Catalina Pet Hospital
A common question asked by cat parents is what food should they be feeding their cat. There is no one brand or type that is perfect or the best for all cats. Certain cats may have trouble with hairballs or have a sensitive stomach and therefore only do well on specific types of food. Some cats may have medical conditions such as kidney disease or urinary tract diseases that require prescription foods be fed. The aim of this blog is to help with making decisions on which food to buy for a normal, healthy adult cat, when confronted with all of the different types of available cat food at the pet store.
Most pet foods only show the % protein in an "as fed" basis on the food label. Usually this is okay if we are comparing dry foods to one another but it makes it difficult to compare a dry food to a type of canned food. To show how to covert from "as fed" to "dry matter", let's say the dry food label says 10% moisture, which means there is 90% dry matter (100 minus 10). If the label says there is 20% protein, we divide the 20 by 90 which equals 22% protein DM. If the canned food label says 80% moisture, meaning 20% DM (100 minus 80), then 10% protein as fed equals 50% protein DM (10 divided by 20). Although the dry food label said 20% protein and canned food listed 10% protein, there is actually 28% more protein in the canned food for this example.
If you decide to change your cat's food, it is best to do so slowly. One reason is to help prevent vomiting or diarrhea. Another reason is that some cats do not accept change easily and may go on hunger strike which can lead to its own health problems such as fatty liver disease. The switch from free feeding dry food to meal feeding canned food takes time since cats will object to not having food available at all times. If you decide to help your overweight cat lose weight, remember that a cat should not lose more than 1 to 2% of its body weight per week. Most cats need 150 - 200 calories per day. Although typical cat foods do not list the calories (kcal) on the label, usually you can find this information on the internet.
Remember to drop off your food donations to the PAWSitively CATS shelter at 3432 E Fort Lowell in Tucson, Monday through Saturday from 10am-2pm.