The 10 Tips for Choosing a Cat Food
1. Consider Your Pet’s Life Stage
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) is the brains behind the FDA regulation of pet food. One of the requirements for manufacturers is the animal’s life stage. That’s where we must begin. All products aren’t created the same. The nutritional needs of kittens differ from those of adults.
2. Factor in Your Cat’s Ideal Weight
The 73 breeds recognized by The International Cat Association vary in weight, from the petite Singapura to the massive Maine Coon. Make sure to transition to adult food to avoid overfeeding your pet.
3. Don’t Forget Your Kitty’s Activity Level and Lifestyle
Cats vary in their activity level, and many adjust their schedules to fit the household. Nevertheless, play is essential for bonding with your kitty and providing vital enrichment. Even just an hour of daily exercise can profoundly impact your cat’s health.
4. Consider Any Allergies
Fortunately, food allergies and intolerances are relatively rare in cats. Chicken, beef, and dairy are the most common triggers. GI issues, itchiness, and fur loss are signs of a possible allergy. However, these indications aren’t diagnostic. Discuss possible treatment options with your vet if you notice anything amiss.
5. Learn About Pet Food Labels
Manufacturers must provide nutritional information and feeding instructions on their products. It’s helpful to know what everything means so you can make an informed choice. The ingredients list starts with the ingredient it has the most of by weight and descends from that point.
6. Research Your Options
You’ll find many choices when deciding on a cat food. Vitamins and minerals are often included with their chemical names. If you’re unsure of what something is, look it up and find out for your peace of mind.
7. Dismiss Misleading Marketing Claims
The humanization of the pet industry has opened the floodgates for sketch marketing claims. We recommend sticking to the facts and dismissing the fluff.
8. Think About Your Pet’s Feeding Schedule
Convenience is a selling point with some products. Pouring out a portion of kibble is easier than opening a can and dishing it out for feeding time. However, we suggest getting your cat on a schedule, which makes expectations easier for everyone involved.
9. Monitor Your Cat’s Body Condition
It’s essential to monitor your cat’s body condition as part of routine care. Your kitty should have a well-defined waist when you’re looking down on them. It’s worth noting that the feeding instructions are only suggestions and not a definitive guide for how much to give your pet.
10. Reassess Your Kitty’s Needs If There Are Changes
Changes often impact a pet’s intake and energy expenditure. Illness, weight gain, weight loss, and neutering or spaying can affect how much you should feed your pet.