Cats are innately wild creatures. They were meant to be outside and are natural born carnivores. They love meat and thrive off it. Yet, when you bring it home, you can’t necessarily be feeding it raw meat all the time. You need to make sure it is getting the right nutrition, while also feeding on something that wasn’t caught outside.
Top 10 Best Rated Dry Cat Foods Reviewed
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We all know that there are a lot of products, whether wet or dry that are out in the market claiming to be the best. We have so many options these days, new cat owners might not know what to make of this. They are lost in the process of choosing and find themselves completely confused. To help with this, we have provided a list of suggestions down below.
Understanding Your Cat’s Dietary Needs
No matter what you end up feeding your cat, you need to make sure that the primary ingredients listed below are always a part of your cat’s dietary plan. These are the things that help to build its body and what it lives off of.
- Protein – All cats need animal sources and amino acids (which is an essential component to protein supplies) to get the right amount of energy for their active lifestyle. How much depends on the cat’s size and overall breed, but for the most part, make sure not to forget this most important ingredient in your food.
- Fat – This source of energy helps in nutrient utilization and transportation. It is the primary source for building feline health. Whether its omega-3 fatty acids or omega-6, make sure they get enough fat in their food.
- Minerals – This is an essential part of the cat’s diet, as it is what helps in the physiological reactions. Minerals help with pH balance, enzyme formation, oxygen transportation, and help to store all of that inside their bones and muscles. Popular minerals include calcium, chloride, cobalt, copper, etc.
- Vitamins – This helps with metabolism regulation and growth. This is often found in all foods, but just to be sure, examine the ingredients so that you know it is getting the right stuff. Some fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K, while water-soluble groups include C and B. Also, take note that a lot of carnivorous cats utilize animal sources more readily than plants.
- Water – A lot of the times, cats get their water from their prey. But, when they are eating dry food, they may not get as much of the water content that they are used to. This means water is an essential part of making sure your cat is getting the right nutrients.
- Enzymes – These are protein molecules that help with bodily function. It helps to repair energy, organ and cellular repair. Animals need enzymes to break down their food. Any food that is placed at a temperature of 118 degrees Fahrenheit may destroy the enzymes though so keep that in mind.
Why Your Cat May Refuse Dry Food
Sometimes, an owner may experience a cat refusing to eat the dry food they laid out for their beloved friend. They may urge and push the bowl of food into their friend’s position, but at the end of the day, it means nothing if they do not choose to eat it. Eager to go the dry food route, you may wonder what is going on? If this happens, it may be due to the following reasons.
- Your cat is used to a certain taste and texture of food. If you suddenly shift the diet and move it over to something they are unfamiliar with, they may stray away.
- The size, shape, and overall hardness of the food is not something that is well suited for the cat. They do not want to taste something like that and are uncomfortable putting such an unknown item in their mouth.
- The kibble’s design is not befitting the jaw of the specific breed of your cat.
- There is no access to fresh clean water to hydrate them afterward, so this would make them feel like it is too dry.
Easing Your Cat into Dry Food
Dry food is not something they may be used to. So, to ensure they are eating their dry food, you need to ease them into it. Like anything in life, by forcing pressure onto them and trying to make your cat eat something it doesn’t even know or isn’t used to, there will only be more resistance. You can try to take the following steps to ease your feline friend into eating the dry food you’ve laid out for it.
- If what you are feeding it doesn’t work at first, try different brands and flavors. Make sure to experiment with a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and texture.
- Place the food next to its typically eaten wet food. This can help to get your cat to associate the dry food with its previously eaten wet. Also, if not, it may make your cat curious.
- Wet the kibble that it already has to give it a softer feel, however, do not leave it inside for too long (over 30 minutes). Otherwise, bacteria and mold will grow, and this would be a waste of food. By doing this method, it may help to slowly familiarize your cat into eating dry food.
- Sprinkle food toppers or healthy flavoring over the wet food to tempt it to eat more.
- Make sure there is always a supply of clean water next to the bowl of dry food, this way it knows it can hydrate itself immediately.
- If your cat still resists to eat it, then you have no choice but to be a bit harsher and starve it for a few hours until it inevitably finds its way eating the dry food, but this is only recommended for worse case scenarios.
The Wet vs Dry Food Debate
Every owner will have their opinion. Some say dry food is the best, and others say the wet food is much nicer. At the end of the day, both are good to feed your cat and any new owner should do their own part in experimenting with what works for their beloved feline friend. Yet, for the sake of argument and understanding both sides, we will take a look at the pros and cons of both.
The Ups and Downs of Wet Food
- Wet food tends to have ingredients, meat and fish, that is more suitable for cat’s overall dietary needs.
- It is believed that canned foods can result in dental problems such as gingivitis.
- Wet food is harder to maintain as it has a short shelf life, considering that it is wet, with a higher likeliness to rot away.
- It is not that convenient since it is not that measurable and easy to store.
The Ups and Downs of Dry Food
- It is believed that dry food will be providing your cat with less nutrition than the wet because it does not contain as much meat or protein.
- Some dry foods contain a lot of fillers.
- The prey that wild cats tend to consume is about 70% water, and in wet food, this averages out to be about 78%, yet dry food only amounts to 10%.
- Dry food diets can cause dehydration and possible Chronic Renal Failure.
- Dry food eating cats are a bit more prone to obesity and diabetes since there is a high carbohydrate level in the kibble.
- The cat is filled with more energy and may be better for growth.
While it may sound as if dry food has many more disadvantages than wet food, this isn’t to say that it is any worse. With the right amount of nutrition inside (this should be checked in the ingredients), you can find a product that is just as great as the typical wet food. Plus, as long as you ensure your cat is getting enough water, then everything should be fine.
Whether its dry or wet, the most important thing to consider is finding a product that is befitting your cat. You want to give them food that they will enjoy, and overall help with their nutritional balance. Don’t simply grab a product because it is expensive or has a brand attached to it. Read through the pros and cons, finalizing the decision for yourself. The products mentioned above are some list.