If you are a cat owner, the wellbeing of your beloved companion will always be a priority. Like many other cat owners, you probably spend much time searching for the most nutritious meals possible to feed your feline friend. Unfortunately, this task is more difficult than it seems, as there are a number of cat foods out there that are not so healthy, and in fact, dangerous for your cat.
Taking in the right food is necessary to keep your cat happy, healthy, and active. Let’s take a look at how you can tell the good cat food brands from the bad, and give your furry pal the most nutritious meals possible.
Bad Cat Food vs Good Cat Food
Like their fiercer cousins in the animal kingdom, cats also love and need meat. It is for this reason that you should remain on the lookout for cat food with more meat content. Do your best to stay away from less meaty cat foods with more grain.
In actual fact, it would be a good idea to stay away from three types of grain completely, namely corn, wheat, and soy. This is because many cats are known to be allergic to these ingredients.
With these considerations in mind, it would be wise to look for wet cat food. This is because wet cat food usually contains more meat and other forms of protein. Even if your cat is fine with dry food, it could lead to issues such as urinary blockages if your feline friend does not drink enough water. Wet food, on the other hand, will keep your cat hydrated.
It is always a good idea to stick to cat food brands that have a reputation of being high quality. Oftentimes, the better cat food brands will be specific when listing their ingredients. If meat is included, these brands will specify exactly what kind of meat it is. Some lesser-known brands may be vague about it.
Identifying Bad Cat Food
There are certain easy-to-spot warning signs that will tell you whether or not the cat food could be harmful to your cat. For starters, make sure to avoid grain-heavy foods. Also stay clear of strong preservatives such as BHA, BHT, and Ethoxyquin.
Here are some of the most important characteristics to avoid:
- Plant Protein — while we have established that protein is important for cats (due to its amino acids being a prime energy source), this protein comes from meat, not plants. Plant protein can result in digestive issues for your cat and as well as cause them to put on excess weight.
- Carbohydrates — Naturally, cats are not suited to consume carbohydrates. They do not have the enzyme pathways to handle them, and carbohydrates do not actually possess benefits for cats. While low levels of carbohydrates are alright, stay clear of cat foods that are composed of carbohydrates by nearly 50 percent.
- Unidentified by-products — these would be ingredients that make their way into cat food that cannot easily be identified. While these could include animal meat, there is no way of knowing for sure what they contain. Make sure that such ingredients are mentioned far down the ingredient list if they do happen to appear on the packaging.
- Carrageenan — this foreign substance is found in edible seaweed, and can be extremely dangerous for your cat to consume. Not only can it cause gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers and tumors, but any reaction to it from your cat’s immune system could result in digestive organs becoming inflamed.
- Artificial colors — apart from making the cat food more visually appealing, dyes provide no health benefits for cats. In fact, some of these dyes are in fact, carcinogens.
The Hunt For Healthy Cat Food
In order to find nutritious and affordable cat food brands, you will need to conduct some research on the topic. Start off by asking your local veterinarian for suggestions and make sure to include the price you are willing to pay.
With the internet at your fingertips, it is always a good idea to search online for highly recommended cat food brands. Look up their ingredients, how their food is processed, and the feedback that other cat owners have provided on the brand. This will give you some insight into which brands have a history of providing nutritious products as well as those products that have proven harmful to cats.
Once you have decided on which cat food brands to look for, there are plenty of online shopping platforms that you can use to purchase your cat food of choice. From here, you can compare prices and search for coupons and special deals that will allow you to provide your cat with a nutritious meal at the lowest possible price.