For your cat to stay healthy and contented, providing them with high-quality food that meets their specific nutritional needs is essential. Their food should also be tailored according to their age, activity level and digestive health.
Cat food should be high in meat-based protein and contain taurine, an amino acid which aids vision, heart muscle function and digestion for your furry friend.
Good quality cat food should provide your feline friend with four essential nutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fats and vitamins and minerals. These vital elements work together to promote growth, muscle mass, bones and other essential functions in cats.
In order to provide your cat with the essential amino acids for muscle growth and cell repair, their diet should contain 60-85% protein from sources like lamb, chicken, turkey or beef. Amino acids like taurine – essential for eye and heart health; arginine – which helps remove ammonia from their blood; lysine, cysteine and methionine – which aid in cat growth – round out this ideal nutritional intake.
Cats often cannot synthesize essential amino acids, so they must obtain them from food. A food’s quality can be determined by the quantity and type of amino acids it contains, how this compares to your cat’s needs, as well as how easily digestible it is.
2. Nutritional value
Your cat’s food should provide essential nutrients to support their wellbeing. This includes protein, fats and carbohydrates as well as essential vitamins and minerals.
Quality cat food is made with premium ingredients such as meats, vegetables and grains. Plus, it contains essential amino acids and natural preservatives which help keep the food fresh for your furry friend.
Your cat may require different nutrients according to its age, so check the label for levels specific for each stage of life – kittenhood, adult maintenance and growth/reproduction.
When shopping for cat food, make sure it meets the AAFCO nutritional requirements for all life stages. You can often find this statement on either the box or package’s nutritional information label.
When purchasing cat food, one of the most essential qualities to look for is freshness. Cats should have a diet free from contaminants like bacteria and parasites which could lead to health issues in later life.
Thankfully, some pet-food delivery services offer freshly prepared cat food formulated by veterinarians and nutrition specialists. While these foods may be more expensive than your average kibble, they’re designed with ease of digestion in mind and contain premium-quality ingredients your cat is sure to love.
Our pick for the best overall fresh cat food is Smalls Human-Grade Fresh, a new brand that prides itself on using only human grade meats in their recipes. This protein-packed formula comes in chicken, turkey and beef varieties with various textures – making it an excellent option even for picky cats!
4. Value for money
When shopping for cat food, value is key. There are a multitude of options that offer an optimal balance of nutrients, protein, and fat at an economical cost.
You can further reduce your budget with discounts and subscriptions offered by manufacturers. These programs enable you to have pet food delivered right to your home on a regular basis.
Quality cat foods only use premium-quality meats and avoid by-products that are often found in cheaper brands. Look for these main ingredients listed as the first two or more items on the ingredient list.
Another factor to consider is the inclusion of additives that offer no nutritional value or benefits for your pet. These could include preservatives and artificial colorings, which could cause digestive issues or long-term health issues.