How to tell if your cat food is good for your cat
Picking the right cat food can be hard. We all want what's best for our fur babies and choosing the right food is the first step. Cat food can often be misleading, but simply follow these tips to ensure that you're keeping your cat happy, healthy, and properly fed.
#1 What's in a name?
The name of your cat food can actually have a lot of clues about what's in it. If the name of the cat food lists the protein first (ex. chicken cat food), that food must contain at least 95% of that named protein. However, if your cat food has the word "dinner" or "formula" or similar words (ex. chicken cat dinner), that food only needs to contain 25% of the named protein. And if the name has the word "with" (ex. cat food with chicken), that food is only required to have 3% of the named protein. So try and look for a food that lists the protein source first to ensure you know exactly what you're feeding your cat.
#2 Guaranteed analysis
The guaranteed analysis can be found on every bag of dry food, and every can of wet food. It tells you the amount of essential nutrients that can be found in the food. The most essential to have listed are protein, fat, fiber, and moisture, but many food brands will include other nutrients as well. When reading the guaranteed analysis, the nutrients are listed as either (min) or (max). (Min) means that there can be up to that much nutrient in the food, but no more than that. (Max) means it contains at least that much, but could contain more.
The American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) are the people who create the rules for how to properly label animal food. They also set criteria that food must meet in order to be considered a "complete and balanced" meal for your pet. When looking for food, try and find one that states on the label that they are "AAFCO compliant complete and balanced diet."
#4 Avoid food with grains
Cats are carnivores! So try and avoid any food that uses grains and starchy veggies as their filler ingredients. Instead, opt for whole fruit and vegetable filler ingredients to ensure that your cats are getting the nutrients they need without filling them up on foods that aren't good for them.
#5 Avoid added artificial colours and flavours
Cats don't need any added flavours or colours; all they want is naturally flavoured food that gives them the nutrients they need. Added artificial colours and flavours are added for the aesthetic of the owners, and can be harmful to the cats.