Choosing the right food for your cat can make a big difference in the life of your cat. This is not as easy as it may seem because many cat foods claim to be of premium quality but are in fact low-quality food in a fancy package. The benefits of feeding your cat high-quality food are the same as for humans who eat a quality diet, such as fewer diseases, more energy and longer lifespan. There are two important things you need to understand to care for your cat in the proper way. First, learn the nutritional requirements of your cat, and second, how to choose a premium cat food.
Requirements of Your Cat
There are foods that will fill your cat’s stomach and satisfy hunger, but just like junk food for humans, it may be lacking in any nutritional value. To make sure you are giving your cat the proper nutritional value, there are several things you may need to consider, including:
- Amino acids – very important because cats do not produce them naturally, so they must be made part of their diet. Fish and meat will provide all of the necessary amino acids. If your cat does not get the necessary amino acids, heart problems, deficient immune system, and blindness are a few possible repercussions.
- Fats and fatty acids – cats can eat a higher percentage of fat than humans can, but for maximum health benefits, their cat food should contain around 10 percent fat. The omega-fats are essential and the lack of these fatty acids can cause problems for your cat’s vision and nervous system.
- Carbohydrates – although not required, do provide the energy that your cat needs for its daily life. Pregnant cats and kittens will have different energy requirements than other cats, so you may want to check with your vet about this. You can buy cat food that has all the required vitamins and minerals for your cat’s good health.
Choosing the Right Food
It is important to learn how to read the ingredients. Any supermarket will have cheap cat food, but you will most likely be paying for a bag of empty calories of no nutritional value. When you buy cat food online, you will see a complete list of ingredients and nutritional value. The words complete and balanced mean it meets the requirements of the American Associate of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
- The protein source should be named such as chicken or beef and not simply meat.
- The protein source should be the first ingredient in the list
There are a number of things, which should be avoided if they are listed in the ingredients. If you see the words bone meal, animal by-products or animal digest the food may not have a healthy protein source. In addition, preservatives such as propyl gallate, BHA or BHT should be avoided, as well as, excessive fillers such as cornmeal.
While a high-quality cat food may be a little more expensive, the advantages are certainly worth it for a healthy pet. You will not need to spend on supplements because all your cat’s needs will be met with the high-quality food. Your cat will have more energy and be hungry less often because his nutritional needs are being satisfied.