The choice of cat food is overwhelming with so many types and brands – and even philosophies – to choose from. Many people ask rescues like Los Angeles-based Kitten Rescue what they recommend and consider the best brand of cat food. Most people have different preferences – often dictated by whims of their own cats. However, there are some universal brands that Kitten Rescue has discovered through experience and consultations with their vets.
The key in choosing a good type of food is to read the ingredients. With wet food, avoid meat by- products. With dry food, you should not only avoid by-products, but consider how much of the protein comes from meat and how much from grain, as cats cannot process grain protein nearly as well. In general, for both wet and dry, the more meat ingredients in the first few positions in the ingredients list, the better the food. In addition, many dry foods use corn to bind the food, and corn can lead to obesity as well as trigger allergies in your cat. The best dry foods have no corn in them at all, and ideally no soy or wheat.
What you may have heard about “supermarket” cat foods being the equivalent of “junk food” for cats is not just a ploy to get you to buy the more expensive brands. Just as there is a range of how people food is made, different brands of cat food are made with different standards. Relying on supermarket brands of cat food is analogous to feeding your children fast food for every meal. These foods may be fine for an occasional treat but should not be fed every day. The best bargain wet food is Trader Joe’s Premium cat food, as it has no meat by-products and is priced similar to grocery store pet food.
Most food you buy at a Petco, Petsmart, or a local pet store is a superior brand. We recommend the following based on our experience; howvere there are also other excellent premium brands:
|Natural Balance||Royal Canin|
|Felidae||Nutro Natural Choice & Nutro Max|
|Nature’s Variety Prairie||Pro Plan|
|California Natural||Advanced Pet Diets’ Select Choice|
|Artemis||Innova Regular (red bag)|
Kittens should be fed kitten food, both wet and dry, until they are at least eight months old, then they can move to adult food. Always have plenty of fresh water, changed at least once a day. Recent studies suggest that cats that are only fed dry food can develop urinary and kidney problems due to insufficient water in the diet. In addition, dry food is high in carbohydrates so if your cat is overweight, feed more wet and less dry. Many vets now recommend always feeding wet food. Current research from vets suggests changing your cat’s brand or flavor of food at least every 6 months, or feeding it a few varieties of food. This is in case your cat ever needs to go on a veterinary special diet. If it has only eaten one kind of food for 10 years it will resist the new food.
Kitten Rescue was founded in the spring of 1997 and has grown to become one of the largest and most respected animal welfare groups in Los Angeles. We are a non-profit, totally volunteer run organization devoted to finding loving new homes for unwanted cats and kittens. Kitten Rescue volunteers place approximately 1,000 cats and kittens into new homes every year. Since its inception, Kitten Rescue has rescued and placed over 14,000 cats into loving homes. More information about Kitten Rescue can be found at www.kittenrescue.org.