How to Choose the Best Cat Food for Optimal Health

Cats are obligate carnivores and require an abundance of protein and moderate fat intake for proper development. They also rely heavily on animal sources for essential nutrients like taurine and arginine for nutrition purposes.

High-quality meat-based food will satisfy the protein requirements of your cat while providing important amino acids and other vital nutrients. When selecting food items with protein listed as one of their first ingredients, look for those which feature first on their ingredient list.


Your cat needs animal-sourced protein in order to thrive, such as chicken, beef or fish as they’re obligate carnivores that require nutrients such as taurine, arginine and arachidonic acid derived from animal sources such as meat. When selecting foods containing high-quality animal proteins such as these it will ensure their optimal wellbeing.

A great way to tell whether a food contains high-quality proteins is by reviewing its ingredient list. Look for meat listed first as opposed to “meat by-product meal” which are more indicative of lower quality proteins.

Proteins are composed of amino acids, the building blocks that compose every cell in your pet’s body. A high-quality protein should contain all essential amino acids necessary for muscle growth, including leucine and lysine as well as methionine cysteine and phenylalanine which promote a healthy immune system, skin and coat.

Protein sources are an excellent indicator of whether a food is suitable for your pet. For example, if your pet has sensitive digestion issues, food with shorter ingredient lists such as Go! Solutions Sensitivities Limited Ingredient Pollock Pate may be ideal. Made with wild Alaskan pollock and pumpkin puree for easy digestion. Alternatively, raw diets designed to replicate what wild cats would eat such as Instinct Raw Boost Mixers or freeze-dried food could provide another viable option for sensitive digestion issues.


Although cats are obligate carnivores and should consume predominantly protein-rich diets, a small percentage of carbohydrates should also be included for energy purposes – up to 10% should suffice.

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High-quality animal proteins should form the cornerstone of your cat food formula and should account for at least 75%. Animal proteins contain essential amino acids like taurine and arachidonic acid that contribute to cat health as well as essential fatty acids for skin and coat care. When shopping, look for options with quality meats instead of fillers.

Vegetables and fruits play an integral role in your cat’s diet, as they contain fiber that assists digestion while simultaneously aiding in the metabolization of nutrients more efficiently. Furthermore, vegetables such as sweet potatoes and pumpkin can provide additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants – so make sure that they’re included regularly!

Some cat owners choose to provide their cats with a raw diet, which typically consists of meats, organs and bones similar to what wild cats would eat in nature. According to experts, such diets may improve digestion, fight obesity and maintain good skin and coat conditions in cats.

If you’re not ready to fully commit to feeding your cat a raw diet, combine their current food with raw add-ins or supplements from brands like Instinct that provide daily doses of protein boost mix-ins that can be added directly onto kibble or wet food dishes.


As cats are obligate carnivores, their diet should include plenty of protein while being low in fat content. Taurine and arachidonic acid are found exclusively in animal sources of protein that provide essential vitamins and minerals such as these for optimal health.

Protein can also help fight free radicals in the body that contribute to early aging in pets. When selecting cat food for your cat or kitten, look for high levels of protein as well as ingredients with no low quality fillers like corn, wheat, rice, brewer’s yeast soy or sugar as fillers.

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An appropriate balance of fat is also crucial for cats’ wellbeing, providing energy while improving palatability and digestibility. Many cats with digestive disorders such as IBD may benefit from higher fat levels in their food as it increases appetite while decreasing nausea.

Finally, vitamins and minerals are crucial for cats’ overall wellbeing. When selecting food for your cat’s diet, look for one with high concentrations of A, E and C vitamins as well as trace minerals calcium, phosphorous, iron, magnesium and zinc; these will support healthy bones, muscles and teeth. Furthermore, search for one which lists its vitamins and minerals as ingredients rather than added supplements; this will show they’re present in sufficient amounts.

Vitamins & Minerals

Cats require vitamins and minerals for healthy development and to help support their immune systems. These micronutrients can be found in many food items and supplements may be necessary if their diet doesn’t provide enough of these micronutrients; however, any supplements should only ever be given under the supervision of a veterinarian.

A healthy and balanced diet should include all of the vitamins and minerals your cat requires to stay in good condition, helping prevent problems like dull coats and digestive upset.

For optimal vitamin and mineral intake in cats, selecting food that features premium-quality ingredients is the most reliable solution. A top-tier diet would typically consist of plenty of animal proteins, moderate levels of fat and minimal carbs; plus vitamins such as taurine, arginine and omega-3 fatty acids to provide proper nourishment.

When selecting cat food, always select recipes labeled as being complete and balanced according to AAFCO standards. These will contain adequate levels of protein, fat, carbs and vitamins and minerals necessary for your cat’s optimal health. In addition, look for foods labeled with guaranteed analysis (GA), which confirms they have been tested by an independent laboratory and meet nutrient requirements of kittens, adults or senior cats.