Cat is one of the most lovable and playful carnivores for human beings. Nothing could beat the feeling of having a feline friend purring and cheering up your mood when you feel down. However, cat food plays a vital role in improving a cat’s overall health and behavior. One should never compromise when choosing healthy cat food. The best cat food aims to provide a cat with high-quality protein, vitamins, minerals, and hydrating elements that keep a feline friend safe and healthy.
“About 58% of the cats in the United States are obese. To keep a cat in a healthy weight range, it’s essential to feed it with more digestible and protein-rich food.”
We spent days researching and delving into the dynamics of how cat food works and affects your pet. In addition, we explored tons of owners’ reviews and feedback about popular cat foods in the market to come up with the most reliable, safe, and healthy cat foods. In this guide, we will reveal the best cat food that offers better digestibility, protein, and essential nutrition for your cat’s good health.
The List of Best Dry Cat Food Brands
- Purina ONE
- Hill’s Science Diet Food
- Blue Buffalo
- Meow Mix
- Natural Balance
1. Purina ONE
Despite being a dry food product, Purnia ONE contains natural proteins: fish, meat, and poultry (you will find different options). It does not contain artificial flavors and fillers and provides well-rounded nutritional care. The actual protein ensures that your car receives good fats, minerals, and vitamins.
2. Hill’s Science Diet Food
Hill’s Science Diet, as the brand’s name suggests, it offers a dry food range that is more targeted and specific to your pet’s needs. With many different options like Optimal Care, Perfect Weight, Sensitive Stomach and Skin, and Kitten healthy development, the experts at Hill’s have carefully designed each dry food option to suit your nutritional requirements.
3. Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo also provides many dry food options, and their range is quite extensive. You can choose based on flavor, protein levels, type of protein, and other nutritional requirements. Their products contain natural proteins, are completely grain-free, and cater to an extensive range of cat food needs.
4. Meow Mix
Meow Mix offers about seven different dry food options to choose from. Each is based on various cat favorite flavors; their products prove to be a trusted and exciting choice. Their ranges include Kitten Li’l Nibbles, which helps little kittens grow healthily and adequately, Seafood Medley, Original Choice, and Indoor Cat formula.
5. Natural Balance
Natural Balance designs its products with a particular and controlled amount of proteins and carbs, without any grains, and boosts your cat’s overall health. The popular and premium choice remains to be the Green Pea & Duck Dry Cat Formula, which contains natural and high-quality proteins – a bonus is that it has no artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors.
List of Best Wet Cat Food Brands
1. Purina Fancy Feast
Purina’s Fancy Feast wet food range offers over 80 diverse options. It’s an excellent food for your cat. Not only do they use natural proteins and no artificial flavors, but their range is unique – from creamy options to broth ones, you can also choose to feed your cat Natural wet cat food.
2. Hill’s Science Diet
Hill’s Science Diet’s hair fall control range of wet food ensures that your cat receives ample fiber from vegetables to control the hairball formation. A healthy heart is also one of the main focuses of this damp food range since it contains controlled phosphorus levels, which also helps your cat’s kidneys function healthily.
3. Meow Mix
A wide range of wet foods is available by Meow Mix – they have six different options. Their focus is more on the assortment of flavors and the infusion of various proteins within those flavors. The possibilities include Classic Pates (natural protein based), Soufflés (white protein), and Savory Morsels.
4. Tiki Cat
Tiki Cat likes to keep it straightforward with their wet food options, making it the perfect choice for people on a clock. The ingredients are natural with no added preservatives. The possibilities include Luau, Velvet Mousse, Aloha Friends, Grill, and After Dark.
Top Cat Food in 2022 for Improved Health
Now that you know everything about considerations, nutrition aspects, and types of cat foods, here is our list of top picks for the best cat food in 2022.
High-standard cat food delivers animal protein, healthy fat, and a limited carbohydrate list while staying free from subpar ingredients such as soy, wheat, corn, artificial preservatives, and additives. When seeking the best cat food, owners should know about the cat’s nutritional needs.
All these cat foods are tested and proven safe for the enriched health of cats. These healthy cat foods help cats recover and fight against various illnesses, including renal disorders, ulcers, obesity, and many more.
Wet or Dry Cat Food? The Pros and Cons
The age-old debate of wet vs. dry cat food… Some pros and cons for both kinds may help you decide better.
