A nutritional diet plays a huge role in our cat’s overall health, so when it comes to the best vet recommended dry cat food we asked for a veterinarian’s advice.
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A healthy diet has been linked to the prevention of disease, improved digestion, increased energy, and longer and healthier lifespans. Your cat’s diet can truly pave the way to a healthy future, so how do you know which diets are recommended for optimal health?
Veterinarians often see the aftermath of a poor diet in the sick patients that walk through their clinic doors.
I spoke in-depth with Dr. Sabrina Kordis, a Veterinarian who works in emergency medicine and asked her to help me put together a list of veterinarian trusted dry cat food.
First, let’s discuss diet fundamentals.
What ingredients should you look for in a kibble?
The most important ingredient to look for in a dry kibble is the source of protein.
Cats are obligate carnivores, which means they rely entirely on foods filled with high protein from animal tissues. Our feline friends actually need more protein in their diet than the average house pet, including dogs!
Some of the reasons why they need meat-based proteins include:
- Cats rely on protein to build and repair skin, fur, nails, and muscles.
- Of the 20 amino acids needed for normal body function, cats must get 11 of these amino acids from protein in their diet.
- Cats utilize protein as their primary energy source.
- A cat’s metabolism breaks down amino acids at a higher rate than most animals and requires more protein in their diet because of this.
If you are ever confused about the current diet your cat is consuming, you can always take the bag to your regular vet, and ask if the ingredients are suitable for overall health.
How do you know your cat’s diet has adequate sources of protein?
Any diet can advertise having a great source of protein, so how do you know if that’s really true? Below, we’ll discuss a few tips and tricks to help you determine if dry cat food is suitable or not.
- If a cat food contains high amounts of grains and soy, there’s a large chance that most of its protein comes from plant sources rather than animal-based sources.
- Make sure the first ingredients are actual meat sources such as chicken, lamb, fish, etc.
- Search for terms like “poultry meal” and “fish meal.” This tells you that the protein has been processed or mixed with something else. If the first source of protein is an altered protein, you do not want that.
What are some signs of poor nutrition in cats?
Now that we’ve discussed the importance of protein in a cat’s diet, it’s important to understand the signs of a feline friend that may not be receiving the proper nutrition they need.
Some signs of an improper diet include:
- A hair coat that appears dull and rough, often lacking shine
- Skin disorders such as dry and flaky skin, skin irritation, and hair loss
- Changes in the stool such as loose stool, diarrhea, or even constipation
- Sudden changes in body weight
- Loss in appetite
If your furry friend is experiencing any of the symptoms above, they may not be receiving what they need in a diet.
It’s time to take your cat and their bag of food to the vet and get an opinion if this could be related to their current food.
Best Vet Recommended Cat Foods
With all the diets on the market, there are a few that stand out to veterinary professionals. These diets have proven to provide cats with proper nutrients and promote overall health and vitality.
We’ll discuss these cat foods below in detail, but here are the brands that are vet recommended at a glance:
- Royal Canin
- Science Diet
- Purina Pro Plan
Vet’s Choice for Best Dry Cat Food: Royal Canin
Royal Canin is an exceptional brand that offers veterinary prescription and retail foods. They work hard to provide specialized options for the array of cats you may have in your home.
They have diets for indoor cats, specialty breeds, kittens, overweight cats, and cats with sensitive stomachs.
No matter the cat in your home, we are confident that you can find a Royal Canin diet that fits their needs.
Out of each diet that is offered in stores, Royal Canin is our favorite. Working in an animal hospital setting, Royal Canin is always a hit among patients. When offered a buffet of options, they always dive into the Royal Canin diet first.
Science Diet is another brand of food that offers prescription and retail food options. They offer options for indoor cats, overweight cats, urinary health, kittens, and even a more natural option.
Science Diet has been around for quite some time and was one of the first diets to make their way into the veterinary prescription food world. Because of its history, this brand is trusted among veterinary professionals and pet owners.
Iams cat kibble has several options tailored for specific life stages and activity levels in our feline friends.
Though it may not be as “high quality” as diets such as royal canin and science diet, it is still a great option for those who are on more of a budget.
Cat owners who switched from lower-class cat food to Iams noticed an increased shine in their coats, regulated bowel movements, and less occurrence of hairballs around the house.
Iams is considered the next best option in retail food after Royal Canin and Science Diet.
Purina Pro Plan
Purina Pro Plan was the first diet created by Purina that featured real meat as it’s first ingredients.
With meat as the first ingredient, it offers a reliable source of protein. It also includes beneficial nutrients and minerals for coat and skin health.
This line of cat food also promotes various areas of health, such as probiotics for gut health, one that lowers urinary PH for urinary health, a lower calorie option for weight loss, and a diet that is formulated for senior pets.
Check Purina Pro Plan on Amazon
How to Choose a Healthy Cat Food by Aspen Grove Veterinary Care:
The vet professionals at Fort Collin’s Aspen Grove Veterinary Care recommend choosing cat foods that are:
- AAFCO approved
- Contain high-quality ingredients
- Backed by reputable and transparent manufacturers
Summary: Best Vet Recommended Cat Food Brands
Overall, there are some great options for dry cat kibble at your local pet stores that fit your cat’s dietary needs.
- Royal Canin
- Science Diet
- Purina Pro Plan
Each brand is on the AAFCO approved cat food list because they provide species-appropriate balanced nutrition.
Make sure to take a look at the ingredients of the current dry cat food you are feeding your furry friend, and see if it fits their nutritional needs. If not, you know where to turn!
Read more about cat food and cat nutrition here:
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