Buyers guide to dry cat foods

FEEDING YOUR FELINE

First, dry cat food is significantly healthier than its canned counterpart, so long as you provide your pet with plenty of fresh drinking water as well. Crunching on kibbles helps to keep your kitty’s teeth and gums healthy.

Cats do not bolt down everything in sight, as dogs do. Instead, they will nibble all day long, whenever they have the urge to do so. Dry food can be left in a cat’s bowl for several hours at a time.

Of course, dry food tends to be a lot cheaper as well.

SOME CAT OWNERS BUY BOTH.

Doting cat-lovers may opt for both canned and dry foods. Mixing both can be costly, but it is an excellent way to provide comprehensive nutrition and to pamper a beloved pet.

SELECTING THE RIGHT FOOD FOR YOUR CAT

Stroll down the cat food aisle at a major supermarket, and you will find countless choices, all claiming to be the only fully nutritious package for your pussycat.

Don’t be misled by prices, which can vary dramatically. Instead, become a label reader. Look for nutritional information listings. Compare calories, carbohydrates, protein, fats, vitamins, and minerals.

Just because a dry cat food package label claims the product contains chicken does not mean it has much! Look for percentages.

Watch out for starchy fillers! (Sometimes, cheaper or generic feeds are filler-full!) Be alert for preservatives, high sodium, and other additives.

Although bulk bags offer significant cost savings, savvy shoppers will stick to the small bags until they have determined what their cats will actually eat. Different foods look, smell, and taste different. (Sounds obvious, right?)

LOOK FOR AGE-SPECIFIC VARIETIES

Kittens, adult cats, and senior felines have their own nutritional needs. Most major pet-food companies offer products for each.

CHECK OUT ADDITIONAL SPECIALIZED DRY FOODS

Additional feeds are available for special needs, shiny coats, energy levels, allergies, and other individual concerns.

Organic and high-protein feeds may also be found.

FEED THE CORRECT AMOUNT

Most dry pet food servings are measured to match the weight of your pet. Your veterinarian’s office can weigh your cat for you at regular visits. At home, you can step on your bathroom scale without your cat, then with your cat, and measure the difference to find his weight.

ASK YOUR VET

If you are unsure about proper feeding for your cat, your veterinarian is the best place to start. Most veterinarians even offer free samples of a variety of appropriate pet foods.

If your pet has surgery or becomes ill, your vet may prescribe a special dry or canned food for a given duration of time. Although this will usually cost a lot more than regular store-bought feeds, your pet’s rapid recovery may depend on it.

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