Why Should I Feed Dry Cat Food?
Cat food is food for consumption by cats. Cats have specific requirements for their dietary nutrients. Certain nutrients, including many vitamins and amino acids, are degraded by the temperatures, pressures and chemical treatments used during manufacture, and hence must be added after manufacture to avoid nutritional deficiency. We talk a lot about cats’ need for wet food. That’s because cats are natural carnivores and have a naturally low thirst drive. This means they often don’t drink enough water. Feeding wet food, toppers and treats gives cats supplemental hydration. So, does that mean dry food is bad for cats? Absolutely not. A high-protein, low-carbohydrate dry food offers many important benefits such as:
Supports Cats’ Natural Grazing: In the wild, cats ate multiple small meals throughout the day. With dry food, you can leave their food out for cats to instinctively graze upon. This is not possible with wet food, which would spoil if left out too long.
Helps Promote Dental Health: Chewing hard kibble may help prevent plaque and tarter buildup on teeth. However, whether you feed wet or dry food, you can maintain your cat’s dental health with regular teeth cleanings by your veterinarian.
Easy and Economical: A bag of dry food typically costs less than the equivalent amount of meals in wet food. And, one bag can last a while. So, it can be a good option for cat parents on a budget.
Do Cats Need Wet Food?
If you’ve only ever fed your cat dry kibble, you may wonder if cats need wet food. In nature, cats derived most of the water their bodies needed from their prey. Because dry food has low moisture content, your cat needs to get water from a dish, fountain or wet food. Feeding a combination of wet and dry food, rather than just dry, is a great way to help your cat get more water. There are many benefits of including wet food in her diet.
Better Overall Hydration: Many cats don’t like still or standing water. In nature, cats tend to avoid standing water because it’s often a breeding ground for bacteria and insects. As a result, they may dislike drinking from a cat bowl or dish. Most felines prefer fresh, moving water from a cat water fountain or faucet rather than a dish. Cats may also feel vulnerable when drinking, and it’s not something they do efficiently. A single lap only gives your cat about 3/100 of a teaspoon. Despite this, water is essential for chemical reactions in the body, temperature regulation and joint health and mobility. It makes up about 60 percent of your cat’s body, so it’s vital to maintain proper hydration through adequate water intake. How do you get cats to drink more water? Providing plenty of fresh water or even purchasing a cat water fountain can help. Another way to up her water intake is by feeding wet cat food. While it can’t replace water altogether, it does help improve her overall hydration.
Promotes Lean Body Mass: Wet food is high in protein, which supports strong muscles. It also helps maintain that muscle mass through adulthood and into a cat’s senior years. A cat’s total body weight is comprised of lean body mass (LBM) and fat mass. Muscles, ligaments, bones, organs and more are all considered LBM. Organs and muscles are the main source of metabolic activity, helping to support many vital functions, like immunity, mobility and more. As cats age, they naturally lose LBM. Feeding wet cat food with high protein content can help maintain LBM as cats age.
Adds More Variety: Just as many people dislike eating the same foods every day, cats can get bored with their food, too. Some cats don’t just like variety—they crave it. Feeding dry food only may not always satisfy this craving. By including more wet food in your cat’s diet, you can satisfy her desire for new and exciting flavors and textures. Because cans of wet food are small, it’s easy to buy a variety to see what your cat loves. With so many flavors and textures to choose from, each meal will be a delightful adventure for your cat. Whether she’s drawn to seafood flavors in a creamy sauce, more traditional chicken pate or she likes her food in a hearty gravy, feeding wet food will satisfy her desire for variety.
What is freeze-dried cat food?
