Cat Food – The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need

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raw cat food

Do you ever wonder how much nutrition is really in those bags of dry cat food? At the price, you pay you would expect the nutritional value to be very high. While the labels will tell you your cat is getting great nutrition, much of it is added in supplements, not for the actual food itself. Homemade cat food can be much healthier and save you money at the same time.

As you start thinking about using homemade cat food you may begin to panic thinking about all the added preparation time which is going to be required. You will be surprised how easy it really is to make great high-quality cat food. Instead of cooking up batches of homemade cat food on a daily basis, plan to make it once or twice per week and then serve it to your cat.

You are not limited to only making soft cooked cat foods, but there are great recipes for making your own dry cat foods, too. If you elect to make the dry variety you can cook up a couple weeks worth of food at one time and bag it up for use over those two weeks.

There are two very interesting theories in making homemade cat food. One camp uses recipes which require cooking a preparation. Your cat food will include proteins from chicken, pork, beef, or fish. You then add in chopped carrots, peas, or other vegetables to round out your cats diet.

The second camp will tell you to completely forget about the cooking. Your cat would never eat cooked food in a natural environment. They love raw foods. They point to studies showing cat health improves when fed higher percentages of raw foods. Once again this can include chicken, beef, pork, or fish. Chicken and fish would be the two more highly recommended choices. They are more nearly related to the natural foods of your cat. You can supplement their diet with eggs, also.

Which way should you go with your homemade cat food? It is totally up to you. Whether you want to try your cat on raw foods or use recipes to cook up their food is a personal choice. You will discover your cat’s health will improve either way due to the higher quality of their food. Their food is no longer based on fillers and indigestible material but is made from high-quality meats and vegetables. It will be easier on their stomachs and give them more nutrition.

Choosing to start using homemade cat food is not for everyone. It does take more time than buying canned cat food or dry cat food. Most cats thrive on purchased food with no problems. If you choose to make your own cat food you will improve their diet and their health. You are likely to save money producing your own cat food. The real joy is in knowing your cat is eating food which was prepared with love, not just stamped out in a factory.

Vegetarian Cat Food

Are you a vegan or vegetarian and would like to change your cat from eating meats to eating a vegetarian diet? Vegetarian cat food is readily available to help you make the transition, but before you buy you need to understand the potential consequences.

Your cat is a predator. A cat’s body and digestive system has developed through centuries to process the proteins and flesh of other animals. While this sounds cruel, it is a simple fact of nature. Cats have developed certain dietary needs which are met by eating high levels of protein including important components like taurine.

Here is where the big dilemma begins. Vegetarian cat food producers have developed formulations which offer high amounts of vegetable protein and have added the important amino acids, taurine, and other essential nutritional items. They swear by their formulations and can point to hundreds of satisfied customers.

Animal researchers and veterinarians are much more skeptical about these claims. They question the ability of the cat’s digestive system to properly digest this high level of vegetable protein, vegetable fillers, and additives. Their fear is the cat may easily become undernourished.

Cooking your own vegetarian cat food would just amplify the issues even further. While your foods may be delicious, they will not contain high enough amounts of protein, and certainly will not contain the taurine and other elements your cat requires.

Why are these other trace nutritional items so important? A cat not receiving enough taurine can become blind or deaf. This is a scary proposition for any pet owner.

Does this mean you must allow your cat to continue eating meat? There is not a definitive answer to this question today. If you wish to try a vegetarian cat food then buy one which is supplemented with the proper nutrition. Make sure to observe your cat closely watching for changes in their coat, their eyes, their energy levels, and even their bowel movements. If you detect any negative changes it is advisable to switch them back to their previous animal protein based food and then consult with your veterinarian.

The vet may be able to recommend other formulations they have seen successfully used. They may give you a strong lecture on the difference in human and cat anatomy and dietary needs, too.

While it is possible to use vegetarian cat food for many pets do not become dead set in your decision to change your cat. It is not a streak of cruelty in cats or a sign of weakness on their willpower. Eating meat is their natural food and has been since the existence of cats. If you are really wanting to preserve nature in the most natural sense, then why would you try to change how nature has designed your cat?