- Better for teeth
- Great for snacks
- More convenient – bowls can be left out without dreading a mess
- More shelf life
- Easier on the pocket
- Lack of moisture – can cause dehydration
- Lower in real proteins
- Higher levels of carbs
- Difficult to control portions
- More flavors
- Easier to chew for older cats
- More real proteins
- Increases the need for more intricate dental care
- Less shelve time
- More expensive
Things to Consider in Healthy Cat Food
Following are the considerations for choosing a healthy and safe cat food:
“Kidney diseases have caused the highest mortality rate among cats.”
Individual Dietary Requirements
Surprisingly, most cat owners consider only a handful of aspects such as age and weight when choosing cat food. For this, they opt for any food that targets a specific age group of cats. However, apart from age, there are many vital elements to consider when opting for healthy cat food. Keeping in mind that cats are prone to renal disorders, including kidney stones, choosing the right food could keep them safe against many health issues.
According to the Department of Animal Biosciences, Ontario Agricultural College, Canada, cat food must encompass ingredients only animal-based food can offer. In addition, cats need a steady supply of minerals to stay safe against severe health issues such as urinary tract stones. That said, it’s essential first to examine what a cat needs to eat and then look for a diet that could provide it.
Hydration-Rich Diet Plan
Undeniably, cats don’t consume adequate water and often face dehydration. Cat food must contain enough moisture to fulfill the hydration requirement of cats. In addition, adequately hydrated cat food helps keep a cat safe from allergies and dry food sensitivities. For this, cat owners should read up on the nutritional facts on cat food and speak to their wet about their cat’s dietary requirements.
A cat food might be bursting with protein and nutrition, but what good would it be if a cat does not digest it? Simply put, a cat might miss the benefits of the premium ingredients without digesting them. On top, research has shown that cats can easily digest ingredients that are of superior quality. Thus, cat owners should look for food with higher digestibility than those with lower percentages. However, a concerning aspect is that digestibility percentage is not displayed on most cat food products today. In addition, until now, no law requires manufacturers to publish digestibility percentages on food. Thus, cat owners are advised to inquire directly from manufacturers and ensure if their cat is digesting what it eats.
When to Feed Your Cat?
When you bring a new cat home, it should be feeding on the same diet and time as before. The reason is that cats are sensitive to change, and introducing your diet plan and timings so early could contribute to environmental stress. Once a cat becomes accustomed to a new place, you can submit a new diet plan and timings.
How Often to Feed a Cat?
The answer to the above question is simple; a healthy and active adult cat of weight 8lbs requires about 30 calories per pound daily. Thus, a cat of 8lbs would need about 240 calories daily to stay fit and healthy. You could also use a feeder for dry cat food, as it would help you accurately measure the amount of food fed.
What Should You Avoid in the Cat Food Brands?
When it’s about your beloved cat(s), you must ensure that you feed them the right food. What determines the right kind of food? It must have all the required nutrients to keep your cat healthy, but it’s more important to ensure that you are not feeding them something that could be dangerous. Some food proves to be poisonous to cats. It’s not just about what might not agree with your pet’s digestive system; it’s as serious as life and death.
1. Meat – The Prime Aspect
Undeniably, the cat belongs to carnivores and depends on a protein-rich diet. Generally, manufacturers tend to list ingredients in decreasing order as per weight. In addition, if your cat is feeding on a diet with proteins derived from a quality meat source such as salmon or chicken, it would ensure that it has an adequate amount of proteins.
2. Keeping Additives, Preservatives, and Colors at Bay
Unquestionably, many pet food companies use artificial essence, preservatives, dyes, and poisonous additives for almost every animal. The same is the case in the cat food industry.
However, the cat food companies mentioned in this article are proven and reliable and don’t include substandard ingredients or additives in products. Not to forget, food with substandard ingredients could harm a cat’s liver, kidney, lungs, and more organs.
Feeding your cat garlic is a big no. Some people tend to feed their pets leftovers from dinner or lunch since their cat seems interested in sniffing around it – don’t! Garlic tends to cause depletion in your cat’s RBC (red blood cells) count, and they could have anemia.
However, it is not directly fatal unless exposed in larger quantities; concentrated forms could also slowly poison your cat’s system. If you tend to feed your regular cat food, such as onion soup or other forms of food that could contain powdered garlic, do get your cat a blood scan as soon as possible. Common symptoms are:
- Change in appetite
- Pale paws and gums
- Change in urine color
- And general lethargy.
