Why Grain-Free Cat Food And What Are The Benefits?


You are likely wondering why grain-free cat food is better for your cat than the traditional grain-containing foods you see on a day-to-day basis. You ask yourself, “Is grain-free bad for cats?” and question if it is okay that your cat consumes any type of food so long as it is wet food.

Grain-Free cat Food closely mimics what Cats Eat in the wild and are easier for your cats to digest. It also helps to improve their skin/coat and also reduces allergy issues

The truth of the matter is that grain-free cat food is much better for your cat than those that contain grain, and this is for a variety of reasons.

What Is The Advantage Of Grain Free Cat Food

Cats who live in the wild hunt for their food. They prey on smaller animals, like rodents and birds. Cats do not graze on grass or other plants. Feeding your cat a grain-free diet will mimic what is eaten in the wild, thus preserving your cat’s health.

When cats consume a diet that is not designed for their species, this can cause several health conditions to develop. Cats who consume diets high in grains are likely to develop conditions such as diabetes and obesity. Consuming too much grain over time can shorten cats’ lives as it puts strain on their bodies.

When cats consume grain, it is stored in their bodies as fat. This is because the grain is not broken down and used to fuel a cat’s bodily processes.

Cats are Obligate Carnivores

Cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they only survive on the nutrients found in the animals that they hunt and eat. A cat’s diet must consist of high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a very small amount of carbohydrates.

If you look at how a cat is designed, you will see that a cat has sharp teeth, sharp claws, and a shortened digestive tract. Cats are built in this fashion so they can tear apart, consume and digest raw meat. Cats are simply not built to consume and digest plant matter.

Grain-Free Cat foods Are Easier for Cats to Digest

Because cats are simply not designed to consume and digest carbs, grain-free cat food is easier for cats to digest. Cat foods that contain grain are difficult for cats to digest because cats do not have the necessary enzymes to break down and metabolize grain.

When grains are eliminated from a cat’s diet, many digestive problems will disappear. Cats will no longer have to contend with stomach upset, irritable bowels, and other unpleasant symptoms.

[Related Article: What is Ash In Cat Food?]

The Health Benefits of Grain-Free Cat Food

The health benefits of grain-free cat food are numerous. Aside from the fact that cats thrive better on a species-specific diet, pet owners will notice several positive changes shortly after taking their cats off the grain. These benefits are outlined below.

Noticing an improvement in Skin and Coat

Shortly after putting cats on a grain-free diet, the condition of their skin and coat will improve drastically. Cats will sport a shinier coat, and they will no longer have itchy spots on their skin. Many skin conditions that are also present quickly resolve once cats are placed on a grain-free diet.

A Reduction of allergies and Intolerances

Foods that contain rice, corn, wheat and barley are known to contribute to allergies in cats. Such allergies cause cats to lose fur and itch profusely. Say nothing of the fact that allergies make cats uncomfortable overall as they cause running eyes and respiratory problems.

The same holds true for intolerances. Grains cause cats to develop several intolerances; however, these disappear when cats are switched to a grain-free diet.

Good for urinary health

Grain-free foods are usually better for cats that are suffering from urinary tract issues, so long as it doesn’t contain high carbs content like peas and potatoes

Choosing a Grain-Free Food for Your Cat

Now that you know that grain-free food is better for cats, you need to know how to choose a high-quality, grain-free food for your cat. When choosing a grain-free food, there are specific qualifications that must be met.

Make Sure the Cat Food is Free of Artificial Coloring

Many cat foods contain artificial colors to create a beautiful presentation. When consumed over time, food coloring can cause health problems for your cat. It is best to make sure the food that you choose is free of any food dyes.

Make sure the Food is free of Filler Ingredients

When grain is removed from cat food, some manufacturers add other filler ingredients to make the food bind together.

Common filler ingredients that are added to some grain-free foods are fat, beans and legumes. When cats consume these fillers in large quantities, they will contend with stomach upset and obesity.

You need to make sure the food you choose for your cat does not contain these filler ingredients. As a matter of fact, limited ingredient foods are the safest option as these do not contain filler ingredients.

Try Single Ingredient Foods

If you notice that your cat has several health problems and you want to make certain you are avoiding any filler ingredients, experts recommend you choose single-ingredient foods.

When food is advertised as being a single ingredient, AAFCO states that it must contain 95% of that ingredient, and the remaining five percent will be comprised of water, vitamins, and supplements.

For example, if a manufacturer is selling salmon as a single-ingredient food, then 95% of the food must consist of salmon, and the rest will consist of water, vitamins, and other supplements.

What Cat Foods Are Grain-Free?

Here are our top 3 recommendations:

  1. CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food
  2. Purina Cat Chow Naturals Grain-Free with Real Chicken Adult Dry Cat Food
  3. Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food

Why Do Vets Not Like Grain Free Cat Food?

According to veterinarian Billmaier, grain-free cat food may lack an amino acid called taurine which essentially predisposes cats to a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy.[Source]

Not all cat food is created equally. Some food is made with inferior-quality ingredients, and nutritional content is lacking. While this problem is commonly seen in low-budget carb-containing foods, some low-quality, grain-free foods are known to also have this issue.

To make certain that your cat is getting all the nutrients necessary for maintaining optimal health, look for the AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee label.

When foods have an AAFCO-approved nutritional guarantee label, pet owners can rest assured that their cats are eating a balanced diet jam-packed with all essential vitamins and nutrients.

[Related Article: What Is Chicken Meal in Cat Food?]

Wrap Up

A grain-free diet will ensure that you enjoy many years with your feline family member. This species-specific diet will guarantee that your cat is receiving everything necessary to maintain health and vitality. What’s more, your cat will suffer fewer health problems which will enable you to save on vet bills.

Sarah Jones

Sarah is a passionate pet lover who owns several pets on her own. She loves to share her experience doing part-time writing to impart some useful tips to other pet owners.

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