For our cats, you need to know some important things which you have added to their diet. Adding grain-free cat food to your feline diet has been a trend for years. Do you think it is particularly important to feed your cat grain-free food?
Now too many questions gather around in your mind. Is grain-free food bad for cats? Let’s discuss a grain-free cat food review.
Despite the popularity of grain-free cat foods 2021, there hasn’t been much good information available on even the most fundamental questions such as how do the nutrient levels and ingredients (other than grains) compare to more traditional grain-containing diets?
In Brief Grain-Free Cat Food Review
We gathered ingredient and basic nutrient information on 77 dry cat diets, 42 of which contained grain and 35 of which were grain-free, that were available for purchase from large online retailers.
Then we looked at which ingredients were most common in each category and compared the nutrients in the two. Here are a few of the more incredibly interesting things we discovered:
- Most of the diets advertised as “grain-free” but contained a grain.
- The average grain-free diet had fewer carbohydrates than the average grain-containing diet, but there were grain-free diets with similar or even higher amounts of carbohydrates than grain-containing diets.
- Poultry (chicken, turkey, and/or duck), egg, and fish were the most common animal-sourced ingredients in both grain-free and grain-containing diets.
- Peas, cranberries, potatoes, and carrots were the most commonly used plant-based ingredients in grain-free diets. Rice, flax, cranberries, and oats were the most common plant-based ingredients in grain-containing diets.
- In grain-free diets, exotic meats (venison, bison, rabbit) were the most common.
These findings show that simply using a grain-free diet does not imply that you are feeding your cat fewer carbohydrates.
Grain-free diets, according to some pet food companies and other sources, are good options for cats with allergies. Food allergies are far less common than many pet owners believe, and when they do occur, they are almost always caused by animal-sourced ingredients such as chicken, milk, fish, and eggs.
Overall, these ingredients were common in both grain-free and grain-containing diets, implying that switching to a grain-free diet is unlikely to eliminate these common allergens.
What Is grain-free cat food?
Wheat, oats, barley, rice, and corn contain grain. This type of food is not good for your cat. It may diagnose grain allergies in most cats. According to veterinary Dermatology, corn was found to be one of the most disliked sources of food allergy in a cat.
In hundred out of fifty-six cats in the study with food allergies, corn was responsible for four cases of allergy issues. Meanwhile, 45 cats suffered from allergies to dairy food, eating beef or fish. The question is how do you know your cat has a food allergy? Here are signs of a food allergy include:
- Excessive hair loss
- Bald patches
- Excessive grooming
- Sores and scabs
- Hot spots
- Inflamed skin
- Fungal infection, acne, lice, mites, and bacteria of the skin are similar signs as food allergies.
If you see any of those allergies, consult your vet.
What Does Grain-Free Cat Food Mean?
According to the terms used on pet food packaging, (grain-free) does have a specific definition.
Grains are the fruit of grass plants. The term “grain” includes:
You may also see these grain by-products listed on an ingredient label, which indicate the presence of grain:
If cat food does not contain any of these ingredients, it is considered “grain-free.”
Is grain-free food bad for cats?
There is no conclusive evidence that whole grains are harmful to cats in general. Grain is more than just a filler. Grains contain fibre, vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. Some grains also contain easily digestible protein. Moreover, although cats are historically carnivores, their digestive tracts are quite efficient at processing carbohydrates from grain.
Most cats are better off without grains. They acquire the protein and amino acids needed in their diet from meat. Cats do need some fibre in their diet since their lifestyle is not what it would be in the wild. So a small amount of steamed or ground vegetables is a good way to add fibre.
Grain’s value in cat diets is still being researched. Stay tuned for more information on the possible link between grain-free diets and heart disease.
Why do you think grain-free food is important to feed your cat?
Cats are obligate carnivores, their natural diets are typically devoid of grains. A cat’s optimum diet should include enough meat-based protein, moderate fat, and few to no carbohydrates—low-carb is more important than grain-free.
It’s worth noting, though, that grain-free does not always imply low-carb. There are numerous additional grain-free sources of carbohydrates, such as potatoes and other starches. Tapioca, for example, is grain-free yet a strange source of carbohydrates for cats.
A recent study in the Journal of Feline Medical and Surgery showed that grain-free cat food is higher in carbs than grain diets.
What do pet owners think about Grain-free food?
Grain-free cat food is most popular Because most cat owners think that this type of food is more suited for cats. Some owners reach for grain-free food in misguided efforts to prevent food allergies like Gastrointestinal(GI) upsets and itchy skin problems.
Some cats are sensitive to grains, But most of the allergies are connected to protein sources such as beef and poultry, not carbohydrates like grains.
Cat owners also think that grain-free foods help to control weight. That’s wrong, Grain-free doesn’t help with weight loss because they may substitute grains like oats, rice. And wheat with different carbohydrates like carrots, sweet, lentils, peas, cranberries, and beans.
Unlike grain, these carbohydrate-rich ingredients provide little fibre and may cause GI troubles.
Are Grain-Free Diets Dangerous for Cats?
Grain-free diets do not represent a health concern to cats or their owners. Although a link between grain-free dog food and canine heart disease has been postulated, there appears to be no such link in cats.
Is All Grain-Free Cat Food Also Gluten-Free?
Because gluten is a protein component of grains, every grain-free cat food is also gluten-free.
Be aware that, while gluten allergies and sensitivities are a hot topic in human nutrition, these allergies are extremely unusual in cats, as are food allergies of any kind.
As a result, gluten-free or grain-free pet meals are not necessarily healthier or better for your cat. The inclusion of gluten, grain, or grain by-products in cat food, on the other hand, does not necessarily imply that the diet is of high quality.
Do Cats Need Grain-Free Food?
Not. The case for grain-free cat food was straightforward: cats in the wild don’t eat grain. Wheat isn’t something you’ll see lions consume. So, if my cat is a wild cat descendant, why does he require grain?
However, it is not fully correct to assume that wild animals eat food that is ideally matched to their nutritional demands.
Even though wild cats and dogs do not eat carbohydrates, dietary studies reveal that domestic dogs and cats can digest more than 95% of carbs.
Grains are included in pet food as a cost-effective and easily digestible source of vitamins and energy, rather than as fillers. There are no evident negative effects or reductions in the quality or length of life of cats when grains are introduced to their food.
How to find the right food for your cat?
Consult your veterinarian before selecting high-quality food that provides all of your cat’s nutritional needs (and that your cat likes to eat). Your dedication will go a long way toward ensuring the health of your cat today and in the future.
Cats are categorized as carnivores, and their natural diet is very low in grains. Their ideal diet includes high in meat-based protein, moderate in fat, and low carbohydrates. Because low carb is more important than grain-free food.
When it comes to high-quality cat foods, price does not always correspond to quality, therefore you can’t choose a cat food purely based on cost. It’s best to consult your veterinarian about the best diet options for your cat’s specific needs, age, and health issues.