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Cat Diet

Question submitted by:  Chris & Mary Weaver

After doing a good bit of research, we want to make sure our cats are getting the best diet possible. Where can we get a 'meat only' canned food, i.e. w/ no additives, or should we simply use human grade meats/eggs? We are certain that at least one of our cats has sensitivities to grain.


Dear Chris and Mary,
Your question about cat food is a good one. Cats are obligate carnivores, meaning they eat only meat and need a high protein diet. Canned cat foods are healthier than dry foods for cats as they are higher in moisture and meat proteins. But some canned foods, particularly those with broth or gravy, may contain starches and grains to thicken the gravy. It is better to feed a commercial canned cat food than to use human eggs, meat or fish because there are minerals and vitamins that cats need that are added to canned foods for a balanced diet. Preservatives and meat by-products are not necessarily bad, but some brands have fewer additives and simple ingredients. There are many good brands, but Purina Beyond, Fancy Feast Purely (also by Purina), Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance and Hill’s Ideal Balance are all good choices. While true grain allergies are actually rare in pets, there are some cats and dogs who are sensitive, so do check the ingredient list for wheat or corn meal if you have a pet who seems to be intolerant to grains. I hope these suggestions help you in making good dietary choices for your cats!
Dr. Walters