Meat-Meal, Ocean-Fish, and Rendered Fats
Many cat food companies nowadays put labels such as meat-meal, ocean-fish, or rendered fats on their products. But, many cat food owners don’t even know about them. In reality, these labels are controversial, whereas meat meals could be derived from animals in the zoo, road kill, or even those euthanized in animal shelters.
On the other hand, ocean fish is the most popular cat allergen due to its toxins and mercury. In addition, many cat food companies put rendered fats labels on products that could come from unidentified sources such as road kill, diseased, or euthanized animals.
Due to a lack of knowledge, many cat owners pick cat food randomly. However, it is essential to know where that diet is coming from. Cat owners should always check where a manufacturer belongs, as some countries have lax food laws and don’t guarantee quality. Thus, this article lists only the best cat food companies in the United States, New Zealand, Canada, and countries that impose strict regulations and laws for food quality.
Relying on Recalled or Discontinued Brands
Irrefutably, many brands face recall, including the superior ones. In addition, cat food owners shouldn’t put the life span of their pet at stake by relying on brands that face recall more than once in five years. Considering a cat’s life span, i.e., ten to fifteen years, it could deal with multiple dodges with brands that face recalls now and then. Thus, in our guide, we’ve only listed the top cat food companies that don’t hold a history of frequent recalls.
Other Things You Shouldn’t Feed Your Cat.
You might be tempted to present your cat with special treats, but don’t give in just yet. Especially foods made for human consumption should not be ingested by animals at all – cats or other species. These foods contain ingredients that are not animal friendly and will result in vet visits that may turn into serious health issues in the long run.
The most surprising: Milk!
Yes, your cat enjoys drinking milk – but it is not suitable for a cat’s digestive system. Their systems do not have the full ability to digest lactose from other animals’ milk. The only time cats must be exposed to milk is when they are kittens – their stomachs have the enzymes to digest their mother’s milk.
Here are a few other examples of other foods that you shouldn’t feed your cat at any cost:
- Soda drinks
- Some fruits
- Raw eggs
- Alcohol or foods that contain alcohol
- Dough (raw)
- By-products – dairy, meat, or otherwise
The Best Cat Food Brands – And How to Make Your Final Pick
First, you must know what elements to keep in mind while picking the best cat food for your pet. You must pick a brand that:
• Helps your cat be healthy
• They love to munch on
• Does not contain additives, preservatives, and toxic ingredients (mentioned earlier)
The Top Types of Healthy Cat Foods
While choosing the best cat foods, we came up with the most popular types of cat foods available in the market. Here are the types of cat food that cat owners could choose from:
“Dry cat food is often misunderstood to offer dental benefits. Cats don’t chew in a way that would help clean teeth.”
Dry Cat Food
Dry cat food is often considered beneficial for a cat’s dental health, but it is a myth. In reality, cats don’t chew the food thoroughly, eliminating the chances of dry meals scraping any plaque from a cat’s teeth. Besides, dry food is comparatively cheaper, easy to carry, and spoiled less than wet food. However, a concerning aspect of dry cat food is that it doesn’t meet the hydrating requirement of cats and often causes dehydration.
“Canned and raw food have proven to help cats reduce weight.”
Wet Cat Food
On the other hand, wet cat food is considered more beneficial than dried ones. The reason is that it serves as a source of hydration, improving the overall health of a pet cat. In addition, wet cat food often has fewer processes and is thus richer in nutrition and proteins.
Organic Cat Food
Organic cat food refers to all those cat foods that contain ingredients, including the crop or meat of an animal that feeds and lives on land free from pesticides for three years. In addition, such animals shouldn’t be subjected to antibiotics or growth hormones. Besides, these animals have access to the outdoors and are fed with organic food only.
Dry Cat Food Reviews
Dry cat food is often considered better for cats’ dental health. However, researchers have shown that cats don’t chew food thoroughly and thus could have no dental benefits. However, dry food is comparatively cheap and less likely to spoil than liquid food.
Undeniably, cats are one of the most endearing and pleasing carnivores on earth. However, it’s the sole responsibility of cat owners to feed their feline friends with the best cat food that offers a grain-free, protein-rich, and carbohydrate-limited diet. In addition, the manufacturers mentioned in this article show the top and most healthy cat food in the industry, ensuring your cat stays fit and healthy at all times.