If you’re unsure of which brand of cat food to feed your furry friend, it’s always best to ask a veterinarian for advice. In general; however, pet care experts typically recommend choosing a brand name, rather than a generic or store brand. Although these less expensive brands may seem like a good deal, independent analyses have shown that they may not contain the nutrients they claim to. Additionally, it’s best to be consistent with your cat’s meals; avoid switching brands often.

Types

The two basic types of cat food are dry and canned. In general, veterinarians recommend feeding your cat dry food, rather than canned. This is because dry food is healthier for a cat’s teeth and gums. However, it’s acceptable to give your cat small amounts of canned food to supplement his or her dry food. In fact, your veterinarian may recommend doing so if your cat’s water intake is low; canned food will help supplement his or her water intake.

Ingredients

To compare different cat foods, examine their labels. Your vet might recommend choosing a brand that advertises a single ingredient or combined ingredients. Legally, the manufacturer is required to formulate the food so that it contains at least 95 percent of that ingredient or combined ingredients (i.e., chicken or chicken and beef). The main ingredient should be some form of animal protein because cats are carnivores. Most cat foods also contain carbohydrates in the form of grains. These are easily digestible for cats; however, you can consult your vet if you prefer to feed your cat a low-carb diet.

Considerations

If your cat is overweight or has a medical issue, your vet may recommend feeding him or her a certain brand and amount of food. If your cat is following a prescribed diet, avoid changing it without consulting a vet first. Additionally, before selecting a cat food, make sure it is appropriate for your cat’s stage of life. Cat foods are often formulated for kittens, adult cats, and senior cats.