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6 FAQs about cat food types

This information is meant as a guideline only. If your cat has any specific health problems or if you are in any doubt over the feeding requirements MedicAnimal recommends that you consult your veterinarian.

What kind of food should I feed my cat?

When deciding on what food to feed your cat, consider the cat’s age, body composition, sex, temperament and activity level. In general, feeding a healthy diet which contains high quality ingredients will be beneficial to your cat. Your cat's diet needs to include the right balance of the six major nutrient groups; proteins, fats & oils, minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates and water. Any, good quality, manufactured, complete pet food should provide your cat with this basic nutritional balance.  

Should I avoid economy brands of cat food?

As with many consumer products, you get what you pay for when it comes to cat foods. Economy brands of cat food are made from the cheapest ingredients available, as such; they are not as beneficial for your cat. Their energy values are lower, their proteins are lower-grade, and they contain higher levels of "filler" ingredients. Therefore, much of the food passed through your cat cannot be digested and absorbed.

What are the benefits of premium brands of cat food?

Premium brands use higher quality ingredients from sources with higher biological values. Because better quality ingredients mean better digestibility, your cat does not need to eat as much as he produces less waste.

Is dry cat food better than wet cat food?

Dry cat food has definite benefits over wet food; it easier to store and serve has fewer odours than wet food and is more hygienic and less likely to spoil when left in the cats bowl. Dry food also benefits the cat by reducing the build up of tartar when chewing and is often less expensive than wet food. Tinned food may be beneficial for cats that need to increase their water intake as it contains higher water content. If in doubt, always ask your veterinarian.

Can I mix dry cat food with wet cat food?

It is not advisable to mix wet and dry food if you are feeding your cat a special diet, especially if he is on a dental diet and therefore requires dry food or a cat on a urinary diet would likely require wet foods with higher water content. Always consult your veterinarian for advice regarding the best diet choice for your cat.  

Can i feed dog food to my cat?

Dog food does not provide the nutrients required by cats. Eating a little bit of dog food won't kill a cat, but a cat fed exclusively on dog food can go blind and can develop a heart condition, called feline dilated cardiomyopathy.Cats require taurine and this is something that cannot be found at high enough levels in dog food. Taurine supplements have been added to commercial cat foods for several years for the following reasons:

  • Taurine is essential for the proper development and function of cells in the retina of the eye. If insufficient taurine is present, the retinal cells don't function properly and may die, eventually causing impaired vision and even blindness. This process is referred to as feline central retinal atrophy degeneration.

  • Taurine is also necessary for normal function of the heart muscle cells. Taurine deficiency leads to weakening of the heart muscle, which in turn can lead to heart failure. This condition is known as dilated cardiomyopathy and can be fatal.

  • Taurine is necessary for optimal reproductive and growth performance. Both the queen and kittens must maintain adequate taurine levels during pregnancy, lactation and growth to ensure proper structural development.