As pet parents, we want nothing but the best for our fur babies. That includes the nutrients they need to stay healthy. Because there are many factors that contribute to how nutritious your cat’s food is, and because pet food labels can be difficult to decode, it can be a challenge to know whether you’re giving your cat the best food to support its health. Thankfully, we’re here to outline what to look for when seeking out high-quality cat food and supplements that will increase your cat’s energy and keep them on track for a long, happy life.
#1 Prioritize Animal Proteins
Generally speaking, cat food that is higher in animal-based proteins will provide your cat with more health benefits than food with lower protein content. In fact, when cats are given access to different kinds of cat foods, studies have shown that cats tend to prefer diets in which they are getting more than half of their calories from protein.
So, what is it about animal protein that is so good for cats? Proteins are rich in amino acids, which can help promote organ, tissue and heart health as well as reduce the risk of diabetes. As natural predators, cats are predisposed to like the taste of meat and their digestive systems are hardwired to efficiently process animal proteins, so their bodies have to expend less energy breaking down animal proteins than they do other types of food, and are less likely to encounter digestive problems.
#2 Skip Poor Quality Ingredients
When it comes to choosing high-quality cat food and supplements, being aware of what ingredients to avoid is just as important as ensuring your cats get the nutrients they do need. High amounts of carbohydrate fillers, for instance, including cornmeal and wheat gluten, can lead to health issues. Some cat foods also contain high amounts of sugar, which can contribute to obesity, diabetes and a decrease in your cat’s overall wellness and energy.
Excessive amounts of meat byproducts, too, can be problematic for your cat’s health. Just because a cat food lists chicken in its name or flavor on the front of the package doesn’t mean it’s made with meat like chicken breast or chicken thighs. You’ve got to look at the ingredients list on the back of the package. Chicken by-product meal, for example, can refer to the ground chicken necks, feet, eggs and intestines.
If you’re looking for the best quality cat foods, we recommend learning how to read cat food labels or looking up the meaning of each ingredient the next time you shop for cat food.
#3 Seek Out Natural Options
Choosing cat foods that contain primarily natural ingredients is one way to mitigate the chances that your cat will consume ingredients that are detrimental to its health. Cat food brands that prioritize wholesome, naturally-sourced ingredients typically contain less sugar and other additives including artificial coloring, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives that could be potentially harmful to your fur baby.
Natural and organic cat foods frequently contain vitamins, antioxidants and other nutrients that can improve your cat’s energy levels and increase longevity. Ingredients found in natural cat foods can also help your cat maintain a healthy weight, contribute to increased coat health, help solve digestive issues and provide a solution to food allergies.
#4 Supplement Smartly
Even with high-quality cat food, it’s possible that your cat’s diet might still be missing some of the nutrients its body needs. There are lines of vet-approved supplements that can elevate your furry companion’s energy level, and help keep them happy and healthy for as long as possible. From pet multivitamins that can increase overall wellness to specific tinctures designed to help support digestive health, optimize heart health or boost the immune system, every pet parent should consider seeking out holistic supplemental solutions to give their fur baby the best quality of life possible.
When you seek out supplements for your cat, stick to products with primarily natural ingredients. It’s also important to prioritize companies that have done extensive research and testing on their products and that are accredited by leading pet professionals.
#5 Consider Your Cat’s Needs
In order to make the best choices for your cat, you need to consider your cat’s breed, age, medical needs and food preferences. Older cats, for instance, are going to have different nutritional needs than kittens, and a cat with arthritis almost certainly has different needs than a cat struggling with chronic urinary tract infections. Before making a change to your fur baby’s routine, you should consider any health issues your cat may have, and explore solutions that seek to address that particular problem.
Prioritize Your Pet’s Health
Every cat deserves a healthy, happy life. As a pet parent, however, it can be difficult to know if the cat food we are giving our cat is providing them with all the nutrients they need to stay healthy. When looking to supplement or change up your pet’s diet, you should do research to ensure you are choosing items made of high-quality, cat-friendly ingredients, and always put the specific health needs of your cat first.