Our pet fanatic team at Weneedpets came up with the assistance you will need for your fur family’s health and well-being. Today, we have prepared the ultimate guide for you to help with choosing the best cat food for your furry friend.
I have discussed what health nutrients are present in various cat food and what actually is essential in it for your feline pal.
Moreover, I have reviewed and suggested the best cat foods available and you can go with any of those considering what suits your kitty the best.
Some cats like dry food, some like raw foods and some of them like wet food (also known as canned food). There is a science behind how food works for your kitty’s body and her metabolism.
Packed cat food also packs harmful ingredients that your cats consume while eating healthy chunks of it! I will let you know what things you should check before selecting and purchasing the right food for your kitty.
There are many brands selling their cat food and we have thoroughly researched them. To our surprise, we have also found out that some products which do not actually contain the ingredients written on the pack.
We have filtered out the best products of top brands for you and we wish you do not choose the misleading product for your kitty.
No need to mention, your furball feline is a carnivore. And that does not mean only meat and fish will keep it healthy. Green veggies, fruits, and other cat superfoods are also crucial for their well being.
- At a Glance: Our Favorite Cat Food Products
- Types of Cat Food
- The 21 Best Cat Foods of 2023 (Reviewed)
- Best Overall: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
- Runners Up: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet
- Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Chicken Cat Food
- Instinct Original Grain Free Wet Cat Food by Nature’s Variety
- Nutro Max Chicken And Lamb Wet Cat Food
- BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Wet Cat Food
- Stella And Chewy’s Freeze Dried Cat Food- Chicken Dinner
- Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Turkey Formula for Cats
- Nature’s Variety Market Raw Chicken Nuggets
- 5 Best Other Cat Foods For Specific Health Issues
- Perfect Cat Foods Based On Age
- Dr. Marty Nature’s Feast Cat Food
- Buyer’s Guide
- Essential Vitamins, Proteins, And Minerals For Your Cat
- Moisture Content- How Much Water Should Your Cat Drink?
- All About The Ingredients
- What Cat Food Ingredients Should You Look For?
- What Ingredients Should You Avoid?
- Human Foods Not For Your Kitty!
- Can You Prepare Homemade Food For Your Kitty?
- Chicken Diet
- Diabetes Diet
At a Glance: Our Favorite Cat Food Products
Choosing the right food for your kitty may seem baffling. But with our review for best cat food and buyer’s guide, you’ll be able to make the right choice!
|1. Wellness Core Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Meal||Best Grain-Free Dry Cat Food|
|2. Stella And Chewy’s Freeze Dried Cat Food||Raw Food Available In The Market|
|3. Instinct Original Grain Free Chicken Recipe||Canned Food for Cat|
|4. Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food||Catisfaction Guaranteed Budget Cat Food|
**Rated by experts at Weneedpets at the time of publication. It has nothing to do with Amazon ratings and reviews.
Best Dry Cat Food
Wellness Core Grain-Free Chicken, Turkey & Chicken Meal: Wellness is a brand that knows what cats love. This Core Grain-Free Meal range consists of the perfect balance of nutrients including 38% crude protein, 12% of crude fat, and only 5% of crude fiber. It is available in 5 delicious flavors that your cat will love to devour.
Best Raw Cat Food
Dr. Marty Nature’s Feast Raw Cat Food: All the ferals have a natural tendency to hunt their prey for food. Surprisingly, many cat owners have found that their cat loved to gulp Raw Cat Food against Dry or Canned Food. It contains all-natural ingredients including healthy meat, vegetables, and fruits in order to provide your cat with a wholesome diet.
Best Canned Cat Food
Instinct Original Grain Free Chicken Recipe: Canned cat food is every cat’s favorite whether it be your lovely little kitty or that grumpy old cat of Mr. Bean! Instinct Original is available in 8 exciting flavors with real chunks of meat inside the can. Being the industry leader for a while now, Instinct Original offers nothing but the best for your kitty’s well-being and health.
Best Budget Nutrient Food
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food: This cat food brand from celebrity chef Rachael Ray comes with a unique nutritional diet for cats. Available in flavors Chicken+Rice and Salmon+Rice, Rachael Ray Nutrish is very particular about their ingredients. It contains only natural food ingredients and there is no artificial flavors or preservatives at all. And the best thing is, this balanced diet comes at a budget price!
Types of Cat Food
Before choosing the cat food, you need to have a look at what different types of cat food are available. All the types of cat food serve different purposes and they have their own pros and cons.
At the first glance, choosing the right food for your kitty may seem baffling. Kitten food, dry food, prescription food, organic food, therapeutic diet food, canned food, packed meat, wet food with added nutrients and the list goes on…
Cat foods are mainly of four types. Wet food or canned food, semi-moist food, dry food or kibble, and raw food.
Canned food and wet food are same. The moisture content in wet food is about 75%. If you have ever noticed how your furry friend reacts to kibble and canned food you will agree to the fact that cat loves canned food. What is more important here to notice is the necessity of feeding this food over kibble to your furball family.
Its taste and texture attract cats and sometimes cats overeat due to that. If you serve them an opened can, the cat will try to eat as much as their belly can hold. This can lead them to obesity and other health-related problems. So, whenever you are serving wet food to your pet, serve the required quantity of food in her bowl.
Moreover, you need to understand how the products are different which have similar names. For an instance, tuna cat food, tuna dinner or tuna platter, and cat food with tuna create ambiguity for customers. All these phrases do not have the same meaning. The tuna content in them is 95%, 25%, and 3% respectively! So, next time when you feel confused about what to buy, find the contents of the cat food and read the label on it.
Further, you should change the wet food according to your kitty’s needs. For example, if your kitten has grown up, gradually switch from kitten diet to a normal adult canned food. Nutritional requirements are different for them in different stages of life. A kitten’s nutrition need per pound of weight is twice than that of an adult cat.
If your kitty is healthy then almost any premium cat food is apt for her. However, her allergies and disease should be taken into consideration to avoid problem-causing ingredients.
When your cat is ill and it needs special care, go for a therapeutic diet. Take help of your vet for selecting the right cat formula. This will ease up the symptoms and aid in her recovery as well.
This type of food is similar to the kibble. The only difference between dry food and the semi-moist food is moisture content. Does it differ in nutrition value? Nope. Does it improve shelf life and cost? Yeah kind of, a middle ground between dry food and wet food.
Vets do not recommend this type of cat food. It just is chewy rather than crunchy which is in the case of kibble. Cat food industries add additives and preservatives to it in order to increase its shelf life and build an attractive texture. And in doing this, the product loses its nutritional worth.
However, if your cat likes to munch on semi-moist food then you can feed it to them occasionally. Remember, choose a high-quality food to make sure your kitty does not consume any harmful ingredients which I have listed in this article earlier.
Dry food is also known as kibble. It has a longer shelf life and it lasts for long. For an instance, a bag of kibble would last for several months. The moisture percentage is about 10%-15% which makes it dry and crispy. Obviously, the dry food is low on nutritional value than the wet food.
The convenience factor, low price, and higher shelf life make it a perfect choice for you. But hey, it is not the way it seems. You should consider few points before choosing the right type of cat food. First, the moisture content. Cats are carnivores who satisfy their water thirst by the moisture present in their meal. If your kitty only eats kibble then she is not intaking enough water. This might lead to kidney, bladder and urinary tract problems.
And second, the nutritional value. Carbs are added into kibble to give it a special dry texture. And as I have already discussed that cats are obligate carnivores and they do not need extra carbohydrates. Moreover, kibble lacks protein and excessive carbs can promote obesity in your furball feline.
I feed Lucy a handful of kibble as a treat after she has her homemade meal or canned or raw cat food. This way she enjoys the taste and texture of the kibble while taking care of its health and wellness.
