What Do You Feed Your Cats?
We’ve had a number of questions about which foods people choose for their babies, so we decided to share our choices in cat food. Although we are not vets or animal nutritionists, we have researched this topic extensively and made the best, most educated decision we can. We hope this helps you make the right choice for your kitty, too.
First, we’ll discuss which brands and varieties of food we’ve chosen for our three kitties, then we’ll look at other considerations like: how your choice will be affected by age and gender, whether to free feed or feed portions on a schedule, and factors we consider when choosing foods for our beloved companions. Let’s get started…
What Brands Do We Like?
The two main brands we buy (based on relative cost, our one picky eater, and our other dry food addict) are:
Wellness Dry, Indoor Health Recipe (which you can buy at Amazon)
Nature’s Variety, Instinct Grain-Free Chicken (which you can buy at Amazon)
We also are now trying Indigo Moon (also available on Amazon); it satisfied the main nutritional requirements and happened to be on super special that day.
Free Feed or Controlled Portions?
For our part, we feed dry in set portions 2x/day with one serving of wet food per day. The reason we do not free feed is largely that our Siamese cat, Gremlin, will eat as much as you give him, and we don’t want to allow him to gorge himself and get obese. We also feed our three kitties (Petunia, That One, and Gremlin) in separate bowls because they are different ages and weights, and have different dispositions. They definitely need their own portions.
What Should You Look For?
We choose brands with high levels of high-quality proteins, which means no grains and little-to-no meat by-products. These foods also have relatively high levels of phosphorous, but since our kitties are young and healthy with no signs of kidney disease, this is not currently a problem.
Just so you know, I have lost 3 cats to chronic kidney disease and in those cases worked closely with my vet to manage diet. Meaning more wet food, lower phosphorous, and lower protein in the later stages of the disease. Honestly, though, sometimes it was more important just to give my cats whatever they wanted, because it was crucial that they didn’t starve.
The Importance of Age and Condition
In any case, it’s important to keep in mind your kitties’ ages and particular health requirements when selecting what you will feed them. Is your cat more sedentary, or more active? How old is your cat? Does he or she have any known medical issues such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, liver shunt, or IBS? All these factors matter when you are selecting food, and requirements change as circumstances change.
And that’s it! The long and the short of it is that every cat is different and may have particular nutrition needs you should cater to. Age, gender, health issues — all can play a role in what food you select. And of course, cost is also a factor. There are lots of opinions and no single “right way.” But, with that said, there are several commonalities: high levels of high-quality proteins, no grains, little-to-no meat by-products, and some proportion of wet food to help ensure that your cat is getting enough moisture, as cats do not necessarily drink enough water. Read the labels and know what you’re getting! Good luck, and let’s keep our kitties healthy 😉