When we decided to take a cat again, I had already done a lot of research on-line and come accross several interesting sites and forums.
The one that I found a real eye-opener was catinfo.org, a site by an American veterinarian who really cares about cats and did a great write-up on feline food. Read if you really care for your cat or cats.
The main message of the site is: Feed your cat canned food as a main food, not dry food.
Dry food contains only about 7 percent moisture. Canned food about 80 percent.
When I told this to a pet shop owner in the Netherlands, he replied with: "canned food contains too much water. They won't get enough nutrients from it" BULLSHIT!!! What an idiot. Muscle meat is about 75 percent water, 2/3 of our human body weight is water.
Good brands of tinned food contain mostly meat: muscle meat and innards and often a few percent of grains. There are also added vitamins, minerals and taurine which is important.
Dried food on the other hand, even the better brands, don't have a meat content that high and contain a lot of plant-based fillers like maize to bulk up the food and make it cheaper so the profit margin is higher. They also have added vitamins, minerals and taurine, but the fillers are bad for your cat's kidneys.
Dry food has been boiled and dehydrated. Canned food is fresh meat that has been canned and hasn't had the crap boiled out of it.
Cats don't really have a thirst thrive. That means that they don't drink enough. In nature cats get most of their moisture from their prey, which contains about 75 percent of moisture. You never see a cat dry his food before eating it, so dried food is not natural to a cat.
This means that on dry food they would have to drink a LOT more to compensate, which they don't. Even cats who drink quite often only get maybe half of the moisture they need.
Their urine is already concentrated. With dry food the kidneys have to work really hard to process all the plant-based fillers and there isn't really quite enough moisture to flush it through properly. NOT GOOD!
"But my cats really love dry food" Yes, the food industry makes it smell and taste nice.
Your kids probably love McDonalds, but do you bring them there every single day and give them junk food a few times a day? Because that's what it is. Dry cat food is junk food.
"But dry food is better for their teeth" That's what the industry likes you to think. Most of it is swallowed whole as cats can't chew. They don't have molars. Their teeth are made to rip and tear. The food is so brittle that the bit they do crunch, isn't in contact with their teeth long enough to have much effect.
"But in the wild they don't eat canned food either" No, they don't but it's the closest you can get to their natural food if you don't want to go make your own raw food. With a cat living in a human environment, you have to make food compromises.
"So what do you give your cats?"
I give my cats canned food from Maxi Zoo's own brand (Real Nature and Select Gold)
Thinking of changing to Grau's grain free which you can buy at zooplus.ie
I also give them some fresh chicken fillet every now and then. They love it. Chop it up as fine as they need it but let them tear at it if they want to. Chicken wings are great too. They can crunch the bones.
Don't be squeamish about that. Our Cato once brought in a dead bird and insisted on eating it inside, on the kitchen floor. He devoured it feathers and all, only left the tiny head behind.
Now, I do give my cats dried food as a snack every now and then. Applaws makes dry food that has no grain fillers in it. It is the best dry food you can get because of the high meat content. You can buy it at zooplus.ie
There is a lot more information at catinfo.org, so please take some time to read it (downloadable versions available on the site) if you really care about your cat's health.