We have many reasons for switching to an organic diet ourselves, and most of them have to do with the obvious health benefits obtained from eating fresher, non-GMO, and chemical free foods. What about our pets? Would switching to organic cat food brands help our furry companions?
Many cat lovers seem to think so judging by the increasing popularity that these organic cat food labels have seen recently. That is why I decided to find out what the exact benefits are to putting your cat on this type of diet.
Is What’s Good for the Owner Good for the Cat?
Sticking to an organic diet has been proven to bring many health benefits for people and it doesn’t take much effort to understand why: when the fruits and vegetables that we eat haven’t been sprayed with chemicals and haven’t been genetically engineered in a lab they’re better for our health because they’re naturally grown like Mother Earth intended them to be.
The same can be said for meat, dairy, and eggs that come from animals who haven’t been stuffed with antibiotics and who have lived happy, unstressed lives. With more people striving to eat healthier diets and steer clear of processed or genetically modified foods it’s becoming clear that the benefits of eating organic products can be seen and felt. So, is what’s good for the owner good for the cat? Judging by the ever-growing sales of organic cat food brands, many seem to think so.
The basic argument that pet owners make is that if an organic diet is beneficial for them and improves their health, the same principle should apply to their pets.
If you read blog posts or forum discussions on the topic you’ll find many people explaining how noticeable improvements in their pets’ behavior and overall health could be seen after switching to organic pet food. However, when it comes down to the science, what’s the difference?
Well, provided that the cat food you choose is actually organic, it won’t contain any artificial additives, genetically modified ingredients, antibiotics, chemical fertilizers, or pesticides. On the plus side, it will contain more carefully selected ingredients which will provide your pet with essential vitamins and minerals than regular cat food.
The same principle applies to organic cat food as does for other organic foods: a product can only be labeled as organic if it contains approved and strictly regulated ingredients that have been proven to fit the criteria.
What’s the Difference Between Regular and Organic Cat Food?
When it comes down to contents, it becomes clearer why more cat owners are choosing organic cat food for their animal companions. Many experts, veterinarians, and pet owners advise that we steer clear of any pet food that contains many grains as main ingredients, and that doesn’t specify the origin of the “meat meal” it incorporates as one of these principal components.
Many regular cat food brands list grains such as wheat, rice or corn as their main ingredients besides the meat meal. These can be hard to digest and highly glycemic, so they might not be the best option for your cat. Another very important selection factor when it comes to cat food is whether it contains the 11 essential amino acids that your cat needs in its daily diet.
If the pet food you are buying at the moment has 3 out of the 5 main ingredients listed as grains, there’s a pretty good chance that your cat isn’t getting all the essential amino acids in its food. The best thing to do regardless of the type of food you are buying is to try to steer clear of cat food that contains grains as any of the 5 main ingredients, and choose brands that have a defined meat component in order to know what your cat is actually eating.
Organic dry cat food producers that specialize in pet food usually focus on using grains that are easily digested by pets and that are not highly glycemic as well as organic meat of known origin.
The same can be said for organic wet cat food, and these pet foods score some points here since cat owners know exactly what meat their cats are eating, where it comes from and what other ingredients it contains. While these cat foods are not free from carbohydrates, the quantity and type of grains included in the formula are typically well balanced and provide the cat with all the essential amino acids it needs.
Knowing what your cat is eating and providing it with a diet that is better catered to its requirements can help you control its weight gain and reduce its chance of allergies, skin irritations and digestive problems often caused by low-quality proteins and grains contained in regular cat food brands. So, if your cat either has or is prone to any of these common ailments, it might be worth spending a bit more so to provide it with better nutrition.
What’s the Best Organic Cat Food for Your Pet?
As is the case with regular cat food, finding the right mix depends on your cat’s dietary needs. No one organic cat food brand is the best, but there are some guidelines you can follow to find some great alternatives.
For instance, brands that focus on producing organic cat food will be more likely to use better quality ingredients than big household names that only have a line of products labeled as organic since the latter might use by-products from other food lines in their organic versions.
Producers whose main focus is organic pet food will focus on better ingredients. So, your best bet is to look for smaller, organically-oriented brands even if they might be less accessible. Organic cat food reviews can also help you get more accurate information on what organic options you have, but, in the end, it comes down to what your cat likes and what you can afford.
Just look for organic grain free cat food or for brands that have minimal grain content as part of the main ingredients since these are the healthiest options. Make sure that the grains that are contained in the food are not highly glycemic and are easily digestible for pets.
Whenever you’re in doubt about how good a certain brand of food is for your pet’s health, don’t hesitate to ask the veterinarian about it as well and check with him or her to make sure that what you’re feeding your cat is the best possible option.