Is My Cat Eating Correctly? (Part two)
By David Brooks
4) Which is the best cat food to choose?
There are so many different brands of cat food on the market, the â€˜bestâ€™ one is basically a matter of opinion. Certainly palatability is a factor, thereâ€™s no point in purchasing a particular food if your cat canâ€™t stand it â€“ although this is occasionally a necessity in cats requiring prescription diets. Rather than recommending you a specific brand, we suggest that you choose one which adheres to the criteria below.
Cat foods labeled as ‘completeâ€™ and â€˜balanced’ must meet standards established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO), either by meeting a â€˜nutrient profileâ€™ or by passing a feeding trial. There are now two separate nutrient profiles for cats – one for growth (kittens) and one for maintenance (adults). Maximum levels of intake of some nutrients have been established for the first time because of the concern that overnutrition, rather than undernutrition, is a bigger problem with many pet foods today. The standards include recommendations on protein, fat, fat soluble vitamins, water soluble vitamins, and mineral content of foods. If you are prepared to get technical, you should choose a food that comes closest to AAFCO recommendations. In summary, consider the following points: Choose a food that suits your catâ€™s age. Most big pet food companies will have different foods for kittens vs adults. Cats with medical conditions may be recommended special prescription diets. Choose a food that come closest to AAFCO recommendations. The ingredients contains the truth about a particular food. Everything else is there only for marketing purposes. There are no legal and scientific definitions for the terms “premium,” “super premium,” “quality,” or “natural.” Use dry matter numbers to evaluate and compare foods. The source of ingredients (e.g. animal vs vegetable) does not matter, except in the case of food allergies. Avoid supplementation. All commercial cat foods have more than enough protein, fat, vitamins, and minerals. Feeding your cat a good food incorrectly can lead to significant problems.