A Comprehensive Comparison of 5 different types of cat food - canned food, raw food, fresh food, freeze-dried
I believe that dry feed is the most familiar pet food. Business people have realized that modern people are unable to prepare fresh food for the furry children at home due to busy work. Instead, they have designed a dry feed that is convenient, can be stored at room temperature, and can be stored for a long time. This is probably the biggest advantage of dry feed. But relatively speaking, the disadvantages of dry feed should be paid special attention to:
Disadvantages of dry feed
In order to reduce costs, feed manufacturers will add starchy plants, such as corn, wheat, potatoes, etc., to the ingredients. These starchy ingredients will increase the carbohydrate content of dry feed, although the cat's pancreas can It secretes amylase that breaks down starch, but its efficiency is relatively poor. When the cat eats too much carbohydrate, it will be broken down into smaller molecular sugars. At this time, the cat’s blood sugar concentration will soar. Because the cat’s liver cannot effectively clear the blood sugar, it will reduce the sugar. Class transfer to glycogen storage, the excess sugar will be converted into fat. , Cats who rely on dry food as a staple food for a long time are prone to symptoms such as obesity, diabetes, and overweight leading to arthritis.
Insufficient moisture content:
Take a closer look at almost all dry feeds on the market with moisture below 10%, and cats drink about 40-60ml per kilogram of water per day. That is to say, assuming a 5kg cat, the minimum amount of water to drink per day Up to 200ml, you need to eat about 75g of dry feed a day, 75*10% moisture = 7.5, the feed only provides 7.5g of moisture a day, which is very small! And the cat itself feels very slow to the thirst mechanism, plus Cats don't like to drink water in nature. For example, cats who rely on dry feed for a long time are prone to kidney disease and urinary tract stones (especially male cats).
Tips for selecting and feeding dry feed
When selecting dry feed, in addition to looking at the content of the following ingredients, I also need to calculate the carbohydrate dry matter content of the feed. For example, when I select dry feed, I choose feed with carbon water content less than 20% ( Dry matter ratio), if it is really impossible, the minimum is less than 30% (dry matter ratio), my feeding method basically uses staple food tanks as the main source of intake, unless I have to work hard, I will provide a dry meal in the middle, and then morning and evening They are all fed with staple food tanks, otherwise I basically provide dry food as snacks or supper (small amounts) for cats to eat.
Canned food is divided into staple food cans and non-staple food cans.
How to distinguish between them? The main method of distinguishing them is very simple. Just look at whether the canned food is in compliance with AAFCO (American Feed Management Association) or NRC. If there is, it is basically a staple food. Canned, but compliance with AAFCO/NRC is only a minimum standard. In addition to complying with AAFCO, we also need to see whether the following nutritional ingredients are good raw materials, such as artificial colors and chemical preservatives (such as BHA, BHT) ), unnecessary seasoning (such as sugar, MSG, salt, etc.), make sure to analyze and calculate whether the dry matter ratio is high-protein, medium-fat, or low-carbon water. The most reasonable range is (50% protein, 30%-45%, Carbon water is less than 10%).
Staple food jar:
The advantages of staple food cans:
In addition to convenience, there are two more points. The advantage (1) is that it has a higher meat content and a lower carbon water content, which is more in line with cats’ dietary principles. Most of them do not have too much starch. Advantages (2) The water content is at least 70% or more, that is to say, every 100g of canned food contains 70g of water. Compared with the dry feed, it is really much different. So if the capacity range and time are allowable, compare it really. It is recommended to take wet food as the main source of intake.
Disadvantages of staple food cans:
Disadvantages (1) Unintentional preservation after opening the can. It is easy to oxidize after opening. If it is not eaten, it should be sealed in a fresh-keeping box and stored in the refrigerator. It will be used up overnight. Disadvantages (2) The calories are lower than dry feed, and the daily feeding amount is more than that of dry feed. Generally speaking, 1g of staple food tank is about 1 calories, and 1g of dry feed is about 4 calories. But this does not mean that the nutritional value of staple food tanks is higher than that of dry feed. Low, calories and nutritional value are different things!
Non-staple food can:
Usually the main function of the non-staple food can is to trick cats into drinking more water, but because it cannot be used as the main food, the nutrition is not as comprehensive as the main food can. For example, the calcium to phosphorus ratio does not meet the standard and taurine is not added. Not too much, it is not essential. The method of selection is the same as that of dry feed and staple food tanks. The more natural the ingredients, the better, low-carbon water, and no artificial colors, preservatives, seasonings, etc. are added.
Raw food is divided into home-made raw food and commercially available raw food.
Maybe you have heard of some friends or online feeding cats that have a lot of raw changes, such as: less smelly stools, beautiful hair, etc., after listening to it, I want to try to feed raw food. I am objective. From the point of view, I think we can try to feed raw food, but first, we must first do a full range of homework (especially cat slaves who plan to make raw food), such as supplementing cat nutrition knowledge, feeding raw food, etc. need to pay attention to those things.
Homemade raw food:
The problems encountered at the beginning of homemade raw food are bacteria, viruses, parasites, etc. It is recommended that when buying raw meat, you should know the place of origin. It is also best to find a certified and organic source of meat (no pesticides, Antibiotics, hormones, etc.), and ensure that the meat source is below 7 degrees C during the manufacturing, production, storage, and transportation processes. When buying back, it is best to freeze for at least 72 hours below -20 degrees C. The purpose is Using low temperature to kill the so-called bacteria and parasites, but in fact it is not necessarily right! Regarding seafood and fish, the Ministry of Health and Welfare recommends that it be stored frozen at -20 degrees for 7 days to be safer. Bacteria cannot be killed by freezing and must be sterilized under high pressure. If you want to feed the cat raw food, it is recommended to fix the cat with insect repellent, or you can buy commercially available raw food, and choose the best choice to have autoclave sterilization or one that has been tested for hygiene. It is safer; homemade raw food must be in-depth It is safer to understand these risks, know the control methods, and choose safe meat products.
