"Cat food" is at the top of your shopping list because your kitty will not be happy if you forget it. But there you are, in the pet shop. Junior. Sterilized. Indoor. Do the many choices of cat food make your head spin? We get it. You can get solid advice about which food is best to choose from the in-store specialist, and of course from us below.
Different cats have different nutritional needs. These need depends on the age, time of year, gender, and whether or not they have been neutered or spayed ... A good cat food offers your cat the right nutrients at the right time, in the right proportion.
Which nutrients does cat food need to have?
Nutrients are substances that are essential for the growth, development and further strengthen all organisms. Plants obtain nutrients from the air and soil. Animals need food for this. And food contains six essential nutrients:
- Proteins, fats and carbohydrates give animals the energy they need to live. Proteins are essential building blocks for the production of antibodies, enzymes and hormones and to maintain a good pH balance. Proteins are the main source of energy for your cat. That's why your purring companion needs a lot of them. Fats also provide some essential elements for building the body. And carbohydrates are where your cat gets sugar.
- Vitamins and minerals: your cat cannot produce these itself, so it has to get them from its diet. Vitamins and minerals must be perfectly balanced, so that your cat's body continues to function properly.
- Water is also a nutrient and animals can't live without it. Cats aren't big drinkers by nature. You should therefore occasionally encourage them to drink, especially if they eat dry cat food.
Which nutrients at what age?
Do you have a cute young kitten? Then your playful fluffy friend has to grow a lot and therefore needs extra calories. At the same time, kittens have a greater need for important vitamins, minerals and amino acids (and more proteins in general) than mature cats. Kittens that only eat food for adult cats therefore risk not getting enough nutrients.
Isn't it a simpler choice then to feed kitten food to cats when they're adults? No, mainly because of the higher calorie content. As a result, your adult cat can become a fat cat, in the literal sense, a problem many cats face. And once the extra pounds are there, it is very difficult to get rid of them! Better to prevent your cat from looking like the cat that got the cream (truly) than having to help your cat cut back on cat food.
In addition, older cats also need an adjusted diet, because age can come with all kinds of ailments. For example, many cats suffer from diabetes, often caused by obesity. Diet is crucial to treating your sweet pussy cat's diseases.
And what about spayed or neutered cats?
Spayed and neutered cats are hungrier due to an altered hormone balance. In other words, if you give them regular cat food, they eat more and the food contains too much energy, which increases the risk of obesity.
Specialized cat food is therefore also the best choice for spayed and neutered cats. It contains less fats and more fiber, so that your cat feels full faster. That's why you also give your indoor cat adapted food. It probably moves less, takes more cat naps, and therefore burns fewer calories.