Learn What Those Confusing Cat Food Labels Really Mean, And Protect Your Pet

Source: Twitter/LydiaCoutre Ozzy the cat loves peaches, as you can see.
Source: Twitter/LydiaCoutre
Ozzy the cat loves peaches, as you can see.

Foods that are healthy for cats

If a cat lingering near the dinner table makes you feel even the slightest bit guilty, you’re not alone. Many people feed their felines scraps from the table, but not everyone understands what might be inviting potential health issues.

There’s no need to worry. Plenty of human foods are healthy for cats, too.

  • Cooked meat – If you aren’t letting your cat catch its prey outdoors, you may as well feed them meat inside. Cats love eating meat, and it provides a number of distinct benefits, not the least of which is a ling and healthy life, a strong heart, and good eyesight. Of course, you must always make sure it’s cooked!
  • Whole grains – Whole grains like corn, brown rice, and barley contain protein, which cats need to thrive. More over, the texture will help them clean their teeth while they eat, and maintain good dental health.
  • Fish – Packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, cooked fish can help improve your cat’s ocular health. According to WebMD, an occasional fish filet can help stave off arthritis, kidney disease, and heart disorders, as well.
  • Fruits & vegetables – Some cats are picky about their ruffle, but a curious few find the dd broccoli stalk or pumpkin puree quite delicious. Experiment with your pet to see what’s a good fit, but make sure you leave onions or garlic aside.

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Source: Pexels Do you know what the label on your cat's food means?
Source: Pexels
Do you know what the label on your cat’s food means?

How to read a cat food label

There are three parts to most cat food labels: an ingredients list, a laboratory-backed guarantee, and a definition of nutritional standards set by Association of American Feed Control Officials.

The first part is easy enough for anyone to understand. If it isn’t, it may not be the right food for your pet. Ingredients that make up the most of the food are listed first. According to Nutro, if the first listed ingredient is chicken, the food will consist primarily of chicken, which is a good sign. You always want real meat in your feline’s food.


Source: Pexels Understanding what you feed your cat can go a long way to keeping it healthy.
Source: Pexels
Understanding what you feed your cat can go a long way to keeping it healthy.

Laboratory guarantees are just as important, but perhaps less decipherable to the average pet owner. A guaranteed analysis indicates “the minimum and/or maximum percentage of nutrients in a food,” Nutro maintains, which could include protein, fat, fiber and moisture.

AAFCO Cat Food Nutrient Profiles explain the standards for different types of pet food. While some kinds of cat food are formulated for growing kittens, others may be for active adults, or gestating mothers. Each has its own nutrient profile, as set by officials with the Association of American Feed Control.

Click the button blelow to learn the foods your cat needs to survive

Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.

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