By all means, go ahead and try a vegetarian cat food, but make sure you are ready to reverse course. Your cat is precious to you, and you want to make sure it stays healthy and happy. They are likely to thrive on the vegetarian food, but you are the one who needs to make sure they do.

Raw Cat Food

Quick question, what kind of food does your cat love the most? If they had their choice do you think they would choose a can of Fancy Feast cat food or a live bird? What about a choice between a bowl full of hard dry cat food and a mouse? Your cat is a predator and a carnivore. They crave meat, and they crave it raw. Raw cat food does not only satisfy their instinctive desires but may be the healthiest choice you can offer them.

From a human perspective, it is hard to imagine wanting to eat our meat raw. We may like our steak a little on the rare side, but most of us have no desire to eat our meat raw. From a cat’s perspective, the opposite is almost certainly true. They cannot imagine why we would ever want to burn our meat. It tastes perfect in the natural raw state. From a cat’s viewpoint, the flavor is just the beginning of the benefits.

Were you aware most cat foods must be fortified with taurine and other essential amino acids for your cat to stay healthy? If these essential nutritional elements were not added to their processed foods our cats would develop serious illnesses, which can lead to blindness, deafness, and other serious physical problems.

This is where raw cat food excels for a cat. The reason most foods must be fortified is two-fold. First, when the meat is cooked it destroys a large percentage of the amino acids. The second reason, most of these foods are packed with fillers, not real meat. Raw cat food, on the other hand, is rich in all the natural amino acids and does not have fillers.

Do not start worrying you are going to need to start buying mice and birds for your cat. You can buy raw cat food which is packaged and ready for you to feed, just like other commercial foods. The shelf-life of these foods is reduced over traditional foods, so you will need to plan your purchases a little more carefully.

Some good examples of available raw foods would be from companies like Paw Naturaw or Nature’s Variety. Many of these foods come frozen, shipped to you frozen. You simply get the food out of the freezer long enough before feeding time to allow it to thaw and reach room temperature and then feed your cat.

How much difference can raw cat food make for your cat? Several studies have shown rapid improvements in health and energy in cats fed raw foods. Cats which were overweight came down to a normal weight for their breed. Their coats improved in softness and shine. Eyes became brighter. Many problems associated to food allergies suddenly cleared up. What you are seeing is what happens when your cat is fed what nature intended. You should give serious consideration to trying raw cat food for your pet.

Gourmet Cat Food

Is your cat a princess, the king of the house, or just a finicky eater? Gourmet cat food allows us to treat our cat with the style, class, and dignity our cats believe they deserve.

Gourmet cat food will help make sure you establish your cat’s rightful place in your home. We already know they are the supreme ruler. We were born to be their servants, and bringing them their gourmet dishes is only appropriate.

On a more serious note, you will find many foods on the market listed as gourmet. What does this really mean as far as quality and taste for your cat? Depending on brands it can mean next to nothing. Many brands of cat food have simply thrown the word gourmet on their labels as part of their marketing scheme. The recipe inside the can is virtually identical to any other cat food they produce.

On higher quality brands it can mean a world of difference. Gourmet cat food from companies like Fancy Feast and other quality brands are filled with exactly what your cat craves. Instead of discovering fillers listed first or second on the list of ingredients you find fish, beef, liver, pork, and chicken listed as the primary ingredients. Your cat is a carnivore and wants high-quality meat.

This is where learning to read labels on your cat food selections is highly important. While you may feel like you are doing your cat a favor buying gourmet or other special selections unless you check the labels closely you will not really know.

What you need to look for on the label is what the first several ingredients are. Usually checking the first 3 to 4 items will give you a good idea of the quality of the cat food. If those positions are filled with high-quality food, and not referencing the word meal, you are probably buying a high-quality food. Pay attention to what the producer is telling you is in the food by their packaging, also. If they are claiming it is a chicken flavored cat food and when you turn over to look at the ingredients it lists chicken by-product, chicken meal, and corn meal as the first three items you need to wonder. This means nothing is high-quality chicken, it is all low quality.

