- Pets and Animals
What Are The Best Cat Food Brands And Why?
Healthy Happy Cats Eat Healthy Nutritious Foods
What Cats Should Eat
Dr. Jean Hofve's thoughtful explanations about how she rates cat foods as approved or not are as easy to understand as are her recommendations to follow.
None Are Really Bad, But Some Are Really Better for Healthy Cats
Have you ever tried figuring out the best cat food brands?
It isn't easy.
Is there one - or more - that helps them maintain a good weight that they also like to eat? What are the best and how are we supposed to know?
These are questions we've ask ourselves. And the answer is...It's complicated.
But with some determined research, both formal and informal, the insight of smart cat-centric people like Jackson Galaxy (See ) and Dr. Jean Hofve (What Cats Should Eat: How to Keep Your Cat Healthy with Good Food), and experience with your own animals, you can start to get a handle on why some brands are better than others. Cat Daddy: What the World's Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love, and Coming Clean
It's complicated, first, because each cat is different, just as people are, maybe more so. Each has his or her own preferences. And it's complicated because, for a long time, the market has been dominated by cat food brands that may be better for profits than for cats. These brands can still commandeer a lot of shelf space.
Lesson #1: Cats Are Carnivores
Cats are carnivores, period.
Evolution never prepared them to digest the grains used in many popular brands. Cats must be tricked into eating them.
(Makers spray them to make them smell like something desirable to a cat.)
The results are too often obesity and less than optimal health.
Domestic cats have too many digestive problems, from severe constipation to blocked urinary tracts. Obesity, with all its complications, has been linked to diets made up of grain-based dry foods, just like with people.
(Another potential cause for eating and digestive problems for cats is stress, as it is with you and me. For that, we've found Spirit Essences, formulated by Jackson Galaxy and Dr. Jean Hofve, very effective.)
Let's look at three strategies for giving your cat the best cat food along with information about what we've learned about healthy cats.
Here's an easy way to try out a few things to find out what your cats like best. They will, of course, let you know.Once you're aware of what's most likely to be acceptable for them, feeding times become the pleasure both of you deserve.
The Best Wet Food - Recommended choices for healthy cat diets.
For any number of reasons, the most common being that your cats just won't eat raw food, you need a healthy alternative.
It's extremely important to remember that feeding time should be a pleasurable one for both you and your cats. Stressing out over getting cats to eat the the healthiest diet is simply unhealthy all by itself. So, go easy.
You have choices, and below are a few very good and healthy ones.
Because cats naturally fill most of their needs for water from foods, not from the a bowl, wet foods balanced to approximate natural diets and using quality ingredients make a good alternative choice.
They also are likely to contain fewer toxic elements like those easy to hide that have been found in dry food.
Note: you are not going to see heavily advertised or grocery store cat food brands recommended. Too many of them rely on questionable, cheap ingredients that can't readily be identified, and many, many of those originate in foreign countries, like China and Indonesia, where inspections are rare.
Even the manufacturers aren't always sure what's in them.
Cats all seem to like chicken. This may be the easiest path to a full wet food diet.
Praire, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, sells grain-free cat foods that are balanced to imitate cats' natural diets and preferences.It's a small company with a real passion for pets, committed to optimum health with far less focus on profits that the big name store brands.
New Discoveries in Cat Food Brands
We are always looking for the newest and better in cat foods for our guys. They can't go to Petco and pick their favorites, so we have to do it for them.
Here are brands that come highly recommended and our cats loved.
Cheerfully endorsed by our in-house experts, Billy and Sam.
Best Dry Cat Food - For when cats won't cooperate with your plans.
Like I wrote earlier, the worst situation you can have with your cats is a struggle over foods.
Meal times should be exciting, happy times. Cats love to eat great food. But they don't always love the great food you pick out.
So, come on. Compromise, but do it smartly, doing the best you can to provide a rich diet that is rich in the nutrients healthy cats need.
Here's a confession. We have been unable to convert our cats totally to wet food. Our senior cat grew up on the dry food our vet recommended, and his younger companion loves wet food but has a heartbroken look when he doesn't get to share the dry food. We manage, and some of the following foods are what we manage with.
Some cautions about dry food diets. First, they are by their nature a cause for chronic dehydration in cats. Cats normally get their water from the foods they eat. So, you will have to make good efforts to make sure they drink as well as eat.
Cats dependent on dry food have more constipation, kidney problems and obesity, among others.
Dry foods are also much more likely to have toxic elements hidden in the kibble.
So, be cautious. If they must have dry, make sure it's food recommended by experts (as are those below, approved by Dr. Jean), and by all means, avoid the big name store brands. Profit, we learned from many recalls, can obscure good judgment.
Healthiest Cat Food - Vet Recommended Raw Cat Food Diet
Animal Planet's Jackson Galaxy makes it simple: cats should eat meat.
Awarding winning blogger Ingrid King (Conscious Cat) takes it a step further. Cats, she says, should be fed only raw food diets.
The best healthy cat food is what comes closest to their natural diets.
We agree with Jackson Galaxy (about just about everything else relating to cats, too), but putting your cats on raw food diets is not so simple. The first problem you run into is learning how to do it right - we're talking raw food here - and then setting aside the time to prepare it fresh on a daily basis.
As experts point out, the best cat food diet instantly becomes the worst when it isn't prepared properly.
Raw Food Done Right
If you can do it right and you've got the time, raw cat food has been shown to yield great results for cats, including the disappearance of health issues from hairballs to obesity.
Check out our recommended book. Be sure you know exactly what you're getting into before you start.
There are reasonable alternatives in both wet and dry food, but here, we'll take a look at some available raw foods you can buy already prepared.
Two important cautions to keep in mind.
First, your cats may resist a raw diet, especially older cats, and second, any transition must be managed slowly. Cats digestive systems are delicate and easily upset by dietary changes. And as for changes, a lot of cats hate them all, period.
Cats love predictable routines. You have to make the adjustments because there's a good chance they never will.
Following is a variety of raw foods approved by Dr. Jean Hofve. Hofve has worked closely with Jackson Galaxy and is the author of What Cats Should Eat: How to Keep Your Cat Healthy with Good Food, an outstanding book on this subject.
The healthy raw cat foods I've included are suggestions to get you started. Many options are available, but you can feel safe with these as you consider the best food cats will thrive on.
Recommended Reading - When you finish this article, if you'd like to learn even more.
Some easy choices for cat lovers who want the best for their feline friends.
Dr. Hofve partners with Jackson Galaxy in educating us on what's best for cats. Her explanations are clear and are always accompanied by advice you can use.
Jackson Galaxy's powers as a many who understands what it's like to live under the fur of a cat is nothing short of astonishing. He's able to hone in on behaviors in a way that unravels mysteries. Complimenting that is his ability to explain and skill at describing solutions.
© 2013 David Stone