Good cat food

Cat owners rightly ask which cat food is good and how to recognise this. Here we provide you with an overview.

A large range of cat food is available. Whether in a pet shop or online - for a start new cat owners are often completely overwhelmed by the huge range and don’t know which food they should buy. The cat, of course, deserves good cat food as this is one of the most important prerequisites for a long, healthy life. But what food is genuinely good? And which feeding method is best? Feeding dry food, wet food, a BARF diet (biologically appropriate raw foods), or a combined feeding approach (wet and dry food)? You could ask 10 experts these questions and receive 10 different answers. Nutrition for cats, after all, is somewhat of a hallowed topic. Luckily, healthy nutrition for cats can be provided in the form of wet as well as dry food if it is a good quality complete food product. Even the BARF diet - which has been inspected by a specialist in terms of the nutritional content - can form the basis of a healthy life for cats.

Characteristics of good cat food

If you are currently looking for suitable food for your cat, take the time to read the information on the product carefully. Many manufacturers do not provide clear information about the composition of the food. There are, however, a few animal food manufacturers who are aware of their responsibility and clearly detail the composition of their food on the product. Carny Adult Rind pur is a good example of clear information in this respect. On the product it is clear that the beef content is 65% and is comprised of heart, lung, liver, udder and kidney meat. It does not contain cereals or soya. This product is also free from artificial flavourings, sugar, artificial additives, colouring and preservatives. The food has been fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, however, to ensure appropriate nutrition for fully grown cats.

Characteristics of good cat food

animonda Carny impresses with its high meat content

Good cat for every phase of life

No matter how good a cat food may be, it must also suit the cat. The most important factor in this regard is to consider the age of the cat. A young cat has different nutritional needs to an older cat. Accordingly, the food products available also differ. Kittens need a lot of energy in the form of high-quality proteins as well as minerals to promote healthy growth. Older cats (age 7 upwards), in contrast, prefer a somewhat quieter life. In old age, and our cats are becoming increasingly old, age-related illnesses are also more prevalent. A good cat food must therefore not only provide all essential nutrients but also meet their special requirements. This is why there are, for example, dietary foods for cats with chronic renal insufficiency, struvite stones, diabetes, excess weight, osteoarthritis, diarrhoea or a food allergy. These are available as both wet and dry food.

Wet food or dry food?

Cat owners not only ask which cat food is good but also whether dry or wet food is the better option. In general it can be said that wet food comes closest to the natural diet of cats. Ultimately, mice feature most commonly on a cat’s natural menu. Mice consist of up to 70 percent water, which is very closely mimicked by the liquid content of wet food. This means the cat can largely cover its need for fluids simply by eating wet food as cats - in accordance with their ancestry - don’t drink so much water, and instead predominantly consume liquid via natural nutrition. If a cat is only given dry food, fundamentally the nutrition it receives is equally as good. In this case, however, cats must then have access to fresh water in a water bowl. It is beneficial for there to be several water bowls or even a drinking fountain. To be on the safe side, provide wet food as well as dry food. This not only provides variation but also prevents the cat from becoming fussy and only wanting to eat one type of food.

Is a BARF diet better than good cat food?

The increasing popularity of the BARF diet is a relatively recent phenomenon. BARF refers to a feeding method in which the focus is on feeding raw meat to the animal. This is supplemented with fresh fruit, vegetables and minerals. Many cat owners feel uncertain about buying cat food as it is often not easy to recognise what is in it. Information on the composition (declaration) is often incomprehensible or formulated in such a general way that the customer does not know what is really hidden in the cat food. Furthermore, increasingly more cat owners are attaching importance to food without sugar, artificial flavourings, preservatives, colourings and soya. This perspective left an increasing number of cat owners feeling bewildered and led them to start preparing food for their cats themselves or feeding their pet BARF portions. They therefore knew for certain what their cats were being given to eat. Scientific investigations, however, quickly revealed that this kind of diet was often, unfortunately, by no means as good as hoped. This is because, regardless of high the meat content may be, appropriate nutrition for a cat is comprised of far more than meat. Deficiency symptoms or over-supply can quickly arise as the cat is lacking calcium and vitamin A, for example. The ratio between calcium and phosphorous, moreover, is of decisive importance. A Dutch research study investigated the raw meat diet in dogs and found pathogens such as coliform bacteria in many BARF portions. These bacteria can be harmful to youngsters and older people. It is safer to provide your cat with a high-quality, good cat food.

What does good cat food cost?

Good cat food cannot be purchased at bargain prices - this should be clear to any responsible cat owner. Nevertheless, good cat food does not need to be expensive. You don’t need to pay three euros for high-quality cat food - it can also be far more reasonably priced. If you are planning to change your cat’s food or are making the decision on choice of cat food for the first time, take some time to study the information provided on the product.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it a complete food?
  • How many meaty ingredients are in the cat food?
  • What animal origin do the ingredients have?
  • Is it free from artificial colouring and preservatives?
  • Is it age-appropriate for my cat?

If you can answer all of these questions to your satisfaction and find no inconsistencies, there is nothing to stop you buying this cat food. But there is one key issue that you should always bear in mind: Your cat must also enjoy the taste! Trying to force your cat to eat a certain food just because you are convinced will not get you very far. Luckily, however, a broad range of flavours are available which means there is always something suitable for every cat.

The following may also be of interest: