Just because we don’t make cat food doesn’t mean we aren’t concerned with their nutritional needs. It’s a well known fact that cats are considered obligate carnivores – meaning, they need animal-based protein to live healthy lives. Some pet food brands will argue against the need to use ‘expensive’ meat ingredients – citing things like sustainability and that nutrition, not ingredients, are what matters – but the bottom line is that cats’ systems simply don’t utilize and maximize plant-based diets (while dogs, on the other hand, are omnivores – they can utilize nutrients from plants but, like most mammals, do best with meat protein.) Generally speaking, the longer the ingredient list on the side of the bag the more likely it is that you’re filling your feline with just that: fillers. Here are a few things to look for next time you’re buying kitty’s kibble:
- Meat (Duh!) But look for wholesome meat ingredients, meaning ‘beef’, ‘turkey’, ‘lamb’, etc. Avoid generalities like ‘meat’, ‘animal’, or ‘poultry’. Don’t be too wary of the word ‘meal’, as it’s still considered high-quality nutrition as long as the source is clear.
- Bye Bye Byproduct. Anything with byproduct, soy, or corn should be left on the shelf – these are all cheap, non-nutritious fillers your kitty doesn’t need.
- Certain Preservatives. Such as BHT, BHA, ethoxyquin, and propyl gallate can be harmful to your cat – they’re simply chemical preservatives (ick!)
- Be Thorough. Pay attention to the ingredient list, as there are loopholes like being able to list the same ingredient a few times (rather than putting 75% rice, they’ll label it 25% white rice, 25% brown rice, and 25% rice bran.)
And, just like dogs, cats can thrive on a raw diet if you’re willing to put in the effort of researching the proper balance and prepping their meals daily. What do you feed your cat? Share with us on Facebook!