How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Optimal Health

How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Optimal Health

Finding the appropriate food for your cat is vitally important to its overall health and happiness. From canned cat food to dry kibble, your pet needs complete and balanced nutrition in her diet.

Start with ingredients. Read labels carefully and pay attention to any nutrients present — rather than simply listing ingredients themselves.


Cat food proteins play a variety of essential functions, from building and repairing tissues like hair, skin and claws to producing enzymes and hormones. Since cats don’t produce their own proteins themselves, they must rely on food sources as their sole source for these essential nutrients.

To determine whether a cat food contains adequate protein, read its label. Ingredients should be listed according to their proportional weight; look for high-quality meat sources (such as chicken or fish) early in the list; foods listing beef or other animal byproducts as primary ingredients may lead to allergies and digestive issues in some cats.

Be mindful that canned foods contain different protein and fat levels than their dry counterparts due to the higher water content, so select one with complete and balanced nutrition to meet your cat’s specific needs.


Cats require a diet consisting of high proteins, moderate fats and limited carbs. Because cats lack the ability to synthesize essential amino acids like taurine, arginine and methionine on their own, high quality meat proteins must be included as these are required by their short digestive tracts and lack the ability to synthesize essential amino acids naturally. Dietary fat also enhances palatability while helping absorb essential vitamins.

Your cat needs food with an adequate nutritional adequacy statement specific to their life stage on the back label, listing ingredients in order of decreasing proportional weight. Meat should be the main component of their food. Taurine, arginine and methionine as well as other key amino acids plus essential vitamins and minerals should all be present as well.

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Select foods rich in omega fatty acids derived from salmon oil or flaxseed, along with soluble fiber from tomato pomace or chicory root extract for optimal digestion and improved gut health. When selecting cat foods that do not contain artificial preservatives, chemical flavors, or added sugars they will provide maximum benefit to digestion and gut health.


The best cat food offers a balance of proteins, fats and carbohydrates to provide your cat with all of the nutrition they require. A sure sign that a quality food exists is when protein sources are listed first on its ingredient label (especially canned foods that may have more water content). Furthermore, top quality products may contain taurine which aids vision health, heart function and digestion.

Carbs in food are broken down to produce glucose, the primary energy source in our bodies. Specifically, glucose provides energy for brain activity, innermost kidney areas and red blood cells; cat’s energy comes primarily from protein sources; however a little carb-derived glucose may provide the additional boost necessary to meet energy demands without using up precious protein molecules. Also included in carb-based ingredients are dietary fibers which aid digestion and decrease stool bulk.


Complete and balanced cat food should contain essential vitamins. Vitamins are fat-soluble nutrients stored in the liver until needed to metabolize proteins, fats and carbohydrates as well as supporting immune system function and cell growth.

Find foods containing raw liver (Vitamin A), tomato pomace (Vitamin C), salmon oil (Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids), rice as a source of carbohydrate energy, Cranberries as an aid for urinary tract health and prebiotics/probiotics/glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate for supporting digestive and immune health, prebiotics/probiotics glucosamine/chondroitin sulfate to maintain good digestive/immune systems. Additionally, avoid foods which contain animal fat byproducts and chemical preservatives like butylated hydroxytoluene (BHA)/butylated hydroxyanisole (BHT); chemical preservatives like butylated hydroxytoluene (BHA/BHT); as well as preservatives like butylated hydroxyanisole (BHT); as well as Ethoxyquin and propyl gallate for optimal digestive/immune systems health!

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Raw diets typically meet vitamin requirements naturally, while commercially prepared, dry cat food should contain synthetic vitamins to ensure adequate intake. You can tell if a food has added vitamins by reading its label and looking at its guaranteed analysis table, where vitamins should appear before minerals.


When selecting cat food, look for one with high-quality ingredients. Avoid those containing animal fats, “by-products”, chemical preservatives such as BHA/BHT/ethoxyquin/propyl gallate etc, added sugars and artificial ingredients.

Cats require minerals for bone health, skin pigmentation and enzyme formation. Such minerals include calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium manganese molybdenum potassium selenium sodium zinc which are stored in their bones and muscles as essential cellular functions nutrients.

Most healthy cats don’t require vitamins or supplements if they consume a species-appropriate, balanced diet; however, a PetWellClinic veterinarian may suggest adding certain vitamins or minerals as a preventive measure or to address specific nutritional deficiencies.


Fiber is essential in keeping a cat feeling their best and feeling nourished. High-fiber cat foods typically include both soluble and insoluble fiber elements to support digestive health, improve stool quality and increase immune system strength.

Guaranteed Analysis sections of ingredient lists provide details regarding dietary fiber content; this ensures that it fulfills your cat’s nutritional needs.

The highest quality cat foods contain balanced protein, carbohydrates and fats as well as essential vitamins and minerals, along with plenty of wholesome fiber for maximum health and wellbeing. A cat’s diet plays an integral part in their wellbeing; be sure to provide fresh cool water daily, ensure they get sufficient exercise, as cats are obligate carnivores. Therefore they require high amounts of meat proteins like taurine, arginine and arachidonic acid for adequate nutritional needs.