When it is all about feline guardianship, cat food is the most prior, just like the importance of seeing the vet to get the care. It is also important to note that if you give a proper diet to your cats, it is also the same as eliminating or delaying the expense of veterinary to handle the serious medical issues to your cats.
So, what is the ultimate purpose of this article? Well, we just want to help you and to give you a little information about how to read the food labels for your cats. Here, you can even make your decision process better when it is all about choosing the best foods for your cats. Nevertheless, let us start some basics.
Basic Nutritional Needs
Your cats will need taurine (the essential amino acid), protein (from named meat, fish or the poultry source), and certain vitamins, enzymes, fatty acids, and minerals.
It is interesting to know that your cats do not need carbohydrates even though wheat, corn, and rice work as the fillers in canned and dry foods for cats. Other ingredients are coloring, flavoring, and binders as the additional compositions that manufacturers will add just to complete the aesthetic look, especially to meet the demand of all buyers. Even though somehow there will be a preservative, it works to keep the foods fresh for your cats.
Canned Food vs. Kibble
Many nutritionists have the same opinion that cats should get various food options such as canned and dry foods. Why do they need these? Here are the reasons.
First, it is important to note that dry food is so convenient that you can even give it for free feeding. On the other hands, canned food offers water, and many cats do not need to drink water every time.
You should give both canned and dry foods for your cats to make sure that your cats can get the right amount of the nutrients. If you have the best food option, it can be too little or too much of certain vitamins and minerals.
Besides, your cats can easily get bored if you give them the same food every day. Well, we think human do the same as cats in this case. We love to eat various menus every day because of the different taste that satisfies our appetite. We believe that there is no one loves to eat pizza in the early morning, eat it again at noon, night, and every day, for weeks and for years. Eating pizza all day in many years will make you lose your appetite and at the same time, it does not give you enough nutrients. Therefore, you may suffer from illness, too.
By giving both dried and canned food, you can even prevent any possible allergies happen to your cats due to certain ingredients. Cats are like humans that they even develop allergies for a period of time. The food allergies are a rare case for cats, but all cat owners have to become attentive and be cautious.
Next, giving these food types will also prevent any food additions. It is possible to occur. A cat may get addicted to the certain flavor and the certain brand of cat food. This addiction is not an easy issue to deal with. Of course, it is a difficult problem especially when the last can is empty. You can avoid this problem happens by feeding various foods from the beginning.
In this point, we are not talking about giving different food every day but it is all about the various high-quality canned foods, completed with the dry food to supplement all day. This way will add spice to your cats’ diet.
The Cheaper Brands
For those who are new in taking care of cats, they may want to cut the expenses, especially for foods. The cheapest foods will be their reason. In fact, this way will never work. Your cats will eat as much as the needs to get enough nutrients. For this reason, it is possible if they eat twice or more of their foods to get nutrients that they even can get from a normal feeding of the premium food.
Second, if you feed your cats with the substandard foods for many years, it will lead to serious medical conditions. At this point, you need to spend expensive veterinary treatments.
Therefore, when it comes to food for your cats, we recommend you to go with the high-nutritious options. You will get what you are spending for your money.
Reading The Food Labels
How to choose the right food for your cats by reading the food labels? Here we have the tips:
Focus on the AAFP’s requirements – If the food product comes with this requirement, it means that the food is “Complete and Balanced”
Check out the protein source – You can check the sources of protein like turkey, chicken, lamb, beef, instead of meat.
Canned Food – The protein sources of canned food is the ingredient in the first list.
Expiration Date – This is important to make sure that your cats eat foods that are still fresh.
Things To Avoid
Buying foods for cats in form of the package means that you should avoid some words like “By-products”, “meat and bone meal”, “animal digest” and other descriptions such as added sugars or “digest”. Besides, you should not give foods for your cats with the chemical preservatives like BHA, BHT, propyl gallate, ethoxyquin, and others.
For the dry food can, it may offer 50% of grain or “fillers” that are too much carbohydrate. In fact, cats are carnivores, and therefore, you should not give them the vegetarian diets as the prior.
Always remember that the food company for your cat cannot print the “Complete and Balanced” on the labels if they cannot meet the criteria below:
- The Food has passed the feeding tests for the recommended standard
- The composition of the food should meet the nutrient levels from AAFCO’s recommendations.
The Role of AAFCO
They have the responsibility to define the terms for labeling like “meat by-products”
They define the quantity determination of the label titles like “Chicken Dinner for Cats”
They set the criteria of “Complete and Balanced” on the food labels
They provide the recommendation of minimum and maximum ingredients in pet foods based on the activity level and age of cats.
Recommends percentage or minimum/maximum amounts of various ingredients in pet foods, depending on age and activity level of cats