Why premium cat food?
Choosing the best cat food for your kitty is cost effective because it keeps your cat healthy thus lowering vet bills and your cat will thrive while eating less.
Generally quality cat food is more densely packed with nutrients and calories than regular, or low cost brands so that your cat can often be satisfied with a smaller serving, (your cat will eat as much, or as little, as she or he needs to get sufficient nutrients).
Your cat will find these smaller servings easier to digest, and will be less likely to put on excess weight.
Many owners report that the condition of their cat's coat has improved considerably, become glossier/silkier, after making the switch to premium cat food from low cost brands.
Premium cat food manufactures seem to be more consistent with their formulas, and change their ingredients far less often than regular brands.
Dye is not used to a great extent in quality cat food (some brands contain none), this will be important to you if your cat vomits as dye makes vomit difficult to clean. Coloring dyes are added to the cheaper brands to make the food look more appealing.
First you need to understand what the nutrients are that make a cat healthy. Cats are carnivores - they are meat eaters. They need a high percentage of protein in their diet. There are certain essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals in meat, fish, and poultry that cats need to stay healthy. What they do not need is a high carbohydrate content in their food. In the wild the only time they eat grains or starches is when they eat the stomach contents of the prey they have caught.
The protein found in grains, legumes, and vegetables are incomplete. They do not contain all of the essential amino acids that cats need in order to thrive and be healthy.
They also need a certain amount of fat and this fat needs to come from animal sources. Cats need the essential fatty acids such as omega-3 and omega-6. Cats do not convert these nutrients from plants into a form that their body can use.
All the vitamins and minerals a cat needs are found in animal food sources and they are utilized much more efficiently than those from plant sources.
Cats also need water to survive. In the wild, cats drink very little water because they get the water they need from the small prey animals they catch. A mouse, for instance, is 70% water. Now think about the fact that dry cat food only contains around 8% water. Cats who are given only dry cat food, even the nutritious ones, are in danger of being dehydrated and developing urinary tract illnesses.
Cats just do not need carbohydrates. It's a fact. They do not need grains, legumes, seeds, or vegetables. Their little bodies convert these foods to sugar and just like in humans, sugar can cause disease such as diabetes and cancer and cause weight gain.
When shopping for a healthy cat food consider the following:
Kitten foods are formulated for growing kittens, who need a greater level of protein, vitamins, fats and minerals. This is necessary to meeting the growing kitten's higher energy and nutrient requirements. Kittens require as much as three to four times the nutrients needed by an adult cat.
Because of the extra nutrients they contain, growth diet formulas are also perfect for feeding to pregnant and nursing cats.
Having said that, I now have to tell you that kittens can eat the same food as an adult cat if it is a high quality cat food especially if it is a raw cat food. All the nutrients they need are there but they need to eat more of it than an adult. Kittens need to eat every four to six hours through the day when they begin eating solid food to get the calorie intake they need. Read more about Kitten Food.
An older cat (seven/eight years) requires fewer calories and may benefit from senior premium cat food. Senior cats may benefit from a diet lower in phosphorus, with a moderate level of fiber to help prevent constipation.
This changes when a cat reaches the age of 10 to 12 years their needs change. Their digestive tracts are less able to digest protein and many of these cats become very thin even though they are eating the same amount as they always have. These cats do not need what the industry calls "Senior Cat Food". They need a cat food with increased protein and reduced carbohydrate. If their bodies are less efficient in obtaining nutrients from their food then they need a higher concentration of those nutrients in that food. Thus most cats will do better on a high protein food where the protein comes from animals not plants.
My top picks for the best canned cat food you can feed your kitty.
See my top picks for the best dry cat food for your cat or kitten.
Is your cat a messy eater? Does she drag the food off her plate onto the floor? Read what can be done about your cat's sloppy eating habits.
Do you sometimes catch your cat sampling your dog’s dinner? Is there any harm in a cat eating dog food?
Cats and chocolate don't mix. Just because certain foods, such as chocolate, are enjoyed by us humans and are perfectly safe for us, it does not mean they are suitable for cats.
Find out what to feed your new kitten. Do you know how long a kitten should be fed kitten food and how often?