The basics of good cat nutrition

The importance of good nutrition in cats is often overlooked by many cat owners. Clever advertising and trust in brand names can sometimes lead the consumer to let the pet food industry make the decision in picking out a good food for them. With a little effort, the concerned cat owner can pick out a very good food that fits the budget and is nutritious for their well-loved pet.

Many diseases in cats that develop later in a cat’s life may be linked to poor nutrition. To maintain your cat’s health and to prevent problems later on, there are several things to consider.

Cats are true carnivores. While most commercial cat foods contain meat in some form (meat by-products, etc), they also contain large amounts of fillers, such as grains and grain by-products (corn, wheat flour, wheat or corn gluten, etc). Most of these grain products are not harmful, the recent pet food recall being a tragic exception, but they are not beneficial to your cat, either. They provide a cheaper protein source, but with some other possibly undesirable side effects from the high carbohydrate levels, such as obesity, poor skin and coat health, and excessive tartar production; all problems that could lead to serious disease later in a cat’s life. So reading the labels and finding a high quality food as opposed to buying a commercial, grocery-store type of diet is important. You get what you pay for in pet food, and with a little effort you can locate a good pet specialty store to find what you are looking for. Natural pet foods made by smaller pet food companies (as opposed to the industry giants that we are all familiar with) are excellent choices. Organic cat foods are also becoming more popular but the prices can be prohibitive for most cat owners.

Feed dry, canned or semi-moist food? Another topic of debate. Dry foods tend to have more carbohydrates than the canned variety, and most experts now agree that dry food is not better for their teeth. Canned food is more expensive than dry, but should be a part of your cat’s diet; they love it, and the better quality canned foods are full of meat protein. A good plan for feeding would be to provide both high-quality dry and canned foods. Offer several different types of canned foods for some variety in the diet. The myth that you should never switch foods is still believed by most pet owners. It is true that any change in diet should be gradual, but it is healthy to offer more than one type of food source in a cat’s life. Who wants

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