If you have a cat, it’s important to feed it food that will help it grow strong and live a happy and healthy life. This seems simple: go to the pet store and buy food. However, some cat foods are extremely bad for your feline friend’s health and should be avoided, while other cat foods are exactly what you should be buying.
Buying Good Cat Food At A Good Price
A combination of canned and dry food is best for cats. As carnivores, cats thrive from eating a healthy supply of meat. Unfortunately some cheaper, lower-quality cat foods pack their ingredients full of cheap grains that can wreak havoc on a kitty’s stomach.¹ Be careful about feeding your cat foods that contain corn and seafood, as many are allergic to these ingredients. As long as you take the time to read the label it is acceptable to feed your cat dry food. It also has the advantage of a much longer shelf life.
Canned food, on the other hand, is only good for a number of days once it has been opened, even though you refrigerate it afterwards and it is generally slightly more expensive. There are many good options in terms of canned food with meats like lamb or turkey. Make sure that the cat food you purchase clearly lists what is in it: lower quality brands will often be very vague about what is in them and how much.
Indicators of Low Quality Foods
You should not wait until your cat is dry heaving on the carpet to find out that the food you bought is low-quality or crammed with lousy ingredients. In order to tell beforehand, look for stomach-busting chemicals like BHA, Ethoxyquin and BHT, which are classic markers of bad food.²
Byproducts And Food Coloring? No Thanks
Additionally, keep an eye out for byproducts that seem unnecessary and the food thickener ingredient carrageenan: it is bad for your cat!³ Another thing to avoid is food coloring that is put into cat food to make it “pop” and stand out more: it is no good for your cat and can even cause cancer over the long-term.⁴ Watch out!
Finding Low-Priced, High-Quality Cat Food
There is plenty of reasonably-priced, high-quality cat food out there. The best method for finding it is to research online and compare reviews and ingredients of different brands. It’s also worth speaking to your vet to ask his or her opinion. Make sure to mention what you can afford so your vet can also take that into account. Researching online can help you make sure to avoid brands with a bad track record: for example, in late 2019 there was a massive recall of Quest brand beef-based cat food around the United States after it was leading to huge numbers of food poisoning cases.⁵
Healthy Cat, Happy Human
When your cat is healthy, you are happy. They don’t meow all the time—except in a cute way—and they can focus on what they’re best at: cuddling with you and being your good pal. Buying the cheapest cat food at the store might seem like an easy choice, but the wrong foods really can have negative consequences, from heart disease to diabetes.⁶ These are awful things for humans and they’re no good for cats, either! Avoiding foods packed with unnecessary byproducts, food coloring, allergens, and harmful chemicals is a great start to making sure your cat gets the food it deserves. As always, researching online, asking around by word-of-mouth and consulting with your vet are highly recommended.