Understanding Cat Food Labels: What To Look For

Understanding Cat Food Labels: What To Look For

Cats are one of the most beautiful creatures in the world. Their sweet and gentle character is due to their nature, which is why most people who are fond of pets get a cat as a pet. Cats are fantastic to have in homes and places where a person must stay alone. Their presence feels heavenly and energetic, offering owners a charming essence. In essence, cats are often considered a part of therapy for people who suffer from loneliness and are unwanted since cats provide them with a friendly nature. But wanting to have a cat is one thing while having a cat is another with all the requirements in the bag. 

A cat requires food to remain healthy, active, and energetic while maintaining their traits and characteristics. This shows the importance of accurate and preferred food and what they have to offer their bodies. In addition to everything you do for a cat, food has to be a top priority. Getting the right food type can be a tedious task and is undoubtedly a challenging one. Thanks to Petco.Pk, there are loads of cat food varieties that you can select for your cat. But it would help if you understood how to read cat food labels. Cat food labels offer a wide variety of information for your needs. Thus, we begin our quest of explaining to you the need to read cat food labels ideally.

Cat food labels are present to depict a wide range of valuable information that may help you a lot. Below, through our guide and tips for reading a cat food label, you will find how you can find ingredients and other valuable information regarding the same.

Tip 1: Scan the Top Three Ingredients

Cat foods come with specific labels that depict vital information, such as ingredients. However, the first step in getting any information through a cat food label is to read and look for the top three ingredients on the list. Cat food ingredients present in the top three are based on weight. So, for example, if a food ingredient such as chicken is at the top, you will be getting more protein. Regular chicken in cat foods is around 80% water, which indicates that it will top the chart no matter what. If the same water is removed from the chicken, it becomes a dry cat food also present for other means.

Tip 2: The Guaranteed Analysis

Cat food has to be an excellent source of protein and energy. However, to do so, the pack must have the right quantities of ingredients present, as mentioned on the cat food label. For example, the cat food label has to offer the correct guarantee regarding food components such as crude protein, fat, fiber, and moisture. Another common thing that people find wrong or are scared of is reading the term ‘crude’ present on the food label. To clarify this, a cat food component labeled as ‘crude’ refers to the testing method involved in the component’s nature and not the actual quality of the product. 

Tip 3: Grain-Freeness!

Carbohydrates in the appropriate amount are the key for any cat. An abundance of carbohydrates through grain food components leads to specific health issues in a cat. When such is the case, pet cat owners look for grain-free products but make mistakes when concluding. If your cat label shows grain-free, it does not necessarily mean that the cat food is grain-free since granular products may be present in the form of potatoes and veggie carbs. Hence, the cat food you bring home by reading the grain-free label may be a source of your cat still consuming carbohydrates. However, processed carbs can also be treated as an excellent energy source. 

Tip 4: Identify the Food Allergies

Cats and every other pet have some allergies associated with them. It has more to do with the breed they originate from. Breeds play a significant role in underlining cat deficiencies, allergies, and traits. Some cats have allergies, whereas others have dense and thick fur coats. All of these traits are mostly linked to their breeds. As for food allergies, most cats are allergic to fish. What to look for in a cat food label includes any fish ingredient in them and if’ gluten-free’ is mentioned. If yes, then such cat food can be trusted. Often, cats are prone to severe allergies that require a thorough examination of the cat food label. You can scan it for further clarification as well. 

Tip 5: Correct Comparison

They are correctly comparing food ingredients. Cat food is vital to a healthy cat, and a proper cat is filled with the right nutrients. Cat food comes in two basic types: canned and dry cat food. And their ingredient percentage and nature are different even if the percentage mentioned is the same. For example, 8% protein in canned cat food is not the same as 8% protein in dry cat food. Elaborating further, canned foods contain 75-78% moisture, whereas dry cat food has 10 to 12% water. Easy conversions are available online to offer you help, and it is advisable to use these conversions to check canned food matter after conversion to dry matter. 

Tip 6: Go Natural!

Cat food ingredients are different and need to be studied for preferred requirements. A cat food label again comes to your aid in helping you decide what your cat food depicts. Cat foods labeled ‘natural’ means that none of the ingredients inside have been chemically altered. Cat foods may be labeled as ‘holistic’ and not ‘natural.’ As per cat food experts, it is better to leave them at the store since there is no accurate or legal definition of this term. If the food label says ‘organic,’ the food must contain at least 95% organic elements, and if the food label reads ‘made with organic ingredients,’ then your cat food must contain at least 70% organic elements. This is without counting added water or salt. 

Tip 7: Prefer your Cat's Favorite Flavors

Cat food labels are only sometimes directed to improve your understanding of the ingredients inside and what they offer you in terms of originality. Cat food labels provide basic information, such as the protein and its origin, to better adjust your cat’s preferred flavors. Your cat may love beef over chicken or meat and vice versa or any other component. It would help if you looked out for the presence of that specific favorite ingredient of your cat on the cat food label. A cat food label with proteins in the first three elements on the list does half the job for you. 

Tip 8: Understand the Nutrient Profile of your Cat

Your cat is your pet and a primary part of your life for which they must be treated with respect, care, and love. Apart from this, you arrange loads of things for their daily needs, such as food, and the cat food label on it provides valuable information about the age group or phase it is best suitable for. For example, a cat food labeled ‘All Life Stages’ generally indicates that it is perfect for growing cats and that the nutrients inside will help growing cats with energetic dozes. And as for food labeled as ‘Adult Maintenance,’ it is an ideal choice for healthy cats. 


Reading cat food labels is a great art and understanding that helps you in many ways, from selecting the right ingredient-rich food to ensuring it is packed with the proper nutrients. Pet food brands such as Petco. pk has a strong arsenal of hundreds of pet foods that help you search, select, and choose between your preferred cat food. Preference has to depend on many factors, but all those factors must be associated with your cat. In essence, your cat’s food contains labels that depict all the necessary information for you to ponder. Hence, master your skills so you encode maximum information from these labels. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a cat food label?

A cat food label is a tag or section on the cat food bag that contains all the nutritional information of ingredients that constitute the following cat food. 

Why are the top three ingredients on the cat food label list essential?

Cat food labels include various ingredients, but the top three ingredients on the list are essential since they are present in high percentages. 

What are two basic types of pet foods?

Two basic types of pet foods are categorized as canned food and dry food. 

What does the label ‘organic’ on cat food labels depict?

If the food label says ‘organic,’ the food must contain at least 95% organic elements.

What does the label ‘natural’ on cat food labels depict?

Cat foods labeled ‘natural’ means that none of the ingredients inside have been chemically altered.

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