It seems we are seeing more and more overweight cats for whatever reason. I'm not the only one who has noticed this, believe me. Cat food companies are seeing this and have already determined that there is huge potential to make money off of it. Now, all over you see specially marked cat food indicated as 'diet food' or 'low carbohydrate' food. They can mark it that way all they want, but it doesn't guarantee that the ingredients are all that different or healthy.
There are many ways to review cat foods to determine what are the healthy, legit brands and those that are not. For overweight cats, these two sections that follow are important to comprehend if you want to pick out a cat food that may help your furry little friend lose weight.
This little box of percentages and numbers can be so important, yet overlooked quite often. This isn't the be all and end all of counts, as it is usually inaccurate. It will, however, give you an idea of the protein, fat, and carbohydrate percentages found in the food you are interested in. Let me explain: I have a can of wet cat food and it states that the crude fat minimum percentage is 9%. Now, it is the MINIMUM percentage. Who knows what the maximum is? To really know what the maximum is, you'd have to get into contact with the manufacturer. Anyways, the minimum will tell you that at the very least your cat is getting that much fat source.
So after I do calculations on the guaranteed analysis section I find that the 9% translates into 39.1% fat. This is a good indication for me to know how much percentage of the food is a fat source. I can do the same for protein and carbohydrates, and then I have a better understanding of what my cat is putting into his/her body.
One of the important aspects to look at is the ingredients listed. Say we looked at the guaranteed analysis section and we feel that the carbohydrate, protein, and fat counts are where they should be. Next step is to see where these sources are coming from. Are these sources coming from high quality, real meat sources? Or are they coming from sources such as 'by-products' or plant based sources? This difference will help you determine if your cat will be able to efficiently digest the food and use it appropriately.
Plant based sources are difficult for your cat to digest. Think of it as feeding your cat McDonalds every day. Over time, that stuff is going to store up in the form of fat and then you will notice that your cat has gained weight. So then you are wondering 'well, the carbohydrate levels are normal I don't know what happened.' What happened was, as mentioned, these carbohydrate sources are difficult, thus slower, to digest. Real meat sources are what cats, by nature, are used to. So make sure that these meat sources are listed and listed close to the top.
As you can probably see, it is a little tricky to determine what exactly is in these so called 'diet' foods. A diet food can be low in carbohydrates, yet still be high in calories and vice versa. There are cat food review tools and programs out there that can assist you and help you determine what would be the right food to give your cat. As with anything though, becoming more knowledgeable and committed to the topic is the most important aspect in helping your cat lose weight.