Have you ever fed your kitty a raw salmon and noticed how much she loves it? Cats are more strict carnivores than dogs are. Their natural habit is catching their preys in wild and to thrive on them. Well, this is possible by feeding them on raw meat available in the market which comes as a packed meat. In addition, raw food has less starch compared to other types of food which make it healthier.
Experts suggest not to buy meat from butchers. If you do not have what parts should be omitted and what parts to keep, you might accidentally feed your cat meat laced with disease-causing microorganisms. So, a safe option is to purchase packed meat from mart and serve some pieces from it.
However, some experts do not suggest raw food as there are chances of zoonotic disease transmission. You can avoid any of this harmful effects by purchasing sterilized meat. The best way to get the best from raw food is by preparing a homemade meal from it adding taurine and other supplements. I have discussed how to prepare homemade food for your feline friend in the later section.
The 21 Best Cat Foods of 2023 (Reviewed)
We are here to help you to choose the right cat food and cat formula for your kitty. However, what I am going to suggest may not be completely suitable for your feline pet. So, consult your vet before you choose any of this mentioned here.
List out all the allergic ingredients for your cat and do not select formula containing such ingredients. I have suggested the products which are in general the best ones available in the market.
I am going to review top 9 cat food and obviously under 3 different sections. Not to mention, A general top ranking list of cat food is meaningless. Because of the needs and nutritional values of them are different.
Moreover, you can find which cat food is best in specific health issues and their age.
The common wisdom to select the right cat food for your furry pet is more or less like this.
- It is better to choose cat food with fewer carbohydrates and starches.
- Never choose a product which is not prepared under AAFCO guidelines and you can always find AAFCO statement on the label of the pack.
- It is advisable to not buy the cat food with grains.
- Choosing a high animal or meat protein cat formula is better.
- Canned food is better than kibble due to a higher moisture content in it.
- Corn filler in cat formula or kibble is harmful.
- Reading and understanding the brand lines are important as a slight variation in the product line can cause a huge difference in nutrition content in the product.
Best Dry Cat Food
Nourishing your cat by feeding them healthy food, by all means, is the key to their wellness and being healthy. We have brought the list of best dry cat food for your furry pet.
Best Overall: Wellness CORE Grain-Free Dry Cat Food
Wellness core grain-free chicken, turkey and chicken meal dry cat food is the perfect combination of all the ingredients as a dry cat food. Wellness knows what cat loves. This dry food contains 38% crude protein, 12% of crude fat, and only 5% of crude fiber. Grain-free formula reduces your kitty’s starch and carbohydrate intake.
This leading company in the market has made this cat food the best match for your budget and your kitty’s health. What I appreciate about this product is it has 62% of premium meat and plant protein in total. Its less carbohydrate content can help your kitty’s immunity system to prevent diabetes.
Carbs used in this formula also includes legume, digestible beans and some other veggies and fruits like potato, chicory root extracts and tomato pomace and peas. This fruits and veggies suffice your kitty’s mineral and vitamin needs naturally. All the supplements including taurine make it a whole balanced meal.
There’s something more to it. Many cat owners have noticed that their UTI cats have grown severe symptoms of UTI after they started feeding this dry food to their cats. Well, this is the case with dry food because it lacks in moisture. So, if your cat is healthy and doing well then this dry food is apt for your cat.
The price factor may seem a minus point for some. Earlier, the company reduced the quantity from 12 lbs to 11 lbs for the same price. If you ask me, a pound less for the same price of risking her health by moving to another cat food is not something I would do.
- Indoor Chicken and Turkey
- Kitten Turkey and Chicken
- Original Turkey and Chicken
- Turkey and Duck
- It tastes really good to even finicky cats.
- Healthier excretion of solid fecal waste after getting this formula as a regular meal.
- Ingredients and nutrition are above par and comparable with those of expensive premium cat food.
- There are no corn fillers, meat by-products, artificial preservatives or flavors.
- It contains a probiotic called FortiFlor which helps in preventing digestive problems.
- Change in formula lately is not palatable for some cats.
- Price hike by reducing the quantity of the food for the same price.
- Not suitable for the cats suffering from UTI.
My personal experience says it is the best dry cat food available in the market. However, you should take a note of few things which has been becoming the reason for switching to other similar products for some of the people. Wellness core has changed his formula once and some of the cats hated it! Although my Lucy didn’t even notice any changes in it and continued to enjoy this food.
Runners Up: Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet
As simply puts the name of the product, LID, Limited Ingredient Diet maintains the natural balance of nutrients and ingredients. Each and every ingredient used in this cat formula is meant for proper digestion of food and prevention of upsetting of the stomach. The unique taste if each ingredient makes the formulas unique to cat’s taste buds.
All of its flavors and different formulas contain some same ingredients such as green peas or chickpeas, and chicken, duck, venison or salmon as a meat source.
Not to mention, all the flavors are grain free and packs all the vital minerals and vitamins including Omega-3 and 6 other fatty acids making each formula a balanced diet.
All the cat formulas by Natural balance LID contains the appropriate amount of fibers and vitamins which will aid in better health and digestion of your furry friend. In addition, the fatty acids it comes with are beneficial for their glowing and smooth coat.
Natural balance limited ingredient diet dry cat food packs total of not more than 10% moisture, minimum 29.5% protein, minimum 11.5% fat, minimum 5% of fiber, maximum 0.16% taurine, and minimum 0.5% omega-3. It gives 3500kcal/kg and it roughly equals to 410 kcal/cup. I have mentioned this values for green pea and duck formula. For other flavors, these values are more or less same.
I have thoroughly researched and have also seen people’s reviews mentioning their cats have developed allergies and their increased scratching. This may be possible because of the change in cat food formulas. Whereas many cat owners have found their cats are healing and becoming healthier.
This depends on what ingredients are included and as a cat parent, it is your duty to check each and every ingredient of cat formula before feeding your kitty. A sure yes to this product from my side.
- Green Pea and Duck Formula
- Green Pea and Chicken Formula
- Indoor Formula- Salmon and Chickpea
- Green Pea and Salmon
- Green Pea and Venison
- Indoor Formula- Turkey and Chickpea
- It is again a grain-free formula.
- It helps the cat with digestion problems.
- This kibble is good for the cats of all age groups.
- Balanced diets with limited ingredients which makes cats less exposed to allergic ingredients
- There is a big range of formulas to choose from. This helps you to avoid allergic ingredient to your kitty and yet can have benefits of natural balance limited ingredient diet.
- Changing formulas may include some new ingredients which might be allergic to your furball friend.
- If not taken care of checking ingredients before feeding it to your furry friend, it can develop some major allergic reaction.
Natural balance limited ingredient diet indeed has more choices for the cat owners. With each formula, this company has been successful to maintain a balance between ingredients and nutrients present in it. Somehow you need to take care while selecting the right formula for your furball feline. That is all you need to take care of.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Natural Dry Chicken Cat Food
Rachael Ray Cat Food is the best choice for adult cats. A recipe straight from Rachael’s kitchen is for cats who want a wheat-free formula. In every formula, the first ingredient is real meat. Moreover, these formulas are wheat-free and corn free and also do not contain soy or any poultry by-products.
Your furry friend will get enough fibers, probiotics aiding in digestion. Its real ingredients including beet pulp play a unique role in nutrition.
Rachael Ray makes it a nice combination by selecting chicken, salmon or white fish as a protein source and mixing it with wholesome veggies, taurine, vitamins, and minerals. The bag sizes are of 3 pounds, 6 pounds, and 14 pounds.
High-quality farm-raised chicken is used for making this chicken formula. Of course, it is an AAFCO certified product and does not contain any artificial colors and preservatives.
