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C2006-33

Dear Christopher Cat

Recently you answered a question about a cat with diarrhea. I would like to add a suggestion: buy premium cat food.

I fed my cat cheap brands of dry and canned cat food, and he developed diarrhea. When I switched to better quality foods, the diarrhea cleared up.

Years ago, I had two cats, and I fed them cheap food. They had poor hair coats, and now I know why.

If people would pay more for better food, they wouldn’t have these problems.

Christopher Responds

Thanks for your suggestion. You’re right: junk food in, junk out.

In Small Animal Clinical Nutrition, a textbook for veterinarians, nutritionists agree, “The lowest priced product is usually the poorest quality. Pet foods are a good example of ‘you get what you pay for.’”

To identify high quality cat food, look not only at the price tag but also at the back of the package.

Better foods are tested in animals, so look for a statement that the food was tested in all life stages of cats according to protocols developed by the Association of American Feed Control Officials.

Also, make sure one of the first three ingredients is an animal protein. After all, we cats are carnivores.

If you decide to change your cat’s food, do it gradually, over a week or two. A sudden transition can cause diarrhea.

All this talk about food is making me hungry, so I’m heading to the kitchen to dine from a smorgasbord of premium quality dry cat foods.

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