Showing posts with label high quality dry cat food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label high quality dry cat food. Show all posts

Saturday 2 September 2023

Is there a high-quality cat food I can give my cat to reduce shedding?

Ragdoll groomed during the shedding season. Image in public domain.

Conventional response to the question

While there is no cat food that can completely eliminate shedding, you can choose high-quality cat foods that can help reduce excessive shedding and promote healthy skin and coat. Here are some factors to consider when selecting cat food to help with shedding:
  1. Look for foods with a high-quality protein source: Cats are obligate carnivores, so their diet should primarily consist of animal-based protein. Foods with high-quality protein sources like chicken, turkey, or fish can promote healthy skin and coat.
  2. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids: These essential fatty acids are crucial for skin and coat health. Foods containing fish oil, flaxseed, or other sources of these fatty acids can help reduce shedding and improve coat quality.
  3. Limited fillers and carbohydrates: Avoid cat foods that have excessive fillers and carbohydrates, as they may not provide the essential nutrients your cat needs for optimal coat health. Look for foods with a lower carbohydrate content.
  4. Nutrient balance: Ensure that the cat food you choose is balanced and meets the nutritional needs of your cat. High-quality commercial cat foods are typically formulated to provide the right balance of vitamins and minerals.
  5. Avoid artificial additives: Some artificial additives and preservatives may contribute to skin and coat issues. Opt for cat foods with natural ingredients and minimal additives.
  6. Consult your veterinarian: If your cat's shedding is excessive or if you're concerned about their coat health, it's a good idea to consult your veterinarian. They can recommend specific cat foods or dietary supplements tailored to your cat's needs.
Remember that genetics, age, and environmental factors can also influence shedding, so even with the best diet, some shedding may still occur. Regular grooming, such as brushing your cat's fur, can also help reduce shedding by removing loose hair and preventing matting.

Comment on the above

I feel it necessary to comment on the above which, by the way, is a conventional answer taken from sources on the Internet. I think, to be fair, you will find some websites being a little overoptimistic about the prospect of a certain cat food reducing the shedding of fur from a domestic cat.

Why should I say this? Because it is entirely natural for a domestic cat to shed fur when there's more light not, by the way when it is warmer. It is light which dictates when and how much a domestic cat sheds.

Some people believe that seasonal temperature changes dictates when a domestic cat sheds but my reference book written by four distinguished veterinarians tell me that "shedding is influenced more by changes in ambient light. The more exposure to natural light, the greater the shedding. This applies to both neutered and intact cats."

I guess, on that basis, if you kept your cat in a darkened room they wouldn't shed! But that's entirely impractical and cruel. Cats kept indoors full-time exposed to constant light may shed lightly and grow a new coat year-round.

But the point here is that it is a natural process and so feeding high-quality cat food with the intention of reducing this natural process is not going to produce a dramatic change. There might be a slight improvement partly because good quality cat food would improve the overall condition of the cat including the condition of the skin and it makes the skin more supple and the hair strands softer and silkier.

Breeds

I have said it before but I will say again briefly. There are no cat breeds (except hairless!) or individual cats who don't shed fur. All domestic cats of whatever cat breed shed fur because, as stated, it is a natural process. I wouldn't believe what you read on the Internet about certain breeds not shedding fur. They are not really true.

The hairless cats don't shed hair because they don't have any real hair except for a downy coating and so you won't have the problems of shedding hair but you will have other problems of keeping the skin of the hairless cat clean and in good condition.

Saturday 6 August 2022

Best dry food for indoor cats?

This is a question on Mumnet.com 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.

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Black cat's eyes spell FOOD

Clever and observant this makes an interesting cat image. It works really well. It's made better by the abstract shape of the black cat. The eyes are perfect for this photo-editing. Someone will 'steal' the photo for a website about cat food :) 

Cat food is a big subject but surprisingly most cat owners are disinterested in learning about it. I think this is because they rely on the manufacturers to get it right. They generally trust them and always buy the same foods. It does pay, though, to do some research. The best cat foods are as expensive as human foods! That's what I think. I also think that the pet food manufacturers are playing on our emotional connection to our cat. We'll do anything for our cat companion even spend more than we should on food.

