Covering Everything You Need To Know About Your Cat’s Diet
There are so many different types of cat foods on the market today, it can be a little overwhelming. Dry food, wet food, freeze dried food, raw, organic, etc. The list goes on. But don’t worry, ParaMount Pet Care has you covered! This article will explain what the ideal diet is for pet cats and what benefits/downsides there are to each different type of food.
Pet Professionals, Not Veterinarians
Full disclosure, ParaMount Pet Care is not a veterinary hospital nor are we animal medical professionals. Despite not having a medical background, we are very experienced and well versed in pet behavior, pet nutrition, and pet products. This article gives our personal opinion regarding cat nutrition. When changing your cat’s diet, always consult with your veterinarian first.
Cats are considered obligate carnivores meaning they need meat in their diets and need very few carbohydrates. A cat’s diet relies heavily on nutrients that can only be found in animal flesh, making meat an essential part of any cat’s diet. According to National Geographic, obligate carnivores (like cats) can’t properly digest plant material and therefore don’t get enough nutrients from eating plant materials.
Cat Diet & Nutrition
The most important aspect of any form of cat food is the nutritional value. According to Noah’s Ark Veterinary Hospital, one of the leading causes of diabetes and obesity in cats is a diet with too many carbohydrates. Cats need a small amount of carbohydrates in their diet, but mostly thrive on meaty proteins and fatty acids. This has been true all throughout the evolutionary line of cats and continues to be the case to this day.
Different Types Of Food For Cats
As previously mentioned, there is a wide variety of different types of cat foods on the market today. This section will briefly discuss each type including the pro’s and the con’s.
Most dry cat foods are high in carbohydrates because they use grains like rice and cornmeal as filler. When buying dry cat food, always carefully read the nutrition label. Check the ingredients list to see what your cat is actually eating. Avoid buying dry foods that contain ingredients like corn, rice, beans, potatoes, and peas. The first 3 ingredients should be a high quality protein such as chicken, lamb, or fish.
Wet cat food comes in both canned and pouch form. It is a great option for cats as it has a high moisture content. Cats have a reduced thirst drive and they heavily rely on their food as a major source of water intake. This increased water content helps cats maintain healthy kidney, bladder, and urinary tract health. The biggest drawback to wet food is that cats like it too much. Cats will often not eat their dry food if they get too accustomed to eating wet food regularly.
Freeze-dried cat food is a raw food product that is frozen and put in a vacuum which draws out all of the moisture. This lack of moisture combined with air tight packaging makes the product last longer on shelves compared to wet foods. Freeze-dried cat food can be used as a meal, treat, or topper for dry food. Although it doesn’t contain the moisture content that wet food offers, it is often high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and keeps for a long time.
Simply put, raw cat food is unprocessed food that comes from raw ingredients. This includes uncooked meats such as chicken, fish, and lamb. Ground bone is also commonly used in raw cat food diets as it provides both calcium and phosphorus. Oftentimes vitamin and mineral supplements are added as well to help round out the nutritional value. Raw cat food usually comes in frozen or dehydrated form and can be purchased both online and in pet stores.
Raw Food Safety Warning:
There are some risks involved with a raw cat food diet. Bacterial contamination such as E. coli and Salmonella can occur. Some meats can also contain parasites if not handled properly. However, these bacterial and parasitic contaminations can be avoided. Raw cat food can be purchased from cat food companies like Stella & Chewy’s, Smalls, or Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. These companies regularly test their products for contamination and get their meats from credible sources. You can buy your own raw meats for your cats’ raw diet, but going through a cat food company is the safer option.
Ideal Diet For Cats
When it comes down to the best diet for cats, it really boils down to nutritional value. Any of the aforementioned types of foods are good for cats as long as they contain quality ingredients and provide proper nutrition. A raw diet would be ideal, as you’re cutting out fillers and processed ingredients, but that ultimately becomes expensive. We suggest going with whatever works better for your budget and your cats’ personal taste.
Taste Vs Nutrition
It’s a fine line to walk between feeding your cat something they enjoy and feeding them something nutritious. When it comes to choosing a particular type of food, try to do what works best for their taste, their nutrition, and your budget. Don’t cheap out when it comes to quality ingredients, but don’t overspend on food your cat might not like. It will take time to figure out what diet works best for your cat, but be patient. Eventually you will both find a happy medium.
We hope you found this article useful and that it helps you make a more informed decision when it comes to picking a diet for your cat. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out our other cat related articles under the blog section of the official ParaMount Pet Care website. Wishing you and your feline friends the best!