Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they rely on nutrients found only in animal products. Cats evolved as hunters that consume prey that contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and their diet still requires these general proportions today. Cats also require more than a dozen other nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and amino acids.
Owners often buy large amounts of dry food that can sometimes be stored for months, so checking the expiration date before feeding it to your cat is very important. Storing food for a long period of time decreases the activity and potency of many vitamins and increases the likelihood that fats will become rancid.
Its a good idea to store dry cat food in an airtight container to help prevent nutrient deterioration and maintain flavor. Other materials, including soybean meal, cereals, grain byproducts, and preservatives are added to make the final product. Basic minimum nutritional requirements for cats have been established by the Feline Nutrition Expert (FNE) Subcommittee of the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) , and manufacturers use these standards in producing cat foods.
Labeling regulations are established by the AAFCO and the United States Food and Drug Administration. A good rule of thumb is not to let treats exceed 10 to 15 percent of a cats daily caloric intake. Although raw meat is an excellent source of many nutrients, it is not recommended as a food or a treat for cats, because it is a potential vehicle for toxoplasmosis and other infectious diseases.
Some cats that have consumed canned fish products meant for humans have developed potentially serious neurological disorders .
What is the best vet recommended kitten food?
1 / 5. Royal Canin Kitten Food. Chewy. $47.30. ….2 / 5. Instinct Original. Chewy. $27.48. ….3 / 5. Blue Buffalo. Amazon. $22.98. ….4 / 5. IAMS ProActive. Amazon. $13.44. ….5 / 5. Fancy Feast. Chewy. $10.20.
What dry kitten food do vets recommend?
Our number one recommendation is Hill’s Science Diet Dry Cat Food. This diet meets all nutritional needs and our standards. It is our choice for the best dry cat food made in USA. This diet contains a great source of protein and contains all the vitamins and minerals for your kitty to stay healthy and happy.
What is the healthiest dry kitten food?
As the best overall dry kitten food, we highly recommend the Blue Buffalo Wilderness Kitten Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Cat Food. This high-protein kibble is made with real chicken and packed with all the nutrients that your precious kitten needs.
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You should avoid foods labeled for all life stages because growing kittens have different nutritional requirements than adult cats. Mainly, the calcium and phosphorus ratios are different in kitten food to support a growing skeleton, Dr. Sarah Wooten , a small animal veterinarian in Colorado, told The Dodo.
This formula is made without artificial flavors, colors or preservatives, and the first two ingredients are turkey and chicken liver, so you know its good quality. Babycat is nice because you already know it is good nutrition, and the kibbles are smaller so that kittens can easily chew their food, Dr. Wooten said. Dr. Liz Bales, a veterinarian and founder of Doc & Phoebes Cat Co., is also a fan of Royal Canin, since, she says, theyve done a ton of testing and lifetime studies that other pet food companies cant afford to do.
Make sure to use an actual measuring cup to adhere to guidelines, a commonly missed step by well-intentioned cat owners.
How to choose a kitten food
“Choosing the formula is largely up to your and your kitty’s preference,” Dr. Laci Schaible, a veterinarian and advisor for the veterinary software company IVEE, told The Dodo. “Any formula (wet, dry, canned, semi-moist, pate) is appropriate as long as the label states it is ‘complete and balanced’ and labeled for ‘kittens’ or ‘growth.’”You should avoid foods labeled for “all life stages” because growing kittens have different nutritional requirements than adult cats. “Mainly, the calcium and phosphorus ratios are different in kitten food to support a growing skeleton,” Dr. Sarah Wooten, a small animal veterinarian in Colorado, told The Dodo.“In the United States, I recommend only buying food that has undergone independent certification by the AAFCO (Association of American Feed Control Officials); in Canada, look for foods certified by the CVMA (Canadian Veterinary Medical Association),” Dr. Schaible said.To figure out the quality of a kitten food, check the label. “The first three or four ingredients in the ingredient list are the bulk of the food, so you should be able to recognize what those ingredients are!” Dr. Wooten said. “Meat should be in the first three to four ingredients (especially in canned food, second only to water).”Your own veterinarian is your best resource for understanding your kitten’s health needs, so you should always speak to your vet before introducing a new food to your kitten if you have any questions.“Some very young kittens will prefer wet food simply because it is easier to chew,” Dr. Schaible said. “Other kittens prefer dry because the friction on the gums alleviates some teething irritation and pressure.”Both Dr. Schaible and Dr. Wooten recommend feeding your kitten both wet and dry kitten food if you’re able to.Kittens have tiny stomachs, so they need to eat every few hours. “For this reason, it is recommended to leave some dry out at all times, even if you decide to offer a wet formula during the daytime.”Serving both wet and dry food also reduces the chances of your kitten becoming a picky eater as an adult.“Cats that are fed one type of food their whole [lives] are more likely to develop strong food preferences, making it difficult to switch foods in the future if ever needed,” Dr. Wooten said. “By feeding a combination of canned and dry, and rotating a couple flavors on the canned food, you lower this likelihood.”
How much to feed a kitten
Be wary of how much you’re feeding your kitten; you don’t want to feed him more than the recommended caloric intake based on his weight.“Because some foods are more calorically and nutritionally dense than others, it is best to follow the guidelines listed on the food product you purchase,” Dr. Schaible said. “Make sure to use an actual measuring cup to adhere to guidelines, a commonly missed step by well-intentioned cat owners.”