Caring for your feline friend is obviously at the top of your to-do list every single day, and ensuring that your cat has a healthy and balanced diet is obviously a very important part caring for your beloved pet. The biggest problem most cat owners face is figuring out which food is actually best for their cat, both for the enjoyment of your cat and the nutritional value of the food itself. Another issue is that cats are such fussy eaters that most owners tend to feed their cat whatever it will eat most of, but this can lead to their cat gaining excessive amounts of weight, which can lead to health problems. Keeping your cat at an ideal body weight prevents a wide variety of health problems, while also ensuring that your cat will enjoy a healthier and longer life.
- 1 Top 5 Best Cat Food 2018
Top 5 Best Cat Food 2018
|Name||Food Type||Number of Cans||Protein Type|
|Purina Fancy Feast|
|Wet||24 x 3-ounce cans||Tuna, Salmon, Mixed seafood|
|Purina Fancy Feast Classic Gourmet (Professional’s Choice)||Wet||24 x 3-ounce cans||Beef, Chicken, Turkey/giblets|
|Purina Friskies Classic Pate||Wet||20 x 5.5-ounce cans||Salmon, Mixed grill, Turkey/giblets|
|Merrick Before Grain Meat||Dry kibble||1 bag (large)||Chicken (grain free)|
|Wellness Natural Grain Free||Wet||12.5 ounce can||Chicken|
Our cat food buyer’s guide will help you gain a better understanding of exactly what your cat’s food contains, and how to choose the type of food which will benefit your cat the most. You’re probably going to be surprised at just how deceptive the advertising used to sell certain brands of cat food actually is, which you’re better off discover now rather than later on.
Canned or Dry?
If you talk to 10 different people about the benefits of dry food vs. wet food for any cat you’ll probably get 10 different answers. As with most things in life feeding your cat a sensible amount of both wet and dry food is the best approach, because each of these have their own benefits. Dry food is a good way of helping your cat to get all the nutrients they need, while wet food adds water to their diet while also providing them with most of the protein they actually need. In the wild a cat will feed on natural protein sources in the form of birds, mice, rats and other mammals, so that’s their most “natural” diet. If you want to control your cat’s diet though use wet food as a treat instead of their staple food source, or simply used it in combination with dried food instead.
Age Appropriate Food
This is one of the single biggest mistakes most new cat owners make, in that they try to give kitten food to an adult, or vice versa. The problem here is that the nutrients included in kitten food are rarely suitable for an adult cat, and the same is true of trying to feed a kitten some adult cat food. Choose a food which is appropriate to the age of your cat and you shouldn’t encounter any major problems.
Read The Labels!
If the food you’re considering buying doesn’t feature a detailed analysis of both the ingredients and the nutritional value of the cat food then you’re better off not buying it. To keep it simple all you’re looking for are high levels of protein, low levels of carbohydrates and just a small amount of fat. A high-quality cat food won’t just state that it contains x% of protein, but will also list the exact protein sources it contains such as red meat, poultry or fish. Also pay attention to other important ingredients like arginine, linoleic acid and retinyl palmitate for example, because these are all important nutritional components of any good cat food. Behavioral problems in felines can be caused by additives in certain cat foods, so avoid unnecessary ingredients and additives whenever you can.
Your Cat Likes It
Going back to our earlier point on how fussy cats are about what they eat you’re going to wind having to choose a food that your cat will eat, within reason. Obviously you need to check it has adequate levels of protein and nutrients for your cat, while also accepting that even if you’ve found the “perfect” food for your cat that your feline friend might turn his or her nose up to it. Even if you ask your vet what the “perfect” cat food is they’ll probably just smile and tell you to find a brand name food that your cat likes, and then stick with it.
Grains or Not?
Cats can metabolize grains but it’s not a part of their natural diet in the “wild”; natural meaning that a cat will not naturally eat grains in the wild, so although they can metabolize them it’s probably best to limit their intake of them. Although many cat owners would rather not have their cats eating animal flesh the reality is that when your cat goes out hunting it will naturally feed on small mammals and birds to boost its protein intake. The majority of cat experts agree that a diet which contains a lot of protein, and just a small amount of carbs is what works best, generally speaking, for cats. Every cat is different though so avoid using a cookie-cutter approach too!
Because of the nature of the pet food industry a lot of cat owners worry about exactly what goes into the food their cat eats, especially when the Internet is full of stories about “by-products” actually meaning horns, feathers, hooves and even animal hair. The reality is that if you buy cat food manufactured by one of the bigger brand names the animal by-products contained in it will usually be lungs, liver, kidneys, intestines, blood and ground bone. Nobody involved in the legitimate pet food industry wants to be caught selling a pet product which is potentially deadly to their customers – it’s just not good business. Obviously if you’re buying some cheap, no-name, bulk cat food – with no ingredients listed on the packaging – then it could contain literally anything.
Ask Your Vet
Most vets will be more than happy to help with advice on your cat’s diet, so don’t be afraid to ask them. They might have a preference for the food products they stock and sell, so bear that in mind too.
Weight Control Food
If your furry friend has put on more weight than is healthy then buying them a reduced calorie cat food is a good move. Just make sure that the cat food you’re planning to use to reduce your kitties weight is actually labeled as “Lite” or “Light”, because any other product claiming to be able to control your cat’s weight is really just based on clever marketing, and has no scientific or nutritional basis. Buying these special “Lite” food isn’t always necessary because you can just exercise portion control when feeding your cat, as you would with a human being.
