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What are the Different Types of Cat Food?

Dry food is usually the least expensive type of cat food.
The age and health of a cat should be considered when buying cat food.
Finding the right kind of cat food can help prevent digestive issues.
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  • Written By: J.Gunsch
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 01 September 2014
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Today, there are hundreds of brands of cat food products on the market, which can make providing the best nutrition for your cat a little confusing. The different types are endless, with variations in texture, nutritional value, flavor, and dietary needs. Choosing the right food for your cat depends mostly on your pet's age, health and personal preferences.

There are three major textures in cat food; dry, moist, and canned or "wet." Dry food, also called kibble, is hard and crunchy. It is usually the least expensive, but it is often snubbed by finicky eaters, which many cats are.

Moist food resembles the dry kibbles, but it is soft and chewy. This type is usually acceptable to most cats. Wet cat food, packaged in cans or foil packets, is available in chunks with sauce or as a ground consistency. Some cats will only eat this type of food.

Not all cat food is created equal. Cats are carnivores, which means that their natural diet consists exclusively of meat. Some types of cat food contain less meat than they should in order to make a little go a long way. A good product will list meat as the first ingredient rather than corn products. You should also look for a food that has low ash content, as this helps to prevent urinary tract infections and urinary blockages in males.

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Cat food comes in a variety of different flavors. Dry, wet and moist varieties are all available in seafood, lamb, beef and poultry flavors. There are also combinations, such as chicken and lamb or lamb and beef. Some cats are really picky about the flavors of their food, so don't be surprised if a certain flavor is snubbed.

There are many brands of cat food that cater to the special dietary needs of cats. Some is designed for different age groups, with higher caloric content for kittens and low mineral content for seniors. Kidney disease is very common for felines, and you can find food to protect urinary health and prevent kidney problems, as well as food designed for cats that already suffer from kidney failure. There are also prescription foods that cater to many specific health problems affecting cats, like heart disease, diabetes, fur balls, and immune deficiencies, among others.

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Discuss this Article

anon72001
Post 6

Urinary tract problems occur in cats due mostly to insufficient intake of water. Cats were originally desert animals and got their water from their prey. When we feed a dry diet to a cat that doesn't drink enough water urinary problems occur. Ideally feed a mixture of both.

anon40976
Post 5

how long does home-made cat food last when preserved in sterile jars?

Crystal1
Post 4

Desperately need to know what brands of "moist" cat food is available in Florida. Please, it's so important, my cat had dental work and she can't chew the dry and would rather starve than eat canned. Please hurry, if you can help. Thanks, from me and from Crystal, age 19 and the best friend I've ever had.

anon7444
Post 3

Where can I purchase moist cat food (the equivalent of Tender Vittles) in the US?

anon5023
Post 2

I have been feeding my cat for almost 7 years on a pouch cat food. The last I bought was so different, The seafood were too big chunks. & the beef, chicken & turkey are too small. My cats is turning his nose up on it. I'm going to have buy other brands hopefully he will eat it. Thank you. Mrs M.McAngus

anon3502
Post 1

after my cats were neutered (I've got one male and one female) I was told to give them only kibble for sterilized cats, not canned cat food, else they would develop urinary problems. Is this true?

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