Saturday 6 August 2022

Best dry food for indoor cats?

This is a question on by a mum who has started to foster cats. Here is her question:

Hello, I've recently started fostering & have a neutered male who the vet thinks is about three. Because he's being fostered, he has to stay inside, so I'm making sure he gets as much exercise & entertainment as possible while he's here - climbing up to reach treats, jumping & chasing when we play with his toys, etc.

I've been giving him Go-Cat for indoor cats because that's what he was on when he came here, but a friend's just told me this is linked to UTIs. What would the Litter Tray experts recommend?
Image in public domain.

The answer has to be something like this:

Go-Cat is cheap and nasty. There is no effective difference in the dry cat food requirements of indoor or indoor/outdoor cats. The worst cat food is cheap dry cat food only 24/7. That is not good enough. There are stories of cats on cheap dry developing type 2 diabetes and then being cured entirely in time by going onto a canned food. These are normally obese, inactive indoor cats eating too much cheap dry. That is a bad combination.

RELATED: How much cat food by weight should I feed my adult cat daily?

High quality we cat food either commercially prepared or homemade raw must be the default food for all domestic cats but homemade raw requires real skill and knowledge of storing raw foods as there are risks with bacterial contamination and pathogens like Toxoplasma gondii. If you are good at homemade raw, I'd use it or at least test it. A lot of people say that it cures a lot of health issues such as diarrhea issues or gut issues. But it must be balanced with supplements and prepared and stored correctly. It is quite technical. Click this for some pointers.

RELATED: 3 diabetic cats cured with an exclusive wet cat food diet.

To this default food you can add a high quality dry for grazing at night. I use Hill's Dental Care. It is large kibble which is better for teeth cleaning. There is a big question mark over whether dry cleans teeth but if it is large there is chance that it does. 

But it should ideally be a secondary food. The wet is the default because it is more natural in terms of water content. It should have a high genuine meat content too. Insect based dry cat food is coming onto the market now and it looks good. That's natural too as a raw material as cats eat insects.

RELATED: Best cat food – informative overview discussion.

Even dry cat food made from plant material (plant protein) is okay in my book as the manufacturers add in supplements to ensure that it is fully balanced. Don't shy away from plant based dry cat food because you believe that they have to eat 'meat'. That is a fallacy. But don't try and turn your cat into a vegan or vegetarian either. That could be fatal.

RELATED: Auckland vegan cat owner says that her cat is healthier and happier on a vegan pet food diet.

A third type of food would be the occasional human food treat such as a chicken wing with bones. Dr Fogle DVM recommends that. I guess you could try it raw too. The bones clean the teeth. There is a slight risk with the bones but if Dr Fogle recommends it I'm okay with it too.

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