What is the best cat food? This is a common question from people who are searching for solutions to ill health, who want the best for a new addition to the family, or who are on a health quest themselves.
Diet is the cornerstone of health. No-one will ever fare well on a species-inappropriate diet. This is a fact that is universal. It will never change. It is eternal.
That today is riddled with corporations convincing you of untruths simply to turn a profit will not overturn this fact. You may believe them, but your health, or that of your cat, will prove otherwise.
Many people are convinced their cat is doing just fine on dried or canned food. What they really mean is that their cat has not yet succumbed to a serious illness.
The reason for this is because everyone's body will do everything in its power to remain healthy even when their diet is wrong or deficient in nutrients. This means, ill health takes time to appear. Chronic diseases 'brew' for a long time before they are evident. And cats are very good at hiding their illnesses in the early stages.
Everyone was fine before their tumour appeared or their kidney failed or their liver gave out or they had a stroke.
So what is so wrong with commercial cat food?
Dried cat food is (obviously) low in water content. Much too low for cats.
Commercial cat food is too high in carbohydrates.
Commercial cat food is not high enough in quality animal based protein.
So let's look at each of these aspects in turn.
1. Cats' prey have all the liquid content a cat needs to stay healthy. This means cats don't drink much, naturally. Even cats who drink more with a dried food diet will rarely drink enough,perhaps half what they need. This means they are far more susceptible to kidney and bladder problems. Since cats are more prone to renal problems than any other, this alone shows you how unhealthy dried food is.
For inside cats, you can use the litter box as a guide. A properly hydrated cat will urinate more than a dehydrated cat. They are flushing their system out regularly.
2. Cats are carnivores. True carnivores. They are not omnivores or herbivores. They have evolved to consume meat, not carbohydrates. They may consume small amounts of carbohydrates, from the prey's stomach. But this will make up perhaps 1% of the diet. Not the 50 - 70% so common with commercial cat food.
Cats cannot assimilate such large amounts of carbohydrates that are found in commercial cat food. Their systems have not evolved to do so. A diet high in carbohydrates is one of the leading causes of diabetes in cats.
What is the best cat food for cats with diabetes? Can prescription diets help?
Bearing in mind the commercial cat food caused the disease, how likely is it that another similar diet will help them? The food will still contain a high carbohydrate content. It may still be dried. It is unlikely to contain quality animal protein, as that all goes to the more lucrative human market.
3. The meat that is contained in commercial cat food is either of poor quality (by-products such as hooves, intestines, heads or fat), or is out of natural balance. Muscle meat should make up a much higher proportion to organ meat, but as muscle meat commands a higher price in the human market, this doesn't happen.
Problems cats face when fed diets high in carbohydrates and low in animal protein (in terms of quality or balance) are problems in the renal, bowel, liver and respiratory systems as well as obesity, cancer, leukemia, etc.
So what is the best cat food for cats who now suffer with chronic disease? It's the same one that will prevent such diseases. It's the one they evolved on. Naturally healthy cats, fed a species-specific diet, are far more resistant to chronic disease than those who are fed commercial cat food. They are also able to return to good health, to recover from a serious chronic disease.