Buying cat food is a frequent occurrence for cat owners. You can buy your food at a grocery store, a big discount retailer, pet store or even online. I purchase my cats food from a combination of the above. With four cats, I look for sales on the brand they like and stock up.
There are many kinds of food to pick from to suit your cat’s age and needs. Some of the common types of cat food choices are explained below.
Dry Cat Food
Often dry cat food is referred to as kibble. At my house, we call it crunchies. Dry food is a popular choice, and it’s easy. You can put it out in a bowl, and it is fine for the day, overnight or even multiple days.
As indicated by the name, there is little moisture in kibble. You want to make sure you keep plenty of water available because cats who eat mostly dry food may tend to drink more water since they aren’t getting it from the food.
Wet cat food provides higher water intake for cats. It comes in cans, trays, plastic cups, and tearable packets. Moist food is especially good if your cat isn’t drinking much water because they will get through eating this type of food. One of my cat’s favorites is Fancy Feast cat food.
Wet cat food is more flavorful (from what I can tell from the aroma), and my cats tend to eat it as soon as I put it down. I usually give them this in the AM and PM or when they are looking for food so they will eat it right away. Otherwise, it starts to dry out, and I have to throw it away. To prevent waste, I put out some and cover the can to use the remainder later.
Sometimes health issues will make wet cat food a better option for your cat. Sometimes as cat age they may have trouble chewing dry food. Also, cats with bad teeth may find it difficult to chew pieces of kibble.
You can find cat food can tops at pet stores and they are quite useful. I have different sizes to cover both the smaller Fancy Feast sized cat food cans and the larger ones.
If you purchase wet cat food in cans, I strongly suggest you invest in these tops. They are fairly inexpensive, probably a dollar or so a piece, and they snap on the cans to keep the food fresh.
A recently popular option is the grain-free cat foods. This type of cat food is made without grains. Cat owners sometimes select grain free cat food because of their personal preference or for health reasons. Some cats have allergies or some sensitivity to grains which causes symptoms in cats such as dry, itchy skin and stomach issues.
One common misconception is that grain free food is low carb and high protein. However, often the grain ingredient is replaced with other types of food with similar carbohydrate and protein components. By selecting comparable nutritional value foods, such as sweet potatoes or other vegetables, the grain free food can provide balanced nutrition.
You may want to discuss this with your vet before switching to grain free to be sure you make selections with the appropriate nutritional value for your cat. As with dry or wet food, some brands are going to be healthier than others, and that would remain true for grain free kinds of food too.
As you can see this has a beneficial cat supplement with Omega 3 fatty acids listed under the Superfood Blend section on the back of the package. The benefits of fish oil for cats with Omega-3 fatty acids is an added bonus in this cat food.
Organic means the same for people food as it does for cat food. It refers to how crops are grown and how livestock is raised. For crops, they must be grown without using any types pesticides or chemicals whether it be in the fertilizer or to deter insects. For livestock, the animals must be given only organic feed, and not be given any types of antibiotics or hormones.
For some brands of dental diet cat food, a prescription is required, but you can find some options in regular retail or pet stores. Also, I’ve found veterinarian offices carry a supply of dental food and treats you can purchase directly from them. Dental cat care is important and can save you money in the long run by preventing you from having to take them for cat teeth cleaning treatments.
I’d suggest you do some price comparison shopping since prescription dental diet food is more expensive than regular dry food. If you do find the same brand for a better price elsewhere, just ask your vet for a script and purchase or order it where you get the best deals.
So this is fairly self-explainable. Kittens have slightly different nutritional needs and for this reason, many vets recommend feeding them kitten food up to age one years old. On their first birthday, change to regular cat food. You can check with your vet if you have questions on whether to switch sooner or later.
Most cat food on the market is for adult cats. If you read the paragraph above, you know that cats are considered adults at age one. Although many one year old plus cats may still act like kittens. Mine definitely do and their official kitten years have been over for awhile now.
Depending what source you look at, I have seen “senior cat” defined starting as young as seven years old up through starting at 11 years old. Senior cat food can be more geared towards more sedentary cats. Each cat is going to be different, so it’s best to discuss the best food options based on your individual cat.
Purina One is a brand I’ve feed my cats in the past and they liked it. As you can see, this one says Vibrant Maturity 7+ and is geared towards cats ages seven years old plus.
For ease to those who just like to buy online, here’s a link to purchase it: Purina ONE Vibrant Maturity 7 + Senior Cat Food, 7 lbs. You may be able to find it cheaper in a local grocery store but if you don’t like to go shopping, here’s the easy way to order it.
Other Cat Food Types
Bottom line, you want to consider your cat and their nutritional needs. As you can see, there are many different options for cat food. Many people feed their cats a combination of the above. The primary goal is to find the food your cat likes and provides them the nutrients and balanced diet for good health.
Some cat treats are simply that, just treats. Others have more nutritional value. I even give my cats the Hills Dental Diet food as “treats” which are actually not sold as treats but I have my cats thinking they are treats. You can click that link to see how I trick them. 🙂
The top 3 cat treats in our house are:
- Temptations Cat Treats
- Friskies Party Mix
- Purina Whisker Lickin’s Crunch Lovers
You can get tartar control treats too. I often will buy the above in the tartar control variety. There are also soft treats, but mine seem to prefer the crunchy types the best for cat treats.