Whether you are a new or experienced cat owner (or cat slave as it is in our house), it can be difficult to know what to feed you new little friend. We want them to live long, healthy and happy lives right?
When i was little, we had a dog. And he ate whatever we gave him, mostly leftovers. When we got cats, they ate cat food bought from the local grocery store. When i got my own cat after moving out, I did the same. Whiskas or Friskies kibble. A can here and there. I never put much thought into this food being good or bad for my cat. It was cat food, made for cats. So I assumed the cat food companies knew best about cat nutrition.
I have since learned my lesson. My first cat got kidney stones. My vet told me this was because the grocery store cat food contained too much waste product and salt for a neutered cat. Since then, i have tried to stick to brands i buy at the vet or in pet stores. But even then i see a great difference between brands, and they have not guaranteed me a healthy cat. One brand i tried gave my cat bleeding intestines, poor boy. Several of my parents cats have had hyperthyroidism, requiring lifelong medication.
Maybe you would argue that you cannot afford the pet store food? I did too. But then i noticed that a bag of pet store or vet store bought food lasted so much longer than the bag of Friskies. The price actually pretty much evened out. Note that this is only true if you feed according to the instructions for daily recommended intake (based on prices in Norway).
I am a fan of raw food, but feeding raw can be expensive and time consuming, and sometimes it is simply not practical to feed raw only. So the boys always have a diet combination of kibble and wet food of some kind. With my reason for giving them raw food being the wish to control the quality of the food they eat, I also want to give the same attention to their kibble. This has been far more complicated than researching raw food. So many different brands, with confusing and sometimes unavailable ingredient lists. It felt like an impossible task.
Just before christmas i received a tip about Reviews.com (see link below). They do surveys and research on a whole lot of subjects, ranging from toys, kitchenware and supplements, to online education and work sites. They have also done a very extensive review of cat foods. Based on information from almost 100 veterinarians, and hundreds of cat owners, their team has researched 1,759 formulas from different well known and less known companies and ended up with 8 recommended brands.
This article truly shocked me. All the brands that i have trusted and stuck with for all my cat owner years were eliminated in the review. Either due to bad ingredients or bad customer reviews, recalls or other conflicts with the companies. It was truly an eye-opener!
The criterion for which the food has been evaluated
- The cat food shall have meat (proteins) as the main ingredient
- The cat food shall not have artificial preservatives, additives or dyes
- The cat food shall not contain rendered fats, sugars or other irrelevant and harmful ingredients (basically they just make the cat food taste better or are used as fillers but do not provide healthy nutrients)
- The manufacturer shall not have a history of recalls, bad customer reviews or other legal conflicts.
Does not seem like such high requirements, right? All the more shocking that so many products fail to live up to basic quality standards.
In regards to no 4, it is of course a matter of opinion what would define a bad company. Read the list and make up your own mind.
Regardless of which brand you end up choosing, i recommend you, as a minimum, to follow the feeding-instructions given on the pack. Free-feeding cat food (especially higher quality cat food) will lead to obesity in you furry friend.
I recommend you to read the article linked below for more detailed information about the cat food review. It is easy reading, very informative and interesting.
If you read the Review.com article, please give me your thoughts. Did you find it helpful? Did it change your views on your cats diet? What do you feed you fur-baby?
If you want more information on raw-food, please read our previous article
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