Best High Protein Cat Food (Oh, And Low Carb Too!)
Cats are one of the most domesticated animals due to their extensive connection to humans, beyond mere predation. Despite their reclusive behavior, families often choose cats as pets because of their personality. They are playful, trainable, contented, and easy to care for.
It is important, however, to feed your cat the diet that is appropriate for them. It has been proven that packed cat foods which contain corn, wheat, as well as other grains could stimulate certain conditions in cats. These include allergies, feline diabetes, and obesity. Since they are obligate carnivores, they process meat efficiently, yet have trouble digesting plants. Diabetes is common among cats, and its occurrence is mainly caused by obesity and aging, not only by carbohydrates. Diet, on the other hand, certainly plays a big role in keeping your cat healthy.
A dietary program that is recommended according to animal experts should be high in protein and low in carbohydrates. Scroll down to know the best high protein cat food available in the market.
Why is a high protein and low carb diet beneficial?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, high protein and low carb diet consumption helps if your felines develop diabetes. Amusingly coined as the “Catkins” diet from the popular “Atkins” diet for humans, this particular food program is verified to produce results that no longer require the feline to take insulin. Morris Animal Foundation funded an experiment which proved that the cats’ diet could aid in controlling diabetes.
Several studies showed that controlling diabetes can be done by reducing the amount of body fat. Cats with diabetes are fed with a diet that is high in fiber in order to promote weight loss. However, as the cat loses the fats, so as the muscles. Once the diet is discontinued, the weight returns. From the results of their experimentation, this low-carb/high-protein diet assists in the weight loss while still preserving the muscle necessary to cut the excess weight permanently.
Generally speaking, the “Catkins” high protein/low carbohydrate program reduces risks of diabetes and obesity.
What should you look out for when buying a high-quality protein and low carb cat food?
There are basic rules when shopping for high quality protein/low carbohydrate cat food.
First on the list is to check the ingredients. The law says that these ingredients should have to be listed according to the most abundant content, down to the least. The first five are required to be distinct types of protein, rather than a by-product. By-products refer to rancid meats and bodies or body parts of euthanized animals such as beaks, hooves, and feathers.
Secondly, calories that come from carbohydrates such as grains, soy, potatoes, peas, etc. should never be over 10%. The most ideal is a grain-free one.
Top 5 Recommendations: Best High Protein Cat Food
According to most pet owners, one of the recommended cat foods is Blue Buffalo for Cats Natural Adult Dry Cat Food. The kibble is basically made up of healthy brown rice mixed with deboned salmon, chicken, and turkey which are the protein sources.
In addition, Blue Buffalo has developed a revolutionary exclusive technology called Life Source Bits. It includes antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can be found in natural vegetables, which are also contained in this mixture.
Its nutritional value includes an impressive 30% to 36% of protein (depending on the formulation) and 15 % of fat. It also contains moisture of up to 10%, 4.5 % fiber, DHA, EPA, and omega-6 fatty acids. It is said to be chicken (or poultry) by-product- free, and by far the canned cat food with the highest protein.
With a remarkable 34 % of protein and 14% of fat on a minimum basis, renowned celebrity chef Rachel Ray’s Nutrish Natural Dry Cat Food deserves its place in the list of best quality cat foods. Ray claims to have carefully selected high-grade protein sources such as salmon, whitefish, and chicken which they mixed with wholesome vegetables filled with vital nutrients and vitamins as well as taurine.
What’s also exceptional in this cat food is the guarantee of a grain-free formulation that considerably lessens the risk of allergies of your pets. It includes a maximum of 4% of fiber, 9% moisture, and omega-6 and omega-3 healthy fatty acids. It is enriched too with biotin, calcium, phosphorus, and zinc.
When allergenicity is a concern, you can always consider Natural Balance’s Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food as an option. Instead of a mixture of meat, Limited Ingredient only contains salmon as a single source of meat protein. It is also packed with plant protein which is either from chickpeas or green peas.
Natural Balance claims to have this high-protein cat food filled with prebiotic fiber that promotes healthier digestion of pet, as well as certain ingredients that aid in controlling hairball and in maintaining healthy skin and shiny coat.
Its dietary value consists of a minimum of 30% protein from a single meat source (which can be salmon, venison, turkey, duck, or chicken). It is classified as a high-calorie low carb cat food with 329 kcal per cup.
Cats, being obligate carnivores, require a diet richer in protein to break down amino acids more easily. Crave Grain-Free High-Protein Wet Cat Food is beneficial to young and geriatric felines that do not have a steady metabolism as it contains up to 12% protein (regular wet cat food contains around 8-10%) and about 6.5% crude fat.
This diet is basically enriched with protein to help the cat develop a lean and healthy body and provide the energy to play. Some pet owners top it in dry food before giving it to their cats, while others feed their pets as it is.
Interestingly, this grain-free low carb canned cat food is manufactured by what’s said to be the first pet food creator ever to mass-produce “ethical pet food." They feature ingredients such as a cage-free, skinless white breast meat chicken that is thinly shredded and is dipped in rich and healthy gravy. This is also minimally processed and is said to be free from GMO’s, Carrageenan, MSG, gluten, and grain. It then follows that it’s free of corn, soy, wheat, or any artificial colors or preservatives.
It guarantees a formulation of a minimum of 10% crude protein, 1.4% crude fat, and 0.5% crude fiber which makes it deserving to be considered the best high protein wet cat food.
Feeding your pet the right food can be tedious. There are so many feline food brands out there that offer a vast variety of combination of its nutritional analysis, and as a pet owner, you just have to find what’s best for your cat. The top factor to consider is its dietary content – high protein, low carb, high fiber. Other influences include certain amino acids such as taurine since felines cannot produce these.
If cats do not get a sufficient amount of protein, they may start breaking down protein from their own muscles. Thus, it is vital to provide your pet a high level of protein. Every source, be it from meat or plant contains diverse amino acids. These amino acids have certain “bioavailability” or its ability to be broken down. There are such which a cat finds easier to break, but sometimes are also less usable. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean that high bioavailability equals high nutritional value.
While lack of protein in cats is worrisome, an excess is significantly fine as your pet will just excrete it through urine or convert it to fat or even use it as a form of energy. The only instance an excess of protein could be a problem is when your cat has late-stage kidney disease. A recent study shows though that even with high protein diet, for as long as the ingredients are obtained out from high and better quality sources, it should be a good option.
It is perhaps safe to say that the best high protein cat food is Open Farm’s Weruva. As you choose an appropriate cat food for your pet, be sure always to check its guaranteed analysis and ingredients.