Types of food for cats, advice on the selection of food
Choosing good cat food is no easy task. Despite the fact that pet stores offer a huge selection of food for every taste and budget, the preferences of the animal may differ from the advice of veterinarians. In addition, some cats get bored of food over time, and it needs to be changed to food from another company. Newly made owners need to immediately make a choice whether they will cook natural food for their cat or feed it with ready-made food..
The choice of the most suitable feed should be discussed with your veterinarian.
How to choose the type of food and what they are?
The composition of food for cats must include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and fatty acids in the right amount. It is very difficult to maintain these proportions in natural food, although some owners insist on the harmfulness of dry food and the benefits of homemade food. In fact, the choice of food for cats needs to be approached individually..
Natural food should be compared with premium or super-premium ready-to-eat foods. Manufacturing technology of high-quality food will not allow it to be too cheap, so the pricing policy in this matter is also important. There are several aspects of the advantages of finished products:
- convenience in dosage (on the package you can find the daily dose per kilogram of weight, as well as the amount of water that is needed to digest the feed);
- the pack already contains all the necessary nutrients and vitamins in the right proportion;
- in the summertime, finished products will not deteriorate in the heat;
- it is possible to purchase one of the medicinal food for cats (for diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, kidneys, special food with a suitable composition is recommended).
Quality feed cannot be cheap, nor can a properly selected natural diet. If we analyze the cost of packaging of finished products and an equal amount of meat, offal, soups, vegetables, dairy and sour milk products, these two categories will be approximately in the same price range..
The only thing that can be distinguished from the advantages of natural nutrition is that the owner will know exactly what goes into the bowl for his cat. You should not feed animals that eat naturally, dry food and canned food – this can negatively affect their health and cause problems with the digestive tract. The fact is that the cat’s body adapts to the type of feeding, and exactly the required amount of gastric juice is secreted in its stomach. In order to digest dry food, you need more of it. Sharp jumps in the level of hydrochloric acid in the stomach damage its walls and cause gastritis.
The average cat is able to assimilate an amount of food equal to 5% of its own weight per day. This is an average figure, since all products have a different volume with the same weight. Owners who prefer to prepare natural food for cats should read a little tip:
- The basis of the diet for cats is meat. In nature, they are able to get only raw, lean meat in small quantities. Lean poultry is ideal for them..
- There is controversy about the heat treatment of meat products. On the one hand, boiled meat loses some of its beneficial properties and is an unnatural product for felines. On the other hand, raw meat products may contain helminth eggs. Way out – freeze and thaw meat before serving.
- It will be most convenient for the cat to eat meat or offal whole. Their digestion process is arranged in such a way that they tear off pieces of meat and send them to the stomach..
- Uncleaned stomachs are a source of carbohydrates for cats.
- Several times a week, you can replace the meat intake with whole chicken necks. Not only is it good for the health of the teeth, but they are also the main source of calcium. It is undesirable to give more than two necks at a time.
- Chicken hearts contain the amino acid taurine. It is important for cats to get it from food as they cannot synthesize it on their own. With a deficiency of taurine, there is a risk of developing pathology of the retina and heart muscle.
- Cats love dairy and fermented milk products. After the main meal, you can give them unsweetened yogurt or kefir. A couple of times a week, meat can be replaced with cottage cheese..
Keep cat food simple. Fatty meats, broths, milk-based cereals are unnatural products. In order to digest them and assimilate useful substances from them, the cat’s body needs to be rebuilt.
Despite the fact that cats love river fish, it is better to replace it with meat. It contains a large amount of phosphorus, which provokes the deposition of salts and stones in the bladder and urinary tract. This is especially true in relation to cats..
Dry cat food is a great solution for those owners who do not have time to cook separately for another family member. It comes in granules of various shapes and sizes, which have a pleasant smell for cats. Different companies offer different lines that are designed for cats of different ages and breeds, as well as for animals with special needs (with food allergies, a number of diseases).
Dry food can be left at any temperature indefinitely. Thus, you can develop a habit in the cat that the food is constantly in the bowl, and he will begin to eat with appetite, but without greed. This feature will not only simplify the feeding process in the hot season, but also prevent problems with overeating, obesity and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract..
There are special foods for fluffy cats. They dissolve the fur in the stomach and prevent stones.
Dry granules absorb large amounts of water. The package indicates how much liquid the cat must drink in order to completely digest the food. Of course, this process cannot be controlled, but the animal must have water at all times..
Dry food for cats is an opportunity not only to feed them, but also to provide a therapeutic effect for a number of pathologies:
- Some feeds promote the removal of sand and stones in case of urolithiasis. Such animals must have constant access to fluid..
- For diseases of the digestive tract and liver, there is a special line of feed that does not irritate the mucous membranes and normalizes the level of gastric juice.
- There are two types of hypoallergenic cat foods. The first type contains only one kind of animal protein (lamb, turkey, salmon, or others). The second type contains soy or hydrolyzed animal protein.
Food for neutered cats will avoid problems with weight gain after surgery. It reduces appetite slightly, and the animal does not feel hungry long before the next feeding..
According to the pricing policy, dry food is divided into economy, premium and super-premium. Products of the first category are categorically not recommended to be chosen for the daily diet – they contain a minimum of nutrients and a maximum of dyes and flavors.
Liquid feed and canned food
Dry food is the most convenient option for daily use. It is recommended to switch to wet feed if the animal consumes little liquid and in individual cases.
- Canned food is a mass that resembles a pate. They can be purchased in portioned sachets or in cans..
- Liquid cat food is a distinct variety that is a cross between dry food and canned food. The individual granules are in the sauce.
Wet food is not as easy to use as dry food. As with natural foods, they cannot be stored for long at room temperature. In stores, they are sold without a refrigerator, because special packaging does not allow them to deteriorate. When sealed, they can be kept warm at home..
As soon as food is in the bowl, it begins to enter into chemical reactions with environmental substances and can deteriorate. One sachet is for one meal. If the animal has not eaten the entire portion, the leftovers must be covered and refrigerated. The same food can be offered to the cat at the next feeding..
The disadvantage of wet food is that it cannot be left outdoors all day..
The main difference between wet and dry food is the percentage of liquid. Liquid food has a moisture content of about 35%, canned food – about 70%. If such food is exposed to air for a long time, it begins to dry out and lose its nutritional properties. This is why it is sold in portioned sachets or cans rather than in large packages..
Otherwise, wet food is no different from dry food. Likewise, you can find canned food for sterilized cats, for different breeds and ages. There are also special lines for animals with diseases of the digestive tract and kidneys, as well as allergy sufferers. The diet for fluffy cats contains special substances that dissolve wool in the stomach and prevent it from collecting in large, dense stones..
There is no definite answer as to what kind of food is better to feed the cat. The most convenient dry pellets are suitable for both healthy cats and animals with special needs. Natural food is not cheaper and time-consuming. Liquid pates and canned foods are suitable for daily feeding, but are sold in single-use portion packs and are therefore more expensive. The task of each owner is to consult with a veterinarian, conduct a routine examination of the cat and get recommendations on which food is best for cats. Further, the choice depends on the individual taste preferences of the animal..