The debate over whether dry cat food is harmful has been going on for decades. Despite the spreading stories about how painfully animals die that have eaten dried granules for several years, the range of ready-made meals is only increasing. So is it worth giving your pet potentially dangerous food, or are stories spread on the Internet nothing more than a myth?
What granular feed consists of
Cats adapt very well to their environment. In the wild, they can eat raw fish, small animals (and directly with the skin, bones) and even grass. However, the difference between pets is that they can not independently regulate their diet. The owner should be responsible for a balanced diet.
Ready dry feeds are attractive precisely because they contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, trace elements. Some people may think that granules are only ground and highly compressed offal. But really high-quality feeds (they are usually referred to as super-premium class) are made from completely natural meat, which is dried and ground into powder. As additional additives, dried vegetables, herbs, grains, and legumes are usually used. But budget food from unscrupulous manufacturers may consist of:
- flavor enhancers;
- gluten free cheap crops.
Many veterinarians who collect statistics say that thousands of cats that eat high-quality dry food live a healthy life. As well as thousands of cats that ate poor-quality canned food or what was left “off the table”, the owners suffered from diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, bladder.
Important! When reading negative reviews of veterinarians about dry food, you need to understand that in most cases it refers to budget brands.
In fact, the body of healthy cats well perceives both canned and dry food (provided that the main ingredients are of an equally high quality).
Dry Food Diseases
The myth that dry cat food is very harmful appeared due to a large number of concomitant diseases. Sometimes veterinary care is required even for those pets who for several years ate only high-quality granules. Most often, the following diseases are detected in cats:
- chronic renal failure;
- stones or sand in the bladder;
But in most cases, the above problems do not appear due to the feed itself, but due to insufficient water consumption. The fact is that ready-made canned foods themselves contain a fairly large amount of liquid. Even if the cat does not have access to the drinker, you can not be afraid of severe dehydration. But when using even high-quality granules, the animal will constantly need water. If you do not provide constant access to the drinker, then the risk of developing the above diseases will increase several times.
Advice! If it was decided to transfer the cat to granular nutrition, it is imperative to purchase an automatic drinker, or to independently provide the animal with water at the rate of 200 ml. 5 kilograms of weight per day. In hot weather, you need to increase the rate by about 30%.
The relationship of granular feed with dental diseases
Supporters of dry food are actively spreading the myth that hard granules are essential for daily cleaning of cats' teeth. However, veterinarians claim that the percentage of animals that eat canned food and suffer from dental problems is not much higher than those who feed only on dry granules. The fact is that cats are carnivores and their teeth are designed to tear food, not chew it thoroughly. Therefore, most granules are simply swallowed or crushed by molars.
Regular consumption of cheap granular feed with a large amount of carbohydrates in the composition leads to the formation of a starchy film in the cat's mouth. If you do not regularly brush your pet’s teeth, then under the film active growth of bacteria will begin, fraught with the development of caries and even gingivitis.
Interesting to know! Dry food marked "for healthy teeth and gums" will really help prevent dental problems. But the rehabilitation is not associated with the solid structure of the granules, but with a low amount of carbohydrates and the presence of polyphosphates in the composition.
Opinions of veterinarians about dry feed
Most doctors agree that cheap liquid canned food, unbalanced natural nutrition and low-cost dry food are approximately equally harmful for cats. But granules of a super-premium class can be given to a pet for many years without fear of any complications (subject to drinking regimen). Do not reduce the cost of food for a pet. After all, the money saved on a daily diet usually has to be spent on the treatment of acquired diseases. If there is no material opportunity to purchase premium food, then it is better to pay maximum attention to the organization of the diet from natural products.
Veterinarians recommend following certain rules when feeding cats with dry food so that it does not harm the health of the animal:
- You can combine dry and wet food, but only one manufacturer.
- It is advisable to choose and adhere to one of the options for food: only dry food, wet, mixing them, combining industrial food and cooked yourself and so on. The main thing is not to change the option often, because the body gets used to it, arranges the production of enzymes, and it’s hard for him to switch to new food.
If the owner decided to cook the cat himself, then there should be no bones in the food, raw offal should be processed with boiling water, it is better to reduce milk and fish in the diet or completely eliminate it, as well as fatty meat.
Fact! Food prepared at home according to all rules prolongs the life of a pet by 30%.
How to calculate how many times a day to feed a cat, and how much food does he need? It is worth adhering to the following order:
- An adult cat is fed 2 times a day.
- If the cat is pregnant, then the number of meals increases to 4-6.
- If a pet eats wet food or natural food, then the amount of water is calculated as follows: from 20 to 30 ml per kilogram of weight. If the diet consists of dry food, then the resulting figure is multiplied by 3.
- A cat needs to be fed daily based on the following formula: 30-60 g per 1 kg of weight.
- The cat should have time to eat the given portion in 15-20 minutes, after which it should be removed. If the pet eats slowly and lazily, this is a signal of overeating.
Interesting! Cats do not like their mustache touching the edge of the bowl. Therefore, their cup of water should be wide enough.
When choosing a dry food, you need to focus on the composition indicated on the package. The manufacturer makes the best feed from animal meat and ocean fish. Manufacturers of cheap feed "sin" with dyes and flavors in the composition of the product, designed to make it attractive to the animal.
A cat's health can be caused by food containing no plant fiber. And although in nature predatory cats eat only meat, in the stomachs of their victims they find a sufficient amount of plant fiber in processed form, necessary for the assimilation of food. Therefore, in industrial food, you also need to look for plant fiber.
Preference should be given to feed from the medium, premium and super-premium segments. They can be found in the Royal Canin, Hills, Innova, Acana, Eukanuba and other manufacturers. It is important to choose the right food depending on the age, health of the animal, lifestyle. Be sure to check the expiration date indicated on the package.
What feeds of different classes really make of: video