When it comes to cat food, it can be easy to get confused between raw, dehydrated and freeze-dried, so to help make it easier to distinguish one from the other, we’re going to break each of them down for you. Freeze-drying is when a food is frozen and then placed into a vacuum where the water is turned into a vapor. After that, the food is then sealed in air-tight packaging to make sure it’s completely moisture free before being shipped to your local grocery store. Freeze-dried cat food is similar to raw cat food in that it hasn’t been cooked, but there are some key differences. Raw foods remain in their raw state, so they don’t have the moisture taken out of them and are therefore not shelf-stable. Raw foods may also lack key nutrients and they can carry a high bacterial and parasitic load. Dehydrated cat food is a lot like freeze-dried cat food in that both have had the moisture removed from them, just using different techniques. Freeze-dried food is produced using cold temperatures whereas dehydrated food requires low heat and because of that, the former tends to retain more nutrients than the latter. Freeze-dried cat food is basically a blend of meats and vegetables that have gone through a freezing and drying process to allow the shelf life of fresh ingredients to be safely extended. These special blends allow you to provide your feline friend with nutritious cuts of meat that don’t contain any fillers of preservatives. Alongside being free from fillers and preservatives, freeze-dried foods tend to be:
Nutritionally complete and balanced
High in protein
Rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes and antioxidants
Great for cats with allergies
Robust in flavor
If you’re looking for a formula that combines the benefits of raw food with those of dry kibble, freeze-dried cat food is well worth considering. Not only is it high in natural nutrition but it’s also easy to serve, making it a potential win-win for both you and your ball of fluff!
What is a High-Quality Dog Food?
Most of us know that the cheap brands of dog food found in discount stores aren’t the best for our dogs…but why? The answer lies in the ingredients of these foods. Low-cost dog foods are low cost for a reason. They use low quality, more affordable ingredients. These foods load up on cheap filler ingredients like grains. Instead of using lean proteins they depend on unnamed meat “meals.” In comparison, high-quality dog foods utilize more whole, species-appropriate ingredients. What does species-appropriate food look like for dogs? It includes the following characteristics:
Whole muscle meat
High moisture content
Low to no percentage of starches
Animal fat content
Fruits and vegetables
Ever notice that when you eat a diet that is too high in fat or carbohydrates that you start to gain weight? The same thing happens to your dog! Unfortunately, because fats and carbohydrates are more affordable ingredients, cheaper dog foods are often full of them! This is why when you feed your dog a poor quality food, you will notice that their weight becomes harder to control! High-quality dog food, in comparison, provides whole nutrition. For example, increased protein content, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats all provide nutrition without contributing to weight gain in the way that “junk” ingredients do. Once again we go back to how you feel when you eat a whole and nutritious diet versus how you feel when you eat a diet packed with junk food. You wouldn’t eat fatty take-out food and candy bars for the rest of your life! Your body needs real nutrition that provides necessary vitamins and minerals and so does your dog’s!
Grain Free Cat Food: What You Need to Know
Grain-free cat food is just what its name describes — a cat food made free of grains. Common grains found in cat food include wheat, corn, oats, barley and rice. Most cats don't require grain-free food and cats with diagnosed grain allergies are unusual. In a study published in Veterinary Dermatology, corn was found to be one of the least likely sources of food allergy in a cat. Of the 56 cats in the study with food allergies, corn was responsible for four cases of allergy issues. Forty-five cats, meanwhile, suffered from allergies associated with eating beef, dairy and/or fish. So how can you know if your cat has a food allergy? Some possible signs of a food allergy include:
Excessive hair loss
Sores and scabs
Protein is especially important in cat food because, unlike many other animals, protein is a cat's primary energy source. What many people don't realize (57 percent of cat parents, according to a PetMD survey) is that while cats do require a part of their protein to come from animals, their systems are also very good at digesting and absorbing nutrients from high-quality, plant-based ingredients. Plant ingredients can be an excellent source of essential nutrients, proteins, fat and carbohydrates. Providing adequate carbohydrate calories spares body proteins, like muscles, from being broken down to be used for energy. In fact, a food that relies solely on meat as a protein source can be higher in phosphorus. While phosphorus is an essential nutrient, there is a link between high-phosphorus foods and a progression in cats (and dogs) with preexisting chronic kidney disease. Vegetables and grains are low-phosphorus sources of essential amino acids that cats need, providing your cat with a source of protein she needs to be healthy.