Cat Nutrition 101

Humans and cats have one big thing in common: diet and nutrition are key for both to live long, healthy lives. Choosing cat food can be just as daunting as trying to sort through the millions of healthy human food options these days so we’ve decided to share a few key tips and tricks to keep in mind when you’re shopping for your fur baby’s next meal.

  1. Many veterinarians recommend wet cat food over dry because dry food often:
    1. Contains too many carbs
    2. Lacks water
    3. Lacks the right kind of protein (animal rather than plant-based)​
  2. Cats really need a vast array of vitamins including amino and fatty acids.
  3. Cats need protein from meat to thrive. Select foods that have meat, seafood, or meat byproducts at the top of the ingredients list.
  4. Many cats are lactose intolerant (who knew!) so veterinarians do not recommend feeding it as a treat, or as part of their daily meals.
  5. It’s important to avoid obesity in cats. We recommend following the individual feeding plans you make with your veterinarian to avoid obesity which can lead to debilitating diabetes and other health challenges.
  6. Cat treats should make up no more than 10-15% of their daily caloric intake. Be conservative with the treats, even though they love them!
  7. Always ready the label. If the packaging has an “AAFO statement,” it is expected to be nutritionally-balanced and balanced. We highly recommend visiting this site if you want more info on cat (and dog!) nutrition: Association of Animal Feed Control Officials.

The pet food industry has lots of players who range in size and scope. As always, we recommend discussing your pet’s individual dietary needs with your veterinarian to ensure they are as healthy and strong as they possibly can be.

Trusted sources of dietary and nutritional info for domestic cats:

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Association of American Feed Control Officials
ASPCA

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