Choosing The Best Cat Food: A Guide On Buying The Best For Your Cat
Choosing the best cat food for your cat is an important decision. Cats are essential carnivores and therefore have a particularly great need for protein. They are well known as finicky eaters and appreciate their food first by smell. So your cat will definitely let you know which foods they love and turn their nose up at what they don't. Cat food comes in Four main categories; Dry, Wet, Fresh and Raw
Dry food, also known as kibble, although based on animal products, many contain texturized vegetable protein and fillers. Dry food only contains ten percent water, therefore if your cat is on a dry food diet he/she will require access to a sufficient amount of water.
One advantage of dry cat food is that it provides exercise for your cat's teeth and helps to remove excess tartar. It can also be kept out longer for feedings than wet food without spoiling or insect infestation. Dry food should always be kept tightly sealed in its package and kept at room temperature in order to retain freshness.
There are many different brands of dry foods on the market, but keep in mind that just as there are junk foods for humans, there are junk foods for cats. When choosing a dry cat food make sure to read the ingredients, if the list starts with fillers like corn, corn meal, wheat, or any other name than a specific protein, like chicken, lamb, duck, etc, then look for another brand. Cats are carnivores, and therefore the best cat food for your cat is one that is filled with real meat, since it should be the main source in their diets. Here are reviews of two premium high protein cat foods Blue Buffalo Cat Food and Wellness Cat Food.
Many cheaper dry foods are filled with fillers that are not beneficial to your cats health and are not the best cat food for your active cat. When it comes to cat food cheaper is not better. The saying you are what you eat does not only apply to humans, but also to pets. If you feed your cat cheap cat food filled with fillers this could have an adverse affect on your cat's overall health and cost you more in vet bills later, when choosing a a brand of food your want to choose the best cat food to feed your feline friend.
Wet cat food, also known as canned, usually has 75%-78% moisture. Wet food comes in many different flavours such as; tuna, chicken, lamb, duck, turkey. Although your cat still requires access to clean fresh water, due to the high water content, your cat requires less water on a wet food diet.
Many wet food have a small amount of vegetables mixed into their ingredients, the turkey and spinach is a favourite in our household.
Wet food is a very close reflection of what your cat would be eating if they were living in the wild, not exactly, they do eat their prey raw, but a close reflection. Wet food comes in many different sizes and although it's a more expensive diet than the dry food diet, it provides your carnivore cat with its main dietary source, protein. Due to it's high level of moisture and protein, premium wet food is the best cat food that you can feed your cat, either alone or in combination with a dry food diet.
When serving canned cat food, make sure once you open it to always take the left over out of the can and place it in a dish before placing it in the fridge, never leave it in the can. Wet food generally last 3-4 days in the fridge and not a day more. After four days the cat food will no longer be at its best. Depending on your cats preference, you can either serve your cat's canned food right out of the fridge or some cats like their wet food to be warmed up a bit once taken out of the fridge.
How Long Should Wet Cat Food Be Left Out
There are many different answers to this question, the answers range anywhere from 5-14 hours. Cat food is a prime source for insect infestation. We learnt this the hard way; one summer out of no where ants just kept having a party on our kitchen floor. We would spray our floor with vinegar and water, a natural pet friendly way to get rid of ants, but they kept coming back.
We finally decided to place the wet cat food, that we would serve in our cat's serving dishes, on the table instead of on the kitchen floor and magically the ants disappeared. What was the point of this long story? One of the negatives of keeping wet food out for an extended period of time is the uninvited guest, insect infestation.
Another negative is that when wet food is left out for an extended period of time, it doesn't stay wet. It becomes very dry and unattractive to your cat. It's better to give smaller portions several times than leave one big portion out for a long period of time. So if we had to come up with a number we would say 2-3 hours.
However, this depends greatly on your own schedule. If you work a 9-5 we would recommended feeding your cat before you go to work, breakfast, then when you return home, feeding your cat some fresh wet food for dinner. Meanwhile you're at work you might want to leave some healthy cat treats out for your cat to nibble on.To find oout how to cat treats can be a healthy addition to your cat's diet read How To Buy Healthy Cat Treats
Raw Cat Food
Here's some honesty, we never knew that cat owners feed their cats raw meat, until we became cat owners. It does makes sense; it is definitely a replica of what your cat would be eating if they were in the wild. There are some people that think that this is the best cat food for their cats and others that don't.
You are your cat's primary caregiver, if you have done the research and feel that this is the best cat food for your feline friend then that's a decision that only you can make.
A raw food diet usually consist of raw meat, free range antibiotic and hormone free would be best, and vitamins. There are a lot of recipes on the internet with detailed step by step instructions on how to feed your cat a raw diet, here is a good one to start.
Homemade Cat Food
We have added this as a category because there are many cat owners that make homemade food for their cats and consider this one of the best cat food for their cats, including us. This is not the same as the raw category, because the food isn't raw.
In our household we bake or boil chicken, shrimp, turkey or salmon for our feline family. It is important when making fresh food for your cats not to add any type of seasoning. When boiling we simply boil the meat in plain water and make sure not to over cook the meat.
When baking meats like salmon or turkey, we simply place the meat in a baking dish and add a little water so that it does not come out too dry. We sometimes serve protein with a little squash, which is a natural hairball treatment,or some carrots or brocolli, which is packed with vitamins.
This should not replace your cat's regular food which is filled with essential vitamins such as taurine,which your cat needs, but should be a healthy treat, aside from their regular balanced food.
Also keep in mind that there are some types of human food that your cat should not eat, read to find a list of human foods that are toxic to cats