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Cat food is the basis for your cat's health. Good food, made from healthy ingredients, helps ensure a healthy cat. Cat food comes in dry, wet or semi-moist forms. What you choose depends on your catís age, health, and temperament. Regardless of the type of food, ensure that it provides your cat with proper nutrition.
Cats are carnivores by nature, meaning they need animal proteins to stay healthy. Ingredients are listed on cat food labels the same way they are on human food labels: in order of weight. Be sure the cat food you select contains proteins such as meat, egg, or fish as one of the first ingredients listed. Many bargain brands of cat food list "meat by-products" which are not the same thing as meat. Meat by-products include intestines such as the lungs and spleen, as well as blood and bones of slaughtered animals. Look for cat food that contains actual meat, since this is healthier for your cat.
Dry food can be the easiest to store and feed your cat, and is often the least expensive type of cat food. Some cats prefer canned food, which is easier to chew and can be easier to digest than dry food. Many canned foods have a very high concentration of water, so be aware that your cat may not receive all the nutrients he needs from canned food alone. On the other hand, the high water content in canned food helps ensure proper hydration. Most cats benefit from a mix of either canned or semi-moist food along with some dry food, since dry foods are important for your cat's dental health. Chewing dry kibble helps reduce plaque buildup on your cat's teeth and gums. Be aware that some dry cat food may contain high levels of magnesium, which may contribute to Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD). Some cat food manufacturers produce specifically-formulated foods to promote urinary tract health in cats.
While eating the same food every day may seem boring to humans, cats thrive on a consistent diet. Normal bacteria in your catís digestive system are important for his health. Changing foods can upset the balance of bacteria, causing intestinal problems. If you choose to alter your cat's diet, do so gradually. Mix a small amount of the new cat food into the food your cat normally eats, and increase the amount of new while decreasing the old over a period of several days.