There is considerable amount of misinformation out there when it comes to the choosing the right food to feed your cat. As a good owner, however, you want to do right by your pet, which is why it’s important to do your research. The following is an overview of cat food and what you need to know about it.
A Cat’s Nutritional Needs
Cats are obligate carnivores and require meat and other animal products to survive. Taurine is an amino acid that is especially important and comes solely from animal products. The right balance of vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats is what cats ultimately need. Remember, so long as the right nutritional components are present, the source is not as important. It’s important to consider your cat’s energy levels as well when it comes to formulating his diet. An animal that gets more exercise will need more food while one that does less needs less. It is also possible to not feed commercial food at all and create a diet from scratch yourself.
Contrary to popular belief, unless there is an allergy or another health reason present, cats do not need to be on grain-free food. However, excess grain is not especially good either. Look for foods that have been through live feeding tests, as these have been more thoroughly tested than foods that have not. While cats should not really eat people food, there are certain foods to avoid that are very harmful towards them such as chocolate, milk, tuna or anything containing xylitol.
Dry Food vs. Wet Food
Whether it is better to feed cats wet food, dry food or some mixture of both is a topic of hot contention among owners. Dry food is much cheaper and does not spoil easily. Wet food, however, can help guard against some conditions such as diabetes and urinary tract infections. It is true that cats are prone to kidney disease and feeding them wet food is a useful way to ensure they are getting enough water. Is wet food or dry food better? PetMD reports that there is no scientific consensus yet one way or the other.
Breed, Size and Age Variations
The breed of the cat does not factor into what kinds of food they should be fed. A cat’s size, however, can be an important factor in the food you should be feeding them. Cats that are overweight can be fed diet food that will hopefully help them lose weight and improve their overall health. Once the animal becomes a senior, owners should switch over to a diet specifically formulated for senior cats. Kittens, also, should be on specially formulated kitten food.
Who To Believe?
With all the conflicting information out there on the Internet, from fellow feline owners and even veterinary professionals, it can be difficult to determine what kinds of food you should really be feeding your cat for their optimal health and longevity. Consider the source of any information you uncover. Hold the opinions and conclusions of veterinary professionals and animal nutritionists in higher regard than other sources of information. They hold the necessary education and have dedicated their careers to the study of animal nutrition and husbandry.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is the needs of your specific cat. If your feline friend is perfectly healthy and doing well on the food they are on, you are likely okay. But if there are issues, talk to your veterinarian and see what changes need to be made.
Author Bio: Paige Jirsa- I work with Top10.Today, a shopping comparison site, where we strive to help consumers find the best quality and priced products.
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