How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Optimal Health

As cats are obligate carnivores, their diet must contain a diet rich in animal proteins and low in carbohydrates. When selecting cat food products that include animal proteins without fillers or plant-based ingredients.

Your cat’s ideal diet depends on their age, life stage and specific dietary needs. A mix of wet and dry food might work well; perhaps offering dry kibble in the morning and wet food later.


Protein-rich diets provide cats with essential nutrients necessary for good health, so as pet parents it is our duty to ensure our felines receive enough of it in their food. Ensure your feline has enough protein intake as part of reaching this goal!

When selecting food for your cat, it is essential to read labels carefully and select products containing high levels of animal-source proteins like poultry, fish, lamb and beef – these sources contain highly digestible forms of animal proteins with essential amino acids for cat health.

Avoid food products containing chicken meal, turkey meal or other by-products as their primary source of protein. These are typically leftover parts from carcasses that are unsuitable for human consumption, including feet, bones and organs. Although such ingredients tend to be cheaper than whole meats, they often lack many of the essential vitamins found within actual meat products.

Alternative protein sources like peas, lentils and soy are also found in some cat food products; however, cats have limited ability to digest plant-based proteins when compared with animal proteins; therefore it’s recommended that animal proteins supplement these food items so as to provide your cat with all essential amino acids.


Cat food contains carbohydrates to fuel their bodies. You should check the ingredient list to identify foods with moderately-sized amounts of carbohydrates; such as starches like corn, barley, wheat or rice starch as energy sources. Avoid foods containing too many carbs or sugars which could contribute to obesity in cats.

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An appropriate feline diet must include healthy fats. They provide vital energy as carriers for essential fat-soluble vitamins (D, E and A).

Search the ingredient list for animal fats rather than vegetable oils and fillers; food should also include tomato pomace for fiber content and prebiotics such as chicory root extract to support digestive health. When selecting cat food approved by AAFCO.


Cats cannot produce some essential amino acids from their food sources like dogs can; this includes taurine, arginine, methionine and cysteine which come exclusively from animal proteins like animal meat or plant sources (like rice or beans) so their diet must contain adequate animal proteins to meet this need. Cat food should provide enough animal proteins in its daily dose.

After proteins, fats are the next most vital nutrient. Not only are they an extremely concentrated source of energy that makes carbohydrates unnecessary; but fat-soluble vitamins D, E and A also reside within their structure. A quality food should contain 20-40% of its calories from fat sources.

When selecting pet food, read its ingredients list closely. Products are listed by decreasing proportional weight so meat-related ingredients will appear higher than vegetables or grains. Furthermore, foods containing omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that help support immune systems may also provide significant support to cats.


High-quality cat food should include more than protein; it must also include essential vitamins and minerals that address free radical damage caused by environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke or air pollution, which may lead to premature aging or disease in cats.

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Vitamins are an integral component of any balanced diet and can be found in various sources. Vitamin B5, commonly referred to as pyridoxine, helps with stress relief by breaking down fats, proteins and carbohydrates into energy sources for your pet. Meanwhile, ascorbic acid promotes immune system health while vitamin D (cholecalciferol) supports bone health.

Mineral nutrients can come from various sources. In general, high quality cat food will contain mineral nutrients from sources like meats, organ meats, legume plants and other natural sources – although for some cats targeted supplementation under veterinarian supervision may also be necessary.


A cat’s diet should include essential minerals such as calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, sodium and zinc for healthy cell function, enzyme formation, pH balance and nutrient utilization as well as supporting strong bones and teeth. You can source minerals either from animal sources like bone meal or meat products or from plant sources like sunflower seed meal.

As cats are obligate carnivores, they require specific vitamins and minerals derived from meat-based sources for proper functioning of their metabolism. A diet rich in both proteins and fats must meet this goal.

The optimal cat food should contain chelated minerals that have been bound to organic molecules like amino acids for easier absorption into the body.

Raw or minimally processed cat food typically meets vitamin requirements naturally through whole foods like chicken, meat and fish; dry food often adds synthetic vitamins to make up for those lost during processing. Cats may have specific dietary requirements depending on their age and life stage – consult a veterinarian or Pawp Professional to identify which foods and supplements will meet those requirements for your cat.