How to Choose Food for my Cat

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
How to Choose Food for my Cat

Cats are excellent pets that are independent, curious and affectionate. Like any other pet, they are animals that require a lot of care to stay healthy. One of the most important aspects to consider is what to feed them. But, how do you choose the ideal food for your cat? In this OneHowTo we explain how to choose food for your cat so as to guarantee the nutrition and health of your pet.

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Forget about feeding them with your own food

This is important to bear in mind when choosing cat food. These animals should not eat the same as you do under any circumstances. You must not give your cat any leftovers or food that you would normally eat, as these are not suitable for your animal. They don't contain the nutrients and vitamins your cat requires and, more importantly, could be toxic to your cat.

Look out for ingredients

There are ingredients that should not be present in cat food because they could harm your pet's health. When choosing cat food look at the ingredients and make sure:

  • The food does not contain any preservatives such as ethoxyquin, BHA and BHT as they could be carcinogenic for your cat.
  • The percentage of cereal content is not too high, as this means that the food is not of high quality.
  • That the list of ingredients preferably identifies which animal they derive from and what ingredients have been used to make the food. It's not the same stating from an 'animal origin' as stating meat or fish. The more explicit the ingredients are, the safer and better the food is that you are giving to your cat.
  • Meat or fish should be the main ingredient of any cat food, without cereals, flours or other compounds.
  • Fats should also be identified by indicating which animal they derive from. Similarly avoid any foods that contain animal derived proteins as they are not suitable for your cat.
How to Choose Food for my Cat - Look out for ingredients

Moist cat food

Cats are not very fond of drinking water, which can cause significant kidney problems in the medium-term. This is all down to the type of food you give to your feline. Cat food typically only has 8% moisture on average, which means your cat must compensate for this lack of fluid by drinking water. The problem is that this animal is not a water drinker.

For this reason, it is very important that you choose cat food that is as wet as possible. Canned food is a great help, but it is much more expensive. It's recommended that you buy a quality cat food that contains as much liquid as possible, and add a little water when serving to moisten the kibble. Once your cat gets used to it, they'll have less of a need to drink water and will be healthier.

How to Choose Food for my Cat - Moist cat food

Considerations for their needs

All the above points should be taken into account when choosing food for your cat. But it is also very important to consider your cat's age and condition when choosing their food. Therefore we recommend that you:

  • Buy a food suitable for the age of your cat. Kittens have different nutritional needs to adult cats, so you should consider this requirement.
  • If your cat has been sterilised, they'll have a tendency to obesity, so it's important to choose food with a low percentage of fat and a high water content, so as to prevent kidney problems.
  • In all cases, it is recommended you alternate dry food with canned food, so your cat stays hydrated.

It's not all about the price

As you can see, when choosing the best cat food it is important to stop and check the ingredients and the nutritional content, much as we would with our own food. A higher price does not always mean the best food, so rather than considering your budget, it's important to consider which are the healthiest alternatives so your cat stays healthy and happy.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Choose Food for my Cat, we recommend you visit our Pets category.

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1 comment
Hi there, We gonna have a mainecoon on Mar 6th 2017. It is a male weigh 2.8 kg and was born on Oct 1st 2016. We are going to him brand ORIJEN ranges - Six Fishes + Cats & Kittens . However i would like to feed him with lamb + liver & beef + liver. But i do not know the correct way of giving it. It will be very helpful if you can advice on the following:
1) Frequency - Number of feeding per day for a week?
2) Raw or boiled?
3) How many % portion of meat and liver should be in one serving?
4) What is the correct way to mix wet food & dry food by day per week?
Hoping to hear from you soon. Thank you very much.
Ms Mumtaz Begum
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Jane Bertin (oneHOWTO editor)
Hi! Maine Coon cats tend to obesity, so you'll have to be very careful in monitoring the amounts and frequency of food servings.

The best and healthiest option is to give them balanced dry feed (always checking the labels to see the ingredients). The diet for your cat should include 25% protein and 40% fat, so you should check the nutritional value of the meat and liver you want to give your pet.

You can combine dry food, wet food and even homemade meals, but the exact amount to mix depends on your cat's age, size and lifestyle, so you should ask your vet.

Finally, meat and liver have to be boiled or somehow cooked (without any oil or seasoning), not raw. Hope that's helpful!

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