Is Grain-Free Food Bad for Cats?

Is Grain-Free Food Bad for Cats?

Summer is coming, and many people start looking out for their diet. But if you are a pet owner, you know you are even more concerned with your pet’s diet. Maybe you are looking for some healthier options for your cat, and many sources will recommend you to try grain-free food for your furry friend. Many of us are drawn to the goods with “grain-free,” “BIO,” and similar labels when it comes to our own food and also our pet’s food. But is grain-free food actually good for your cat? Keep reading to find out.

What is grain-free cat food?

Grain-free food for cats is not different from grain-free human food. It would mean that the food doesn’t contain any traces of the following grains:

  • Corn;
  • Barley;
  • Wheat;
  • Oats;
  • Rice;
  • Rye and others.

If you are familiar with such foods because you used them for yourself, then you would know that they are first not suitable for everyone, and second, they are not low-carb at all. The first applies to cats as well, so you should definitely check first if such a diet is suitable for your cat. And when it comes to the low-carb aspect, most grain-free cat foods contain ingredients with a high carbs level, like potatoes, lentils, cranberries, etc. So, indeed grain-free food might be good for your cat and its health, but you should then think about their carbs intake and adjust their portion accordingly. 

Why and how did grain-free food become popular for cats? 

The answer is very simple — when grain food became popular for humans, a lot of cat food manufacturers took advantage of that. Indeed some veterinarians were recommending such a diet for cats even before, but those were special cases where the cats had some health conditions, and a grain-free food would be better for them. Same as with people, some cats can even be allergic to grains, and excluding those from their diet is just mandatory.

However, before grain-free food became trendy for people, not many cat owners even thought about the possibility of excluding grains from their pet’s diet. And also, finding such food was very difficult, and in many cases, you should have ordered it from a very specific place or through your vet. But when we started looking for all the grain-free and gluten-free options for ourselves, we thought that maybe something like that could benefit your pets. Manufacturers, of course, saw this and decided to follow the trend.

Many of the big names in the pet food market produce a variety of grain-free options. They can be found in cats and dogs mostly since other pets might actually need the grains in their diet. You can find a variety of tastes again, but we should definitely mention that similar to human grain-free food, the pet one is a bit more expensive.

Do cats need a grain-free diet? 

Shortly put, most cats don’t need a grain-free diet. We say most because, as we mentioned, there are cases where your furry friend might be allergic to grains or suffer from other conditions for which a grain-free diet might be recommended. But other than that, a healthy cat doesn’t necessarily need food without gluten. 

Many people would say that wild cats don’t actually eat grain, and this is true. But the reason behind this is that they can’t actually find grains they would be even interested in and know how to eat. Of course that wild Scottish cat won’t look for a rice field to get itself some rice. This doesn’t mean that your domesticated cat can’t eat grains because when they are added to their food, they are prepared in a way that your pet can digest them.

Is grain-free food bad for cats?

In general grain-free food is not bad for your cat. Your furry friend might not even notice the difference in their food, but even if they do and refuse to eat their new food, don’t panic. They might not like the food because of many other reasons like the taste, the consistency, the smell, or anything else that doesn’t have anything to do with the lack of grains. 

Before switching to a grain-free diet for your cat and choosing their food it is always better to check with your vet. Maybe your cat won’t benefit that much or at all from such change. Similar to having conditions because which grains should be excluded, your pet might suffer from another type that might worsen from such drastic change in the food.

Wrapping up

Your cat doesn’t necessarily need grain-free food, but if you think this might be the healthier option, you can choose from a variety of great food. Check with your vet which might be the most suitable for your pet and see if your furry friend will like it. We all do our best for our pets, and giving them quality food is one of our primary responsibilities. Surely your cat will appreciate your effort and repay you with their love.

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