Standard vs. Premium Cat Foods

Some manufacturers label their pet foods as "premium." What earns this food distinction?

Posted: Wed Dec 18 00:00:00 PST 2002

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CatIf we compare the guaranteed analysis statement on the labels of standard and premium cat food products, a few differences are noticeable. Slightly higher concentrations of protein and the presence of animal-source ingredients at the top of the ingredients list suggest that premium cat foods might be more palatable and have a higher protein digestibility than standard products. Also, quality can vary and manufacturers can specify that the ingredients they use meet specific analytical criteria. This can also affect digestibility. Higher concentrations of fat in premium foods will also increase palatability as well as overall dry-matter digestibility.

Higher digestibility and increased caloric density of premium cat foods mean the nutritional needs of cats are met by feeding smaller amounts of premium food compared with standard food. This may offset the greater expense of premium products. But the increased palatability and caloric density mean that owners must monitor food intake, because cats are more likely to overeat when fed premium products.

It's difficult to say definitively whether premium foods will make a major difference in the health, happiness and longevity of your cat. Owners must choose a food based on what they believe is best for their cat.

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Standard vs. Premium Cat Foods

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Reader Comments

Janet    Bethlehem, PA

6/25/2013 4:48:23 PM

good article, thanks

Ben    Kenosha, WI

4/19/2013 2:28:43 PM

I read a comparison of cat foods in the New York Times. It said there just wasn't enough room to list all the different types of cat food and how they rated out but as a general rule of thumb, the flavor of the cat food should have those products listed as the first ingredient. As a result I purchase Purina One Smartblend chicken & rice. The first ingredient is chicken and the second is rice. Most cat foods have corn meal as the first ingredient and this is listed third. It costs a little more but she loves it and I feel confident feeding it to her. In my book the extra $2 is worth it!

janet    bethlehem, PA

1/4/2011 4:26:59 AM

important information, thank you very much

janet    bethlehem, PA

7/28/2009 4:27:42 AM

good article thank you

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