Cat Food

Cat chewing on tasty bison leg. The bison is not impressed.
Stinky demonstrating
the hard way to obtain raw bison cat food

 

Diet is probably the most important factor in maintaining your cat’s good health. Finding the best food for your cat is not easy though.

Cat are obligate carnivores, meaning they need animal protein. Protein and fat are what they have the ability to digest – not carbohydrates. Yet many cat foods are loaded with carbohydrates. No mystery as to why – it’s cheaper.

Grains are about the worst thing you can feed a cat, yet some foods brag about the grain if it’s “brown rice” or something else that sounds healthy to a human. Guess what? Brown rice, even organic, can contribute to diabetes in cats. “Meat by products” is another way to cheapen the food. I don’t even want to go into what’s possibly in that stuff.

Some of the most expensive cat foods you can find, usually at a vet’s office, are full of grain and meat by-products. Read the labels! High quality foods will state clearly they are made from human grade ingredients.

Cat in the wild cooking mouse kabob over a campfire
There’s an exception to every rule.
Especially when it comes to mouse kabobs.

Raw versus cooked is another aspect to look into. Cats in the wild generally don’t cook their food. Cooking and processing destroy some of the nutrients a cat’s digestive system expects. So check out the freezer in your local pet boutique. Instinct Raw Frozen Diets from Nature’s Variety work well.

Lastly, the elite solution with complete control is to make your own cat food. This requires extra care though. You can’t just plop some chopped meat in your cat’s dish day after day. They need additional vitamins and minerals. For example, calcium is necessary to balance the protein and cats need supplemental taurine. Add to that probiotics, antioxidants, herbs and various “super foods” and you can see a huge improvement in your cat’s health. There are ready made mixes that make it easier – you just add it to fresh meat and your done. Feline Instincts makes an excellent mix that I have used to make large batches for the freezer.

CatInfo has a wonderful page about feline nutrition. The Cat Health category has more about some of the supplements I give Stinky.