What about flavor? We often start putting our own taste buds into our decision making for our pets. Gravy sounds like something which should be good. Think in terms of your cat. What do they crave? They are meat eaters by nature. They are seeking out high-quality meat and do not care about gravy, salt, and spices. While they will lick the gravy up with excitement, it is not the primary fuel for their bodies, and not what they really need.

You are more likely to get higher quality foods when the label reads premium, special blend, or gourmet cat food since the company is charging more for the product. Just do not trust their advertising as the deciding factor. Take the time to check the labels to make sure your cat is really getting the quality food you want them to have.

Hills Prescription Diet Cat Food

Not all cat foods are made equally. When your pet has unique dietary needs due to allergies or a health condition your veterinarian may tell you Hill’s Prescription Diet Cat Food is what you need. Hill’s Pet is the pet food company veterinarians turn to when solving difficult dietary issues.

Hill’s provides specialized blends and formulations for treating bladder problems, skin issues, and to eliminate causes of allergies. Many of their products are created to give additional supplementation, vitamins, and minerals to treat a wide variety of cat health issues. Here are a few of the mixtures you may be encountering.

One of the challenges pet owners face when their cat has food allergies is not being able to find treats to give their pet. They may have always rewarded their pet, and suddenly they have a very unhappy pet. No treats seem to be allowed. Hills Prescription Diet Cat Food line includes a group of Hypoallergenic Cat Treats. You can start rewarding your cat for all the love they give you.

After surgery or a major illness, your cat needs added nutrition to aid in the healing process. Added energy, nutrients, and easy to digest proteins are critical for wound recovery. The extra calories are required since your pet’s body is working overtime trying to heal the wounds, and to recover. A/D Feline Canned Cat food is a great option in these cases. It is easily digested and provides all the nutrients your cat needs for fast recovery. This is one of the foods your vet is likely to recommend you take home after a surgical procedure.

Hills Prescription Diet Cat Food is only available from your veterinary offices. While Hill produces a full line of non-prescription foods, these varieties are not filled with the same additives used in the prescription formulations.

If your cat has been diagnosed with bladder problems, your vet will usually start your cat on a gentle cat food from your grocery store. If these over the counter varieties do not alleviate your pet’s problems your vet will want you to consider using Hills Prescription Diet cat food designed for bladder problems. The formulation is even gentler and includes supporting additives for your cat’s bladder problems. Bladder problems are one of the most disconcerting issues for pet owners. When your pet lacks bladder control you become very frustrated.

When your cat is facing major dietary problems Hills Prescription Diet cat food is the choice of veterinarians everywhere. You may be faced with higher cost foods for a short period of time, but most commonly these higher costs may be offset with faster recoveries, less veterinary visits, and lower costs for medications. Your vet will only recommend and prescribe these high-quality foods when they are necessary. The good news is these high-quality products are available to support your cat’s health and recovery. Without products of this type the recovery of our pets would be much slower, and sometimes recovery may not occur.

Solid Gold Cat Food

Is your cat the star of your home? They strut around, nose in the air, just waiting for you to notice their superiority. Your cat is a star and deserves to be fed Solid Gold cat food, not some inferior brand.

It is not just the name which makes Solid Gold the food for preferred pets. It is the care and ingredients poured into every creation of the company. One of their favorite foods for our finicky felines is the blended tuna could cat food. This Solid Gold cat food is made with a selection of the best available tuna, a touch of water for processing and some tapioca to give it a little more stickiness. Your cat is going to come running when they hear this can crack open, and smell the delicious tuna. They are going to assume they have just won an Emmy, and are being served their congratulations dinner.

Even if your star has a sensitive stomach Solid Gold cat food is exactly what they need and want. It is completely wheat, corn, and soy free. Some cats have allergies and other sensitivities to these grains which cause them discomfort with many varieties of cat food. Solid Gold always keeps their ears and eyes open watching and listening for the latest news and research on cat and dog nutrition. When there is solid proof of an ingredient causing problems, or giving great benefits, they adjust their recipes to enhance or protect your pet.