The worst kind of cat food is cheap dry cat food. Don't use it exclusively. High quality dry cat food is okay I believe as long as you also provide high quality wet and make sure that they eat it. This may mean covering the dry as it can addictive due to the 'meat digest' that they spray on the tasteless product to make it palatable. This is addictive stuff they spray on. It certainly is for my cat. They are a bit tricky the pet food manufacturers. They want us to buy their dry foods and they achieve that goal through our cats by getting them hooked on the stuff.

Photo: Reddit.com.

Monday 15 February 2021

Is dry cat food cheaper than wet cat food?

I am going to have to take a guess at this. Let's call it a guesstimate based upon lots of experience. It is difficult to be precise because there are many variables such as the quality of cat food which does very considerably as we know. It is probable that the price per kilogram of dry cat food is similar to the price per kilogram of wet cat food of the same quality. In this discussion the context is the UK.

Dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food of the same quality because there is les waste
Dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food of the same quality because there is les waste.  Image: MikeB based on images from Pixabay (copyright free).



Alhtough it is hard to make that assertion because it is difficult to compare quality. However, I believe it is a fair starting point. The big factor in working out whether dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food is how much waste a cat owner has in respect of dry and wet foods.

It is probably accepted by nearly everyone that is far more likely that you will waste some wet cat food compared to dry cat food. In my estimation, across the board, on average, cat owners probably throw away about 25% of the wet cat food that they buy for their cat. It goes into the waste bin or it feeds the local fox. Although foxes are not that keen on thrown-away cat food in my opinion and my experience.

So this last factor in the calculation swings the result towards dry cat food being cheaper than wet cat food. This is because you simply do not waste any dry cat food, also in my experience. Yes, dry cat food does go off eventually but it can remain in the bowl for long enough for it to be fully eaten without any wastage whatsoever.

It comes down the wastage; the wastage factor is the key factor in this calculation. In the UK, it seems that both wet and dry cat food costs about £5-£6 per kilogram. I'm referring to decent quality food. It's expensive in the UK. One reason why you don't want to waste it. But it is difficult not to because domestic cats can be quite pernickety and picky.

They might give you the impression that they are hungry and then they turn their noses up and walk away from the bowl. They will have their favourites but they will go off their favourites for a while. You have to provide variation. Or they will eat part of the food offered. These are reasons why you end up with some waste. In hot climates wet cat food can go off and become inedible for a cat within an hour or so.

If you make a mistake about whether your cat is hungry or not the whole bowl of food can go into the bin. Perhaps I've been generous in favour of wet cat food when I say that 25% of it is wasted. Or perhaps in some households they will say that they never waste any of it. Like I said I have to rely on a guesstimate and my own experience.

My conclusion is that dry cat food is cheaper than wet cat food on a price per meal basis. That does not mean that cat owners should rely exclusively on dry cat food. I think by now, or I hope by now, that cat owners realised that the better cat food is high quality wet but dry can be used for night-time grazing which is what I do. The reason: wet is more natural and mirrors the standard prey of the domestic cat, the mouse in containing around 70-80% water. Cats needs that. They don't make it up in drinking more.

As an aside, if you don't like your cat bringing back live or dead mice or birds then a study encourages cat owners to provide their cat with the highest possible wet cat food with meat protein and without grain. This may curb your cat's hunting instincts. It is suggested in the study that protein from plants in cat food lacks certain micronutrients which the domestic cat tries to make up by hunting and eating mice and other small mammals and birds. They need that meat protein or cat food based on plant-proteins with these additional micronutrients added as a supplement. Further work is being carried out on that.

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