What to Feed My Cat
There are many cat foods on the market today. As cats are notoriously fussy, it can be hard to select the right diet first time. There are really only two options with cats, wet or dry. Although some people do mix the two. In this guide we will try and give you an overview of what is available.
Dry Cat Food
Dry food is by far the cleanest, easiest and
cheapest way of feeding your cat. But with thousands on the market,
which one do you choose? Unlike dogs who are omnivores, cats are carnivores and need a high level of meat in their diet. Cats cannot create certain amino acids themselves, the most important being Taurine, so they have to have a high meat content in their diet to stay healthy.
Dry foods typically found in the supermarket (go-cat, own brands, etc) will often contain a higher level of cereals. This is to keep costs down. Cereals are used as a filler because meat is more expensive. Some will add high levels of vegetables for the same reason.
Premium cat dry diets will have a high meat content and use easily digestible cereals such as brown rice or potato. Products like Pro plan, Hills, James Wellbeloved and Royal Canin are premium dry diets.
A good dry cat food manufacturer will also do specific diets for different ages, lifestyles and special needs. Royal Canin for example also have breed specific food for Persian and Siamese cats.
Cats choose their food based on smell and texture. Texture is particularly important in the dry diets. In an ageing cat when the teeth are more delicate, the kibble should be adapted to suit. Some manufacturers will make a softer crock so that cats find it easier to chew.
We are happy to advise you on a dry product for your cat. Most manufacturers make a small size so you can try it without the risk of too much waste.
Dry cat food reduces the risk of the cat suffering with dental problems in later life. The crunching helps clean the teeth. It also does not attract flies in the summer and is easier to keep fresh. Plenty of water must be left down for your cat if it is fed a dry diet.
Wet Cat Food
There is a huge range of wet cat food on the market and it is growing every month. We stock a good variety but by no means everything! Wet cat food is more popular than wet dog food.
Wet cat food comes in different forms: pouches or cans. Cans were very popular a few years back. They were really the only option for wet food and were the cheapest option. Cans now offer a smaller size to be better suited to a single serve meal.
There are varying levels of quality with wet food. Its a well known phrase but you do get what you pay for. Our popular small cans are Applaws and Canagan. They are small, serve a single meal so you don't have to put the can back in the fridge or cover it, and offer a good quality ingredient. Our popular wet pouches are felix, whiskas and gourmet perle. We also stock premium pouches such as Royal Canin, Hills and James Wellbeloved. Premium food manufacturers such as these have brought out pouches as they have realised a large majority of cat owners feed a combination of wet and dry. We also stock the alu trays for Lily's Kitchen.
Many owners think that by giving their cat wet food they are giving their cat 'meat'. Pouches and cans often contain between 70 and 80% water. This doesn't leave much room for a nutritional content. But cats will enjoy is as their choice to eat is governed mainly by smell rather than taste. The other problem with wet food is that it sticks to the teeth, speeding up the decaying process. If you feed any wet food to your cat you will need to check its teeth regularly and maybe consider brushing if your cat will let you.
Most owners are unaware that if they feed a premium dry diet with plenty of water, their cat will be getting a far higher meat content gram for gram. It also will contain all the other vitamins and minerals their cat needs including taurine.
The BARF (Bones & Raw Food) Diet is becoming steadily more popular with cat owners. Now there is a range of frozen food especially tailored to the needs of a cat. Barf is formulated with the way the animal would eat in the wild in mind. It uses the whole of the animal so that the cat is getting a balanced meal. In the wild they would eat the bones and organs so these are included in the nuggets. For more information on the BARF diet please click here.
Most cat owners that we see in our store feed a mixture of wet and dry food. We tend to find people will feed their cats wet food morning and evening and leave dry food down in the day so they can help themselves.
It can be hard to find a diet for your cat as they do have a reputation for being fussy, but there is so much selection available now there should be something to suit everyone. Please come in and see our range in store, we can also order products in so if we dont have what you are looking for we will do our best to get it for you.