It may seem simple, you go into PetCo and pick out some cat food that is reasonably priced, but for the longevity of your furry friend it's important to read labels and find out which cat food is the best.
When we brought Janelle home from the shelter they gave us a bag of "Science Diet" cat food. We noticed that she was going to the bathroom a lot and then we read the label. Science Diet claims to be number one recommended by vets, but it contains stuff that isn't good for cats. The first ingredient is chicken byproduct. The word "byproduct" in itself suggests that it would be something gross. What is chicken byproduct? Chicken byproduct is the heads,bones, feet, lungs, intestines, liver, etc. It is basically the stuff that we humans choose not to eat. The stuff is really just a filler for cats and doesn't have any true benefits for them. Another ingredient that Science Diet includes is corn, it may not be "common knowledge," but cat owners that are educated about the well being of their cats would know that corn is not something that cats should be consuming. It's just not healthy and it makes the cats go to the bathroom more.
The pet stores have all sorts of different cat food for those who need to lose weight, those with hairball issues, etc. I did a lot of searching at PetCo to find the perfect fit for my cat. The L.I.D brand (Limited Ingredient Diet) was a good one for a little while, my cat liked it a lot, but it was a bit expensive. Blue Buffalo claims to be the best with all natural products, but it is so expensive.
I choose Purina One Beyond. All the ingredients are natural and even the packaging is made out of recycled materials. A six pound bag can go for around $13 which is a really great deal. The flavor of choice that my cat loves the most is the Salmon flavor. It has brown rice as well which is good for cats and the first ingredient is salmon, real salmon, not any chicken byproduct or corn meal. Here is the list of ingredients in its entirety, taken from the web site:
"Salmon, chicken meal, whole brown rice, soybean meal, whole barley, whole oat meal, animal fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols (form of Vitamin E), soy protein isolate, brewers dried yeast, dried egg product, dried beet pulp, natural flavor, fish oil, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, whole cranberries, caramel color, dried tomatoes, dried spinach, salt, potassium chloride, taurine, choline chloride, calcium phosphate, Vitamin E supplement, zinc sulfate, ferrous sulfate, niacin, manganese sulfate, Vitamin A supplement, calcium pantothenate, thiamine mononitrate, copper sulfate, riboflavin supplement, Vitamin B-12 supplement, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, Vitamin D-3 supplement, calcium iodate, biotin, menadione sodium bisulfite complex (source of Vitamin K activity), sodium selenite."
Always make sure to feed the cat the right amount. A cat that is 5 to 9 pounds should get 1/3 - 2/3 a cup twice a day, whereas a cat that is over 10 pounds can handle 1/2 cup to an entire cup twice a day. Make sure to always measure it out and to not just assume, luckily the shelter gave me a measuring cup so that I can make sure she eats the appropriate amount. She has gained some weight, but that's probably due to the treats she gets and when she gets human food (We will discuss cats and human food in the next blog post).