When you are in a supermarket or petstore and you are browsing the items, it’s tempting to just pick the one with the cheapest pricetag. The cheap dry-food basically looks the same as some of the more expensive brands and your cat even seems to like it better. But there is often a problem with cheap food.
Catfood is usually composed of different supplements like meat, grains, sugars and additives. While almost all types of dry-catfood have this type of composition, the better brands will have considerable higher percentages of “good” stuff in them then the cheaper on.
The good and the bad stuff
One main ingredient of dry-food are grains, unfortunately. As cats are carnivores (meat-eaters), their bodies are not fit to process grains and vegetables. But, grains are the cheapest ingredient, so the cat-food companies put it in there for higher profits. Cats can get a form of diabetes and form allergies from eating to much grains. Often, cat-food is labeled “fish”, “meat” or “salmon”, “chicken” etc, but that doesn’t say anything about the actual ingredients. Rule of thumb is usually, the cheaper the product the more grains and less real meat is used in the food.
Hydration / Water intake
In the wild, cats prey on mice and small birds and other rodents. These animals, same as us humans, have a high water percentage in their bodies. about 75/80% of a mouse is water (as are we humans!). When a cat in the wild (or in your backyard) catches as mouse and eats it, aside from the quality of fresh meat, it will consume a lot of water. Because cats inherited this in their instinct, they have a very low water-drive, meaning, they don’t often feel the need to drink, even when they should to be properly hydrated.
Dry-foods are roasted or bakes and therefore have almost no water in them. Although cats will drink water next to eating dry-food, they will still take in less water as to eating fresh prey.
Canned (wet) foods
Canned wet food isn’t always the answer either. Although canned food contains far more water than dry-food, we often have to conclude that the ingredients used are grains, vegetables and flower. The percent of actual meat in cat-food can be as low as 1%. That means that 99% is something else than meat.
Cats just loves the cheaper brands!
A lot of times, when letting a cat choose between high-quality and low-quality foods, the cat will choose the low-quality food. This is because it contains a lot of added flavors and supplements that make it taste better.
Compare this to a child, that gets to choose a dish of meat and vegetables or a dish of French fries and soda. The child will probably chose the latter, base on taste and not knowing the hazards. Most kids have their parents to keep an eye out on their nutrition, and as cat owners we need to keep an eye out for our cats.
Not all cat-food is bad
Even though it will be hard to find cat-food that doesn’t have any added ingredients in your regular supermarket or petstore, there are some that are better than others. Try and pick a veterinary recommended brand and one that has a high value of real meat, fish or poultry. If you feed your cat dry-food, try pouring some water over the dry food so that it swells up. You can use lukewarm water, it will release the smell and make it more attractive for your cat. By doing this, your helping your cat to keep properly hydrated. (If you do this, trow away any left over food, because bacteria and fungus can form quickly. never leave it out longer than a couple of hours. And for both dry and canned food, always check the labels for low grains and vegetables percentages and high meat percentages.
Keep your cat healthy
A cat can get all sort of diseases and problems from low quality foods. Too much dry food with too much grains can cause obesity and urinary infections and low quality canned food can cause severe diarrhea and diabetes. Always read the labels before choosing a brand and ask advice from your vet.If you like this then you should also check out: