Deciding what cat food is best for you and your cat can be a difficult choice with so many options. So how do you decide what food is best for your cat?
There is no shortage of choice, controversy, or disagreement when it comes to choosing the best cat food. As most cat owners will appreciate, if you ask 10 cat owners what type of cat food is best, you’ll get 10 different answers. At the end of the day, each cat is different and so is the food that is best for that cat. Here are the 3 main things to consider in deciding what food to buy for your cat.
- Canned food vs Dry food
This is the most controversial question when it comes to cat food.
There are definitely those out there who believe canned food is better for cats. The main argument these believers push is that this is due to canned food having a higher moisture content. They say that many cats tend to drink less water than they should, and sneaking some in their food helps make sure cats are getting the water they need.
While it is true that many cats drink less water than they should, this is easily solved via other means such has having a cat water fountain bowl. Cats are naturally attracted to ‘running’ water which is why products like the Drinkwell Pet Fountain come highly recommended by vets.
The believers of dry food over canned food point to 3 main benefits; convenience, cost, and weight gain. In addition to being more convenient and affordable for cat owners, some cats who eat only canned food are more likely to put on weight which leads to other more serious health complications.
The bottom line is, unfortunately, there is no right answer. Much comes down to your preferences and the preferences of your cat. Like most things, having a broad and balanced diet is a positive so the best thing to do is try both until you learn what is best for you and your cat!
- Special needs of your cat
The first question to ask is how old is your cat. Kittens have very different nutrient needs to older cats. Kittens require a very specific nutrient rich diet which is packed full of protein to support growth. On the other hand, older cats 7 years and up require a diet of reduced calories so they don’t suddenly put on weight in their later years when they’re less active.
Other factors come down to any specific issues with your cat. For example, does your cat have teeth issues? Is your cat always dealing with hairballs? Is your cat starting to look a little bigger and softer around the edges?
There are different foods targeting all these issues. Advance Cat Kitten Growth for kittens, or Hills Science Diet Feline Oral Care or teeth issues, or Hills Science Diet Feline Hairball Adult for hairball issues and so on and so on. Each of these are great all-around nutritious options while also targeting whatever specific issue or concern you have. Of course, when in doubt, you should always speak with your vet for advice!
- Quality matters
Unfortunately, just like with human food, cheaper food options are usually not as nutritious. Big supermarket brands often use low quality meats and by-products and tend to have excessive quantities of grains and cereals, commonly known as ‘fillers’. These ‘fillers’ are not metabolised by your cat. They contain minimal necessary nutrients and are simply excreted by your cat’s digestive system.
It is important to remember that cats who aren’t getting the right diet are much more likely to develop behavioural issues like aggression and anxiety. Also, the higher initial cost of a premium cat food will be offset long-term by reduced veterinary costs. So read up on your options, talk to your vet, and pick the right option for you and your feline friend!
If you’d like to chat to a vet about your cat’s diet, you can get a Vetchat vet on a live video call or start a text chat to discuss in detail.