What Should I Look For In My Cat Food?
We know how difficult it is to decide on the the best quality pet food for your cat. There are so many brands boasting 'all-natural' ingredients, 'organic products', or 'made for felines', that it can get confusing trying to figure out which ones are truly going to be best for your cat and meet all of their needs.
We at Waggles like to see pet food as a preventative health measure, it contributes to that many aspects of your cat's health. Finding the food that is just right and ticks all the boxes for maintaining energy levels, keeping a healthy coat and skin, improving teeth and gum health, and supporting healthy digestion, bones and muscles can be tricky. It's helpful to know what to look for and how to go about reading pet food labels. Here are a few tricks and tips to navigating different pet food brand's labels.
Ingredients first! In general, the order in which the ingredients are displayed is just as important as the kind of ingredients featured. The main protein ingredient is always listed first, followed by other ingredients listed in the order of their percentage of total weight of the food. This gives you an idea of how much of what the food is made up of, you can see more clearly the amounts of protein, moisture, vitamins, etc.
First, find a named protein, not just a label of 'meat'. This is one of the most important things that will denote whether the brand has used real proteins such as chicken or salmon or has just used meat byproducts or miscellaneous items.
The majority of kitties don't need a large amount of carbohydrates if any, in their diet. They're known to lead to digestion troubles and can even trigger food allergies in cats. Cat's are carnivores though and do require plenty of meat in their diet's. You'll discover more and more that brands often used carbohydrates like wheat and corn as a filler that binds their ingredients together to make kibble. This can be a disaster on your cat's stomach. There are healthier alternatives that some brand's use such as green peas and sweet potatoes.
Next, find the named fat source. This can be anything from "chicken fat" to "sunflower or olive oil". These contribute to keeping your cat's skin and coat all smooth and healthy.
Keep an eye out for taurine. This is an amino acid that is readily produced in us humans but our cat's need a little supplement. Cat's with taurine deficiencies can have heart and retinal issues in the future so make sure that your cat food recipe also includes this.
It can also be helpful to peep your vitamins and minerals, these are regularly added to pet foods as preservatives and are almost always beneficial to your cat's overall health. Vitamins aid in the body’s ability to resist disease and are an main aspect of the enzyme system. Vitamins assist in converting minerals into components of bones and teeth.
Vitamins are known for their important role in red blood cell formation, reproduction, and maintaining appetite and a healthy skin and coat.
There are two types of vitamins, fat-soluble and water-soluble. The fat-soluble vitamins include A,D,E, and K, and are stored in the body. Over supplementing with these vitamins can have a toxic effect on pets. Water-soluble Vitamins include B-Complex vitamins and vitamin C. So when reviewing your ingredients list, ensure there isn't an overabundance or deficiency of vitamins.
While you're narrowing down your pet food options, we suggest SMACK Raw Dehydrated Pet Food. This is one of our absolute favorite brands that we can always rely on. Comprised of a max of 15 simple and natural ingredients that are easy to pronounce and even easier to identify.
SMACK is a high protein, low carb, all natural pet food that is GMO, Grain, and Gluten-Free. It contains no synthetics or fillers but only human-grade, organic ingredients.
Learn more about the SMACK Raw Dehydrated Diet and shop our selection, here!
We know navigating the pet food world can be a perplexing and complicated venture, but we're here to help! If you have any questions or suggestions when it comes to selecting the right cat food for your furbaby, reach out and let us know! We always love to hear from you and are always looking for new and better ways to care for our pets too!