How to Choose a Healthy Cat Food

Learn to read a cat food label. Choosing a healthy cat food starts with understanding a cat's nutritional needs, and how to read a food label. We can help make sense of an ingredient panel and unravel the mysteries of a cat's feeding behaviors.

Look for high-quality proteins. Because cats are obligate carnivores, they need nutrients that are generally only found in meat, like taurine, certain essential fatty acids and fully-formed vitamin A (unlike most mammals, cats can't synthesize vitamin A from beta carotene).

Choose digestible carbohydrates in proper proportion. While cats don't have a nutritional requirement for carbohydrates, they can use them if they are highly digestible. If a cat food contains a carbohydrate, as all dry foods must, it should be a high quality source. Cooked rice and barley are examples of good sources of carbohydrates for cats.

Be mindful of moisture. Because cats are desert creatures, they have a tendency to not drink as much water as they should, in favor of getting their requisite moisture from the food they eat. A cat's diet in the wild would be approximately 78% moisture, while a dry cat food is only about 10% moisture. If a cat is fed only dry food, he may be chronically dehydrated. Canned and raw foods are about 78% moisture, and may help to reduce the health effects associated with chronic low-level dehydration.

Mud Bay stands by every food and supply we stock. If for any reason you, your dog or your cat isn't completely happy with something you've bought at Mud Bay, please bring it back. We'll trade it out for something that may work better, or simply refund your money.