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​Cat Nutrition Guide: How to Choose the Best Food for Your Cat

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'What food should I feed my cat?' is a question many cat parents often ask or ponder, not because of the easy selections but because of the many food options that go far beyond commercial food, treats, and home-made diets.

To help you, we've done some digging and have prepared a handy guide for how to choose the ideal food for your adorable feline.

1. Your Cat Comes First

When choosing cat food, your cat should be at the center of your choices. The following factors should be your primary concern:

  • Your cat's health and weight
  • Your cat's age
  • Your cat's breed
  • Your cat's lifestyle

Pro Tip: It's crucial to determine whether your cat is at a healthy body weight. Too often, many cat parents fail to realize that their kitty is overweight, which can be detrimental to their health. Research puts overweight cats at a greater risk of developing diabetes than cats with the ideal body weight. Similarly, identify whether your cat has any food allergies or intolerances. Common signs of food sensitivity include; a dull coat, upset tummy, ear infections, or persistent scratching. Such symptoms could indicate a possible adverse reaction to one or more of the ingredients in your cat's food.

Should you determine that your cat is overweight or is experiencing food intolerance, you consult your vet and consider switching foods. A change in diet can avoid many health-related issues in cats.

2. Quality over Quantity

Quality over quantity is a phrase all of us can identify with. The same principle also applies when purchasing cat food. With a surge in reported food poisoning cases, go for a brand that observes exceptionally high quality and safety standards in their food sourcing manufacturing. A pet food manufacturing facility that regularly undergoes inspection by government agencies and third-party auditors means that it complies and meets very high sanitation, safety, and manufacturing practices.

Look for stamps of approval from the following Government organizations that perform food safety inspections; the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and the European Union (EU). Third-party agencies such as the British Retail Consortium (BRC) also provide an extra level of certification and verification that the pet food manufacturer meets strict and required quality standards. These organizations will also offer a guide with steps to report pet food complaints.

Alternatively, if you regularly make home-made diets, ensure that the recipes have been formulated and tested by qualified pet nutritionists. Cats have unique nutrient requirements that only certified food recipes precisely meant for cats will ensure you meet their dietary needs.

3. Verify the Ingredients

Ingredients are a critical component of your cat's food. Select cat foods with their ingredients freshly sourced from reliable partners and within proximity to the manufacturing facility. Fresh ingredients like fresh meats and whole grains retain and provide more nutritional value than processed foods that have been adulterated or exposed to preservatives and chemicals. Look for foods that are naturally preserved.

4. Decide on Your Food Choice

Sometimes choosing what cat food to buy boils down to you and your cat's food preferences. Your cat may prefer recipes that only use fresh meat and ingredients, high protein meals, organic and dehydrated meats, or dry food.

Pro Tip: Given how cats can be picky eaters, you can incorporate wet recipes in their food intake from a young age. Wet recipes provide different textures and flavors that your cat may enjoy while increasing their water intake. You can learn more in the article wet vs. dry foods.

5. After Sales Services

Finally, consider what kind of product support is offered by your preferred food brand. Select a brand that provides customer support beyond the delivery of their products; do they provide call support for nutritional problems or questions? Do they provide comprehensive nutrient profiles for their recipes?

Making the correct healthy food choices is vital to your cat's health and development! Healthy food provides the essential nutrients that your cat needs for a healthy and happy life. 

The tips listed above will help you choose healthy and quality nutrition for your kitty. Should you have any questions, consult your vet, who will help you choose the food that works best for your cat.

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