Walk down the pet food aisle at your average grocery store or through the front doors of a big box pet product retailer and it’s all too easy to find yourself overwhelmed by all the cat food choices. You want high quality cat food for your cherished pet, but how do you determine which brand or formulation is best when no single food suits every cat?
Begin by considering his age. Is he a kitten, adult or senior kitty? The best food for his needs will often be nutritionally geared to his stage in life. Next, consider his body condition. If he is overweight, he may benefit from a weight-control formula or a maintenance formula for sedentary cats. How about his health history? If he has digestive difficulties, diabetes, allergies or another medical condition, he may benefit from a cat food specifically formulated for it. Then consider your budget. While the most expensive cat food available may not be necessary, higher prices generally indicate higher quality and more natural ingredients.
Once you’ve determined the variety of cat food you are searching for, such as one formulated for kittens or one formulated for sedentary seniors with digestive difficulties, compare the cat food ingredients between brands that fit your budget. Nutritionally, all cats require a high level of protein in their diets as well as the amino acids taurine and arginine, and fatty acids arachidonic acid and linoleic acid. They also require preformed Vitamin A. It may be listed on the ingredient label as retinyl palmitate. Protein should always be the first ingredient listed, and preferably in a high-quality form such as meat, fish or eggs. Fruits and vegetables are also beneficial.
Personally, I am a huge fan of Wellness® dry and wet cat foods, as is my veterinarian. Wellness® is all my three kitties have ever eaten, and none of them has experienced a single serious health problem. They also have the glossiest, softest coats of any cats I’ve ever had the pleasure of petting, and visitors to our house will agree.
Wellness® offers dry and wet cat food formulations specifically for kittens, adults and seniors as well as those for indoor/sedentary cats and overweight cats. They also offer grain-fee formulas. High-quality protein is always the first ingredient on the label. You can find Wellness® cat foods at most large pet stores, as well as smaller, natural pet boutiques. Visit their website at www.wellnesspetfood.com to search for retailers in your area.
If you decide to change your cat’s diet, switch to the new food gradually. Mix it with the old food, slowly increasing the percentage over the course of a week or two. After about a month, examine her condition. Are her eyes bright? Is her fur glossy? Is she losing (or gaining) weight? How is her energy level? If she is looking and feeling great, then you have probably chosen wisely.
What do YOU feed your cat? Tell us in the comment section!