Walking into a pet store to pick out a quality healthy, natural cat food for your furry friend can be pretty overwhelming. There are multiple isles with multiple shelves containing multiple varieties and brands of cat food. How do you know which one is truly a healthy cat food? Should you go with the labels that boast they are a natural cat food or should you choose an organic cat food?
You might start to try reading the labels and the packaging, but if you don’t know what you’re looking for you may still feel pretty confused about what’s truly the best for feline health. That’s the way I felt anyway, so I started doing more intensive research on all natural cat food.
Natural Cat Food Labels
Here are some ingredients to look for and some to avoid when looking for an all natural cat food:
Protein – should be the first ingredients
- Avoid: Unnamed food ingredients (poultry by-products, meat and bone meal) and protein fillers (wheat gluten, corn gluten meal, egg product meal)
- Look for: Named meat and fish (chicken, turkey, lamb, herring, etc.) and concentrated named meat protein meals (chicken meal, turkey meal, lamb meal, herring meal, etc.)
Carbohydrates & Vegetables
- Avoid: Unhealthy carbohydrates (brewer’s rice, mill runs, refined flours, wheat) and processed fruits and vegetables (alfalfa meal, dehydrated potatoes, tomato pumice)
- Look for: Whole grains and starches (brown rice, barley, sweet potatoes) and fresh fruits and vegetables (whole potatoes, carrots, peas, cranberries)
Fats & Oils
- Avoid: Fats from non-specified sources (animal fat, poultry fat, vegetable oil) and synthetic preservatives (BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin)
- Look for: Named fats from good sources (chicken fat, herring oil, sunflower oil) and natural preservatives (mixed tocopherols, Vitamin E)
- Avoid: Coloring (FD&C colors, caramel color)
- Look for: Antioxidants (Vitamins A, C, and E) and chelated minerals (iron proteinate, manganese proteinate, etc)
Cat Food for Optimum Feline Health
When talking about truly natural cat food and optimum feline health the best cat food includes a raw food diet for cats, premixes for home prepared cat food and quality homemade cat food. Raw foods are bought frozen, kept in your freezer then thawed before feeding. Premixes for home prepared cat food are pretty close to homemade, with the advantage that they are already nutritionally balanced for your kitty’s health. All you need to do is add water and the meat of your choice to the mix and you’ll have a balanced meal for your cat.
Freeze dried cat food and dehydrated cat food would be next on the list for healthy cat food. You just need to add water to reconstitute before feeding it to your cat. Canned cat food is next, followed by dry kibble.
Premixes are a convenient way for you to give your kitty a nutritious, balanced, fresh diet. But it’s good to rotate cat food to be sure your cat gets a variety of nutrients for optimal feline health. You may want to rotate between a premix for home prepared cat food, a quality canned natural cat food and maybe even a quality dry natural cat food like Wellness Cat Food.
It’s really pretty simple; a natural cat food, or healthy cat food, that’s designed for their system, will help your cat remain healthier and have a better quality of life. I’ve heard one description explaining the difference between thriving or just surviving. After all nutrition is the foundation of good health for both you and your cat. A healthy cat food will help your cat achieve optimal feline health.
Many organic cat food and natural cat food companies pay close attention to the needs of your cat and have a much lower carbohydrate ratio, but just like with your own food you need to learn to read the label and know what to look for in a healthy cat food.
I hope this helps you on your quest for a natural cat food. I know I feel a lot more confident about what I’m feeding my kitties now._____________________________________