Just like dogs, cats not only offer comfort and happiness to humans but are as well deemed by many as part of the family. Due to this, providing the best care for your cat, from grooming to the type of food is of utter importance.
If you have a cat as a pet, you probably would care about what you feed to your furry friend. It goes without saying that proper nutrition is of utmost importance when it comes to your cat’s growth, prevention of any illness, and your cat’s current state of health.
Even so, getting your hands on the most nutritious meal for your cat has proven overwhelming for many cat owners. This is due to the lack of adequate knowledge on how to pick the best food for your cat from your neighborhood store.
What should you look for in your cat food? What should you be on the lookout for when it comes to the ingredients? To ensure that you get the best meal, you will have to be a pro in mastering all the ingredients present in ideal cat food.
Additionally, you will have to be well knowledgeable in assessing all the dietary claims presented by any brand. This way, you will be in a better position to give your cat not only the safest but the most nutritious food.
The good news is that you need not worry about how you will be able to read labels when hitting the market for your cat food. This article will give you an overview of key elements to check on cat food labels.
1. Learn the Cat Food Lingo
Just like human foods, most governments regulate whatever should appear on the cat food label. This means that most, if not all cat foods, should provide the same information about their packaging or label.
Product name: While all brands of cat foods have a product name, they not only help you to pick the right product, but they also give a sneak peek of the ingredients included e.g. the Fancy Feast Wild Salmon.
Guaranteed analysis: This is a statement that indicates both the maximum and minimum amount of a given nutrient in the cat food.
Statement of responsibility: It gives information about the company that is responsible for making the cat food and contact information.
Other common things to learn in cat food include directions of feeding, nutritional adequacy, and date of manufacturing/expiry.
2. Focus on Nutrients, Not Ingredients
One of the most common mistakes that cat owners make when buying cat food is focusing on ingredients rather than nutrients present.
When it comes to reading cat food labels, spend your time trying to determine the nutrients present. After all, its nutrients that animals require, not the ingredients!
But how will you be able to determine the type of nutrients present in cat food? Well, this is where the “guaranteed analysis” section comes into play. This list will give you comprehensive information about the type of nutrients present in cat food and the quantity present.
When looking at the nutrients present, ensure that the most crucial nutrients for a cat such as carbohydrates, protein, and water are present.
3. Check Preservatives Present
Contrary to common belief, experts explain that preservatives play an integral role in dry pet foods.
Basically, preservatives are antioxidants that help in preventing fat present in packed food from going bad. It goes without saying that once fat goes bad, it produces a foul smell, not to mention losing its nutritional value.
So, when looking for cat food, ensure to read the label for any preservatives. They can either be man-made or natural preservatives. All in all, ensure that cat food has a preservative present.
4. Natural or Organic?
As much as there are no clear definitions of organic or natural food in the pet food industry, the two are actually quite different.
When it comes to organic, all the cat food can either sourced or grown and processed. This gives you a clear indication of the processes involved in developing the cat food.
Although there is no clear definition of organic cat food, it can simply be defined as cat food that has undergone very little on no industrial sourcing and processing.
In some cases, different brands may use the term “natural” to indicate that there are no coloring or preservatives added to the cat food. However, if you are buying any dry cat food, you should ensure to use caution whenever you see such terms.
Ensure to go for cat food that clearly states whether it’s natural with a certain additive or whole natural no additives at all. When it comes to the later, all the nutrients, including vitamins and minerals should be listed on the label.