I would definitely recommend Rachael Rays’ formula for the cats who are not allergic to corn gluten. While this product being a right choice for your furry friend, it can cause severe allergies too only if you do not check all the ingredients.
This formula reads ground corn free. And at the same time, you can read it includes corn gluten meal as a third ingredient.
Well, if you ask me about how come this product is corn free, I would say cat food manufacturers can literally mention that it is a corn free as corn gluten is a by-product and makes it corn free legally.
I have seen many people are disappointed with this fact. But there is no need to be! Corn gluten meal is way less harmful than ground corn in actual form. And what can you expect is used in the product to hold together all the loose ingredients, for an instance, those wholesome veggies?
- Check out the full Rachael Ray Cat Food Reviews here!
- Chicken and brown rice
- Salmon and brown rice
- It has a good taste and smaller kibble size which makes it more suitable for cats too eat.
- A slight smell of the first ingredient, that is, salmon makes it palatable to most kitties.
- It is relatively cheap.
- Its ingredients make it a perfect combination of vitamins, protein, minerals, and wholesome veggies and other supplements.
- It contains corn gluten meal which is a ground corn by-product.
- As the product pack reads the formula is ground corn free and as well as having the corn gluten meal as its third ingredient may cause allergies in your kitty.
Many people including me believe Rachael Ray nutrish natural dry cat food is a superb formula at a relatively lower price with all the essential nutrients. In addition to this, the kibble size is small which makes it perfect for cats to eat. It comes with a slight smell of its protein sources (Salmon or chicken) which makes it palatable even for finicky cats. If your cat is not a corn intolerant, Rachael Ray formula is the right choice for you at a lower budget. Corn gluten is not harmful to your cats if she is healthy and not a corn allergic.
Best Canned Cat Food
Are your furry friends scattering kibbles from their bowls avoiding eating? Maybe because they are not liking kibbles anymore?
Nah, your tiny furry carnivores love meat and seafood in their original form. Canned food containing 75%-80% of moisture suffice their thirst and hunger simultaneously.
Find out the best canned food available on market here.
Instinct Original Grain Free Wet Cat Food by Nature’s Variety
Making it to the first place on my list, Instinct original grain-free chicken formula is a whole food and the apt combination of a meal suitable for all age groups. It contains chicken, chicken liver, turkey and chicken broth as the first ingredient protein source.
Talking about its ingredient percentages, it contains 95% chicken, chicken, liver and turkey, 5% wholesome vegetables, fruits and other essential supplements and 0% grains.
Made in the USA using the best ingredients from all over the world, it also contains some cat superfoods such as cranberries, pumpkins, broccoli, blueberries, cabbage and kale which adds more to the nutritional value of this canned food.
Not to mention, the formula is a grain-free and does not contain potato, wheat, soy or corn. And also do not contain any artificial colors or preservatives.
Let’s have look at its nutritional values. It packs 10% of crude protein, 6.5% of crude fat, and 3% of crude fiber. Many of you may have a question about its nutritional value. A general kibble has around 30% of crude protein whereas this canned food has only 10%.
Well, canned food has a huge part of moisture in itself hence, the amount of crude protein is lesser than the dry food as a whole.
If neglecting the moisture content in canned food making it comparable to kibble, this canned food has 45% of crude protein and 29.5% of crude fat.
This wet food is suitable for the cats of all age groups.
Adult cat: 2 cans of it per 6lbs to 8lbs body weight per day.
Kitten: feed them twice amount of this wet food you feed to your adult cat.
Pregnant/nursing kitty: feed them three times amount of food an adult cat needs.
Probably, your furball feline would refuse to eat it first so try to mix a small portion of this food in the old one.
- Easy pop open top lid.
- It is a grain-free and a gluten-free formula.
- Its first ingredient is chicken and not any misleading ingredient such as chicken by-product.
- Real meat chunks inside the can.
- It aids in curing kidney disease and a sensitive stomach.
- A slight change in ingredients warrants a look on the label in order to prevent any allergies or illness in cats.
- It has color inconsistency sometimes.
My girl Lucy is healthy and she does not have any health issues so far. When I switched to this canned food, she in no time started loving her new meal. This formula comes with small vegetable parts inside (including cranberries too) and lately, I have been seeing Lucy leaving those parts uneaten in the can. Apart from this, my kitty seems loving this food and is healthy and fit. Looking at its wholesome ingredients, this is the best shot at sustaining your kitty’s well being.
Nutro Max Chicken And Lamb Wet Cat Food
Nutro max chicken and lamb formula has made it to a runner-up position. It is made up of all the premium ingredient which makes it super healthy formula under AAFCO guidelines. This chicken formula does not contain any chicken head or intestines in it and moreover, it has naturally balanced ingredients.
Also, Nutro max claims that if your feline friend does not like the rich taste of ingredients and natural flavors, you can ask a refund. However, the taste and the texture is palatable to cats. In addition, Nutro max uses a slow cooking process in a broth for better taste and to sustain the nutritional value of the formula.
A special slow cooking process of meat in the broth is used that adds more to its taste and sustains the synergic nutrients at the same time. A balanced and wholesome wet food at this price is a sure yes for the cat parents who can choose an appropriate formula for their furry children from a wide range of flavors.
It comes in the can of 3 oz and 5.5 oz.
- Chicken and liver
- Chicken and ocean fish
- Chicken Supreme
- Lamb and turkey
- Sea food and tomato bisque
- Turkey and chicken liver
- Chicken lamb
- Ocean Fish
- Turkey and chicken
- Turkey and giblets
- It is a high grade food and is not fat laden, or a corn meal or a by-product meal.
- Meat pieces in a thick broth make this formula more palatable and cats love it!
- It uses GMO-free ingredients.
- A balanced product aids in good health in general.
- A wide range of flavors are available.
- Its pate texture may not be suitable for some finicky cats.
- A smell and color inconsistency you may find.
The only reason for not selecting this canned food is your kitty just won’t eat it. Yep, some finicky cats just eat it for some days and disagree to eat. Well, this recipe has the most palatable taste and texture which is suitable for the most cats. And while maintaining the palatability, Nutro max did not fail to sustain its nutritional value.
BLUE Basics Limited Ingredient Diet Grain Free Wet Cat Food
When your pet is suffering from any kind of allergic symptoms such as thin and bad coat, scratching on a specific place on its body, Vets usually suggest limited ingredient diet which can help to prevent developing allergy and which can ease up the symptoms. Blue basics is one such cat formula with premium wholesome ingredients and also grain-free.
Blue basics line has a protein source as the first ingredient excluding chicken and beef. Chicken and beef in any formula can be a prime reason behind allergic symptoms. It uses duck, turkey, and fish as a first ingredient and eliminates the risk of being vulnerable to chronic diseases and allergies.
While carb needs of a cat is a debatable topic, blue basics fish and potato pate recipe have potato and green peas as a carb source which is easily digestible and does not cause any gastric problems. Moreover, it has a substantial amount of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which aids in better coat and health of your kitty.
However, before trying this, make sure your kitty is okay with all the ingredients present inside. I had taken my best bet on choosing this limited ingredient diet for my another feline child which helped him to recover from sensitive stomach and skin problems.
It comes in 3 oz or 5.5 oz cans. The outstanding attribute of this formula is that most cat foods do not contain white fish as its first ingredient. Let’s see what are the other formulas blue basics make.
Most cat owners find Blue basics formula helpful to their feline family and I also believe its the best-limited ingredient wet food diet available on the market. I have seen people negatively reviewing this product as their pet got ill after eating this food. And in the description, they didn’t write anything except they start vomiting and got ill.
Needless to say, it is the parents’ duty to check the ingredients used in the formula thoroughly before feeding it to their cats. If after checking you do not find any objectionable allergic ingredient, you can start feeding it right away.
