Discover why you should vary your cat's diet. Tried and tested advice, from the Bombadillo British Shorthair kittens.
There are 4 reasons to vary your cat’s diet:
1. Avoid fussy eaters
Cats are creatures of habit. If you feed them the same food every day, they are likely to become fussy eaters. This can become a problem if you run out of your usual food, or can no longer buy it and find that your cat will refuse all else.
2. More nutritional balance
The world of nutrition is a dark and mysterious place. No one knows what humans should be eating for optimal health, let alone cats. If you feed only one food for your cat’s lifetime, you are restricting their nutritional intake to one formula. It may be that the formula you choose is low on certain nutrients that your cat needs. Or it may be too high in certain nutrients. Anyone who tells you that they know exactly what cats should be eating is either ill-informed or is being dishonest: we simply do not know what the optimum diet for a cat is. By using more than one food, we ensure that our cats get more variation of nutrients.
3. Safety issues with food
Unfortunately, we often see issues with cat food recalls. Most recently we have had the Fold Hill Foods pancytopenia recall. This affected Applaws, Sainsburys and Ava cat food. The Food Standards Agency has not conclusively confirmed that the food is the cause, but all of the affected cats were eating those foods. Hundreds of cats are known to have died, and the number is likely much higher. The cause is still not known, but is thought to have been some sort of contamination, possibly with a fungus. In a scenario like this, it is important to have another food that you can move your cat onto. Additionally, if you have been feeding your cat at least 2 foods, then they would only have ingested 50% of the toxins that they would otherwise have.
Sometimes certain brands are simply not available. We saw this with Brexit - some brands were out of stock for months. Panicked cat owners then had to persuade their kitties to start eating a new food, and it caused a lot of stress for people. Sometimes manufacturers will change their recipes, and this can cause cats to refuse to eat that food ever more!
What is the solution?
The solution is to ensure that your cat will eat at least 2 different foods at any given time. If one becomes unavailable then you have the other to fall back on whilst you gradually transition in a new one. Dry food and wet food are almost invariably made in different factories, by different producers. Dry and wet food are made using totally different recipes and equipment. If you take your cat’s brand of food and look at the dry and wet manufacturer details, they will almost always be totally different. This is important because it means that you don’t necessarily have to use two different brands - the dry and wet versions of the same brand will happily count as 2 different foods. Different formulas/flavours of each food will also be made in different batches, which reduces the risk of both flavours being contaminated. Different varieties will also have slightly different nutritional values. So if your cat will really only eat one brand, have at least 2 or 3 varieties of that brand, and a dry and wet version.
In an ideal world, you want your cat to be happy to eat 2 different dry foods (if you use dry food) and 2 different wet foods. This gives you maximum flexibility.
The cat food we use
We currently favour the following cat foods:
- Thrive dry food in chicken
- Thrive dry food in Turkey
- Thrive wet food in a variety of flavours (#affiliatelink)
We use Thrive because of the high meat content (the highest of any food we’ve found) and the lack of ‘rubbish’. These are used as our primary foods, and then we also use some Purizon dry food, and have a selection of other wet foods in the house as well. Read our wet cat food reviews.
If you are a Bombadillo Kitten parent, please follow the instructions we give you for you kitten. This is important to do because we stay informed on all things feline-nutrition so our diet choices do sometimes change.
Remember that you will need to introduce any new food very gradually as cats can have sensitive digestive systems.