Health & Nutrition | Cats | May 27, 2020

A Guide to Choosing the Right Food for Cats

A Guide to Choosing the Right Food for Cats

With so many options in the cat food aisle, it can seem like a daunting task to choose the diet that is right for your cat. The first thing you need to know is that you are the best person to decide. After all, who knows better than you, the person who loves and cares for your cat every day?

It’s all about your cat

When choosing a cat food, there are a number of factors to consider, including:

  • Your cat’s health & weight
  • Your cat’s age
  • Your cat’s breed
  • Whether your cat has an active lifestyle or is a couch potato.

Note that it’s important to determine whether your cat is at a healthy body weight. Overweight cats are at a greater risk of developing diabetes compared to compared to cats with an ideal body condition. Many owners do not realize that their pet is overweight. If you’re not sure, check our body condition score chart.

Another important aspect to consider, think about whether your cat has any signs of a food sensitivity, such as a dull coat, upset tummy, ear infections or persistent scratching. These symptoms could indicate a possible adverse reaction to one or more of the ingredients in your cat’s food.

Read More: Food Allergies and Intolerances in Cats

If you determine that your cat is overweight, or is experiencing food sensitivities, then it may be time to consider switching foods. Many health issues can be supported by a change in diet.

Consider safety and quality

The quality and safety of the food you select is of utmost importance. Select a brand that sets extremely high quality and safety standards for their ingredient suppliers and manufacturing facilities.

A manufacturing facility that undergoes inspection by government officials and third-party auditors means that it meets very high standards of sanitation, cleanliness and good manufacturing practices. Government organizations that perform food safety inspections include the European Union (EU), the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Third-party certification by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) provides an extra level of verification that the manufacturer meets strict quality control requirements.

Watch Now Pet Food Certifications

You’ll also want to find out who formulates the food to ensure that the recipes are formulated by qualified (pet) nutritionists. Cats have some unique nutrient requirements, so a qualified nutritionist will make sure to take these into consideration when formulating a food designed specifically for cats.

Read More: The Unique Nutrient Requirements of Cats

Look at the ingredients

When it comes to ingredients, select foods that have their ingredients sourced from trusted partners as close to the manufacturing facility as possible. This ensures freshness and reduces the environmental impact from transportation. Ingredients like fresh meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables provide essential nutrients, antioxidants and plant-based nutrients to support optimal health. Look for foods that are naturally preserved.

Make the choice

Sometimes personal preference comes into play when choosing a food for your pet. Some people prefer recipes that only use fresh meat (e.g. NOW FRESH), recipes using high protein species-specific meals (e.g. GO! SOLUTIONS), or organic and dehydrated meats (e.g. GATHER).

Because cats are notoriously fussy eaters, the different textures and flavours available in wet recipes can help you find something your cat will savour. Exposing your cat to these different recipes when they are young can help to prevent fussiness in adulthood.

Read More: My Cat Won’t Eat Wet Food!

Cats are also known for limiting their water intake, so wet recipes are always a great addition to meet their fluid requirements.

Further assistance

Lastly, consider what kind of support is offered by the brand you choose. Can you pick up the phone and talk to someone who can help you with nutritional problems or questions? Can you find detailed nutrient profiles online for the recipe you choose?

If you think a diet change may be right for your cat, our food selector is a great place to start. We also have a dedicated team of Health and Nutrition Specialists who can help you choose the food that works best for your cat. You can call us at 1-866-864-6112 or email [email protected].