Years ago there was a television commercial that featured a finicky cat named Morris. Remember him? The producers of that commercial sure got it right– cats are finicky by nature. If you’ve ever put out a dish of food for your cat and found it sitting untouched after a while, then you know what I’m talking about. Cats have no problem scoffing at food that they deem as less than desirable. They may even go on a hunger strike! So, how do you choose the perfect cat food?
What Should You Consider When Choosing the Perfect Cat Food?
Knowing what to feed you cat can be a bit challenging. Your vet will undoubtedly have recommendations on how to choose the perfect cat food. If you have been to the pet food aisle of your grocery store, you know that there is a vast selection of cat food products available. A visit to a specialty pet store will yield even more choices. All in all, the process of selecting food for your cat can become quite overwhelming.
To help simplify the process for you, here are some things to take into consideration when trying to find the perfect food for your cat:
- types of food
- read the labels
- dietary restrictions
- ask your Vet
- consider special treats
Types of Cat Food
Cat food comes in two forms: wet and dry. Wet cat food is canned and may contain gravy, a pate consistency, or bits of meat. The dry cat food comes in a crunchy form and is typically offered in various sizes and flavors. Your cat should be fed a variety of both types of cat food in order to maintain a well-balanced diet.
Cat Food Prices
Cat food prices run the gamut, so if budget is a concern then you should start with an inexpensive store brand and see if it agrees with your cat. If your cat seems to have trouble digesting the food (example: frequent hacking or spitting up) then move on to another brand.
Premium cat foods, sold at pet food stores and veterinary offices, can get pricey. However, they are well worth the price if your cat dislikes other brands or has allergies or sensitivities to store-bought brands. Speak with your vet to find out the best course of action to determine if your cat may have food allergies.
Read the Labels on Cat Food
You should always read the ingredient labels of any cat food products that you plan to feed to your four-legged friend. Make sure that the food contains protein sources such as meat, fish or poultry. You should also look for cat food that contains taurine, which is an amino acid that is very important for cat health.
If you aren’t satisfied with the ingredients you’re finding, consider making your own cat food!
Your cat’s age and dietary restrictions should always be taken into account. There are cat food formulations made especially for kittens and adult cats.
The senior cat food formulas address the dietary needs of elderly cats.
If you’re specifically shopping for a new kitten, particularly 6 months and younger, we highly recommend you read our essential feeding guide and tips for kittens.
An overweight cat is at increased risk for serious health problems, such as diabetes. If your cat is overweight, you should put him or her on a diet. There are specialty brands of diet cat food available at pet food stores and most veterinary offices. Of course, you must also control the portion size your overweight cat eats for the diet to be beneficial.
Ask Your Vet for Cat Food Recommendations
If your cat has special needs, or does not seem to like any of the food that you put out, consult with your veterinarian. Your cat may have a medical condition that needs to be addressed. If all checks out, your vet will have additional recommendations for ensuring your pet receives the nutrients it needs.
Special Cat Treats
Cats are no different than us– they like a little variety once in a while. Try to find several kinds of food that your cat enjoys and give him or her a bit of variety. As a special treat, try giving your cat some canned tuna fish. Cats usually devour it! Be cautious of the human food your let your cat eat though, as not all are safe for them to consume. You can also offer your pet a traditional cat treat or a little catnip once in a while. Catnip even comes in a variety of fun toys and other options.
Your cat can live a long, healthy, and happy life through a balanced nutrition. By doing a bit of research, you can easily find a variety of suitable food options and choose the perfect cat food for your fur baby to grow and thrive.