Cat Food Facts For Kids

This is a page on cat food facts written for children or anyone who wants to read straightforward English.

The ideal cat food is a mouse. All cat food that is made in factories and sold on supermarket shelves should be made up of the same basic nutrients that are in a mouse. A “nutrient” is a substance that feeds a living creature. About 70% of a mouse is water. The remaining part is made of 50% fat, 40% protein and 3% carbohydrates. It is good to remember this when we select cat food.

We should not overlook what is inside a mouse’s stomach when it is eaten by a cat. The mouse eats fruit and grain from plants. A cat will eat this when he eats a mouse.

Most of us know that domestic cats eat grass from time to time. Grass is a plant. Although some people say that the cat is a strict carnivore (meaning only eating flesh), this is not entirely true. For example, the snow leopard eats quite a lot of a certain sort of bush in the mountains where it lives. This helps with the absorption of oxygen into the cat’s body¹.

Cat Food Facts For Kids
Cat Food Facts For Kids
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The cat’s digestive system is basically like ours but simpler. The cat’s intestine is shorter than ours. It does not need an internal organ called a “cecum”, which breaks down plant material.

Balanced Diet Made For A Cat

As a near strict carnivore, the cat really has to eat certain sorts of foods to be healthy. It has to have a carefully balanced diet. This means that cat owners cannot be careless when feeding their cat. It is not good enough to give a cat meat and only meat. That would not be a balanced diet. Some important nutrients would be missing.

Another example is fish. Cats generally like fish but if a cat is just fed raw or cooked fish, he would eventually become ill². That does not mean a cat cannot be fed fish and raw meat, sometimes. Occasionally feeding these foods is OK. The same goes for treats such as cooked chicken or ham and so on. However, these foods should be given in smallish amounts.

Some Important Elements of Cat Food

Here are five important nutrients for a cat that must be in his food:

  • Vitamin A (cats can’t make this inside their body)
  • Vitamin D (cats can’t make this inside their body)
  • Calcium – not getting enough calcium is the most common food problem in cats. It may happen because people feed their cat cooked and raw meat rather than proper cat food.
  • Arginine – this is very important and is added by cat food manufacturers. Not eating it can kill a cat.
  • Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – feeding raw fish can cause your cat to eat too little vitamin B1 and make your cat ill³.

What is the best cat food?

As I said, the best cat food is a mouse. The next best is the best wet cat food you can afford to buy that is made for cats plus a small amount of treats (for example, human food) and some dry cat food for nighttime eating. Cat food, for a grown-up cat, should be at least 26% protein and 9% fat. A few years ago I decided that, in America, the best wet cat food was one of these: Nature’s Logic, Newmans, Merrick, Innova EVO, Halo’s Spots4. Things change and these are my selections. That does not mean you can’t have your own selection, but it has to be good food. This costs more. Since writing this in 2013 I have another selection of best cat foods from a lady whose name is Thixton. She is an expert on cat food. Want to see her recommendations? Click here.

Dry Cat Food

Dry cat food is very popular with people. It is probably less popular with cats. It obviously contains very little water. It alson contains lots of carbohydrates. It is not a natural cat food but it does have its uses. Fed all the time with dry cat food, a cat might become ill with diabetes and/or a disease of the “urinary tract” (the organs and channels that deal with liquid waste – urine). A typical disease is cystitis. Dry cat food is very common and very popular but the best advice is to use it with care and not as the only cat food. In America, the best dry cat food is probably: Innova EVO Dry Cat Food (2010). Things change. Make up your own mind.

Homemade Cat Food

It is possible to make up your own cat food using meat and supplements (“supplements” are added nutrients to make the food complete). Making your own cat food needs some skill. Veterinarians don’t normally recommend that you do it as it can go wrong in preparation and storage. However, if done properly it can be excellent cat food and it can cure some vague health problems. There is a page on this website written for adults on making homemade cat food.

Cat’s Stool

“Stool” means feces (in the UK it is spelled: “faeces”). You can tell a bit about the quality of your cat’s food when you clean out your cat’s litter tray:

  • If the cat food is low in protein (a sign of low-quality cat food) your cat’s stool might be loose and mushy or just plain diarrhea.
  • If your cat’s food is too high in fiber (low quality) your cat’s stool might be very large and your cat might produce large amounts of feces.

Dog Food

Don’t feed a cat dog food as cats need much more protein than a dog. If you feed a cat dog food his diet will be missing many nutrients.

Food For Sick Cats

Sick cats don’t feel well and lose their appetite. Not eating makes them more ill. It is important to get food into your ill cat. Foods that smell and taste very nice are made for sick cats. One of them is in the picture on this page: Hills a/d. It is a “semi-moist” cat food. This means it is like a paste. There are plenty of others.

Hypoallergenic Cat Food

If a cat only eats mice, he shouldn’t get ill because of the food he eats. However, some cats become ill when eating supermarket cat food. This is because there is something in it, such as soy, wheat or corn, that reacts badly inside the cat. It is called a cat allergy. Cat food allergies can cause diarrhea, an itchy skin, hair loss, vomiting and constipation and many more vague signs of illness. You can buy special cat food that is called “hypoallergenic cat food” which is basically very mild and safe. This may help your vet to fix the problem and make your cat feel better.

Cat Food Labels

Cat food labels are hard to read and anyway people don’t have the time to do it. In America look for:

  • Words on the label that says it meets the standard as set by the AAFCO5.
  • Words on the label that says, “complete and balanced”.


  1. For adults: this is the source of this statement.
  2. For adults: This is the source.
  3. For adults: Not eating vitamin B1 health problems.
  4. For adults: Source of this information.
  5. AAFCO stands for Association of American Feed Control Officials.
  6. For adults: this page is a simplified summary. There are lots of pages on PoC on cat food. Please search.

3 thoughts on “Cat Food Facts For Kids”

  1. I wish more had been said about what to look for on labels by enlarging them online, and how important the first few ingredients are. And things to avoid like corn, wheat, rice, potato. How to recognize cheap filler ingredients. And the reason cats may like dry food is because of an addictive substance that sprayed on it, like sugar is on some cereals. Also, that dry food doesn’t clean teeth.

    I also wish there had been some website references to places like:, and other sites that have well researched cat food information. The sooner we get the truth to the youngsters, the healthier our cats and dogs will be.

    And of course I wish there wasn’t a recommendation for Hill’s products, which are really not healthy foods, as we can tell by the labels.

    We need to teach children to question authority in every field, so they can grow up to be thinking adults, who take responsibility for their choices, rather than look to big corporations to look out for their health and that of their pets.

    Something could be said about recalls, and some of the reasons for them.

    I don’t know how many children read this part on your site, and wonder if any adults do. I was interested to know, so I checked it out.

    • Hi Sandra. The reason why your comment was held up is because it contained 2 links. The software though it was spam as spam comments contain links.

      Thanks for the suggestions. I’ll take on-board what you suggest but the article is meant to be mainstream and not too provocative. This is partly because it is written for kids. If I start getting into complicated areas it becomes impossible to explain it in simple English. Some topics can be too complicated for young kids.

      Also links to other websites in a page like this doesn’t really work because the kid is being directed to a page written for adults by a vet ( so you have to be a fairly switched on adult to understand it well.

      One problem with reading cat food labels is that you have to explain how to convert to ‘dry food basis’. This is tricky to comprehend even for many adults and it requires some maths. A lot of adults never mind kids are at simple maths. This is one reason why I avoided the subject and stuck to mainstream non-provocative subjects.


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