The food given to your cat will directly impact their overall health and well-being, the condition of its fur, and eventually the life span of your beloved pet. Therefore, you must avoid feeding your cat processed food made from cereal grains primarily, which is not the best thing for your cat’s health.
Subsequently, a cat is a carnivore, which means they rely on a meat-based diet, and feeding your cat vegetarian foods will not cut it. Protein is essential to your cat’s diet, and they need lots of it, so make sure the food you buy for your cat is protein-rich.
A Cat’s Diet Requirements
A cat’s diet should consist of the main protein, about 10- 15% fat, along with a minimal amount of carbohydrates such as cereal grains. However, a small amount of grain in your cat’s diet does little harm.
In addition to that, the taurine amino acid is another essential that your cat’s diet contains. Compared to humans and dogs, cats cannot produce this amino acid from other amino acids in their bodies. They must find different sources, presumably from their diets.
Why is taurine so essential? If they do not obtain taurine amino acids, your cat may become subject to serious health problems such as blindness, heart-related issues, and other conditions.
Another contrast between cats and humans is that they cannot convert beta carotene into vitamin A. Therefore, the most common source of vitamin A for your cat is found in meats. Thus, you should make sure the foods you feed your cat contain enough Vitamin A to fulfill your cat’s nutritional requirements.
Moreover, vitamin D is another similarity as humans can easily retrieve it through their skin after exposing it to sunlight. In contrast, cats again rely on their diet to obtain vitamin D, yet another essential nutrient for better health.
With all that being said, let’s touch on the differences between the cat food brands and the amount and quality of nutrients they provide to your cat.
Expensive Cat Food Brands vs. Regular Brands
Although expensive cat foods cost a lot more than the regulars, which you can easily find in your local grocery stores, they generally carry more value and are worth the extra cost. After all, it is a matter of your cat’s health.
These expensive cat food are more commonly available at pet stores, veterinarians’ offices, and online stores.
The Concentration of Meat-Based Ingredients
The more expensive cat foods usually contain a relatively higher amount of meat than fillers when compared to regular cat food brands. It is one of the main reasons why expensive cat food is much more recommended and preferred for your cat’s diet.
Some inexpensive cat food brands typically use non-meat-based ingredients as their primary and secondary, while the meat is the third or even least component that makes up the food.
In short, the most advertised ingredient in regular cat foods may be the meat, but the other ingredients make up most of the food. Mostly they are gluten-based and intended to increase the cost-effectiveness.
The Concentration of Filler Ingredients and Nutrients
Generic and regular cat food products that are sometimes sold under no brand or labeled after the grocery store’s name should be avoided as much as possible. There is not much consistency in their ingredients; it typically depends on what is available to the manufacturers of these low-cost cat food products.
The reason is that the amount of filler ingredients they contain is much higher than premium cat food products. Moreover, the ingredients and the nutrient concentration these regular cat food products provide generally vary from batch to batch. Thus, you cannot be sure of what you are paying for despite the listed nutrient specifications.
This is not the case with expensive cat food products and justifies the price difference between the two cat food categories.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials, simply known as AAFCO, are the concerned authorities mainly responsible for regularly testing the nutritional quality of premium or expensive cat food products.
Check the AAFCO statement on the cat food packaging to ensure you pay for the highest quality and nutritional value for your cat’s diet whenever you decide to buy cat food products.
Last but not least, another reason why prefer expensive cat food is that it leads to fewer amounts of stool produced as compared to regular cat food. And not only that, the stool produced from expensive cat food tends to smell a lot better than cheaper cat food brands.
This is because non-premium cat food products contain a higher amount of filler ingredients that offer no nutritional benefit and are just present to satisfy your cat’s appetite. It produces more smelly and higher quantities of cat poop and may also lead to other problems.
As you might have suspected, cats fed with high-quality, usually more expensive cat foods, are more likely to remain healthy. They should avoid several illnesses that might be common to cats fed with regular cat foods.
Although a cat can survive on a cheap food diet, we only want what is best for our beloved feline buddy. With that being said, we hope this article helped you to always choose the best affordable cat food to your budget.