When choosing to feed your cat a dry cat food formula, there are many important things to consider. Not all dry cat food formulas are created equal! It's important to understand your cat's specific dietary requirements, to ensure that you're giving your cat the proper amount of nutrition. Many cat owners prefer dry cat food over canned cat foods , due to both convenience and price.
HOW IS DRY CAT FOOD MADE?
Basically, the formula for dry cat food contains meat/meat byproducts, feed grains, and soybean meal. The meat products are first rendered, which involves processing by high heat or chemical reactions to rupture the fat cells. This mixture is then dried, which allows it to be ground up to the appropriate texture for the formula. Dry cat food also requires the addition of ingredients such as bone meal and corn gluten feed. Cereal grains are also frequently added to dry cat food to help it to retain its shape as kibble, as well as reduce the cost of raw materials.
To prevent the fatty ingredients in dry cat food from becoming rancid, preservatives such as BHA or BHT are used. To prevent bacteria and mold, substances such as potassium sorbate, calcium sorbate, propylene glycol or sorbic acid can be used. Once the ingredients are mixed, they are cooked to retain a uniform consistency. Depending on the formula, additional ingredients such as vitamins and minerals may be added at this time. To shape the kibble, the formula is exposed to high-pressure plates with special orifices to produce the kibble shape. Once the product is dried, labeled and inspected, it is shipped out to retail stores for sale.
IS DRY CAT FOOD BEST FOR MY CAT?
There have been many arguments about if dry cat food provides an inferior source of nutrition in comparison to canned cat food. Many pet food experts have suggested that the high-starch content of dry food that is required for the kibble to maintain its shape can have negative effects on your cat's health. Cats have a small, efficient digestive system that is designed to digest food of high-nutrient density. Since dry cat food contains many filler ingredients, it requires more energy to be properly digested by your cat. In addition to this, many cats swallow their kibble bits whole, further impeding digestion.
ADVANTAGES OF DRY CAT FOOD
Dry cat food is popular largely because of its convenience. It's possible to leave an available supply of dry cat food out for your cat, while wet food usually dries out if not consumed immediately (and becomes unappetizing to your cat). Dry cat food is generally cheaper by volume than canned cat food, and is much less messy.
SHOULD I FEED MY CAT DRY CAT FOOD?
As with any decision regarding your pet, it is a matter of personal choice. However, it is important to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of feeding dry cat food to your cat. Your cat's health is your responsibility, and should not be taken lightly.