If you feed your cat a lot of dry cat food, you will be interested in how Solid Gold cat food is packaged. They use a foil inner liner to keep out harmful bacteria, moisture, and other contaminants. This added layer of protection is one of the reasons they are able to eliminate the preservatives, and flavor enhancers most pet food companies use. This makes the food safer, and more delicious for your cat. Instead of flavor enhancers providing the taste, it is the real goodness of the fresh food. As we all know, cat stars demand only the freshest food possible.

Solid Gold works on the holistic outlook for your pet. Instead of trying to see your cat as only an eating machine, it looks at your cat in a dynamically complete look. They create their pet foods to satisfy the taste buds of the pet, and to provide the proper nutrition. They look at all the ingredients with an outlook to the long-term health of your pet, and not just a short-term vision.

Solid Gold cat food is created using the best ingredients, best processes, and by people who love their pets just as much as we love our little feline stars. If you want to make sure your Award Winning Cat continues their daily performances for an extended showing, then Solid Gold cat food provides everything required, great nutrition and great taste your star is going to love.

Low Protein Cat Food

That mighty hiss and meow from your cat are the smaller version of a lion’s roar. Your cat is a meat-eating predator, only on a smaller scale. They are designed to hunt down bugs, birds, mice, and other small prey for their food. Their diet in the wild would be almost completely protein. Is there ever a case where a low protein cat food makes sense?

About the only time, you may want to consider a low protein cat food is on the advice of your veterinarian. If your cat is suffering from kidney or renal problems they may recommend reducing the protein in their diet. Protein is one of the hardest items for the kidneys and renal system to process, and by removing some of the protein it can give them a chance to rest and potentially enhance recovery.

If you suspect your cat is having these types of problems, do not start using low protein cat food on a wish and a prayer. You must have your suspicions confirmed by a vet, and get their recommendations. Your decision could be completely wrong. Your vet may discover a different underlying cause which is easily treated with a simple prescription. Always enlist the aid of your veterinarian when making major decisions about your pet’s health.

Choosing to use low protein cat food for other purposes, such as weight loss, does not make sense. While it can be an effective strategy for a human or any other animals, a cat is primarily a meat-eating animal. By trying to dramatically change their diet you could be reducing the intake of critical nutrients and putting unnecessary stress on their body. This comes back to the reason it is important to check.

When you have a diagnosis from your veterinarian of potential problems with the kidneys and he is recommending a lower protein diet, then it is time to explore your options. You can find a few varieties of low protein cat food which is produced specifically for these situations. Your animal clinic may be your best source of buying the food. Otherwise, you will probably need to look online. This is not a food which is commonly kept in most grocery stores or even large pet stores. There are not enough cats requiring the low protein diets for many stores to carry it.

Some pet owners elect to make their own pet foods in these situations. You could combine regular canned diet or dry cat food with additional vegetables and starchy foods to provide enough calories. Your veterinarian will probably be giving you some recipes to consider or can advise you what items to blend.

The best news, it is not likely your cat will require low protein cat food, but if they do it is available. Until your vet makes the recommendation, don’t worry about it. If he does, start off with mixing up your own blend for a few days while you check at your local store. You may discover buying the food online will be your cheapest alternative, so make sure to compare your prices. With a little loving care your pet may be back to normal soon.

Diabetic Cat Food

Diabetes is not a disease we expect to hear proclaimed for our pets. Sadly, they suffer from many of the same diseases we do, and diabetes is one of them. Once you have heard the diagnosis you must make changes to your cat’s diet and start feeding the diabetic cat food to help preserve their health.

In many ways, you and your cat are lucky to be alive today. Not too many years ago you would have no choice except to make your own cat food once the diagnosis was handed down. None of the major pet food manufacturers were creating blends designed for a diabetic cat. Today you can pick from a variety of food manufacturers to get the proper nutrition for your feline, or you can still choose to make the food yourself.