Then there is the problem of balanced nutrition. At least 3 kinds of meat must be fed in rotation every week. Of course, additional nutritional supplements must be added. For example: calcium. Because a piece of bone-free meat, its calcium-phosphorus ratio will definitely be Unbalance is usually caused by excessive phosphorus content, and calcium is very deficient. Therefore, in the case of homemade raw food, it is recommended to go to more classes to add knowledge, or you can buy books on the market to learn!
Commercially available raw food:
Generally, the nutrients in the raw food on the market have been prepared for consumers, so there is no need to worry about the lack of nutrients, but for the sake of conservativeness, it is recommended to eat different brands in turn, and the type of meat should also be at least 3 per week. For growing meat, when choosing raw food on the market, it is best to choose autoclaved or sanitary-tested ones. Here is a reminder that in terms of feeding, it is recommended that it should not exceed 30 minutes, and you can throw it away before you finish eating!
The advantage of raw food is that it has a high water content, at least 70% or more. Cats can take in water through diet without excessive carbohydrates. The disadvantage is that if it is not stored properly, it can easily cause food safety problems. Then there is research pointed out that eating raw food Cats have Salmonella in their stool more or less, so they should be cleaned frequently in the litter box, and the bowls and dishes that have been fed should be cleaned every day, and they should wash their hands frequently, otherwise humans are also susceptible to infection. .
Bear in mind!
When feeding raw food, be sure to deworm them on time; if the cat is in poor physical condition, you may need to be especially careful, consider whether to suspend feeding at this time, because raw food has a higher risk of bacterial and parasitic contamination. When the immune system is not good, it may cause harm.
Freeze-drying is also a kind of raw food, but its method is to take the raw meat to freeze-dry and remove the moisture inside to produce the product.
Freeze-drying has the advantages of dry feed, which is convenient and easy to store. It does not need to be refrigerated and stored at room temperature. It also has a realm that dry feed cannot reach-high protein content, very low carbon water, and because of this, the price will be more expensive. ; And the biggest disadvantage of freeze-drying is that the moisture content is very small, even less than that of dry feed, so you can add water when feeding, and even you can buy it as a cat snack or supper like me. In addition, the freeze-dried texture is more susceptible to moisture, so you can't leave it for as long as dry feed when you feed it!
To put it simply, fresh food is to cook the food. It is very simple to cook it, but it is not that simple if it is made for cats as a staple food. After all, cats’ dietary conditions are very complicated, so I suggest that when starting fresh food, it is Add extra food to cats. I have heard a teacher say before. He said that a really good fresh food expert will find the nutrients that animals need from the ingredients. There is no need to add additional nutrients. At first, I felt full. It made sense. After going back and thinking about it, I was skeptical about this sentence.
Because I have two points to think about: The first point is that the fertility of the soil is now compared to before. It must be that the nutritional value of the vegetables and fruits grown before is higher than that of the present. The second point after the food is cooked: nutrients will be lost when exposed to heat, such as vitamins such as B complex & vitamin C. For these two reasons, I still think that if you want to use fresh food as the staple food, I suggest that you also purchase additional nutritional supplements (when purchasing, you should also check the ingredients in detail), and pay special attention to calcium supplements.
When making fresh food, because meat has high phosphorus content and low calcium content, remember to calculate the calcium to phosphorus ratio. The calcium to phosphorus ratio can refer to the ideal range calcium recommended by the NRC: phosphorus = 1.1~1.6:1 or the ideal range calcium recommended by AAFCO: Phosphorus=1~2:1.
For example, we have set the NRC calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.5:1 as the standard. The phosphorus content of 100G boneless chicken thigh meat is about 160mg, X:160=1.5:1, X (calcium) is 240mg, and calcium supplementation needs 240mg to maintain calcium. Phosphorus ratio; there are supplements like taurine, taurine can withstand 300 degrees high temperature, but if the cooking method is boiled, most of the nutrients of taurine will remain in the soup, then it will be recommended Extra taurine is added. If the cat eats too much taurine, it will not necessarily cause the cat's body to be burdened. Because taurine is water-soluble, the cat can naturally take it out by urinating, and of course it is being made. In the process, we must also master the diversity of food materials, use different vegetables, fruits and meats, to alternate and change production, in order to supplement different nutrients. If you are really interested in homemade fresh food, it is also recommended to take relevant courses to supplement your cat's knowledge of nutrition.
The advantage of fresh food is its high moisture content (70%), and the ingredients can be controlled by oneself, and can even be eaten with pets. The disadvantage is that it is time-consuming and costly.
As an old saying goes, because each cat’s condition and physique is different, there is no such thing as the best food, only the most suitable food. According to your current ability, you can give your cat the best food. It is recommended that the food is more in line with the cat’s dietary principles. Good, medium-high protein, medium fat, low carbohydrate, and pay attention to the quality of the ingredients and the balance of nutrients. But here is a reminder that although cats are based on meat, the protein is not as high as possible, because protein It will also affect the cat’s kidney index, so cat friends are encouraged to try to let the cat eat different kinds of food, supplement all aspects of nutrients, and enrich the texture. This can also improve the cat’s happiness!