How to buy cat food
A cat food buying guide
Knowing how to buy food your kitty will love is an important task. You want to keep your furry companion happy and healthy, and finding the best cat food to buy is part of that effort. With so many different brands and recipes on the shelves in the pet supplies section of the store, it may not seem easy to pick out the best ones. With help from this cat food buying guide, however, you will be on your way to finding the right food for your cat to enjoy.
>> How much of the recipe is meat?
One step in knowing how to buy cat food is developing an understanding of what cats are supposed to eat. Cats are carnivores by nature. Watch any wild cat on a TV show, and you immediately notice its love of meat. No leafy greens on the Savannah for them. Like human food, cat food containers have nutrition labels. Read the ingredients on the label. Meat should be first ingredient, because that means it is the most abundant. The best types of cat food contain only meat, but this isn't likely unless you make the food yourself; your best bet is to find brands that have meat as the top ingredient.
When checking for meat content, look for actual animal names in the list of ingredients. For instance, "chicken meat" or "chicken meal" leaves no guesswork as to what type of meat is contained in the food. "Meat and bone meal," on the other hand, could be any type of meat product. Because there is no way to know what types of meats such mystery ingredients are referring to, it's best to err on the side of caution and look for meat names you recognize.
>> Does the food have fillers?
Another important aspect of knowing how to buy cat food that will meet your pet's nutritional requirements involves knowing which ingredients to avoid. Many types of cat food contain added ingredients that might fill your cat up, but they won't do much to help his health. Avoid getting cat food that contains soy, corn or wheat. It's also a good idea to avoid types of cat food that have animal byproducts. These ingredients can sometimes cause allergic reactions in cats, since they are not part of a feline's normal dietary habits. Brown rice and other whole grains (except for wheat) are good choices if you have to choose a cat food with grains.
One of the best ways to avoid questionable ingredients in your cat's food is to stick with brands that you trust. The best cat food to buy is the one that you know has high-quality standards for making and storing its food. Do some research on company practices, ingredients and other issues that could impact your cat's nutrition.
>> Should you use dry food or canned food?
The verdict is out on whether dry or canned is the best cat food to buy. Some people believe that crunchier foods help keep a cat's teeth clean; others argue that wet foods provide moisture that felines don't always get from simply drinking water. Both forms are safe and nutritious; speak to your vet to help determine which might be the best type of cat food to buy for your pet.
There are other options aside from the usual dry and canned types of cat food. Some food makers offer frozen foods that contain raw meat that mimics a cat's diet in the wild. These require a little more preparation on your part, and they can be slightly more expensive, but they are highly nutritious and provide a good nutrient-rich diet for your cat. Some cat owners opt to make their cat's food entirely from scratch. There are recipes to give you cat food ideas if you intend to make your own.
>> Do you need a special formulation?
Your cat's current state of health is another factor in determining how to buy cat food she will enjoy. Cats that fall within certain age groups may require specialized food. This is also true of cats that have certain health issues. For instance, kittens need more protein and calories than older cats to help with their rapid growth, so the best cat food to buy is probably one formulated specifically for kittens. Overweight cats, very old cats, indoor cats or underweight cats might also need special food to help meet their special nutritional needs. These foods can often be found in a store's cat supplies section, and you can ask your vet about any specialized needs your cat may have. He or she can guide you on the best cat food to buy.
>> What does your cat like?
This cat food buying guide covers various considerations in choosing a healthy cat food, but the best cat food to buy is one that your cat will actually eat. Nothing else matters if your pet won't go near the feeding dish. There may not be a way to determine which types of cat food your pet will desire before you try it. Buy small amounts at first to let your cat get a sampling. If all goes well, continue with the food. Try only one new type of cat food at a time. This will help you recognize which type and brand is to blame if your cat has any digestive issues or allergic reactions to a particular food.
Now that you know more about how to buy cat food, you can visit your local store or shop for cat food online to find the best option for your pet.