Cats are cuddly, playful, and energetic pets. They love to move around the house, walk around your feet, or stay on your lap. These great companions deserve to be given enough food and proper nutrition to keep them healthy and have boundless energy.
With so many commercial cat food brands in the market, it can sometimes be confusing which one is the best for your feline friend. To help you decide and choose a cat food that best suits your furry friend’s needs, we’ll share here some important facts about cat food that you need to know.
1. Cats Need Meat Protein in Their Diet
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means their diet is restricted to meat only. Vegetarian diets are not recommended for cats because they have short digestive systems and these are not designed to break down plant fiber. Meat, poultry, or fish are good sources of animal meat protein, and in commercial cat food, you’ll also find another type of protein - hydrolyzed protein. It is good to err on the side of caution when it comes to strange-sounding names in your cat food, so look for more information on hydrolyzed proteins cat food from reputable pet food review sites or your veterinarian. To give you an idea of what hydrolyzed protein is, you can consider it as a pre-digested protein, where the long protein strands are broken down into smaller chains or single amino acids. Cat foods with smaller protein chains are easy to absorb and hydrolyzed protein is sometimes recommended for cats with certain food allergies. Carefully read the label on the source of hydrolyzed protein, as plant-based protein like soy protein does not have taurine and essential amino acids that your cats need for sustenance and staying healthy.
2. Calculate and Control the Carb Content in Cat Food
Carbohydrates are not essential to a cat’s diet, so they only need a minimal amount of carbs in their diet. When it comes to metabolism, carbohydrate is broken down into sugar inside the feline body. Cats have no use for sugar, so it is stored as fat in their bodies instead. Too much sugar can disrupt the insulin balance in your cat’s body and this can lead to diabetes. So watch what you cats eat and look for cat foods that are high-protein and low-carb content.
3. Kibble Food is Not Advisable for Cats
There are several reasons why kibble food is not recommended for cats. It can even be considered as junk food for cats. For one, kibble is dry food and cats cannot live on dry food only. It has high plant-based protein and carbohydrate content and has low meat-based protein content. As we mentioned earlier, meat is essential in a cat’s diet, and it cannot utilize plants and carbohydrates. Cats also need moisture and they obtain moisture from the food they eat. Water is important for their digestion, and kibble’s low moisture content can cause digestive problems and even dehydration.
4. Transition Cat Food Slowly
If there is an absolute need for you to change your cat’s diet, you need to do it gradually to give your cat’s digestive system time to adjust. Cats need a stable, monotonous diet and they are sensitive to dietary changes. Slowly introduce your cat’s new food along with its current food and gradually increase the new food’s quantity. Do not change their food too quickly to avoid them getting sick.
We love our cats so much that we’d give them the best when it comes to their food. We have to keep in mind that cats have special dietary needs and we should not go for insufficient substitutes. We must read the labels of our cat food carefully and see the veterinarian to consult what food is best for our cats.