Feeding your cat a healthy, balanced diet is an essential duty for every pet parent, but choosing the right cat food can be a difficult and daunting task. Not only is there an overwhelming range of feline foods to choose from, but they all claim to offer a wide variety of health benefits for your cat.
To help make your choice easier, this guide explains how to decipher cat food labels, what key ingredients your furry friend needs in their diet and how to find the best cat food for your pet.
Compare some of the best wet cat food
Feeding your cat
A balanced diet is essential for giving your feline all the nutrients he or she needs at any life stage. It ensures that they have a healthy coat and skin, that they have all the energy they need to tackle each day and that they're in the best possible shape to live a long and healthy life.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which essentially means that they need to eat meat to live. So while they can digest some plant products, a high-quality source of protein is the key ingredient in their diet. Cat food labels list ingredients in order of weight, so make sure a source of animal protein (such as beef, chicken or tuna) is listed first on any food you choose.
The nutritional needs of cats also vary as they age. For example, a growing and energetic kitten needs a diet high in protein and fat to help them grow into a healthy adult, while a golden oldie who spends most of the day snoozing in the sun will need a diet that's low in fat and easy to digest.
What types of cat food are available?
One of the key dilemmas new cat owners face is whether to feed their pet wet or dry food. Dry food is generally cheaper and more convenient, and can also help remove plaque and tartar from your kitty's teeth.
However, wet food comes with a higher water content and can help keep your pet hydrated. Sufficient water intake is essential to prevent feline lower urinary tract disease and kidney disease, so wet food provides an important defence against these issues. As an added bonus, wet food is generally more palatable to most cats than dry food.
In many circumstances, a combination of both wet and dry food may offer the best balance for your cat, but ask your vet for advice if you're unsure about the right diet for your cat. And if you want more information about feeding your cat, check out our guide to what cats can and can't eat.
How to compare wet cat food
Pet food labels contain a lot of useful information, but only if you know where to look and how to make sense of it all. Here are the key factors you need to consider when comparing one wet cat food with another.
Which wet cat food is best for my pet?
The best cat food for your pet depends on your pet's age and lifestyle, as well as which ingredients you feel comfortable feeding them and how much you're willing to spend. Of course, your cat will have the final say. If they turn their nose up at a particular food, there's little you can do except go back to the drawing board and try another option.
The most important thing you can do is read the label closely and compare the pros and cons of those products you're considering. To give you an idea of how to do this, we've compared five popular wet cat food varieties in the table below.
|The good||The bad|
|Ziwi Peak Moist Venison||
|Purina Pro Plan Chicken & Rice Entree in Gravy||
|Wellness CORE Signature Selects Flaked Skipjack Tuna & Salmon||
|Weruva Best Feline Friend Tuna & Shrimp Sweethearts||
|Purina Beyond Paté Grain Free Ocean Whitefish & Spinach Recipe||
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