Choosing the best dry cat food for your furry friend can be a daunting task. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the right choice for your cat. Whilst we all know getting the right nutrition into your cat is vital and providing a complete diet rich in nutrients like taurine and arginine is essential, there is one thing that is just as important. You need to choose a dry cat food that your cat loves!
Sounds simple enough, doesn't it? Yeh, right!
We’re pretty sure that every cat owner you ask will tell you they’ve bought a bag of dry cat food that they are so sure their cat will love based on the company’s marketing, or based on the ingredients they read on the back of the pack, and then of course the cat takes one sniff and walks away. Or, they give you a false sense of security and eat it for a week then suddenly go off it and refuse to eat it ever again.
As much as we’d love to be fully in control of our cats’ diets, it’s simply not the case. So we’ve put together a list of things that contribute to making a dry cat food delicious so you can be sure you're buying a dry food cats love. Essentially, it’s a list of things that will increase your chances of finding the most tasty dry cat food you can! From the ingredients, to kibble size and recipes, you'll have your fussy cat gobbling up their dry cat food in no time.
Understanding your cat's nutritional needs
Before diving into what makes a dry cat food delicious, it's important to understand your cat's nutritional needs. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they require a diet that is high in protein and low in carbohydrates. A protein-rich diet helps maintain their lean muscle mass, supports growth and repair, and provides energy. Cats also require certain vitamins and minerals, such as taurine and vitamin A, which are essential for maintaining good health. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide on dry cat food including methods of making it and what to look out for on the ingredients list when selecting a new cat food.
How to read cat food labels
Understanding how to read cat food labels is crucial when it comes to choosing the best dry cat food for your furry friend. The ingredient list is a good place to start. Look for labels that list a named protein source as the first ingredient, such as chicken, turkey, or fish. This indicates that the food contains a high percentage of protein.
Also, pay attention to the order of the ingredients. Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, so the first few ingredients make up the bulk of the food. Ideally, you want to see a named protein source as the first ingredient, followed by other high-quality ingredients such as whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats.
Why the percentage of meat and fish matters
As obligate carnivores, cats require a diet that is high in protein, and dry cat food that is high in meat and fish is more likely to appeal to your cat's taste buds. Look for brands that have a high percentage of meat and fish, ideally over 65% as prepared. This will help ensure that your cat is getting the protein they need to thrive.
Cats are natural hunters, we’re all impressed when our cat catches that fly mid jump when we’ve been trying to swat it with a magazine for an hour! Or when they turn up at the door with a ‘gift’ in the form of a mouse or giant rat. In the wild, cats would eat their prey when it is still warm, which differs to dogs and wolves who store their food for later. Perhaps slightly gorey, but we mention this because it’s thought that because of this cats prefer dry cat food that has fresh meat and fish content in it. This is why the best tasting dry cat food generally is also the dry cat food with the highest meat content. For example, Tippaws Delicious Dry Food contains a minimum of 30% freshly prepared meat or fish in it.
The most appetising ingredients in dry cat food
While protein is essential for your cat's health, it's not the only factor that influences their preference for dry cat food. Cats are known for their picky eating habits, and some ingredients are more likely to appeal to their taste buds than others.
Think about what human food your cat likes and try dry cat foods that have them in it. For example, many cats enjoy the taste of fish, so look for brands that contain salmon, tuna, or other types of fish. Some cats also enjoy the taste of poultry, such as chicken or turkey. Look for brands that contain these ingredients as the first few ingredients on the list.
Cats also enjoy the taste of fat, so look for brands that contain healthy sources of fat, such as chicken fat or fish oil. These ingredients not only add flavour to the food but also provide important nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids. For example, cats go absolutely wild for Tippaws Salmon & White Fish dry food because it contains the purest and most delicious salmon oil that is worth of being in a salad dressing in any top restaurant.
Other ingredients like chicken liver gravy are great flavour enhancers (as you can imagine!) so are often in dry food cats love.
