There are many different types of cat food out there, and it’s definitely true that “no size fits all” in terms of diet for cats. There are some basic dietary requirements that we can generally say are a must for cats. The Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine website states:
“Cats are obligate carnivores, which means that they rely on nutrients found only in animal products. Cats evolved as hunters that consume prey that contains high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and their diet still requires these general proportions today.”
From birth to around five weeks of age we expect kittens to be feeding off their mother – this guide won’t cover hand-rearing kittens. Once they start on food, a good quality food is imperative, and we recommend Royal Canin Mother and Babycat wet food.
Adult cat food – non-prescription
There are numerous types of quality food that are recommended, from top tier (Royal Canin, Hills) to decent quality cheaper alternatives (examples). There are some brands that we strongly suggest avoiding, however, because they don’t contain the essential nutrients cats need, and can sometimes even result in health issues for cats (urinary crystals, etc.). Brands best avoided include some of the cheapest supermarket brands.
Adult cat food – prescription
Some cats require prescription diets due to certain health issues. Some examples of prescription diets include renal (for kidney health), urinary (for cats who have had urinary infections or crystals which can be deadly, diabetic, and anallergenic.
Many cat owners prefer to make up their own food for their cats. TBA
Changes in diet
Occasionally, you think you have a cat’s ideal diet figured out, but then they go off the food they’ve been eating, or the food stops being as effective as it was. In the case of one of our foster cats who has severe skin allergies, the typical brands you would try first didn’t work for her, so her foster carer has had to try a few different foods before she found the exact right mix to suit this cat and clear up her skin allergies.