Watch For Fancy Food Titles
Unfortunately the way a particular brand of cat food is labeled can tell you an awful lot about it. If you see a cat food labeled with something like “…with tuna”, this means that legally that food only has to contain around 3% tuna. Any cat food that uses words like “dinner”, “platter” or “entrÈe” legally only have to contain 25% of the main ingredient. If the food is labeled “Chicken Cat Food” then it has to contain at least 95% of the primary ingredient as stated on the label. As for any cat food that uses the word “flavored” in a title or description you should avoid it – there’s literally no useful protein contained in it.
Important Cat Food Features
Every cat food is slightly different to the next, varying from brand to brand. That being said there are some key elements you need to watch out for in any cat food you’re considering feeding to your furry friend:
Cats are carnivores by nature and although you might want to convert them to eating a raw food, veggie diet it’s their nature to hunt, kill and consume. It’s not cruelty on their part – it’s just how they’re wired genetically. On a biological level there are certain nutrients which cats need to live a long and healthy life which can only come from animal protein sources. What we’re trying to say here, in a nice way, is that your cat will need to eat meat, so it needs to be an active ingredient in whatever cat food you’re buying for them.
Even if you can’t decide anything else about the brand or type of cat food you’re buying make absolutely sure it’s suitable for the stage of life your cat is at i.e. don’t feed an adult cat kitten kibble. The cheapest brands of cat food on the market can still offer you an age appropriate food for your kitty.
This isn’t some weird diet fad for your cat, but is instead about limiting the amount and type of carbs your cat is eating. Avoid products which contain corn, wheat or soy where possible because these are not a part of your cat’s natural dietary “make-up”. Cats can metabolize and use grains and carbs for energy, but the long-term effects of doing this to cats is completely unknown. Nature intended for your cat to eat a diet with a high level of protein and just a small amount of carbs – let nature do its thing!
No Additives or Preservatives
Although this is easier said than done when you’re working to a tight budget your cat will be more healthy, live longer and suffer from far fewer behavioral and digestive problems if you can prevent them from ingesting additives or preservatives in their food. If that requires changing the brand of food they eat then that’s what you’ll have to do.
There’s been an alarming number of pet food recalls over the last couple of years and from some of the biggest manufacturers out there. These recalls have been because of bacteria and toxins being present in cat food, which has caused the untimely death of much loved family pets. From our point of view even the most reputable company can make a genuine mistake, but if they make more than one mistake in how they produce their cat food then it can no longer simply be counted as an accident, and you should change brands.
This is one of those areas where cat lovers often have to agree to disagree but, generally speaking, the inclusion of high-quality animal by-products in any cat food should be fine. The one exception we’d make to this is the use of animal brains, especially in light of the CJD (Mad Cow Disease) scare of recent years.
Our Top 5 Cat Food Reviews
If you’re shopping online for cat food which brands and types of food are worth considering?
Purina is one of the most instantly recognizable names in cat food and their 24-pack of grilled seafood variety cans are proving very popular with online shoppers. You get 8 cans of 3 different types of food, including tuna, salmon and a seafood feast in gravy. This bulk pack of wet cat food provides balanced nutritional intake for your kitty, plus the meals have also been enriched with important vitamins and minerals. You get 24-cans of cat food for less than $15, which is a bargain no matter what way you look at it.
This is another variety pack from the people at Purina, but this time it includes beef, chicken and turkey/giblets as the protein source. You’ll also notice from the packaging that Purina have gone to great lengths to provide a detailed analysis of exactly what goes into these meals, giving you the reassurance that your cat is eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. Again you get 24-cans of wet cat food for less than $15.
There seems to be a recent trend for pet food manufacturers to sell products labeled as “patÈ”, which are visibly no different to any normal wet food for a cat. These tins of Friskies food though are suitable for both adult cats and kittens, and offer enough taste variety to keep even the fussiest feline happy and well fed. This 24-pack of Friskies cat food will set you back a little under $14.
Merrick Before Grain #1 Chicken Dry Cat Food
This company has been manufacturing healthy and wholesome pet food since 1988, all made from the most natural protein sources possible. If you’re looking for a healthy, nutritious kibble for your cat, which also contains real chicken and other organic ingredients, then this 11-pound bag of dry food from Merrick is a good choice. We also like the fact that this dry cat food is completely free of artificial colors and flavorings, and less than $25 gets you enough food to feed a single cat for several months.
Wellness Complete Health Canned Chicken
If you’re looking for a healthy, protein-rich wet food for your cat then the range of food products from Wellness are worth looking at. As you know by now a cat’s best source of protein is high-quality meat, which this product has plenty of, but it also contains anti-oxidants like cranberries and blueberries too. It’s also the only cat food we’ve reviewed here which specifically states that it contains taurine – an essential amino acid for cats to remain healthy. A 12.5-ounce can of Wellness Complete Health Canned Chicken costs just under $30.
So there you have it – you literally know more about cat food than most people working in pet stores!
We know that some people will be offended that we didn’t include raw/vegan options in our review, but cats are carnivores by nature and we only want to provide information which is in the best interests of your cat.