- Duck and potato pate recipe
- Fish and potato pate recipe
- Kitten turkey pate recipe
- turkey and potato pate recipe
- It does not conatin any meat or poultry by-products
- No artificial colors or preservatives which might cause allergies in your kitty.
- Also, it does not contain soy or wheat.
- Limited ingredient diet is beneficial for cats suffering from allergic symptoms.
- It does not contain chicken or beef as they are the reasons behind many allergies.
- This formula has a white fish as the first ingredient which is not commonly found in other cat food.
- It is not suitable for all cats.
- Cats cannot be fed on this diet forever.
- Fish oil in the formula without fish can cause allergy.
Blue basics limited ingredient diet has been a renowned company for its special formulas that help in recovering from allergic symptoms while nurturing cats with a balanced diet. One more thing about this product is Blue basics has started using fish oil as an ingredient in the formulas which does not have fish. A thorough look at the ingredients save your pet from being ill. That’s all you need to worry about. Awesome product which your cats will love.
Best Freeze-dried Or Frozen Raw Cat Food
Ever wondered you are feeding your cats something which is not their natural meal? Cats are the carnivores and they catch their prey and thrive on it. Frozen raw food is actually chunks of meat which are frozen and dehydrated in order to remove the moisture from it. Let’s see which are the top rated picks.
Stella And Chewy’s Freeze Dried Cat Food- Chicken Dinner
Cats’ natural habit is to catch the prey and thrive on them. This is what Stella and chewy has been doing for years now. Its chicken dinner formula contains real chicken meat in the form of nuggets. It contains chicken liver, chicken gizzards, and chicken ground with bone as a meat source.
This chicken formula contains minimum 45% crude protein, minimum 25% of crude fat, maximum 1% of crude fiber, maximum 5% moisture and minimum 0.25% of taurine. The formula does not contain any hormones, fillers, grains or antibiotics to keep the food as much natural as possible.
Moreover, the cat food producer claims that the chicken and other birds used in the formula are cage-free and sourced from the farmers and ranchers they know and trust. They source ingredients from worldwide and never from China. You can purchase this product in 4 different sizes, viz. 3.5 oz, 9 oz, 12 oz, and 18 oz.
The best option is to switch to a raw food diet when your kitty vomits out and cannot eat wet food or kibble. Stella and Chewy product line have a good formula with 98% of raw meat. Newly updated formulas now have green pea fiber which is indeed a good carrier of vitamins and other essential nutrients. However, some cats wouldn’t eat it and may have episodes of vomiting. You can use popular and best automatic cat feeders to ensure that you never miss her food.
- Salmon and chicken
- Salmon and cod
- A toxic substance, menadione sodium bisulphate used as a vitamin K in the formulas is removed by the Stella and chewy in their newer formula.
- A fish based formula now packs dandelion as a source of vitamins and mineral.
- Great customer service.
- It is also suitable for ferrets.
- It helps in preventing and cure the digestive disorders.
- The new formula has some wholesome veggies (less than 1% though) and this can be the reason your kitty won’t eat it.
In my opinion, if you are thinking of feeding your feline pal on a raw diet then Stella and Chewy is the best option for you to start from. This product won’t be abhorring for most cats. And as a matter of fact, not every cat food is tasty to all cats. A sure yes for Stella and Chewy who want to feed their cat raw.
Primal Freeze-Dried Nuggets Turkey Formula for Cats
Enjoy a super tasty and healthy primal freeze-dried turkey feline raw food containing high-quality protein and wholesome ingredients. It contains 93% turkey, organs, and bones and 7% produce and supplements. Ground bones is a good source of calcium which is a plus point of this raw formula.
Not to mention, the formula is grain-free and gluten-free. Also, the turkeys used in this product are cage free and raised without antibiotics or added hormones. Moreover, this raw food formula is suitable for every age group of cats.
The other wholesome and natural ingredients include pumpkin, celery, kelp, coconut oil, cilantro, blueberries, almonds, cranberries, collard greens, squash, quinoa sprouts and sunflower seeds. It is available in 2 bags of 14 ounces and 4 bags of 14 ounces or a single bag of 0.28 lb.
- Chicken and salmon
- Beef and salmon
- This raw food is observed as a best chocie to fight hyperesthesia in cats.
- It helps in sensitive stomach and aids to good health and a thick coat of fur.
- A palatable combination to most cats.
- It serves as a wholesome natural food and hence is helpful in general health issues such as diarrhea, sensitive stomach and other allergies.
- Inconsistency in the texture of food sometimes.
Primal’s turkey raw food is generally good and health improving for your feline friend. Your pet needs meat protein as well as essential nutrients from fruits and veggies. This formula has 93% of animal organs and the rest 7% as other wholesome ingredients which is a good combination.The inconsistency in texture and color can be easily overlooked when you are more concerned about your kitty’s health. Lucy likes to eat raw and Primal’s turkey formula has been her favorite.
Nature’s Variety Market Raw Chicken Nuggets
Nature’s variety market raw chicken raw food is another good raw cat food formula. The raw food is a palatable combination of cat chicken, and vegetable and fruits such as pumpkin seeds, organic carrots, organic pears, butternut squash and rosemary extract. A combination of 90% meat source and 10% veggies and other ingredients makes it special as not only a healthy cat food but also as a tasty cat food.
It is made in the USA using the finest ingredients from all over the world. Nature’s variety only uses cage-free chicken and grass-fed lamb and beef. It is so simple to serve it to your cat. Just crumble the nuggets up, add some water to it to rehydrate and serve it. You can also add crumbled nuggets in the wet food of your kitty. Well, the raw formula is so palatable that your cat would eat the raw nuggets as a meal.
This product is available in two different sizes; a 2 ounces bag and a 12 ounces bag. A 2 ounces bag is a trial pack and you can check whether your kitty loves this food or not.
Talking about the inconvenience, many people do not like to crumble up a nugget with hands and the lingering smell of it. Well, getting hands dirty with food is ok to me if my kitty is fond of it. You cannot blame your cat if this food is not palatable to them.
- A trial size bag is available.
- It is a palatable formula which most cats love.
- All ingredients used are wholesome.
- It is grain-free and gluten-free.
- Finicky cats may not like it.
- Rehydrating of crumbled nuggets takes time.
- Preparing a meal is inconvenient because crumbling nuggets with hands is not convenient for all people.
A good combination of veggies, fruits, and meat rather than just meat as a raw food makes this cat food special. Nature’s variety has presented its best to combine all the healthy things in a palatable form but there is a thing. Cats as an obligate carnivore won’t like to eat veggies. For this reason, your cat may not like to eat it. However, you can buy a trial bag to check whether your cat loves it or not. If it loves it, this raw food is the best for her considering its nutrition value and health benefits.
Hopefully, these 9 best products I have mentioned over here would help you to choose the right cat food for your furry friend. Let’s see top-rated picks for specific health issues and age groups.
5 Best Other Cat Foods For Specific Health Issues
A healthy kitty can eat any good cat food available in the market. But what about when your kitty is not well? Not to mention, when your kitty is allergic to some ingredients and has any chronic diseases, it is not safe to feed them any cat food. There are special cat foods for specific health issues which prevent allergies and diseases as well as ease up the symptoms.
Let’s check out which cat food is the best in particular health issues.
1. Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food
It is not unknown that wet canned cat food aids in sufficing cat’s thirst, especially for the cats which don’t drink water as regularly as they should. Nature’s Variety Instinct Original Grain Free Salmon Cat Food is the right choice for the cats who are suffering from allergies and undergoing food elimination trials.
Not being a limited ingredient diet, it does not have any corn, wheat or soy-based product. Corn is the main element for causing allergic symptoms most of the times. As it is a grain-free formula, there are no excess carbs in it which also helps in tackle diabetic problems of your kitty.
I recommend the Salmon formula because the meat source other than salmon such as beef and chicken can be responsible for some of the allergies. Unlike, other canned cat food this formula packs 95% salmon and pork liver which can be seen in other products around 45-50%
One more thing why I recommend instinct salmon formula is that it is a popular formula among the cat owners whose felines were corn intolerant. One such guy wrote a review about instinct that she had to change 6 products before ultimately finding instinct salmon formula helpful for her allergic kitty.
2. Best Food For Cat Having Diabetes
At first look, it seems a daunting task to switch to a diabetic diet. But it is really essential for your kitty to maintain its sugar level before it goes beyond the optimum level. There are two main things you need to consider while selecting the right food for your diabetic cats.
First, A cat food should contain pure meat ( not meat by-product) as the natural source of meat is directly related to good health.
Second, the cat food must be low on carbs. That straightly discards your kitty’s kibble. However, a kibble should be grain-free or should contain fewer carbohydrates if at all your furry friend is finicky and loves kibble.
Wellness core grain-free chicken and chicken liver canned cat food is superior in quality and cats love it. Its grain-free formula makes it low on carbs. Also, the food is carrageenan free, soy and gluten free which makes it the right choice for your diabetic cat.
3. Cat Food For Cats Having Sensitive Stomach
Cats would throw up any cat food you give to her when she has a sensitive stomach. She needs the proper food which she can easily digest and can keep it down. This is possible when the cat food has added prebiotics which aid in optimal digestibility of food. Blue Buffalo Cat Adult Dry Food’s Sensitive Stomach Chicken and Brown Rice formula are rich in such prebiotics.
Obviously, it is soy, wheat, and gluten-free and also contains Blue Buffalo Life Source Bits. Life source bits are small dark kibble which has the precise amount of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which helps in improving the digestive power and the immunity power of your furry friend.
Many reviewers have commented on Amazon how their cats have recovered from the fatal stomach diseases such as jaundice in eyes and gums. Many have reviewed positively for weight management also. I highly recommend this product if your kitty has a sensitive stomach or vomiting a lot.
4. Cat Food For Cats Having Urinary Tract Problems
Whenever urinary tract and kidney problems are associated with your felines you need to stop feeding kibbles to your kitty in the first place. These carnivores are used to suffice their thirst by moisture present in their wild prey and do not drink water on their own.
Less consumption of water is the prime reason behind the change in pH which leads to urinary tract infections and kidney problems. Amazon’s choice Purina Pro Plan Focus Adult Cat Food Chicken Entrée Formula is currently having the most positive reviews and helpful in curing urinary tract problems.
Purina pro plan chicken recipe has the perfect combination of ingredients which makes it the optimum amount of fat and protein which helps in sustaining ideal body condition. In addition, it maintains low urinary pH and also packs low dietary magnesium.
Well, there is something interesting about this product, Purina provides money back guarantee for its taste and quality. If at all you are not satisfied with the product, you can contact them within the 60 days of purchase. Lots of positive reviews and fewer returns compared to similar items made it Amazon’s choice for cat food for urinary tract problem.
5. Cat Food For Your Cat Having Hairball
Developing hairballs has been a consisting problem for some cats and you need to take care of its food intake which regulates the hairball issues. Regular meals with the right amount of natural dietary fibers are the solution for hairballs. Purina ONE Purposeful Hairball Adult Dry Cat Formula is the best one right now in the market.
Well, what I really like about this product is it contains 0% of fillers and real chicken (no by-products) as its first ingredient. Also, it has special natural dietary fibers which help in removing the hairballs while making the fur coat thick and healthy. More than 85% of cat owners find this formula helpful in hairball treatment.
Again this product is the Amazon’s choice product for its popularity, positive reviews, and its hairball control. The right choice of having each and every ingredient fulfilling its purpose would stop throwing up your cat due to hairballs.
Perfect Cat Foods Based On Age
Nutritional needs of a kitten, an adult one, and a senior one are different obviously. A growing kitten needs more nutrition per pound of weight than an adult needs. Cat foods available for kittens, adults, and seniors are specially formulated considering cats’ nutritional needs. Well, let’s see what is our choice for cats of different age groups.
1. Best Cat Food For Kittens
Till 6 months old cat is generally considered as a kitten. Kittens grow tremendously fast that they even double or triple their growth in initial weeks. Their nutritional needs are of course high which mainly includes protein, vitamins, essential fatty acids, fibers, antioxidants, and minerals.
30% of the energy needs are satisfied by the protein itself in kittens. So, a cat food must have a pure meat source of protein. Wellness Chicken Pate Kitten Formula is our pick as the best kitten food available on the market.
This formula has the perfect blend of ingredients including chicken as the first meat ingredient and other fresh veggies and fruits which makes it healthy as well as adds to the taste of it. A wholesome meal of this formula contains ample amount of moisture which will aid in their overall health by conveying all the nutrients well.
Not to mention, it is free of all allergy-causing ingredients such as carrageenan, grains, corn, soy, and wheat. Wellness Chicken formula is our top-rated pick for your kitten.
2. Best Cat Food For Adults
This category of felines includes cats of the age of 2-10 years. Nutritional needs during this age are moderate and they can almost eat any cat food which is not specifically mentioned as a kitten food.
Best canned cat food on my list, Instinct original grain-free chicken formula contains 95% chicken, chicken liver and turkey as the first ingredient and rest 5% having essential wholesome fresh veggies, fruits, and other ingredients. Not to mention it is a grain-free formula.
Instinct Original chicken formula is generally for all the categories. You can feed it to your kittens too.
- Adult cat: 2 cans of it per 6lbs to 8lbs body weight per day
- Kitten: feed them twice amount of this wet food you feed to your adult cat
- Pregnant/nursing kitty: feed them three times amount of food an adult cat needs.
3. Best Cat Food For Senior Cats
Cats older than 10 years are generally senior cats. In this age, they might have some allergies and they may need to be on a special diet. However, when a senior cat is healthy enough, you can feed him the best we recommend here. However, if your senior one is having any allergies or any health issues, check all the ingredients before.
Most times, you need to feed them on the prescribed diet or any special diets which I have listed in the previous section. Joint pains, diabetes, kidney problems, gastrointestinal problems are common at this age. To maintain their overall wellness, we have selected Blue Buffalo Mature Dry Cat Food Healthy Aging Chicken and Brown Rice Formula.
This product is again the Amazon’s Choice as the best senior cat food. The formula has added probiotics and supplements required at this age which helps to sustain immunity, healthy heart and eyes, and good digestion. The formula contains deboned chicken and no poultry by-products and the best ingredients in all the other aspects.
More than 75% of cat owners find this product healthy for their senior furry friends. A sure yes for Blue Buffalo healthy aging chicken and brown rice formula if your senior pet cat is not having any chronic health issues.
I hope this guide will help you find what you’re looking for.
Well, now you know the top 10 cat food products on the market! However, here is another one that we really wanted to walk about. Over the past few months, this product named Dr. Marty Nature’s Feast has taken over the cat food market and is being constantly praised by cat parents.
Dr. Marty Nature’s Feast Cat Food contains all natural ingredients including healthy meat, vegetables, and fruits in order to provide your cat with a wholesome diet.
Dr. Marty Pets also makes nutritional dog food such as Dr. Marty Nature’s Blend and some other diet and health supplements.
Cat food is available in mainly three different forms. First is dry cat food which is also popular as kibble. Second is wet cat food which has more moisture content in it and is also known as canned food. The third type is a raw cat food which simply an unprocessed food such as raw salmon or raw beef.
Kibble is low on nutrition value compared to the other sort of food. Also, the shelf life of kibble is higher than wet food. Moreover, some cats are observed to choose raw salmon over the cat formula which contains salmon in it. This might create a lot of confusion about choosing the correct cat food.
I have recommended the best products for the cats considering their age, activity diets and bred. However, you should make sure if your cat is ok with her food or not before selecting.
Essential Vitamins, Proteins, And Minerals For Your Cat
The way we humans need various nutrients in our diet in order to live a happy and healthy life, cats too need their nutrients from their meals such as proteins, vitamins, and minerals.
Minerals are essential but often overlooked for the vitamins and protein content in your kitty’s meal.
Well, all these cat food packs various nutrients and ingredients to which your feline friend may be allergic. So, you need to look at all the nutrients present in your cat formula. Here in this list, I am mentioning the essential nutrients your furry friend needs.
Protein being the essential nutrient for growth and development of cat, you should make sure your kitty intakes enough amount of proteins from various sources.
Dietary protein contains amino acids which help protein in the proper functioning of a cat’s body such as appropriate pH balance and the formation of hormones, enzymes, tissues, and antibodies.
Moreover, the protein comes from vegetable sources are different than that comes from animal sources. Protein from both types of sources is required for your kitty. For an instance, the complete protein from animal sources packs an essential amino acid called taurine which is not present in any vegetable sources such as vegetables, legumes, and grains.
So, maybe there may be some kind of protein missing in animal source too and hence you need to maintain a balance between both kinds of protein intake for your cat.
However, the amount and the type of protein required for your furry friend varies with its activity, age, breed, and protein digestion capacity.
Vitamins are the basic elements that boost and regulates the growth and regulates the metabolism function. They are classified into two main categories; the fat soluble and the water soluble.
Vitamin A, D, E and K are fat soluble and the rest vitamin B complex and C are water soluble. Well, some of the vitamins are found in the vegetables or other sources and some of them are synthesized in the body.
Vitamin A from vegetable sources is not directly available in direct form. Humans and other animals can convert beta-carotene to vitamin A from vegetable sources but your furball feline cannot. For this, you should make sure your kitty’s food packs meat, poultry products or fish rich in vitamin A.
Vitamin B complex is very much important for cats. Approximately, the need for vitamin B for cats is twice more than that of dogs.
In addition to this, when cat food is processed in industries, it gets heated up and loosens up most of the vitamin B. This urges the need for supplementing cat food with vitamin B.
Moreover, some of the vitamins from B complex are synthesized inside the intestine of a healthy cat. Diarrhea and other digestive tract problems hinder the utilization of B complex.
Similarly, vitamin C, thiamin, Niacin, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K are essential for your kitty’s well being and it is your duty to make sure all these nutrients are present in the cat food you feed your kitty. Deficiency of this vitamins makes cats ill to death.
Fat is an essential source of energy as well as it aids in nutrition utilization and transportation of your feline pet.
Having been said as the main energy source of energy, your kitty doesn’t need carbohydrates as a source of energy. However, carbs perform its special functioning and it cannot be replaced anyhow.
Fat carries fat-soluble vitamins (E, A, D, and K) and other fatty acids. Cats get saturated fatty acids from animal sources and polyunsaturated fatty acids mostly from plants.
Omega-3 fatty acids- linolenic acids, eicosapentaenoic acid, docosahexaenoic acid; and Omega-6 fatty acids- linoleic acid, gamma-linolenic acid and arachidonic acid are essential for your kitty’s metabolism and well-being and deficiency in this can lead to severe health-related problems. Such problems are poor growth, dry hair and dandruff problem, and susceptibility to infections.
Cat’s meal lacking arachiclonate may lead to improper functioning of platelets and reproduction system. Talking about the fat digestibility, it depends on how it is prepared and its proportion with other nutrients.
A method to determine the fat part of the food called ‘ether extract’ suggests the level of digestibility of fats in different kinds of cat food. According to that, wet food has 96%, raw food has 92% and raw food has 79% digestibility.
Cats do not have the digestive system that converts linoleate in archiclonate, unlike dogs. This is the case with the other strict carnivores too. Therefore, linoleate (found in plant oils and animal source) and archiclonate (found in animal tissues) are both must be present in the cat food.
There is an inadequacy in the data for the requirement of minerals for cats. Well, calcium, sodium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, iodine, copper and zinc are the essential ones for the proper functioning of your feline friend’s body. Minerals aid in maintaining the acid-base balance in the body.
The absolute amount of particular amount cannot suggest whether the intake of the minerals is appropriate or not.
More important is the proportion in which the minerals your kitty consumes. For an instance, a cat’s body should have 0.5:1 to 2:1 calcium to phosphorous ratio.
Now, the cats fed only on raw meat and muscle parts like heart, kidney, and lever can worsen up this ratio up to 15:1 and this could be so hazardous and can even lead to a bone-related complication, nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism.
Meat is a good source of phosphorous but it lacks in calcium. So, you will have to make sure your kitty is eating enough calcium along with the phosphorous.
Moisture Content- How Much Water Should Your Cat Drink?
This species has been having low thirst drives. So when it comes to their water intake, you make sure your kitty is having enough water along with the moisture content in its meal.
Water from their daily meal is adequate for them and that is why they have fewer thirst drives no matter what how much water content is available in food.
If you are feeding your furry friend on kibble then you should make sure it is drinking the required amount of water. Kibble has 6%-10%, raw food has 15%-30% and canned food has 75% moisture.
A healthy cat requires 44 ml- 66 ml of water per kilogram of its weight. There are many things you might take into consideration while making sure your kitty’s water intake.
You can sprinkle some water on its canned food before you serve it. However, experts do not recommend this for dry cat food as it can spoil the taste as well as the quality of it.
Kittys do not like the hard water, if you are feeding her water from the well then you should perform water hardness and other tastes on it regularly.
In addition to this, some cats do not like the water poured into plastic cups as they leave a unique smell and taste in water. To rectify this you can use stainless steel or glass bowls and place them in the home the way that water is available to them almost all the time.
All About The Ingredients
Have you ever come across the cat food which does not actually contain what is written on the pack of the food under ingredients title? Cat food manufacturers always look at their benefits using minimum resources.
AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials) has defined what actually can be included in the pet food under that specific ingredient.
You can find out the definitions given by AAFCO here in this section below and can see what is the permeable ingredients for them when you say it contains chicken or poultry by-product!
I have listed the key ingredients of a premium supermarket chicken and rice formula.
Chicken: “The clean combination of flesh and skin with or without accompanying bone, derived from the parts or whole carcasses of chicken or a combination thereof, exclusive of feathers, heads, feet, and entrails.”
This is the common ingredient you will find in any premium cat food. The bone and flesh proportion can affect the protein quality and amount in a significant sense.
Brewers Rice: “The dried extracted residue of rice resulting from the manufacture of wort (liquid portion of malted grain) or beer and may contain pulverized dried spent hops in an amount not to exceed 3 percent.”
Seemingly the chicken and rice formula has rice in it. Needless to say, it has rice but I have come across this fact that this kind of formulas has brewers rice. They are transformed and are extracted from the bigger grains and also you will have to compromise on the quality of nutrients especially carbohydrates.
Corn Gluten Meal: “It is the dried residue from corn after the removal of the larger part of the starch and germ, and the separation of the bran by the process employed in the wet milling manufacture of corn starch or syrup, or by enzymatic treatment of the endosperm.”
Cat food manufacturers use corn as a filler material and this would be the best option for them. Moreover, corn in your kitty’s food is one of the causes of allergies. Corn is beneficial to your cats in many ways though.
If you are in search of a good cat formula which contains corn, you can select a corn-based one including germ.
