Choosing the Right Cat Food

Cats require a diet that suits their nutritional needs, and for Fish and Chips it was especially important to us as they expend a lot of energy on our adventures. It was vital to choose a food that adequately and safely supports their lifestyle while also being easy to pack along. With so much conflicting information about recalls and differing points of view about what truly is “safe,” it’s understandable that finding a great food isn’t as simple as it sounds. The team at thought so too, so they opted to analyze over 1,700 cat food formulas to find which work the best for our pets. Interestingly enough, it’s not as black-and-white as “good” food and “bad” food. Their team determined a few great questions to ask yourself as you navigate your options:

Is meat the first ingredient?

Experts report that cats are carnivores, meaning that their diet must be high in protein to sustain their health. On the back of cat food packages, you’ll find the ingredient list, sorted in order from highest content by weight to lowest (in other words, the first ingredient is what there’s most of in the food). Opt for a formula that lists meat as their first ingredient AND indicates which meat it is — no mystery meat, please! This will ensure that your pet is getting high-quality protein from an identifiable source.

Are artificial ingredients, preservatives, and dyes okay?

This can be a confusing question, as many ingredients are known to be “controversial” in nature, and not necessarily outright “good” or “bad.” Many formulas include these ingredients which may mean unhealthy and potentially dangerous side effects for felines. Exposure to these ingredients is not worth the risk when there are healthy alternatives available. Here is a great visual of what to avoid:

What about brands with recalls, quality and customer complaints?

This is a complex question to answer, as “quality” of a brand or their manufacturing processes can be hard to determine. Look for these indicators of questionable manufacturing:

  • Manufacturer not identifiable. Cat foods should list their manufacturer as a simple display of transparency. If you can’t find out who makes the food, you can’t know for sure that they’re making it in a safe and healthy way.
  • Manufacturer outside of the US, Canada, and New Zealand. These countries have strict quality laws in place, so opt for foods from these sources if possible.
  • High complaint numbers, or complaints not being addressed properly. Does the company have no easy way to report complaints? This is another big red flag.
  • History of controversy or recalls. Are there recent lawsuits or other allegations against the company? Check out this site to stay up-to-date with recent recalls here

After asking yourself these questions, it should be easier to find a food to suit your kitty’s needs. For any questions, consult your veterinarians. To see which formulas recommends, and to read more about cat food, take a look here: