1. About cat food
Many people who raise cats don’t know much about cat food. Most of them think that cat food is good as long as the cats like it. However, that’s just part of the right answer. Many commodity cat foods contain phagostimulants and other additives. Long-term consumption can cause cats’ various health problems, especially cats’ gastrointestinal disorders. That’s why now people are advocating the purchase of “natural food” rather than commercial food.
The so-called natural food is derived from the definition in the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). To meet the standard of natural cat food, cat food needs to be produced without chemical elements or chemical synthesis process. As long as cat food contains artificial flavors, colorings, synthetic vitamins, preservatives, etc., they cannot be regarded as natural foods. Therefore, natural foods, in simple terms, can only be made from natural organisms and hardly contain any synthetic elements.
As for commercial cat food, it can be well understood compared with the natural cat food above. It contains many attractants, preservatives, additives, and even 4D meat (that is, Died: dead animal meat. Diseased: sick animal meat. Dying: Dying animal meat. Disabled: Disabled animal meat).
However, some people have proposed two concepts of safe food and poisonous food to replace natural food.
Safe food refers to food that meets national standards and is harmless to pets, including natural food and commercial food.
Poisonous food refers to food that will bring various health risks to pets for long-term consumption. For example, long-term intake of plant protein will prevent cats who are carnivores from getting the necessary nutrients.
2. Simple screening of cat food
In the above, we mentioned a term, Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) AAFCO is a voluntary membership association of local, state, and federal agencies. Our members are bound by their local, state, or federal laws to regulate animal feed and sales and distribution of animal drugs. This set of nutritional standards established by AAFCO is often used to formulate national regulations, and it has also established a set of minimum standards for adult cat feed.
Three steps to screening cat food
1. Screened according to AAFCO minimum standards
*The above listed are the more important ratios, more standards can be viewed at AAFCO
What is the minimum standard of AAFCO? Let’s take a look.
Let’s take GO’s nine meat cat foods as an example and look at his nutritional analysis chart
We can see that the parts framed in red meet the minimum standards above and can enter the next level of screening
2. Look at the ingredients
The ingredient list is sorted from most to least added. Usually, the top five are the main highest ingredients in cat food. Cats may be allergic to grains such as rice, corn, brown rice, wheat, etc., so the less the better. Regarding the preservatives, it is better not to have BHA or BHT. The fewer chemical additives, the better. There are also some examples below, we can continue to look down.
BHA: Preservative (The National Institutes of Health found that BHA could increase the frequency of certain types of tumors in laboratory animals)
BHT: preservative (because it has some relevance to increase animal cancer, so the US Center for Science in the Public Interest recommends avoiding BHT)
3. Look at the proportion of meat
In short, the more meat in the ingredients, the better.
We can say that grain-free cat food is better than cat food with grains. And animal protein is better than plant protein. The top few good cat foods are mostly meat and vice versa.
In the following content, we will start from the low price to high to explore the ingredients of each cat food.
1.Natural Balance: $4.06 / lb
One of the most cost-effective cat food. cat food recommended by many professionals
Let’s also take a look at its ingredients. The top five ingredients contain chicken powder, chicken, and chicken fat. Of course, there are also problems. For example, more grains are added, including brown rice. But at this price, the brand is reliable and the ingredients are healthy. It’s overall acceptable.
2.Pro Plan: $2.41 / lb
Let’s take a look at the ingredients. The first few have chicken meal which is quite high, chicken liver hydrolyzed meal, fish meal. Corn gluten meal, wheat, rice, and other ingredients are added to increase protein. The price/performance ratio feels slightly lower than Natural Balance.
3.Solid Gold: $3.00 / lb
Look at the ingredients
The first few of its ingredients are chicken powder, fresh chicken, egg powder, and marine fish meal. Solid Gold is a cat food chosen by many cat parents. It is a grain-free formula and its protein is as high as 42%. It’s standard high-protein cat food, in short, is very cost-effective cat food.
Let’s see the ingredients.
The first few on the formula of Petcurean Go! are meat, of course, it contains a lot of the meat powder, and then there is boneless chicken, turkey, and other fresh meat ingredients with no grains, no animal by-products, no plant protein additives. It’s nutritionally balanced with salmon oil. The protein is as high as 46%. Thus it is very cost-effective cat food.
3. Nutro: $3.10 / lb
Let’s take a look at the ingredients. Mainly fresh meat and meat meal, but the ingredients still contain a certain amount of grains. And 36% of crude protein is still acceptable.
4. ACANA: $7.98 / Oz
It can be seen that the second and second ingredient is fresh meat, and the content is also very high. 75% of the raw meat, protein content is 37%, Omega6 accounts for 2.9%, and Omega3 accounts for 0.9%, which is very good.
5.Orijen: $6.75 / lb
The first few are fresh meat, eggs. 85% of meat content, much higher than ACANA. In many cat food evaluations, they are ranked highly.
Read this article, from the beginning to the here, you should be able to see a big gap. Enumerating the ingredients of cat food is not criticizing low-priced cat food, and touting high-priced cat food. It’s rationally discussing to show everyone the situation of cat food at various prices. After all, low-priced cat food also has its market, and it is impossible for everyone to be able to afford high-price cat food. To buy the best cat food for cats, we can only say that we do our best and give the cat the best staple food within the acceptable range. After all, your cat has entrusted his life to you, please make sure he can eat safely to accompany you for a long time.