Recommendations on healthy cat food?

  • The cat food available in stores have a bad reputation. What reasonably priced food can I purchase that is truly healthy for my cats without breaking the bank? 

  • Hi Margaret, 

    Since cats fall under the order of Carnivora, they are strict carnivores. Their behaviour, anatomy, physiology and metabolism depend on it. So from a nutrition standpoint, these evolutionary adaptations require cats to eat foods high in protein and lower in carbohydrates. Cats cannot easily digest carbohydrates but do require some for digestion. While choosing the right one for your cat (without breaking the bank) just be sure to look at the ingredients listed. There should be one or more proteins listed first, with little carbohydrates added and followed with the essential fats, amino acids, minerals and vitamins.
    Keep in mind, most pet foods sold in stores must adhere to labeling requirements of the country where it is sold. 
    It is recommended to try and keep your price range within the "medium area". Generally, the higher priced foods are placed on the shelves at eye level, medium priced ones are placed just below, and the cheaper are on the lowest level. Most cheaper foods available contain a lot of filler and unnecessary adjectives - thus leading into major health ailments later in life. 

  • I have had the vet check her labs, they are good,however she is skinny.  I can see her hips and her belly is sunkin in. Is there food that will put a little weight on her? She is spade. 

  • Hi there Maggie and thanks for this new question.

    I am Linda, a small animal vet with 10 years of experience.


    Some cats are naturally slender, but if her Body Condition Score is less than 4 out of 9, I agree having her checked was wise.

    Some medical issues causing cats to be skinny are not easily diagnosed (e.g. IBD or food allergies, particularly if she is less than 5). As well as a blood test, I'd consider a stool analysis, abdominal imaging and perhaps gut biopsies. This is especially true if she has other signs such as vomiting and diarrhoea.


    Do ensure she is up to date with a broad acting wormer such as Panacur.


    Food wise, certain medical issues would require certain diets. For example, if she has a food allergy, she might need a hydrolysed (hypoallergenic) diet.


    For simply putting weight on in a cat who has no medical issues, we should go for high calorie diets like Hills a/d.

    It can be wise to feed little and often.

    We can add small amounts of high fat food, like salmon oil, to meals.

  • @Nicole Van Andel 

    I have a kitten.  I serve her IAMS Probiotic for kittens.  What do you think about IAMS dry food?  If I don't get someone to help me choose, I guess when she becomes a 1-year old, I'll start her on the IAMS dry food for adults.

  • Will someone please help me choose a cat litter?  I don't like unnatural stuff, including fake disgusting fragrance.

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