This page has been refreshed, added-to, and republished as at January 2022. IT IS IN 2 PAGES WITH A 2ND PAGE LINK. All website pages need to go through a review and rebuild process after about 10 or more years in my opinion. That’s what I am doing here. Things change and these must be accommodated. Nowadays people are more aware of the quality of cat food. There is a lot more knowledge among cat owners compared to 10 or more years ago thanks to the Internet primarily.
The best cat food is a mouse. It’s got everything in it, and all the protein a cat needs…Mientje (The Netherlands)
This simple statement should guide us in all we do in relation to feeding our cat and I am not suggesting feeding your cat mice. What I mean is the moisture content of a dead mouse is about 70%, while dry cat food is 12%. The mouse’s stomach might contain processed carbohydrates while dry cat food contains high levels of carbohydrates that the cat is not equipped to digest. Going back to basics guides us. And the mouse should only be a guideline because when cats hunt mice they acquire worms, endoparasites.
More precisely, the ideal natural cat diet, the mouse, is 40% protein, 50% fat and only 3% carbohydrates. Cats require more protein than dogs. In fact, 2-3 times as much. Therefore, you should never feed cat with dog food. The diet will be deficient in many nutrients.
As strict carnivores, cats do not have the ability to taste sweet things. They are responsive to the basic tastes of salty, bitter and sour. Whereas humans have 9,000 tastebuds cats only have 473.
Due to certain enzyme deficiencies cats are almost uniquely adapted to metabolise protein and fat as energy over carbohydrates. Cats try to use up all protein first. Sick cats can quickly become protein deficient. Their diet must contain at least 26% protein. And of course, adequate fat. Fat is used to energy. And for a healthy nervous system, skin and many metabolic processes. The diet should be made up of at least 9% fat.
Cat food manufacturers sell to cat owners
It’s an obvious point but cat food manufacturers sell their products to cat owners not to their cats. Therefore, they are promoted in a way which appeals to cat owners. You will see some very fancy paté type cat food for example which looks as if you could spread it onto toast and eat it yourself 😉. Don’t be deceived by this promotional activity. Focus on nutrients.
Cats lack the enzymes which help in the digestion of carbohydrates. Large amounts of carbohydrates can decrease the efficiency of protein digestion and cause high levels of blood glucose. This is why Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM in her book Your Cat states that sometimes domestic cats, on a dry cat food diet, can develop type II diabetes. Taking them off that diet onto a high-quality wet food can of itself remove that type II diabetes.
I have actually come around to believe that some high-quality dry Foods are good. I am not completely against dry cat food. I feed my cat Hills Dental Care. I believe in large pellets which prevents cats swallowing the pellets hole which can irritate the stomach. And there might be some advantage in large pellets in terms of a brazing against the chief to help clean them. There is a place for dry cat food for grazing at night. It’s a question of balancing the diet between good dry food and a predominance of high-quality wet food. That in my opinion should be the target.
I believe that it is common knowledge today in 2022 that providing your cat with only a low-quality dry food diet is not a good idea. It is inadequate. It may sustain your cat and it will certainly feed feral cats under TNR colonies but as an ideal it is not a target.
We all know it – cats are carnivores. Cats will choose a high protein diet over a lesser diet. Just feeding dry cat food can leave the cat in a permanent state of mild dehydration (Dr. Becker – a fine resource incidentally). This can stress organs and can cause illness particularly kidney diseases and ducting blockages.
2022 best cat food in USA
As at January 2022, I have a page of the best cat food that you can buy in America for your cat. The information comes from Susan Thixton who I think is the number one expert on nutrition for domestic cats in the USA. I would urge you to read the page which you can do so by clicking on the link below.
It actually boils down to cost and time ultimately. Probably the best cat food is a properly prepared and stored raw food. The trouble is it is troublesome to prepare and complicated. And vets don’t want you to make it. They can’t trust cat owners to do it correctly. You’ll need knowledge and commitment. The next best is a commercially prepared raw cat food (relatively expensive and rare). The next best is a high-quality canned food and so on.