Commercial cat rations are sold as dry, semi-moist (soft) food and canned food. Any type of product can provide your pet with complete nutrition if formulated correctly.
In general, it is more economical to use dry food (about 10% moisture content) as a staple food for cats. Due to its low moisture content, a cat can consume it at will without spoiling it in all but the wettest climates. Its crunchy texture helps keep a cat’s teeth clean, which is very important as many cats suffer from dental diseases. However, dry food, even if balanced, cannot imitate the food that a cat would eat naturally. They contain much larger amounts of plant material than a cat would naturally consume, and some products contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives that some cats cannot tolerate. Cats also consume less total water (about 50% less) when they eat dry food compared to canned foods, although they drink more .
This can become a health issue for older cats with kidney disease and/or constipation, or for cats who have tract disease. Dry foods may become deficient in essential fatty acids when stored, especially when the weather is warm and humid. Their physical composition allows less fat to be incorporated initially, and obtain in-tuned with with the oxygen within the air makes the fat present turn rancid.
Do not store dry foods at temperature for extended than six months; purchase them from dealers who have a rapid food turnover. Although many dry products provide excellent complete nutrition and lots of cats had best eating dry foods alone, the foremost healthful diet for a cat should include another foods also .
Semimoist cat foods are intermediate in moisture content (about 25% to 35%) and are usually designed to be nutritionally complete. Semimoist foods are considerably costlier than dry foods if the extra water they contain is taken into consideration when calculating the value per feeding. Chemical humectants (e.g., propylene glycol), syrup , salts, sugar, and acids are wont to stand up in these products and keep them soft and free from spoilage. Also semimoist products often contain artificial flavors and colours . they’re generally quite palatable to cats and convenient for his or her owners, since such foods are often stored for months at temperature if unopened and that they are often sold in single-feeding pouches. Unfortunately, semimoist foods give none of the tooth-cleaning advantage of dry foods, and that they cannot begin to approach the more natural quality of the simplest canned foods. propanediol , a standard preservative and energy source utilized in semimoist food for years causes oxidative damage to cats’ red blood cells and can be required by law to be eliminated from cat foods sold within the us by the top of 1993. Reserve semimoist foods for snacks.
Canned products tend to be the foremost expensive thanks to feed cats since you buy about 75% water. They are, however, safe to store for prolonged periods and highly palatable to cats. Their formulation allows the simplest manufacturers to incorporate ingredients like meat and liver and high levels of fat that mimic the components of a diet a cat might naturally prey upon. Complete canned foods are a desirable a part of a cat’s diet, but you want to take care to read package labels (see chart) to make certain your cat is getting products intended to be fed as complete diets. Incomplete “gourmet” products should be fed only as dietary supplements. If the label doesn’t make it clear that the food is meant to be complete in itself, use the merchandise only additionally to a good sort of other foods. Heat processing destroys important vitamins (e.g., thiamine) and other nutrients (e.g., taurine), so all complete canned products will show evidence of supplementation within the list of ingredients on their labels. Some
canned products contain artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives like nitrite . Like propanediol , nitrite has been shown to induce oxidative damage to cats’ red blood cells. To feed the foremost natural diet to your cat, avoid canned products that contain such additives. Federal law requires that each one cat foods in interstate commerce carry an inventory of ingredients in decreasing order of predominance. Other regulations require a guaranteed analysis, listing minimum or maximum levels of certain nutrients present on an as-fed basis (i.e., not corrected for the quantity of moisture present). Unfortunately, the specified labels don’t contain enough information to enable you to match cat foods adequately with each other . The guaranteed analysis gives no indication of the standard of the nutrients present, nor does it give the precise quantities present. Companies are restricted from misrepresenting their products, however, and certain large manufacturers of cat foods have conducted extensive research and feeding trials so as to supply nutritious diets that require no supplementation. These foods carry labels that indicate their nutritional adequacy supported calculation, qualitative analysis , or feeding trials (the best). the subsequent rules of thumb will assist you choose a cat food:
– Look at the food. this is often a reasonably effective way of evaluating many canned foods. If you see pieces of bone, discolored meat, and poorly digestible items like blood vessels and skin, it’s a reasonably good indication of poor quality food.
– Consider the worth . Cheap cat foods often contain cheap ingredients —poor quality protein and poorly digestible nutrients that undergo your cat unused.
– Well-known manufacturers noted for his or her research generally produce good-quality cat foods you’ll trust.
See what quite effect the food has when eaten. If your cat gets diarrhea or becomes flatulent on a food, it’s not the diet you ought to still feed. Voluminous stools following feeding of certain brands of food often indicate excessive amounts of fiber or other indigestible substances. Good products are 75% to 80% absorbed by the gut unless specifically formulated to be therapeutic high-fiber foods.
– Read the label and choose only products that have label claims of complete nutrition. people who indicate they’re adequate for all life stages
based on feeding trials are the products that have stood up to the foremost rigorous testing. Calculation or qualitative analysis cannot measure exactly how the merchandise are going to be utilized by the cat.
– Calculate the value per feeding, since the worth per bag, can, or box could also be misleading. Record the value per package and therefore the purchase date. When empty, divide the worth by the amount of days it took to end the merchandise . the foremost “expensive” foods per package are often less costly to feed per day than the apparently cheaper brands, as less volume is required to supply proper nutrition.
– Write or call the manufacturer to get any additional information you would possibly need. for instance , the protein and dry-matter digestibility of excellent foods usually exceeds 80%. This information, however, is usually not available on the food label. Reputable food manufacturers are happy to supply the customer with information and sometimes provide toll-free numbers for this purpose.