One thing you may discover as you start seeking out diabetic cat food is many of the formulations are available only as a prescription food through your veterinarian. We all know this means one thing, a little higher cost to feed our cat. There is a benefit behind this added cost, though. You will have higher quality food than you can purchase at any grocery or pet store. These blends are made to the highest standards possible. They are being created with your veterinarian’s demands in mind, not the desires of an average pet owner. The second advantage, you are not going to be wasting all of your time in the kitchen cutting, cooking, and grinding food for your cat. How much is your time worth to you?

Just because you have started feeding your cat a formulation designed for a diabetic cat does not mean anything is cured, or your responsibility diminished. With this diagnosis, you are taking on a much higher level of care for your cat. Your veterinarian may be asking you to do occasional blood glucose checks on your pet. This is not an easy task. You may need to draw blood or collect urine samples. Neither of these is going to excite your cat. Make sure you ask your vet for the best ways to accomplish the task. Listen closely to all of their suggestions. They handle cats and dogs of all temperaments every day and know the best ways to keep from getting scratch, bitten, or upsetting your pet.

If you and your cat their condition is a very mild form of diabetes and will respond to just the simple change in diet. If just changing to diabetic cat food solves your problems you can feel very blessed. You may spend a little more on feeding your cat, but at least you are not needing additional medications, excessive trips to the veterinary clinic, and still watching your cat deteriorate.

Cat diabetes is a severe disease and carries with it many of the same threats seen in humans. It can cause circulatory problems, blindness, organ failure, and a myriad of other conditions. When your cat’s doctor recommends a diabetic cat food take their advice with complete seriousness and change your cat’s diet immediately. In the long run, you will save money, have less stress, and your cat will remain healthier.

Cat Food Allergies

Did you know that over 50% of cat itching problems are caused by cat food allergies? Most of us assume it would be fleas or other environmental problems. If your cat is having an itching problem you need to know what are the common foods which cats are allergic to, and correct their diet to stop the itching.

The most common food ingredients which cause cat food allergies are beef, lamb, seafood, wheat gluten, corn, soy, and dairy products. Do you see the big problem? Since those are also the most common ingredients in cat foods, it will take a little detective work, and some testing to determine which ingredients are causing your cat’s reactions.

You will probably want to work in combination with your veterinarian. They will recommend you switch your cat to a unique formulation of cat food to limit the number of ingredients. You will be feeding your cat this one type of food for about 12 weeks, to allow their body time to adjust. If the symptoms clear up, then your vet will have you test your cat on their original diet again. If the problem restarts, then you have helped to determine the possible culprit.

The biggest challenge to this type of testing will be your sticking to it. You must only feed the agreed upon food, and not give your cat any other treats, foods, or drinks other than water. You must limit their diet strictly for this method of diagnosis to work. If the symptoms are not improving while trying the new food, then your veterinarian will recommend another variety of food, which changes up the protein mix again. Finding the cause of cat food allergies can be a lengthy process. There is not another effective means of determining which foods your cat is intolerant to. You will need to keep up your efforts until you find the culprit.

Once you have determined the likely cause of your cat’s allergies, then you can start expanding their diet. You will just need to learn to read labels very carefully and avoid all contact with the ingredients which cause the cat food allergies to attack your pet. Hopefully your pet will have a common allergy source, and you will be able to buy commercial cat food varieties created to eliminate allergic reactions. Many of the major cat food brands have formulated blends which remove wheat, soy, corn, and limit the types of proteins. Some of the specialty brands have even come up with blends like Trout and Sweet Potato, Duck and Potato, and other interesting mixes which are designed to give you unique mixtures your cat will enjoy, while removing the common allergens.

In some cases cat owners have needed to start making their own cat foods at home. Sometimes this is due to cost, other times because there is not an easily available commercial mixture which eliminates the ingredients causing cat food allergies for their pet. This method obviously takes more of your personal time, but if you love your cat, it is a great investment in their comfort. By determining the causes of your cat’s allergies, you can make a plan to give them a happier, itch-free life.

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