Ingredients for cats
Generally speaking, the order of the elements is equally as important as their kind. Unless a cat is on a special diet due to a medical condition, the protein source will always be listed first, followed by the additional ingredients given in the order of their percentage of the overall weight. Here are a few succinct suggestions: (The order, following the protein source, may change from product to product)
Named Protein Source
The most important thing to look for in cat food is a specific protein source other than “beef.” Keep an eye on the meats, including the chicken, lamb, and salmon (May be followed by named organs, e.g. chickelectronicn liver, chicken heart, both rich sources of taurine).
Particular carbohydrates, or fillers
As obligate carnivores, cats cannot live without meat and do not need carbohydrates. In reality, a diet heavy in carbohydrates can cause various food allergies and some carbohydrates are hard for cats to digest. However, most dry foods use carbohydrates as “fillers” to bond the other ingredients. Over the years, I’ve developed the practice of avoiding grain-containing cat food.
Cats must eat meat to survive; they cannot subsist on grains, particularly wheat or maize. (Although corn is a cheap filler, many cats frequently have wheat allergies.) I look for sources of carbohydrates like potato starch, green peas, and sweet potatoes. Even better, I give my cats mostly canned food with the occasional treat of premium dry food.
Called Fat Source
Look for a fat source with the letter “n” in the name, such “chicken fat.” Other oils, typically used in fine dining, may also be mentioned, including sunflower oil.
Vitamins and minerals
Preservatives like vitamin C (calcium ascorbate) and/or vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) are routinely added to meals along with other vitamins and minerals.
Although taurine can be produced by the human body, cats need to eat taurine to stay in great health.
According to a 1974 study, a diet low in tyheurine can cause cat retinal degeneration. Taurine deficiency can also result in a type of cardiac disease known as dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Manufacturers have been including taurine in cat food for a long time.
On this page, you’ll find a helpful comparison table of the ingredients in both high-end dry cat food and “supermarket” cat food.