If you were confused the last time you walked through the cat food aisle at your local grocery store, do not worry, you are not alone. With all the different brands, ingredients, and formulations for different needs and ages, it can be very difficult to decide which cat food is best for your pet. Here are a few simple tips to help you choose the right cat food for your favorite feline.

Check the Ingredients

Do your homework and read the back of your cat's food bag, which is where the ingredients list is found. Typically, the food will contain a combination of proteins, such as beef, chicken, or lamb, vitamins, and minerals. The protein and grains should be listed specifically. Avoid foods that have generic names for proteins, such as "meat" or "meat by-product".

The higher on the ingredient list, the more prominent the ingredient is in the formula. Look for a food that has a protein listed first. Additionally, avoid foods that have unhealthy carbohydrates or grain sources, such as wheat or corn. Instead, choose a food that is fortified with brown rice, barley, or other healthier grains.

Choosing dry or wet cat food is another consideration. Dry food is a good option for cat lovers on a budget or cats that are not fed on a schedule because the food can sit out for several hours. Wet, canned cat food is often a healthier choice, especially if your cat does not drink enough water because it helps the cat get the necessary moisture it needs.

Consider Your Cat's Age and Weight

As your cat ages, their nutritional needs will change. For example, a kitten food will often have a higher protein or fat content and a lower carbohydrate content then adult food. These extra calories help ensure rambunctious kittens get the energy they need.  An adult cat, particularly a cat who is overweight, should not be fed kitten food and should transition into a food that is specifically formulated for their age and activity level.

Feed your cat according to the package directions, and if you notice your cat is gaining weight or seems unhealthy as they age, talk to your veterinarian. Your vet can help recommend a food that will meet your cat's dietary needs and assist you in creating a feeding schedule that will ensure your cat remains healthy and strong.

Choosing the right food for your cat can be very confusing. If you are ever in doubt about what to feed your cat, your veterinarian is a great source of information about the right food and feeding schedule for your favorite feline.