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by Rolan Tripp, DVM and Susan Tripp, MS

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 The Bread and Butter of a Healthy Cat


What is it?


The food and water that your cat consumes are truly the "bread and butter" of your cat's health. A healthy diet and daily fresh water improves overall medical health as well as enhancing a beautiful coat. 

Prescription diets prolong a healthy life by slowing down, or even reversing, certain medical problems. Current research shows that diets high in antioxidants and essential fatty acids may even positively influence brain development and learning in young pets.

What to do?

Veterinarians are trained in nutrition and can evaluate your cat's health profile and coat condition. General information about nutrition is intended for normal, healthy pets and should not take the place of a veterinary recommendation. 

 

You can prevent illness and extend your cat's life by providing good nutrition and daily fresh water.

 

How to do it

 

Premium quality foods support the development of stronger muscle, hair fibers, and all other parts of your cat's body. High quality protein and fat are more digestible and so there is less waste (and clean up).  You can typically feed less premium food because it is not padded with fiber and fillers. Although a bag of premium food may cost more, it will last longer because you can feed less.


Ask your veterinarian for a brand name recommendation. Premium brand names include  Science Diet, IAMS, Waltham, ProPlan, Nutro, and Nature's Recipe.

 

Avoid raw diets, due to the risk of bacterial disease, including salmonella.

 

The "off-brands" can be divided into 3 categories: price-point, designer, and all-natural. The "price-point" foods are the lowest in cost, use the lowest class of raw materials, and should always be avoided.

What is AAFCO?

AAFCO stands for the Association of American Feed Control Officials. AAFCO's goal is to "provide a mechanism for developing and implementing uniform and equitable laws, regulations, standards and enforcement policies for regulating the manufacture, distribution and sale of animal feeds; resulting in safe, effective, and useful feeds."  Manufactured pet foods do not have to go through or pass the AAFCO voluntary approval process. 

 

Designer and all-natural brands, often have compelling stories but usually do not have the AAFCO feeding trials and science to back them up. Therefore, rely on your veterinarian or do your homework before going off the beaten track of a high quality name brand premium food.

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