Poultry By-Product Meal:”It consists of the ground, rendered, clean parts of the carcass of slaughtered poultry, such as necks, feet, undeveloped eggs, intestines, exclusive of feathers, except in such amounts as might occur unavoidably in good processing practices.”
I have a special disgust for this term, ‘by-product’. Feral cats tend to eat the whole bird they catch and sometimes exclude head and feathers. The important thing here is they eat them in their wild form, a natural one.
I have noticed some cheap cat food contain these by-products then this must be a plus point of cheap food. But this is not the case here. The terms used ‘ground’, ‘rendered’ makes it disgusting.
Well, some of the brands mention what part of poultry is inside the canned food. Again, I would not recommend as those are not in its original form.
Wheat Flour: “Wheat flour together with fine particles of wheat bran, wheat germ and the offal from the ‘tail of the mill’. This product must be obtained in the usual process of commercial milling and must not contain more than 1.5 percent crude fiber.”
This sounds okay as cat needs some amount of good carbs along with its carnivore diet. I wouldn’t appreciate the term ‘offal’.
Beef Tallow: “Beef Tallow is obtained from the tissue of cattle in the commercial process of rendering.”
Apart from rendering part, beef tallow is okay to have in cat’s food. However, it is an inferior source of fats and lacks in linolenic acid. It is a saturated fat which adds to the flavor of the food.
Whole Grain Corn: AAFCO has not defined what whole grain corn is inside the cat formula. I have mentioned it earlier in the corn gluten meal what exactly you can find when you are looking for a corn-based cat formula.
Fish Meal: “The clean, dried, ground tissue of undecomposed whole fish or fish cuttings, either or both, with or without the extraction of part of the oil. It must contain not more than 10% moisture.
If it contains more than 3% salt (NaCl), the amount of salt must constitute a part of the product name, provided that in no case must the salt content of this product exceed 7%.”
Extraction of oil from the fish can make a significant difference in nutritional value of the meal. The concerning part here is the salt content of 3%. Let me tell you this 3% salt content is only of the fish part and not of the whole meal.
Egg Product: “Eggs that are dehydrated, liquid, or frozen, and labeled as per USDA regulations governing eggs. They must be free of shells.”
Potassium Chloride: This potassium salt obtained from HCl is chemically written as KCl. It helps for better functioning of the heart and the nervous system of cats.
Phosphoric Acid: It is a mineral supplement for cats which contains 32% phosphorus.
Natural Flavors: As per AAFCO definition of the term ‘natural’, any ingredient which has the plant or animal origin can be included under natural. Now, this again is delusive as there are not any restrictions on extracting, rendering, processing them. Moreover, only the ingredients which are chemically produced do not fall under natural ones. So, when you see the natural flavors in any cat food, you can avoid counting it beneficial. The nutritional value of it is nil.
What Cat Food Ingredients Should You Look For?
Now you have got an insight of what nutrients and ingredients you can expect in a cat formula when several ingredients are mentioned on the pack. Let’s see what you should look for when you are purchasing the cat food. If your kitty is on some special medication, then take help of your vet for choosing the right one. You may miss reading some of the allergic ingredients which would adversely affect your kitty’s health while under treatment.
In most cat formulas, you can see the named protein first on the list. If you see the protein source other than meat, you should be very careful while choosing the right one. Look for chicken, lamb, beef, turkey, tuna, salmon etc. Sometimes you will see the names of the organs such as chicken meat, liver, heart etc. These organs are rich in taurine.
Fillers or Carbohydrates
The list order after protein may vary from product to product. The next one you should look for is fillers. Fillers are basically carbohydrates. However, your feline friend is an obligate carnivore and does not need carbs from plants or any resources. Cat food industries use corn and wheat as the fillers mostly.
These carbs hold the ingredients together in cat formula, especially in dry food (kibble). As I have said earlier, wheat and corn are one of the causes of allergies in cats. I prefer potato starch, green peas or sweet potato fillers. I feed Lucy on canned food and give her a good quality kibble as a treat.
Vitamins And Minerals
The next thing you need to check is vitamins and minerals present in cat food. Vitamin C (calcium ascorbate) or vitamin E ( alpha-tocopherol) work as a preservative along with the other minerals and vitamins.
You can see the named fat sources written on the pack. That can be chicken oils, fish oils, plant oils like sunflower oil etc. I have discussed important fats earlier in essential nutrients section. Some of the premium cat formulae mention all the oils and fats present in it.
You may have heard people checking taurine content in their cat’s diet. Cats are not like humans or other animals which can synthesize taurine from other amino acids. In addition, they use taurine for conjugating bile acids in bile salts. So cats’ inability to produce taurine and its utilization in forming bile acids make cats needy of taurine.
Taurine is a water-soluble amino acid. That means the amount and quality highly dependent on the methods of processing the meat to use in cat formula. You will find this amino acid in any premium cat formula and do not choose that cat food without taurine.
What Ingredients Should You Avoid?
Now that we have already discussed the essential nutrients and what ingredients to find in cat formula, it is the time to take a look at what ingredients can be harmful. Ann Martin in his book ‘Foods Pets Die For’ has tried to make aware people about the baleful ingredients being used in pet food.
There is one more guy Susan Thixton who has taken pet food world by storm with his website. Many scientists, veterinarians, and pet lovers run the website for awareness. Thixton also is working with Mollie Morrissette and Dr. Jean Hofve in order to raise the voice of consumers with AAFCO and FDA. (Food and Drug Administration)
I have listed here the ingredients you should avoid in your kitty’s cat formula. This remains the same for dogs and other fur family members too. If you have a pet dog then check out our review on the best dog foods that are made from ingredients perfectly safe for dogs.
BHT or BHA
BHT and BHA stand for Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene respectively. Cat food industry use these chemical compounds as a preservative for storing the fat for a longer time. These compounds are said to be a cause for some complications such as hyperactivity and a cancerous condition.
Also, these chemical compounds are banned in some parts of the USA, Canada, and Europe. Though some of the cat food brands use these preservatives in their formula
However, studies have also suggested these compounds have cured a condition called herpes too. This can be a plus point of it but seeing the harmfulness of it, no one would recommend it. Hence, try to avoid such BHT or BHA in your kitty’s formula as well as your packed foods. You can check to select the cat formula with vitamin C and vitamin E as a natural preservative.
This is another harmful preservative found in cat formula. See, there is this thing with harmful ingredients which the brand would never tell you about. For an instance, one guy shared his experience on social media where he said the renowned brand was claiming the pet food is 100% free of ethoxyquin.
And later when the sample of that food was tasted in the laboratory, the result was very surprising. The sample contained 5 ppm of ethoxyquin. You might be wondering how they have added that preservative to it! He further explained that the particular brand wasn’t adding any preservative in their formula. The fish suppliers use ethoxyquin for increasing the life of the fresh fish and that is how the cat formula contains this hazardous chemical.
Not to mention, this preservative is completely banned for any human food industries. Ethoxyquin is so harmful that swallowing or touching it can be hazardous and makes you prone to fatal diseases.
I am quoting the AAFCO definition of meat byproducts again over here.
“Meat by-products is the non-rendered, clean parts, other than meat, derived from slaughtered mammals. It includes, but is not limited to, lungs, spleen, kidneys, brain, livers, blood, bone, partially de-fatted low temperature fatty tissue, and stomachs and intestines freed of their contents, it does not include hair, horns, teeth and hoofs and it shall be suitable for use in animal feed. If it bears a name descriptive of its kind, it must correspond thereto.”
