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Top 5 Healthy Cat Food Ingredients [Checklist]

Cat Food Checklist

You are what you eat – and the same goes for your cat! Here’s what you need to look for in your cat’s dry food.
When you start your search for a quality dry cat food, you need to first do your research. After all, a quality dry cat food is only as good as its ingredients. Before you start shopping, you should know how important the ingredients are – and that’s why we’re going to talk about the top five healthy cat food ingredients you need to see on the label to know that the recipe you are feeding your cat delivers on the 5 signs of Wellbeing.

✔ Protein as the First Ingredient

Cats are obligate carnivores, and as such, a quality dry cat food needs to list a protein as its first ingredient – no exceptions! Not only that, but the protein needs to be named – it shouldn’t just list “meat.” Look for chicken, turkey, lamb, or salmon. When you look at any of Wellness’ cat food recipes, you’ll notice that a high-quality protein is listed right at the top of the ingredient list. This combined with healthy fats and wholesome carbohydrates for a complete and balanced meal helps ensure every cat receives the optimal energy they need to thrive.

✔ Omega 3s and 6s

Essential in supporting your cat’s skin and coat health and other important biological functions, Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids can be found in fish oil, eggs, and flaxseed. A quality dry cat food includes Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids, and guarantees their inclusion on the back. These combined with quality protein sources will also help give your cat smooth skin and a gorgeous coat.

✔ Vitamins and Minerals

A robust list of vitamins and minerals should be a part of a quality dry cat food. Not only do they provide a complete and balanced diet, but they support a healthy immune system and promote a shiny, healthy coat. On the list of ingredients, look for calcium and phosphorus to help ensure your cat has healthy teeth and bones.

✔ Antioxidant Vitamins

When a recipe is fortified with Antioxidant Vitamins A & E, you can be assured it is formulate to support a healthy immune system.

✔ Prebiotics, Probiotics & Dietary Fiber

You should also look for guaranteed levels of probiotics, added dietary fiber such tomato pomace or beet pulp fiber and prebiotics such as inulin or chicory root in kibble recipes to know if a recipe will be supporting a cat’s digestive health. These ingredients support intestinal health, nutrient absorption and an optimal microbiome balance.

What a Cat Food “Shouldn’t” Have

Just as important as what’s in your cat’s food is what isn’t in it – ingredients that could make your kitty sick.

✗ Chemicals and Preservatives

Chemical preservatives such as Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT) and Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) are used to preserve dry cat food, but they are being looked at as the cause of certain cancers.

✗ Food Dyes

Food dyes are often added to foods to make them more appealing to humans – but offer no benefits to cats. Certain food dyes, such as Blue 2, Red 40, and Yellow 5 and 6, have been proven to cause allergic-type reactions and behavior problems. You may have heard about caramel color, which contains 4-methylimidazole (4-MIE), an animal carcinogen.

✗ Carbohydrate Fillers

When a cat food includes fillers, they can make up about 50 percent of the bag. And carbs just aren’t good for cats, especially seniors and overweight cats.  Manufacturers often use wheat gluten or corn meal as a filler, as it’s a less expensive alternative to meat protein and whole grain/grain-free sources.

✗ Rendered Fat

Who would think that rendered fat is a flavor enhancer – yuck! It’s true – rendered animal fat can be added to kibble, but can lead to a host of problems, as it can introduce microorganisms (Salmonella) and toxins.

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