Why providing a variety of cat food recipes is important
Just like humans, cats can get bored with the same food every day. Providing a variety of dry cat food recipes can help keep your cat interested in their food. Look for brands that offer different recipes. For example, Tippaws Taster Packs have three recipes for your cat to try or you can set up a subscription that will allow you to swap recipes every few weeks or months. At Casa Tippaws, we always have three recipes on the go at once.
How to choose the best cat food for fussy or picky cats
Some cats are notoriously picky eaters and may turn their nose up at even the most appetising dry cat food. If your cat is a fussy eater, try offering them a variety of foods to see what they prefer. Some cats prefer wet food over dry food, while others prefer the opposite.
Cats love fresh meat and fish as this their ancestors would hunt prey and eat it while it was still warm. Although domestic cats have adapted to a commercial cat food diet very well, if you have a fussy cat, try them on a dry food that contains fresh chicken, fresh tuna or fresh salmon as it may trigger their natural hunting instinct and be very appealing to them.
You can also try adding a small amount of wet food to their dry food to make it more appealing. Experiment with different recipes and textures to see what your cat prefers. If your cat is still refusing to eat, consult with your vet to rule out any underlying health issues.
Some cats prefer smaller kibble and some prefer bigger kibble
Kibble size can also play a role in your cat's preference for dry cat food. Some cats prefer smaller kibble that is easier to eat, while others prefer larger kibble that they can crunch on. At Casa Tippaws, Maisie loves a crunch and Gus loves to swallow his Tippaws kibble whole, so it shows you every cat is different! If your cat has dental issues or is missing teeth, they may prefer smaller kibble that is easier to chew. In some cases, we find our customers prefer to give cats like this Tippaws Kitten Dry Food as the kibble is smaller.
How to get cats with dental issues or toothless cats to eat dry cat food
If your cat has dental issues or is missing teeth, they may have difficulty chewing dry cat food. However, there are ways to make dry cat food more appealing to them. One option is to moisten the food with a small amount of water or wet food to make it easier to chew.
You can also try offering your cat freeze-dried or dehydrated food, which is softer and easier to chew than traditional dry cat food. These types of foods are also more nutrient-dense, which can be beneficial for cats with dental issues. If in doubt, consult with your vet.
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Transitioning your cat to a new dry cat food brand
If you decide to switch your cat to a new dry cat food brand, it's important to do so gradually to avoid upsetting their digestive system. Start by mixing a small amount of the new food with their current food and gradually increase the amount over several days.
Monitor your cat's behaviour and litter tray habits during the transition period. If your cat experiences any digestive upset, such as vomiting or diarrhoea, slow down the transition process or consult with your vet.
Ingredients that are delicious but not always good for cats
One word: fat. Just like humans, cats love anything that is high in fat content. So you may find that your cat gobbles down a new kibble but then you look at the back of the pack and find out it's because the fat content is super high.
As with humans, fat is ok for cats in moderation but often we forget the proportion of fat we are feeding a cat in treats or food because we compare it to our own. A cat’s calorie requirements are very different from ours so what may seem like an innocent treat could be half of their daily maintenance calories. For example, we heard once that one portion size of one of the nation’s favourite cat treats contains 100 kcal which is around a third of an average cat’s daily calorie allowance. We’ll cover this topic in more detail in a future article.
Conclusion: choosing the best tasting dry cat food for your furry friend
Choosing the best dry cat food for your furry friend can be a challenge, but by understanding your cat's nutritional needs and preferences, you can make an informed decision and pick a dry food your cat will love. Consider your cat's taste preferences, and offer a variety of recipes to keep them interested in their food.
If your cat is a fussy eater or has dental issues, there are ways to make dry cat food more appealing to them. And if you decide to switch to a new brand, do so gradually to avoid upsetting your cat's digestive system.
By following these tips, you'll be able to choose the best tasting dry cat food for your furry friend, ensuring that they receive the nutrition they need to thrive.
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