions. Note: If your vet keeps an inventory of a particular brand, try to find out if they only recommend food, as this has to be done to earn commission, or if it really benefits your cat.
4. Make sure the protein comes from animal sources. Plant proteins lack the amino acids necessary for feline health, which usually leads to liver, heart and kidney disease, which significantly shortens the cat’s lifespan. Remember, cats are carnivores, not “hornets.” If you have the time and you want to, you may want to convert your cat to completely raw food. But this is another topic that needs more room for discussion.
5. Another requirement is to find something suitable for cats! Depending on the cat’s age, personal preferences can be deeply rooted, making it difficult to change brands. If the kitten is only given one brand and flavor while growing up, the adult cat will usually prefer the only food they know. If necessary, changing the cat’s diet can help them adjust to the new food. However, if your cat has allergies, providing an unknown source of protein can help prevent allergic reactions. In this case, look for foods from unusual foods such as duck, rabbit, turkey and other meats that are not normally included in pet foods.