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Cat Nutrition Trends for 2023

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Cat nutrition is an important topic that can change with trends from year to year. Although each cat parent may have their preferences as to which cat food brands they support, what’s crucial is that your feline friend still receives their necessary daily nutrients.

Cat Food Nutrition

Typically, feline nutritional needs are the same from one cat to the next. However, when a cat has specific dietary requirements or a particular health condition, that may affect the amount or type of food they require.

Since the global pandemic, when more people welcomed home new four-legged friends, the trends concerning cat nutrition have shifted. This, in part, is because pet parents’ views on what they expect from their own food have changed. Today, many people have a higher standard of expectations of the pet companies from which they shop.

  • Specific Diets
    When shopping around for a new cat food, you may find it slightly intimidating—hundreds of choices exist. One of the many benefits of having so many options is that you can better accommodate a specific diet. Some felines may have a health condition that requires them to eat a particular type of food, while others, who may have weight-related problems, may also need a tailored diet to keep them healthy.
  • Environmentally Conscious Companies
    Over the years, many pet parents have taken steps towards being more environmentally conscious in their day-to-day lifestyle. Examples include:

    Many pet parents now look for these same standards in the pet companies they purchase from and support. Even steps such as using recycled materials to make the packing can help make a difference and show a better insight into the company’s values. These same items can also be kept in mind when searching for cat treats. Consider questions such as:

    • Does the company use local products?
    • Do they work to offset their carbon footprint?
    • Are they taking any steps to be more sustainable?
  • Supplements
    Just as so many people have nutritional needs requiring daily supplements, cats can often have similar dietary necessities. In fact, the popularity and demand for pet supplements have been on the rise for a few years now and are predicted to continue increasing.

    Currently trending pet supplements include vitamins, fish oil, probiotics, and CBD products. These supplements can help provide a better balance of daily nutrients, along with helping reduce health symptoms such as inflammation. However, just as you would consult your cat’s veterinarian before making any major changes to their diet, it’s equally significant that you first discuss the subject of supplements with a veterinarian before you begin giving them to your cat. A veterinary professional will be able to provide advice on product choice and dosage recommendations.
  • Online Shopping and Subscriptions
    In the years following the pandemic, online shopping trends have remained ever-popular among consumers—pet parents being no exception. With countless more online options than in-store, some pet parents find that they can more easily locate a specific brand or price that better suits their needs.

    Along with a more extensive selection of food and treats, online shopping is also widely convenient. Being able to cut out a trip to the store and instead do all your shopping from the convenience of your phone or computer, no matter your location, is the perfect solution for people with busy schedules. Shopping online also means having the food delivered straight to your doorstep.

    Another great benefit of online shopping is that many pet food companies now offer subscription services. By signing up for a subscription, you will still have the convenience of online shopping and home delivery without worrying about having to order more food every month—that task will already be done for you.
  • High-End
    For many cat parents, the cost is no concern when it comes to providing the best for their feline friend. Whether dry kibble, wet food, human-grade whole food, or special treats, countless pet parents don’t shy away from high-end products. In some instances, people may associate a higher price with better quality, which can be reassuring for some, especially since these are products your cat is consuming.

    However, for some other pet parents, the price of a product is simply a by-product of getting their best pal something that will keep them happy and healthy. This mindset continues to drive buying habits and nutritional trends among pets and their parents, mainly because more people continue to view their pets as beloved family members.

When considering cat nutrition at home, there’s no short supply of options to review. With every cat being a bit unique in their nutritional requirements and personal preferences, don’t be surprised if you need to try out a few different meals or treat options before you find one your cat prefers. That said, don’t forget to consult your veterinarian about any nutrition-related questions or concerns, especially if you are considering making significant changes to your cat’s diet. Your veterinarian may also have some helpful advice about switching your cat’s food, which can occasionally cause an unsettled stomach.

gray cat eating out of silver bowl on floor

What To Know About Cat Nutrition

Like people, cats also have daily nutritional requirements. These nutrients are something pet parents should look into and consider when choosing a pet food. Of course, the price, company, brand, and sustainability behind a cat food product are all significant, but the food’s nutrients are perhaps the most important.

Cat nutrition requirements revolve around high amounts of protein, a moderate amount of fat, a minimal amount of carbohydrates, and various amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals. As is true for any diet, cats must receive the appropriate balance since too much of a good thing (like vitamins or minerals) could cause an adverse reaction and lead to other health issues.

Types of Food

There are many benefits of serving your cat dry food. For starters, it can be left sitting out, allowing you to put food in your cat’s bowl and letting them graze on it as they please. Although pricewise it can vary, it is less expensive on average than some wet-food alternatives. Many kibble options are also available for purchase in large quantities, which can be helpful for stocking up and decreasing the number of trips you have to take to the pet store. If your cat’s food doesn’t already come in a resealable package, store it in an air-tight, water-proof container, and don’t forget to keep track of the food’s expiration date.

Canned cat food can also be an excellent option for many felines. One of the many benefits of wet food is that it contains a much higher percentage of water, which can be helpful to your pal’s health if they often don’t drink as much as they should. On average, canned cat food can cost more per serving, but it is a great option for picky eaters. Plus, most pet and grocery stores carry quite a variety of flavor options. When unopened, canned cat food can have the longest shelf life compared to other types of food. However, once opened, any leftover food promptly needs to be stored in the refrigerator.

Age of Cat

Just like a cat’s nutritional requirements can change based on whether they have any preexisting health conditions, their age or stage of life can also be a factor. For instance, nutrition for older cats will look different than that for kittens. Although it’s recommended that you first talk with your cat’s veterinarian about recommended changes to your cat’s diet, when shopping for food, you’ll notice that brands typically label their foods that are specially formulated for a specific age.

Food Ingredient List

The ingredient list is one of the most important pieces of information to consider when comparing cat foods. Like human food, cat food ingredients are listed in decreasing order of the weight included. As a general rule of thumb, it can be a positive sign when a type of meat or meat by-product (including seafood) is listed as one of the first few ingredients.

Nutritional Label

All commercially produced cat food has a minimum nutritional requirement established by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO). Whenever you see a cat food that has been AAFCO approved, the food should be nutritionally complete and balanced, providing your feline friend with their daily required nutrients.

In addition to these considerations, you should also take note of the suggested serving size. How much food a cat needs per meal can vary on many factors, including your cat’s age, activity level, and current weight.

As you go through the process of finding the best meals and treats for your cat, don’t forget the final piece to the puzzle—where you feed your cat. Some cats may not like their food bowls in heavily trafficked rooms of the house, near their litter boxes, or where the dog could get into them. These could all lead to your cat refusing to eat. Instead, consider an area of your home set back from the hustle, bustle, and noise.

Whether you are considering where to feed your cat, which type of food they’d like, or what cat food brand is most environmentally focused, cat parents alike have probably noticed that cat nutrition trends vary from year to year. However, one trend remains the same: pet parents want to provide their four-legged family members with nutritious food that will allow them to live the healthy and happy life they deserve.

An ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan can help you with eligible costs for covered conditions like surgery expenses for accidents and help provide peace of mind that your pet can receive the care they need. Check out our online resources to learn more about your insurance options and get a free quote today. The information presented in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute or substitute for the advice of your veterinarian.

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