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Everything you need to know about cat food. Read the cat parent guide!

By Daniel Mar Journalist

Updated on the

A cat’s diet is a very important thing for every cat parent! In this article, you will learn valuable tips about cat food and all that it entails!

Cats are not usually picky eaters! They tend to eat whatever you give them! In fact, “Cats are very opinionated about food, and a lot of their food preferences are formed in the first year,” says Dr Julie A. Churchill. If you just got a kitten, the first few years are essential to make him used to different types of cat food! Even if your pet is older, nutrition remains very important because adult cats require substantial changes in their diets. This may sound a little tricky but it is not. Fortunately for you, you will learn a great deal of information about cat food in this amazing cat parent guide.

How to select high-quality food for my cat?

You need to pay close attention to the ingredients that make up cat food. Read all the labels. Vets recommend this all the time! Even though you may have gotten a suggestion of a certain great brand, you need to be informed of whatever your cat is eating. Sometimes, cat food brands may use advertisement to divulge that their products have some healthy ingredients and therefore, these make it healthy. This is a common mistake. “The presence of one or two ingredients may make the food appear healthy, but it’s the balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals that make a healthy cat food," says Mindy Bough, CVT, senior director of client services for the Midwest Office of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

As with everything you feed your cat, you need to evaluate the percentages of nutrients. Generally, dry cat food has more proteins than wet food. However, this is due to the fact that it contains less water. Remember to always pick cat food that has high nutrients, vitamins, low fats, minerals and essential amino acids.

Is dry cat food better than wet food?

Currently, the experts haven't reached a consensus. Nevertheless, most agree that each type has their own characteristics:

Characteristics of dry cat food:

  • More economical

  • It doesn’t spoil easily

  • Dense in calories

  • More carbohydrates but fewer proteins than wet food

Characteristics of wet cat food:

  • More expensive

  • Spoils faster

  • Fewer calories

  • It has up to 78% moisture content

  • More fat and protein and fewer carbohydrates than dry food

How much food should I feed my adult cat?

As a cat parent, you need to be very careful of your cat’s feeding patterns. A lot of factors can contribute to feeding problems like inactivity, overfeeding, and neutering. Nevertheless, you can take steps to help manage weight problems. When it comes to feeding times and amounts, here are a few tips:

  • There are equations you can use to predict the energy needs of a cat. You should always take into consideration things like climate, activity, and the cat's metabolism.

  • Evaluate your own cat by looking at his or her silhouette. If you can’t feel ribs, you may need to adjust how much you’re feeding your cat.

  • Weigh your cat and work with your vet to determine how much your cat should weigh.

Here you have the most common feeding methods of cat food:

  • Portion-control feeding: you have to measure the food and offer it as a meal. It is great for weight control!

  • Free-choice feeding: it means that food is always available for your cat. Nursing cats are commonly fed free choice. You need to be careful how you use this method as it can turn into a problem for a cat that doesn’t know when to stop.

  • Timed feeding: as its name suggests, it involves making food available for a certain amount of time every day. It is advisable to train your cat to eat in 30 minutes.

Final thoughts

Most vets recommend twice daily feedings. As a golden rule, you should feed your cat twice daily using the portion control feeding method. It is fairly easy! You can start by dividing the amount suggested on the label of your pet’s food container into two meals. You need to space it eight to 12 hours apart! Eventually, your cat will get the hang of it!

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