This definition AAFCO allows cat food industry to use any inferior meat they want to without mentioning its name. Pet experts also believe, if we humans are not eating inferior meat then it is not advisable to feed our cats with the same. The definition of meat by-product says the leftover parts of meat are not rendered but when the meal is formed it has to be rendered. This rendering process will eliminate all the essential nutrients and enzymes from the meat.
So, when you are selecting a product with meat by-product as the source of protein in it, you should avoid buying it to save a few bucks on your kitty’s meal.
Corn filler is cheap and most of the dry food use corn or wheat filler in kibble. A brand is allowed to use as much as 50% of corn filler in dry cat food. Problem with this filler is that it is responsible for many allergies in cats. In addition, this filler is a rich source of carbohydrate, which again can be harmful to the cats (mostly older ones) suffering from diabetes.
If you really want to feed your feline pal a dry grain food, try to go with potato starch or green pea starch filler. This will save your pet from many unknown diseases and will serve as a treat for your feline furball.
Almost every pet food brands use food colors in their formula in order to make their product look attractive. And to be honest, you cannot find food color-free cat formula. However, you can choose your kitty’s food on the basis of the kind of food colors used in the formula. There are few products which use natural food colors.
The problem with chemical food color is that the chemicals present in it leads the chemical processes in your pet’s body and makes him vulnerable to unknown complication and disease.
So, whenever possible, try to choose the premium one which mentions what food colors they have used.
Human Foods Not For Your Kitty!
In my blog post ‘5 Good And Healthy Cat Super Foods Your Kitty Can Eat’, I have shown you how human food is miraculous for them. Well, while adding those ingredients in cat formula you can mistakenly add an ingredient that you think might be healthy for your kitty. There are several human foods you should not let your furball friend eat.
To be honest, I had built a habit for my kitty to feed her from my plate and some of you might be doing so too. You have got to stop feeding your cat from your plate even if you are feeding her what is edible for her. Actually when your furball feline gets her all the nutrition from her premium cat food. And when she gets food from your plate, it will substantially kill her natural appetite and she will not eat enough her kitty formula.
Let’s see what human edible foods your kitty should never eat.
We consider milk as a whole food loaded with nutrients. When it comes to a cat, milk is not what your cat requires.
As a matter of fact, an adult cat does not need nutrients from milk if she is well fed on her cat food diet. Milk is not toxic for cats. However, the lactose in it can cause digestive problems in them such as stomach upset, gastric problems and diarrhea.
Some cats are lactose intolerant and if your pet craves for milk, feed them a couple of spoon of cream as a treat two to three times a week. (More fat means less lactose in it).
Moreover, you can feed them a product made up of skimmed milk with enzymes which help in the digestion of lactose present in milk.
Onions And Garlic
These two root vegetables have a substance, N-propyl disulfide. This substance is responsible for the depletion of red blood cells in your kitty’s body. And this may also cause a type of anemia in them, Heinz body anemia. Garlic has a similar substance that causes the same problem.
Onion and garlic is a common flavor in our food. So when you feed your kitty from your plate next time, think twice.
Raw Potatoes And Green Tomatoes
Both of these are the members of Solanaceae plant family. There are two substances which are toxic to cats and cause diseases.
One is the deadly Nightshade and another one is Glycoalkaloid Solanine alkaloid. This alkaloid can cause severe lower gastrointestinal problems. Well, tomatoes in cat formula are ripe and contain these toxic substances in a negligible amount.
The toxic effects of chocolates for dogs and cats are not a secret. Theobromine present in chocolates is a fatal substance for them.
This substance is in really a smaller amount and human digestive system can digest it very soon. Whereas, both cats and dogs forever to digest and metabolize it. Theobromine is heart stimulant, diuretic, and vasodilator substance.
Each part of avocado whether it is leaves or seeds contain persin. This element in avocado can cause vomiting and nausea in cats. This substance is not extremely toxic though.
Raisins And Grapes
The toxic effects of raisins and grapes are observed in dogs as of now. However, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has suggested to not feed grapes to any pets.
There can be unknown harmful effects of raisins and grapes in your kitty. The suggestion from ASPCA was enough for me to stop feeding my Lucy on grapes.
Can You Prepare Homemade Food For Your Kitty?
To be honest, I feed homemade cooked food to Lucy whenever I can find some time in my daily routine. It will take about 2 hours per month for you to prepare for your kitty’s meal. And yeah after getting used to with preparing food this task never seemed fussy to me.
The best part of preparing homemade meals from raw food is it is absolutely customized. Therefore you need to not have to worry about any allergic substances present in cat formula.
You can add any ingredient your cat needs by taking your vet’s help. Not to mention, a taurine supplement is essential and must for any homemade cat meals.
When I started feeding Lucy home prepared food, I started experimenting with different ingredient combination and cooking methods. Ultimately I got to learn what my Lucy loves and what she abhors.
Text and texture are also important while preparing food for your kitty. Well, choices of cats are more or less similar but you gotta take care of your feline friend’s likes and dislikes of food.
I am sharing one of Lucy’s favorite recipes here. You can try this and I am pretty sure your feline furball would like this too. This one I saw in the book written by Donald R. Strombeck. The book has around 200 recipes for cats and dogs meal.
This diet is for a healthy growing cat. Talking about its nutritional levels, it packs 53.1 grams protein, 27.3 grams fat, and 471 kcal energy.
- 1/4 cup of cooked chicken breast
- 1/2 cup of cooked long grain rice
- 1/2 ounce of chopped clams (chopped in juice)
- 1 tablespoon chicken fat
- 250 mg taurine per 1/4 pound of meat.
- 1/4 multi-vitamin and mineral tablet
- 1/8 teaspoon potassium chloride (salt substitute)
- 1/10 B complex vitamin and trace mineral tablet
- After chopping the chicken mix all the ingredients well.
- There is one more thing you need to take care of while preparing every homemade meal. Add supplements after the meal is ready. Adding supplements while cooking can destroy the nutrients present in them. This is a general instruction for all homemade recipes.
- This may be the case with homemade food, your kitty would not eat up everything inside her bowl. Take out and dump uneaten part from their meal. This happens in the case of canned food too.
Is your kitty diabetic or suffering from any chronic diseases? You can find out the best homemade recipes for her. Cats are likely to contract diseases. Experts and veterinarians have prepared the best recipes to ease up the symptoms and to heal the disease. I have mentioned one recipe for diabetic cats here.
However, ask your vet before you try this recipe as ingredients in this meal can adversely affect the other disease your feline friend is suffering from.
This special diet is meant for making your cat strong against diabetes. It redoubles pancreas, eliminates scarring to some extent, lowers the insulin needs, boosts insulin production, replenishes nutrient loss in urine stimulated by stress, and resists the development of disease complications.
- 1/2 cup of raw and ground organic chicken
- 1/2 cup of raw chicken liver
- 1/4 cup of raw zucchini (alternatives are cooked green beans, raw carrots or finely grated winter squash)
- 1/2 cup of brown rice or oatmeal (cooked)
- Veggie broth to moisten the meal. (Of course, no onions and garlic!)
- Chop chicken and chicken liver and mix all the ingredients well.
- Ask your vet what supplements you ought to add considering what diseases your feline friend is suffering from.
Relevant Cat Food Products
- Blue Wilderness Cat Food
- Fancy Feast Gravy Lovers Wet Cat Food
- IAMS Sensitive Stomach Cat Food
- Hill’s Science Diet Hairball Control Cat Food
Choosing the right cat food is a daunting task indeed when there is a lot of products available to you.
There you go, I hope you have got what you were seeking. This guide was all about cat food; what recalls you need to keep in mind, homemade cat food, types of cat foods, a cat’s nutritional needs, how to read the label on cat food.
We would love to hear your views on the products we have listed as the best ones. Do comment in the comment section below.
Our pet fanatic team at Weneedpets is always there to assist you!
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