As I go across the country to different pet events, a common trend I see in pet food is “natural” ingredients from trusted sources, no doubt influenced by the pet owners’ interest in their own diets being natural and responsibly sourced. A lot of us take the time to read labels on cat food as carefully as we read labels on food we buy for ourselves. Actually, in my case, I think I pay closer attention to the ingredients on cat food labels, mostly because I kinda really don’t want to know what goes into Cheetos.
My childhood cat, Frieda, ate dog food and table scraps alongside canine family members; I don’t think my parents ever bought “cat” food. Looking back, I shudder at her diet, but it was typical of the way cats were fed those many years ago.
Fortunately, over the years, cat owners have learned a lot more about feline nutrition, including the differing needs of cats and dogs. Pet food recalls have driven pet owners to learn all they can about where the food ingredients come from and in some cases, what some of those mysterious ingredients are. Just as we look to include only natural ingredients in our diets, we look for ways to ensure our cats eat all-natural as well.
Cats are carnivores, but cannot thrive on a diet consisting exclusively of, say, chicken breasts, any more than I could thrive on a Cheetos diet. In the wild, cats also ingest plant nutrients via the stomach contents of their prey and minerals via the bones of their prey. And there are probably some feathers and fur thrown in to the mix. It’s a complex mix that you can’t replicate on your kitchen counter.
A cat’s diet must be a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and vitamins and minerals from a variety of sources. The trick is not to have too much or too little of any one ingredient, but just the right amount.
(You can click this chart to enlarge.) For example your cat needs protein for lean muscle and growth, but too much protein can cause kidney stress. And she needs fiber to aid in digestion, but too much can cause gas and too little can result in the squirts. It’s a balancing act.
How Do You Get the Ideal Balance of Nutrition?
You’d need a PhD in pet nutrition to figure out what the ideal balance of nutrients is for your cat. Or, you could feed her a cat food like Hill’s new Ideal Balance, which is scientifically engineered to have just the right amounts of each natural ingredient.
Hill’s Pet Nutritionist Kathy Gross, feeds Hill’s Ideal Balance to her own pets:
Check Out the Ideal Balance Website
Find out more information about how to find the right Ideal Balance food for your cat and compare for yourself how Ideal Balance measures up against the competition: Ideal Balance Website, and check out how your natural cat food compares to Hill’s Ideal Balance.
THE FINE PRINT: This is a sponsored post. Mousebreath has been compensated by Hill’s Pet Nutrition for this post. The cats in our house are wild about Hill’s Ideal Balance, and we think yours will be, too. Hill’s Pet Nutrition is not responsible for the content of this article.